Saturday, January 23, 2010

Don't Stop!

I am convinced that most people who follow after Christ (including myself) don't pray enough.  I think most of us understand the power of prayer...but yet we don't utilize it.  We're familiar with most of the Biblical incidents in which God moved as the result of His people praying.  We've even heard testimony after testimony of God moving miraculously as the result of prayer among believers we know.  

Until recently I was a part of a prayer group that lasted for over 3 years.  I could write a book (and should have) on all the answered prayers!  Some of our prayers were answered instantly and some were answered gradually.  There was no denying that prayer is very powerful and produces results.  We saw people healed from cancer and other diseases.  There was one person who was healed from barreness of her womb.  I remember the very evening, the way the Holy Spirit moved, and even telling her God healed her.  Connie and I were elated to visit the family in the hospital for the birth of their child several months later!  When the prayer group first started we were praying for a young couple with 2 children who were on the verge of divorce. (They didn't attend.)   When the 3 year run of this prayer grouped ended...this couple was still together!  God showed Himself incredibly powerful in many, many ways!  Prayer is so powerful!  Yet somehow we don't see the significance of it.  Why is that?

This may hurt, but the truth is we're just not connected to God enough.  You see, prayer is simple and constant communication with God.  In the Book Paul tells us to "Pray without stopping."  This does not mean we have to stay on our knees constantly.  It simply means that the lines of communication must constantly be open between us and God.  In Colossians 3:2 Paul says we must "Set our affection (mind) on the things above (heaven), and not on the things that are on the earth."  Prayer requires a conscious effort to stay connected to God spirit, soul, and body...24 X 7.  It really does require "Practicing the presence of God!"  The problem is that so many followers of Jesus today are so connected to personal schedules, dreams, career, family, ministry, etc., that we just can't accurately see the significance of Prayer.  We know its importance, but can't see its significance.  I am convinced that when we perceive the significance of prayer...we will pray without stopping.

Most Christ-followers pray when they have a need.  I can confidently say God honors that.  But there is so much more for you and me through simple, constant communication with our Creator!  Prayer is the crucial ingredient for the relationship.  In my relationship with Connie (my wife) communication is vital.  No relationship.  No marriage.  We've been married almost 36 years.  But back in our 5th year we almost divorced.  Why?  Among a couple of other crucial things...we never communicated.  When we gave our lives to Christ and made the decision to seek God to heal our marriage we also made a mutual decision to communicate...always!  This has been one of the best decisions we've ever made!  Now we love to talk, be together, and do a lot of nothing...just as long as we're together!  I am in love with my wife because we talk...a lot!  If we don't communicate with God and He with hinders our relationship.  Remember, a healthy relationship changes people and situations.  A healthy relationship with God is a relationship that impacts souls!

Let me encourage you to make a decision today.  Make a decision to practice the presence of God no matter where you are.  Talk to Him as you would talk to the One who loves you more than anyone else does!  If you have to, make yourself little notes and post them in different places to remind you throughout the day to talk with Him (even for a minute or two) and listen for His voice.  It will change your live and the lives of those around you!  I'm telling you prayer is good!

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