Life on the front porch

Faith, life, kids & bikes


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A final thought on my career in prayer

Last night as I scrolled through my Facebook page I came across a disturbing post.  When I woke up this morning I was still thinking about it and began to think, “What can I do about this?”  Can I visit this person, should I start a class, should I get some friends and go do some prayer ministry?  Do, do, do, do!  It sounds like a song, but it’s not a heavenly song.

Prayer: A Holy OccupationThe Holy Spirit then reminded me of what I’ve been writing – that prayer is the greater work.  When Jesus said that we would do greater works than this, he meant that we’d have unfettered access to the throne room of heaven.  We can know his hear heartbeat and ask anything in confidence and we can know that he answers our prayer.

So now the test.  Will I take a short 5 second prayer (which counts) or will I dig in in confidence, boldness, patience and power like I’ve been encouraged to do?  Will I start my prayer with a bold declaration of who God is and stay in the place of prayer until breakthrough.  Sounds exhausting!  And what if the situation doesn’t change?  What if I don’t feel anything?  How long should I stay there?

“Pray because you have a Father, not because it quietens you, and give Him time to answer.”

“The only way to keep right is to watch and pray.  Prayer on any other basis than that on which it is placed in the New Testament is stupid, and the basis of prayer is not human earnestness, not human need, not the human will, it is redemption, and its living centre is a personal Holy Spirit.”

“Waiting means standing under, in active strength, enduring till the answer comes.”

“Watch for God’s answer to your prayers, and not only watch, but wait.”
 The task of intercession is to humbly let go of what I think should happen and turn over to God, what he wants to happen.  And so, this morning, I agree in prayer.  You are Almighty God, nothing is too difficult for you.  Step in, make your fame glorious!  Jesus, I love you and I love your name.  Break the power of my friend, bring her dreams of you in the night. Encounter her with healing and salvation.  Bring someone near to her that will faithfully recount your story of love and redemption.  Almighty God, you can do this, you have done this many many times.  Today again. Healing and encounter!
Amen
Here are the Characteristics of a Believer who overcomes in prayer from my reflections with Oswald Chambers.  Hope you enjoyed as much as I have.
Patience: To wait on the Lord
Power: Strength and endurance to pray
Purpose: What is the end of my prayer? What is God desiring to happen because I pray?
Boldness: What has Christ done for me?
Childlikeness: What is my relationship to God looking like?
Communion: When, in my schedule, will I meet with God?
Concentration: Where will I go to meet with God?
Discipline: What is the One thing that God will do through me?
Honesty: What lies am I believing about God, prayer, others?
Faith: Who is God and what is He like?
Work: What is my discipline of regularly throwing my shoulder into the work of prayer?
Communion: Do I long for God’s nearness?  Do I hunger for His holiness?


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“Prayer does not fit us for the greater works; prayer is the greater work.  We think of prayer as a common-sense exercise of our higher powers in order to prepare us for God’s work.  In the teaching of Jesus Christ, prayer is the working of the miracle of redemption in me which produces the miracle of redemption in others by the power of God.”
– Oswald Chambers

What is my work in the life of prayer?  Even the things that I must do in prayer require the grace of God, so with God’s grace, there are 3 requirements of me to live a life of prevailing prayer.  Here’s my alliteration: To pursue passionate prevailing prayer I must practice and pursue patience, purpose and power.

Patience:

Here’s what I want to remember in growing in patience, I am a waiter, not just waiting.  I am God’s servant, towel over my arm, eyes on Him, ready to respond to what my Lord requires.  I want to quickly and easily do what I’m called to do.  Patience in prayer is taking the role of waiting on the Lord – learning the rhythm of His grace.


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The 3 P’s of Prayer

When I set out on this little series I had 2 goals. First, I wanted to dig into what Oswald Chambers has to say on prayer. He was a passionate man who pulled no punches when it came to prayer. When he arrived in Egypt to serve soldiers serving in the war he both ministered to their physical needs (by providing a place to write letters home) and their spiritual needs (by calling men to prayer). He modeled a bold prayer life and a confident living after the things of God. He took God at his word and lived this way.We cannot.001

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Honesty in prayer (Pinocchio had an advantage)

Three things I desire quoteTruth. You’d think it was reasonably easy to figure out!

When it comes to truth and lies Pinocchio had a bit of an unfortunate problem (a nose that grew every time he lied) but I think it would be so helpful I had his nose. If every time I lied my nose grew I’d be very motivated to be truthful; but it doesn’t seem to work for me like this. I can tell lies and get away with it or not even know it. In the same way I can pray with great sincerity but not be honest with God.

Maybe you know someone like me.  Here are some of the lies I say in prayer (thanks Oswald Chambers):

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No more resolutions, Get One Word

As I head into a new year I’m looking back at what the Lord has done for us, how he’s brought us through and I’m considering what this next year will hold.  I really enjoy the challenge of dreaming and thinking about what is to come.  How can I make positive changes to the people around me?  What legacy will I leave?A year ago I came across a new resource called Get One Word.  I listened to the seminar (click here – it was free) and I’m considering, what is the One Word that will carry me through 2013.  With the fact that I can’t even remember what my resolutions were last year, I’m hopeful that this year, I’ve found a tool that’s more helpful.
Here’s a letter I wrote to some friends last year.  I’m looking forward to doing my One Word again for this year.
Well, at least one of my friends has been pestering me, “So, what is your one word for the year?”  And it’s been a difficult but fun journey to discover my word for 2013.  The pictures are of our family painting our “Words” – Trust, Turn, Obey, Truth, Faithful & Giving.
 
My One Word for 2013 - painted by me!At first, I liked the word “Convergence” to describe different streams coming together – especially prayer and mission, but also converging passions and vocations.  It seemed like a good word.  Then I shared it with Christa and as I said it out loud, it just didn’t seem right.  Then, in a moment that was relatively unspiritual, I heard the word “Trust.”  It didn’t seem right either, but I just couldn’t shake it.  Trust seemed to be the word that Jesus is giving me. (It does make me a little nervous when Jesus is giving me the word trust, but maybe that’s part of the adventure he’s got for me).
 
Trust.  This year I’m going to build a file on trust – Bible verses, quotes, stories, songs and even pictures.  We’ll also put our pictures up in a prominent place so that we’re reminded to grow together in 2013.
 
How about you?  What is your one word or resolution for this next year?  I’d love to hear.
My One Word for 2013 – painted by me!