This is a page that focuses on religious and theological issues, as well as providing comprehensive teaching from a classic Catholic perspective. As you read the articles, it is my hope they will educate and bless you.
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
From the Archives - A Series; Part IV
This was a message given at my old home church, Evergreen Baptist Chapel, in Terra Alta, WV, on June 24th, 1990. I was at home during the summer, and this particular Sunday was tragic as we were also mourning the death of Mrs. Myrtle Masters, an elderly lady Mom stayed with and took care of for years. I was filling in for my former pastor although by this time I was a member of the Foursquare denomination, but in the hills of West Virginia church affilliation is not quite the issue it is elsewhere, as we all knew each other anyway. In addition to the church service, I was also conducting services that Sunday at Hopemont State Hospital, where Frank was also chaplain. It was one of many speaking engagements I had at home that summer
Effective Prayer Life
As Christians, and more so as charismatic Christians, we often stress the need for a strong prayer life. However, several hindrances may prevent us from practicing what we preach. I choose this message because of the things the Lord has brought about this week in my life as a result of prayer, and I hope that in some way the Lord will speak to those who will hear.
For prayer to be effective, one has to have two things. First, one must have faith. The reason for this is that it is faith that causes us to pray in the first place. The second thing that is needed is knowledge of the Spirit's direction, or to put it in layman's terms, a burden. With these two things in order, now we will discuss further.
Praying in agreement, as Matthew 18:19 says, brings about a result from the Heavenly Father. This does not apply to just "holy" things, but it has to do with ALL things. That covers a lot of territory, for if two or more believers have this power, then what would happen if the whole world would agree? Satan would never want to bother us if this would happen, and he knows it all too well. Therefore, this is why he has split us up into so many factions over rather stupid premises, such as eternal security vs. falling from grace, and we humans have chosen to fall for it. We as a result go off chasing rabbits instead of doing what we are supposed to. However, when two do agree in prayer, mighty things happen. Therefore even though personal devotions are important, we must come together in unity of Spirit and make a stand against things which we alone are powerless against.
The second thing a Christian must do is to be consistent in his prayers, and Biblical support for this can be found in Acts 12:5. Galatians 5:22 likewise states that longsuffering is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. A lot of times we lose out on the things God has for us because we fail to have patience. We expect the Lord to answer our prayers here and now, and He may not will to do this. 99.9% of the time God's will concerning our prayers will work out better for us in the long run anyway. To summarize, we must pray without ceasing, and as Matthew 6:33 clearly states, we must seek God's kingdom and His righteousness first. When we are ready to receive His answer, He will always be faithful to give it to us in His time, not ours. No matter how much you think you need something, God always knows your needs better than you do. So, He will meet them accordingly.
The results of our prayers being petitioned to God are always fruitful, but we may be surprised at His answers. One result of fervent prayer is that it will come to pass (John 5:15). God will never fail His own, and if we are truly His, we can be comforted in this. He does know our needs obviously before we tell Him; however, He wants us to trust in Him. When we do this, we start to see results.
As mentioned earlier, unity in the Body of Christ is what brings about His favor on our needs. Romans 12:4-5 mentions that we are many members in one Body, but in order to keep that body healthy, we must work together. Satan and his legions are the germs that infest the Body of believers, and when the Body is sick it cannot function. Satan infects its parts with false doctrines in divisive spirits, and as a result there is conflict. However, we do have a cure for this, and this is the refining baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire. We need a fire of the Spirit in our churches today that will disinfect the germs of sin and division, and according to Joel 2:28 this will come to pass. After all, time is too short for us to fight amongst ourselves, and Satan is working overtime in these last days because he knows the facts. We should really dump any excess theological baggage and take up the Cross of Christ, and until we do it in one accord, we are in big trouble. Therefore, as Christians let us always lift one another up, for the Lord is waiting to release a spiritual renewal upon us when we do, and we must all prepare for it.
In conclusion, the power of prayer is not just limited to Christians, for the Word of God says that "all who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved!" Today, if you wish to make such a decision, you have people around you who love you and will agree with you in prayer. Not only that, but they will stay so consistent that they will be with you until you do decide to ask Jesus into your heart. The Bible says that the angels rejoice in heaven over the salvation of a single soul, and this includes anybody. "Why is this so?" you may ask. Well, you are making the most important step in your life, and by doing htis you will have eternal life. Therefore, I urge you today to take God's form of communication seriously, for it could be your only chance. Amen.