God never convicts us without equipping us. I've been experiencing conviction about my prayer life recently, and God just keeps bombarding me on the subject.
Two of the books I'd already added to my 2014 Summer Reading List are on prayer: Wrestling Prayer, by Eric Ludy, and The Complete Works of E.M. Bounds on Prayer.
Then Bro. Gary mentioned that he is preparing a Bible study on prayer for this fall.
Then I was trying to locate my copy of Wrestling Prayer, and in the process, I came across my sermon notes notebook from this time two years ago. I flipped it open, and the first thing I saw were sermon notes from my first night at Grace after we decided God was leading us out there. Bro. Gary was preaching through James on Sunday night at the time, and his sermon that night was on James 5:17-18, on prayer. :)
The notes were just what I needed to read today. I thought I'd share a bit of them here (in true, sketchy note form :) If something doesn't make sense...it's just my notes, not the sermon itself. :)):
Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth.Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.~James 5:17-18
Prayer is righteous.
Prayer is fervent.
Prayer is passionate.
Prayer is according to God's Word.
Prayer is the most powerful weapon on earth, and we don't use it. We miss the boat completely!
Elijah--1 Kings 17-18
There wasn't anything special about Elijah, but he was God's special man. He was obeying God.
Prayer isn't getting our will done in Heaven, but God's will done on earth.~Robert LawThe Word and our prayers have to match up...we can't separate them. We have to know God's promises in order to pray them.Elijah believed and obeyed. (I Kings 18:42-46) Elijah prayed consistently and persistently. The posture of his prayer was important. He kept praying and sent the other guy to look 7 times.Matthew 6:5-7 He didn't pray a bunch of "wordy words". Huge difference between "wordy words"/vain repetitions and true persistent prayer.Matthew 26:36-46/2 Corinthians 12: 7ff - Both prayed 3 times, both prayed the will of God.We have the same nature as Elijah, "but he was a praying dude."Our prayers...often selfish, lazy, religious words. Our hearts are often not in it.We are to be specific in our prayers. Are we really serious about our prayers? Do we really mean it? Never giving up hope...remembering God lives in eternity and we live in time.Psalm 108 Worship and praise...God inhabits the praise of His people!Praying for our country/leaders.Praying for our pastor..that God will give him the words he needs to speak.Praying for cohesiveness as a church. (Acts...the church in one accord.)
Is there something God has been bombarding you with lately? Has there been a time when you've felt a need to dig deeper in the area of prayer? I'd love to hear more about it in the comments here or on Facebook.
I'd also love to hear your suggestions for keeping track of prayer needs and answers, both long-term and short term. I've used various systems over the years, but looking for ideas as I decide what is the best fit right now.
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