Below are the prayer session guides for Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017. Our prayer is that God might use these thoughts to direct your prayers for us and with us.
The scriptures are full of the principle that before one presents petitions before God, he should place himself squarely before Him in a spirit and attitude of worship.
The proper condition of heart is pictured in the Jewish custom of bowing completely forward with one’s face touching, or nearly touching, the ground.
It is often reflected in the decorum of the one placing a petition before God.
2 Cor 12:20-13:1
20 For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults:
21 And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed. KJV
1 Cor 2:1-5
1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.
2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. KJV
2 Cor 2:4
4 For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you. KJV
18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: KJV
Fake tears and emotions are always disgusting but particularly and even more so in corporate meetings of the saints.
But overly restrained emotions, the refusal to truly enter into profound thoughts, are out of character as well.
We are dealing with eternal issues, massive realities and vast needs. Our weakness is profound. The capacity to deal with that in a sterile and impassive way may speak to a part of the problem. Consider these issues of worship
The Majesty of God
His Amazing Power as demonstrated throughout history
The Amazing Grace that He has shown to us personally
Our personal need of His Enabling Power
The needs in lives with which we have direct contact
In spite of the Great Needs around us we have reasons to be thankful.
The Great Work of Christ wrought on our behalf
The Sure Mercies of God that brought us to Him
The Preserving and Protecting Grace of God that has brought us, so far, through every trial
The Great Privilege to be allowed to serve Him
The Great Orchestra of Events by which He has brought us to where we are today
Faithful Wives without whom we would function much more poorly
The Faithful and Patient churches that support us
Many thousands of answered prayers
Worship, The Model Prayer
When one thinks about it, everything we pray has some connection to issues mentioned in this example of prayer.
Hallowing the Name of God
Cannot be done mechanically, it is an effort that rises from the heart with determined intensity
Thus, cannot be performed as an intellectual exercise only
Can only fully occur when God reveals something of Himself to us as we contemplate Truth concerning Him sufficient to strip back
our composure, partially or althogether
Thy Kingdom come
‘Kingdom’ is always associated with Authority and Power Obviously the Spiritual Kingdom of God is in consideration So this is a request for the Outpoured Spirit to press His kingdom forward
Thy Will be done….
Always the result of answers to the previous request
Only truly happens when hearts are affected by a nearness of His Presence as in the cases of: Moses/Joshua/Samuel/Elijah/Isaiah/Ezekiel
Every time the Lord has drawn near to a soul the response has been a ready willingness to obey
Our Daily Bread
As with the manna there seems to be a daily provision
because we are insufficient and without sufficient resources
Without it we will fail:
to pray rightly
to pray effectively (“effectual, fervent prayer”)
to stay focused
to operate in integrity (we can say the right words easily, sometimes without even thinking)
to set our hearts on the Lord
David complained, “my soul cleaves to the dust, quicken me”
We cannot bring unconfessed and unrepented sin to the table
Ps 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me: KJV
We need enabling grace, every time, to honestly own and confess our sins and to forsake them in holiness
Preachers need to be particularly careful because of the temptation to elegantly rationalize our sins
As we forgive
Many, if not all, of us have been badly injured, betrayed, and wounded
We have been involved in controversies and disagreements
Have we forgiven?
The path before us is always murky, we need direction on every issue
Deliver us from the evil one and his devices
More on that later but we need continual help because we are under continual assault
He owns everything and it is all continually and constantly in His hands
This is His Kingdom
We need His power
Are We Not Too Weak For Such And Endeavor?
The fact that we are aware of great needs and weaknesses in ourselves does not preclude usefulness.
Some of God’s greatest servants have confessed themselves to be weak and failing.
Though the 119th Psalm is a great ode to the Law of God, it is also a great confession of the weakness and neediness of the author.
There are at least 25 issues of self-perceived difficulty recorded by the author.
Needing direction, v.5
Needing further instruction, vs. 7, 18, 33, 39, 73, 169.
Needing practical cleansing, v. 9.
Needing constant shepherding, v.10.
Unsatisfied with present spiritual attainment, v.20.
Needing confirmation and restoration because of previous failures, v.22.
Aware of a heart not totally weaned from the world, v.25.
Burdened because of his insufficient strength, v.26.
Aware of an internal struggle with dishonesty, v.29.
Fear of failure and the shame which goes with it, v.31.
Needing an increased capacity to love God, v.32.
Aware of his own inclinations toward covetousness, v.36.
Fear of failure and reproach, v.39.
Fear of being set aside as a spokesman for God, v.43.
Had experienced being overcome and robbed by evil, v.61.
Had gone astray from the Lord, vs. 67, 75, 76.
Was being lied about, v.69.
Felt a certain unsoundness in his soul, v.80, and feared failure and shame because of it.
Had a sense of desperation from waiting on the Lord to move, vs. 81-83.
Persecuted by the wicked, vs 85-87, 110, 157, 161.
In need of a quickening visit from God, v.107.
Saw himself in danger of being overcome by iniquity unless God sustained him, v. 133.
Distraught and personally overwhelmed by the lostness of the men around him, v. 136, 139.
Unspecified anguish, v.143.
Under some affliction for which deliverance was God’s quickening power, vs.153, 154.
The sense of weakness goes with the territory. It is the sense of being capable that we should fear.
God’s Great Name
There is an issue of the Name of the Lord being profaned when His people are suffering under
spiritual malaise. The world sees it and mocks them and Him.
He is jealous for His name and in the restoring of His people His Name is glorified.
23 And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which
ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the
LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.
Question: If the Lord will not visit us, is He going to save us?
Almost everything we claim to have as gospel believers others also claim to have.
Peace with God
Forgiveness of sins
Certain hope of eternity
Some even to claim power with God who have a fatally flawed message. It seems at times that they do have some kind of power assisting them.
Historically the unique element of Biblical Christianity has been the fact that the Holy Spirit has visited them in great and powerful ways.
When His people are declining, His Name is called into question. When His people are empowered and enabled, His Name is Glorified.
While we certainly have compassion for the lost and a genuine desire for His church to prosper, some element of our interesting in this thing should be that His Name is Glorified.
Is It Too Late?
What a tragedy it would be to assume that there is no possibility of Revival when the truth is the opposite!
Assumption of the worst takes away hope. How many times have we seen this lived out?
Let us pray that God protects and keeps us from wrong assumptions concerning His Work and the possibilities before us.
1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,
2 Stand in the gate of the LORD’s house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the LORD, all ye of Judah, that enter in at these gates to worship the LORD.
3 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place.
4 Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, are these.
5 For if ye throughly amend your ways and your doings; if ye throughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbour;
6 If ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt:
7 Then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever. KJV
This was very late in the history of Judah, growing near the time that Nebuchadnezzar would sack Jereusalem.
First of all, notice that there was an assumption that since the Temple was in Jerusalem it could not be conquered, that the Lord would not allow it. Some assume that since they preach the Doctrines of Grace they are in the center of the Will of God, as if the theology was their “Temple.”
The assumptions were incorrect but there was still opportunity for the city to be saved and the people not to be carried away. It is marvelous that opportunity still existed, that it was not completely too late.
Consider how late it was for Laodicea in Rev. 3. The Lord was on the verge of spewing them out, yet He was offering recovery pictured in the genuine gold and the clean garments.
In fact, consider the offers made to the other churches as well.
Ephesus had left their first love and was tolerating the Nicolaitans.
Pergamos had Balaamites and Nicolaitans.
Thyatira had Jezebel and either actual or spiritual fornication.
Sardis was dead and living a lie.
Yet each of them was offered recovery.
How foolish might it be if we assume that there can be no recovery when that is not the case?
Can you believe that the door of Revival was yet open to them?
How late is too late?
The Lord’s Return
Or our death
To operate before either of those with the conviction that it is too late we would need the words of a true prophet.
The potential is so great that we should be continually trying the door.
Do we not have strong assurance?
18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. KJV
Have we missed the intent of the words, “shall not prevail,” to mean that a tiny, ‘hunkered-down’ remnant will hang on rather than that the church should expect great victory?
We should certainly pray that we not miss any opportunity of recovery that God is graciously providing.