#ThinkingTuesday – Change your thinking; Change your life.
This week’s quote is from the renowned scholar Oswald Chambers:
“Prayer is not getting things from God, that is the most initial stage; prayer is getting into perfect communion with God; I tell Him what I know He knows in order that I may get to know it as He does.”
— Oswald Chambers
There’s a call to prayer in our lives, not just when we want something from God but to cultivate our intimacy with Him. How can we remain in constant conversation with Him?
Pray without ceasing.
In our conversations with God, do we only ask for material things or do we wonder and ask questions about the mysteries of the gospel and the intricacies of life? Do we only approach God when we are in need of material things? Check the content of your prayers, are they about things you want to get or the substance of who would like to become? Often times we are religious in our prayers when we should be emotional. We pray a certain prayer when we wake, ignore God the rest of the day but remember to pray for protection before we sleep. It’s no longer enough as christians. We take God for granted and it should not be so, we should be like little children, never losing our wonder for Christ.
Prayer is basically a child coming to a father. When a little child comes to his/her father, he comes simply, not putting on any extras or facades. We do not need to pretend to God or be more spiritual or pious than we really are. We come simply, straightforwardly and humbly realising that we are nothing without God’s love. He created us and He is waiting, earnestly longing to listen to us. We must leave behind our pride and subterfuge and come honestly.
— Elizabeth Elliot.
Psalm 15 says those who speak the truth with God will abide in His presence. Look at Jonah, He did not get out of the belly of the fish till he prayed an earnest prayer (Jonah 2:7). Let’s be real with God and tell the truth in His presence. Some of us will confess our issues to friends, but not to God. Why?! There’s no need for the legalistic mumbo jumbo. The church is full of sick people who need healing, there’s no need to pretend to God. He already knows what’s going on.
With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.
The verse above says there are all kinds of prayers. Our spirit should be praying at all times. Even if we can’t speak out loud, we pray in our spirit. God can hear our thoughts. We must arrest our thoughts; think positive not negative.
A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough.
Leaven (yeast) here means sin. Even a little thought of sin or just negative thoughts in general can corrupt a person. We must remove the leaven from our lives. We must think on God’s goodness and meditate on His word, that’s a part of prayer as well.
Prayer does not fit us for the greater work, 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 miracle of redemption in me, which produces the miracle of redemption in others by the power of God.
— Oswald Chambers
Prayer is the greater work. One of the very first questions the disciples asked Jesus was to teach them how to pray because it is a powerful tool. Prayer is the most important weapon in a christian’s arsenal. Those who don’t use this tool can be likened to a policeman who carries a gun without bullets. A christian with authority but no power to enforce it. When it comes to the nitty gritty, such a christian will be useless. Prayer opens up the resources of God, it is the power that we use to enforce our sonship status, the power we use to enforce the authority restored to us in Jesus name. The way our fruit remains is by prayer, not by our works. We cannot by our works maintain the salvation of a newly converted believer, we can only pray that they remain in the faith. There’s this acronym called PUSH: Pray Until Something Happens. It’s a great morale booster but it can be misleading. We should pray even after something happens so our testimonies can be permanent.
And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint
We should never tire of praying. However, before we pray, we must put on the whole armor of God found in Ephesians 6. We cannot enter into battle without wearing the armor of God. When we pray there is something we battle against. There’s something trying to keep us from praying. We are battling the wiles of the enemy. The difference between bondage and deliverance is prayer. Those who know what to pray for as they ought to will be delivered. In Acts 12, the difference between the death of James and the freedom of Peter was that the church was praying non-stop for Peter. If they had prayed for James in the same way, he would not have died by the sword of Herod.
We tend to use prayer as a last resort, but God wants it to be our first line of defense. We pray when there’s nothing else we can do, but God wants us to pray before we do anything at all.
— Oswald Chambers
When Christ returns, will He find you praying? #ThinkingTuesday