Thursday, July 14, 2011

Brick in the Head

Have you ever had God just pick up a brick and throw it straight at your head and say "Now do you get it?" I would have to say this happened to me today, just a moment ago.

I sat down and was watching a little David Jeremiah on Turning Point and his sermon was on prayer. I've been doing a lot of praying, but sadly what I realized was that the majority of my prayers were focused on me. I mentioned others and their requests, but mainly, honestly, I was primarily focused on me.
ME, ME, ME, ME and ME.

As David Jeremiah so kindly pointed out, God did not design prayer to be me focused. It's primary purpose is for interceding for others.

"The LORD restored the fortunes of Job
when he prayed for his friends,
and the LORD increased all that Job had twofold."
Job 42:10
Who does Jesus pray for? (me)
Who does the Holy Spirit pray for? (me)
Who am I to pray for? (not me)

I have just realized I need to do a Willy Wonka reverse in my prayer life. I need to focus on praying for others and interceding for others and just mention my own request. I know that God has heard plenty from me... and as I look through my journal I can see that they are quite repetitive. So my focus shall be complete intercessory prayer. Yep, this will be a No Whining Allowed prayer zone.

As for my own requests I shall do as the Scriptures commands me.

In the morning, O LORD, You will hear my voice;
In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch
Psalm 5:3
I shall watch.
I shall indeed shut up and trust that others are persevering in prayer on my behalf as I myself persevere on behalf of them and even if no other saint were to remember my name, the Holy Spirit never forgets me and my High Priest ever lives to intercede on my behalf. The prayers that I shall pray considering myself will be praying back to Jesus the prayer that He prayed on my behalf in John 17. And I will keep watching for Him to fulfill His word in me and I'll keep praying for others and watching for Him to fulfill His word in them.

 "Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation;
the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Matthew 26:41

The word watching in the Greek means to give strict attention to, be cautious, active, to take heed lest through remission and indolence some destructive calamity suddenly overtake one.

In Revelation 3:2-3 it is the same word used for wake up.

'Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain,
which were about to die ;
for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God. 
So remember what you have received and heard ;
and keep it, and repent.
Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief,
and you will not know at what hour I will come to you."

I don't know about you but God can throw all the bricks at my head that He wants if it is what I need to stay awake, to wake up, to keep watching, to remember what I have recieved and heard.
How easy it is to slip into selfishness... even in our prayer life, or maybe especially in our prayer life.
And is that not the goal of the enemy of our souls.
To keep us so self-centered that we are not God-centered.
To keep us so selfish that we can't be selfless.
To be so focused on meeting our own needs that we can't clearly see the need of others.
To be so consumed with talking to God about ourselves that we don't shut up long enough to hear Him tell us the need of another. You know He'll do that, if He knows He can trust you.

"Be of sober spirit,
be on the alert.
1 Peter 5:8

In the words of Wyatt Earp, "I don't think I'm going to allow you to devour me today, Devil."

Nope I think I'm going to be alert and watch. I think I'm going to pray with expectancy to see what God is going to do in the lives of the others that I am praying for. God wants to use me to help complete what is lacking in another believer's faith. What a priviledge.  

"as we night and day
keep praying most earnestly
that we may see your face,
and may complete what is lacking in your faith?"
1 Thessalonians 3:10

I challenge myself to spend the rest of this week lifting up others. Praying for my friends. Praying for my church. Praying for THE CHURCH. Praying for my enemies. Praying for my family. Praying for strangers. Praying for our nation. Praying for others. 

May God's will be accomplished in every prayer according to His Word.


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