Friday, 3 June 2011

Are You Willing?

Are You Willing?

“He sees that there's no one to help. He's astounded that there's no one to intercede. So with his own power he wins a victory. His righteousness supports him” (emphasis added - Isa 59:16 GW).

Welcome back! Lets continue, in our last article we shared several famous quotes from well-known individuals concerning this vast topic, prayer. Because of its vastness we cannot possibly “cover” every aspect of prayer in “every” single article, it will require both patience and time to get through it all! So we will take one step at a time and will begin today with “are you willing?”

Intercession is just one part of prayer, which is a world of study and activity in itself. Not just “relational,” as we brought out already. Rather intercession is the part of all praying that is much “weightier” and holds much more “responsibility.” A task that we are ALL expected to engage in.

So why is intercession a weightier realm of prayer? Simply because there is more spiritual involvement, in other words there is more fervency and feeling in the spirit. Our spirit is more involved in intercession than in ordinary prayers and there is a continuous burden until the prayer is answered.

In addition God still actively seeks intercessors today, “I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none” (Eze 22:30 KJV). But however there is a real mystery as to why God still needs our prayers and why it is a force to be reckoned with; that breaks the power of evil and “releases” the plans and purposes of God on the earth.

"This is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, let your name be kept holy. Let your kingdom come. Let your will be done on earth as it is done in heaven” (Matt 6; 10).

Even in today’s world, we know that prayer does not lack any power, “The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working]” (James 5:16 AMP - see also Eph 6:18; James 4:7-8).

So what stops us? Why the denial, spiritual apathy and laziness? We have all had to face this and fight our own lack of willingness where prayer was concerned, even when thoroughly convinced of its effectiveness. This defies logic. Still we experience on a daily basis this challenge NOT to pray! Yet our enemy is often much more aware than we are, of just how effective it really is!

“From the time of John the Baptizer until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful people have been seizing it” (Mat 11:12 GW – emphasis added).

Andrew Murray in his book, “The Ministry of Intercession,” laid a real challenge at our doorstep, both for individuals and the Body of Jesus Christ at large. He wrote, “There is a world with its needs entirely dependent on and waiting to be helped by intercession; there is a God in heaven with His all-sufficient supply for all those needs, waiting to be asked; there is a Church with its wondrous calling and its surprises, waiting to be roused to a sense of its wondrous responsibility and power.” (See also Proverbs 31:8-9 KJV)

So with all this power in our hands, the perfect remedy to all our ills and pains, why do we still lack the “willingness” to pray? (So evident at the local prayer meeting when so few volunteer!) Why was it that even God Himself could not find anyone to intercede?

This is a genuine phenomena, but certainly not unique to our modern experience. It has been true throughout Church history (except during revivals), that even with so much power and influence readily at hand, we still shy away from the very thing that has the potential to change now and history forever!

There is nothing passive about prayer and it “requires” much from us. It is certainly not as simple as just “asking-n-getting” – like a microwave transaction! No! It takes much more diligence and “staying-power” before any “break-through” is realized. Considerable valuable time, thought and energy are required. Yet anyone who is given to prayer will testify, “the results far outweigh the costs!”

Conversely those who are still subject to their fallen nature and “the-human-condition” will not easily be given to anything that requires the slightest bit of “self-sacrifice!” But we are not discussing them. We talk of the prayers of the redeemed; those who know the call to prayer; know its power and objective but still opt out!

If prayer requires much, haven’t we been given so much more? Perhaps this is better handled in the old English of the King James: “…unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more” (Luke 12:48 KJV).

Together let us meet this call to prayer - so that when God looks for intercessors – He finds them! Let us discover together what this mystery called prayer is all about and may we discover - over the next few weeks - a new found “willingness” to pray that we have never encountered before. A desire to stand in the gap on a level that we have not experienced before; as the Holy Spirit stirs-us-up to our MOST HOLY RESPONSIBILITY!

Father stir up the passion within me to pray; I repent of the sluggish way that I have treated prayer. I am sorry that my prayer life is not what it could be. Help me to mature in and through prayer. Lead me by Your Spirit right now. Teach me and guide me in intercession. I want to be effective for Your Kingdom. No more procrastination! When You search Father - find a willing intercessor in me! Amen.

I AM WILLING! I am inspired to pray by God’s Holy Spirit. I lack nothing I need to pray effectively. I readily engage in this spiritual effort – knowing that I OVER COME in Jesus name and I help others to overcome. I AM USED BY GOD TO STAND IN THE GAP - MY VOICE IS HEARD – AS I HOLD NOTHING BACK!

Motto: ‘God Chooses, then the Spirit Tests, but You Must Respond!’
Copyright 2011 © Alan Pateman Ministries


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