Faith and Prayer

Shelter from the Coming Storm

FOUNDATIONS
of
PRAYER

BY FAITH

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him:
for he that comes to God must believe that he is”
HEBREWS 11:6

People who believe little pray little. The basic reality of the Christian’s prayer life is predicated by our faith. The proof of our faith is revealed in our drawing nigh unto HIM. We must believe that HE IS in order to enter into that Holy Place of prayer and communion with Him. The true prayer life is one of relationship and intimacy with our God and Father. It is “by faith” that we draw near unto HIM; it is “by faith” that the substance of the unseen relationship is realized. The recurring thought throughout the faith chapter in the Book of Hebrews is: “by faith”. So it is in the life of PRAYER by which we are to be “building up ourselves on our most holy faith, PRAYING IN THE HOLY GHOST” (Jude 1:20).

BY FAITH is the means by which all deeds are birthed and brought unto perfection. Without FAITH we have no means to draw from the “wells of salvation”. Without FAITH we have no “handle” upon which to lay claim to the precious promises of God. Without FAITH we have no ability to truly understand the depths HIS WORD. Without FAITH we are left to the miserable resources of self that will always wither in the hour of greatest need. “By faith” men DO, GROW and BECOME like their great High Priest. The deeper and more intimate our life of prayer becomes, the more there is a growing realization that we are no longer praying just for our selves. Rather we are becoming participants of HIS HEART for His purposes in the lives of others. For that is the Heart of our Great HIGH PRIEST…

“I pray for them”
JOHN 17:9

Let us get a glimpse of THIS HEART that ever beats and is ever working and praying on our behalf that we might become pure and holy expressions of the Son. “Faith without works is dead” and nowhere is this truth more evident than in the life of holy, powerful and fervent prayer.

“The effectual fervent prayer
of a righteous man availeth much”
James 5:16

Religious men may pray, they may mouth and speak great words that sound right and good but, as Jesus commented, the Pharisee “prayed thus with himself”. His prayer had no HOLY WITNESS but was borne of self and concerned with self. This prayer never left the man. Prayers without works are the bane of religion. The Pharisee’s words were never joined with the works of true Christian charity. In the Parable of the Good Samaritan the Levite and the Priest would pass by the beaten man in the streets on their way to the Temple with no concern. The power of true prayer and interaction with the Heart of Jesus will always bring us into the Love for that thing we pray for. Prayer without faith will be revealed in a life without works. No one can truly touch the heart of God in prayer and be bereft of works. It is an impossibility. Love and faith are the womb from which the works of God flow; in touching Him we touch others.

But we, By FAITH, have access to the Holy Altar of incense that burns with the Holy Fire (singular) of His love and desire. On this Altar the Incense of God is added to the prayers of His saints that they may ascend as sweet fragrant offerings unto HIM who alone is worthy!

“I will therefore that men pray every where,
lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting”
I TIMOTHY 2:8

Brian Troxel

Shelter from the Coming Storm

Shelter from the Coming Storm

The Sacred Place of Prayer

“Guard your steps when you go to God’s house; for to draw near to listen is better than to give the sacrifice of fools, for they don’t know that they do evil.”
Ecclesiastes 3:16

The sacred place of prayer is the secret to our relationship with God. It is here where we draw near unto Him. We enter the closet of our hearts and shut out all the distractions and noise of the world around us; even the commotion within. In drawing near unto Him we enter His Presence and touch the atmosphere of Holy peace. This peace calms our troubled hearts and causes us to listen to Him alone who is our salvation. Often, in my own experience, this Peace floods in with a quiet hush to assuage my perplexities to such an extent that my requests are answered in the power of His presence alone. The wonder of His presence imparts the assurance that I truly am in His hand and need not worry about the storms without.

In God’s presence it is often far better to listen than to rush in with a multitude of requests from our anxious hearts. The calamities without are silenced by the Peace of Him within. How often in my haste I respond to things which should have been considered first in His presence. The desire of the Lord is for us to abide in prayer and in His presence throughout the day. This is not some grievous religious exercise; in reality it is His provision for us. In the storms which are coming to our land God is ever drawing us into the shelter of Himself.

“For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength…”
Isaiah 30:15

There is a a quietness founded upon confidence that is a result of our dwelling in Him. This dominion of peace is not achieved by a teaching, a reciting of scriptures or some other strategy; it is the Peace known by those who dwell within the courts of His presence.

The full scripture quoted above from Isaiah is as follows:

“For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not
Isaiah 30:15

Many thrust themselves into prayer with list of wants and petitions while missing out on the Presence of God Himself. In truth His presence is the answer to our prayers. His presence is the privilege of those who love and seek His favor, “for in His presence is fulness of joy”!

Praying for Others

I have found that praying for others becomes more fervent if I allow His presence and love to permeate my heart first. His presence can ignite a deeper love than my own and I find the fire of Him brings a far more intense prayer than anything I could manufacture. How good is it for us to come to His House of Prayer to first of all listen and allow our hearts to be filled with Him rather than rush blindly into the “sacrifice of fools”.

Shelter from the Coming Storm

God has afforded us a time now to prepare for the days ahead. It is a time of great learning to draw near to Him to listen and to discover the “voice of stillness” (still small voice KJV) that we may meet this Day “Hid with Christ in God”.

“Be silent before the face of the Lord Jehovah, for the day of Jehovah is near. For Jehovah has appointed a sacrifice; He has consecrated ones He called
Zephaniah 1:7

Literally in the Hebrew: “He has sanctified His Called Ones”; those in whom His presence dwells and who receive His correction, and who “follow the Lamb” obediently wherever He leads.

Brian Troxel

Prayer – Secret of Life

Prayer – The Secret of Life

“They shall come with weeping, and I will lead them with prayers. I will cause them to walk by rivers of waters, in a right way; they will not stumble in it…”
Jeremiah 31:9

Prayer is the secret of the life of a Christian. It is in this secret place that our hearts meet with our heavenly Father in the bonds and the merits of Christ. Prayer is much more than asking God for things and help in our situations; it is the sacred place of listening to Him and hearing His Will and purpose for our life. Prayer is the participation of our hearts in the wonder of God.

Communion with God is to be the center and focus of our lives. It is as we draw near to His presence that our hearts are softened and touched by His heart. There is a posture that seeps into our hearts by the touching of the Holy; we become still and bowed before our God. In that moment we know our place before Him, and we are enabled to hear the “still small voice” of our God. Oftentimes His directions come to us in whispers infused with faith to walk in His way. The secrets of the Lord often come in quiet times of prayer and communion with God.

“Surely I have behaved and quieted myself,
as a child that is weaned of his mother:
my soul is even as a weaned child”
Psalm 131:2

The magnitude of His presence quiets our being and in that wonder we are “weaned” of our wants and needs; like a contented child resting in the arms of its loving mother.

“I will lead them with prayers”

Those who pray much, hear much and see glimpses of Him that overwhelm the heart with the immensity of His presence. Prayer is the secret of faith, the wellspring of peace, and a hiding place for His children.

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty”
Psalm 91:1

Brian Troxel

Quote for Today – E.M. Bounds

Quote for Today

“Those who know your name will trust in You,
for You, have never forsaken those who seek you”
Psalm 9:10

“Persistent prayer in the earnest, inward movement of the heart toward God. Isaiah lamented that no one stirred himself to take hold of God. There was much praying in Isaiah’s time, but it was indifferent and self-righteous.

There were no mighty moves of souls toward God. There was no array of sanctified energies bent on reaching God. There was no energy to draw the treasures of His grace from Him.

Forceless prayers have no power to overcome difficulties, get results, or gain complete victories. We must win God before we can win our plea.”
E.M. Bounds

“And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities”
Isaiah 64:7

“Turn us oh Lord…”

Brian Troxel

Passion and Prayer – E.M. Bounds

Passion and Prayer

“Love is kindled in a flame, and zeal is its fuel. Flame is the air that true Christian experience breathes. It feeds on fire. It can withstand anything except a weak flame.

A lack of passion in prayer is a sure sign of the lack of depth and intensity of desire. To reduce fervor is to retire from God. He can and will pardon sin when the repentant one prays. Fire is the motivating power in prayer.

Religious principles that do not come out of the fire have neither force nor effect. Passion is the soul of prayer.”
– E.M. Bounds

Quote for Today – E.M. Bounds

Quote for Today

“If we want to pray well and get the most of our praying, we must look at our obedience. This brings us closer to God. Disobedient living produces extremely poor praying. No man can pray – really pray – who does not obey.
Our will must be surrendered to God as a primary condition to all successful praying. Everything about us receives its coloring from our innermost character. Our will determines our character and controls our conduct.”
E.M. Bounds

The Throne of Grace

The Throne of Grace

“Lord, lift thou up
the light of thy countenance upon us”
Psalm 4:6

Prayers of godly ones have been uttered throughout the ages and are eternal. His own of every generation have breathed this prayer, in one form or another, unto the Lord our Shepherd. Often these words are inspired in times of sorrow and testing. There are times when tears become the simple language offered to our great God. He who bears the title “man of sorrows” hears and feels the heart throb of His Own. His heart is near to those who in absolute trust and hope lift their eyes to the only One who can bring Light and Life into every situation.

“Therefore, let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and we may find grace for timely help”
Hebrews 4:16

We have the privilege of drawing nigh unto The Throne of God; a Throne so high that all must bow in its presence, yet one that is available to the broken, the lost and the weak. Here the broken are mended and the lost are filled with a new determination and purpose. Let us worship the One who made this Throne accessible!

“And when He took the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one having harps, and golden bowls full of incenses, which are the prayers of the saints
Revelation 5:8

Brian Troxel

Quote for Today – Charles Finney

Quote for Today

“Prevailing prayer is that which secures an answer. Saying prayers is not offering prevailing prayer. The prevalence of prayer does not depend so much on quantity as on quality”
– Charles Finney

The Path to True Ministry – Relationship and Prayer

The Path to True Ministry

Part Four

Relationship and prayer

I thank Him who enabled me, Christ Jesus our Lord,
because He counted me faithful, appointing me to service”
1 Timothy 1:12

In the midst of much speaking, praying and Christian activity we see little in terms of the release and the power of Christ. While much of these endeavours are born out of a desire to make Christ known, the issue is not desire but the source of the power. Let these words penetrate our hearts afresh…

“As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself…neither can you, unless you remain in me”.
John 15:7

Relationship and Prayer

The heart and power of the New Covenant is founded on one fundamental truth: relationship. It is not in our abilities, money, strength of personality or associations with others whereby this power is known.

Endless prayer meetings and strategies in themselves will not make this power to be released. It is in our being in Him alone wherein we will find the enablement to make Him known. Too often the religious have exalted prayer over obedience and relationship. It can become the panacea for all of our ills when in reality it is only effective in proportion to our relationship with Him.

“If you remain in me, and my words remain in you, you will ask whatever you desire, and it will be done for you”
John 15:7

Religion always excludes the relationship aspect of our place in Christ. In Israel’s darkest days the priests were still praying, offering sacrifices and observing all of the rituals, while they neglected to walk in obedience from their hearts. We want answered prayers; God looks for obedience and relationship. We want His benefits apart from His person, His life apart from the Cross, His blessings apart from obedience; it will never be.

We hear much today concerning prayer and rightfully so; yet how little attention we pay to God’s Word concerning this. We often hear a partial quotation of the scripture from 2 Chronicles 7:14; “If my people will pray then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land”. When in reality the full quote is as follows…

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; THEN will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land”
2 Chronicles 7:14

Religion can have the appearance of sincerity and earnest appeal unto God, but it often ignores the need to take heed to our ways so that we may be properly related to Him from our hearts.

The remedy to the crisis of this hour is simple and available to all who desire Him out of a pure heart.

“If you remain in me, and my words remain in you, you will ask whatever you desire, and it will be done for you
John 15:7

Σ

“I thank Him who enabled me, Christ Jesus our Lord,
because He counted me faithful, appointing me to service”
1 Timothy 1:12

(Continued)

Brian Troxel

Effectual Prayers – Part Twelve – Praying for Others

Effectual Prayers

Part Twelve

Praying for Others

“And the Lord turned the captivity of Job,
when he prayed for his friends”
Job 42:10

The true efficacy of prayer is only realized when our hearts become Christ-like. The power of the cross brings the heart to see others through His eyes. To be able to pray for those (as did Job) who marginalize, speak evil of you and persecute you is the gift of Christ to us. It is in overcoming the bitterness within we find freedom and healing without.

“All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth”
Matthew 28:18

He who is all powerful expressed that power in forgiveness. It requires more power to forgive than to avenge. It requires the very life of Christ to bring such power into the hidden recesses of our prayer life. It is the life of His resurrection pulsating through us that enables us to be free from the contagion of bitterness and selfish living. It brings new levels to prayer and fresh glimpses of His heart.

Job’s own predicament was changed
as he prayed for his detractors.

It is in our giving that we receive. In our concern for others we place ourselves in His hands. As we forgive others, we draw near to Him in the beauty of truth, peace and joy.

“Whenever you stand praying,
forgive, if you have anything against anyone,
so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you…”
Mark 11:25

Effectual Prayers Part One – Incense
Effectual Prayers Part Two – Love
Effectual Prayers Part Three – Righteousness
Effectual Prayers Part Four – Humility and Repentance
Effectual Prayers Part Five – Wisdom
Effectual Prayers Part Six – Asking Largely
Effectual Prayers – Part Seven – Elisha and Jericho
Effectual Prayers – Part Eight – Ruth and Boaz
Effectual Prayers – Part Nine – Discipleship
Effectual Prayers – Part Ten – Knowing Jesus
Effectual Prayers – Part Eleven – The Fragrance of Prayer

Brian Troxel