Shelter from the Coming Storm
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him:
for he that comes to God must believe that he is”
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”
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”
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
“But I have prayed for you,
that your faith fail not”
Not long ago I was waiting before The Lord on how to pray for a certain brother according to HIS WILL. As I did the above scripture was brought to my attention. So often we pray for God to remove the situation, bring healing, deliverance or whatever seemingly corrects the issue at hand. But here we see Jesus praying for Peter’s faith to stand in the midst of the situation that was about to unfold! He did not pray that Peter would not fail; it was necessary that Peter come to face his reliance on his own strength. He prayed that Peter’s faith would not fail. It takes faith, strong faith, to hold us in the crises that we must face. Faith to stand when we must confront our weaknesses and failures; for if our faith stands we will come forth in victory.
“And this is the victory
that overcomes the world,
1 JOHN 5:4
We are to become, by the out-workings of the Holy Spirit in our lives, “Kings and Priests unto our God” (Revelation 1:6). As we grow we begin to see and understand the purposes of God in those around us. There will be times when, in order to pray effectually, instead of praying for the situation to change we will find ourselves praying for our brother’s/sister’s faith to hold strong. Faith is our victory; faith is also their victory. For faith is the power of God in us to enable us to live beyond our own resources. In so doing we discover the wonder of overcoming.
Effectual prayer is borne out of our hearts by sensing and knowing the will of God for others. Such things are not learned quickly but if we seek HIS Wisdom He will not withhold it from us.
“But if any of you lacks wisdom,
let him ask of God,
who gives to all liberally and with no reproach,
and it shall be given to him.
But let him ask in faith,
Praying according to the will of God requires wisdom and wisdom is the fruit of the fear of the Lord. We seek His Will concerning the things for which we pray because we have learned, or are learning, that we can easily pray amiss by not seeing things clearly. In order for the true power of prayer to be restored to the people of God we must learn these things. Effectual praying is determined by the depth of Faith, Wisdom, Persistence, and the Love of God operating within our hearts.
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
“Blessed are those servants,
whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching”
In Biblical times the night was divided into watches. In the Old Testament the night was divided into three distinct watches. These were the shifts that the night watchmen would take to be on the alert for an enemy. In the New Testament the night watches were four in number. In the illustrations of Jesus it was the fourth watch that He used to illustrate the necessity of vigilance and sobriety.
“For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, WATCH”
MARK 13:34 – 37
It is imperative that we find the strength through His wondrous grace to be actively engaged in the work that He has given us lest we grow weary and the slumber of the world come upon us. It is in these late watches that the weariness of the way sets upon us and our senses are no longer attuned to the things of the Spirit. We may mindlessly go through the actions of a religious life without the fervor or passion of His Life in us. Everyday life becomes a mechanical performance and the lateness of the hour and the subtlety of the thoughts of our hearts deceive us into thinking that everything is all right. Without the watchman calling out to the Church of the Living God there would be no sound of alarm. Soft and soothing words of men declaring peace and safety when the Day of the Lord is at hand are a deadly and beguiling thing. We are clearly admonished to watch for we know not the hour of the unimaginable shakings that are coming upon the earth.
“But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. For it will come upon ALL who dwell on the face of the whole earth. But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
LUKE 21:34 – 36
The coming of the Lord is no longer spoken of as imminent or of any real importance as to how we live our lives. In this Day of obscurity where evil is abounding all around us, the greatest evil of all is the revelation of our own insensitivity to it. The Darkness is gathering and the Church is being lulled by the seeming peace and tranquility around us. As it was spoken of Noah’s day… “…they knew not until the flood came and took them all away” (Matthew 24:39). In this day we are being tested by the watchfulness of our hearts and the readiness of our lamps. We need to have that extra measure of oil to burn into the late watches of the night.
“And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them…”