STANDING IN THE NEED OF PRAYER
As a child, I really never knew the wealth and depth of Christian Songs for children, but after listening to artists like Psalty and the Donut Man, innumerable times, Iíve started to grasp a real liking for these simple works of art.† Iíve been embarrassed, at times, as I found myself walking around the office singing songs like ďJesus Loves Me,Ē and ďThis Little Light of Mine.Ē† The Colonel doesnít seem to mind until I add the hand motions to my aria.† Before I embarrass myself any further let me get to the point.† There is one song that goes like this, ďIts not my mother or my father but its me, oh Lord, standing in the need of prayerĒ Thatís the path I want to go down.† It took a lot of explanation to get that out, but now that weíre here, lets figure out together, what Iím trying to say.† (Let me also add a PS here.† Iíve been known to make things up to suit myself, so if the words to the song are wrong I apologize, and if no one ever wrote it, I have first dibs). The point, or may I say points, because there are more than one that I wish to make, is this In order to develop a relationship with God you must get to know Him.† To get to know God you must have a dialogue with Him, and this exchange of information is called prayer.
After my discussion about my singing habits, I know you think Iím one fry short of a Happy Meal, so I hesitate to tell you some of my other idiosyncrasies, but here goes.† I also go around work talking to myself, and no, I donít have money in the bank.† Iím really not talking to myself, but God.† But since God is this divine, spiritual being, and invisible, I just look like Iím talking to myself.† But Iím not!† But, I do!† I can see Iím not increasing your opinion of me, am I?†
You see, St. Paul said that you are to pray always, and thatís what I do.† I share my experiences, throughout the day, with God, both good and bad.† Sometimes I must sound like an old lady (no offense meant) to Him, but I figure He was the one that started this relationship.† Heís the one that said He wanted to be my God, and have me to be His creation, so Lord, here goes, and I start a communion.† One thing I am learning, though, is that to make it a dialog, I have to let God say something back.† If I donít, it's a monologue, and very few relationships develop that way.
A natural question, on your part, is how does God speak back?† How does He communicate with His creation?†† Well, one way is through His Holy Word; another, is by listening to a brother and/or a sister who is mature in his/her faith; and, sometimes, I just hear a voice whispering in my head, and after checking all spirits, realize that sometimes, this is God talking to me.†† A word of caution here, MAKE SURE YOU TEST ALL SPIRITS!† Sorry to write so loudly, but it is a very important point to make. After my wife read this she bought a shirt for me that says, ďYouíre just jealous because the little voices inside my head donít talk to you.Ē
The next point that I wish to make is this. Before you go praying for the entire world and their problems, address your own shortcomings to the Lord.† Yes, you must believe in the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved. But you also must repent of your sins, and ask God for forgiveness.† When you sin, notice I didnít say IF you sin, but when you sin, go immediately before the throne of God and ask for forgiveness.† When you do, with a truly repentant heart, you are forgiven.†
know you know what Iím saying is true.†
Itís like this; if you hurt someone, and you never say youíre sorry,
donít you feel uncomfortable around that person?† Soon youíre going out of your way to avoid that person because
youíre afraid of the conflict that will incur.†
But how do you feel after you have asked that person to forgive
you?† After you confronted the problem
between you and the individual, and hear the words "I forgive you".† At peace, no?†††† You have your friend back, and your relationship is stronger
because you weathered a storm together.†
That is the point Iím trying to get across.† When you sin, and hurt God, you try to avoid Him, and sinning
becomes easier.† When you confront your
problem, asking God for His forgiveness, you are now at peace with Him.† Especially when you hear Him say "I forgive
There is another point I wish to make here.† When God forgives you, accept that forgiveness.† We are so hard on ourselves, drumming up things from the past that have already been forgiven.† I heard a gentleman on Christian Radio the other night. Unfortunately I missed his name, but the point he was making was called FIDO.† Yes, FIDO, like the dog!† What he said it stood for was ďforget it and drive on.Ē† ďForget it and drive on,Ē what a great philosophy.† I would like, now, for you to develop that attitude.† Learn from the past and then drive on.† Remember, when youíre born again the old you is dead.† Bury the old person and live as a forgiven son or daughter of the King.† Youíre the Prodigal son after his father placed the signet ring back on his finger.† A member of the family!
After you have your own house in order, then start praying fervently, for your brothers and sisters, the church, your government, heck, the rest of the world. Pray humbly for all.† Ask God, if itís His will, to use you to serve those youíre praying for.† Ask God to guard your tongue.† Ask God to give you the strength to reach out to all in need, to be sensitive to their needs; and to lovingly and gently reach out to restore a brother or a sister from sin.† As St. Paul states in Galatians 6, ďBrothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently.† But watch yourself, or you may be tempted.† Carry each otherís burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.† If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.† Each one should test his own actions.† Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load.Ē
The scriptural passage that explains best the points Iíve been trying to make, up to this spot, is found in 1 Thessalonians 5:16.† ďBe joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is Godís will for you in Christ Jesus.† Do not put out the Spiritís fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt.† Test everything.† Hold on to the good.† Avoid every kind of evil.Ē†
Prayer is probably the greatest weapon in the Christianís arsenal, and, unfortunately, it is the most under used weapon.†† Jesus, our example, was always sneaking off so that he could have personal prayer time with His Father.† Jesus kept His spiritual muscle strong through the power of prayer.† Again, itís unfortunate that many of us talk the prayer talk, but few of us walk the prayer walk.† As we see in St. Markís gospel, chapter 9, there was a man who brought his son to Jesusí followers, and they could not heal the boy.† Privately, his followers asked Jesus why they could not heal the boy.† Jesusí response follows: ďThis kind can come out only by prayer.Ē† Be like Christ, able to heal those demons that can only be cast out through a strong prayer life.
Prayer is the glue that keeps the Christianís life together.† Itís the bulletproof vest that deflects the shots taken by Satan. Itís the exercise program that keeps the Christian strong.† Itís the Ma Bell to the heavens!† Prayer helps the Christian develop his/her faith.† Faith helps the Christian develop his/her love; and love, through Christ, is the cornerstone of the Christian faith.† A complete Christianís life is like a woven robe.† Love, faith and prayer are individual pieces of thread woven together, so that none could tell which is which.† The completed garment shows no sign of beginning or end.† It just is!† But if a strand of thread gets snagged, and starts to unravel, the entire garment is ruined.
In closing, I would like to challenge each and every reader to become prayer warriors.† Iíd like to challenge you to pray as if your life depended on it, because it does.† Iíd like to challenge you to actually pray for each person you promise to prayer for.† Conversely, I would like to challenge you to be humble enough to ask a brother or sister in Christ to pray for you.† Remembering the who, who is Standing in the Need of Prayer.† ďIts not my mother, or my father, but its me, oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer.Ē Amen!