Monday, November 17, 2008
The Agony of Prayer
Romans 15:30 Now I implore you, brothers, through the Lord Jesus Christ and through the love of the Spirit, to agonize together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf: 31 that I may be rescued from the unbelievers in Judea, that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, 32 and that, by God’s will, I may come to you with joy and be refreshed together with you. 33 The God of peace be with all of you. Amen. KJV
Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God. Col 4:13 For I bear him witness that he has worked hard for you ESV
(CEV) I have seen how much trouble he has gone through for you
Col 4:12 12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. 13 For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them that are in Laodicea, and them in Hierapolis.
RICHARD SIBBES Prayer is a kind of wrestling and contending with God, a striving with him. True prayer is a struggle with God, in which one triumphs through the triumph of God.
PSALM 62:8 Trust in him at all times, 0 people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.
LAMENTATIONS 2:19 Arise, cy out in the night, as the watches of the night begin; pour out your heart like water in the presence of the LORD.
HEBREWS 5:7During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.
MARTIN LUTHER To pray aright is right earnest work.
JACOB BOEHME For a hundred men who are not afraid of the exertion of labor, there are only a few who take upon themselves the strain of prayer.
EMIL BRUNNER Prayer is the easiest and the hardest of all things; the simplest and the sublimest; the weakest and the most powerful; its results lie outside the range of human possibilities—they are limited only by the omnipotence of God. Few Christians have anything but a vague idea of the power of prayer; fewer still have any experience of that power.
E.M. BOUNDS But this struggle should not be seen as daunting or discouraging. The struggle we experience in prayer is a good thing, for God meets with us in the struggle of prayer.
PSALM 6:6-9 I am worn out from groaning; all night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears. My eyes grow weak with sorrow; they fail because of all my foes. Away from me, ally ou who do evil, for the Lord has heard my weeping. The LORD has heard my cry for mercy; the LORD accepts my prayer.
P.T. FORSYTH To feed the soul we must toil at prayer. . . . It is the assimilation of a for God’s moral strength.
MARTIN LUTHER Nor is prayer ever heard more abundant/y than in such agony and groanings of a struggling faith.
AUGUSTINE Usually prayer is a question of groaning rather than speaking, tears rather than words. For He sets our tears in His sight, and our groaning is not hidden from Him who made all things by His word and does not ask for words of man.
The Agony of Prayer For Rescue
31 that I may be rescued from the unbelievers in Judea,
JOHN BUNYAN The best prayers have often more groans than words.
CHARLES SPURGEON A groan cometh not from the lips, but from the heart. A groan then is a part of prayer which we owe to the Holy Ghost, and the same is true of all the prayer which wells up from the deep fountains of our inner life. The prophet cried, “. . . I am pained at my vey heart: my heart maketh a noise in me.” This deep groundswell of desire, this tidal motion of the life- floods is caused by the Holy Spirit. His work is never superficial but always deep and inward.
Acts 12: Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. 2 And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. 3 And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.) 4 And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people. 5 Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.
How many have experienced a miraculous rescue from danger that was life threatening?
70% of the congregation at the Tabernacle put their hands up.
And it was nothing short of miraculous!
The Agony of Prayer For Results
Pleasing the Saints that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints,
Fullness Of Blessing 32 and that, by God’s will, I may come to you with joy and be refreshed together with you
Moody in the UK.. First preaching assignment.. no fruit. in the evening, much fruit.. the difference : one praying woman.
My home church.. a prayer meeting that saw 80 young people come to know the Lord in 8 weeks.
The Agony of Prayer For Rest
The Peace of God Romans 15:33 The God of peace be with all of you.
Romans 16:19The report of your obedience has reached everyone. Therefore I rejoice over you. But I want you to be wise about what is good, yet innocent about what is evil.20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.
Phil 4:6 Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
9 Do what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.
Numbers 6:24 The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: 25 The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: 26 The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
The Perils Of Goats Acts 20:22 And now I am on my way to Jerusalem, bound in my spirit, not knowing what I will encounter there, 23 except that in town after town the Holy Spirit testifies to me that chains and afflictions are waiting for me.
28 Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among whom the Holy Spirit has appointed you as • overseers, to shepherd the church of God, which He purchased with His own blood. 29 I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 And men from among yourselves will rise up with deviant doctrines to lure the disciples into following them.
Putting on God’s Armor
Prayer Principle: God-Centeredness
Spiritual attacks are realities in the life of a believer who is reaching people for Christ.
When you join God on \mission in a lost world, you are invading spiritual territory held by the devil. He will not be passive. He will fight back.
Victory does not come from fighting the devil as much as it comes from doing God’s will.
Jesus did not react to Satan’s presence but to God’s purposes.
When Jesus mentioned spiritual warfare, He taught us to appeal to the Father to “deliver us from the evil one” (Matt. 6:13, NIV), not to try to deliver ourselves.
The goal in prayer is to be preoccupied not with Satan but with our Father.
The Agony of Prayer For Right Direction
12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a slave of Christ Jesus, greets you. He is always contending for you in his prayers, so that you can stand mature and fully assured in everything God wills. 13 For I testify about him that he works hard for you, for those in Laodicea, and for those in Hierapolis. HCSB
1 John 5:14 Now this is the confidence we have before Him: whenever we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears whatever we ask, we know that we have what we have asked Him for.
Luke 22:42 Father, if You are willing, take this cup away from Me—nevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done.”
EPHESIANS 6:18 Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
I TIMOTHY 2:1 I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone.
DIETRICH BONHOEFFER intercessory prayer is the purifying bath into which the individual and the fellowship must enter every day.
ANDREW MURRAY The thought of our fellowship in the intercession of Jesus reminds us of what He has taught us more than once before, how all these wonderful prayer-promises have as their aim and justification, the glory of God in the manifestation of His kingdom and the salvation of sinners. As long as we on/y or chiefly pray for ourselves, the promises of the last night must remain a sealed book to us. It is to the fruit-bearing branches of the Vine; it is to disciples sent into the world as the Father sent Him, to live for perishing men; it is to His faithful servants and intimate friends who take up the work He leaves behind, who have like their Lord become as the seed-corn, losing its life to multiply it manifold—it is to such that the promises are given. Let us each find out what the work is, and who the souls are entrusted to our special prayers; let us make our intercession for them our life of fellowship with God, and we shall not on!,y find the promises of power in prayer made true to us, but we shall then first begin to realize how our abiding in Christ and His abiding in us make us share in His own joy of blessing and saving men.
JOHN CALVIN Our prayer must not be self-centered. It must arise not only because we feel our own need as a burden which we must lay upon God, but also because we are bound up in love for our fellow men that we feel their need as acutely as our own. To make intercession for men is the most powerful and practical way in which we can
express our love for them.
J.C. RYLE We are all selfish by nature and our selfishness is vey apt to stick to us, even when we are converted. There is a tendency in us to think on!y of our own needs, our own spiritual conflicts, and our own progress in religion, and forget others.
ROBERT E. LEE Knowing that intercessory prayer is our mightiest weapon and supreme call for Christians today, I pleading urge our people everywhere to pray. . . . Let there be prayer at sun-up, at noon day, at sundown, at midnight, all through the day. Let us all pray for our children, our youth, our aged, our pastors, our homes. Let us pray for our churches. Let us pray for ourselves, that we may not lose the word “concern” out of our Christian vocabulary. Let us pray for our nation. Let us pray for those who have never known Jesus Christ and redeeming love, for moral forces everywhere, for our national leaders. Let prayer be our passion. Let prayer be our practice.
• As we communicate with God, we recognize, become committed to, and are changed by His truth.
• As we listen to God, we learn to walk in righteousness.
• As we listen to God, we are prepared to go to lost persons with the gospel.
• The better we get to know Him, the more we learn to walk by faith.
• The conversation of prayer helps us understand, appreciate, and desire to share God’s salvation with others.
• The greatest listening tool the believer has is the sword, which is God’s Word.
Paul did not mention the back plate. If we turn our backs to God and run from Him, we have no protection. There is no protection in the kingdom for soldiers who are in retreat.
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8, NIV).
Centre your life on God and keep your focus on the work in front of you,
and He will protect your rear flank.
Focus on Your Relationship with God
Focus on Your Journey of FAITH
Focus on Your FAITH Team
Focus on Your Church
Focus on the Lost
Focus on Your Family
Focus on Your Heavenly Father