By Paul E. Dawn Jr.
The basis of prayer is hunger and desire that rise within. It can only be fulfilled by God. To the extent that we desire or hunger after the Lord we will obtain, or be filled. If we put little in, we will get little out. The degree of relationship that we want to have with the Lord is up to us. It is up to us to hunger and desire after the Lord; it is our individual relationship with the Lord. When our spirit is open, then the Lord can deal with us, speak to us and bring forth the changes that are needed within. The more that we want to be like the Lord, the more time we will spend with Him, cultivating an individual relationship, communing daily with the Lord and learning to talk to Him.
Discipline is an important factor in our prayer life. When we discipline ourselves, we put ourselves into submission to the Lord, allowing Him to have His way. It is a time of putting down all the activities that keep us from communicating with the Lord, being still before Him that we might hear His voice.
To come before Him, we must set time aside and purpose in our heart to hear from the Lord. It is not based on our feelings, but on the Lord. No matter what, we must purpose to set time aside, not allowing anything to interrupt our prayer and time with the Lord.
The Lord desires us to come to a face-to-face relationship with Him; a place of knowing Him, and not just about Him. When we come to the Lord in prayer we are ministering to Him. He desires that we minister to Him, worshiping and loving Him; for as we come before the Lord we will begin to love the Lord God with all our heart and with all our soul. We will worship and exalt Him with our whole being
In Proverbs 8:34 we are told, “Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my door.” Blessed are they who hear, who are waiting upon the Lord, watching, observing and seeing with the eye of the Spirit: for in Him we find wisdom. We are to dwell and reflect upon the Word of God and allow it to become alive within; we are to meditate and think upon the Lord. Prayer requires action on our part, a response to the call of God in coming before Him.
We must learn to respond to the Lord no matter what time He calls us to prayer, for when we respond to the voice of the Lord we will not only fulfill God’s purpose in the call to prayer, but it will do a work within us.
John Wesley says of him that prays, “For Indeed he prays without ceasing. It is given him always to pray; and not faint. Not that he is always in the house of prayer; though he neglects no opportunity of being there. Neither is he always on his knees. although he often is on his face before the Lord his God nor yet is he always crying aloud to God, or calling Him in words: For many times the ‘Spirit maketh intercession for Him with groans that cannot be uttered’ But at all times the language of his heart is this: ‘Thou brightness of the eternal glory, unto thee is my heart, though without a voice, and my silence speaketh unto thee.’ And this is true prayer and this alone. But his heart is ever lifted up to God, at all times and in all places. In this he is never hindered or interrupted, by person or thing. In retirement or company, in leisure, business or conversation his heart is ever with the Lord. Whether he lies down or rises up, God is in all thoughts; he walks with God continually, having the loving eye of his mind still fixed upon Him, seeing Him that is invisible.”
(Wesley’s Works, Vol. 8, Page 343).
Wesley had a real insight into prayer. He was a man who spent much time before the face of the Lord, a man for whom God answered prayer.
Andrew Murray in Secret of Believing Prayer, said, “It is only when we live and associate with God in a personal living relationship, where God Himself is all to us, where our whole being is continually opened and exposed to the might influence at work where His Holy Presence is revealed, that the capacity will be developed for believing that He gives whatever we ask (according to His will)”. He said, “The power to believe a promise depends entirely on faith in the promisor. Trust in the person begets trust in His word” As we pray, we are to be full of the Lord; our heart is to be filled with the Lord and with His presence.
In Psalms 55:16-17, David says, “As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me. Evening and morning and at noon, will I pray and cry aloud and He shall hear my voice.” David sought after the Lord. Speaking of a relationship with God he said, “I will call upon God,” and he states that God will save, for God shall hear his voice. If we are walking in right relationship with the Lord we shall be able to say as David said, “The Lord will save; He will deliver.”
Our prayers are not to be an outward show for man, but unto the Lord, to His glory and honor (Matthew 6:6). We are to please the Lord and not man, going to our secret place (our prayer chamber) and communing with our Father.
In Matthew 26:41, we are told to watch and pray, to be alert, to enter not into temptation and not be ignorant of the tactics of the enemy, but to be prepared at all times, knowing that the enemy will try to trip us up. Therefore, let us always be in the Word and in the presence of the Lord, attuned to the Spirit that we might combat that which the enemy throws our way. We are in a warfare.
Prayer is one of our main weapons of warfare against the enemy, for it prepares us to enter into spiritual warfare. Prayer prepares us and makes us pliable in the hands of God so that He can take that which He can use to bring honor and glory to Him. The most important thing that we are to learn is that the Lord looks for and desires those who allow Him to speak to their hearts, to use them to stand in the gap, to call upon the Lord and to do battle in the Spirit, for the Lord will keep us as we cleave unto Him.
We have just begun to touch on the true meaning of prayer!
Copyright (c) 2004
Reposted October 2004