Daily Spirit & Word: 736: The Call to PRAYER
JOURNEY in Prayer:
Ephesians 1:15-23 (NIV)
15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.
17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20 which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fulness of him who fills everything in every way.
I’m PRAYING for YOU: In the lead-up to PRAYER WEEK.
Good morning my friends, sorry I’ve not posted for two days. I’ve been reading, praying, writing, but haven’t had the PEACE to share what I’ve been going through. Perhaps one day I will, but not yet.
PRAYER IS HARD:
Prayer Week: It was really interesting to read David Hathaway’s account of imprisonment (see below), when he eventually ran out of the ability to pray any-more. I don’t know about you, but PRAYER every day is HARD. I love getting up early in the mornings now, reading my Bible, getting into Bible study and writing, reflecting and praying and praising the LORD. It’s taken years to be able to pray like this, but it began when I too felt as a Christian; weak, feeble, alone, abandoned and I didn’t see much answered prayer. I’ll never forget those first few battles with my head and my pillow. I felt as if my pillow was holding onto my head. I loved staying in bed even when awake. It was a battle to get my head off my pillow. Then one morning I had a breakthrough, it was as if the LORD was right there in the room with me and saying “Donald, get up, I’ve got something to share with you”. I was startled, wide-awake and jumped out of bed. I was in a very small room on a training camp with 3000 men and women of the Royal Navy, HMS Sultan. I opened my Bible as usual, but there was something different, I had to write down what I was reading. Then my prayers just flowed. I went from 5 mins of Bible reading and prayer to half-an-hour a morning. Soon, I had to get up even earlier, because I was enjoying the experience of being in the presence of the LORD so much. Now, I’ll get up at 4.45am ready with a cup of coffee to await the sunrise and be with Jesus. Then I’ll get my Bible out and go and sit with Him, asking for revelation. I can’t stay in bed awake any-longer, no matter how loud my pillow shouts at me 🙂 I have to leave it behind to go and be with my Lord Jesus.
This week I’ve been writing every day, but I’ve not been sharing. It’s been challenging and encouraging, perhaps one day I will share, but what I’ve written might upset too many people at the moment. The Lord has been showing me things about me and about our practice of Discipleship in church. It been an eye opener and a challenge to read through Ying Kai’s experience in the Church Planting Ministry.
Prayer Every Day Is Hard, BUT, oh it’s so REWARDING.
In the lead-up to PENTECOST we’ve been asked by our Archbishops of Canterbury and York to pray for the EVANGELISATION of the Nation. This, to my knowledge, has never been done before. It’s shows me there’s an awareness of the NEED for people to come back to Jesus. Let’s pray for a mighty outpouring of Holy Spirit POWER on our land.
Next Week: In the lead-up to Pentecost Sunday and our Baptisms: We’re going to be praying every day as a church. I wanted to share that it’s going to be easy, a joy to pray, but I realise that so many of my brothers and sisters in Jesus are not that enthusiastic. You are struggling, like so many Christians today. Many just don’t seem to have the time, because LIFE gets in the way. So in the lead-up to prayer week, I’ve been praying for YOU. I’m spending time with Jesus for you and for me to get ready to pray. I know that if I hadn’t had that personal revelation, that Jesus wants to share with me every day, I’d probably still be listening to my pillow and snuggling up all warm and cozy. I’ve been praying that the LORD Jesus, through the Holy Spirit will give you a call to prayer. We don’t need towers like the Muslims, we don’t need bells like munks, we need God to be our alarm clock. He’ll wake you up on time every day, but we’ve got a hard choice to make, the comfort of the pillow or feet on the floor and over to your Bible.
“NO READ, NO FEED” …. “NO PRAYER, NO BREAKFAST”.
IT IS THE GOOD SHEPHERD WHO FEEDS THE SHEEP:
I’ve got this little chant: “No read, no feed” Meaning, If I don’t read the Bible, then I won’t have breakfast. I soon discovered that if I missed out a time with the LORD then I’d be spiritually malnourished. I would notice that my days didn’t go that well spirituall, I’d loose battles and fall into sin more readily. I was Malnourished or undernourished, which means: I’m not being provided with adequate spiritual food to sustain me through the day. I know that so many good Christian brothers and sisters are constantly going out into this wicked world spiritually malnourished. No wonder they’re loosing battles every day. It’s as if they are on a self-imposed fast from Spiritual Food between Sunday to Sunday. They’ll get a little snack on Sunday in Church hoping that will keep them going all through the week. They don’t realise that it’s just enough food for one day and that the LORD wants to feed them every single day. He doesn’t want them to rely on their Pastor, Minister, Mentor, etc to keep them going, He wants to feed His Sheep Himself.
John 10:7-11 (ESV)
7 So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.
8 All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.
9 I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
If you don’t read your Bible regularly, pray and praise the Lord, then you are going to be spiritually malnourished, underfed, undernourished, half-starved, unfed, ill-fed. You’ll eat your physical foods, breakfast, but will still feel that something is missing. It is! You’ll experience a hunger for time with Jesus, because it’s your time with Jesus and His awesome nourishment that you need.
Prayer is a discipline. Richard Fosters book “A Celebration of Discipline” was an eye-opener for me. I read it as a four-year-old Christian at 28 years old. I learned so much from him about prayer, fasting, time with Jesus, journaling and though he’s not an evangelist, I learned during that time of study and reading about how I should go about sharing-my-faith in Jesus.
So in the lead-up to PRAYER WEEK:
I’m praying for you;
1) That the LORD will give you a wake-up-call. Every day! And you’ll want to respond.
2) That you’ll experience NOURISHMENT when you get up, read your Bible, Pray and Praise the LORD (every day).
3) That you’ll DESIRE to have times of fellowship with other brothers and sisters. Spending time together in Jesus company.
4) That you’ll GET PERSONAL REVELATION when you pray and read God’s Word.
5) That you’ll SHARE your experiences with at least FIVE other people during the week.
6) That you’ll EXPERIENCE soul satisfaction and encouragement in your life every day with Jesus.
7) That you’ll get the JOY of the LORD: He’ll put an NEW SONG in your heart. (Psalm 40:3)
8) That you’ll begin to SHINE like Moses because you’ve been in the presence of Jesus. Your GLORY GLOW.
9) That you’ll ENJOY seeking His FACE rather than His Hand. It’s so tempting to ask God just to do stuff for us, but what about seeking His FACE and His Glory, so that we can SERVE Him better instead.
10) That you’ll be able to WORSHIP in song and ENJOY extended periods of reflection throughout your days during prayer week.
- Pray for the Baptism Candidates: Pray that the LORD will prepare their hearts to be His people, the sheep of His pasture.
- Pray for Discipleship / Evangelism / Personal Growth of Followers of Jesus.
- Pray for Evangelisation of our Nation: That there would be a NATIONAL Revival. Holy Spirit come in POWER on our land.
- Pray for the Renewal and Fire of Holy Spirit for ALL Christians.
Be blessed and stay close to Jesus, every day. Amen.
David Hathaway shared on Facebook:
Listen Here: David’s Testimony of Imprisonment.
I want to teach you HOW to pray. I’m an evangelist, but I cannot evangelise without prayer. Without that I have no power in my ministry. When I was in a communist prison in 1972 for smuggling Bibles into the Communist Bloc (2 tonnes every time I came), I was pastor, evangelist – but I had to learn all over again HOW to pray. For the first six months, it seemed as if there was NO answer. I prayed I would be released – but I was condemned in the court to stay. I prayed for food – there was none. I prayed my wife would be able to visit me – she was refused permission. For six months I was learning HOW to pray in a cell where I was never alone – I shared my cramped cell with a murderer, drug smugglers, criminals – the lights were on 24 hours a day – the guards brutalised us every night. The only place of comfort that I had was a wooden stool with nails in it – I was forced to sit on that for more than 12 hours a day! Conditions were extreme.
HOW could I learn how to pray? I had to deprive myself physically, so that with no watch, no clock, I could force myself awake in the night in order to be alone with God. But there was NO answer. I remember the emotion that morning, after six months, in the early hours, and I was saying, “Oh God I can’t pray any more. Every prayer – You don’t answer. Every time I call – the answer is NO. Oh God, I cannot talk with You, I cannot pray, I’m better dead. Why live, if I have no communion with You? Why live, if You have forgotten me?” In desperation, that morning, in the awfulness of that cell, as I sat on those nails, I couldn’t cry out to God any more.
And then I remembered the words of the disciples to Jesus, when even they didn’t know how to pray, and I cried out like them, “Oh Lord, teach me HOW to pray!” And the Holy Spirit reminded me of the Lord’s Prayer. As a boy I attended a boys’ school, where every morning we had to repeat the Lord’s Prayer. To the other boys it was not a prayer, it was a blasphemy, so that I vowed from my childhood I would never ever recite the Lord’s Prayer, because Jesus said we must avoid vain, empty repetitions – the heathen do that.
So I began to say, “Our Father”, but I argued, “That’s plural, I’m alone in here. I’m not in church. I have to say, ‘my’ Father!” Suddenly I knew, He’s MINE! He’s my FATHER! I’m HIS child! I’m locked in this stinking prison, but He’s not only MINE, He’s my FATHER!
Real prayer is not when everything is OK, it’s when you are in the pit of hell, when the devil is surrounding you, when you don’t know how to open your mouth to pray… But something from within tells you, “He’s MINE! He’s MY Father! He sent His Son to experience hell on earth – for ME!”
Ephesians 1:1-23 (ESV)
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus:
2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,
4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love
5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,
6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
15 For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.