DESPERATION IN PRAYER

In Luke 11:2, Y’shua said to start our prayer, “Our Father”. When we look at Christ’s prayer life, we see Him praying in the beginning of His ministry (Luke 3:21-22; Luke 4:1-2), before He called His disciples (Luke 6:12-13), at various times - for a time alone with the Father (Luke 5:15-16), and for strength for others (Luke 22:31-32). We see Christ telling His disciples to pray to avoid temptation (Luke 22:40, 46). Luke records the prayer life of Christ, and he does so by showing the need of prayer to Y’shua from the beginning of His ministry unto His last breath (Luke 23:46).

In Acts, Luke continues with this theme of prayer. The church prayed in the beginning of their ministry (Acts 1:14). They prayed before appointing a new apostle (Acts 1:23-24). They prayed for their strength (Acts 4:24; 16:25), their boldness (Acts 4:31), and for the strength of others (Acts 12:5). They prayed before sending out “missionaries” (Acts 13:2-3) and before appointing leaders to the churches established (Acts 14:23).

The church did not pray at the beginning of meetings or the end; or during the meeting. Prayer was the very purpose of their meeting together. It was fundamental for them. Yet, for the large part, the church has become anything but a praying church.

I’m afraid that what was fundamental to the early church has become supplemental to the modern church. What was the core of the early church has become a fill in of busy time for the modern church.

Why did they pray so much? Christ said it, “the Son can do nothing by himself” (John 5:19). Now, that begs the question, If Jesus, God in the flesh, could not do anything by Himself, then what makes us believe that we Christians can do anything on our own?

If we are honest with ourselves, we don’t pray because we are not really sure it works. We may not say it, but that’s the whole truth. We’ve learned to pray in a manner of asking for things: bless me, help me, protect me, help them, keep them, etc. And when all we do is pray to ask for stuff, and we don’t get it, that leads us to a question of if it really works; even though we try it anyway.

What if asking for stuff was not the purpose which God designed prayer? After all, Christ said, “Your Father in Heaven knows what you need before you ask Him”. What if there’s this mystery that God intends in this time of prayer, that we will miss with our list of things? What if there is something mysterious that happens, when you go into your closet and shut the door, and you pray; and you spend this time with intimacy with the Father? What if there is something that happens in those moments that can’t be matched by anything else we do in our lives? What if the point of prayer is to explore the intimacy with God?

What we must understand is, the power of prayer is useless. Yes, I said it, the power of prayer is utterly useless. If we enter into a walk of prayer in efforts to pray more, or have a more structured prayer, or to be more organized in our prayers, we are totally missing the whole point. If that is our end goal, we are no different than hindu’s, buddhist, muslims, or millions of other Christians who have failed to truly connect with the living God. We live in a world where everybody prays. Hindu’s, buddhist, muslims... even congress prays.

There is no power in prayer. If that is our goal, just to pray, then we will end up creating a Christianity that is just like every other religion.

However, the power of a people who connect with the living God Almighty of the Universe... that power is unstoppable. The power of prayer is useless but the power of a people who connect with the Living God is unstoppable.

Prayer is a means by which we connect with the Living God of the Universe; and it’s at that point that we will see an unveiling, powerful, victorious prayer. It’s though God supplying it. It’s God’s power - not our power in prayer. It’s God’s power - poured out upon His people who are expressing their depth of need before Him; expressing their intimacy with God; and experiencing the power of being used by God. This is what we seen in the example of Christ and what we seen in the life of the early church. It’s this type of prayer we must return to. Not a prayer for ourselves, but a prayer to connect with the Creator in an intimate relationship that I fear most professing Christians are missing out of today because of a lack of time spent with Him, and a list of wants, desires, and needs when we do.

Come back to that first love.
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