Yesterday I said that one of the most difficult things in life to do is to communicate which led me into writing about “the environment of prayer” where we noted that prayer is a fact needing a specific place to prayer … one that is private so that we can pray to our Father in Heaven … and when we pray with spiritual intelligence, we receive God’s promises through prayer.
Today, I want to consider the great need for “revival of prayer”. Note, not “revival in prayer” but “revival of prayer”. To speak of revival in prayer might cause one to think of a spiritual revival with many Christians coming back to God in intentional seriousness … whilst what I mean is you or me as a Christian having our personal prayer life refreshed. Jesus sets the context for revival of prayer where He states:
Mt 7:7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”
The first step in the revival of prayer is when your prayers are directed to God. Remember that not every time you pray are your prayers directed to God. Sadly, we often pray with ourselves as the focus and recipient of our prayers … such as selfish praying or praying to appease ourselves! Praying directed to God follows the example Jesus gave us:
Mt 6:9 “This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name’”.
This is prayer that moves away from human influence or personal desire and breaks through the spiritual barrier of all selfish intent to arrive at the Throne Room of Glory before the Occupant upon the Throne of Eternity. It is prayer that will not allow disturbance, distraction or human emotion to influence making contact with God Himself.
The second step in the revival of prayer is when your prayers are presented in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ! Using “the name of Jesus” in prayer is not some lucky charm or magic omen that will grant success in prayer. Before you pray in the name of Jesus you need to make certain your prayers are the prayers God wants to hear!
1Jn 5:14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.
When you pray your prayers need to be according to God’s will. This means you need to pray prayers that line up with the Word of God. Too often the “name it and claim it” people ask … or rather demand God to do or provide things contrary to His Word. That is sinful and selfish praying. Once our prayers are Biblical … then:
Joh 14:13 “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”
The same Holy Spirit inspired the human author, the apostle John who basically says … pray according to God’s will and do it in Jesus name and it will be answered. This is the assurance you can have that when such prayers have been prayed, they will be answered. Note … “in Jesus’ name” means association! You are His and He is yours.
The third step in the revival of prayer is that now that you know you reach the ear of God in heaven because you pray according to His will in the name of Jesus … you exercise faith. When Jesus said
Mat 21:22 “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer”
it was not in a vacuum … it was in a Biblical context. Reaching God’s ear, praying Biblical prayers that are God focused as a Christian (in Jesus’ name) … you may exercise faith … believing God will grant your request.
The fourth step in the revival of prayer is that you remain in Christ. Many seek quick solutions to their problems through coming and fliting with Jesus to get something or to have a problem the size of a mountain removed. Jesus said:
Joh 15:7 “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.”
Did you see that … the condition of answering prayer? “If you remain in me” … this is your responsibility … and “my words remain in you” … also your responsibility. You need to ensure you have a right relationship with Jesus all the time and that you spend time getting to know His Word … for that is the Word you’ll be praying … and only then what you ask will be given.
The fifth step in the revival of prayer is that you avoid all known sin! Prayer requires clean vessels!
Ps 66:18 If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.
The Psalmist is not speaking about sin that is unintentional and spontaneous … he wants us to consider those habitual sins and those sins we enjoy and won’t stop. How can we hold onto what Jesus died for and expect our Father to hear, answer and provide as we request? All known sin must be avoided if we expect God to open the ear and meet the need.
The sixth step in the revival of prayer is that you pray without ceasing.
1Th 5:17 pray continually
for your prayer life to be revived you need to get the “one stop shopping experience” out of your mind. Certain prayers require being asked over and over until our Lord hears and answers. This is where Matthew 7:7 comes in.
Mt 7:7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you”
And then … praying without ceasing reflects a heart that is passionate about communicating with God … the revival of prayer.
Dear God my Father, too often my prayers are not as they ought to be. Please revive my prayer life. Grant me a passionate desire to spend more time in serious communication with You. Give me a love to talk with You even when there are no needs. Lord, let not the business of the day keep me from You … let not the evil one’s seductive attempts lead me astray. I want to remain close to Your heart … please help me to order my day in such a way that my priority in life starts with You each day … for Jesus’ sake. Amen.