Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Excerpt from "Praying Down Fire and Rain" by Jim Wies

      This is an excerpt from an excellent article on our need (and privilege) to partner with God to see things happen in our lives and the world.  The list of prayer points for this election year included at the end of the article is also very helpful so I am posting it on the "Prayer Requests" page, too,  for easy reference.

     "...One of the profound mysteries of prayer is that God has limited His intervention into human affairs to a very amazing trigger –He waits for us to invite Him to do so.
Here we see Elijah [1 Kings 18:42-45] in what could only be described as labor and travail, or certainly, at least, fervent prayer, petitioning God to send the rain that He had already promised back in verse 1. One of the important lessons for us today is that when God purposes a thing, His method is to do it in co-laborship with us, His people, and that an important part in the co-laborship is the labor of prayer.
       The Lord recently spoke to me about an important key to Kingdom productivity. The key is in discovering that there are things God will not do without you, and you cannot do without Him. No better place is that demonstrated than in the arena of prayer.
       One of the great debates within the ranks of Christianity is the reconciliation of two seemingly contradictory principles of "the sovereignty of God" and "human responsibility." We certainly know God is ABLE to break in to our circumstances and come to our rescue as stated in Hebrews 7:25"Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them." We also see from this that Jesus, after He rose from the dead, is sitting at the right hand of the Father, making continuous intercession for us.
        So, some might ask, "Why doesn't an all-powerful God just move on behalf of the problems of mankind? And certainly, if Jesus is interceding for us, why then do we even need to pray? Why do we need to do anything? On the other hand, do we have any responsibility to change things on earth?"
         The fact is that it is in prayer that we see the intersection of these two principles. In prayer, an almighty God depends on our human initiative to "loose" His will to be done. Thus He tells us to pray, "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done." It is in prayer that we cooperate with His will, to release His power. That is what men like John Wesley discovered, who made the profound statement, "God will do nothing but in answer to prayer." That is why we are charged in God's Word: "Pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17); "In everything by prayer" (Philippians 4:6); "continuing instant in prayer" (Colossians 4:2); to "pray everywhere" (1 Timothy 2:8); "praying always" (Colossians 1:3).
         Prayer will accomplish what all manner of human striving could not. Prayer honors God. It acknowledges our dependence upon God and exhibits a vigorous faith in Him. Prayer acknowledges His being, exalts His power, adores His providence and secures His aid. Elijah's fervent prayer brought down fire and rain. Let us continue to be a people devoted to prayer, that we might be instrumental in seeing God's Kingdom come and His will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.
Prayer Directives For the Body of Christ:
Special Seven-Point Election Season Focus (USA)
(Although the USA contains only 6% of the world's population, we appeal to Christians everywhere to pray for our elections. The reality is that the entire world is affected one way or another by our leadership in the world.)
      But when the people of Israel cried out to the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer for the people of Israel, who saved them...Judges 3:9
If My people who are called by My name humble themselves, and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

1. National: Pray that God's plans and purposes for our nation will be established during this election season. Pray that we will be a nation which follows God and is a blessing to the nations of the earth. Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD (Psalm 33:12). Pray that the righteous leaders, the ones of God's choosing, will be elected in every congressional race, every senate race, and to the office of the presidency. "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people" (Proverbs 14:34).

2. State and local: Pray that righteous leaders will be elected to every office at the state and local level. "When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when a wicked man rules, people groan" (Proverbs 29:2).

3. Media: Grant a spirit of truthfulness in the elections, particularly on the part of all media. Grant a spirit of fairness and honesty in the reports created by all members of the media, and give discernment and wisdom to citizens as they seek information from the media. "Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, but those who deal truthfully are His delight"(Proverbs 12:22).

4. Voters: Pray that each citizen will be convicted to vote for the leaders who stand for righteousness, integrity and morality. Pray that God's Spirit will overshadow each one as they make their decisions. Guide all those who will vote in this year's elections with a sense of discernment and sound judgment, and let that discernment in turn bring discerning leaders into office.
"And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear." —Isaiah 11:2-3

5. Election officials: Pray that every official involved in the election process will serve with honesty and integrity of heart."The Lord abhors dishonest scales, but accurate weights are his delight" (Proverbs 11:1).

6. Those praying: Pray that God will energize and sustain His people to call out to Him day and night in extraordinary prayer during this season. "And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication..." (Zechariah 12:10).

7. The Church: Pray that the Church will be fully awakened, engaged and empowered during this critical season, and understand the urgency and importance of this election and its implications for the advancement of God's purposes in our nation and around the world. Pray also that God will awaken His people to a commitment to justice, to the sanctity of marriage and the family, to the dignity of each individual human life, and to the truth that human rights begin when human lives begin, and not one moment later. "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden" (Matthew 5:14).

From "Praying Down Fire and Rain" by Jim Wies, posted on Elijah List, 3-26-12 http://www.elijahlist.com/words/display_word.html?ID=10850

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