Saturday, February 2, 2013

Bobby Connor on the Importance of Prayer

Bobby ConnerThe Call to Pray
     The Spirit of God is calling each and every Believer to come aside, approach the Almighty, and spend time with God in prayer.
      Do you realize that there is absolutely nothing more powerful and productive in the whole earth than the prayers of the saints? It is a mystery of the Kingdom that God indeed restricts His actions when we do not pray. Without prayer, He does not move; with prayer, however, He can do anything. Through our prayers and petitions to God, all things are possible.
      Truly, prayer moves the hand of God...and when the hand of Almighty God moves, nothing and no one can stop Him. Let's set our heart to activate the hand of God with our prayers.

Captured, Consumed, Compelled
      It is time not only to petition the Lord in prayer but also to be still and truly know who God is (see Psalm 46:10). The Spirit of God is calling each of us to prayer, but this call is not just an invitation to make our requests known, as important as that is.
     On a deeper level, God is inviting us to intimate communion with our Maker.
     Imagine! We are being called to be captured by Divine Love.
     We're invited to become consumed by the Holy Spirit.

     And we are being compelled to ascend to the Throne of God.
When Jesus Christ was crucified and finally gave up His Spirit, the veil of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem was torn from top to bottom, the veil that prevented access to the Holy of Holies to everyone but the high priest. What does this mean for us today? The Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ opened wide our access to the Almighty God.
     What an outstanding honor: each of us has an open invitation to speak with our Father heart to heart. We as created beings are invited by the Creator Himself to communicate and commune with Him, to approach His Throne boldly because of the shed Blood of Jesus Christ.

Who, Me?
     Yes, you! The King of lings and Lord of lords has issued an invitation to you to draw near to Him. What could be more magnificent and heart stirring than communicating with the Creator of the entire universe? What an awesome privilege you have been granted! You are called to talk to God and hear His voice in turn.
      Why? God desires to commune with you because you are incredibly precious and unspeakably special to Him as His child. You are deeply cherished by your Abba-Father. Set your heart upon this thought. Contemplate and ponder this truth: your heavenly Father, Maker of Heaven and earth, yearns to hear your innermost thoughts and desires and share His heart with you.
      In other words, God wants to engage with you personally, intimately, continuously, as you learn to abide in Him and practice His presence throughout the day. He is interested in every nuance of your thoughts and feelings that rob you of His peace or shalom; He wants to heal and deliver you from every offense and wound because He is deeply touched by whatever touches your life.

The Disciples' Request
     Although Christ Jesus was and is, unquestionably, the "Prince of preachers," His inner circle of disciples never asked Him to teach them to preach. Although He is the Great Physician, His disciples never asked Jesus to teach them to heal. The earnest, heart-felt request of Christ's followers was, "Lord, teach us to pray!" (Luke 11:1-4).
     As His disciples, we also ask, Lord, teach us to pray! We need to be taught by the Holy Spirit Himself how to pray. Learning to touch our Father's heart, spirit to Spirit, must be a work of the Spirit, not a religious exercise or method. How do we learn this most important lesson?
      The first step is simple: take time to be still and wait upon God. Spend time alone with your heavenly Father.

Christ's Example
     Christ Himself offers this model for prayer. Christ would often find a quiet place to spend time alone with His Father (see Luke 5:16). The Scriptures also detail that, long before dawn, Christ would separate Himself to commune with His Father (see Mark 1:35). In Luke 6:12, we also read, "Now it came to pass in those days that He went out into the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God." Not only did Christ rise early, He would, at times, spend all night in communion with His Father.
      Beloved, set aside every distraction and all unnecessary activities, secondary interests and carnal, worldly pursuits, and contend with all of your heart to find that secret place with God. May the Spirit of God so motivate our hearts with a "holy hunger" that we, too, find immense joy spending time communing with our Heavenly Father and bear much fruit for His glory!

Spirit-to-Spirit Communion
      After we take time to be still, how do we find that spirit-to-Spirit prayer of intimate communion?
      The Lord does not commune with our soul but with our spirit. As you wait upon the Lord, shift your attention from your mind, will and emotions (your soul) to your spirit in your innermost being.
      Where is your spirit located? The Scriptures explain that: "out of [your] belly shall flow rivers of living water" (John 7:38). Your spirit does not dwell between your ears or within your blood-pumping heart. Your spirit is located in your "innermost being." So be still, locate your spirit, and then begin to shift your awareness to Christ within, His Spirit abiding within yours. Yield to that glorious Presence of God and allow His Spirit of Love to flow out from deep within your belly back to Him.
      But don't stop there. Continue to yield to His Spirit more and more, and yet more. Abandon yourself to the Lord in a fully yielded will, yielding every thought and emotion to His living Word.
      Beloved, this is true adoration and worship "in spirit and in truth"; our heavenly Father "is seeking such to worship Him"(John 4:23).

Fruitfulness Through Abiding
     What will the result be if we're simply enjoying His Presence and not petitioning, asking, seeking and knocking? Is this communion with Christ profitable? Yes! A thousand times yes!
      A life spent in yielded adoration as we practice His presence moment by moment is a life that will result in lasting eternal fruit (see Matthew 6:6). This yielded spirit is how we "abide in the vine." As we set our heart to seek first His eternal Kingdom, then (and only then) will we abide in Him and have lasting fruit.
      Beloved, let the deepest cry of our spirit join with the heart of the disciples of old as we ask, "Lord, teach us to pray!" May the Lord teach us to set aside every distraction, be still, wait upon Him, and touch His holy presence, deep unto deep, as our spirit yields to His Spirit in love. Amen!

Bobby Conner
Eagles View Ministries


No comments: