Prayer is More than Asking

Sis. Cheryl Craft

I recall in the early days of my youth trying to pray an hour.  I thought prayer was simply praying for urgent needs.  I would pray for the requests I heard mentioned at church. I prayed for Sis Sue’s nephew who had had an accident or Grandma Grace who was going in for surgery.  After a while I would run out of requests pray for.  As time went by and I grew in prayer, I realized that prayer was much more than asking.  Prayer is for worship, communion with God, and receiving wisdom and understanding from Him.

Prayer includes worship.  David wrote: “One thing have I desired of the Lord and that will I seek after. That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord” (Psalm 27:4).  The Hebrew word beauty means pleasantness, splendor, grace and favor. David referred to the beauty of God’s character as it was shown in the worship of God.  In worshipping God in his sanctuary the character of God is seen as it is not seen elsewhere.

Our worship in prayer is adapted to set forth His greatness, glory, and grace. Great truths are brought to mind that lifts your spirit into the presence of God. You receive strength that sustains you in the trials of life.  Begin your time of prayer with worship and you get God’s attention.

Prayer is communion with God. You find a great blessedness in prayer as you sense that shift in your spirit that allows you to know that He is listening. You have His ear to ask and receive answers.  In this time you receive strength that stays with you. You go about your work and feel that strength of your time of communion with God all through your day.

Prayer is a time to receive wisdom and understanding from God.  Wisdom says: “Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway. For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the Lord” (Pro. 8:34-36).  James writes that if any man lacks wisdom, let him ask of God. (1:5).  In prayer we receive wisdom and understanding in making life decisions. During our intercession we can ask God for wisdom to discern what the real need is in the lives of people for whom we pray.

Prayer has many aspects. Intercession is just one facet of prayer.  Learn to worship, to wait on God in communion and to seek Him for wisdom. Then your time of prayer will become more rewarding as you praise and adore Him for who He is.  Since my early days of learning to pray, I have found the joy and worth of worship, communion and seeking God’s wisdom.  I have not been disappointed in this dimension of prayer.  I believe you will find this to be true in your life.

BOOK SUGGESTION:  Mighty Prevailing Prayer by Wesley Duewell

Amazon may have this book.

Pray Because of the Times

Sis. Cheryl Craft

We live in perilous times. The spirit of murder, strife and tumult is rife throughout the world. We see it especially in our nation.  The anti-Christ spirit is working overtime.   Christian code, morals, and principles are under attack. Prayer is mocked, Christ is scorned, and the Word of God is ignored and spurned.  What to do?

Pray!!  Prayer is more vitally needed than ever before. Along with prayer we must take the battle against all this wickedness.  When we leave the prayer closet, our actions reveal what we received in prayer.  When multitudes of enemies launched war against Israel, God said: “Don’t be afraid. I will deliver them slain into your hand. You shall destroy their horses and chariots.”

We don’t have to fear the enemies of Christ. He stands with us to deliver them into our hands. God gave Joshua and Israel the battle (Joshua 11). However, they had to get out and fight it. They didn’t sit in their tents drinking tea.

How do we fight the enemy?  We fight with prayer and actions.  We don’t fight with weapons of warfare for we don’t wrestle against flesh and blood, but we fight these wicked spirits of the spiritual realm in our prayer closets. We also fight when we speak out and share the Word of God to friends at school or colleagues at work.  Ask God for opportunities to speak out for righteousness. The devil is bold so how much more should be bold for the cause of Christ.

Pray then act on the power you receive from God.  More than ever, God needs men and women who will seek Him, and then move out into the world empowered to be warriors for His sake in the earth.

Book Suggestion:  The Prayer Dare by Ron Kincaid 

(Amazon Kindle and print)

Remove the Clutter

Sis. Cheryl Craft

We are in the process of a major move.  Our life has been interrupted for several months as we packed up the house and moved to a new location. We now have to unpack all the boxes and find a place for everything.  Nothing fits like it did in the former house. We find we packed things we should have left and sold or gave away things we should have kept.  New habits and routines must be established. In the meantime all the things that don’t have a place are sitting in boxes or filling the corners of unused rooms.  It is a mess….clutter everywhere.

Our lives are disrupted. We will get it all straightened out in time, but until then we must endure the clutter.

In the spiritual life, the mind can also be cluttered.

I don’t know of anything that can disrupt a prayer life more than a cluttered mind.  When we enter our place of prayer, we bring boxes of stuff that we have been worried about, troubles and fears interfere with our interaction with God.  What to do?

Remove the clutter!   Write down the fears, worries, concerns and leave them on the paper. Give it all to God. Then with a quiet heart and mind continue in prayer until he speaks.  You will find that some worries are not as big as they seem, or that God has an answer for you.  Learn to give it all to Jesus and trust him to give you wisdom and direction.

I have learned to embrace this text from Proverbs 3:5

 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, Lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and He will direct your paths.”

 As you look on God and His beauty in prayer the worries, fears, and concerns will fade away when He reminds you that He will never leave you nor forsake you.  The clutter dissipates and you find the peace that only God can give.

 

Book Suggestion:  The Reality of Prayer by E.M. Bounds

 

 

 

 

Lord, Teach Us to Pray

Sis. Cheryl Craft

In my reading the other day I came across this article on prayer. I wanted to pass it along to the readers of this website. It is written by Oswald Chambers and can be found

In his daily devotional called: My Utmost for His Highest.

I always want to remember that when I seek the Lord, He is near and it doesn’t matter if I “feel” Him or not.  I may feel like I am in a boat being tossed on the stormy sea, but the wonderful thing about our Lord is that He is in the boat with us and hears us when we call to Him. Yes, it is true, ‘ask and you shall receive’, but it is just as wonderful to fellowship with him and talk as friend to friend.

Keep on Praying,

Cheryl Craft

European/Mid Eastern Region

Lord, teach us to pray. Luke 11:1.

It is not part of the life of a natural man to pray. We hear it said that a man will suffer in his life if he does not pray; I question it. What will suffer is the life of the Son of God in him, which is nourished, not by food, but by prayer. When a man is born from above, the life of the Son of God is born in him, and he can either starve that life or nourish it. Prayer is the way the life of God is nourished. Our ordinary views of prayer are not found in the New Testament. We look upon prayer as a means of getting things for ourselves; the Bible idea of prayer is that we may get to know God Himself.

“Ask and ye shall receive.” We grouse before God, we are apologetic or apathetic, but we ask very few things. Yet what a splendid audacity a childlike child has! Our Lord says—“Except ye become as little children.” Ask, and God will do. Give Jesus Christ a chance, give Him elbow room, and no man will ever do this unless he is at his wits’ end. When a man is at his wits’ end it is not a cowardly thing to pray, it is the only way he can get into touch with Reality. Be yourself before God and present your problems, the things you know you have come to your wits’ end over. As long as you are self-sufficient, you do not need to ask God for anything.

It is not so true that “prayer changes things” as that prayer changes me and I change things. God has so constituted things that prayer on the basis of Redemption alters the way in which a man looks at things. Prayer is not a question of altering things externally, but of working wonders in a man’s disposition.[1]

Oswald Chambers: My Utmost for His Highest

 BOOK RECOMMENDATION: "Delighting in God" and "Knowledge of the Holy" by A. W. Tozer

Excellent books to lead one to learn to know God and to pray with that knowledge.



[1] Chambers, O. (1986). My utmost for his highest: Selections for the year. Grand Rapids, MI: Oswald Chambers Publications; Marshall Pickering.

The Power of Prayer

Sis. Cheryl Craft

What is the power of prayer? 

It is an assault weapon in our spiritual battle.  Paul tells us that it is a moving force.  Eph 6:12-18 Put on the whole armor of God… praying always with all prayer and supplication.

While sitting bound in prison, he said, “Pray for me that I may speak with boldness the message given to me. Here he was in prison speaking as though he were free to preach to the people.  Why such boldness? He knew that the power of prayer was available to him. Prayer is the avenue whereby God makes his power available to us in the challenges we face. Paul wanted to make sure the church understood this.

Prayer Is an Avenue of Peace

We can and do exchange our burdens and worries for peace as we pray. Prayer is always present in us. Even though the day seems dark, we are never out of range of prayer for God to hear our cry.  In trouble and fear, peace can be found in prayer because we are in touch with Prince of Peace.

Prayer Is a Means of Receiving Counsel

Prayer is like a good counseling session. We walk out of a good prayer session with renewed hope that we can make it in and through our trials.  Prayer infuses all our plans with God’s ability.

 

Power in prayer means hope, help, and relief. Paul tells us to pray always because the power of prayer ensures we have a spiritual weapon. 

Prayer brings solution to problems. Remember Elijah prayed for rain and rain came refreshing the earth and bringing new crops to the hungry people.

 

Prayer gets the power of God involved. Remember Moses parted the Red Sea at God’s command when it seemed that all was lost and the enemy would win.

 

Prayer brings peace. The disciples were in a storm tossed boat and knew they would perish until Jesus said peace be still. 

 

Prayer brings good counsel. David asked God if he should go after raiders who had stolen goods and taken his family hostage.  God told him to go after them and he would win the day.

 

Prayer is and means for us peace, hope, help, and relief.  Prayer is Power.  Learn to pray and use this power God intends for you to have.

Book Suggestion:  Mighty Prevailing Prayer by Wesley Duewel