Thursday, January 06, 2011

Start Praying

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling (1 Timothy 2:1-8; ESV, emphasis mine).

I grow weary of people lamenting that they don't know what is their special purpose or mission in life. I don't know if every leader faces this, but I make the assumption they do. I cannot count how many people have approached me and said something like, “I'd serve the Lord if knew what He meant for me to do.”

Hogwash. Yes, as insensitive as it seems and sounds, that's what I meant. God doesn't seem to reveal special purpose to people until they have a solid dedication and regular practice of ordinary purpose. Here's just such a case: PRAYER. The Holy Spirit, in God's word, through the Apostle Paul, made it clear that every person everywhere ought to be praying! Let's get to it!

I love this poem:


There's a holy high vocation,
Needing workers everywhere;
'Tis the highest form of service,
'Tis the ministry of prayer.

None need stand idly longing,
For a place in which to share;
Active service for the Master,
There's always room in prayer.

In these days of tribulation,
Wickedness pervades the air;
And the battles we engage in,
Must be won by fervent prayer.

There's no weapon half so mighty,
As what the intercessors bear;
Nor a broader field of service,
Than the ministry of prayer.

--A. S. Woolworth

Friend, listen, do you want a powerful ministry? Start praying. Do you want God to entrust you with much? Start praying. Do you want to see the hungry fed? Start praying. Do you want to see our nation changed? Start praying. Do you want to see our leaders act more nobly? Start praying. Would you like a more peaceful family? Start praying. Would you love to serve others? Start praying. Would you love to please the Lord? Start praying.

Do you want to see missionaries sent? Do you want a better preacher or pastor? Do you want more disciplined children? Do you want a more loving, attentive spouse? Do you want to see deep change in your own life? Start praying. Start praying. Start praying!

You already pray? Most excellent. Don't let up!

Be thankful. Intercede for others. Talk to God. Listen to God. Pray.

I have no doubt that people desire purpose and it makes sense that we all want to know what it is God has created and sustained us for. I can't answer that for every person. What I can say is this: (1) The Holy Spirit is the key to fulfilling life and fulfilling ministry because He is a believer’s source of fulfillment. (2) If you want God to open up His specific will for you, you must know you must first receive and achieve God's general will.

Start praying.

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