26 Aug 2012
Have you noticed that we often see things in a different way than God? Or perhaps more accurately, God sees things almost always in a different way than us? For example, we think that big numbers are good, but God instructed Gideon to cut down the size of his attack force because they were too large. It seems that we have an attraction to large. Of course God sometimes creates things that are large such as the universe, but at the same time He seems to have a abiding respect for things that are small. David’s outward appearance was apparently much less impressive than that of his elder brother, Eliab, yet David, who was smaller, was chosen by God.
Recently I was reminded that God is not as greatly impressed as we by large crowds of people. When it comes to church we think it is without doubt better to have a big crowd. God’s perspective is no doubt drastically different than ours; we look on the outside but God looks on the heart. Our inability to see beyond the surface keeps us mostly in the dark regarding an accurate representation of believer’s hearts. But God says that He dwells near to those with a certain kind of heart.
Isaiah 57:15 (NASB95)
15 For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, "I dwell on a high and holy place, And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit In order to revive the spirit of the lowly And to revive the heart of the contrite.
In recent days the Spirit has emphasized a difference in perspectives between God and me. Perhaps you will agree? As evidence of this difference look carefully at these quotes from Wesley Duewel found in his book Touch The World Through Prayer:
“White hot prayer burns its way through obstacles to the throne of God. A burning heart is your best preparation of prayer. Fiery prayer is the intensity born of the Holy Spirit. If your prayers are not touched with holy fire you have not yet felt the heartbeat of God. To be absorbed in God’s will, God’s purpose, God’s zeal and God’s glory will set your heart aflame.” ……..
“You cannot manufacture this fire of the Spirit, but you can prepare for it, welcome it, pray until you receive it and refuel it to keep it from dying out”
This book, along with scripture, has been used by the Holy Spirit to impress upon me that there is much more to prayer that simply praying.
This is to say, God does not view all prayer alike. We can easily come to this conclusion by the New Testament instruction we find regarding prayer. Jesus' disciples must have sensed there was more to prayer than just praying when they ask Him to teach them how to pray. Jesus responded by giving them a model prayer. Then by way of further instruction He told them a story of a man who received an unexpected friend at midnight. Finding himself devoid of bread, he went to a nearby friend to ask to borrow bread to feed his weary friend. The results of his persistent and pestering requests, as told by Jesus, are found in the following passage:
8 I tell you, although he will not get up and supply him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his shameless persistence and insistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs.
Immediately following this instructive story Jesus says:
9 So I say to you, Ask and keep on asking and it shall be given you; seek and keep on seeking and you shall find; knock and keep on knocking and the door shall be opened to you.
10 For everyone who asks and keeps on asking receives; and he who seeks and keeps on seeking finds; and to him who knocks and keeps on knocking, the door shall be opened. - Luke 11:9-10 (AMP)
What are the characteristics of prayer or the praying one that causes prayers to be heard and acted upon in heaven? Perhaps we should first consider clear biblical teaching regarding things that will block our prayers from being heard.
- Un-confessed sin in the life of the praying one - 2 But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear. - Isaiah 59:2 (AMP)
9 He who turns away his ear from listening to the law, Even his prayer is an abomination. - Proverbs 28:9 (NASB77)
- Lack of faith- 6 But let him ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, 8 being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. - James 1:6-8 (NASB77)
- Selfishness- 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. - James 4:3 (NASB77)
Would you agree that the opposites of these, purity of heart, faith and humility are characteristics that we must cultivate in order to develop and maintain an effective prayer life? We could no doubt add to these the persistence that is clearly taught by Jesus.
However it seems to me that these are simply among the foundational requirements for prayer. To go deeply in the direction of becoming a powerful and effective prayer warrior in God’s kingdom it seems that we must seek to know the heart of God and to know His passion for the things of His kingdom.
I have been recently convicted of the casualness of my prayers. White hot has not yet been accurately used as a description for my prayers. For this I deeply desire your prayers. Would you, right now, pray that my prayers for revival would be set ablaze by the Spirit? I believe the Spirit is speaking this message; it is not how many are praying for revival, but rather how passionate, how white hot, are the prayers of those whom He has called.
Romans 15:30 (AMP)
30 I appeal to you [I entreat you], brethren, for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love [given by] the Spirit, to unite with me in earnest wrestling in prayer to God in my behalf.
Please pray for a few prayer warriors who will become totally absorbed in the will and purpose and the glory of God! Please pray that these will have white hot hearts of prayer for His glory!