“And it happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place after He was finished, one of His disciples said to Him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught His disciples.” Luke 11:1
One of the most underrated statements in Scripture may very well be, “And it happened.” Authors of fantasy literature are known to introduce their story lines with, “Once upon a time.” Luke begins his record of this vital turning point in history, not with a flight of fancy, but with statement of fact. This happened!
The prayer life of the followers of Jesus is based upon this one solid truth. Long before prayer warriors ever start praying to Him, Jesus has been praying for them. When Jesus prays, things happen that turn the impossible into the HIMpossible. He only needs one person of faith to begin the Spiritual transformation in the heart of an individual, or the soul of a nation. Just one.
The Son’s intense intimacy with The Father, and His intercession for His followers has never been a devotional detour from the cares of the world or the current crisis of the hour. Intercession has always been an expression of His clear perspective on what is required to make a difference in the world and to meet the need of the hour, PRAYER to The Father.
Where ever and whenever The Spirit ignites the fire of prayer in the hearts of believers, it is a result of The Son’s intimacy with The Father, and His intercession for His church. Those who have a passion for prayer need not take pride in it. They should be humbled by the very idea that they have been entrusted with the stewardship of this powerful weapon. No man or woman came up with the idea of praying. Prayer is not a good idea. Prayer is God’s idea, and if people are doing it, it came to them, “While Jesus was praying”
Jesus set a priority, made a pattern, and chose a place for prayer. He wore out a path for intimacy with The Father, and intercession for His church. His disciples knew He could be found praying, “In a certain place”
Prayer warriors, who intend to make a stand against the enemy, need a place to kneel. Homes and churches are filled with chairs, rooms, or special places that meet specific needs. Without a kitchen there won’t be much effective cooking done in a home. Without carving out a place and a time to pray, there will be little praying. People seek out places to improve their physical health, but often fail to care for their spiritual health. Do both.
Note to self: Can the people closest to you find the time when and the place where you pray? Let those closest too you, know you have a prayer closet, and that you use it on their behalf.
Scripture indicates that one solitary person can make a huge difference. Anyone seeking a crowd to join them in prayer will either be too intimidated by the prospect of an empty room that they will cancel the prayer meeting, or they will be very disappointed by the turnout of those who showed up to pray.
“One of His disciples said to Him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray.’ ”
It is interesting to note, that Jesus was not met by a delegation of disciples. Only one came to Him, and said, “Lord, teach us to pray.” It only takes one praying person to begin the next Great Awakening.
Note to self #2: Be the one! Stop looking for a crowd. Start praying. No one can follow you, until they see the pattern in your own life, your home, your church, your community, and your country. Get over yourself. It only takes one prune to start a movement. Be the one!
“The fervent prayer of a righteous man, availeth much.” James 5:16 KJV
At a recent retirement party my 92 year-old father, Don Miller, was asked to share his favorite verse of Scripture. Without hesitation, he responded, “Lord, teach us to pray.”
After three decades of traveling to six continents, and to 1,000 churches in the United States teaching people to pray, this is the one verse The Spirit of God continues to illuminate in my Dad’s heart. Even through the fog of a fading memory, it still rises like the dawn and comes to his mind, bringing a clarity of thought and a purpose for life. Thanks, Dad, for being the one who has always led the way to pray, in my life and in the lives of thousands of other people, whose names are known only to The Father.
In 1873, in Dublin, Ireland, American preacher Dwight L. Moody heard these words spoken to him by a dear friend, Henry Varley, a British revivalist. “The world has yet to see what God will do with a man fully consecrated to him?’ ” Moody spent the rest of his life focused on yielding his own heart to God, and leaving the results up to God. He is remembered for huge crowds hungering for his great-hearted preaching.
If the next Great Awakening hinges on one person’s heart being placed in the hands The Father, will you be the one? One praying person is worth more to The Father, than the world can ever produce. Be the one, who finds the time and the place to come to The Son, and say with all your heart, “Lord, teach us to pray.” TALK LESS! PRAY MORE!