"Lord, teach us to pray." Luke 11:2-4
Principle: An informed prayer warrior knows how to pray, but an exemplary prayer warrior inspires people to pray.
The examples of the prayer life of Jesus and the prayer life of John the Baptist made a profound impact upon their disciples. When they prayed, others were inspired by a hunger to pray like them.
Those who enter the School of Prayer will discover the major degree offered is inspiration, not information. The disciples did not ask Jesus how to pray. They asked Him to them to pray. They did not know what they were asking. The lessons that would be required of them would be long and hard. The course of study would drain them of their self-confidence, until they came to the place in life where they would hunger to pray. Chuck Swindoll once said, "Those who have endured the stinging experiences are the choicest counselors God will ever use." He could have been talking about prayer warriors too.
Those who graduate from the School of Prayer do not receive a diploma to hang on the wall. They never allow themselves to think they have arrived. They practice what they already know how to do, but every day will challenge them with something new that brings them to God in prayer. It is this kind of consistency and perseverance in prayer that inspires others to do the same thing.
Learning how to pray, and practicing prayer are two different things. One is academics, and the other is dynamics. One instructs the brain, and the other inspires the heart.
WARNING! AVOID ALL SUBSTITUTES FOR PRAYER!
- Writing about prayer
- Reading about prayer
- Thinking about prayer
- Studying about prayer
- Singing about prayer
- Preaching about prayer
None of the honorable activities listed above are actually prayer. They serve a noble purpose, but they lack the intimacy that can only be developed between a Father and His child when they establish prolonged, personal connection through prayer. These other things may inform, but they seldom inspire others to pray.
Prayer is the intimate communication between the Father and His child. Prayer warriors are motivated to pray when they eavesdrop on another person's conversation with God. When they hear someone else pray, they would love to be on the same level of communication with God, but they are forced to admit they don't know Him intimately enough. When they discover what they have been missing, they pray with an intensity to develop an intimacy that they never want to lose.
Very seldom are people inspired to pray until God allows a need to come into their lives. When that need brings a potential prayer warrior to the end of self-sufficency, their prayer life gathers momentum. When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, He had to know they were asking for more than they could have imagined. Prayer would become more than a devotional exercise for them. It would be a tool used for survival in the early days of their ministry, and later a weapon of warfare. Their intimacy with God would become so intense it would lead them to embrace death as the ultimate victory over their enemy.
This week a seasoned prayer warrior sent out this text message, as he prepares himself for the final battle. "Doctor has diagnosed me with a rare form of leukemia. Prognosis is not good for earth, but for heaven in a few months. Thanks 4 ur prayer." Avery Willis
The Practice of Prayer: When does your prayer life develop intensity and intimacy? Is it when things are going well or then things are going wrong? Does your prayer life inspire others to pray?
Thought for the Day: There is a difference between knowing how to pray and praying what we know.
'The greatest prayer found in the Bible is formed by the five words, 'Lord, teach us to pray!" Don Miller