The Prayer Principle of Repetition

"And He came out and proceeded as was His custom to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples also followed Him. And when He arrived at the place, He said to them, "Pray that you may not enter temptation." Luke 22:39-40

Principle: Disciplined, consistent repetition of believing prayer strengthens a Christ follower's resistance to the temptation of sin.

Jesus practiced prayer. It was something that He did repeatedly, and He developed a following as a result of it. His disciplined prayer life could be described as , "Practice makes perfect."

After a long day of service, Jesus did not exempt Himself fro intimacy with God. He returned to it. Jesus also had a distinct and established place of prayer. He went there often to get alone with God. It was a familiar place. He was confident God would meet Him there and He would hear His voice.

The practice was so ingrained in His habits that His enemies knew His routine as well as His friends. When Judas led the soldiers to arrest Jesus, and they knew exactly where to find Him.

When a body builder desires to develop muscle mass, the principle of repetition must be carried out with relentless discipline. The sets and reps that are done on a regular basis eventually produce muscle that would never develop if the weight was lifted only once a week. Prayer warriors seeking to develop a powerful prayer life prioritize consistent communication and companionship with their Father.

Intermittent prayer and sporadic prayer can be compared to intermittent and sporadic breathing. It may postpone death, but it is not life giving. Prayer is the breath of Heaven. Christ followers find the air of prayer exhilarating, and refreshing. The rarefied air of prayer is often found on the mountain top experiences with God, but the repetition of believing prayer strengthens the prayer warrior for the challenges they find in the valley.

Crisis reveals character. Prayer builds and strengthens character. Jesus challenged His disciples to prepare for resistance to temptation by getting alone with God. When Jesus faced the greatest test of His life, He prepared Himself by repeatedly getting alone with God, and praying to the One who could empower Him to pass the test.

Temptation is not always a choice between good and evil. Satan is the enemy of the best. If he can lead a Christ follower to lose focus on the best Jesus has to offer, and settle for second best, then he has succeeded in his mission.

Reaching, worshiping, preaching, giving, fasting, serving, teaching, and healing are all aspects of the ministry of Jesus. When He was drained by the outflow of this ministry, He turned to God in prayer. The ministry of His church will not be maintained if the prayers of His followers are not sustained long enough to be restored to life-giving strength.

To fail to pray is to plan to fail. Jesus knew the hope of the world was riding on the strength of His prayer life. Jesus repeatedly turned to God in prayer before the crisis came. When the tide turned against Him, He was prepared with God's power to complete His mission.

Christ followers are empowered by repeatedly turning to God in prayer for the sustaining, life-giving strength that only He can provide. Anything that interferes with steady breathing must be removed from the wind passage of a person's body. When breath is interrupted for prolonged periods of time, it has an adverse impact on the entire body. Lack of air brings loss of life.

Lack of prayer brings loss of life to a Christ follower and the Body of Christ. The greatest preparation for the crises of life is the process of prayer. "Pray without ceasing...for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." (I Thessalonians 5:18)

The Practice of Prayer: Make a list of the things you do each day. These are the things that you will not fail to do, and need no reminders to do them. You do them regardless of how you feel, or how crowded your day becomes. Make sure that it includes the priority of prayer.

Thought for the Day: There is no substitute for the priority of personal, private, prolonged, prevailing, persevering, and productive...PRAYER.

"Nothing would turn the nation back to God so surely and so quickly as a church that prayed and prevailed. The world would never believe in a religion in which there is no supernatural power. A rationalized faith, a socialized church, and a moralized gospel may gain applause, bu they awaken no conviction and win no converts." Samuel Chadwick