My Prayers Matter

Elderly man prayingThere have been times in my life when I felt like my prayers simply hit the ceiling of the room I was in. I felt like my prayers went nowhere.  I have also had times of intense prayer where I felt like I could feel God’s breath on me as I put my head on His chest.  Prayer is the life-blood of my relationship with God. It changes my perspective and me because through prayer, God is brought into the equation.  I came across a scene in Revelation that describes prayers that I thought was really cool. Check this out…

3 Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God’s people, on the golden altar in front of the throne. 4 The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand. 5 Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake. (Revelation 8:3-5 NIV)

 

That’s a crazy picture to see the prayers of the saints as incense or a sweet smelling fragrance to the Lord.  The Lord loves to hear me express my heart. He loves to hear my perspective and position. Through prayers, He shows me His perspective and position.

I believe prayer has power.

I believe prayer has purpose.

I believe prayer changes my perspective on just about everything and everyone.

May my prayers be like a sweet smelling incense to His Heart.

My prayers matter to God because He cares what matters to me!

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Pray For Me

Pretty girl praying.I really like knowing that people are praying for me. I have been through difficult times and I know what it feels like to be covered in prayer. I have felt the unusual strength that comes from the Presence of God all over me. I have felt the Lord lift my head up and shape my perspective by His Presence. I want people to pray for me even when it looks to be an ordinary, uneventful day.

Paul shares with the church in Thessalonica and he tells them that there is a judgment day coming when the Lord will hold us all responsible for the bad behavior. But He assures the church that He is praying for them. Check this out…

11 With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. 12 We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 NIV)

 

Please pray for me. I want to be strong in the face of temptation.

Please pray for me. I want to honor God with my attitude and actions today.

Please pray for me. I want to be a strong, Godly husband to my wife.

Please pray for me. I want to be a strong, Godly father to my family.

Please pray for me. I want to be a strong, honorable, Godly REALTOR.

Please pray for me. I want to be a strong and consistent friend.

Please pray for me. I want to honor God with all that I am – today & everyday!

For those who read this and actually say a pray for me – Thank you from the depths of my heart. I believe that prayer calls upon the Awesome Power of God to move and act in really cool, supernatural ways. Please pray.

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Prayer & Conversation

Abstract Silhouette PrayingI don’t always put these two words together, but it seems to me that Paul did that on purpose.  I’ve always thought of prayer as conversation with God. Another angle to explore is praying prior to conversation. I’ve also prayed for a “heavy weight” conversation that was difficult. I should really pray over every conversation so that the Lord can speak clearly through my everyday conversation as well as heighten my listening skills. As I get older, my hearing has dropped off, (too much loud music) but my listening skills have improved – go figure!

Paul also urges that in prayer I should watch and be thankful. Check this out…

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. (Colossians 4:2-6 NIV)

 

I’m a devoted student of the Word. I now need to be a devoted prayer warrior. I do pray every day, but I’m not sure I’m devoted to praying. As I’m praying I need to be watchful and thankful – talk about multi-tasking! I do believe that spending time in the Word of God has changed many conversations as well as deepened my prayer life. I also believe my study has heightened my awareness of God’s Power, His Purpose and His Presence! My time with the Lord can enhance my conversational abilities. I can be thankful as well as notice non-verbal conversation and communication. The Holy Spirit can prompt me on something that needs to be said at just the right time. Prayer and conversation do work together and compliment one another quite well!

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Prayer Power

Elderly man prayingI am a believer in prayer. I see prayer as this often, confidential conversation between God and me. He wants to know everything about me. The crazy thing is He already knows all about me and what is going on with me, but it really clarifies things for me when I talk about those things to Him. He provides wisdom and insight to me when I pray and seek Him. 

I believe that prayer is calling on Heaven’s resources to help me here on earth. I also believe that in prayer, God speaks to me. It’s not just me and my “wish list”, it is God revealing Himself to me. That part of prayer is really big to me.

Paul prays this powerful prayer over the church at Ephesus and it blessed me. I’m praying it over my family, my business and me. Check this out….

16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:16-21 NIV)

 

I love this prayer from Paul. It contains some powerful concepts that are often overlooked in prayer. He’s praying for God’s strength. He praying for God’s Presence. He’s praying for God’s power. He’s praying for the church’s understanding of God to be widened and deepened. He’s praying for God’s glory to be all over them! This passage really draws me back to disciplined, daily prayer with the Lord.

Prayer calls on God’s Power and His Presence.

Prayer changes my perspective.

Prayer changes me!

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Healing

Pretty girl praying.I never witnessed first hand a miraculous healing of God. I’ve seen sick people get well. I’ve heard stories of cancer that was found and then it was gone. I think sometimes that my faith comes up short in this area. I believe that God can do anything He wants. I also believe that some of the real life testimonies of healing by God are true. I came across a cool story that involves Peter & John when the church was just beginning. Check this out….

One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. 2 Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4 Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” 5 So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.
6 Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” 7 Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. 8 He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. 9 When all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. (Acts 3:1-10 NIV)

This story of healing is amazing to me. If a person is lame from birth and they’ve never walked, I would think they would have to learn to walk. This guy was healed immediately and then was “walking and jumping”! I can imagine what people thought when they saw this guy who had been lame from birth busting a move! This all happened because Jesus’ followers believed. I’m not inclined to believe that the cripple guy had much faith. He had probably tried everything to bring healing, but these regular men, filled with the Holy Spirit of God changed his life forever. I can imagine that after Peter & John explained how this was even possible through Jesus that this man became a believer.

I really want my faith in this area to stretch and grow. I want my eyes of faith to be open to EVERYTHING that God does and everything He can do. I want to believe in unexplainable, supernatural miracles of healing. I have no intentions to stop praying for them because the Lord understands the weakness of my faith and He can do some amazing things with what I have. I will pray today for miraculous healing for a friend and God will grow my lack of faith.

Pressing On!
Dwayne

So Much More

MoreJesus gives a powerful teaching on prayer. His disciples ask Him to teach them to pray and He begins to tell a story.  The story ends up being about PERSISTENCE IN PRAYER.  I think He is teaching a powerful truth about prayer – Keep at it! I think Jesus was endorsing praying multiple times over the same issue or requests. I know that there are times when my kids have “worn me down” by asking and I caved in and gave them what they asked for. It seems to me that Jesus is saying that persistence in prayer is a good thing.

He also goes a different direction after speaking about persistence. He challenges us to ask, seek and knock. He promises answers. Check this out…

9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:9-13 NIV)

I work pretty hard at being a good Dad. I try hard to give my kids good gifts. I’m a “softie” when it comes to my kids. I want to help them in any way I can. Jesus is good with that, but then takes it to another level. He says if I’m a good Dad and know how to love and bless my kids, HOW MUCH MORE does my Heavenly Father know how to love and bless those who call Him Father.  I’ve learned more about the Fathers heart by becoming a Dad back in 1986 when my first child was born. I realized that I loved this kid more than I loved myself. I realized the intensity of my love as I realized that I would lay down my life in a second to save his. I also realized that there was NOTHING he could do to make me stop loving him as my son.

If I think I’m a pretty good Dad – HOW MUCH MORE is my Father God an amazing Father. I want to live under that love and protection today. I also want to model it for my children. My Father loves me without condition or strings attached and He made a way for me to spend eternity with Him even though I’m imperfect and I have multiple faults. His love is AMAZING & GRACE FILLED!

Pressing On!
Dwayne