Praying with Purpose – Part 1

 

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Have you ever struggled in your prayer life?  Ever faced times of inconsistency or not known what to pray?  Ever felt that your prayers were ineffective or that they had become mechanical?

Do you ever find your mind wandering during prayer or just not feel like sitting down to pray?

Let’s be honest.  I think each one of us can answer (at least to ourselves) that we have struggled with one or more of these things at some time during our life.  And during those seasons, I would venture to say that many of us experience feelings such as uselessness, defeat, and possibly even guilt.

How is it that we might breathe new life into our prayers moving us from these seasons and these feelings into a time of purposeful prayer?

First, we must understand the importance of prayer.

Prayer is our job.  Lamentations 2:19 states, Arise, cry out in the night, at the beginning of the night watches!  Pour out your heart like water before the presence of the Lord!  Lift your hands to him for the lives of your children, who faint for hunger at the head of every street.”  Prayer is spiritual work.  It is the most aggressive and pro-active work you can ever engage in.  And in the passage above we are instructed to engage in this work on behalf of our loved ones.

Secondly, prayer is important because of the spiritual battle which is raging constantly and fiercely all around us.  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12).  Make no mistake.  We are in a battle, and we are fighting for souls.  The enemy wants our faith and the faith of our loved ones.  Our prayers are a weapon in this battle.  They help us and our loved ones stand fast in the Lord.  (I Thessalonians 3:18, “For now we live, if you are standing fast in the Lord.”)

Prayer is both our job and our weapon in a mighty battle.  What a powerful resource that we have been given by our Heavenly Father:

  • Through prayer we are invited to bring ALL of our concerns about our loved ones to Him.
  • Prayer allows us to release to God what we cannot control ourselves.
  • It fills our hearts with compassion.
  • Prayer is a gap closer – Distance and generational gaps seem to disappear when you are actively and purposefully engaged in prayer for others.
  • And prayer draws us to Him. Through our prayers for others, we are nourished and changed.

Compelling reasons, all.  Then, why is it that we are so often derailed in our prayer life?  Next week we will consider a couple of roadblocks in our path to prayer and ways to navigate around them.

James 5:16, “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”