Healthy Prayer Does Not Begin With Us, But With God

Thesis #13: “The New Apostolic Epoch”  By: P. Douglas Small

 

Healthy prayer does not begin with us, but with God.  It is the space he creates, that He gives by grace, for communion and transformation.  In return, prayer is a gift we give back to God, measured by time and evidenced by worshipful consecration.  It’s privilege, not its center, allows for presentation of our needs (petition, prayer requests) and its duty, demands prayer for others, particularly the lost (intercession).  But its heart is always worshipfully free – it is a pure gift.

O God, creator of us all, thank you for this great privilege to cry out to you in prayer!  Our world is moving at an ever maddening pace away from You.  It is frightening to us to see and hear the reality of how humanity has moved so far from faith in You.

O God, help us in our feeble efforts to be a credible voice of testimony for You, Your great love, and Your desire to save unto the uttermost, those who call upon You. Our work is meaningless and will be fruitless without Your partnership in it.  We acknowledge Your sovereignty in our lives and pledge ourselves to call upon Your name always!  You have always been there and we believe in Your promise to never leave us alone all the way through this journey of life.

We ask all these petitions in the Name of Your Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ!  And thank You again, for the privilege of prayer!

 

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Prayer is the heartbeat of the believer

Thesis #12: “The New Apostolic Epoch”  By: P. Douglas Small   

Prayer is at it’s heart, worship – and at it’s edge, mission. In between, God meets our needs.  Communion with God, not prayer requests, is the heart of prayer.

Prayer:  O God, may we see by your Spirit and by your Word, that prayer truly is the heartbeat of the believer who is effective and alive in the Spirit.  Your Word does tell us that “we have not, because we do not ask”.  So, we ask You first for contentment in You, for hope of a future reflected to us in Your Word.  As we pray, build up the muscle of trust and faith in You, in Your Word. We are so in need of Your Presence through prayer, yet we often find our prayers reduced to grumbling, complaining meanderings of self-centered petitions.  Give us the endurance to wait until you come and commune with us, overwhelming our hearts with Your loving, living Presence.  There is much to be accomplished for You and the Kingdom you have entrusted to our hands.  Lead us on in this world of hurt and pain, so we stand as beacons of hope and instruments of help for others along the way.  We humbly ask these petitions in the Name above all names, (our own included) the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.  Amen!

 

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Everything Depends on God

Thesis #11: “The New Apostolic Epoch”   By: P. Douglas Small 

A thesis is a statement or theory that is put forward as a premise to be maintained or proven.  I believe the following thesis that I am about to read to you concerning prayer.  In the church, we do many things such as maintaining the buildings and grounds, keeping them clean, visiting the sick and needy, caring for those in need of care, disciplining, training, preaching the Gospel and a whole lot more.  The thesis I am presenting today – thesis # 11 – about prayer says this:

Jesus commissioned His disciples to go into all the world and preach the gospel.  First, they were to prayerfully wait in the Upper Room for empowerment by the Holy Spirit.  As they prayed, in accord, the Holy Spirit came.  In prayer, the church was birthed; and by prayer, it is sustained.  In prayer, it evidences its purest form – dependence on God (Mark 16:15; Luke 14:23; Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:7-8). There is no true church where there is not ongoing demonstrated, deep dependence on God in prayer – by its leaders and the church itself, gathered in prayer.

Prayer:  Lord, teach us to pray, knowing that everything depends upon YOU!  Give us the courage to resist the voices screaming at us to strike out on our own.  From the collective experiences we have had, and know of from others, we “know” enough to get ourselves into deep trouble.  We confess, as Your church, we need You!  So, we pray, knowing that everything depends upon You.

But, we are also willing to work!  Lead us, guide us by your Holy Spirit along the journey so that we don’t misstep, so that our work is not in vain.  Give us a determination to seek your face in all we do that birth a knowing in our knower that we are moving in the direction you are pleased with.

Over and over, You have proven Yourself to us in our feeble attempts to hold onto You.  We love You and cannot see the way without You.  We confess our need of Your Presence in all of life and “wait” on You in prayer to move in on us.  Thank You for Your unfailing love and sustaining grace. Be with us in the days ahead.  We believe these days are critical to the future of this work to which you have called us.  Help us to stay focused on them and on You to guide us through them.  In the Name of Your Son, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, our Savior and Lord we pray.  Amen!

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A Praying Church and a Praying Home

Thesis #9: “The New Apostolic Epoch”  By: P. Douglas Small

 

A thesis is a statement or theory that is put forward as a premise to be maintained or proved.  I believe the following thesis that I am about to read to you concerning prayer.  In the church, we do many things such as maintaining the buildings and grounds, keeping them clean, visiting the sick and needy, caring for those in need of care, discipling, training, preaching the Gospel and a whole lot more.  The thesis I am presenting today – thesis # 9 – about prayer says this:

“Back and forth, the people of God live between the two blessings, the praying home and the praying church; the personal family and the corporate.  Prayer constitutes both, drives the success of both, and invites God’s blessing on both.”

Prayer:  O Lord our Lord, we ask for your favor and blessing upon our families today.  Bless our homes to be places of great love and Christian communication.  Let our families find great consolation, comfort and direction from being a part of the home we are in.  We thank you for the haven our home is to us personally and ask as well that Your blessing always be available to any and all who pass through it’s doors.  May we be mindful of Your provision for us and honor you with regular, heartfelt, praise, prayer and worship in the place our family dwells.  Bless us, in our home, to be on the attack against the enemy of our family and all families in general.  Keep us in the victory of Christ, and by faith we apply the shed blood of Christ to the doorposts of our home for the protection we need against the enemy of our souls.

Thank you for the church, the body of Christ.  Thank You for the strength the church provides our family through fellowship, teaching, training, discipling and friendship.  We pray for the church to be a wellspring of refreshing for all families of the earth.  May the fountainhead of life through the name of Jesus Christ be manifest through the lives of each of us who have claimed allegiance through faith.  May we always be on the alert to opportunity for, as well as opposition to, the cause of Christ.

We submit our lives, to You and pledge to love You with all of our heart, all of our soul, all of our mind and with all of our strength.  Use us, for your glory, to expand the Kingdom of God in the earth.  Guide us by your Holy Spirit in that process as long as we live.  Receive us into Your Presence when the day of our departing from this world comes.  In Jesus Name we pray!  Amen and Amen!

 

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