PRAYER.

The first thing about prayer is why do we have to pray at all? The Lord created all things by his Word. Couldn't He just have to speak now to make things happen in the same way? Couldn't He send angels? Why does mankind have to play such a significant part in this, especially the affairs of the Almighty? These are not simply questions which concern us as Intercessors and Prayer Warriors, they are issues which should be of concern to all Christians and indeed mankind.

Prayer is the place whereby we have access to the Throne Room of our Heavenly Father. Here we learn the great privilege of intimacy with the Lord of all. Coupled with the His word in the Bible we may learn of Him and begin to grow spiritually. Whilst it is obviously the place where we may present our petitions, more importantly we may listen to the Father speaking to us. Prayer is the place where we receive our instructions for the day and find the way to a closer walk with our Master. It is also the place where we may find strength and refreshment to continue in the way.

Prayer is a simple thing. It requires no great powers of intellect. Hebrews Ch.10 v.19 tells us the way in to the Throne Room: by the Blood of Jesus. We know the first principle of our Christian faith in that Jesus died for us, that our sin might be forgiven. This give us the right of access. Of course we must remember what Jesus said, if we have anything against our brother, we must first make amends, then return. Jesus was referring particularly to people bringing gifts to the altar, however, the principle for us today is the same. If we want forgiveness of sin, then we must first forgive others. :There is no other way. Matthew Ch.5 V.23-24

Having forgiven, we may love others. The Lord having forgiven us, we may love Him. Worship, adoration and the love for our Heavenly Father is the way into the Throne Room. The loving, grateful heart is ready to receive more. So often our Father listens to our gripes and moaning with a heavy heart and does not see the faith necessary to grant our petitions. The loving heart expects only the good from a loving Father. A negative attitude suggests that not only are things bad as it is, but things will continue to be so. Thus we decide the matter for ourselves. Of course, there are occasions where out of love for His children the Father may override our negativity. However, when He does it is not possible for us to grow in faith.

Do we come in prayer for our own needs. We may do so, for it is the statement of our heart which is important. Jesus told us that our Heavenly Father knows all of our needs, we should simply trust Him for them. When presenting my own needs in prayer, I have found that so very often the Lord has rather different ideas as to what my true needs are than my desires. This is why listening is often more important than asking. When we listen we may discover that He is very concerned that we receive those things for which we ask, but there are things which prevent Him giving them. I have heard desperate people say, "I am going to batter Heaven tonight." Ask and keep on asking, true enough, the Lord likes to see determination, but never we must never be so busy asking that we have no time to listen. As we learn to do this and learn to live in accordance with the word the Lord gives us we grow. This is where we discover our fleshly nature and can allow the Father to cut away the things which hinder our growth. So many times I have come to prayer asking in desperation for the Lord to say, "Do you trust me?"

As prayer warriors we come to the place where the needs of others become more important to us, maybe more than our own. This where the principle of sacrificial love is crucial. We have to love those people we pray for. We cannot afford to be critical of our brethren in need of conviction, we have to love them. Neither can we have a down on those souls lost in the spirit of this world. The Lord loves sinners, not the self-righteous. When we pray for the lost sheep it is so necessary to know and experience the Father's heart and that begins with love. We may experience grief and sorrow, even for our brethren, but that always comes from love for those prayers to be answered. When we truly love the Lord and those people we present to Him, the privilege of knowing the Father's heart for them is ours.

As we walk farther down the path of faith in obedience to the Lord there may be hindrances to our prayer. They may well be from the enemy of our soul, in which case like Daniel we have to persist. We have to continue with bold determination, knowing who the winner is. However, we may have to accept that the hindrances are our own. We still have to know the cleansing power of the Blood in our own lives, lest the enemy pursue us. Let us still make space for the Lord to speak to us as we pray.

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