Friday, July 27, 2007

2 Chronicles 7:14

2 Chronicles 7:14-“…if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

I’ve forgotten how to pray.

I know that it’s just talking to God like you would the person sitting next to you. I know that it’s not a big theatrical production. I know that it’s the simplest thing in the world to do.

Yet, I’ve forgotten how. Somewhere, along the way, I missed something.

You see, when I mean that I’ve forgotten how to pray, I mean that I don’t remember that prayer is not meant to be selfish. I’m not supposed to just pray for me and mine. I’m not just supposed to toss up a prayer for everyone else around me in a general way and hope that God miraculously blesses them.

I’m to pray for those around me, without ceasing. There are plenty of examples in the Bible of people whose prayer life existed outside of their own four walls. I’m to imitate them, as they imitate Christ.

I mean, God even had Jesus give us a model prayer to use when we seek Him in prayer. Many people know the Lord’s Prayer, but they take it to mean LITERALLY that is what they should pray.

But the Bible states that Jesus said, “In this manner, therefore, pray…” He didn’t give us a rote set of verses to recite in the throne room. He gave us a MODEL to guide our prayer life.

I don’t know exactly when I drifted away. I know I did, I just can’t pinpoint when. Of course, that’s the design of the enemy, isn’t it? Don’t come out in the open and do something like that; instead, slowly lead them one step at a time, not even realizing how far from the boat they are drifting.

Have you forgotten how to pray? Have your prayers become enamored with your problems and your desires and the things you want in life? Have you missed God’s greater calling in prayer by wrapping it in a cloak of self-centeredness and getting what you alone need?

I realize that some of the greatest times of success in my life have been when I stopped focusing on the things I’m going through, and expand my horizons. When I begin to pray and seek and minister to those around me that I am in contact with every day, I find I am more victorious in my own life.

And by the way, the phrase “those around me” doesn’t JUST mean my family. It means my co-workers, my neighbors, my friends, my church, my pastor, my small group, my country, my President…everyone.

It doesn’t mean stopping up the Holy Spirit and confining Him to just my small corner of the world. I’ve got news for me and you as well; the Universe DOES NOT revolve around us. God loves us all. And He wants us to care for everyone around us.

I love science fiction novels. I just finished reading a Star Wars series. In the books, there was a creature that was given the name, ysalamiri. It was a non-aggressive creature. It had all kinds of predators, but no real defenses. It did, however, have a peculiar ability.

You see, the planet it inhabited, the predators searched out prey by using the Force. (EVERYONE knows what the Force is, right?) The ysalamiri had the innate ability to PUSH back the Force, to create a void in which they could NOT be sensed. So, the predators that hunted them, couldn’t find them.

Better yet, the ability multiplied as they congregated together. Meaning, the more of them were located in an area, the bigger the shield of protection could grow.

Imagine if God’s people would use their innate ability to pray for each other and put up a protective shield around each other. Think about if every Christian started praying for each other, of how large the bubble of protection would become over our nation.

Think about how much of the world we could cover, if we prayed correctly. And think of all the enemy’s servants, searching around for us, not being able to get to anyone. And if they searched out the weak, the prayer covering would protect them because they would be in the blind spot.

As the song goes, “What if His people prayed?”

Be blessed in the Lord today.

Bo J.

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