Labor of Prayer Posted bySaraFebruary 4, 2009Posted inPrayer More things are wrought by prayer than the world dreams of. Alfred, Lord Tennyson Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading... Related
15 thoughts on “Labor of Prayer”
I’d like to submit some scriptures and footnotes to go along with Alfred’s quote, here. Read with me: Col. 4: 2 ” Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.” Footnotes for this verse says: “Have you ever grown tired of praying for something or somone? Paul says we should ‘devote’ ourselves to prayer and be ‘alert’ in prayer. Our persistence is an expression of our faith that God answers our prayers. Faith shouldn’t die if the answers come slowly, for the delay may be God’s way of working His will in our life. When you feel tired of praying, know that God is present, always listening, always answering – maybe not in ways you had hoped, but in ways that He knows are best.”
Phil. 4:6-7 says, ” Don’t worry abut anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Than you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Footnotes for this verse, “Imagine never worrying about anything! It seems like an impossiblility; we all have worries on the job, in our homes, at school. But Paul’s advice is to turn our worries into prayers. Do you want to worry less: Then pray more! Whenever you start to worry, stop and pray.”
Luke 11:5-8 ” Then, teaching them more about prayer, He used this story: ‘Suppose you went to a friend’s house at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. You say to him, ‘A friend of mine has just arrived for a visit, and I have nothing for him to eat.’ And suppose he calls out from his bedroom, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is locked for the night, and my family and I are all in bed. I can’t help you.’ But I tell you this – though he won’t do it for friendship’s sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence.” Footnotes for this verse: “Persistence, or boldness, in prayer overcomes our insensitivity, not God’s. To practice persistence does more to change our heart and mind than His, and it helps us understand and express the intensity of our need. Persistence in prayer helps us recognize God’s work.”
Humm, “More things are wrought by prayer than the world dreams of.”
Speaking about bread – In my study by Beth Moore entitle A Heart Like His I just studied that when David was running from Saul that David requested five loaves of bread from the priest. The priest only had bread that was Bread of His Presence. God had made a covenant with David. For David this meant that God was upholding his covenant with David by being in his life. He had not forgotten David. Wow! God was wrapping Him in HIS PRESENCE. Beth referenced Psalm 31-16 “Let your face shine on your servant save me in your unfailing love.” Beth says the word for face is panch, the original word for presence in the phrase “the bread of the Presence.” God was telling David He was pledging His presence to him and promising to be his complete sustainer. Beth Moore uses the following scripture, “Christ is the bread of God’s presence to us. His scars are placed before God as a perpetual memorial that the wages of our sins have been paid. Christ said, “This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world” (John 6:51) Those who have eaten the Bread of His Presence enjoy the same everlasting covenant He made with David thousands of years ago. He renews His promise to us in Hebrews 13:5: “Never will I leave you: never will I forsake you.” John 6:47 reminds us that…he who believes has everlasting life. I am the bread of life.
Bread of His Presence – He is with me! He is there all the time! Yes! His presence is my refuge. Jesus being the bread of life takes on a whole new meaning to me – His presence is with me! He is with me when I pray, He is with me when I go about my daily life. God thank you for THE BREAD of Your Presence when I kneel and pray. Give me the right words to say as I am in your presence. Bread from now on when I look upon it will be a symbol to me OF BEING IN YOUR PRESENCE.
We are so blessed that we can ask anything of the Father in prayer in Jesus’ Name according to His will and He will give it. Jesus said this in the Gospel of John, “And I will do, I Myself will grant, whatever you ask in My Name so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. ( He repeats it in the next verse) ” Yes, I Myself will grant whatever you ask in My name.”
A little later He says, “And when that time comes, you will not need to ask anything of ME, for I tell you that MY Father will grant you whatever you ask in MY Name. …but now, ask and keep on asking and you will receive that your joy may be full and complete. At that time you will ask and pray in MY Name and I AM saying that I will not have to ask the Father on your behalf for the Father Himself loves you because you have loved and believed in ME.” So He will grant what you ask in the Name of Jesus according to the Word of God. WHAT A GREAT PROMISE!!
God does all the work, we just do the WORD which says, to pray without ceasing and in everything with prayer and supplication make our wants and needs known to God and He will hear from Heaven. What a GLORIOUS GOD! Who can resist such love? Why would we want to?
Needles, your footnote, “Our persistence is an expression of our faith that God answers our prayers.” is a like a shot in the arm, giving us the motivation we may need to press on. To add to all the thoughts and comments above is Luke 1:1: “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.”
(2-8)”He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’
“For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!’ And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”
Psalm 145:16 “You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.”
What a profound scripture to think about. God’s open hand is very powerful.
In order for God’s hand to open, it must move. I have heard it said that prayer moves the hand of God. I wonder if prayer influences God’s hand to open?
Speaking of Prayer:
God rewards those who faithfully serve Him and pray with consistency and with diligence. A case in point, in a real-life scenario…. my brother who is a deacon in his church has been faithfully serving the poor and homeless for his church and faithfully attending the services held by his pastor, not only on Sundays but the especially dynamic prayer service on Monday nights. That’s when the concerns of the church and the personal requests of the congregation are addressed and lifted up in a powerful entreaty to the Throne Room of God. There’s where requests for salvation of loved ones, prayers of healing and deliverance, financial concerns, employment requests, family matters and many other personal matters are attended to and agreed upon in prayer by the pastor and the faithful pray-ers of the Body of Christ, in that church. And my brother rarely ever misses those prayer sessions where he helps intercede for those brothers and sisters that are in need of prayer and for the ministry of his church.
When recently, my faithful brother had to spend a couple of days in the hospital, suddenly the Lord sent a plethora of members to visit and pray for him, including three pastors, two of whom he had not seen for several years. But the Lord sent then and one in particular, right to my brother’s front door where that pastor lay hands on him and prayed for his total and complete healing.
We never know how or through whom God will reward us. We never know when or what modus operandi HE will use. But we do know that He is the Rewarder of those who diligently seek HIM. We know He rewards those who OBEY His Word to not forsake the gathering together of the themselves with the faithful, with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
In THE BODY OF CHRIST, our HEAD, Jesus Christ has made excellent provision for HIS flock. He has set anointed and gifted pastors and Preachers over HIS congregation to teach, lead, guide, instruct, minister to, comfort and inspire to follow the precepts set down by THE LORD. We are cheating ourselves besides being disobedient,when we do not partake of the supernatural services provided by BODY OF CHRIST, which are there for our exhortation and growth in the Spirit.
My brother was so greatly encouraged by the manifestation of GOD’S love to him through the congregation, his spiritual family. And his healing is coming forth, speedily. Praise God for His mercy and provision.
Prayer is so important in our daily lives. It’s how we communication with our Lord. By bowing our heads, we are dialing God’s number. The best thing about this is his phone is never busy. I can think many different times that someone’s prayers made a difference in my life. My parents talk to God all the time. My Dad keep a prayer journal when I was in high school. He would write down his prayers and when God answered them, he would check them off and put them on a praise list. I remember, one time I came home and noticed his tire was flat. I changed his tire without telling him. He was so excited. He told me that he had put his flat tire on the prayer list and God answered his prayer by using me to change his tire. He was overjoyed and praising the Lord. I’ve seen this same man, my Dad, getting on his knees every night to say his prayers. This is not a big deal for most, but father has rheumatoid arthritiis. I have seen the time when his joints were so painfully inflammed, that it took everything he had to walk across the floor. It never stopped him from getting on his knees and calling out to God. Some days it takes alittle longer to get off his knees. I will never forget the time I went into labor with my second son. I was seven months pregnant and I began contracting. I call my mom at 5:00 AM and told her something was wrong. My husband and I lived at the beach. I was a stay at home mom and my husband was a owner and captain of a charter boat. He had a charter that morning, he canceled his charter and took me to the hospital. It took an hour and a half to get to the hospital. By the time I got to the hospital, I was 6 cm dilated. This wasn’ t good because I was so early. My doctor was extremely concerned. He wanted to fly me to another hospital but was unable to. I rode rescue to Sentera Hospital that was connected to Kingsdaughters (children hospital). They had one available room left. By the time I got to the hospital I was fully dilated and in a tremdous amount of pain. My Dad was scheduled to go on a Teenage Christian retreat, as a Spiritual Director. He called me at the hospital and told me that he couldn’t do anything at the hospital to help me and he felt he needed to go on this retreat and pray. They put me in a delivery room and waited. The longer we could hold off the delivery, the better chance our son had. The doctors had given me medicines to help develop our sons lungs and they told me to try to hold off as long as possible so, Luke would have a better chance to breath without a machine. It was a very serious situation, that I couldn’t “FIX” on my own. My Dad called every chance he got. Everyone in the retreat was praying. They were praying in shifts. Someone was praying 24 hours a day for me and my unborn son, Luke. I had been in hard labor for three days. (Thank you Jesus for pain medicines) They had me on medicine to help control my contractions, but it also relaxed my muscles to the extreme. I had to have help to turn over. My entire body felt like I had an elephant sitting on top of me. I was exhausted. On the third day, I called my mom in the room. I told her that I felt as light as a feather. The elephant was gone and I could hardly feel the bed under my back. I told her that God has spoke to my heart and my son was going to be okay and I was ready to have him. My mom began to cry. She told me that my dad had sat in a prayer circle (in my place) and those counslers and teenagers, laid their hands on him and prayed out to God for me and my unborn son. This was happening at the same time God lifted the elephant off of me. I told my mom to bring me the doctor to deliver our son. When he was born, the cord was wrapped tightly around his neck 3 times. The doctors were surprised. Luke was never in distress during this time. I had about 15 doctors and nurses in my room. The Kingsdaughters doctors and nurses were there waiting. When Luke was born, they took him and worked on him. They were surprised how well he looked. They had a tiny ventilator ready to help Luke breath. They never had to put it on my baby. The Kingsdaughter’s staff members decided he could stay in the intermediate ICU and he was not critical. I had delivered a healthy 3 lb. 14 ounce baby boy. God answered his phone, and took care of everything. He lifted me, when I couldn’t hold my head up and he never left me. He stayed up all night answering His calls. So, whether it is as simple as changing a tire or as complicated as an early birth, He is always there. Thank you Jesus for my Mom and Dad who are not afraid to give You a call and thank you Jesus for my eight year old son, who is a walking blessing from Heaven.
Thanks for sharing your story, Chickenfarmer. I have seen your beautiful son and he is a darling. Thank God that He answers prayer. HE is only too glad to grant the requests we bring HIM if in faith we pray for His will. And He does answer prayer. Living, lively Luke is a marvelous testimony to that!!
God didn’t stop answering our prayers… As I mentioned above, my husband and I owned a charter boat. We took people fishing for a living. We worked together before our children were born. My husband was the captain and I was the mate. All this changed after our children. My husband ran trips and worked in a pizza place part time everyday but Sundays. This was the Lords day and our time together as a family. Others fleets critizied us for taking off Sundays, but the Lord blessed us for doing so. The year Luke was born, we had a tough year. We had a 671 Detroit (single-screw) Diseal engine that we babied. We had some major engine issues several months before the birth of our son. When you are a fisherman, when the engine stops, so does the money. We had our engine repaired and we began fishing as soon as it was fixed. My husband had been fishing for about a week, when we had to stop due to a hurricane. It was weeks before he was able to get back in the ocean. It seems like we had many storms that year. When your boat is not able to get in the ocean, the money stops coming in. After a hurricane, it sometimes takes awhile for the ocean to calm down and then you have to relocate the fish for the charter. This takes some time. God was still in control… and was still blessing us.. even in our tough times. God provided a way for all our bills to get paid and food to eat, even when we were struggling. Then Luke was born a premie. We were so thankful that he was alive and well. The first bill we recieve was over $100,000. This was alot of money, but it didn’t scare God. Luke was in ICU for about two months. Our bill was over $300,000. This didn’t scare God either. We had insurance that paid 80% of this bill. This still left us with a big bill and we had already lost some of our season due to weather and engine issues. Little did we know, God had not hung up yet. He was still on the line. God provided a way. He took care of everything. We were able to take care of the entire bill and continue to eat and pay our bills….. Praise God. Thank you God for answering our prayers to the fullest.
Hey, First Mate, Teacher, Nurse, wife, mother, daughter, you sure have a plate full for a young lady. Your adventures remind me of young man named, Rabbi Jesus, that walked along the sea of Galilee and had a reputation for doing miracles. He saw some young men and stopped and said:
“’Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will make you fishers of men.’ At once they
left their nets and followed him.” – Mark 1:17-18 When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him. (NIV)
Today, we also know Jesus as God and He is still walking the sea calling men and women to drop what they are doing and take time to follow Him. Like Chickenfarmer He has a way out for each of us. When I read the above scripture that says “drop your nets” I hear Jesus saying drop the ‘safety nets’ that you are so focused on, like your fishing boat that won’t go, sickness that won’t heal, like your 401K that is dribbling away and come and follow my ways and I will meet you at your point of need and as a bonus make you fishers of men.
Also, MG’s brother’s story gives another account of following Him. He may have been in the hospital with a serious condition but those fishers of men were there on behalf of God meeting his needs with prayer and care.
Today, it is so comforting to know that we know the man that calms the seas of our lives. I hope if you find yourself in a place that you just can’t ‘fix it’ anymore that you will look to the ONE that can. His name is Jesus. Just call Him by name and He will drop a line of Hope just for you.
Needles, as I read and reread the verse you have quoted, Col. 4: 2 ” Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.” I can’t seem to get past the word ‘devote’, dictionary…”something to) give all or a large part of one’s time or resources to (a person, activity, or cause).” Now that calls for a lot of action, doesn’t it?
Yep………..”pray without ceasing”, God says.
Persistence, steadfastness in prayer even as the winds blow furiously seems to be the heart of the prayer warriors that I have read about above. The warrior gives the troubles unto the Lord. The warrior knowing the winds are blowing puts his/her confidence in Jesus who can handle it all. Our earthly bodies may tremble but our hearts and faith are focused on the one who can remedy the situation and the glory goes to Jesus who did it all.
Recently my sister’s husband was told that he needed open heart surgery and that if he had had a heart attack he would have died. Our church group at CCI prayed and prayed for a successful surgery. He went through it beautifully and now they are telling him that he is doing so well that they are amazed at his progress. Praise God that he has extended Ron’s time to know him better and for the testimony of his healing.
Thedailylilies have a beloved intercessor named Hazel who is like a light of God. She fell and many other things happened to her. She was not expected to leave a nursing home. We at CCI prayed for her healing and going home again. She is now home with her daughter. She gives praise to Jesus. We give thanks that this powerful intercessor has been touched by Jesus and Jesus is given the glory wherever she goes. She has touched many who may never have heard how great Jesus is.
How many times has God placed upon our hearts someone to pray for or a situation to pray for. We storm the heavens in our prayer – perhaps days or months and then we are released. Years later we may or may not find the reason for such intensity of our prayers. Praying is obedience without questioning the prayer that God has laid upon our hearts. God has chosen us to be apart of the moving of his hand in the situation. More things thus like Tennyson says is wrought by prayer than we can imagine.
Chickenfarmer said, “my Dad, getting on his knees every night to say his prayers. This is not a big deal for most, but father has rheumatoid arthritis. I have seen the time when his joints were so painfully inflamed, that it took everything he had to walk across the floor. It never stopped him from getting on his knees and calling out to God. Some days it takes a little longer to get off his knees.”
Chickenfarmer, please say thank you to your Dad from all of us for modeling prayer for us both in posture and consistenly. Jesus gave us a model prayer to pray. Your Dad has modeled the way to stay steady in our prayers. Thank You Dad!