The Centrality of Prayer - 4
To strategise to leave God out; that is what prayerlessness means.
Strategising to leave God out; that is what little praying means.
Strategising to leave God out; that is what weak praying means.
Strategising to leave God out; that is what non-dominant praying means.
What if the Early church had not prayed? There would have been no Pentecost. It would have been a failed movement. It would not even have become a movement. What if those ten days and ten nights of unceasing praying had not been put in? The Holy Spirit would not have come. They would have failed hopelessly. The Lord would not have stretched forth His hand to heal. The Lord would not have stretched out His hand to grant that signs and wonders be done in the Name of His Holy Son. It would have died. But they prayed and they kept praying, and it became the priority of the leaders. And they turned the world the right side up.
My Beloved, who has bewitched you to do everything else except majoring in prayer? The dryness of your own spiritual life, the lack of depth, the lack of wealth, the lack of vision, your many years of going around the same spot; does it not tell you that you have missed it and that you should repent and repent? Now you should repent!
I want to read this excerpt:
“More recently, as a result of my studies on the prayer life of local churches, I have been forced, although reluctantly at first, to add a third item to a list of things a pastor should not delegate. The first two things – the pastor cannot delegate his leadership and he cannot delegate the vision. In helping pastors understand the dynamics of church growth for more than a quarter of a century I have concluded that many of them are spending too much of their time and energy on the wrong things. I therefore attempt to help them readjust their priorities of leadership. I constantly encourage pastors to delegate more and more of the things that they have been doing to gifted lay people.”
He is using the word “pastor” in terms of the leader of a local church.
“I quote the Bible to them and remind them that a major role of a pastor is to equip the saints for the work of the Ministry. I also advise them that two things they cannot delegate if their church is going to grow are their leadership and their faith or vision.”
You can’t delegate your vision. You can’t say, “This man will have faith for me.” You can’t say, “This man will see for me.” The leader’s responsibility is to communicate the vision. But you will only communicate that which you believe with all your heart. What are you prepared to die for, so that you ask about everybody, “Is he for the vision or against the vision, for the goal or against the goal?”
Thirdly, if the church is to become a house of prayer, the senior pastor must cast the vision and assume the leadership of the church’s prayer ministry.”
Until that happens to him, it will never become a house of prayer and the church will never be what God intended it to be. We have said in the past that change begins from the head. When change begins from the head and flows down, there is change. When it begins from down, it is a revolution. It can go in any direction. If the Head of State decrees, that decree can flow through the whole nation. But if the rascals just take on their weapons to change things and they go into the streets, you know what will happen. True change starts from the top and goes down. Then it flows, it reaches out and is maintained and is established! Without that, there can be some praying here and some praying there, but you will never have a praying church, because the senior pastor takes the church to what he is given to; to what is uppermost in his heart. That is what he drives through. That is what he is burdened for.
“All the church members should know without question that their pastor has prioritised prayer in his or her personal prayer life and personal ministry.”
All the church members must know that the senior pastor has prioritised prayer in his personal life and ministry!
“If this is the case, it will constantly surface in the pulpit. Hardly a sermon would be preached without acknowledging the power of prayer. In casual conversation the pastor will turn the agenda to prayer as frequently as possible, because it is boiling from inside.”
What the leader is mad about will come out. The life, the documents, everything must say it. Christian Missionary Fellowship International must become a Prayer Movement.
“If the church must become a house of prayer, the senior pastor must assume the leadership of the church’s prayer ministry.”
The arm of the flesh must fail! The arm of the flesh must fail, and fail hopelessly!
The Lord Jesus Christ is on the throne. He does not say, “I gave the devil a technical knock-out on the Cross. I released the Spirit upon the apostles and upon the church. I can relax.” But as the Bible says, “He liveth ever more to intercede” (Hebrews 7:25b). The Son of God on the throne! After crushing the devil on the earth, after having released the Holy Spirit, with people on earth filled with the Holy Spirit, the Son of God is on the throne in unceasing intercession. So, when somebody thinks that he can succeed without praying, he is telling Jesus, “I know better than You. You are stupid. I am wise.” On the throne prayer is not the priority of Jesus Christ; it is His only issue. At the throne, prayer is not the priority of Jesus Christ; it is His only preoccupation. At the throne, prayer is not the priority of Jesus Christ; it is His only activity. It is His sole preoccupation. It is the only thing to which He is given. It is His only guarantee of the success of His work on the Cross.
Jesus Christ is on the throne. “He liveth evermore to intercede.” O, “He is able to save to the uttermost.” He is able to save to the uttermost, “because He liveth evermore to intercede!” Take away His living evermore to intercede and His work becomes of little consequence. O, “He liveth evermore to intercede.” He does not say, “Well, God will do it.”
“Therefore He is able to save completely, to the uttermost, those who come to Him” ( Hebrews 7:25).
They come to Him and then He saves them to the uttermost, because He knows they can come to Him and not be saved. He knows they can come to Him and only be partially saved. He is able to save to the uttermost, to save completely, to save perfectly, to save thoroughly, because He liveth evermore to intercede! Listen, Brethren, if language means anything, it is saying, “He is able to save to the uttermost because He liveth evermore to intercede.” So, without the intercession there is no saving to the uttermost.
If you do not pray and prioritise praying, first of all, in your personal lives, you will become Judases to betray the flock. I confronted a Brother in one country and said, “Brother, you don’t pray.” He said, “Yes Brother, you are right. I am not a man of prayer. I am just a Prayer-mobiliser. My job is to mobilise people to pray.” I said, “They will not pray because your life is a message.” Your life is your message!
Say, “My life is a message!
My life is my message!”
The Lord Jesus Christ could not count on past victories. He could not say, “O, I dealt with the devil on the Cross!” He knew that grounds that are won through prayer must be maintained through prayer.
Grounds that are won through prayer must be maintained through prayer!
Conquest carried out through prayer must be maintained through prayer!
The Enemy uprooted through prayer must remain uprooted through prayer!
People won to Christ through prayer must be maintained in Christ through prayer!
Personal victories entered into through prayer must be maintained through prayer!
And where the prayer weakens, gains begin to be lost.
Jesus is able to save to the uttermost. Why? Because “He liveth evermore to intercede.” Take away the intercession, even for Him, the Son of God, and all begins to crumble. If you don’t have credentials in prayer, you have credentials in the flesh. The one who prays confesses, “I cannot do it! I am not able to do it! All of my strength is the strength of the flesh. It will fail! All my strength is the power of the flesh. It will fail hopelessly! I must lay hold on God! I must lay hold on God, because until God steps in there is no victory.”
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