Posts Tagged ‘prayer’
By SANDY ROGER
Over the years I have become much more cautious about saying to people “I’ll pray for you”. I came to the realisation one day that so often it was merely a glib promise and once the conversation had passed, the intention also evaporated. Instead I now tend to say, “I will pray for you as often as I remember you”. That leaves the Holy Spirit free to bring people and events to mind at times which are in line with His purposes. Adapting this method has produced some remarkable results. It is very encouraging to meet up with or contact people for whom you have become particularly burdened only to discover that just at the time you strongly felt led to bring them to the Lord in prayer was when they were in great need of prayer support.
But side by side with this there has also developed the habit of creating a prayer list. The human memory is very unreliable at times and with the best intentions in the world it is impossible to carry around with us all the time everything that needs to be brought to God in prayer. There are great advantages in having a list to which you can regularly refer.
It is impossible for any one person to carry a prayer burden for every eventuality in the world. There is only one Person all-powerful and all-knowing who is able to carry the whole of humanity in His heart. But that does not mean we cannot have a share through prayer in what God is doing.
That is where my prayer list comes in handy. It is just a little notebook in which I jot down things that I want to remember regularly before the Lord; and over the years it has proved a very valuable tool.
It ensures that the things God has laid on my heart have a prior call on my praying. Well aware that I cannot pray for everyone and about everything, I trust the Lord to put into my mind the things that should take up my attention in the place of prayer. As situations change then so too does the priorities.
Tracking Answers to Prayer
It is always a great help to go back to the lists, perhaps weeks or months after they have ceased to be a prayer priority, and discover how the Lord has answered. I find that a great incentive to keep on praying, reasoning that if He has granted these requests then He will do the same for the things that are my current concern. There is nothing like concrete answers to prayer for encouraging you to pray all the more.
Specific and Structured
Like all Christians my mind sometimes wanders when I am praying. When that starts to happen then my praying becomes rather haphazard and lacking in focus. Having a list is a great antidote to that happening. The sheer discipline of working through a regular listing of concerns means that I can concentrate better and focus my prayers like a laser on the thing in hand. I have also discovered that the more specific I am in prayer the more easily I recognise the answers. Prayer is both asking and receiving, and the more definite we are in our asking the more definite God seems in His answering.
Discipline, Duty and Delight
When we come before the Lord in prayer the awareness of His felt presence is not always experienced by us. That does not mean He is not there. It is far more likely that we will fail to keep our regular rendezvous with Him than that He will break the appointment. There is a cost and a discipline involved in praying regularly for others and we must not expect always to be on cloud nine. I find it helpful to realise my responsibility to pray for others by remembering that if I fail in this area there may be no one else to bring that person before the Lord that day.
A friend of mine talks about this kind of praying as dynamic flexibility. It is more than merely working through a list and feeling that you have done your duty. It is a waiting on God in order to be swept up into His purposes. I read recently of Norman Grubb, the first General Secretary of WEC, saying at the start of every new day, “Good morning, God! What are you doing today? I want to be part of it. May I?” Surely there is nowhere that we demonstrate we are co-workers together with God (2 Corinthians 6:1) more than when we are on our knees before Him on behalf of others?
Dr Sandy Roger is a former principal of the Faith Mission Bible College, Edinburgh. He is presently minister of a church in Coatbridge.
This article was published by The Faith Mission, Edinburgh, in FIRST! magazine January/February 2009
At the opening of Edinburgh Convention 2005, our General Director, JOHN TOWNEND, prayed for the convention, for the nation and for us all as individuals. As the meeting was recorded, we are able to print an extract here. This is so that all our readers may have the opportunity to join those of us who identified with John’s words that night, and that together, we may continue to pray for God’s blessing on The Faith Mission, our own lives and on our needy nation. – Ed.
Thank You, Father, that we don’t come before You because of who we are or what we’ve done, but because of the Lord Jesus Christ. Thank You that He was willing to take in His own body our sin and nail it to that awful cross at Calvary. Thank You that ‘there is therefore now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus’. Lord, we are a privileged people. You did not discard us, but You loved us and have visited us with Your grace and mercy.
Father, we surrender this convention into Your hands. Thank You it is not the Faith Mission’s convention but it is Yours. It is convened because You have a work to do during these days. We pray that we would take our hands off and that You may come in Your fullness and in the freedom of Your Holy Spirit to minister to the needs that You want to touch during these days. But, Lord, most of all, come to glorify Your Name; to bring honour to our Lord Jesus Christ.
Lord, thank You that You are a great God. Nothing is impossible with You and as we think of the need in our nation, we thank You that You also see individuals here, who are crying out for You to minister to some particular need in their heart and life. Thank You Lord that You care for us as individuals as well as communities of Your people. Lord, meet with us and have Your way.■
The 2011 Edinburgh Convention is planned for Tuesday 28 June-Sunday 3 July 2011.
For further information contact
The Convention Secretary
548 Gilmerton Road
Edinburgh EH17 7JD
Tel: 0131 672 2149This article was published by The Faith Mission, Edinburgh, in FIRST! magazine November/December 2005