"WHY IS IT SO HARD FOR CHRISTIANS TO PRAY?"

 

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7)

"Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. I vouch for him that he is working hard for you..." (Colossians 4:12-13)

 

"Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you.  Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other." (I Thessalonians 5:12-13)

 

"Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from ourselves, but our sufficiency comes from God." (2 Corinthians 3:5)

Dear Calvary Chapel,

 

Today's "A word from the Word" is a borrowed devotional from the ministry of Pastor David Wilkerson that Brother Ken Fletcher sent to me.  David went home to the be with the Lord on April 27, 2011.

Brother Ken and his wife Donna, as everyone at Calvary Chapel knows, have been a tremendous 'spiritual spark plugs' for our fellowship.  More then any who have served here before them, they have taken the call to prayer so deeply to heart, and have faithfully led several weekly prayer meetings at our church every week for manymonths.  Every Monday PM at 6:00 pm, you will find the Fletcher's the first arrivals at Calvary Chapel to call out to God for the needs of our church body, and for the move of His Spirit among us.  Every Sunday AM, you will find them gathered at 8:30 am in the church's prayer room seeking God with others for His blessing on the church service, His anointing on me, for the help of His Spirit for all who will labor and serve in children's ministry and on the worship team and on the greeters and ushers, and for various needs within the body.  Then again, every Wed. PM at 6:15, you will find them again bowing their heads before the Father in the prayer room, calling out to God for the work of His Spirit on our Wed. PM mtg, on the Kids and workers in Awanas, on all of us who will gather, and for various needs within the body.Neither Ken (nor Donna) had any idea I would be sending this out to you when Ken thought to send it to me.  But I feel it is so important that our church understand why the Fletcher's are such tireless workers and such a blessing in our church...  first and foremost, it is because they truly pray!  The energy and love that comes at all of us from them is a by-product of a decision they made to answer the call to prayer.  It is God at work in their lives, enabling, strengthening, giving capacity, imparting love, concern, desire, etc... they are not sufficient in themselves to have given us all that they have.  What we have received, and continue to receive from them is the work of the Spirit which is the by-product of choosing to answer the call of God to humbly and faithfully seek Him in corporate and personal prayer.

Now I have shared these things with you because I want you all to hear the heart of our elder, Ken Fletcher, in his short note to me after he read the devotional from David Wilkerson he sent to me (below)...

Pastor Mike,

I thought you might like this one!!   How can we get it across? We know it is true and want others to know as well!!

Ken Fletcher

Focus on those words, "How can we get it across?"  This is coming from the heart of a man who has seen, more closely then any of us, the direct benefit to people's lives at Calvary Chapel of seeking God in prayer.   Almost every week, Ken tells me yet another story of someone whom God has done something special for as the consequence of that person coming to one of the prayer meetings with a need. And He wants so badly, just like all of us who minister here at Calvary Chapel,  that NO ONE to miss out on what God has for you!

Neither Pastor Jay, Pastor Sonny, Ken, me, or any of the others who labor with us to care for Calvary Chapel are sufficient in ourselves to meet the needs of anyone.  The best thing we can contribute, is to point you to the One who is altogether sufficient!  And that, I pray, is what you will get out today's,  A word from The Word!

'til we finish the race,

Pastor Mike

TUESDAY, APRIL 2, 2013

 

WHY IS IT SO HARD FOR CHRISTIANS TO PRAY?

by David Wilkerson

[May 19, 1931 - April 27, 2011]

Scripture makes it clear that the answer to everything in our lives is prayer mixed with faith. The apostle Paul writes, "Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God" (Philippians 4:6). Paul is telling us, "Seek the Lord about every area of your life and thank Him ahead of time for hearing you!"

Paul emphasizes that we are always to pray first and not as a last resort—going to our friends first, then to a pastor or counselor, and finally ending up on our knees. Jesus tells us, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matthew 6:33). We are to go to the Lord first!

Our ministry receives heartrending letters from multitudes of broken Christians. Families are breaking up; people who walked faithfully with Christ for years are living in fear and defeat. Each of these people has been overcome by something—sin, depression, worldliness, covetousness—and year after year, their problems seem to get worse.

Yet, what shocks me most about their letters is that very few of these Christians ever mention prayer. They turn to tapes, books, counselors, call-in radio programs, therapies of all kinds, but rarely to prayer.

Why is it so hard for Christians to seek God for their desperate needs when they are in times of crisis? After all, the Bible stands as one long testimony that God hears the cries of His children and answers them with tender love.

  • "The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry" (Psalms 34:15).

  • "The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles" (verse 17).

  • "This is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: and if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him" (1 John 5:14-15).

  • "All things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive" (Matthew 21:22).

These promises are overwhelming evidence of God's care

SWEET HOUR OF PRAYER
By William W. Walford

Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
That calls me from a world of care,
And bids me at my Father’s throne
Make all my wants and wishes known.
In seasons of distress and grief,
My soul has often found relief,
And oft escaped the tempter’s snare,
By thy return, sweet hour of prayer!

Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
The joys I feel, the bliss I share
Of those whose anxious spirits burn
With strong desires for thy return!
With such I hasten to the place
Where God my Savior shows His face,
And gladly take my station there,
And wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer!

Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
Thy wings shall my petition bear
To Him whose truth and faithfulness
Engage the waiting soul to bless.
And since He bids me seek His face,
Believe His Word and trust His grace,
I’ll cast on Him my every care,
And wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer!

Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
May I thy consolation share,
Till, from Mount Pisgah’s lofty height,
I view my home and take my flight.
This robe of flesh I’ll drop, and rise
To seize the everlasting prize,
And shout, while passing through the air,
“Farewell, farewell, sweet hour of prayer!”

(Rarely is there something so good and true and so needed to be heard and understood that it is hard not to highlight... ALL OF IT! In these words, I have found such a thing.

 


-- Pastor Mike)