Thought for the day: I hear so many of you complaining or commenting about how dark it's getting in this world, and rightfully so, or even how much Satan is attacking you, how life is the pits, things are getting bad, etc. We all know that God uses trials to draw us closer to Him, and to loosen our grip on this world. Therefore, is it possible that these trials are meant to get our attention because perhaps we don't pray enough? And I'm not talking about quantity. I'm talking about quality. I've seen people do in 15 minutes of prayer what takes me six hours to do, and some can pray for days and never get a breakthrough.
So why is that? I again go back to the idea of quality. When talking with God, are you offering Him popcorn prayer or a great big 5lb Porterhouse with a mountain of potatoes? Or to use the analogy of chocolate, are you offering Him milkduds or Sambirano? I think if we were to be honest, most of us offer Him milkdud prayers at best. I'm not saying that praying better will make the trials go away. They might, but more likely than not they will become easier, even to the point of either being welcome, or of such little concern that they are a side thought.
In other words, the greater the quality, the lighter the load. How do I know this? Just look at Paul and all that he and others, like Silas and Barnabas who traveled with him, as well as the disciples, went through and how they handled it. It's clear from scripture that they had great quality in their prayer. How do we know this? They told us in their own words.
James 1:2 - "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds"
I think if you read the message here, it's two fold. One, if you're suffering trials for your faith, such as some of you are, with Satan going after you and your family with an endless carpet bombing campaign, then be of great joy because it means you are rightly serving God. And I'm not thinking of the times when you suffer because of your sins. It's pretty clear and easy to know when your trials are because you sinned, and when it's because you're serving God. So when you honestly serve God and you suffer trials, then count it all joy. But now at the same time I think the other side of this message speaks of also being able to dance in the flames, much as Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah did in the fire Nebuchadnezzar built, when you go through your own fiery trials.
That then brings me back to my original point. We do in fact need quantity in our prayers, as much praying brings about a good relationship with God and gives us strength for the trials. However, the definition of "much" is very closely tied to the quality of any prayer you lift up to God. So how does one pray in order to get the best quality in their prayers? My suggestion? Pray the Lord's Prayer. I'm not saying to recite it in wrote manner as some do. I'm saying, use it the way the Lord intended, as an outline and a guide for how you should pray.
Matthew 6:9-13 (KJV) - After this manner therefore pray ye: (Hint, He's giving you an outline for prayer!!)
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. (Hint: No matter how tempting it is to put yourself first in prayer, ALWAYS, ALWAYS start out with praise to God, no matter how bad it is, or how much it hurts, praise Him first and thoroughly!)
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. (ie, pray God's will in your life, on everyone around you, and absolutely on everyone who lives on this planet. This is often a good place to begin doing intercession. However, ALWAYS PUT GOD AND OTHERS FIRST when praying, and then yourself last.)
Give us this day our daily bread. (pray for your daily blessings, and NEVER take them for granted. ALWAYS thank Him for every single blessing you get each day, including that daily 24 hour measure of time He gives you each day)
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. (be sure to settle up with God here, both asking for His forgiveness, and also forgiving others who have or may have offended or sinned against you. Be very, very, very forgiving of others, as you have been forgiven by God of FAR, FAR more sins and trespasses that anyone could ever hope to do against you)
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: (pray for protection from both physical harm, and any temptations the Devil may throw your way. IE, armor up spiritually here, perhaps pray the armor of God verses.)
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. (and, of course, finish up with praise, just like you started your prayer with.)
And with that, I will leave you to think about this. Remember, prayer is only as powerful as we will let it be. So always strive for quality in your prayer, and not just quantity, as the latter lends itself to vain repetition, but the fore leads to a far more intimate walk with your Creator God. :) So again, remember, quality over quantity. :)