I choose the frontier of prayer
Published 2:12 am Saturday, March 7, 2009
I am taking last Saturday’s column seriously. In that article I sought to summarize some unexplored frontiers that challenge true believers to venture further into the essentials of the Christian life. I suggested the frontiers of (1) walking in the Spirit, (2) prayer, (3) meditating in God’s word, (4) living the cross, (5) living by faith, (6) servant hood and (7) personal witness/disciple making.
Out of these unexplored territories I have chosen to explore further in the frontier of prayer. I believe the Lord is calling/leading/impressing me in that direction for definite reasons which I will explain.
Prayer relates to and under girds every other frontier I have listed. Jesus said that prayer was a prerequisite for additional experiences with the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13; 24:49). The New Testament records experiences with the Holy Spirit as a result of prayer or in a time of prayer (Acts 2:1-4; 4:31; 13:2-4). Prayer is also necessary for successful meditation in God’s word (Psalm 119:39). Prayer was necessary for Jesus before He took up his cross to die for us (Matthew 26:39). Prayer will be necessary for us that we might live the cross for Him (Romans 6:11). Prayer relates to living by faith (Mark 9:24; Luke 17:5; Ephesians 3:20-21). Servant actions by Jesus were preceded by “rising up a great while before day, and going out into a solitary place, He prayed” (Mark 1:35). Then He spent a busy day serving the Father, multitudes and individuals. A servant heart was produced in the Apostle Peter in a time alone in prayer (Acts 10:7-16). Successful personal witnessing and disciple making was preceded by prayer (Acts 4:31).
But the simple truth is that what needs to happen in my life, in the life of my family members, in my church and in the life of unbelievers: only God can do and it relates to prayer beyond which I have yet experienced.
Since prayer had such a prominent place in the life of my Lord Jesus, how can I afford to neglect prayer when He said, “Follow me.”
Prayer became an important part of my life as a youth and has continued to be to this very day. But at this point in my journey I not only need a renewal in the area of prayer but I need a transformation in my prayer relationship with God into a frontier I have never experienced before. So, I begin by praying, “Lord, not only do I ask you to teach me about prayer but teach me to experience prayer in ways I have never known before.”
I am aware that in this commitment I will meet strong opposition from the body in which I live, from the crowded schedule and responsibilities that are mine and from good things that are enemies of the best. But God is calling me to the commitment and He will enable me to do it. What new frontier will you choose?
– Charles Christmas is a religion columnist for The Clanton Advertiser. His column appears each Saturday.