Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Persisting in prayer

Persisting in prayer

Along with burrowing into the bible, I am hoping this will also be a year of persisting in prayer.

As well as being legalistic about bible reading, it’s so easy to be casual about prayer. I have spent hours creating great prayer lists and tables to pray through, and whole pages of verses to pray about various things. However, that does not mean I am a persistent prayer.

I was challenged by this at the CMS Summer Encounter Conference, where David Williams spoke of the parable of the persistent widow in Luke 18:1-8. His conclusions were 5 lessons about prayer:

  1. Persistent prayer is the fundamental expression of dependant faith.
  2. Persistent prayer is not about techniques or timing. Do not read books about prayer to learn how to pray, read books about God.
  3. Persistent prayer flows from a right view of God. God is nothing like the judge in this parable. Holding the right view of God is a battle of faith.
  4. Persistent prayer flows from a right view of ourselves. Just like the widow we are helpless and have no where to go. We have so many resources, we do not pray, because we do not feel that we need help. We must realise we have nothing without God.
  5. Persistent prayer seeks God’s justice achieved at the cross. Prayer asks for things to be the way God wants them to be, to be able to truly say ‘your will be done’.

So, this year I would like to become a persistent prayer.

I find it so easy to look at a list of prayer points, agree with them, but never pray the words themselves. To rely on the spirit interceding (Rom 8:28) when I can’t be bothered (which of course is not the point of that passage).

But actually stopping to pray, and pray for many and varied things – rather than my own little patch – is quite a challenge.

So, there are my challenges and goals for the year – to burrow into the bible and to persist in prayer. If you know me, feel free to ask how I’m going and I’ll do the same in return!

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