PrayerPower – Consequences
By Mervyn Morelock, Lt. Colonel
Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayer, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life!” (Phil. 4:6-7 MSG)
I recently read an article quoting President Obama as saying, “Elections have consequences.”
The article concerned the 14 Wisconsin senators who fled the state instead of voting on a bill that would allegedly have saved taxpayers $330 million and helped close a $3 billion state deficit but would eliminate decades-old union bargaining rights.
“They hightailed it to Illinois.”
The author of the article said, “If these 14 legislators, who have abdicated their duty as elected public servants, won’t get back to work on the people’s business, it’s time they found new jobs.”
We don’t yet know the consequences that will come to those legislators who abdicated their responsibilities as public servants.
I don’t know much about the political reasons these folks had for abandoning their duty, but some questions occurred to me: What happens when we as Christians abdicate our privilege to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with the lost and hurting, and what happens when we do not pray?
The privilege of prayer
An officer friend recently shared her chagrin about a lady who had requested prayer for her husband. She said, with some amazement in her voice, “She asked me to pray for her husband, and I said I would. Now I’m thinking, I lost an opportunity! I should have prayed right there!”
Haven’t you had that same experience? We need to take advantage of every moment to pray!
The theme verse for the Global Call to 24/7 Prayer is 2 Chron. 7:14. When Solomon finished building the Temple of the Lord, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I have heard your prayer,” and then he said, “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land. I will listen to every prayer.”
The “consequences” of praying are that God does hear and answer the prayers of his people; our prayers make a difference! The consequences of not praying are that opportunities to bless and encourage can be lost…forever.
Testimonies from the mission field
Missionaries covet our prayers. In a recent prayer request letter, Captains Daniel and Anya Henderson, Western officers serving in Tallinn, Estonia, stated: “The month of November was the most disheartening month of the whole eight-and-a-half years we have been in Estonia.” They experienced complaints from leaders, the unexpected resignation of volunteer youth leaders, and a letter of resignation from their only full-time worker. “My prayer was short and agonizing. I could not bear these people any longer. I gave all that I had and if it is not enough, please take me out of here! God’s answer was filled with peace and hidden strength: ‘I will carry you through.’”
The December report was full of victory and praise. They wrote, “Next year…looks to be a wonderful and challenging year to consolidate our advances, and for planning for new advances. Thanks for your faithful prayers.”
As followers of Jesus Christ we need to allow the transforming power of God to shape our life and our prayers. When God’s people begin to pray, they align themselves with the intentions of his heart. Then transformation happens—transformation within us, and also in the lives of lost people as they are drawn to Jesus in response to our prayers.
Mission experts from all over the world now readily acknowledge that the most effective strategy for finishing the task of world evangelization is the power of God, released through prayer. God himself chose that way to accomplish his plans and purposes upon the earth. Unleashing God’s power for the completion of the Great Commission is one of his primary purposes for the gift of prayer.
As believers, we know that the fulfillment of his plan has not yet been accomplished. Why? Because many Christians do not feel a burden to intercede on behalf of lost people. Many believers’ prayers are centered upon their own personal needs and concern for family and friends. We have not fully realized that we must lift our sights to embrace the desires of God. He wants to bring the transformational life of his Son, Jesus Christ, into the lives of every man, woman and child on Earth.
Let us not abdicate our responsibilities to pray. The consequences of a barren prayer life are defeat, hopelessness and despair. But the consequences of faithful and earnest prayer will be the transformation of our life, and the salvation, hope and healing of the lost.
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and praise reports visit saprayusw.com.