If you happen to be a born again believer, how do you look at that question? As an old man with grey hair; one that’s been born again for forty five years, I’ve seen many changes in who we are as ( what we call )( believers ) ( Christians ). I’m just wondering if anyone else sees it and, how old are you if you do?
( IN MY HUMBLE OPINION ) what I see in the average local denominational Church has been severely weakened by easy believism. I can see the universal Church and, I believe within that body, prayer is a very powerful weapon that we have against all things. The question now might be; does the average local Church represent that Church I’m speaking of?
It use to be a term ( they got religion ). What that term implied was that the people that professed Jesus Christ had been transformed from what they were into a ( new creature in Christ Jesus ). That fact was clearly seen. Not only did people start to attend Church but, the spiritual change was seen in their everyday walk of life.
You might ask, how does this tie to prayer? I’ll offer an example: There was a teenage boy once that ask his father if he could borrow the family car that night, which was Saturday. The father told him; yes you can, if you get your haircut sometime today. Late that afternoon the boy came to his father for the keys but, he hadn’t cut his hair. When the father ask him about his hair, the teen replied: well, I got to thinking about it and, I realized Jesus had long hair! So, the father replied: ( HE ALSO WALKED EVERYWHERE HE WENT )!
I believe we also see this mindset in our homes by our children and, in our Churches by those that are members. Children think they can do as they please and still expect their parents to yield to their every desire and, in most case; they get their way. Now, while the average Church might allow its members to basically do as they please, live their same old life, no change other than the fact they have now come to Church and, are members; God the Father will not play that same game.
My whole point is that when people use to expect God to answer their prayers, they also realized their responsibility as one of his children. They were taught from the pulpit exactly what God expected of them. From that same pulpit, the spiritual pressure never let up, we were constantly under the convicting hand of Almighty God. Even when we thought we were doing pretty good, God’s Spirit would show us an area we needed to work on.
Not only that but, the people willingly, readily, submitted to that convicting power of God. I’ve made this statement often: when I use to pastor a local Church; I have preached a message and, made a statement that God immediately let me know ( you need to work on that ). In other words, I preached my own self under conviction. When we, any of us reach a point when we believe we are good enough, we need to check and truly see where we are!
One of the worst things that can ever happen to a pastor is for he, himself to become complascent. When he reaches that point, his whole Church is satisfied just as they are. God’s willingness to answer our prayers is dirrectly tied to our willingness to yield daily to his will.
What is the difference in confessing and repenting? Confessing is simply you admitting you have a sin problem. You can name the sin. Well, not only does God desire for us to ( confess our sins ) he also desires for us to ( repent from ) turn away from those sins. In November, 1975; I got saved ( Just as I was ) at that time. Now, just because God saved me ( just as I was ) he did not expect me to stay ( just as I was ). Seemingly, today we are being taught that God loves us ( Just as we are ), no change necessary!
The concept of prayer is actually simple. If you desire for me to hear you then, I desire for you to hear me! Another question we might ask; Is God being allowed to speak in our Churches? We talk about Jesus Christ, we even use his word but, is the Holy Spirit alive and well in our Church?
I truly believe that God is not listening to us corporately. Our prayers are falling on deaf ears because of the lives we corporately live and the things we except as normal.
I’ll share one other story to make a final point. I was in Sunday School one Sunday and, preyer reguests were being made. As I listened, I heard, prayer request for sickness, financial problems and family problems. I raised my hand and said; I have a friend, business owner, that has lung cancer. I even called his name. I had the priviledge to sit in his office yeaterday and witness to him. He told me he was not saved and, didn’t get saved yesterday at my urging him to do so. I ask you to pray for his salvation. When I made that prayer request, you could have heard a pin drop! After Sunday School one of our members told me he knew him well. I encouraged him to go and see him and witness to him. As far as I can learn, he never went! What impressed me was the fact that in a Church, the very concept of mentioning a name and praying for salvation was a strange request; unusual!
What is the problem? We spend a lot of time praying for ( physical things ) and, very little on the ( spiritual aspects ) of our lives or, the spiritual aspects of others. We very deeply and urgently need prayer for the spiritual aspects of our Churches, counties, cities, people, states, and our country! Until we begin, once again to be transformed by the spirit of God, because of the preaching of God’s word and, willingly change our individual and corporate lives, what can we expect from God the Father? Why should he hear us?
meditate on these things!
2 Timothy 1:7