Luke 15:7 Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
This is God’s heart, that sinful man should come to repentance. Yet we are primarily focused on those who need no repentance. In our prayer life, programs, and day to day fellowship. Though much could (and should) be said about those last two topics, in this devotion we are discussing the sickness within our prayer life.
Doug Small stated at a prayer summit that he believes we are trying to stuff a “go ye” Gospel into a “come ye” Church. We are hoping the world will come to us and stumble upon salvation instead of following Christ’s command to go into the world… and our prayers are reflective of that. We pray for God to bless our programs, our Sunday mornings, or whatever path we may be on, yet research shows that AT LEAST 90% of people are not attending a church gathering in some fashion. We are spending our time praying for the 10% of people (at most) who aren’t the primary focus of this mission. We forget that God is on a mission and working in the hearts of unbelievers OUTSIDE the church bringing them to His Kingdom. This is the centerpiece of the Gospel: God came for the broken. Yet our prayers are focused on the activities in the church and a better life now.
About a year or so ago we talked about how many believers are calling in air support (praying for help) but they are no where near the battlefield. Air support doesn’t fire on civilian territory, it’s for the battle zones. As the Church we need to be in the battle zones pressing in on the very tasks Christ has called us to do. We are praying for God’s assistance to make our life more comfy and we are sitting in our barracks (rooms) back in a peace zone. We wonder why our prayers seem powerless, why it seems like everything we ask about is answered “NO”… and it’s because we are reenacting Israel’s style of living: we are the chosen ones God loves and He desires to help us more than anyone else… God calls us to step out and enter the battlefield with Him, and our prayers should reflect that. When we are partnering with God in this way THEN our prayers have purposeful use. They help us hear what God is doing here and now, in real time. Our prayers should revolve around redemption for the lost and seeking to hear from God realtime directions on His mission.
With direction from God you should be fellowshipping with unbelievers, looking for ways to invest in unbelievers and PRAYING for unbelievers. If we want our prayer life to mirror what God is doing it should be heavily focused on those who have not come to know the Lord yet.
Matthew 5:43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…
How much time do you spend praying for your enemies? (I don’t mean praying that they will die, I mean praying that they will hear God speak and accept His calling) Do you really believe the Gospel? If so, are you lamenting for the people around you who are marching into the pits of hell one day at a time? Our prayers have a illness and it’s a symptom of our selfish hearts.
Spend 1-2 minutes thanking God that someone was likely praying for YOU when you came to Him. Then spend 2-3 minutes asking Him to help you have a heart for the world (like He does). Ask Him to change your passions to align with His.
Did you find a prayer partner? Stop being a turd and just do it! 😛