A Devotional on Prayer
Romans 12:11b, 12:12d:
“…not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit… continuing steadfastly in prayer.”
One of my favorite preachers, Leonard Ravenhill who is now with the LORD said something profound about prayer that could wake up those who sleep. He said:
“No man is greater than his prayer life. The pastor who is not praying is playing; the people who are not praying are straying. Failing here, we fail everywhere else.”
As Christians, we know that prayer is crucial to our walk of faith but I think the important question we must answer is, “what does prayer do to our relationship with God?” If the Word is our daily bread, then prayer is our oxygen. Prayer shouldn’t weigh heavy or burdensome, for it is through it that we find rest. So how do we become fervent in Spirit and continue steadfastly in prayer?
Why is it so important to remain steadfast in prayer? Click To Tweet
Here are 3 reasons why we pray and how we can become devoted to prayer:
1. We pray so that we may not look to ourselves nor become wise in our own opinion but instead, look to God.
We live in a world saturated with worldly wisdom- everyone wants to give their two pennies about everything. Though it is true that with great age comes wisdom, this world is broken by sin, this worldly “wisdom” can hardly be considered wisdom. Our views as human beings are very limited, our so-called “wisdom” is nothing more than mere opinions of men. The world is polluted with sin, the “wisdom” of men are lies of the enemy. And even the more “wiser” ones, can only rely on logic and life experiences. A popular advice we hear all too much is to go with your ‘gut feeling,’ this doesn’t sound very assuring. Instead, we must look to God for heavenly wisdom. This wisdom is our guide to living the right way…the ONLY way to please God.
“Trust the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding…Do not be wise in your own eyes.”
“Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!”
Man can trace its origins to pride and rebellion, wanting to be wise in their own eyes all the way back to the Garden of Eden. Eve was tempted by the serpent to take fruit from the forbidden tree. The moment she lost sight of God to lay her eyes on her greedy desire to acquire more knowledge (worldly wisdom) she fell. This is the peril of setting our sights on the self and the world rather than on the One who emanates wisdom.
“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desireable to make one wise, she took of its fruit.”
2. We pray so that we may hear God’s voice.
God speaks through His Word and through others, but He also speaks through prayer. Prayer is our daily communication with the King of Heaven! Sometimes we must rid ourselves first of everything in our hearts and minds that are an impediment to hearing His voice. You cannot skip to #2 and ignore #1. We must go with humility, without prejudices, with a surrendered heart and an empty mind ready to listen to His voice and be filled up. God often speaks in a small still voice that is yet more powerful than raging thunder. The only way to hear His voice is if we have humbly submitted our human nature to His will and acknowledge His Sovereignty. Let’s read how God spoke to Elijah when he was fleeing from King Ahab and Jezebel:
1 Kings 19:11-12:
“Then He said, ‘Go out, and stand on the mountain before the LORD.’ And behold the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.”
God will rarely speak and answer us like we expected, but when He does, His children will hear Him. Sometimes, our prayers have already been answered but we missed it over the noise of our stubborn pride and rebellion.
God still speaks today, sometimes in a small still voice. Click To Tweet
“To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear His voice; and He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out. And when He brings out His own sheep, He goes before them; and the sheep follow Him, for they know His voice.”
3. We pray to remain fervent in spirit.
The word fervent as used in Romans 12:11 means “to be hot, to boil” (metaphor). Zeal(ous) would be a synonym. Zealous means, “to be jealous, to seek or desire eagerly.” We must let the Holy Spirit set aflame our hearts for God, and as Paul says in v. 12 “continuing steadfastly in prayer.” How can we expect to passionately seek God in prayer? No wonder prayer can become burdensome to the human flesh! Elijah was ZEALOUS for God, therefore, he sought the LORD in the mountain.
1 Kings 19:10:
“I have been very zealous for the LORD God of hosts.”
Once, we have been set on fire spiritually for the things of Heaven, we must continue to feed the fire with prayer, continuing steadfastly in prayer. Steadfast means “firm, secure.” Firmly founding our thoughts on the wisdom of God, we open our hearts to the LORD and constantly feed the embers of the great fire. Submit yourselves to His presence and watch prayer become your resting place through which we can all meet with our heavenly King.