Tuesday, September 13, 2011

September 13, 2011 … The Spirit and Prayer

Passage of the Day: 1st Peter 4: 7 … The end of all things is near. Therefore, be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.

My Journal for Today: This exhortation by Peter is like the Apostle Paul’s, in Eph. 6: 18, where Paul wrote, “…pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying.” Paul was writing about how Christians deal with life in our constant spiritual warfare; and Peter was referring to the immediacy and urgency for prayer as “the end of things is near.” And both of these two exhortations, inspired by God’s Spirit, is just as applicable to Christians today as it was for those oppressed Christians of the 1st century.

John MacArthur in Strength for Today is right on track when he writes, “… walking by the Spirit is a lifestyle of continual prayer; …” and wasn’t that Paul’s exhortation in 1st Thes. 5: 17? Yes, … we, as Christians, are to live with an attitude of moment-to-moment prayer. A fellow minister brother of mine in my church says, “Prayer should be like breathing; … we should just do it all the time as Christians without thinking.” And as MacArthur points out in his devotional for this date, this prayer posture, to which Peter is addressing in today’s verse, brings us into a Spirit-led walk with God. It is living out what G. Campbell Morgan referred to as his definition of prayer, and that is “… a burning heart for God.” It’s where we, as disciples of Christ, bring every temptation into captivity, … where we thank Him for every blessing and yes, even every challenge, … where we ask God to bolster us against every evil, … where we’re sensitive to and looking for every opportunity to witness our faith, … and … where we ALWAYS turn to God first in the face of trials, tests, troubles, and tribulations.

In this way prayer becomes a lifestyle of the heart and a 24/7 attitude of continual worship, where, as G. Campbell Morgan might say, we are burning for the presence, purpose, and power of God, i.e., the Holy Spirit, in our lives. It is taking, as we say in Battle Plan Ministry, the high ground in the spiritual battles which we will face every day of our lives (see Eph. 6: 18). And when we have this high ground, God’s Spirit becomes full within us, shining a light of enlightenment on our paths of life and bringing the presence of Christ into full illumination. And in the Spirit of prayer we can fulfill Christ’s command to reflect His light into this very darkened world (see Matt. 5: 16) and thereby glorify the same heavenly Father the Holy Son glorified in the power of the Holy Spirit.

My Prayer Today: My heart burns for you, Lord, and hence, my life is my prayer! Amen

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