Ro 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit Himself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
Today’s post is on praying. If you have walked with the Lord for a while, you no doubt have had prayers block. It is when you meet with the Lord in your prayer time and just do not know how to pray about some matter. It may be because you lack knowledge of the real need. It may be because the request conflicted with your spirit as to the real need. It may be because you are being challenged by demonic obstruction or some other possibility. We may sense the need for prayer but simply cannot identify in your spirit what you are sensing.
Whatever the cause, you need not be defeated in your prayer effort. The autobiography of praying Hyde was insightful for me as I struggled with this problem some years ago. Praying Hyde was a young preacher that felt his calling was not to be the spokesperson but the prayer warrior behind the scenes. It is said that while the preacher was preaching, he would be in a secluded place praying and sometimes he was heard just groaning in prayer. This is in perfect harmony with the above verse. If you cannot get it out verbally then send the prayer to God in the form of a groan and the Holy Spirit will translate the prayer accurately for you. That is just one of His responsibilities. Where ever you are deficient, He will make up the difference to complete the request.
Furthermore, the Lord knows our thoughts. Consider Job 21:27 Behold, I know your thoughts, and the devices which ye wrongfully imagine against me. Also, Mt 9:4 And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? Nothing is hid from God. If you are struggling with a prayer, know that the Lord not only knows your heart but is also there to make you successful in prayer. He is more desirous for your victory than you are.
I am encouraged by the story in Daniel 10 where he set his heart in prayer an prayed for three weeks before a messenger from God revealed that his prayer was heard from the first day but the answer was delayed three weeks in coming because it was hindered by satanic forces. It is an awesome thing that we have been included in God’s plan to fight these satanic forces in prayer. It is an unseen battle that we fight but we know that God is the victor and we are a part of that battle. It is not in the physical utterance of sound but in the thoughts and intent of the heart.
Tuesday I had my second cataract surgery, this time on the left eye, and everything went well. When I had my followup on Wednesday, I had 20/20 vision so that is two for two. This time it went even better than it did the first time. I am now reading without my reading glasses. This will be a tremendous help for me as I spend a lot of time reading and working on the computer.
I talked with my translator who is doing the Spanish translation and she is sending me the second chapter this week. That makes all four translations of my book working on the third chapter or beyond. I am so amazed at what the Lord is doing. It is very exciting to work with the missionaries and translators so closely. I would like for you to pray for each of them as they are facing tremendous obstacles. One is that they are involved in a number of other mission actives that also require their time. At least two of them are working in hostile environments by their governments. There are families that require their time as well as keeping their focus on what the Lord is doing with them in the translating. Truly it is a job that is to big for us but not to big for God.
Next Wednesday I will complete our study on Holiness as a lifestyle. It has been a blessing for me and has continued to grow as we have worked our way through each session. The class has been great and the work has been a real blessing. I have a few things that I need to get done soon and then there are a couple trips I need to make. One is a trip to Oklahoma to be with my grand kids while my daughter makes a mission trip to the country of Turkey. The second trip is to Colorado for our family reunion and my sister’s 50th wedding anniversary. Also, I have one more surgery ahead next month to remove excess eyelid skin that is blocking some of my vision and putting pressure on my eyes. That will complete my eye work. My vision is already improved to 20/20 and I have lost my double vision and things are a lot clearer.
The final prayer request is that plans are in the works for a mission trip to China and to Japan in October. It was supposed to have happened in April but was postponed because the Chinese government passed a new law restricting religious activity. We needed to wait to see how that would affect our efforts. We need for the Lord to guide us because we cannot see as He does and we need His guidance.
A final note to say thank you for following along with us on this journey and for lifting the work up in prayer. I hope that these entries are being a blessing to you and I would love for you to comment from time to time on the articles, etc. Also, let me know if there is something that you would like to see on this site.
Luke 15:8 Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? 9 And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost.
The lost coin was lost while going about doing her regular duties. It was not lost because of negligence nor from carelessness. It was lost in an effort to and a focus upon her responsibilities. She was unaware that she had lost it in the course of doing her duties. It also represented an important part of her means of completing her jobs.
Yesterday, I was helping my son prune his peach and cherry trees. I was focused on both completing the project and teaching my son how to do it for himself. After we finished the job and the cleanup, my wife and I were visiting some friends and I felt an itch on my ear. When I reached up to scratch it I noticed that I was missing one of my hearing aids. My first thought was where and how did I lose it? As I began to mentally retrace my steps I noted the last time that I knew that I had it so that was a beginning point and I progressively moved forward. I remembered loading some branches into the truck and noted that that was a possibility so I called my son and asked him to look in the truck. He did not find it there. At this point I got out my broom and began to sweep the situation – that is I asked the Lord to help me find my hearing aid. As I considered that the Lord knew exactly where it was, I became totally dependent on Him to guide me to it. When I came home it was late so I took care of my evening chores and went to bed. When I got up this morning I felt I knew to best place to look and that was under the peach tree that we pruned the day before. I went back to the rental and introduced myself and told the tenant what had happened and asked him if I could look in the back yard? He was very gracious and even went out to help me look and I found the lost hearing aid right where I thought it must be.
The first thing I did was to thank the tenant for his help. The second thing I did was to make two phone calls to report the good news. One to my son and one to my wife and we all rejoiced together for finding my lost hearing aid. As I was traveling home, I was reminded of the above scripture and how much we need the Lord to be involved in all of our lives. We need Him to lead us through even the mundane events that are an important part of who and what we are.
Yesterday was an unusually busy day. I never even got to my study until evening and I was so tired I just ate and went to bed.
Still, it was a productive day. After finishing my morning routine I went to a prayer meeting at the church. This prayer meeting was first set up as part of the plan for us to look ahead and find out what the Lord was up to. We were moving to a point of being out of debt and our church wanted to find out what our next step was. Instead of simply redirecting the funds of the church, we wanted to know what the Lord had in mind so the church requested a number of the members to meet regularly to seek the Lord in prayer to discover His will in the matter. The group was divided into 4 sets and each one set aside time to pray as well as to meet once a month in prayer together. Also, each set would take turns so that there was a weekly group meeting. We were directed to pray specifically for the will of God, the planning committee, specific prayer needs as they arose as well as the whole staff and membership.
These were special times and we discovered the direction we believe the Lord is leading us as well as getting to know each other much better. I am happy to report that next month our church will be debt free. We believe that our mission ahead includes supporting other struggling churches and establishing missions and under girding the kingdom work. We specifically determined that we were not going to try to store up funds for our own use. We will keep only a 3-6 months reserve of our budget for operations cash flow and then funnel the remainder into mission and the extension of God’s kingdom.
One of our commitments includes a mission that we are helping to also become debt free. To do that we are committing an additional $100,000 to their budget so that they will be enabled to extend this plan even further. We will not lessen our current efforts in missions or in our other efforts to minister to the multiple retirement homes, teaching, training, mission trips, etc but will seek to improve them as well. Another one of our missions reported that they will move into their own worship facility this next Sunday.
Because the prayer effort was so effective, we also decided to make it a permanent part of our operation as a church. It is such an honor to be a part of this church as we endeavor to carry out our Lord’s great commission and to see it being done effectively. Only to God be the glory.