Monday, July 13

3 Ways to Kill your Prayer Life

Listen Here or read below.

Isaiah 6:1-8
1 It was in the year King Uzziah died that I saw the Lord.  He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple.
2 Attending him were mighty seraphim, each having six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. 3 They were calling out to each other,
“Holy, holy, holy is the lord of Heaven’s Armies!  The whole earth is filled with his glory!” 
4 Their voices shook the Temple to its foundations, and the entire building was filled with smoke.  5 Then I said, “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the lord of Heaven’s Armies.”
6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal he had taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. 7 He touched my lips with it and said, “See, this coal has touched your lips. Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven.”
8 Then I heard the Lord asking, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?”  I said, Here I am. Send me.”

There is always someone in those big tournaments that are dressed to stand out and catch the eye of the camera. The Dutch are the best at this.  This man is probably the most well know ‘stand out’ supporter of  recent World Cups:

3 ways to kill your prayer life

I want to talk about how your prayer life can remain ‘stand out’!

In this passage Isaiah has a God encounter. A ‘stand out’ moment which launched his call.  We all want prayer to be like this. Dynamic interaction with Jesus that has life changing and life sustaining elements to it.  In this moment Isaiah hears God – “I need someone to go and speak my Word!” Isaiah’s response was appropriately “Here I am, use me.”

This story gives us 3 ways to kill your prayer life!  

  1. MAKE SURE THE PRESENCE OF GOD NEVER GETS INTO YOUR PRAYER LIFE

Ever had that moment where you pray, you get through a prayer list of worries on your mind, burdens you are feeling for others only to find the focus on it is causing you to be even more anxious? 

You know God is UP there listening, but it feels you’re boring Him with stuff.  You’re not but it feels like it.

A great way to kill your prayer life is to breed worry, a sense of false responsibility & disillusionment. Ensure there is no life in your prayer!  Prayer becomes a dead, inactive, 1-way exercise.

Matthew 11:28
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.

*  The solution to a dying prayer life is PRESENCE!  Up close & personal.

How can you feel the presence of God?

*  “Come to Me”  (not “talk at me”)  How?

Psalm 100:4,5
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name. 5 For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation.

You get to experience His unfailing love, goodness and faithfulness by entering in with thanksgiving and praise.

Praisemoves any ceiling above you out of the way and you begin to see God’s goodness more clearly.
Thanksgiving – reminds you of everything you already have from God and therefore draws God’s nature near to you. 

*  “And I will give”

He gives and so we must receive. He has rivers of living water available, in you, receive it.  He has fresh in-filling of the Holy Spirit – receive it.  His presence is to be received.

If someone were to show you an act of generosity and you said “ok thanks but I don’t want to receive it, it’s enough to know you wanted to be generous” we would be rude to deny their act, and equally we would never experience the blessing of receiving their act.  It’s the same with God’s presence.

Receive it.  His Presence will stop you killing your prayer life!

2.  ENSURE YOU DO NOT BELIEVE YOUR WORDS HAVE POWER
vs 8 Then I heard the Lord asking, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?”

This role of ‘messenger’ was actually that of a ‘prophet’, one who speaks God’s word.  The bible says we can all prophecy.  There is power in your words.

*  Some pray “Lord, could you do this, could you do that, could you solve this problem, and would you if you have a chance possibly do this one thing”

Whilst there is nothing fundamentally wrong with this, if that’s the only way we pray we never see it as a partnership with God, but rather a process of defaulting to Him.  A fast way to experience little power in prayer life.

You keep prayer alive and exciting by partnering with God and realising The greatest power you have in prayer is the power of your words.

John 1:1-3
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

Everything begins with the Word.  Every miracle, every visitation of God to people in history began with God speaking. God has a word for you to speak as you begin this year.  It is a creative power.

1 Corinthians 14:3
He who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men. He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.

  1. Prophecy builds the church, not tears it down.
  2. Speaks positively about the future.
  3. Hears from God and speaks that message.

In the parable of the sower – the seed is word – we sow when we speak.  Speak the Word:

I have total forgiveness of all sins.
I have eternal life.
I have the Holy Spirit living within me.
I am a member of the eternal Church of the Living God
I am a citizen of Heaven.
I am a joint heir with Jesus Christ of all He inherits.
I have healing.
I have been delivered from the power of the devil.
Death’s power over my life is destroyed.
I am full of faith.
I am full of the power of God.
The love of God is in my heart by the Holy Spirit.
I love people.   I love Jesus Christ.   I love the Bible.
I am seated with Christ in heavenly places.
All things work together for good for me.
I am born of God.
I overcome the world.
No weapon formed against me shall prosper.
God is with me.
Nothing is impossible to us who believe.
I prosper in this life.
I am filled with all the fullness of God.

* We cannot afford to talk however we like.  There is immense power in our tongue.

Ezekiel prophesied and breath entered a dead army!

* Want to kill your prayer life? Don’t speak the Word, believe it has no power.

3.  MAKE SURE GOD NEVER KNOWS YOU ARE AVAILABLE

God locates us, He knows ALL about us. But still He wants to hear us say ‘Here I am’

* We run the risk of killing our prayer life if we see prayer as just requiring of Christ and we never express our felt submission to Him.

Parents don’t want to always ask children to help around the place, even if they are completely willing when asked – sometimes you need them to say “Anything I can do?”

Why?
It’s an expression of service, of proactive willingness, it shows honour.
When we verbalise it, we begin to challenge our hearts and identify any fears, or concerns that would stop us being fully available.  Then we can work on these to remove them, with the help of the Holy Spirit.

* Ah Lord ‘Here I am’ and in about 30 years I’ll be retired, free of the kids and mortgage and will be ready to do whatever you need me to do.
* Ah Lord ‘Here I am’, I am free every Wed evening, how about assignment then?
* Ah Lord ‘Here I am’, I’ll just finish this project… maybe its in the project He has an assignment for you!

Isaiah says simply “Here I am, use me”. How abandoned are we to be used?
We live for Him, not Him for us.  We worship for Him not for us.

But so and so is more gifted!
But so and so is more spiritual!
They are better positioned!

God chose Isaiah based on his availability.
Availability is the first qualifier

If you have never made that statement – today is your day to do that.

I am believing your prayer life will find new life in 2016!
See you in Church!