Proverbs 24:13-14: “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “That which we persist in doing becomes easier – not that the nature of the task has changed, but our ability to do has increased.”
Here is a true story that happened over 100 years ago in a small town upstate in New York in the summer of 1885. This town stands as a witness to effective prayer, because at one time this town needed a breath of fresh prayer. .
“It was a long, hot summer. Wells were drying up. Crops were wilting. But the new Presbyterian minister in the town had an idea. He said the townspeople ought to pray for rain.
He put out the word – not just in his church, but all over town. People went door to door–even to the saloons and pool halls–encouraging people to pause at a designated time and pray for rain. The response was overwhelming and complete except for one cantankerous old farmer named Phineas Dodd.
The next day at noon, everything shut down for the prayer meeting. Then, they watched the sky. Clouds formed after an hour or so. A gusty wind arose after a couple of hours. Within four hours of the prayer meeting, the temperature dropped twenty degrees and the streets were drenched in water. Besides that, lightning struck the hay barn of Phineas Dodd, and it burned to the ground.
Phineas sued the Presbyterian Church and its minister, seeking $5,000 in damages for his barn. The trial lasted three days. Finally, the judge determined that the pastor and the townspeople had prayed only for rain and not lightning. The bolt that destroyed the barn was something for which neither the minister nor his congregation could be liable. The judge dismissed the suit but ordered Phineas Dodd to pay all court costs.” [from “Persistence Pays Off!” by Gary. C. Redding.]
The town that was drying up prayed for rain, and they got rain. The earth below got saturated and cracks disappeared. The wells that were almost dry were filled. The crops that were failing began to come back. Life was getting back to normal.
Think about the fact that that town is a lot like our lives. Sometimes a part of our life becomes dry, and we need God’s saturating miracle rain. We need it to come through some way, somehow, and we need something fresh to happen because everything appears so dry and stale. We pray to God for something miraculous to happen. That has happened to all of us.
As children, a lot of us, even we women, used to have toy airplanes that were powered by a rubber band. You would turn the propeller and it would wind that rubber band tighter and tighter. It’s amusing in a toy airplane, but it’s not so amusing in life when we see a human being twisted, tight, and under pressure. Something has to give. Something has to release that buildup of pressure and stress inside of us.
This pressure is accumulative. It seems to get tighter and tighter day by day. What will release this? A soothing, relaxing prayer will release this, and make us new again. It will make the day a new, joyful experience; we will be able to view things from a new level of spiritual consciousness. We will be as affected by the things that come to us because we’re empowered by something within. The ordinary muck and mire of life is not going to bother us, because we’re connected to something greater.
I knew a lady a few years ago who was experiencing days that really got her down, and she was not sure if she could cope any more with her life.
“I feel that my husband and I have both made wonderful progress in the last few weeks,” she said. “My greatest progress dates from the night when I was told that ‘every day is a good day if you pray.’ I began to put into practice the idea of affirming that this would be a good day the minute I woke up in the morning, and I can positively say that I have not had a bad or upsetting day since that time.
“The amazing thing is that my days actually haven’t been any smoother or anymore free from petty annoyances than they ever were, but they just don’t seem to have the power to upset me anymore. I have come to realize that the change occurred within me, more than events outside of myself.
“Every night I begin my prayers by listing all the things for which I am grateful, little things that happened during the day which added to the happiness of my day. I know that this habit has geared my mind to pick out the nice things and forget the unpleasant ones. The fact that for six weeks I have not had a single bad day and have refused to get down-hearted with anyone is really marvelous to me.”
This lady had a spiritual prayer experience. I want you to have that too. Many of us attend spiritual prayer meetings on Thursday nights. Everyone is welcome. We pray for the sick, each other, our nation, and chat with each other about our spiritual and daily lives. Join us, if you are looking for a prayer group on the internet; we are international, and all are welcome. We are here for you. http://thespiritualfamily.chatango.com/?flash
Try this as you continue to develop your spiritual prayer in your life.
Set aside a few moments every day. Do not say anything. Simply think about God. Many of us have made a corner of our house a prayer corner and make a habit of going there at least once or twice a day to sit quietly and just release all the stresses, aches, and pains and be with God.
Before going there, you, probably, were thinking about your problems and all the things that were making you tight, angry, and nervous inside yourself and all you had to get done. Now, instead, you can relax and think about God.
This is the golden key that author Emmett Fox wrote about in the book “The Golden Key”. Think about God instead of the problem. When you think about God, everything begins to change in a miraculous, wondrous way. This will make your mind spiritually receptive.
And as you pray, use simple, natural words. Tell God anything that is on your mind. Do not think that you must use stereotyped pious phrases. Talk to God in your own language because God understands.
Many people exclaim, “I don’t know how to pray to God.”
I would ask them, “Do you have a best friend? What makes your best friend your best friend?”
After talking for a moment they usually say, “I can easily talk to my best friend.”
“God is your best friend. You can easily talk to God.”
Then they say, “I wouldn’t know what to say!” “You pray for me because I don’t know how to talk to God.”
“Just talk. Take a walk with God out in the woods. Take a drive with God in your car. Work with God at your desk and simply talk to God.”
You could say something like, “Dear God, You are my best friend in the world, I’m feeling a little nervous right now, and I have a headache. Heal me.” The words don’t matter. God understands. When you know that, you have “a breath of fresh prayer” in your life. God understands.
And allow yourself to pray as you go about the business of the day. Often you will say to yourself, “Well, I just don’t have the time to pray. I wish I did, but I have to do this, and that. If I only had the time, the luxury, to sit down and enjoy God.” Well, you have the time to take one minute. Prayer is the language of Spirit. It bypasses time and space. One minute with God is tremendously healing.
You can take one minute breaks many times during your day, and you will be surprised at how refreshed you feel and what these one minute prayers do for you in your life. You will be surprised how near you feel to God’s presence.
Do you know what time tithing is? That is where we give 10% back to God. Take a whole week and dedicate yourself to God by giving back six minutes out of every hour. At the end of the week you will feel like you have been on vacation, and have still dealt with everything that has happened during the week.
Acts 6:4 says: “While we, for our part, will devote ourselves to prayer and to serving the word.” You are a partner with God, but what is your part of the partnership? It is to take time and consent. When you have the inspiration of God come to you and through you, it is to devote yourself to the word that comes to you. Your whole day is going to receive a refreshing spiritual breeze when you do this.
Don’t always ask when you pray, but instead affirm positively that God’s blessings are being given, and spend most of the time giving thanks.
Know that you are being showered with God’s good blessings right now, right where you are. You are immersed in the good of God as much as a fish is immersed in a tank of water. It is in you and around you so that you cannot see it, but you can feel it. You can totally sense it when you consent to it in your mind. When you do, your whole day is transformed.
Always pray with belief and faith. We often we get wordy in our prayers, but we really don’t believe that what we are praying for can possibly come to pass.
I want to share a wonderful story with you. “A man was flying in an airplane right after America’s first commercial jet air service began with the flight of the Boeing 707. This man was a traveler on a piston-engine, propeller-driven DC-6 airline. He struck up a conversation with a fellow passenger. The passenger happened to be a Boeing engineer.
The traveler asked the engineer about the new jet aircraft. The engineer was most enthusiastic about this new development in aviation. He began speaking at length about the extensive testing Boeing had done on the jet engine before bringing it into commercial service. He recounted Boeing’s experience with engines, from the B-17 to the B-52.
When his traveling companion asked him if he himself had yet flown the new 707 jet airliner, the engineer replied, “I think I’ll wait until it’s been in service a while.” It’s one thing to talk enthusiastically. It’s another to put your life on the line.
When you pray, put your life on the line. Pray for God’s way not our personal way. Jesus talks about putting your life on the line – going from here where you are in mediocrity to be on the line of excitement and answered prayer. That’s putting your life on the line of God. It’s going from the average to the supreme. It’s going from the mundane to unbelievable good beyond that which you can even imagine. That is the good of God and that is the message of Jesus Christ.
In Mark 11:23-24 Jesus said: “Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain, “Be taken up and thrown into the sea,” and if you do not doubt in your heart, but believe that what you say will come to pass, it will be done for you. So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
Never use a negative thought in prayer. Only positive thoughts get positive results. Wish well and ask that all peoples be blessed – even the negative ones in your past. Always pray for good in a positive way. It will come through you first and shower down immediately on your life.
Always express willingness to accept God’s will. Ask for what you want, but be willing to take what God gives you. It is always better than what you have asked for.
Today I’m going to ask you to believe in God, and turn toward God. That’s what the meaning of ‘repent’ means—to turn around from the way we are going or thinking in the moment, and think higher God-inspired thoughts. And, practice the attitude of putting everything in God’s hands (PEIGH).
Pray at the beginning of your week, instead of being so twisted up on Monday morning thinking about the week ahead of you and the worries in our future. Be Pre-prayed! Turn to God and say, “God, I know Your will for me is absolute, wondrous good.” Don’t just say the words, but totally know and believe it without a doubt.
Life is so sweet. It is a huge error for something else, some other opinion of life, to rob you of that spiritual sweetness. Life is a joy. Every minute is a joy beyond belief. Put God first, think about God first in every aspect of your life.
And your life will be full of joy and love because it will be joined with God.
And as we discussed last week – the sweetness of your life with God will be flowing with honey.