Philippians 4:6 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving present your requests to God.
As you know, prayer is our focus in the Bethel and in our private lives. But is it enough? Let’s discuss this.
Romana Banuelos was just 16 years old, living in Mexico, when her husband left her with two little children. She was poverty stricken, so she and her two babies got on a bus and came to Los Angeles to work. The problem was they did not speak a word of English. She had just seven dollars in her pocket. She went to a cab driver and gave him the name and address of a distant relative who lived in Los Angeles.
He delivered her at the house and charged her seven dollars. That was all of her money. She got a job washing dishes. Then she got a job making tacos from midnight to six in the morning. From this job she saved $500 to buy a taco machine. Today she manages the largest Mexican wholesale food business in the world. And she was hand-picked by a former President of the United States to be the 37th Treasurer of the United States. Romana said, “I achieved this because I believed. I believed. I prayed and I believed.”
Dr. Norman Vincent Peale told the story of a surgeon who talked about the most exciting surgery he ever performed. This surgery was performed on a little girl who only had a 10% chance of survival.
The surgeon said, “She was a tiny little thing under the sheet, ashen gray face, so frail, so weak and helpless. Just as the nurses were going to prepare her for anesthesia, she looked at me and said, ‘Every night before I go to sleep I pray. May I pray now?’ At that time I was having troubles of my own with my son and in my home, and I had become a very unhappy person. So I answered her, ‘Sure, honey, and pray for your doctor too.’ Then she prayed, ‘Jesus, tender Shepherd, hear me. Watch your little lamb tonight. Through the darkness be Thou near me, keep me safe ’til morning light. And Jesus, bless the doctor, because he’s got troubles, too.’
“It just broke me up. Embarrassed, I turned away from the others and pretended to wash up again so I could control myself and get rid of the tears. ‘Oh God,’ I prayed, ‘In my whole life if you ever use me to save a life, use me now to save this little girl!’ The surgery was a success! Her life was saved!”
But the surgeon later said, that he felt as if he had been the one operated on that morning! During that surgery, he felt a great power come through him – a Divine power like he had never felt before in his life. He said that many times in the past, during surgery, he would have a lot of nervous energy, but there was a great, calm that came over him that he had not felt before during this surgery. Then he said, “It was if something was guiding my hand. Through this calm, I was able to perform surgery with an intricate precision that I, of myself, could not do.” As he turned to God in prayer, the surgeon’s life improved too.
1 Peter 3:12 – For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayers…
Dr. Alexia Carrel is a medical doctor who won a Nobel Prize. He wrote: “Prayer is the most powerful form of energy that one can generate. The influence of prayer on the human mind and body is as demonstrable as that of secreting glands. Its results can be measured in terms of increased buoyancy, greater intellectual vigor, moral stamina, and a deeper understanding of human relationships. Prayer is indispensable to the fullest development of personality. Only in prayer do we achieve that complete harmonious assembly of mind, body, and spirit which gives the frail human need its unshakable strength. When we pray we liken ourselves with the inexhaustible motive that spins the universe.”
You have heard about Michelangelo and his wondrous works of art. He created some of the most fantastic statues that have ever been made. But do you know that he only finished fourteen of them? He worked on 44 statues, but he only finished 14 of them.
If you were to go and look at some of his statues, it would take your breath away to see the beauty. But it would also take your breath away to see some of the unfinished work.
Out of a piece of marble you might see a hand, a wrist, some fingers, and part of a hand. On another you might see a knee, part of a leg, and part of a foot. Seeing these you might have the thought, “Of all the tragedies in life, the greatest one is for a person to live and not be fully developed; not be fully formed into what he/she could be.”
To only be a good hand is not enough. To only be a good leg is not enough. You have to be complete. Completeness cannot be found in just the human being alone but is found in your connection and oneness with God. So many times, you feel like you just cannot be complete because you just don’t feel centered in your thoughts, emotions, or spirit.
Yet, when we take the time to connect in prayer, we connect with our God-given possibilities. We then become whole. It is only through our connection with God that we are whole. When you take the time to connect with God, you take the time to connect with your best possibilities. You connect with all possibility. It comes through your mind, and with God, nothing is impossible to you.
You connect with God, your Creator, the life-energy behind a perfect hand, the life-energy behind a perfect leg. When you connect with God, you connect with strength that you didn’t think you had. You connect with God and all can be well again.
This is called “Into the Day”
I got up early one morning
And rushed right into the day;
I had so much to accomplish
I didn’t have time to pray.
Troubles just tumbled about me
And heavier came each task.
Why doesn’t God help me, I wondered,
God answered, “You didn’t ask.”
I tried to come into God’s presence,
I used all my keys at the lock.
God gently and lovingly chided,
“Why child, you didn’t knock.”
I wanted to see joy and beauty,
But the day toiled on gray and bleak,
I called on the Lord for the reason–
God said, “You didn’t seek.
I woke up early this morning
And paused before entering the day.
I had so much to accomplish
That I had to take time to pray.
In your life, prayer is like opening a floodgate of God’s perfect good. Behind that floodgate is a force, well beyond your human power, of absolute good-even greater good than you can conceive of from your human mind. Prayer releases latent energies. It renews. It gives you vitality and power in the flesh.
When a man picked up his automobile at the dealership, they wanted him to test the engine. (The wanted to impress him with the power of the engine.) So they had him put the car in park and they said, “Now, rev up this engine to 5,000 rpm.”
The car is in park, and he revs the engine up. As the car shakes and quivers with suppressed energy, he thought, “This is like me, often all my potential is in park.” The moment the energy is released, the moment the car is put into drive, or the person is put into drive then there is tremendous forward movement.
Drive, in the human, is prayer – prayer in the Jesus Christ way, praying, believing without doubt and knowing that what you are praying for is one with you, and that you are going to receive.
The soul needs to be fed-not a food that you get at a restaurant, but soul feeding from God for your soul. You may be stuffed with food, but your soul is often starved. It might not have been fed for a long time. You may be soul starved, and you do not know why. There may be an uneasiness about your life.
When your soul is fed in prayer, there is an inward poise, peace, well-being, and dominion. To neglect this, causes you to stumble through life overburdened. In time, we become irritable, tired, and depleted.
Prayer releases old pressures. Stress builds silently, and then all of a sudden you are like a pressure keg, and you do not know why, but you feel like you’re going to explode. Nothing has happened in the present moment, but still you are so uneasy inside of yourself. You know you have to release this some way, somehow. Prayer releases these old energies, feelings, emotions, and the dormant things of spirit. It refreshes you with new life. It heals diseases, but that is an effect of those old pressures. Prayer is the ultimate healing power.
In order to have successful prayer, you have to have a rhythm, a regularity. If I were doing this whole lesson about air, and trying to tell you how good air is, and you were to take in just one breath, it would not do. VERY soon you would be depleted again. The thing that makes air successful is the regularity of breathing. And the thing that makes prayer successful is a regularity of going to God, a regular talking to God and a regular listening to God. You become continually refreshed.
Today get into the rhythm of the regularity of prayer, and bathe yourself in it mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Then something happens-a quiet powerful change inside of you. New spiritual energy comes through you. You feel so good. You feel a transformation taking place.
Jesus said to pray continually. You might ask, “I could pray for a little while, but how am I going to pray, and pray, and pray?” How do you talk to your best friend for so long? Jesus said to make not your prayers a drab, boring statement of the same thing every time. Talk to God as your best friend. Every prayer should be a brand new experience. It should be new and thrilling-a dynamic new adventure of spiritual communication.
One woman who was a professional bowler said, “I go to God if I’m going bowling. I take God with me. God knows how to bowl better than I do.” A businessman gave this advice, “If you’re going to a business meeting, take your silent partner with you and you talk as you would to a fine acquaintance that has been with you every second of your life.
Talk to God, like your mother talked with you when you were sick as a child. Your mother stayed with you many nights when you were sick in bed. While you slept, mother stayed awake and looked over you. Talk to God as a father who has been with you every second, believed in you, and was there to teach you to play baseball and ride a bike. Be with God like that. Make it a voyage of spiritual discovery together where you are believing in a power that is greater than yourself.
The most powerful prayer that we can pray is united prayer. Almost always in the Bible when Jesus sent out disciples, he sent them out two-by-two, so that they would not forget, and continually remind themselves of their spiritual power. So, find a prayer partner to pray with. Jesus said in Matthew 18:20 “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” I think that is a power of our prayer group on Thursday evenings. We gather as a harmonious group, all with prayer and love in our hearts.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox wrote:
“We are lifters here. We are lifters for all of humankind. That is our mission. When we pray here, we pray for everyone, we pray with people who are not of our own faith. We pray on their behalf, and believe and listen.
You are a part of this ministry. You can be a Baptist, a Methodist, a Catholic, or whatever you are. You are a part of this ministry because we are all part of the ministry of God.
That’s the mission. We are accepting the mission of following Jesus Christ by upholding the very best about another person, believing that they can be healed, or they can have a second chance, or they can have God work in their lives. We are not saying that we have the power. We are acknowledging that God has the power.
We need you to pray with us and to uphold the high watch for yourself and other people. It will be a continuous prayer with a rhythm that sweeps around this globe. A tremendous power will be generated. There will be extra-ordinary healings, and an uplifting and restoring of our souls.
We all recognize the advantage of prayer co-operation. It is much easier to hold ourselves in the true thinking when we are associated with those who think as we do. It was the work of Jesus to establish in our spiritual consciousness a spiritual center with which everyone might become associated mentally, regardless of geographical location. He said to His disciples, “I go to prepare a place for you . . . that where I am, there ye may be also.” That place is a state of spirituality right here in our midst, and we can at any time connect ourselves with it by centering our mind on Jesus and silently asking His help in our demonstrations. It is a prayer of one who is on the way seeking the guidance of The One who has passed over the same road, and who knows all the hard places and how to get through them.”
To find solace, comfort, love, understanding, peace and grace, we want The One who is above all and all, and such a One-we find in Jesus Christ. .Jesus Christ is the head of this ministry. I encourage you to be in prayer to and with Him at all times.
Let us pray:
Dear God, from this place, this body of believers turn to You, we are asking that a special spiritual awareness be given to each person praying. We ask that each person being prayed for will be blessed, that God’s healing light and love will radiate through all of us and all those with whom we pray, and throughout all Creation.
1 Thessalonians 4:2 – Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 3. And pray for us too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ…..4. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. In Jesus Christ’s name . . . Amen.