Friday, July 20, 2012

Fervent Prayer. . .

James 5:16
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

I am convicted sometimes. . . My Pastor, and others encourage us. . . exhort us to pray large prayers. We gather together as a body each Thursday night for family prayer, and I sometimes feel guilty when I spend much of that time in prayer for my family.

It struck me last night, while in prayer. . . while praying for my family, that we are to reach people for Christ, and to grow His kingdom. If each one of us reaches, only one other person the size of God’s kingdom is doubled.

And while many have dreams of evangelizing, and converting cities to Christ. . . the reality is that for many, our own families are, by the reason of their familiarity, and proximity, and relationship to us the most fertile ground to be found.

I want to pray big prayers, but often I have trouble bringing forth much passion, and fervency for a prayer request for distant faceless name, no matter how dire the situation, and that must be key. . . James states that: the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

It clearly doesn’t seem that it is the mere recitation of the words of the prayer, which availeth much, but it is the passion behind the words, which gives energy and urgency to our prayers, and possibly raises them above the clamor in the Lord’s ears, for His attention.

It reminds me of Nehemiah’s rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem. He had limited manpower. He had limited funds for the project. In a brilliant stroke, Nehemiah recognized that no man is more motivated, than when he is building that which directly concerns his own safety, and his own family's safety.

Nehemiah therefore set each man to build the section of wall in front of his own house:

Nehemiah 3:28-30
From above the horse gate repaired the priests, every one over against his house. (29) After them repaired Zadok the son of Immer over against his house. After him repaired also Shemaiah the son of Shechaniah, the keeper of the east gate. (30) After him repaired Hananiah the son of Shelemiah, and Hanun the sixth son of Zalaph, another piece. After him repaired Meshullam the son of Berechiah over against his chamber.

It is unalterable human nature to strive hardest, for that which rewards you. . . for that which personally concerns you. By being assigned the section of wall in front of his own house, each man was in very visible, and concrete terms, working for the safety of his own household, and thereby committed extra care. . . extra attention to detail. . . making sure that his section of wall was as impenetrable as he could possibly make it.

I want to grow the Kingdom, but try as I might, sometimes I lack fervency for issues too far removed from me. . . Yes, I can raise my voice. . . Yes, I might be able to with great labor, squeeze a tear or two from my eyes, but there is more effort than passion in the attempt.

BUT!!! I can pray fervently for my family without effort. I need no rah rah session to arouse passion in my prayers for my children, my father, my sister, my brother. . . I pray with flowing passion for Jackie’s family . . . and to think about it. . . Counting it up, within ten miles or so of where we live, Jackie and I easily have some 15 or 20 close family members, many of whom greatly need the Lord in their lives.

To double the kingdom of God takes each of us reaching 1 person. . . With my Jackie and I’s family, there are in the immediate area, 5 to 10 for each of us, whom we have great potential to reach for the Lord..

What far greater potential do we have to minister to those with whom we already have relationships? Than to those to whom, we are strangers?

I think sometimes I ignore ministering to my family, not so much laziness, as with families there are issues. . . issues from the past. . . issues easier to ignore than to address. But how foolish are we to think it easier to reach strangers than family.

I will not again feel guilty in praying for my family. That may well be a trick of the devil. That is my rightful business. My business is surely to take care of my own house. . . to rebuild the section of wall right in front of me. . .and I will attend to such work with a diligence and vigor beyond what I would give to any other field. . .

Thank you my Lord. . .
Please guide me, and help me to build a wall of prayer for my family. . and around my family. . .

I love you my God. . .

2 comments:

CQ| said...

Hello, I found you on Apostolic Bloggers. Are you from Guelph Ontario? cool blog.

David Stokely said...

No, I'm not from Guelph. I live in the States.

I'm glad you enjoyed my blog.