Jesus Challenges our Concept of Church Leadership
A week on prayer with Francis Frangipane Day 3
Church history began with her leadership devoted to the Word of God and prayer (Acts 2:32, 6:4). Every day the leaders gathered to pray and minister to the Lord (Acts 3:1). In this clarity of vision and simplicity of purpose, the church of Jesus Christ never had greater power or capacity to make true disciples. These men and women revealed the purity of the kingdom of God.
Today, however, our qualifications for church leadership include almost everything but devotion to God’s word and prayer. Leaders are expected to be organizers, counselors, and individuals with winning personalities whose charms alone can draw people.
In Luke 18, Jesus challenges our modern traditions. He asks, “When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?” His question is a warning to Christians who would limit the power of God at the end of the age. Jesus is calling us to resist the downward pull of our traditions; He is asking us individually, “Will I find faith in you?”
Before we respond, let us note that Jesus associates faith with “day-and-night” prayer.
Repentance From Dead Works
Prayer is a bold encounter with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit. It is not a doctrine or a system of ideas. It is neither an intellectual pursuit nor an optional hobby. Prayer is encountering Jesus. It is drawing closer to Him each day, to know Him better and love Him more, to become like Him in holiness and power and glory.
In His presence there is joy, shelter, light, life, deliverance, victory, worship, glory, boldness, cleansing, holiness, rest, and everything else you need. Don’t start with His presence and continue in the flesh.
Looking directly into the holy, righteous, pure fact of Jesus, you will experience the fullness of His presence that produces repentance. Confession, repentance, and obedience are the secrets of walking in continuous daily personal revival. Why is there so little repentance? It is a costly work to self, pride, and the flesh and therefore unpopular and will never attract a crowd.
Sylvia Gunter, Prayer Portions
If You Could Ask Anything of the Father to Start This Year
Provoking Thoughts on Prayer
If we are to have fellowship with Jesus Christ in His present work, we must spend much time in prayer; we must give ourselves to earnest, constant, persistent, sleepless, overcoming prayer. I know of nothing that has so impressed me with a sense of the importance of praying at all seasons, being much and constantly in prayer, as the thought that that is the principal occupation at present of my risen Lord. I want to have fellowship with Him, and to that end I have asked the Father that whatever else He may make me, to make me at all events an intercessor, to make me a man who knows how to pray, and who spends much time in prayer.
R. A. Torrey
Provoking Thoughts on Prayer
This is Intercession
When we pray for others the Spirit of God works in the unconscious domain of their being that we know nothing about, and the one we are praying for knows nothing about, but after the passing of time the conscious life of the one prayed for begins to show sigs of unrest and disquiet. We may have spoken until we are worn out, but have never come anywhere near, and we have given up in despair. But if we have been praying, we find on meeting them one day that there is the beginning of a softening in an inquiry and a desire to know something.
It is that kind of intercession that does the most damage to Satan’s kingdom. It is so slight, so feeble in its initial stages that if reason is not wedded to the light of the Holy Spirit, we will never obey it, and yet it is that kind of intercession that the New Testament places most emphasis on.
Start the New Year off with a 40-day fast, a fast of words that is. Fast judgments, complaining, sarcasm/criticism, negative words and gossip.
I will also have a 10 day fast of these words as a featured reading plan on YouVersion starting January 1. Look for The 10 Day Word Fast.