With a large antique radio on stage, Miles tuned the dial to a few different stations, passing through the static in between. When he arrived at a familiar song, he noted that the music was already playing when he found the station. It didn’t start playing when he turned the dial; rather, he joined a program already in progress.
Day and night there are spiritual conversations happening about and around your life. Prayer is simply joining in the conversation that’s already happening!
The same is true in the spiritual world. Day and night there are spiritual conversations happening about and around your life. Prayer is simply joining in the conversation that’s already happening!
Would you like to have a powerful miraculous prayer life? If that happened, there would be miracles all around your life that you can’t explain otherwise. Having an understanding of the conversations taking place in the spiritual realm will change the way you pray. Today is an introduction or the beginning of a framework to help you have a powerful and consistent prayer life, and each week leading up to Easter will build on that framework. The challenge is to attend every week and practice prayer every day!
1. Dialed-in prayer is joining the conversation that is already taking place in the spiritual world. Mark 9:21-29
Sometimes we think we have to fill God in about the things happening in our lives, but -- news flash! -- we will never ever inform God of something He doesn’t already know. Yes, He wants us to come to Him, ask Him, and talk to Him, but He already knows what is happening. We need to acknowledge and declare that which He’s already given us and how He has already advocated for us.
In Mark 9, a desperate father brings his demon-possessed child to Jesus:
So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it: “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!” Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.” Mark 9:21-29
What is your "this kind"? What is the miracle you seek in your life?
If you are waiting for a miracle, it’s time to get serious about prayer. Make decision follow God or not follow Him. Submit to Him or don’t, but you can’t do both. God blesses the truth, so He cannot bless lies. He speaks life over people, so He cannot bless gossip. He calls us to purity, so He doesn’t bless our impure choices. When we seek the miracle, we need to first seek and submit to God - and to commune with Him so that we may know Him and understand His plans for us.
2. Dialed-in prayer empowers us to fulfill God’s purposes in our lives. James 5:16-18
Dialing in your prayer to the conversation happening in heaven will empower you to fulfill God’s purpose in your life because you will gain clarity about what that purpose is.
Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit. James 5:16-18
What is the discipline you desire to establish between now and Easter? What do you want to change your life? Do you want to read the Bible? Pray every day? Discover your gifts? Step out and attend Life class or a small group? Discover who you are?
Think about this: what does a supernatural prayer life look like for you?
Jesus prayed to show us that we need to pray. We aren’t better than Jesus; if He needed to pray (Matthew 14:23, Luke 5:16, Luke 6:12-13, Matthew 1:35), then so do we! The Bible is full of stories of people who prayed to God and saw supernatural works. If Moses, Gideon, Joshua, Esther, David, Abraham, Samson, Deborah...and all our biblical heroes and heroines and could not do anything for God without prayer, then you need to pray too. People may follow you or like you, but that doesn’t mean that the Spirit is moving on your behalf. You must be in tune with what God is already doing in order to see Him move!
3. Dialed-in prayer requires a change in your thought life.
Stronghold: a wrong thinking pattern which leads to a self-destructive behavior pattern.
What wrong thought patterns do you entertain throughout the day? -- “I’m ugly,” “The worst is going to happen,” “I’m a failure,” “I’m always going to be depressed and lonely.”
There may be certain difficult facts in your life right now, but they don’t outweigh God’s truth. You may be grieving a loss, but there is also truth and hope in God who loves you and has great plans for you.
Remember Jesus’ own words that “nothing is impossible with God” (Matthew 19:26). You are being handed an opportunity today to change your life, but it won’t come by listening to a pastor or attending church alone. You have to be serious and submit yourself to the Spirit of God.
What stronghold would you like to break in your life?
4. Dialed-in prayer requires a change in your daily schedule.
The schedule you make for yourself is not better than the schedule God has for you. Let Him speak to you about how you are spending your time and when is the best time for you to pray.
Where is the place you are going to pray? __________________________
Time of day?___________________________
(Morning is best. If you pray at the end of the day, you are asking God to intervene and clean up all the messes you discovered or caused throughout the day, but in the morning, He is able to prepare you, guide your steps, and potentially help you to navigate your day differently than you would have on your own.)
Length of prayer time?________________________________________________
(15-30 min? 30-60 min? The longer you are in the presence of God, the better. When people fall in love, they want to spend all their time together and get to know one another as best as they can. Likewise, you won’t get to know God well by spending 5 minutes with Him or coming to church once a month. Commit to spending time with Him. Get up early if you need to and stop complaining! If you think about it, you’ll probably realize there are a lot of opportunities or responsibilities (financial, career, educational, etc.) for which you would get up early and be ready to go; so let’s give God that same honor and importance.
5. Dialed-in prayer will require an accountability partner.
Having good intentions is rarely enough to follow through with new habits. You can promise to work out every day, get up early, pray, read, etc. but if no one is waiting for you, you are much less likely to go.
Whom will you ask to hold you accountable? _____________________________________________
Your chances of success go up exponentially when someone is walking it with you. If you really want God to change your life, put yourself in the best position to experience that change.
6. Dialed-in prayer is based on the Word of God.
Put electronics aside so that your email, calendar, social media, or other distractions are more than a button push away! Have a Bible (all your prayers need to be based on God’s Word), pen, and paper ready. Write down your requests as you pray, so that you will remember what you have shared with Him.
Spend 15 minutes each day in your prayer spot. As Miles’ special challenge for this first week, just sit and listen to God for 15 minutes and write down whatever you feel He is saying to you. Just sit with Him and be in His presence.
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Matthew 6:33
7. Dialed-in prayer is focused on the kingdom of God.
This is not about you. It involves you, but it’s about the Lord! Are you willing to listen and follow His lead?
Write down the names of three people you will invite to Easter services and pray for them in these weeks leading up to Easter: