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The Power of Your Prayer Life

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
September 4, 2023 12:00 am

The Power of Your Prayer Life

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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September 4, 2023 12:00 am

As we spend time on our knees before the Lord, He is busy transforming the world around us and the world within us.

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Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Monday, September 4. Is your life making an impact for the glory of God? The answer to that question is directly proportional to the strength of your connection to God through prayer. The apostles had watched the Lord Jesus Christ heal. They had watched Him teach. They had watched Him perform miracle after miracle. But there was something very unusual about Him when He had come out of a place of private prayer. And so in this particular verse it says it came to pass that as He was praying in a certain place, when He finished, one of those disciples said to Him, Lord, teach us to pray. Now, not just so much how to pray, but Lord, teach us to pray as John also taught his disciples to pray. Now, you know that Jesus prayed at His baptism. He prayed when He was tempted by Satan.

All throughout His life He was praying and He was God. Now, if the Lord Jesus Christ, who was God, felt the need to begin His day in prayer and felt the need to end His day in prayer and felt the need to pray all night long before He made great decisions, how much more should you and I feel the need of personal private prayer? How in the world can you and I develop a relationship with God the Father through His Son Jesus Christ if we're always with someone else and always in the midst of noise and always in the process of doing this and going there and being busy here in Yonder? It is absolutely impossible to build a relationship with Jesus Christ where there is no time given to Him alone.

He longs to have time with us alone, where He knows that we are absolutely and totally consumed with loving Him, expressing our love toward Him, and worshiping Him in private, not going to church. You can go to church every Sunday of your life. You can read the Bible every day of your life, but if you neglect that time alone with God on your face somewhere, I want to tell you, you remember this, that you will live no better than you pray. A man preaches no better than he prays, sings no better than he prays, teaches no better than he prays. We do nothing any better than we pray. And the reason the body of Christ is so weak and the church is so weak in preaching and teaching and singing and leading and all the areas of service in the body of Christ, the reason there's so much weakness is because our prayer life is so weak. Satan had rather you read the Bible than to pray. He'd rather me preach than pray, you sing than pray, you teach than pray, witness than pray, do anything you want to do but stay off your knees at all cost because the devil knows that when you and I fall upon our face before God, he begins to transform our natural into the supernatural. God does a very special work in the life.

It's like he covers that life with that which is absolutely humanly indescribable when you and I fall upon our face before Him and begin to worship Him and love Him and listen to Him and express our devotion to Him in privacy alone with Him and no one else. But I can tell you, if you will, you have time, you'll never have time. If you wait till nobody bothers you, you'll never reach that place.

If you wait till everything is right, it'll never be right. And you can write down on a slip of paper today, I vow to pray before God so many hours of the day or so many minutes of the day, whatever you want to do. And I'm here to tell you the day or the moment you start, Satan already has something else for you to do, somebody else for you to talk to, something that's calling you. Satan has enough emergencies to last the rest of your life to keep you off your knees.

And the tragedy is that he's succeeding. Now I want to tell you this, reading books won't make you a prayer, are you? The purpose of this is not simply to motivate you to pray.

The purpose is that for you who know that you ought to pray and for you who want to pray and for you who feel the burden to pray and for you who know in your heart you ought to pray. And deep down inside you need a little help to pray. I'm simply laying one principle on the other week after week after week for those of you who mean business for God, that your prayer life can become a supernatural expression of what God can do in the life of any person who is willing to get along just a little bit every day and love Jesus Christ privately. God can ignite a little teeny itsy bitsy flame that could spread across the world. But I want to tell you, he's only going to do it by praying. And that doesn't start with corporate praying, it starts with private praying.

So the four things I want to say to you. First of all, if you're going to develop a prayer life that's going to make your life powerful in the eyes of God, the first thing you've got to do is you've got to decide that you're going to set aside some time. Now let me just think about this. It is a sin for Christians who have heard the gospel for years and years and years and have watched God answer prayer over and over and over again to sit down and spend one, two, three, four hours a night watching television and get up with their minds boggled with the world and then whisper, oh Lord bless me tomorrow and help me in my job and bless my family and take care of my kids and supply our needs in Jesus name on my way to sleep. And that's where God's people spend their time bowing down before the God worshipping the God of this world, the pleasures of this world when there is almighty supernatural omnipotent omniscient loving God sitting in heaven waiting to pour out his blessings upon his people but they're too well fed with the world and there is absolutely no excuse. Amen? There is no excuse. Don't ever tell me you don't have time to pray. Don't tell God you don't have time to pray.

There is always time. Listen, if you don't know how to start could I make a suggestion? Would you just decide Lord by your help and your strength and I want to tell you this, don't say that Lord if you'll help me.

Forget it. When you and I know what to do we can do it. If it is God's will we have all the assistance we need. I want to challenge you to do something. I want to challenge you to start today not tomorrow. To set aside 15 minutes beginning today by yourself alone before God and just start talking to him. You say well now look I don't know how to pray. Let me tell you how to pray. You just talk to him like you're talking to your best friend. Don't use any big words. Don't try to impress him.

Just talk to him. Now here's what will happen for some people. You'll pray about five minutes and you'll say goodness I've been praying an hour. Let me show you something very interesting.

You've been there haven't you? Let me tell you something very interesting and I see this and it just blesses me. You watch a fellow get saved and God begin to work in his or her life and they first start praying. They pray about five minutes and they've prayed all the way around the world.

They've covered everything there is to cover. They think I've been praying an hour and then as God begins to deepen their life he just turns that over and they've prayed an hour and they think my goodness I've been praying very long. I've been praying about five minutes and then it's an hour.

You see it says something about my relationship to Jesus Christ. Got to set aside time. Listen there's not a man, woman, boy, girl in care how early you have to get up in the morning or what you have to do. There's not a person here who can't start with 15 minutes and you just open your Bible to some passage of scripture and read it and tell God you want him to get you ready and start the day off. Listen if Jesus Christ who had the ministry he had could spend all or the early hours when he said well he didn't have to go to work at a certain time.

Don't fool yourself. The crowds were thronging him oftentimes at daybreak. That's why he had to get up a great while before day to pray. 15 minutes to start with and tell God that you want to develop a relationship with him like you've never had before and just tell him well I don't know how to pray I don't know what to say but I'm just going to tell you the best I know and this lady said I discovered with a group of ladies and we started praying together we didn't know how to pray but we got burdened we learned how.

Second thing you've got to have is a place. You say why can't I pray driving down the expressway and going to church and all these things? Sure you can but let me ask you this isn't it evident in the life of Jesus Christ that as he walked the dusty roads of Galilee and as he preached and taught and healed and performed miracles and discussed with his disciples that he was in a prayerful mood all the time but that wasn't sufficient for him. A great while before daybreak he prayed. All night he prayed somebody says when you pray all night you'll be so dead the next morning you can't even work. I want to tell you something that is the devil's lie. There is a mystery there is a supernatural mystery about prayer but which there is no human explanation all the world that a man can pray all night long and the next morning he's absolutely fresh as a blooming daisy.

He said how do you explain that? I wouldn't even begin the trial and offer an explanation for that there is no explanation for that that's the supernatural power of God but I can tell you this. There's a little verse in Isaiah 40 which I have to quote to myself very often but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength they shall mount up with wings like an eagle they shall run and not be weary they shall walk and not faint. How long do you have to wait upon the Lord? When I was in New Zealand and when I was in the South Island I had to preach eight times a day and four of those were back to back around the lunchtime starting at eleven o'clock till one o'clock. Well I'd preach twenty five minutes and I'd have five minutes to rest.

These folks would go out and some other people would come in and these are business people who met downtown. I realized when he told me what I had to do I began to think well how am I going to do this? Two hours in a row with five minutes between each time so there was a place a little room about just enough for me to lie down on the floor so I laid on a hard concrete floor cold and put my Bible under my head and I just said okay God I've got five minutes. You said they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount over the wings as eagles they shall run and not be weary they shall walk and not faint.

I've got five minutes to wait God that's all I've got. And I preached all four of those times did you know that after that I wasn't even tired? There is a mystery about getting alone with God for which there's no human explanation. When a fella says man I keep pray half the night and work the next day yes you can. When a man tells me he can't you know what I know?

I know he's never tried it that's what I know. Well what about that place? When there's a place in your home or somewhere where you come with God and you battle out the big decisions in your life all of a sudden that place will become sacred and hold it to you and here's what will happen. If it can be a place that's separate when you walk in it's like God prepares you just like that because that's the thing you do when you get there and so your mind is programmed that when you walk in that place that you kneel at that particular place it can be down beside your bed if you've got a particular spot or over in a particular chair where you kneel in over behind the chair in a corner because there's something about the feeling of seclusion away with God.

Now if you say well I can just pray just as well any old way then you haven't tried what I'm talking about. It's interesting to me that the Bible says that Jesus went up in the mountain apart to pray. He was always getting up there away secluded to pray because he knew the value of seclusion being shut up to the Father without being interrupted by anyone else.

There's something precious and special about the place. Then let's talk about the purpose. When you get along with the Lord what's the purpose of that? You say well that's very simple you've been talking about praying.

No now wait a minute. What is the purpose of our spending time along with the Lord? If you'll just keep praying and you'll ask God and tell him that more than you want anything that he has to give you want him. And you see the greatest prophet in praying is not what I get from God or by some material thing. The greatest prophet of praying is what? As we're in his presence we are being gradually conformed to his likeness. When you and I get on our face before God and we concentrate on him and we talk to him and we share our heart with him and we open our soul to him and we pour out our innermost being to him. What are we doing but focusing our countenance upon him and what does he do? In the process of our praying privately along with him he is very silently but quietly doing what? Transforming us into his likeness, fashioning us into his likeness, giving us his mind, working into our life, his very being, pruning out of our lives.

Those things ought not to be there. You can never come out of a place of private devotion to him like you entered. But there's one last thing and that is you ought to have a plan because if you're not careful here's what you'll do.

Somebody will say I need you to pray for him and you'll pray two days and that's the end of it. You forget it. So let me just tell you a real simple thing that you can do.

Just buy yourself a stenographer's pad. It'll set up because it has a little wire on the end of it. Leave it set up if you want to set up. You can flip the pages or lie it down, anything you want to do. At the top of it you write on the left hand column left hand side what you're praying about. At the end of that put the date you started praying and then as God answers that prayer draw one line through it.

Don't draw more than one line so you can see what you have there. Draw one line through it and write the date that God answered your prayer and here's what'll happen. As you begin to add things to that prayer list and as God begins to answer your prayers and you keep drawing lines through those things every time you pick up that pad and you see all those lines every one of those lines says that what God answers prayer, God answers prayer, God answers prayer, God answers prayer because each one of those lines represents an answer and out to the side of it you have a date. You're talking about building your faith. Nothing will build your faith. Nothing will deepen your desire to be alone with God like keeping a record of what God has been doing and is doing in your life. Now don't get your pad and go home and fill it up. You get your pad and you go home and before God you say, Lord I want you to show me what to pray about. God will show you what to pray about and God will work. Now that's four simple little suggestions that every single one of you can utilize if you are wise enough to take heed to what you're listening to. Now here's the question.

The big question is always this. What am I gonna get out of it? What's God gonna make me if I really give myself to prayer? Is God gonna make me more eloquent so I can speak better? Is God gonna make me more eloquent so I can teach better? Is God gonna call me to the mission field, make me a great missionary? Am I gonna be able to sing better? Am I gonna be able to exercise leadership better? What thing is going to happen to me if I pray? Well what would happen to you if I told you that as far as the world is concerned more than likely nothing. Some of you would say well I don't have time for that.

Well I want you to do me a favor. I want you to turn to a beautiful pastor scripture that more than likely you've never seen it like this. Here is the most beautiful picture in the scripture I believe of what happens to a man or woman who really and truly develops a private intimate relationship with Jesus Christ through prayer.

Chapter 32 of Isaiah verse 2. And a man shall be as in hiding place from the wind and a covert from the tempest as rivers of water in a dry place as the shatter of a great almighty rock in a weary land. When you and I begin to establish that private time alone with Him, being quiet and God begins to conform you and transform you.

You know what's going to happen? The anxieties disappear. The worries disappear. The direction becomes clear. The fogginess that hinders your decisions begin to lift. God begins to do a sweet wonderful work in your life where of it you will find no other place and no other action that will bring about the same result.

But all that's private. Here's what God will do in your life in behalf of others. As you become a person whose life is characterized by prayer, listen, He will make you a man who is like a hiding place to others when the winds of trouble begin to blow against them. He says you'll be like a hiding place to those who are being windblown with the troubles and the heartaches of life. He says when the storms beat down upon them, they'll find you like a covering where they can run to and find some help and some encouragement and some protection. He says when those lives are walking through deserts and they're empty and lonely and frustrating and hurting, He says what?

You'll be like a beautiful spring of water flowing in the desert like a river in dry places. When our prayer life is like God wants it to be, He says that you and I will be like what? Like He says, watch, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary place, a place in the midst of heartaches and burdens and storms and the heat of the day and the blowing winds, the hot winds of trouble that come across us. When a man's in that kind of trouble, he needs or she needs to meet a person who's been alone with the Lord because that person will be, as he says, like a hiding place with a blowing hot wind, like a covering when the storm beats down upon them, like a spring when everything is so dry and like the cool breeze that flows around that mighty rock that's caused the great shadow in a weary land. Nobody in the world may ever know you by name except the folks around you, but let me ask you this. Would you say that to become that type of person to the people around you would be worth you spending time alone with God?

Because what He's really saying is you'll become an oasis in somebody else's desert if you'll learn to stay alone with God until He transforms your life and until that becomes a habit of devotion and love and praise to Him. Thank you for listening to The Power of Your Prayer Life. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by InTouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-04 02:41:24 / 2023-09-04 02:49:26 / 8

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