Put Your Boots on, Soldier!
Have you ever wondered what you were put on this earth to do? I have. Up until recently this one idea consumed much of my thoughts. I think a lot of Christians struggle with this same question. God created us to fellowship with Him, to pray for others, and to share our faith with the lost. Simple, yes, but very difficult if you don’t have the right tools. The body of Christ is, in essence, sitting by and watching while our world crumbles around us and Satan thrives in Christian lives and churches as well as everywhere else.
As children of God we are called by the Almighty God, our Abba Daddy, to fellowship with Him in a church with other believers and by praying daily. You might be asking, “Praying for what, exactly?” The answer isn’t difficult at all, it’s just…big. True prayer and fellowship with God begins with us, personally, when we embark on our prayer lives, no matter how long you’ve been a Christian. We pray, not just for ourselves, but for others, beginning with those we’re closest to, like immediate family and friends. As we grow in our prayer lives and in our fellowship with our awesome God, we grow in fellowship with other Christians, God begins to open our eyes to what’s really happening in the world around us. We begin to see God’s power at work and our prayers answered in lives and events. Brothers and sisters in Christ, these things are essential to the healthy Christian life.
Be honest with yourself. Where are you in your spiritual growth and your prayer life today? If your answer convicts you, a good place to start is Prayer Boot Camp from Prayer Portions by Sylvia Gunter. Moreover, I recommend you get it. It’s not a small book by any means. It may cost you an pretty penny, but think of it as a lifelong investment. The following is an excerpt:
Prayer Boot Camp pgs 263-265 of Prayer Portions
Prayer is not a formula. It is primarily a love relationship expressed between you and your loving heavenly Father. He is all-wise, all-loving, all-forgiving, all-powerful, all-able to hear and to answer. This study…is merely a good starting place to grasp the enormous privilege we have as God calls us to Himself to speak with Him face-to-face. (Scripture references have been highlighted for importance)
What is prayer?
1. Relationship-verbalizing total child-like dependence on my faithful Father-John 1:12, Matthew 6:9, 7:11.
2. Intimate two-way conversation between two people who love each other, talking with God – James 4:8.
3. Standing in the gap – a. between a need and God who can supply – Ezekiel 22:30. b. between a need and Satan the adversary – Matthew 16:19, Ephesians 6:10-18.
4. Pleading the promises – Joshua 23:14, 2 Corinthians 1:20.
5. Acknowledging entire dependence on the Sovereign God – John 15:4.
6. Asking God for something – Matthew 7:7-8.
7. Ministering to God – Deuteronomy 10:8.
8. Pouring out our burdens on our caring Friend – Psalm 55:22, 1 Peter 5:7.
9. The beginning of every move of God – Habakkuk 3:1-2.
Who can pray? (pg 264)
Those with a clean heart – If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened (Psalm 66:18).
Those with clean hands – Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand on His holy place? He who has clean hands and an pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false (Psalm 24:3-4).
Those who forgive – When you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins (Mark 11:25).
Those who come in faith – If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer (Matt 21:22). Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).
Those who belong to Jesus – You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it (John 14:14).
Those who are His child – Yet to all who receive Him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become the children of God (John 1:12). Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him (Matt 6:8).
The humble – The tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, “God, have mercy on me, an sinner” (Luke 18:13).
To Whom do we pray? (pg 264)
To God the Father in the name of Jesus by the Holy Spirit – Matt 6:9, John 14:14, Romans 8:26-27.
What are the basic ingredients? (pg 265)
Adoration: Praise God for His attributes–magesty, holiness, goodness, sovereignty, power, love, grace, etc. Psalm 103, 145, 147
Confession: Ask God to reveal sin. Agree with God about your sin. Repent of your sins. Accept God’s cleansing. 1 John 1:9
Thanksgiving: Thank God for His blessings: material, physical, personal, spiritual, etc. Ephesians 5:20
Supplication: Intercede for others and petition for your own needs. Philippians 4:6
Boot camp is excellent training for battle, but it is not the real war. There are no victories unless an soldier goes to war. There are no heroes in boot camp. You may know all about prayer. There will be no prayer victories unless you actually pray. Prayer victory is based on praying, not on how much head knowledge you have about prayer or how many prayer requests you take. God wants to show Himself strong in answer to your prayers.