“I’ve learned that no one is born a prayer hero. They are shaped and refined on the practice field of life”.
Those words are written by Dutch Sheets in his very convicting and convincting book, “Intercessory Prayer: How God Can Use Your Prayers To Move Heaven and Earth”. I’ve had it on my shelf for years but I’m finally devouring it. Every few pages I have to stop and pray because I’m so gripped by something I’ve read about prayer. I’m excited and overwhelmed and thrilled and nervous and grateful and wondering…wondering what the Lord is going to do in me as I commit myself to becoming a better prayer warrior, one who “wrestles in prayer” like my hero, Epaphras, in Colossians.
I know for sure that He is changing me as I pray!
He’s creating a greater desire for Him, a greater desire to extend His love everywhere I go, a greater hope that He is going to work miraculously all around me, a greater faith that He IS going to do something special, significant, amazing!
He’s becoming more precious to me all the time. You would think that after 55 years of loving Him, our relationship would grow stale, but it doesn’t…it only grows more intimate, more real, more wondeful. It reminds me of an old, old song I grew up singing: “Sweeter as the years go by: richer, fuller, deeper, Jesus’ love is sweeter. Sweeter as the years go by”. Oh, how grateful I am for this love relationship I enjoy with the Lord of Lords, the King of Kings, my Savior, my Redeemer, my Best Friend.
I’ve been writing recently that my heart is longing for a mighty moving of God’s Spirit that is so obvious, so great, that it can only be called “revival”. I know deep within me that this revival comes as a result of prayer. Sheets writes, “Our prayers can bring revival. They can bring healing. We can change a nation. Strongholds can come down when and because we pray.”
Charles Finney, the great revivalist of the mid 1800’s would have agreed with Sheets. He experienced a revival that was “perhaps the most remarkable account of the manifestations of the Holy Spirit’s power since apostolic days.” (Quote taken from “Revival Fire” by Wesley Duewel, another book that is touching my life profoundly) Finney put “great stress upon prayer as an indispensable condition of promoting the revival”. He prayed for hours a day for revival and encouraged people where ever he went to be united in prayer for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon their churches and towns. Finney had such an anointing and power of the Spirit upon his life that at times he didn’t even have to say anything to people for them to begin weeping in his presence and ask how to be saved!
I read books about the Finneys of history and realize that I have so far to go. And that only pushes me to pray more and put my trust even more in His power to help me become what He wants.
Well, I’m sure no prayer hero. May never be. But I am longing to be actively engaged on that “practice field of life.” Again, I invite you to join me. Hand in hand, on our knees, seeking more of that outpouring of His Spirit upon our lives, our families, our churches, our cities, our world.
Together, we pray.