It isn’t easy. Prayer is contrary to our old nature because it strikes at self-reliance. Prayer is contrary to our culture because it looks passive instead of active. Prayer is contrary to Satan because it empowers the Word (2 Thessalonians 3:1; Colossians 4:3; Ephesians 6:19; Acts 4:29), and the Word defeats the devil (1 John 2:14; Matthew 4:4,7,10; Revelation 12:11).
So staying inspired to pray is not easy. It is like swimming against three major currents: old-self, secular culture, and Satan.
But we must stay inspired to pray. Where people are not inspired to pray—with “mighty prevailing prayer”—churches either die or become human management “successes”. In either case God is out, and the real business of eternity is replaced by programs and performances. We must stay inspired to pray.
1. Dedicate the first week of 1991 to seek power and dedication for a year of prayer.
December 30 - January 6 is Bethlehem’s Prayer Week. There will be morning prayer times each day (7 am); a New Year’s eve concert of prayer (10 pm) before the communion service (11 pm); and an all night prayer meeting Friday, January 4 (10 pm - 6 am). Plan to let yourself be drawn up and into the spirit and power of prayer this week.
Consider a personal prayer retreat for several hours sometime during this week to seek God for the power you will need this year. God has special intimacy and joy for those who draw near to him in special ways.
2. Plan some inspiring reading on prayer.
This is my continual source of inspiration. I take down some book and read a few pages to stoke my engines and fan my flame again and again. Our church library has many books on prayer. Look them over during prayer week. We will be offering for sale Wesley Duewel’s new book, Mighty, Prevailing Prayer .There are 44 seven page chapters. You don’t have to read it straight through. Take it down when your flame is low. Read one chapter and you will warm again to the glory of prayer.
3. Come to the prayer training Saturday, February 2 (1:00 - 5:00 pm) and become a part of the prayer teams that are seeing God do wonderful things.
This will be a slightly altered repeat session of the training held earlier for the teams that are now praying after the services. We hope many of you will seek this training for the first time; others may want to come a second time. It could become one of the great unifying experiences of our church.
God, in sovereign power and wise timing, “works all things according to the counsel of his will” (Ephesians 1:11); and “waits to be gracious to you” (Isaiah 30:18). Getting prayer answered assumes the sovereignty or God. Getting prayer done assumes the responsibility of man. Getting prayer answered for prayer to be done assumes both. Both are true. God works and God waits. Ours is to trust in his working beneath all our working (Philippians 2:13) and to see him wait no longer.
May the Lord himself cause us to stay inspired to pray in 1991! Let’s be his emissaries of inspiration to pray!