Prayer, when filled with faith and all doubt suppressed, is the most powerful tool we have to move things in the spirit realm.
Colossians 4:2 “2 Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving;
I have heard some Christians say, “How can I always be in prayer since I have other things I must do in life besides sit and pray”. This is not an unusual response for the person that does not understand what prayer truly is. Those of us who were taught to pray when we were children did so with simple requests. As we grew older our requests became more intense as our needs intensified. So many Christians have bought the lie that prayer is what you do when you have exhausted all other means of getting what you want or need. People tend to wear themselves out doing before praying and find themselves wondering why God didn’t answer their prayer. I have found very few Christians that even believe God answers prayers today and I believe part of the reason is found in James 4:2-3. Prayer is not just for the purpose of asking God for things we want. James is telling us that one of the reasons we do not have is the motive behind our asking. This is not to say that God does not want to bless us because He does. Jesus tells us God knows how to bless His children better than man does, Matthew 7:11. The true reason behind developing a true prayer life is for communication with God. There are much more answers in life He wants to give us that just fulfill our wish list. He wants to have fellowship with us which means we need to sometimes shut up from all of our whimpering and pleading and listen to His still small voice, 1 Kings 19:12. We often forget that God is truly not a forceful God. He is the ultimate gentleman and will patiently wait until we spin ourselves dry of tears and prayers and finally shut up before He speaks; At that point we need to have trained our ears to hear. I was a grown man before I went on my first hunting trip and I did not ask anyone I knew that hunted what to do, it was boring and I came back empty handed. A few years later I had another invitation, but this time I ask some questions and the first thing I was told was to begin learning the quiet sounds of the field at day break. When the sun had not yet begun to shine and the time was near, there I sat in the dark quiet listening to nothing when all of a sudden I heard something in the distance. The hair went up on the back of my neck and I began to quietly focus my eyes and my ears in the direction of any sound I heard. As the sun began to break the horizon the different noises became louder and louder in my ears and shortly after it became daylight the sounds stopped just as quickly as they started. I didn’t see a Deer, but experienced my first forest symphony of noises and movements. I had never heard such noise before because I never was told to quietly listen. That morning is when I realized how God’s children were supposed to hear His voice. I still didn’t bring a Deer home, but I brought home something much greater; an understanding on how to hear God. Philippians 4:6 says to let your requests be known, but after that we are to shut up and focus with quiet intensity on what we know of God, Philippians 4:8. Meditation and listening for the still small voice of God often is the second half of our prayer life, but actually should become the first part of our prayer life. As we realize that much of our prayers should be meditating on God’s word that is in us, coupled with few of our words, we should begin to grow to the point of being in consistent prayer with God. If you are truly after “more of God” and not just more of His blessings in your life, He will give you the desires of your heart plus the blessings in your life. This is what Jesus was telling us in Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
In the King James Version the second half of verse 2 reads “and watch in the same with thanksgiving”. This is more in keeping with continuing earnestly in prayer. To watch prayerfully is to focus with your spiritual eyes, which takes much more effort that to just look at the outer appearance of something. Gentiles, non-believers, do not have the ability to see spiritually and are trapped in the temporary reality of their five senses. Even in the days of old before Jesus’ death removed the veil, God was able to show His prophets things in the spirit realm. In 2 Kings 6:17 the army of Syria surrounded the home of the prophet Elisha with orders to kill him. When the servant of Elisha saw the army of men and chariots and was afraid. When Elisha’s servant told his master, Elisha simply prayed for God to open his servant’s eyes and see the army of God surrounding the entire army of Syria. In our walk here on earth we will have many opportunities to be fearful, angry, or doubtful about various situations, but to God there is always another picture that He wants to show us. All we have to do is ask Him to open the eyes of our heart.
Blindness of heart is what keeps people stuck in their sins and absent from the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, Ephesians 4:18 “having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart.” To those who have heard the gospel of Jesus Christ, if they believe and ask they will be able to see the true spiritual world of God. It is the blindness of heart that keeps a Christian’s stumbling in the sin that so easily ensnares them, Hebrews 12:1.
The key to answered prayers and seeing into the spiritual realm of God is the last two words, “with thanksgiving “of which those who are not truly thankful and ever mindful for what God has done for them will not experience their full blessings, Philippians 4:6-8.
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