This post is adapted from Pastor Phil Pringle’s messages at the C3 Oxford Falls 10am and 6pm services on Sunday 8 April. Watch the messages here.
“Commit your work to the Lord, then it will succeed.” Proverbs 16:3 (TLB)
The God Priority is all about His Presence in our lives. This only comes about through prayer.
Prayer is our connection with Jesus. The New Testament doesn’t work without prayer.
Revival comes when we put God first.
The Proverbs verse above explains the difference between trying to be successful and enjoying success: it’s by prayer we commit our work to the Lord.
The first thing we should do is pray. (1 Timothy 2:1-3 MSG) What is the first thing we do every morning? Make God the first person we talk to each day and the first voice we listen to.
Make prayer a habit.
2 Chronicles 26:3-5 (MSG) shows us how King Uzziah was “well trained by his pastor and teacher Zechariah to live in reverent obedience to God” and then we’re told how God prospered him in response to his obedient reverence.
We can’t rely on yesterday’s prayer to solve this day’s circumstances; we need today’s prayer to help guide us through today and tomorrow’s prayer to guide us through tomorrow. Prayer equips us with wisdom and discernment to help us through our day. If we think the day will overwhelm us with everything that is going on then let your prayer overwhelm everything that is going on.
The great prayer of revival is 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV):
“if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
Lands all over the globe are in desperate need of healing. And prayer will help enable it.
Psalm 34:10b (NKJV): “But those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.”
When I was a young Christian I heard a man called Ed Miller speak who mentioned that he often spent many hours a day in prayer, sometimes up 10-12 hours. I couldn’t believe it. When I first tried to spend 3 hours in prayer it was excruciating.
But weeks later I took myself off on a 3 day retreat where I based myself in a small hut. I went looking for the invisible God. I struggled at first but then those words of Psalm 34:10 came back and after spending some time simply being present with the Lord I began to sense His presence. And it was wonderful.
Christianity isn’t a religion but a relationship with God who loves to commune with us. And all of us have access to His presence.
In the Old Testament only one person, the priest, had access to the presence of God and only once a year. The priest would enter the tabernacle to be in the presence of God.
Interestingly, Moses would meet with God and Joshua, his deputy, would sit and simply linger in the presence of the Lord even after Moses had left the tent. Joshua loved the presence of God so much that God chose him to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land.
Isaiah 40:28-31 (MSG) – these verses provide tremendous encouragement if you’re lacking energy or experiencing a season of suffering of some description. Go to the Lord and He will renew your energy and give you strength through this difficult season.
Prayer is the lifeline for the Christian; it is our breathing apparatus. We don’t choose to breathe, it’s automatic, however, we have a choice to pray.
EM Bounds said: “God shapes the world by prayer”.
Leonard Ravenhill said: “Prayer is as mighty as God is because He’s committed to answering it.”
Make God more important than the answer to prayer.
Let’s be a church that makes prayer a habit and as Presence Conference approaches let’s be committed to praying for each other, those people who we could invite to it and for all those involved in organising it. May a spirit of prayer fill our hearts.