How Abiding In the Word Brings Desire in Prayer – 5 Steps

 

If you are having some difficulty knowing how to abide in the Word, or knowing how abiding works to bring about desire, here are five steps to follow that I think will be helpful.

 Contemplate.  Before I pray I always find it helpful to read something from the Bible and to think about its meaning. Think about what God has said to you from the Bible, but also what He says to you in nature—think on and remember the wonders He has done (1 Chron. 16:11).  As you read the gospels, think of Jesus.  Think of all His qualities and what He has done for you.  Eventually you will find yourself longing for God.

 Reckon.  Reckon (know and believe) that He will never leave you, and that you are a member of His body. Reckon that His life flows through you as the living sap that flows from the vine to the branches.  Let this knowledge be a visual reminder of His life and power existing in you.  It will bring you a renewed desire for Him.

 Rest.  When we abide we don’t strive or struggle; we rest in Him.  This is what Hudson Taylor preached so well.  He spoke about “the exchanged life that had come to him—the life that is indeed ‘no longer I.’”  He, as Paul, lived his life “in Christ” (Gal. 2:20)—he rested in Christ for all that He needed.  And God rewarded Him by giving Him a great delight and satisfaction in Himself.   His life indeed overflowed so that he had “no more thirst.”

 Believe and obey.  Believe and obey all God says to you in His Word—which could be called faith.  According to Tozer, “Faith enables our spiritual sense to function.  Where faith is defective the result will be inward insensibility and numbness toward spiritual things.”  Again Tozer writes, “As we begin to focus upon God the things of the Spirit will shape before our inner eyes.  Obedience to the word of Christ will bring an inward revelation of the Godhead (John 14:21-23).  It will give acute perception enabling us to see God even as is promised to the pure in heart. A new God-consciousness will seize upon us and we shall begin to taste and hear and inwardly feel the God who is our life and our all.”

 Drink.  Jesus said, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink” (Jn. 7:37).  Hudson Taylor has explained this verse to mean that we are to be drinking of Him “constantly, habitually…we are to be ever coming, ever drinking [of Him].”  And if we do this we will be constantly satisfied and delighted in Him.  As John 3:38 says, He will flow out of our heart as rivers of living water.

 

 

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5 Ways to Deepen Your Desire in Prayer

 

Desire is the beginning and the basis of prayer. We cannot pray at all without desire. Now if you want to really deepen your prayer life, you must deepen your desire in prayer. Here are five ways to do it.

1. Pray for desire. Since prayers are somewhat meaningless without desire, if you have just a little desire, I think it would be wise to focus that desire in praying for more desire.  While you are praying you may discover that your lack of desire is even worse than you thought—because you may not feel much like praying at all, for anything!  If that’s the case, it may be that God is already at work in you to answer your prayer. He is creating in you what is necessary to have desire—recognition of your need, which is your first step to achieve it.

Your next step is to focus your prayers on your lack of desire. Ask God why you lack it, and cry out for it with as much desire as you can muster!  Seek it strongly, for seeking is in itself (as we discussed earlier) a type of desire and prayer.  Here are two wonderful verses you can pray over as you seek to desire God:

  Deuteronomy 4:29 

…You will seek the Lord your God and find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.

 1 Chronicles 16:11-12

Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His face evermore.  Remember His marvelous works which He has done…

 

2. Abide in the Word. Along with prayer, desire is developed by abiding in the Word.  We can’t expect to gain desire for God or for prayer without having a regular intake of His Word.  As Job, we must treasure the scriptures, the words of His mouth, more than our daily bread (Job 23:12).

3. Observe the needy. Some types of desire will be stirred in us by observing the needy, particularly multitudes in need. The desire I am speaking of is the desire of compassion.  This desire will be the prime mover of prayer burdens God puts on your heart.  If you really want to have a desire to pray for others, especially for those with great need, make yourself aware of the huge numbers of people all over the world that are suffering.

4. Separate yourself from the world. In Matthew 16:24 Jesus said, “If anyone desires to come after me let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me…”  This seems pretty harsh, but it is actually the key to deepening our desire for Him, because when we deny ourselves, that is, when we deny our old, selfish self, He gives us a new desire and satisfaction for the new life and for God—“…whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”  This life Jesus is speaking of is full of spiritual delights, with joys beyond comprehension.  Let us not desire and love the world or anything in the world.  Then the desire and love of the Father will grow strong in us (1 Jn. 2:15).

5. Fast. Fasting will help you develop and deepen your desire for God and for prayer like nothing else—because usually when we fast we are expressing to God that we want Him (as He wants us) more than anything else—more than food or drink, and more than any other physical pleasure. It is saying to God, “I want to find Your will.”  Likewise, fasting helps one to be sensitive to the things of the Spirit, and it prepares the heart to gain a deeper hunger for God.

 

 

 

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How to Pray about the Caravans from Central America

Prayer for Trump and Country

The imminent caravan of over 4000 people coming from Central America to America is a big problem. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, this last April, called the caravan “A deliberate attempt to undermine our laws and overwhelm our system.” (Migrant Caravan, After Grueling Trip, Reaches U.S. Border. Now the Really Hard Part. Kirk Semple and Miriam Jordan, New York Times, April 29, 2018)

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said of the April caravan, “This caravan, like those who have gone before, is also rightly understood as a deliberate attempt to undermine the laws of this country and the sovereignty of the United States.” (Migrant caravan remains stalled at US-Mexico border AZ Central, April 30, 2018)

Here is some info about these caravans:

According to the Wikipedia article, Central American migrant caravans,

The Viacrucis del Migrante (Way of the Cross), also known as the Central…

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How Desire Helps Prayer Gain the Answers

 

M. Bounds has said, “It is the ardor created by desire that burns its way to the throne of mercy and gains its plea.” Again, Bounds said of desire, “This holy and fervid flame in the soul awakens the interests of heaven, attracts the attention of God, and places at the disposal of those who exercise it, the exhaustless riches of Divine grace.” Thus desire not only helps me pray, but it helps my prayers reach God.

But we must not think that what Bounds is suggesting is that we can manipulate God by our desire.  No, God is in no way surprised by our desire or feels manipulated.  In fact, He waits for us to come to Him with desire—that desire that He has already planted within our heart.

Moreover, when we come to Him with holy desire for certain things, we have the promises of God assuring us that our righteous desires will be granted.  Here are three promises you can claim:

 

Psalms 37:4 

Delight yourselves in the Lord and He shall give you the desires of your heart.

 Proverbs 10:24

…the desire of the righteous will be granted.

Matthew 5:6  

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.

 

Here also are four points on how desire helps us pray, which I blogged a long time ago, but I will re-blog it here for you.

 

Four Ways Desire Helps Us Pray

 

1. As we desire Him, the Holy Spirit energizes and guides our prayer. Wesley Duewel, in his book Mighty Prevailing Prayer, writes, “Holy desire is a holy power that energizes prayer.  It is a dynamic of the Spirit.”  When we desire God and His Word we allow the Holy Spirit to pray through us.  The more we desire Him the more the Holy Spirit is able to guide us and give energy to our prayers.

2. Our God-given desire gives us spiritual vision. According to Duewel, “The Spirit-born and Spirit-deepened desires indicates what God wants to do.  He gives desires for what He longs to bring to pass.” And let me add that all the things He desires, He has purposed that they would come to pass through our prayers.  Therefore, whatever He desires to do through us, He will give us the desire for those things so that we will envision them, which in turn will increase our faith to pray for them.

3. As we pray exactly according to the desires He gives us, our prayers will become more specific, vital and personal. Again, According to Duewel, “Desire makes prayer more specific. It focuses prayer and asserts priority.  Desire makes prayer both vital and personal…It makes it your very heart-cry.” 

 4. Desire gives us perseverance and courage in prayer. Without desire we would lose heart and not have the courage to bother God with all our petty requests. But with desire that is created in us by the power of the Holy Spirit, and which continues to work in us by that same power, we gain both perseverance and courage.  According to E. M. Bounds, “It is pertinacity of desire that gives triumph to the conflict in a great struggle of prayer…It is desire that arms prayer with a thousand pleas and robes it with invincible courage and all-conquering force.”

 

Sources

E.M. Bounds, Prayer and Revival

E. M. Bounds, The Necessity of Prayer

Wesley Duewel, Mighty Prevailing Prayer

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How Desire Helps Us Pray

When we desire and seek God, He brings us into a love relationship with Him—a relationship of a son or daughter to a father.  As our Father He desires to give us all the things we need.  As a son or daughter we naturally desire to receive from Him what He desires to give us.  And this is the beginning of what we call prayer.  It is really the basis of prayer.

Some Hebrew and Greek words can be translated as either desire, prayer, or request.  For example, I looked up the word desire in my Vine’s Expository Dictionary and found that two Greek words, eratao and aiteo, are sometimes translated as desire, but most often as ask or request.  We could also come from the other end.  That is, if you look up all the Greek words for prayer, there are two words, deomi and deesis, which could really be translated as desire.  According to Vine, deomi means “to desire” and “to beseech,” and deesis means “a wanting, a need,” then, “an asking, entreaty, supplication.”

So I think we can conclude that desire is so much a part of prayer, and prayer is so much a part of desire that there is no separating the two.  Desire is prayer and prayer is desire. According to Andrew Murray, “Desire is the soul of prayer, and the cause of insufficient or unsuccessful prayer is very much to be found in the lack or feebleness of desire.”  We can pretend to pray without desire, but it won’t do us any good, because our prayers won’t be real or true.  True prayer, even by its definition includes desire.

If we could only remember this—that all true prayers include desire—it would no doubt change a lot of our prayer habits.  Perhaps we would pray less, because I can imagine that we would cut out all those prayers originally meant to impress, being careful to pray only for the things we have a holy desire for.   And I suppose our prayers would be slower, and more deliberate, and specific.  They would be less general and formal.  Yes, if we could only remember that desire is the basis of prayer I think our prayers would be much different.

Now, since desire is the basis of prayer it makes sense that desire will help us pray. I think desire works to bring us into prayer; then, it helps us in the actual process of prayer. I would say that the way desire works to bring us into prayer is that God creates in us both a desire for Him and a desire for the things we lack and that He wants us to have.  Next, He shows us that He can fill that lack—that He is the great provider and lover.  Last, as He desires us and draws us to Himself He continues to create in us a greater and greater desire for Him.  The more we are united with Him in love the more we desire Him and what He wants to give us—thus the more we have a desire to pray.

 

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Look into God’s Mirror and Obey – James 1:21-25

Seeing God in Nature

The still, clear waters of a lake or creek is like a mirror and provides us with the following lesson from James 1:21-25.

Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.

The question so many people ask themselves is, Why do I keep returning…

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Desiring God: Following Hard after God

 

Our desire for God is the fruit of a renewed heart; it is a dynamic of the Spirit.  I like what Tozer has said:

You and I are in little (our sins excepted) what God is in large.  Being made in His image we have within us the capacity to know Him.   In our sins we lack only the power.  The moment the Spirit has quickened us to life in regeneration our whole being senses its kinship to God and leaps up in joyous recognition.

Let me bring it to you in this way: we being in Christ, desire of God what Jesus desires of Him—His love, His fellowship, and His righteousness, etc.

 

Following Hard after God

With this desire, if indeed it is desire from God, we must pursue Him.  That is, we must take our desire and put it into action.  As Tozer has indicated in his book, The Pursuit of God, we must follow hard after God.  Tozer writes, “On our part there must be positive reciprocation if this secret drawing of God is to eventuate in identifiable experience of the Divine.”  Tozer says that since God is a person, knowledge of Him can and must be cultivated.

Therefore, when God pursues us and renews our heart, and we desire Him, we must not let that desire lay still.  We must cultivate that desire so that it will grow.  We must follow hard after God and work at bringing our desires for Him into full bloom—into a full knowledge of God (Eph. 4:19).

 

Desiring God Alone  

Any desire that is not ultimately for God and is not giving Him glory is idolatry.  For this reason, in our desire and search for God—the true God—if we intend to find Him we must concentrate on Him alone.    According to Tozer, “The evil habit of seeking God-and effectively prevents us from finding God in full revelation.  In the ‘ands’ lies our great woe.  If we omit the ‘and’ we shall soon find God, and in Him we shall find that for which we have all our lives been secretly longing.”

In Psalms 73:25 David wrote that there was no one in heaven or on earth that he desired besides God.  David of course realized that in men and in all created things there is some satisfaction, but in God there is a real and eternal satisfaction.  Again, in Psalms 16:11, David said to God, “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forever.”

 

Desiring God with Our Whole Being

There are a number of Psalms that recount how David yearned and longed and thirsted, even panted after God.  He desired God with his whole being—body, soul, and spirit.

The spirit is that innermost part of man that was created to commune with God.  For David, it was important that his spirit was right, faithful, and steadfast before God. After his sin with Bathsheba—during which his spirit was not in communion with God—the Bible tells us that he was eager in his spirit to be in connection with God again.  He prayed, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Ps. 51:10).

The soul is that part of us that lies between our spirit and our body.  It is the part that brings the worship of God from our spirit to our mind and body.  It is the center of our being, the seat of our emotions and desires.  It was from that part of David that he expressed his desires for God.  Thus he prayed in Psalms 42:1-2, “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God.  My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.”  In Psalms 143:6 he prays, “I spread out my hands to You; My soul longs for You like a thirsty land.”   Again in Psalms 84:2 David declares, “My soul longs, yes even faints for the courts of the Lord.”

But the soul and spirit were not the only part of David that desired God.  He also desired God with his body.  In Psalms 63:1 he said to God, “O God; You are my God; early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You…”  David goes on in this Psalm to describe how he, in his flesh, desired and praised God.  He said, “I have looked [with eyes] for you in the sanctuary…my lips shall praise You…I will lift up my hands in Your name…my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips…When I remember [with the mind] You on my bed, I meditate [with the mind] on You in the night watches…” (Italics added for emphasis.)

 

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