The Re:Charge Conference is over and behind us for this year, but the impact and the inspiration from this time together will continue. It was a wonderful time where our souls (spiritual, physical, emotional, intellectual and relational) were ministered to through worship, the Word of God, fellowship, laughter and also just having some fun. We prayed over one another, for one another and with one another. Our keynote speaker, Bill Elliff, reminded us that the most powerful person in any room is the one who is praying. Bill stated, “The man who prays brings God into the equation.”
The challenge was to make a major adjustment in our daily prayer practices. It begins simply by praying more right now. The greatest classroom for learning how to pray is on our knees praying. I Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to “pray without ceasing.” That means we can pray without an intermission. Bill stated, “God knows your life will not work if you are not talking to Him.” Pastor, we are in the midst of a battle for the soul of our churches and the devil’s number one priority is to stop the Lord’s church from moving forward and advancing His kingdom. Honestly, have you ever known anyone who said they prayed too much?
Unfortunately, we talk about prayer, we say we believe in prayer and we challenge people to pray, but do we pray? God has called us to live a supernatural life that requires His supernatural presence. He has called us to a supernatural work that requires supernatural power, the Holy Spirit. This requires prayer. Are you praying, without ceasing, for a divine invasion of God’s presence in your life and your church? Are you willing to submit to this constant ruthless evaluation of your life and your church — “Is God present?” I Thessalonians 5:17 is an imperative command and reminds us of how much God desires and wants our prayers.
It is easy to focus so much on what to pray that we forget to focus on how to enter His presence in order to pray. Bill did a wonderful job of showing us, out of Matthew 6 (you can find this in his book, Simply Prayer), how to enter in because prayer is such an unnatural lane for us. The best classroom for prayer is praying and, before Jesus tells us what to say, He shows us the essential, preparatory elements.
• First, you enter in with sincerity (Matt. 6:5). Jesus makes it very clear that pride must not be in our hearts. Bill stated, “He (God) actively stands in opposition to those who approach Him in arrogance.”
• Second, we must enter in seclusion (Matt. 6:6). Our sole desire must be to commune with Him, and that requires a singular focus on Him whether you are in your prayer closet or a crowded sanctuary. Every time you pray, you should imagine stepping into God’s throne room. Your total focus is on Him, just like the prophet’s was in Isa. 6:1-5. Bill said, “As you enter, the greatest one is before you and He’s the only audience you need. As you enter, God is waiting for you on His throne and He longs to reward you in His presence.” Approach His presence with sincerity and the seclusion of a singular focus on Him.
• Third, we must enter with simplicity (Matt. 6:7). Rosalind Rinker defines prayer this way: “Prayer is the expression of the human heart in conversation with God. The more natural the prayer, the more real He becomes. Simply put, prayer is a conversation between two persons who love each other.” Bill described a very ordinary normal exchange where you are aware of each other and take turns talking and listening. Your conversation stays on subject as you give your full attention to the topic at hand. God is certainly concerned and attentive to what you have to say as you strive to pause in His presence and listen to Him.
• Fourth, you must enter in with simple faith (Matt. 6:8). Bill stated, “As you enter, God hears you and you don’t have to impress Him. Pray in faith, for God already knows your needs and has perfect provisions prepared.” In faith, we should pray for the conditional promises of God, and there are many. Don’t allow the things God was willing to change to go unchanged because you refused to meet Him in a private place and ask. There are things God plans to do through no other means but prayer. James 4:2 makes it clear, “You do not have because you do not ask.” Ask in faith, believing that He is able.
You enter His presence through sincerity, seclusion, simplicity, simple faith and as sons and daughters (Matt. 6:9). We are instructed to pray, “Our Father which art in heaven.” He is our provider, protector and promise keeper. You enter into His presence because of your relationship — Father. Then you enter His presence because of His rule, “Your kingdom come, your will be done.” As His child, you gladly submit to His rule in your life and allow His standards to govern your life. Entering His presence is all about relational communication with Him and intimacy, not a long-distance, occasional interaction.
Colossians 4:2 says we are to be devoted to prayer. That means to be ceaselessly active and to be courageously persistent. Remember, God believes we need to pray with no intermission — I Thessalonians calling us to pray without ceasing. The challenge is to never stop praying but to be continually in fellowship and communication with Him. Praying should become as natural to our spiritual lives as breathing is to our physical lives. Maybe your next step should be to order Bill’s book, Simply Prayer, and begin the journey of more prayer to the God of the universe and His Son who loves you unconditionally.