What we need, Beloved, is to bring our praying to the next level of intensity.

Scripture: Colossians 1:9


Alright thank you very much, and hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing Alright today? Well, I trust so, bless your heart.

I’m glad to be back with you and I want to go on with you in Colossians 1 verse 9, in what I call the logic of praying. First is, pray on the basis of the facts. The basis of honesty and reality. Don’t just ask God to help you. He will, but ask Him in what ways you want Him to help you. That makes the difference, praying on the basis of the facts, honesty and reality of praying. Frankness in praying.

Dr. Pettingill used to say, “Don’t try to fool God. If you wake up feeling grouchy in the morning, tell Him so”. Don’t try to tell God that everything’s Alright if you’ve got a grouch. This lady said, “I woke up with a grouch and then my husband got up”. Ha ha ha, no not that way, but if your feelings are hurt, for example, tell God. If you have difficulty forgiving someone, tell Him. If your business has struck a snag and you’re worried about it, tell God. God’s the greatest business person in the universe, you know that. He knows a credit from a debit without opening the middle drawer at the desk of Glory. Oh yes He does. Pray on the facts, honesty and reality in praying.

The second thing is, have a program for prayer, not just prayer on impulse. Now you should pray when you feel like it, that’s true. The old spiritual says, “Every time I feel the Spirit moving in my heart, I will pray”, of course. Pray when you feel moved to pray, but also have a program to praying. He said, “We do not cease to pray for you”. Have a program, an ongoing program of prayer. I’ll tell you what this will do for you. If you have set up a time and a place every day for praying, it will keep you from that excuse, “Oh I’m too busy today, I’ll do it some other time”. If you have the matter of prayer into your daily schedule, it will make it more difficult for the tempter to, to get you leave that out, and conversely, make it easier for you to maintain consistency in your daily praying. Want to think about that?

What time of the day do you actually pray? Is there any time of the day when you do pray? Well, for many of us I suppose we’d have to admit with some embarrassment, no, I don’t really have a time of prayer. We,, perhaps you ought to think about that then, beloved. Perhaps you ought to analyze your own daily schedule and find a place and time where you can be alone with your Lord. This is without question, the most important activity of all of the day, and if you and I are neglecting it, we are robbing ourselves, unfortunately, of the power and the blessing that could be ours.

For me, the time when I talk to the Lord and listen to Him, is just before I go on the air. I am here in the quiet of this room that has the tape recorders and the computers, and a few, well quite a few cartons of unopened, cartons of books yet, but this is, is the place where I look into the Word and ask God to give me something from it, and I’ve found long since that until my own heart is tuned up, so to speak, until my own spirit is right with God, until I’ve waited before God, until my own eyes are wet with tears and my own heart is melted with His love, I can do very little for anyone else, and so my time to do my praying is just before I go on the air.

For you it would be different perhaps because your schedule is different from mine, but beloved, we need to have a program of prayer. We need to have a time and a place for prayer. Someone has said long ago, “If you don’t make a time for prayer you will soon have no time for prayer”. The, the enemy of your soul will see to it that you get so busy that you really haven’t any chance to carve out a spare moment to talk to your Lord and to listen to Him. So maybe we ought to overhaul our own schedules, you and I, so that there is a time and a place, day after day after day, where we’re found seeking our Lord’s face.

I like to read the autobiography of John G. Paton. One of the things that sticks in my memory in that book, is his statement that in his own childhood, brought up as he was, in a little Scottish community, living in a cottage which was made up of a huge kitchen workshop, and another huge family bedroom, and in between a very small hallway closet. He went on to say that into that small hallway closet, his own father, John G. Paton’s father would go after each meal, after breakfast, after lunch and after of course they called it, breakfast, dinner, and supper in those days, didn’t they? After each meal he would going into that closet, kneel down and pray, and Payton says, “We children learned to creep quietly passed that door, even in our play, because we knew that inside our father was praying for us”. He goes on to say in a beautiful passage, he said, “There were 11 children born of the marriage of James and Janet Paton, and in the resurrection every last one of them will rise up at mention of their names and call them blessed”. Why? Well, because there was a godly father who made time, made time to pray for his children, for his home as well as for himself.

Now, I’m not saying that you could, you can take a time out to pray three times a day, Daniel did of course and he was fairly busy as being the third highest ruler in the kingdom. Served, I suppose, as the equivalent of what we would call Prime Minister under more than one King, but be that as it may, there needs to be a time and a place where you seek the Lord. You want to give some thought to that?

Now, I know you’re busy Mother. I know you’re busy Dad. And if you’re a student in high school or college, you’re busy. Homework and classes and tests and sports and dates and whatnot. You’re busy, but never too busy to do the things that are really important. You know, there are some things that will be worth talking about in eternity. This is one of them. You’re not going to remember what dress you wore to the party sister, and you’re not going to talk too much about the car that you fixed up so that it would go down the street with a pleasing rumble sound and all that, son. You’re not going to remember in eternity, a million years from now, you’ll be alive in eternity, won’t you? You’re not going to be talking about some of those things.

What you will be talking about are matters that have to do with your eternal destiny and the blessing of God upon your life, and the spiritual victories that you won, by faith, on your pilgrimage here on earth, on your way to Heaven. Those are the things that you’ll be remembering, and so it says the reason doesn’t it, you and I should give some attention now, to the things that we’ll be talking about yonder in the Glory. “Do not cease to pray”.

Have a program of prayer, a time and a place. For most of us, it needs to be early in the morning because those beginning impressions in the day determine how you will face all the rest of the day. The common joke around offices,-if the boss comes to work in a grumpy mood, someone is sure to say, “Well I bet he had a fight with his wife this morning”, you know that’s a very common joke around most offices.

The fact is however that joke is based pretty much on reality because the beginning impulses, and the beginning impacts, and the beginning experiences of each day do, in a great degree determine how you will face the rest of the day. So, why not carve out little extra time for your Lord at the beginning of the day? Doesn’t have to be three hours. You can, as my friend, Lorne Sanny of the Navigators says, “Have a successful quiet time in seven minutes, if you go at it properly. You can have a portion of Scripture and confess your sins and trust God for the day, even if you’re unreasonably busy, in seven minutes you can meet your Lord if you will”. Have some time with God, that’s my plea beloved. Carve out some time for God, and if you can do so, have it at the beginning of your day so that all day long you can walk in the glow of that first, wonderful experience with the Son of God.

Now he says, “We do not cease to pray for you and to desire”, to desire, Greek verb most often used in the New Testament for desire is iteo, which means ask or plead or demand or crave or desire. How strongly do you want what you’re praying for? Many of our prayers, it must be admitted, are quite banal and the content is lacking and the whole business is absent, not very meaningful. Wouldn’t you agree that many of our prayers are like that? Well, if I’m too hard on us, forgive me, but that’s my impression as I have listened to thousands of prayers over a good many years of ministry. I was ordained in ’31, you figure out how long I’ve been preaching and listening to other people pray.

What we need beloved, is to bring our praying to the level of intensity. This word, desire, is an intense word. It means, I’ve got to have this. This is the Scottish preacher praying, “Lord give me Scotland or I’ll die”. This is David Livingstone on his knees pleading for the continent of Africa. This is D.L. Moody praying for a special touch from God as he goes to Great Britain.

The level of intensity in your praying, not how loud you pray, but how strongly you desire what you pray. Jesus said, “What things whatsoever ye desire when ye pray, believe that ye receive them and ye shall have them”. Word desire is there. Figure out for yourself. Time will run out now and I can’t go on with this. We may get back to it the next time we get together, but figure out for yourself what it is you really want from God and then talk to Him about it. Desire is the key to successful praying.

Dear Father today make us good pray-ers. Make us people who are intense in our praying, meaning what we say, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!

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