Monday, September 19, 2011

Spiritual: Spirit-Led Persistence

What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit [by the Holy Spirit that is within me], but I will also pray [intelligently] with my mind and understanding.
—1 Corinthians 14:15
I really want to encourage you to pray persistent, persevering prayers by the leading of the Holy Spirit—not mere repetitious prayers that do not come from your heart, but prayers that refuse to give up. It is possible to use your mouth to speak words of prayer that have no meaning behind them at all, and those prayers are nothing but dead works. I could quote the entire Lord's Prayer while I am thinking about something else, and that would not bless God or do me any good, but if I am sincere and pray from my heart, God hears and works in my behalf.
Lip service doesn't do anything for God or accomplish anything in our lives, so even when we pray about the same thing over and over again, we need to be careful not to fall into meaningless repetition. Instead, we need to allow the Holy Spirit to lead us in a fresh way, even when we are addressing a subject about which we have prayed for a long time. Sometimes He will lead us to be diligent and persistent about a matter, but there is a difference between repetition and Spirit-led persistence.
Words spoken in prayer that are not connected to our hearts are words without power. When we pray we should focus and concentrate on what we are saying. We should never merely verbalize things we have memorized while our hearts are far from God. The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available (see James 5:16).
God's word for you today: Your heartfelt prayers to God have power and He hears them.

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