Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

Small Or Big Prayer Lives?

HOSEA 4:1-3 – Hear the word of the LORD, O children of Israel, for the LORD has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land. There is no faithfulness or steadfast love, and no knowledge of God in the land; there is swearing, lying, murder, stealing, and committing adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed. Therefore the land mourns, and all who dwell in it languish, and also the beasts of the field and the birds of the heavens, and even the fish of the sea are taken away.”

THEME OF THE DAY: SMALL OR BIG PRAYER LIVES?   We need to define the theme of the day.  What would a small prayer life look like?  It would be a self-absorbed, all about me, my, and mine petitions, and a heavy dose of asking God for things that largely center on our comfort and ease.  A big prayer life goes far beyond ourselves, even a forgetting of ourselves, for causes larger than ourselves.  Like interceding for others.  Like interceding for the church.  Like interceding for our world.  And speaking of the world, re-read today’s scripture of the spiritual bankruptcy of Israel.  Does it not read like our nation today?  Does not such a condition drive us to a “big prayer life” for God to show mercy?

A big prayer life would contain at least two things.  First, a burden for the gospel to be spread world-wide.  We would be praying for obedience to the Great Commission – Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age (Matthew 28:19-20).  To pray for the spreading of the gospel to reach the world, we must have the heart of Jesus for the world – And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest” (Matthew 9:35-38).

The other thing a big prayer life would practice is intercession for civil leadership both in our country and globally.  Hear the Apostle Paul give us the mandate to do so – First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior (1 Timothy 2:1-3).  Let’s remember God changed the heart of the King of Ninevah which led to a nationwide revival (Jonah 3).  May God not do the same in our nation if we become churches and individual Christians developing a big prayer life?

Small or big prayer lives?  Let’s evaluate ourselves and become believers burdened for things far bigger than ourselves!

PRAYER: “Father, help me to pray ‘big’ prayers beyond ‘small’ prayers all about me.”

QUOTE: “We should expand our prayer lives to go from just about ourselves to the world.”

In the affection of Christ Jesus,

Pastor Jim