Monday, April 23, 2012

Prayer is Not a Fad; Make it Your Life

Today Fern Nichols, founder of Moms in Prayer (formerly known as Moms in Touch), came to a local church to speak about her ministry. Her message was powerful, and I needed to put my thoughts down on "paper" to help me meditate on her wisdom a little more.

First, here's a little background about Moms in Prayer:

What is Moms in Prayer?

We are women who pray together on a regular basis for children and schools, whether private, public, or homeschool, from preschool to college. MIP began in 1984 when Fern Nichols asked God to provide just one mom to pray with her as her sons left for junior high for the first time. Today, tens of thousands of women gather in all 50 states and in more than 130 countries to pray for their children and schools. MIP is an interdenominational, non-profit, donation supported, Christ-centered prayer ministry.

What's the purpose of MIP?

The purpose of MIP is to intercede for our children and their schools; to pray that our schools will be guided by biblical values and high moral standards; to provide hope and strength to moms who carry heavy burdens for their children; to work towards having a MIP group for every school around the world.

Now, let's get to the highlights of today's message. She spoke about some key aspects of prayer and what makes this ministry work. Read slowly and let the words linger. It's a lot to take in at once! 

1. Continue in prayer

 We need to be devoted to prayer, courageously persistent, holding fast and not letting go. We need to expect miracles and believe that our prayers are touching heaven and changing earth. Our prayers on earth activate God in heaven!

"When you speak, Jesus hears. When Jesus hears, thunder falls. When thunder falls, the world changes." (Max Lucado)

Don't give up! Press through your feelings when you are tired and you don't want to pray. Prayer is not a fad. You don't do it only when you feel like it. Once you commit to start praying, you don't stop until you see Jesus! That means once you join a group, you stay until the child graduates that school and you move onto to a group at the next school, and then the next, and then when they are fully grown, you join Grandmas in Prayer and pray for the schools around you. There is so much to pray for!

"Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving" (Colossians 4:2)

2. Keep alert

Stay alert for specific needs for your children to pray for them. Stay alert for unity within your group. Stay alert for issues at school and in the community. Read the paper, walk around your campus. Be a watchman on the wall, not letting anything slip through the cracks that isn't covered in prayer.

Remember that little sin natures go to Christian schools, are homeschooled, and go to public school. Every child needs a praying mom.

We are priests; God wants us to be in prayer. That's our role; don't shirk your responsibilities.  Do the work He has called you to do; prayer is your life's work.

"Be sober-minded, be watchful. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8)

3. Be specific in your prayers

Verbalize what you want. No vague prayers. This is an asking ministry- Jesus asks us to ask! What do I need? Pray for it! What are you asking God for right now? If God were to sit with you and ask, "What do you want me to do for you?", what would you say? Have an answer! And pray through the Scripture. It's always the Word of God that doesn't return void.

Focus on one child at a time in your prayers during group; bring the child "on the mat" to Jesus, like the 4 friends who brought their paralyzed friend on a mat through the roof to Jesus to be healed. Be praying for your children regularly on your own, but choose specifically who needs that corporate prayer time on the days you gather to pray. The women there are helping you bring your child on the mat to Jesus. 

Become vulnerable in the group. Trust the women in your group; they are your friends for eternity.

4. Purity of heart

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." (Matthew 5:8)

We need to be cleansed in our hearts. We must have pure hearts if we want God to hear our prayers. We need to have clear consciences and live obediently. We must live in watchful pursuit of holiness, not being swept away by the world. We must be sexually pure and immediately confess our sin. Listen to the Holy Spirit's referee whistle in your ear when you are doing something that is displeasing. If we cherish sin in our heart, we are not righteous, and then our prayers are not powerful (James 5:16). 

5. Pray with urgency

"The prayer meeting is the appointed place of the reception of power" (Charles Spurgeon).

There is so much power in prayer, and Satan wants to keep us so busy that we think we don't have time to pray. He doesn't want us to cross that invisible line where we begin to pray fervently and see the power of God. He'd rather keep us on the side where our feelings dictate our faith and we get distracted by the little things.

We make time to put our makeup on every day and do our hair, but why are we not as regular about prayer? We think we are giving up an hour, when in reality, we are multiplying our prayers when we are with others. 90% of the teaching of prayer from the Bible is corporate.

Zechariah 8:21 says, "The inhabitants of one city shall go to another saying, 'Let us go AT ONCE to entreat the favor of the Lord and to seek the Lord of hosts; I myself am going." We need to go at once, quickly, immediately, and bring others with us to pray and entreat the favor of the Lord for our children. We need to get desperate with our prayers. It's the most important hour we will spend in the week!

Fern also shared that she no longer sets an alarm clock.  She asks God to wake her up when He's ready for her to get up to pray.  Sometimes it's 4:30am and she thinks, "Wow, Lord!  There must be a lot going on today!"  On the days that she wakes up at 6:30, she comes to Him saying, "I can't believe you let me sleep in!"  She loves spending every morning in His presence and knows He will give her things to pray for during that time.

6. Expect a harvest

Pray for your child's salvation and for the salvation of others in the school. Pray for the glory of the Lord to be shown.

Ordinary moms pray extraordinary prayers in the Holy Spirit, knowing an omnipotent God.

Believe God is working, even if you don't see answers. This isn't positive thinking- it's the truth! I am 10 times stronger in my prayers when I pray with other women! Believe that you are involved in a prayer stream that's headed toward a river of revival!

To learn how to join or start a group, visit www.momsinprayer.org or call 800-949-MOMS. (If your kids go to Bledsoe Elementary and you'd like to join our group to pray with us, let me know and I'll get you connected to our leader!)

No comments: