"I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." (Romans 12:1,2)
Five Dangerous Ways of Praying.
They are me centered.
They could literally change our prayer life and our relationship to God.
These five Me Prayer’s work in conjunction with our verses in Romans chapter twelve. When prayed from the heart and put into action we can learn what it means to become a living sacrifice and to be used by God for His purpose and pleasure.
The first Me Prayer
Can you stand up say it?
"Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way of everlasting."
It has been my experience that the more I learn about God and His Word, the more I realize just how much I don’t know.
The closer I get to the light of His holiness, the more the Holy Spirit allows me to see areas of my life that are still not fully surrendered.
The words of David in Psalm 139 come from the heart of a worshipper. For believers, worship opens the door to the heart and presence of God.
It draws our focus to how much we love Him and need Him.
Worship causes God to respond to our affection.
James 4: 8 commands us to, "Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you...". How?
Christians who long for more of Jesus’ heart and presence are impassioned worshipers.
The music is no longer entertainment, it becomes a vehicle to Heaven’s throne room.
According to John and in the thirteenth chapter of Matthew’s Gospel, our life must be committed to bringing forth fruit.
It is the proof of our relationship with Christ. The fact that we are Christians is not determined by our titles or degrees.
It is not based on the works we have done or the awards we have won.
It is the fruit, the attributes and nature of Jesus Christ flowing through us.
The closer we move towards Him the more of His glory is revealed in us.
True worship must get to the basic issues of the heart. Again, in James chapter four, we are admonished to present ourselves before God in a condition of holiness.
He tells us, "...Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubled minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. Speak not evil one of another..." (James 4:8-11)
the second Prayer:
BREAK ME Can you say it?
That a dangerous Prayer
You pray that something will happen.
"You cannot grow as a Christian until you learn to ask for brokeness. Regardless of your level of spiritual maturity, there will always be areas of your life God needs to work in."
There is a diabolical trend in the Church these days that terrifies Godly men and women. It is the rejection of people to deal with, or sometimes to even recognize sin.
I was watching a church service on a Christian network.
The church is one of the biggest Church in our country.
The pastor spoke to the television audience at the end of the service inviting them to visit and explaining some of the church’s beliefs. The one thing that sent shock waves through my spirit is when he said,
"You will never hear a hell fire and brimstone message from this pulpit!"
I am not here to preach about sin.
Maybe that is why he draws a large crowd.
In other words - don’t worry about sin. We will only tell you about the positive aspects of God. This is an unbalanced message, God calls it an abomination.
If we will not face our sin head on, or we have any type of misconception about how much God hates sin, or we misuse grace as a cloak for sin, we are still in our sin.
Our disobedience offends our Lord.
Our rebellion estranges Him from the fellowship and intimacy He longs for with His children.
How can we say we love the Lord Jesus, and claim to be his bride and cheat on Him with other lovers?
Between Monday and Saturday we allow ourselves to get so full of the world we cannot feel or recognize the presence of God. Our hearts become dull and hardened.
We no longer feel guilty about missing worship, and Bible Study.
Ball games, work, homes and social events take priority through the week over bible study, prayer and worship.
We have built a wall between us and the throne of God and we don’t even realize it.
We are in sin and it has separated us from His presence. For the most part, many don’t even realize it.
There is no remorse, there is no searching for an answer.
If for some reason my wife is not speaking to me, I want to know why.
I want to find out what I have done and I am willing to do anything to fix the situation.
The reason is I love her.
Second to Jesus, she is my life.
I cannot stand to be on the outside looking in, as it concerns our relationship.
A tender heart that is in love with Jesus breaks when it knows it has offended Him.
We who call on the name of the Lord should cry out continually for Him to break us over our sin.
It is the only way we can obtain His presence and freedom promised in scripture.
The next prayer:
STRETCH ME Can you say it?
Can you stand up and say out loud Stretch Me Lord? Anybody?
"This is the kind of prayer to pray when you want to grow up spiritually. Saints who have cried out to God to search them and are broken over their sin, cannot get enough of the Word. It is their strength during temptations and testing. David proclaimed, "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee." (Psalm 119:11)
He was in love with the Word of God. He longed to hear the voice of the Lord through the written page.
He established himself in the Word. "How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey unto my mouth. Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." (Psalm 119:103-105)
We must be stretched.
We must be brought beyond our limits.
It does not come by faith.
It cannot be accomplished by positive confession.
No one can transfer it to us by the laying on of hands.
We must pray. Not prayer to be stretched, but rather, we must force ourselves into the closet and there stay until we have reached the throne room of the most high.
We must find his will and know how to walk in it and to live it.
We must have His heart and His undivided attention. Our time with the Lord must be sacred to us.
We should fear ever compromising it with an attitude of routine.
When the apostle Paul cried, "That I might know him..." He knew that this revelation could only be obtained in his secret closet.
In the forth chapter of the book of Acts, Peter and John are arrested for preaching Jesus.
On the next morning they are brought before the council of the priests and Sadducees where Peter picks up where he had stopped the day before, preaching Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.
Because the council feared the people, they conspired to threaten them and command them to no longer preach in the name of Jesus.
After their release they relayed to their friends all that happened and began to pray.
Peter’s prayer is not the type of prayer we hear today.
They did not pray for the persecution to stop.
They did not rebuke the devil. Peter never asked for God to send a legion of angels to protect them if He wanted them to preach His Gospel.
Listen to what Peter wanted. "And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word". (Acts 4:29)
Give us boldness to continue to preach Jesus. Teach & Witness.
Stretch us with your power that we will not fail you.
Stretch us beyond our human capabilities that we may be able to endure the persecution and bring glory to your name.
This is how they earned the testimony of Acts 5:40-42. "...and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.”
And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ."
LEAD ME Can you say it?
Stan up and Pray Lead Me!
"Asking God to take your life and do whatever He wants with it is risky. We’ve got to believe that His plans for us are better than our own."
Our opening verses in Romans chapter twelve is our guide to total surrender to the will of God. In verse one we are commanded to present to Him our entire beings.
In all my studying about Lead Me, the path always leads directly to Jesus.
When we pray for Him to lead us, He brings us perfect circle back to Himself.
In every problem or situation we find ourselves, when we pray for divine leadership the Holy Spirit directs us into the presence and intimacy of Christ.
This has become an insurmountable task for many Christians.
Scripture tells us that if we want forgiveness from God we must extend forgiveness to those who have offended us.
If we want mercy we must likewise extend mercy, and so on.
Those who have committed themselves to be led of the Lord are consumed with learning about Jesus.
When we pray "Lead me in thy truth..." we are asking to be hid in Christ. He is truth, everything about Him is the truth.
His ways, His precepts,
His commandments are the truth.
"...and teach me:"
Not only teach me what your truths are, teach me how to be consumed with them that the world may see you through me.
Teach me how to let your love flow through me.
"Trust in the Lord with all thy heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." (Proverbs 3:5,6)
USE ME Can you say it?
"It’s exciting to make yourself available to God so that He can touch someone else through you.
Such prayer creates adventures."
Everyone who has ever been used mightily by God has had to go through the process of searching, breaking, stretching and leading. This process makes us usable, because it can only be perfected in us through total surrender to His call on our lives.
All through scripture great men were isolated with God to be made ready for the task ahead of them.
Not just once, but almost every time the need arose for Jesus to accomplish something through them. They were led away to the wilderness to be transformed, taught and strengthened.
He is the potter and we are the clay.
If we have purposed in our heart to serve Him for the rest of our lives, then we will allow Him to continue to turn and mold us.
We will long for Him to take out every imperfection and repair every crack and flaw.
We have been created to bring Him glory, and we are told that in everything we do, we are to do it for His glory.
Let our focus be on Christ and all that He wants to accomplish through us.
Christians who are used by the Lord are no longer just hearers of the Word.
They have become the true doers of the Word.
Christianity to them is not just jumping and shouting on Sunday morning.
It is taking Jesus far beyond the four walls of the church building.
They have brought the Gospel to the prisons, hospitals, the homeless and their neighborhoods.
They allow the Lord to wake them up in the middle of the night for fellowship and intercession.
To them Christianity is taking every opportunity to spread the Gospel.
If there is not an opportunity to take, they will make one in order to expose the love of Jesus.
These are the last days, scripture is clear, it tells us that many shall depart from the faith.
Church attendance is down all across our country these days.
Church’s are dying all across our country, Bible collage students no longer want to be preachers.
"Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many will wax cold." (Matthew 24:12)
The NIV makes it a little clearer. "Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold."
Many will wonder off doing other things.
Is this the Church’s finest hour?
No! According the Apostle Paul, it is one of the most dangerous times in the Church’s history.
We have replaced the call of passion for Jesus with sermons and programs for the carnally minded.
The false doctrine of accumulating riches instead of righteousness has bewitched the children of God.
Men and women who preach the uncompromising word of repentance and holiness are mocked and ridiculed as being legalists or dooms day prophets.
Our prayer should be that when our time here on earth is finished, we can leave with the same testimony as the Apostle Paul.
"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:" (2 Timothy 4:7)
Paul was telling Timothy, "I have become all that God has called me to be and I have done all that He has commanded me to do.
Now the race is finished and I am ready to go home and be with Him."
How about us?
These are Dangerous Prayer;