Paying Attention – Praying in Agreement with Purpose and Power (Episode 193)
Scriptures and Key Points:
Hebrews 2:1-4 NIV We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. For since the message spoken through angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.
- It’s important to clearly discern which voices we are listening to.
- We need to listen to the voice of the Lord more than ever before.
- We must devote ourselves to the foundational disciplines of prayer, worship, studying God’s Word, sacrificial giving, and always putting God’s kingdom above our own interests.
Matthew 6:33 NKJV But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
“While men reach for thrones to build their own kingdoms, Jesus reached for a towel to wash men’s feet.” -Doug Stringer
- In order to awaken our leadership potential as disciples of Jesus, we must finish the race well and address our spiritual disciplines.
Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJV For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Galatians 5:16-17 NKJV I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.
Ephesians 3:20 NKJV Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us
- We shouldn’t be surprised when our flesh struggles to submit to biblical discipline.
- “No pain, no gain.”
“When all is said and done, the life of faith is nothing if not an unending struggle of the spirit with every available weapon against the flesh.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
- One of the most crucial areas of personal discipline you’ll need as a leader is prayer.
“No man is greater than his prayer life. The pastor who is not praying is playing; the people who are not praying are straying…. We have many organizers, but few agonizers; many players and payers, few pray-ers; many singers, few clingers; lots of pastors, few wrestlers; many fears, few tears; much fashion, little passion; many interferers, few intercessors; many writers, but few fighters. Failing here, we fail everywhere.” – Leonard Ravenhill
- A consistent prayer life will never happen automatically or by a casual commitment.
- Prayer is simply communication with God.
“Prayer produces intimacy to whom you pray, with whom you pray in agreement, and then for whom you pray.” – Dr. Edwin Louis Cole
- Doug starts his day with prayers of thanksgiving and worship.
Matthew 6:9–13 NKJV In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name…
- There’s something about showing adoration towards God that attracts His presence.
- Thanksgiving and praise are keys to experiencing God’s presence all day long.
Psalm 100:4 NKJV Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
Psalm 51:10 NKJV Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
Psalm 19:14 NKJV Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.
- More than anything else, our heavenly Father just wants us to come into a place of communication and intimacy with Him.
- We all seem to know we should be more devoted to personal prayer and intercession, but we often lack the needed discipline to have a consistent prayer life.
“The successful person has the habit of doing the things failures don’t like to do. They don’t like doing them either necessarily, but their disliking is subordinated to the strength of their purpose.” – Albert E. N. Gray, “The Common Denominator of Success”
- Prayer—and other spiritual disciplines like reading the Bible—needs to be a daily habit.
“The hallmark of excellence, the test of greatness, is consistency.” – former Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel
“When I started my speaking career, I believed that motivating people was the key to helping them succeed. If I can get them moving in the right direction, I thought, they will be successful…My goal was to inspire people so much that they’d be ready to charge hell with a water pistol. When I was done, I’d walk away thinking I’d done a good job. But often whatever motivation people received didn’t seem to last very long….I’m still a big believer in motivation. Everyone wants to be encouraged. Everyone enjoys being inspired. But here’s the truth when it comes to personal growth: Motivation gets you going, but discipline keeps you growing. That’s the Law of Consistency. It doesn’t matter how talented you are. It doesn’t matter how many opportunities you receive. If you want to grow, consistency is key.” – John Maxwell, “The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth”
- If you struggle with discipline and follow-through, take a moment right now to ask the Lord to help you.
- God can deliver us not just from our enemies, but from our own fears and failures.
- Although a consistent prayer life is indispensable to lasting success as a Christian leader, it’s only the beginning.
- Prayer is a place of power if we come into agreement with one another.
Matthew 18:19-20 NKJV Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.
- The Greek word translated “agree” here is symphōnéō, from which we get the English word “symphony.”
Acts 2:1 NKJV When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
Psalm 133 NIV How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!…For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.
- Private prayer is the key to public power, unleashing heaven’s resources on the earth.
- Our power increases exponentially when we pray in unity with other believers and other leaders!
- Leadership Awakening by Doug Stringer
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