We’ve been looking at some of my favorite prayer resources. First, we looked at the Bible and the My Partner Prayer Notebook. Last week we discussed books by Kay Arthur and Paul Miller.
5. Intercessory Prayer by Dutch Sheets
Oh, wow! Where do I start? This is a heavy-duty, mind-blowing study of intercessory prayer. This book I would read a chapter at a time and then stew in it for a week or more. Sheets cites countless Biblical prayers as his basis for this jam-packed volume. His discussion on various types of praying makes up the bulk of this book and will have you shaking your head in amazement that you hadn’t seen his insights before now. It is my intention to do either a course on or a multi-week look at this book. Soooo much goodness!!
I think the one thing that really got me hooked was when Sheets asked “Is Prayer Really Necessary?” After all, God is God. He created the universe. What does He need with me? I’d always been thinking that God would/could make things happen whether people prayed about them or not.
I’m not sure I can do justice to Sheets’ explanation, but I’ll try:
God’s original plan – He gave man dominion over the entire earth and all creation. Adam was God’s manager. Adam was in charge. Adam messed that up, and the enemy even offered control back to Jesus.
(Luke 4:6-7) And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. So if you worship me, it will all be yours.”
So…God is all-powerful, but He limited Himself to working through human beings.
He tells us to pray for His kingdom to come (Matt 6:10); for our daily bread (Matt 6:11); for workers to be sent for the harvest (Matt 9:38). Why am I supposed to ask Him for something He already wants to do if it’s not that my asking somehow frees Him to do it?
When Elijah prayed for rain after 3 years of drought, it was God’s idea. God’s PLAN. God’s directed timing for the prayer. BUT GOD DIDN’T SEND THE RAIN UNTIL ELIJAH PRAYED.
If that doesn’t give you an entirely different view of “You do not have because you do not ask God “(James 4:2) then I don’t know what will!
So this is my understanding of it all:
God built us this earthly house to live in and gave us the keys. (Adam messed up and gave a copy of the key to the enemy, so he’s running around like he owns the place.) But God is the OWNER/OPERATOR. We are the managers/tenants.
God still has plans for the property, but since we’re here, He needs to get our “Okie-dokie” before He starts work.
Oh, my heart breaks for the potential of things I never bothered to pray for! For the days I was “too busy” or “too tired” to activate God’s blessings and work.
Prayer: Forgive me, Father, for the times I tied Your hands with my silence. I ask now that You give me a fire in my heart for prayer and for seeing Your will come to pass. Show me the things You need me to pray for. Do not let me become complacent and weary. Grow in me a passion for the prayers that will free You to change lives.