September 23rd, 2019
Too often we find ourselves waiting for the floodgates of troubles to open before we open our hearts to God in prayer.
The crisis in our lives are virtually inevitable. If we are alive and breathing, sooner or later dark clouds will gather, and trouble will be on our doorstep. Now the correct thing to do in those cases is of course, reach out to the Lord in prayer.
Praying Forward is a means to be preemptive, through constant prayer.
Our Wednesday night Men’s Bible study is utilizing “The Battle Plan for Prayer” Bible Study. We are taking out time going through the book and are nearing the end of it.
This last Wednesday our focus was ‘Praying Preemptively’. I realized that while I have been an advocate of praying constantly just as it says in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, I may have overlooked something which would have a profound impact on our ability to maintain a constant state of prayer and constantly position us where we are ready to reach out to the Lord anytime, for anything.
The issue with being in a constant state of prayer is that we are constantly under bombardment from the world around us.
As if our flesh wasn’t enough of a vulnerability to begin with, the enemy is acutely aware of this weakness in our defenses and will focus his attacks right at the point where we are the weakest.
Why Praying Forward?
- We find ourselves waiting till the crisis of life is upon us, before we come before the throne. Praying forward would position us to be able to calmly reach out to the Lord in faith rather than panic.
The Lord your God is among you, a warrior who saves.
He will rejoice over you with gladness.
He will be quiet in his love.
He will delight in you with singing.”
Zephaniah 3:17 (CSB)
If we realize that the Lord isn’t far away from us but right there, in our corner, how much easier is it for us to appeal to his grace and mercy?
- If we were praying constantly with preemptive prayers, then praying forward would be a natural outgrowth of our communion with God.
Praying constantly as called for in first Thessalonians. It requires that we come to an understanding of exactly what the first item stresses; God is with us constantly.
It is our recognition of that fact, the resulting acknowledgement of it that produces the impetus for us to carry on a conversation with God constantly.
Adding to that increases the list of things that we have to talk to God about.
We are to seek purity in our thoughts.
Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable — if there is any moral excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy — dwell on these things.
Philippians 4:8 (CSB)
Dwelling on these things we see our way to focus on conversation with the Lord. Praising him for the things He has done and the things he is doing. Admiration for the work of His hands and all that He’s created for us.
This provides a natural lead into Praying Forward and being preemptive about the potential of things to go out of place in the future. If we turn these things over to God in advance, then the probability that we will be subjected to worry is minimized.
Anxiety in a person’s heart weighs it down, but a good word cheers it up.
Proverbs 12:25 (CSB)
If we are merging Philippians 4:8 with our preemptive prayer, we bolster our ability to surrender issues to God rather than tackle them alone on our own.
- What about focus on preemptive prayer in behalf of others?
- The brother in we see heading towards trouble
- Our families.
- Our Church (pastors, teachers, leadership, etc.)
- Our nation
So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat? ’ or ‘What will we drink? ’ or ‘What will we wear? ’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:31-34 (CSB)
It all fits together nicely when we focus on “Praying Forward”!
In His Grace!