Impacting Cities & Communities thru Prayer
A Community of Prayer Champions, Praying Churches, Prayed-for Communities
The cover of one of my earlier books shows ripe fruit overflowing a plate. Fruitfulness is certainly at the heart of God’s purpose for prayer in our lives. In John 15:7,8 Jesus spoke to this in a wonderful promise.
“If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.”
One of the areas where the world has wormed its way into the church, at least in the west, is in the value we place on pleasure, comfort, and wealth. You may be able to see this in your prayers. Do you pray as if God wants to feed and cultivate your selfishness? God made you and redeemed you for a purpose. One of the greatest joys of prayer is in what God produces in and through your life.
There are many facets of the work of God in and through our lives. A good place to begin observing them is the list of spiritual fruit found in Galatians 5:22-23.
“Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”
The Spirit produces these strengths in the real situations that we face day to day. You should certainly pray for Jesus to reproduce His selfless love in you. You can ask God to show you ways to love your spouse. This will bless your marriage. You can pray for God to help you love each of your children as they need. You will rejoice in what you see in their lives. Pray for God to show His love for your parents through your attitudes and behavior. You can pray for God to help you forgive someone who has wronged you. In The Hiding Place Corrie ten Boom tells about being approached by a former guard from the prison camp where she was held.
“‘Jesus, help me!’ I prayed silently. ‘I can lift my hand. I can do that much. You supply the feeling.’ And so woodenly, mechanically, I thrust my hand into the one stretched out to me.
And as I did, an incredible thing took place. The current started in my shoulder, raced down my arm, sprang into our joined hands. And then this healing warmth seemed to flood my whole being, bringing tears to my eyes.”
There is no limit to what God will do in you through prayer. You can trust God to fill your heart with joy as you try to give thanks and worship Him in suffering. Philippians 4:6,7 calls us to pray for peace that passes understanding in stressful situations. Verse 5 reads,
“Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand.”
The word translated, “reasonableness” here can be translated as gentleness, or moderation, as the King James renders it. Reasoning from God’s grace we can respond to aggression or affliction with the gentleness of Christ who prayed, “Father, forgive,” from the cross. We can always know that God is near.
As God’s Spirit produces these and other traits in us His fruit spreads to others who want to know the reason for what they see of Christ in our lives. 1 Peter 3:15 reads,
“In your hearts honour Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defence to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.”
By the power of God in our prayerful witness the fruit of new believers will be produced in God’s church. Are you praying for God’s fruit to be produced in and through you?
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