by Susan Sampson

How can we be committed and consistent in prayer?
How can we be humbly dependent upon prayer?
How can we pray with boldness and confidence?
How can we labor in prayer for ourselves and others?

ONLY IN CHRIST AND THROUGH CHRIST.

Christ is our only Hope and our only Help.  And yet we are constantly defaulting to our flesh.  This lecture hit home with me.  When Laurie described how we come before the throne of God in our quiet time and then get up and leave being in the Spirit to walk in our flesh, in my own strength, trying to control, trying to fix everyone and everything, trying to keep it all together, trying to get order and get things taken care of, trying harder — I saw myself.  Does anyone else see themselves in this description?!

I must confess my unbelief.  We must confess our unbelief and ask for God’s mercy.  It is God alone who holds the power and authority to enable us in Christ to overcome ourselves and our sin!  We must cry out to Him in prayer.

We must put our flesh to death.  Again I confess, I try to fix my flesh and “do better.”  But the truth is the flesh is not redeemable.  “Those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (Romans 8:8).  I am struck by the radical words of Christ Himself in addressing sin: “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off.  It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out” (Mark 9:43-44).

So, again the purpose of our study is to move from having a sin filled heart to a Spirit filled heart.  To do this we must turn from our sins and turn in faith to Christ.

We are wholly dependent upon the mercy of God.  This is why prayer is vital.  I write this to you all as though I am speaking to my own soul.  I fall so far short in this area (among others).  I humbly cry out to the Lord to give us all grace “to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions” as Paul writes in Titus 2:12 and to commit ourselves to prayer.  This week, may we make a plan to pray — schedule it on our smart phones and calendars and then follow through.  Put those thoughts to death that say, “There’s not enough time in the day”; “This is just legalism”; “It won’t work”; “I don’t want to”; “I don’t know how” — whatever it is that is keeping us from being committed and consistent in prayer — confess to the Lord and ask for His grace.  Then stand firm in grace.

May we stop giving into the distractions of the world and our flesh and walk forward by faith asking the Father in the name of Jesus and trusting God that He will do the work in our hearts that only He can do.  May we believe that Jesus loves us and is a friend to sinners.

So what will we do differently this week?

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