“God wants consecrated men because He wants praying men. Consecration and prayer meet in the same man. Prayer is the tool with which the consecrated man works. Consecrated men are agents through whom prayer works. Prayer helps the consecrated man in maintaining his attitude of consecration, keeps him alive to God, and aids him doing the work to which he is called and to which he has given himself. Consecration enables one to get the most out of his praying” (E. M. Bounds, The Essentials of Prayer [Baker, 1987]).
True prayer will always produce holy living. And holy living produces powerful praying. One might wonder which comes first—holiness of heart or power in prayer. I believe that the answer is simple: neither and both.
Powerful praying and holiness of heart are not achieved by human efforts. They transpire when one encounters a holy God. Study the great men of faith. They became great only by the sovereign grace of God. God sought them, and when they encountered His holiness they would never be the same.
Moses was such a man. When he encountered God he was in the Midianite Desert. A sense of failure haunted him. He wanted to help his people, but he felt helpless.
He was not seeking God while he was shepherding his flock on Mount Horeb. But God was seeking Moses. Moses saw an ordinary bush that was made extraordinary by the fire of God. Although the bush was burning, it was not destroyed. When God had the attention of Moses, He called him by name. God told Moses to take off his shoes because he was standing on holy ground.
Only Moses’ sandals were between his feet and holy ground. In the same way, many times it is only the small things in our lives that keep us from coming into the presence of a holy God. We must remove anything from our lives that keeps us from planting our lives in the holiness of God.
Father, help me to have a Moses encounter with You! I am tired of living a less than holy life, and ready to yield myself to Your desires instead of my own. I realize that this is not a request to take lightly in any way, but one that simply comes from a heart that is weary of my own efforts. Remove the obstacles that keep me from giving myself fully and completely to You! Plant my life in Your holiness, O God!
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Praise God because he is the encourager and comforter of his people. Give thanks that God loved you and by his grace gave you eternal encouragement and good hope (2 Thess. 2:16). Ask forgiveness for all those times when fear and anxiety replace the courage that God gives. Commit yourself to seeking God’s encouragement to face every obstacle in your life. Ask God to encourage your heart and strengthen you in every good deed and word (2:17).
Ask God to lead your church to care about welcoming newcomers and including them in the life of the church. Pray that no one be neglected in this important ministry.
“I have so much to do [today] that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” —Martin Luther
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