Tag Archives: Peter Black

WHAT PRAYER IS NOT

What Prayer is not vis-à-vis What Prayer is

by Peter Black

Prayer is not one’s presenting a ‘honey-do list’ to the ‘man upstairs’

What is it, then?

Prayer is the breathing of my spirit.

It is the interaction of my spiritual being–the essence of who I am, with the essence of who God is.

It is worship.

Prayer involves my highest thought.

It receives inspiration from the Scriptures through the working of the Holy Spirit, and gains strength from my experience of God’s grace.

Prayer includes my expression of deepest gratitude.

It encompasses my wants and wishes, my cares and concerns, but especially the needs of others. Above all, prayer considers what God’s purpose and will might be in any given matter.

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Some suggested refs: Heb. 11:6; Rom. 10:17; John 4:23-24; 1 Cor. 6:17;

Rom. 8:26-27. Also John 5:14-15; Jam. 4:1-3, and Jam.1:16-17.

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MUSINGS ON WORSHIP AND INTERCESSORY PRAYER

Musings on Worship and Intercessory Prayer

by Peter Black

Keynote: God moves us to prayer so that He can move through our prayers.

Sometimes it’s a difficulty, some challenging circumstance that our Heavenly Father uses to motivate us to engage or re-engage in a deeper level of prayer.

Take Isaiah, for example, in Isaiah chapter 6. During a very difficult time in his nation’s history the prophet, while in the Temple, was granted an astounding visionary experience of the Lord God.

What was Isaiah doing there? His concern for his people was heightened on account of the death of King Uzziah, so likely, offering up worship and intercessory prayer were main reasons for his being there at that time. If so, then Isaiah’s revelation of God in His resplendent glory came while under the cover of prayer.

In this experience he was given a view into the heavenly realm – a pattern of which was expressed in the design, furnishings, and functions of the Temple. Although his physical being was in the material temple building, his spirit was open to heaven and given a revelation of the Lord in His awesome holiness, enthroned in heavenly glory. Isaiah was alarmed and felt great dread, was deeply convicted of his own sinfulness, and confessed his and his nation’s guilt before God.

Prayer is two-way. It is communion. It is communication.

Our cry to God and His call to us.

Isaiah’s anguished cry was tantamount to prayer (v 5 NIV), “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.”

The prophet was subsequently assured of cleansing (vv 6-7) as one of the attending seraphs touched his lips with a live coal taken from the altar, declaring, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”

Next came the call from the Lord Himself (v-8), “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”

Isaiah’s response was immediate, “Here am I. Send me!”

This resulted in his commissioning (perhaps more correctly, recommissioning) to divine service in God’s behalf to His people (vv 9-10ff).

When God moves His faithful ones to pray, His Spirit empowers them for this work (Rom. 8:26-27). He brings others under the cover of their prayers in His redemptive plan.


WHEN NEED BECOMES SUPPLY

When Need Becomes Supply

by Peter Black

Have you ever considered that the practice of picking up on the needs of others and praying for them, or receiving a burden to intercede in prayer for a situation – whether an individual’s need, a ministry, or natural disaster, or for whole nations – may be a form of gleaning? Prayer, like gleaning, can be hard work and seem at times to result in little effect for the degree of effort and time that goes into it. Oh, but it can be rewarding too.

Ruth’s privilege of gleaning in the fields of Boaz provided for her need and that of her dear mother-in-law Naomi (Ref. Ruth Chapter 2). The young widow was evidently unaware that the workers had been instructed to drop “handfuls of purpose” (cp. versions with the KJV /AV, esp. vv 15-18), to provide for Naomi and herself a more bountiful provision than it otherwise would have been.

Ordinarily we wouldn’t think of need as being the same thing as supply. Yet, perhaps for those of us engaged in the ministry of prayer and intercession, the Lord drops others’ needs before us day by day, bringing them to our attention and into our line of vision. And then, as we pick them up, like gleaned handfuls and offer them up before the throne of grace in prayer, He ‘alchemizes’ them into His bountiful supply.

In this way need becomes opportunity, and opportunity, taken in accordance with the wisdom and will of God, has potential to result in His supply or solution and provision.

Maybe this idea stretches the analogy (of gleaning, and handfuls dropped on purpose) a little far to make a point. I am sure, however, that the thought has merit, for as diligent intercessors we are participants – co-labourers – together with God in His kingdom purpose. We are benefitted in the process, for while seeking to secure blessing for others, we too, are blessed.

Proverbs 11:25 (NIV): “A generous [person] will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” That surely goes for being engaged in ministry under the cover of prayer!