“Revival is delayed because prayer decays.”
“Death to sin” and “death to self” are not enough, alone. You must discipline your life in order to gain spiritual victory. The Bible teaches us in I Corinthians 14:32, “And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.” In other words, you can control your own “spirit”, or you can discipline and control yourself. You cannot do without self-discipline and expect to experience spiritual victory. Self-discipline is a must. Consider:
II Timothy 2:3-5, “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. 5 And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.“
Titus 2:12, “Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;“
I Peter 1:13, “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;“
What is it about yourself you are to discipline?
We must discipline our prayer life. Prayer is perhaps the most neglected exercise of our spiritual life. A prayerless life always equals a powerless life. Prayer is the channel by which you and your Heavenly Father communicate with each other. Prayer is that means through which you praise God and worship Him. If you are going without prayer in your life, you are probably not doing much anyway.
You must discipline yourself to pray. Set a time every day that is your time with God and keep it just as you would a doctor’s appointment or a date. Discipline yourself to keep it every day, whether you feel like it or not. We are not commanded to pray when our mood is right: we are commanded to “pray without ceasing.” It is not hypocrisy when you kneel to pray with no desire in your heart: it is obedience.
But do not stop with a set time. Do not let prayer just become a habit. Develop a real prayer “life” with the Lord. Talk to Him throughout the day… as you work, as you drive, and as you study. Jesus loves to hear you pray.
Proverbs 15:8, “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.“
God has provided at least four “signposts” by which to guide us into His perfect will.
The first signpost we will call, Biblical Principles. Although you may not be able to find a specific verse or Scripture passage which answers a particular question about God’s will, you can often find a Biblical principle. For example, let’s use a teenager; suppose you have just finished school and it is now summer and that you have accepted a job paying $9.00 per hour. Then, the day you begin, another company offers you a job which pays more and has better working conditions. You wonder, should I quit and accept the better job? Certainly you will not find a specific command, but you can find a principle to give you direction. Psalm 15:4 is a good example that provides a biblical principle; a man who honors the Lord is one that “sweareth to his own hurt and changeth not.” On the basis of this principle, it would be wrong to break your agreement by quitting the first job. God’s principles must not be violated.
The second signpost is that of answers to prayer. God has given to every Christian the tremendous joy of communicating personally with Him. Yet how often believers fail to excercise this privilege. The Christian who does not pray yet complains about not knowing God’s will is like a citizen who does not vote and yet condemns the government. Our Lord has promised that He hears and answers the prayer of faith. This means He hears and answers our questions about everything, including His will.
One Christian author explains how God works in us as we pray:
As we pray, God often gives us a conviction by the Holy Spirit which deepens, despite new information, to an increasing sense of rightness or oughtness about a course of action. This is quite different from the “gung-ho” emotion which prods us today to get on a plane for Hong Kong, and tomorrow to move into Chicago, and the next day to paddle a canoe up the Amazon and each day after go a different direction. When the Holy Spirit begins to move in our hearts, one conviction deepens and while we recognize other situations, we sense that time is the will of God for us.
Certainly we need to discover God’s will, but let all of us follow the signposts that God places in our life.
Revival: Don’t be one of the “Strange” People – Have you ever met someone that left you scratching your head. Consider these strange people:
People who talk about prayer, but never pray.
People who say tithing is right, but never tithe.
People who wish to belong to the church, but never attend or support the church program.
People who say the Bible is God’s word to man, but never read it.
People who say eternity is more important than time, but who live for the present life.
People who criticize others for things they do themselves.
People who stay from church for trivial reasons, and then sing, “O How I Love Jesus.”
People who follow the Devil all their lives, but expect to go to heaven.
Solomon wrote, “The way of man is froward and strange.” Proverbs 21:8 Lord, we stand in need of complete revival of soul, mind, and spirit!