Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Living Room: Place of Petition

As we have overviewed the Mansion of prayer we have seen 4 of the rooms, what they each mean, and a key to unlock each of them to greater effectiveness. They have been:

The Foyer…Place of Confession: Key = Be honest
The Throne Room…Place of Adoration: Key = Be creative
The Trophy Room…Place of Thanksgiving: Key = Keep a spiritual journal
The Guest Room…Place of Intercession: Key = Identify with who you are praying for

Now we reach the final room which is the Living Room. This is what we call the place of petition. This is where we seek God for our own needs. The common word used for this in the New Testament is “supplication.” It literally means “to beg” or “to lack.” It is the idea of a beggar sitting at the side of the road begging the help of not just anyone, but the king himself as he passes by. It expressed destitution and inadequacy. It is in fact the inability to meet one’s own needs and having a total dependence on another. J. Oswald Sanders described it as a need expressed in a cry.

In Hebrews 4:14-16, we are taught that because Christ is our great High Priest, we can boldly make petitions to the Father. In Philippians 4:6-7, we are told to not be anxious about our life. This is a command meaning to allow ourselves to be distracted or feel pulled in diverse directions. Instead, we are to pray about everything. This is another command telling us to transfer the time and energy we put into worrying into praying instead. In other words, turn your “worry list” into your “prayer list.”

When we do this, the result is that the peace of God guards our heart and mind. This isn’t just any peace. This is a peace that transcends all of our mental ability to grasp and appreciate, even in the worst of circumstances. It acts as a guard. This word was used to describe a garrison of soldiers on duty (see Second Corinthians 11:32). What does it guard? It guards our heart…how we feel about things; and it guards our mind…how we think about things. Why is this crucial? Because it is wrong feelings and wrong thoughts that will create wrong behavior in our lives.

So what is the key to this room? The key here is to be specific. We are to pray with prayers (general requests) and supplications. This word speaks of personal details. One of the greatest lessons I have learned when it comes to my prayer life is to pray more specifically so that I can see and measure God’s answers to my requests. The more specifically I pray, the more I see answers to my prayers which build my faith and motivate me to spend even more time in every room of the Mansion of Prayer. I have heard two statements about prayer that have stuck with me over the years. They are:

Nothing of eternal importance happens apart from prayer!

Prayer is striking the winning blow while service is gathering up the results!”

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