Thursday, March 31, 2005

Prayer: The First Lesson to Learn

I believe the Tozer email list is going to be covering prayer this month. I am going to try to post the emails regularly. Its a reminder to myself as it is to you.

I was talking to a brother today about the topic of prayer. We both agreed that prayer is hard, in fact, chances are...if you're looking forward to prayer, there's a good chance it'll be difficult to pray. THE DEVIL WILL FIGHT YOU EVERY INCH OF THE WAY TO THE PLACE OF PRAYER. The question is, are you going to fight back?

Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
--Matthew 26:41

To pray successfully is the first lesson the preacher must learn if he is to preach fruitfully; yet prayer is the hardest thing he will ever be called upon to do and, being human, it is the one act he will be tempted to do less frequently than any other. He must set his heart to conquer by prayer, and that will mean that he must first conquer his own flesh, for it is the flesh that hinders prayer always.

Almost anything associated with the ministry may be learned with an average amount of intelligent application. It is not hard topreach or manage church affairs or pay a social call; weddings and funerals may be conducted smoothly with a little help from Emily Post and the Minister's Manual. Sermon making can be learned as easily as shoemaking--introduction, conclusion and all. And so with the whole work of the ministry as it is carried on in the average church today.

But prayer--that is another matter. There Mrs. Post is helpless and the Minister's Manual can offer no assistance. There the lonely man of God must wrestle it out alone, sometimes in fasting and tears and weariness untold. There every man must be an original, for true prayer cannot be imitated nor can it be learned from someone else. God Tells the Man Who Cares, 69.

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