Luke 11:1—”…one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord teach us to pray'” (NET Bible).
Thrasher comes to us with the idea that one of God’s ways of accomplishing His work is to place a prayer burden on someone’s’ heart. If that person is sensitive to the prayer burden, she can pray in response, and the work of God is set in motion. As A.B Simpson wrote, “There is no wonder more supernatural and divine in the life of a believer than the mystery and the ministry of prayer…the hand of the child touching the arm of the Father and moving the wheel of the universe.”
What an awesome thought—that we have the ability to work with and alongside God in accomplishing His work and His will in others’ lives. I do not think any of us fully understand or comprehend the power that is at hand when we come humbly before God to help in His work through prayer.
When I was going through my treatments for breast cancer, my husband and I were consistently amazed at daily situations that in our own strength were difficult, but easier, less stressful and not as overwhelming as they could have been. We attribute that to the power of prayer from many others who were praying on our behalf.
Thrasher tells us some points that are pertinent to God’s working in one’s own life or in the lives of others. First, prayer is to be of first importance, not just for ourselves but also in the church as it gathers together. We need to be drawn into His presence as He impresses on us that for which we should pray. Secondly, we see that what God impresses on us is prayer burdens for others. What we do not realize is the magnitude of the power of God through prayer. Andrew Murray said so well, and it should give us much to think on, that “we understand then that our true aim must not be to work much and have prayer enough to keep the work right, but, to pray much (emphasis my own) and then work enough for the power and blessing obtained in prayer to find its way through us to men.” Thrasher finishes by encouraging us once again that the fruitfulness of God’s ways comes through us realizing that God “desires you and me to commit to Him the prayer burdens that He entrusts to us.” This is an amazing concept that God would entrust us with prayer burdens to accomplish His work in the world. “Prayer strikes the winning blow” says S.D Gordon. When one fully comprehends this truth, it should sober us to be more diligent in acting upon the prayer burdens with which God impresses us.
We need to ask ourselves—what prayer burdens has God put on my heart? We need to realize that others are blessed beyond measure by our desire to pray for them. But it will be a battle. Corrie ten Boom said, “The devil smiles when we make plans. He laughs when we get busy. But he trembles when we pray, especially when we pray together.” Richard Foster encourages us in saying “that just because you do not think that your prayer life is important does not mean that God thinks it is not important.”
Therefore, Thrasher encourages us to be wise in asking God to “teach us to pray.” As we do this we can trust that God will work and lay on us the prayer burdens for which we need to be praying. This will accomplish His work in the world as we are faithful to Him. There is nothing more important! We need to lay hold of this incredible opportunity: that we “can cooperate with God and lift the spirit of an individual, half a world away” from ourselves.
So I ask you—what prayer burdens is God putting on your heart? You need to ask yourself—am I sensitive enough to “hear” God’s spirit and to be praying for what He asks me to pray for? Do I follow through with actually praying and continuing to pray (I Thess. 5:17) for those He has placed before me? Be aware this week as He brings prayer burdens to you and “just do it!.” This helps us begin to understand how God works in other’s lives and in our own.
Let us know your thoughts. And don’t forget to journal!