Being Prayed Up
Some religion says it is good to be optimistic and have strong faith. At times it is beneficial to have faith and be optimistic. Jesus places what God wants ahead of faith and optimism. One time Jesus was sharing from His heart concerning a very stressful subject, how He was going to be mistreated and then killed and then rise from the dead. Peter, full of faith and optimism responded, "God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You." Jesus then reacted to Peter's outburst of optimism and faith and said, "You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God's interests, but man's"1. What God wants is more important than man's optimism and faith. When God is giving you difficult guidance, statements to the contrary can be a stumbling block.The only way to be sure that you know what God wants, unless the subject is specified in the bible, is to spend time talking with Him or praying. Another time, after Jesus shared how His followers would "fall away" from Him during the tough times ahead involving His crucifixion, Peter again with strong faith stated, "Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you"2. Of course you remember the rest of the story that they all did fall away and Peter denied even knowing Jesus three times3 as Jesus said he would.
As a follower of Jesus, have you ever believed something very strongly and it didn't happen or that you believed you would do something and then failed to stand firm? Peter did and he had to be disappointed in himself. Peter lived through the events including the crucifixion and the resurrection. Yes, Peter was around when Jesus appeared to His followers. Apparently Peter was so wiped out from all the emotion of the events; he decided to go fishing5.
How do you prepare for times that your faith does not happen or coincide with what God wants to happen? If you have never experienced disappointment in your faith, praise God. For most of us, if we exercise faith, it will not always turn out the way we believed. To be prepared for these times can be helpful. Jesus knew Peter was not prepared spiritually or "prayed up" and Jesus told Peter. "I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail "6. This is wonderful that Jesus prayed for Peter. Jesus tells us that God loves us so much because we love Jesus that God will respond to us directly when we ask in Jesus' name and that Jesus will not need to ask in our "behalf"7. Although it may be comforting to know that Jesus could pray for us, we need to pray the way Jesus teaches us to pray, daily, which will anticipate areas of our needs. Notice as we pray that we are praying that God's "will" will be done and that we will not be led into "temptation" and that we will be delivered from the "evil one"8. This prayer is awesome in the scope it covers. Sometimes people realize a day later that they could have been tempted the day before (or missed an opportunity to sin). This can happen for people who daily pray the prayer Jesus taught, without consciously realizing it at the time of praying.
It can be good to pray that the prayer will apply to your whole day (still takes less than one minute). If you want to be a stronger follower of Jesus and give God two minutes of you time, you can mention each hour of the coming day (remember God's day starts around 6pm - see Genesis 1). In mentioning each hour, you may want to pause to pray for things that you know are happening or scheduled during some of the hours, which could even include the coming and going of family members to or from work or school, etc.. If God leads you, you may want to pray the prayer Jesus tells us to pray for each hour (an investment of under 30 minutes). My extensive scientific research has proven that you cannot overdose on prayer. If you have a prayer language or pray in God's spirit language or as Jesus calls "tongues"9, you may also prefer to pray that way for each hour. For stronger results, pray in God's spirit language with your mouth while you pray with your understanding with your mind. When I was getting my Masters degree in Theology, I shared about this way of praying for each hour of the day with a woman who went on to be a Pastor in a main line denomination. A few years later we had contact and she thanked me for teaching her about "being prayed up". Although she claimed that was my expression, that was the first time I had heard the expression "being prayed up", and I knew it was a description from God. I cannot take credit for praying this way as God taught me this in late 80's when I was in Korea where frequently God and I were the only ones who knew English. If you need encouragement to be prayed up, remember Jesus says, "If you love me, you will obey what I command"10. As a Jesus follower, do you love Jesus? It sure sounds like a command when Jesus says, "This, then, is how you should pray daily "8. Are you willing to obey Jesus and pray daily the prayer He taught us to pray? Are you willing to be prayed up?
During your prayer time, you may discover God will communicate with you. Also you may want to pray the prayer Jesus teaches us to pray as an expanded outline. I do include personal concerns on some of the hours.
"God thank You for what we can learn from Jesus. Help us to obey Jesus and pray the prayer He taught every day. Help us to be prayed up. Thanks You in Jesus name, amen."
1. Matthew 16:21-23 (NAS)
2. Matthew 26:31-35 (NIV)
3. Matthew 26:58-75
5. John 21:3
6. Luke 22:32 (NKJV)
7. John 16:26-27 (NIV)
8. Matthew 6:9-13 (NIV)
9. Mark 16:17-18
10. John 14:15 (NIV)
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