Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Jason's Thoughts: The Importance of Prayer

I'm currently in Malaysia praying, preaching and equipping student leaders for a great national student revival and awakening. In the midst of this, God has burdened my heart for our network of churches back home at UCLA and other campuses. In the next days, I will post a series of letters called "Jaeson's Thoughts" this will be personal letters for our network of leaders and churches that I believe can benefit the greater Body of Christ...shalom.
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Dear Passion Church & ECTC family,

As I am here in Malaysia you are still constantly on my heart of hearts. As a mentor and friend to you, know that my heart beats with one passion and that is to see each of you be made complete, whole and mature in Christ. In the coming days, I will share short thoughts from my heart to encourage you in your upward calling in Christ. I will start with the topic of the importance of prayer in your private life and corporate life.

1. Mark 1:35
[ Jesus Prays in a Solitary Place ] Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place,where he prayed.

2. Luke 5:16
But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.

3. John 17:1
[ Jesus Prays for Himself ] After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and
prayed:

The Priority of Personal Prayer
I can not urge each of you with anything more important but to give yourself to the priority of PRAYER. It is prayer that keeps us walking in the Spirit and not the flesh. It is our source of power to live life victoriously, it is the unction that gives us the grace to live out God's Truth daily in our lives. Jesus, even with his busy lifestyle, made prayer His priority each morning. He didn't live a life of casual prayer, but extraordinary prayer. He got up before the sun got out. He made it a sacrifice, because He knew without prayer He could do nothing apart from the Father. Is prayer a sacrifice right now in your life? Is it priority? Is your prayer life inconsistent, where you pray some mornings, but not others?

The past month the Holy Spirit has convicted me that my prayer life is very weak. By the grace of God, I have been obedient to this conviction and sleeping earlier, waking earlier and spending a sufficient amount of time in the presence of the Holy Spirit, not leaving the secret place till my heart, soul and spirit is filled with the inner peace of His manifest presence.

When I was in college I spent 2-6 hours waiting on the Lord daily. That is not for you to compare to, you may have only grace to pray 15 minutes or a half hour a day. But, what God gives you grace to do, be faithful to it. Did Jesus not say, "Can you watch and pray for one hour lest you fall into temptation?" If Jesus disciples encouraged His own disciples to pray for an hour a day, how much more do we need to pray at least one hour daily, consistently, whether we feel like it or not to enjoy and be with the Father? Without prayer we will fall into temptation, depend on our own strength to live and live a fruitless life on this earth. Don't waste your life. You can not waste your life by getting a "prayer life." Being in God's presence is the greatest joy known to man, it is what we were created for. Prayer should not be a dread, it should be the most exciting part of your day, for when we spend that hour in quite devotion, it sets the tone for us to recognize the presence of the Holy Spirit the rest of the hours of the day, thus we fulfill the scripture that calls us to "pray continuously." (1 Thess 5:17)

If you wonder why there is little fruit being born in your life, if your inner-man is not being changed (2 Cor 3:14), if you wonder why souls are not being saved around you through you, if you wonder why you maybe confused, disgruntled or disheartened it may very well be that you have not wrestled with your flesh, the principalities of the air, and entrusted your problems to the Lord in prayer (Phil 4:6-7). We have to pray it out before we can walk out. Personal transformation, fruitful evangelism & ministry is simply a direct result of our daily prayer life. Without a prayer life, we have nothing, because all we do will be in our strength and not His.

The Priority of Corporate Prayer

I know many of you in Passion Church have started your own prayer meetings for your simple churches. This is oh so important. Please make sure that your times of corporate prayer with one another is a priority over any other meeting during the week. Do not ever relent in the place of prayer. And when you come together to pray, come with a clear conscience, forgiving one another and then boldly approach the throne of grace with confidence knowing that whenever two or three touch and agree and ask anything in Jesus name, it shall be done for them according to His will. Be bold, dream big, pray with perfect faith and ask for the impossible, because with prayer all things are made possible.

Heb 4:16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Prayer meetings should be the most exciting and most powerful of times. We change the world through our prayers. We shake nations through our prayers. God backs up our prayers with all the authority from heaven when we get His mind and declare His will into the earth through our corporate prayers. The Devil is not afraid of church meetings, he is afraid of prayer meetings, because this is where the spiritual battle is fought, where we get hell empty and heaven full (Eph 6:10-18, 2 Cor 10) for our battle is not against flesh and blood but against spiritual principalities. Understand that when we gather to intercede, literally myriads of warring angelic forces go to work on the earth when we pray, but if we do not pray we forfeit the authority and power given to us (Luke 10:19, Mark 16:18) by Jesus.

Know that when you pray, heaven moves and earth shakes. Prayer is the key to releasing heaven on earth. We have authority in our prayers. History hinges upon the prayers of the saints. Those who truly learn to exercise the authority given to us in prayer by Christ are the ones that see change on the earth. Without prayer nothing can happen, with prayer anything can happen. Every time you gather to pray know that you have authority to bind and lose (Matt 16:18), to shut doors and close doors (Isa 22:22), to make wrong things right because those who pray day and night will release speedy justice on the earth (Luke 18). You want to see your simple church gatherings grow? You want to see the heavens open and the Holy Spirit poured out over your gatherings? You want to see souls saved soundly, disciples made powerfully? You want to see revival break out on your campus, in your dorm, in your classroom, in the middle of campus, in the city? You want to see sicknesses healed, demons cast out, the spirit of prophecy released and darkness tremble as injustice towards the unborn, the imprisoned prostitute, the struggling homosexual, the depressed and dejected be SET FREE? Then GO TO THE PLACE OF PRAYER and CRY OUT WITH OTHERS FOR JUSTICE TO BE RELEASED ON THE EARTH! (Isaiah 62:6-8) Give God no rest, cry out day and night till He establishes Jerusalem (your mission field) a praise in the earth!

When I started my first youth church in San Jose, I was given a book called "Fresh Wind and Fresh Fire" by, Jim Cymbala. His church was dying, down to less than 20 members in Brooklyn NYC. But God spoke to him to give himself to the place of prayer. He told the church if there is one meeting you go to, it's not Sunday morning service, but the Monday night prayer meeting. They made prayer their priority and God blessed their church and it has grown not just numerically, but in influence across the nations because they made corporate prayer PRIORITY.

When I started our first youth church, the meetings were on Tuesday night, but every Monday night me and maybe 3-5 others would gather and seek God's face in the furnace of prayer for anywhere from 2-6 hours each time. We would not stop praying, till we knew that we knew in our spirit that what we prayed for was answered. Till we knew that heaven heard our cries for the souls we were discipling and for the lost in the city. The success of each Tuesday night gathering was not dependent on the program, how good the Bible study or preaching or worship went, it was dependent on how much we prayed prior to the Tuesday night gathering. We saw many miracles those two years in our Tuesday night gatherings, hundreds came to Christ and received deliverance because, we made corporate prayer a priority.

Also, do not just have a prayer meeting on a separate day for your church gatherings, but make sure to pray at least one hour before each simple church gathering w/ focus. When you pray right before the gathering it prepares the atmosphere to welcome the Holy Spirit into your midst. Don't be a Martha but be a Mary and sit at Jesus feet first. Don't be like Martha where you are so busy preparing the food for the breaking of bread or fellowship, that you rush into the simple church gatherings. No no no! If you are elders, you must give the deacons the responsibility to prepare food and other things, you as leaders must give yourself to PRAYER before each gathering, because the first guest we are to welcome is not one another, but the HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD! The Holy Spirit is always our most honored and welcomed guest first. We must prepare first in prayer before our gatherings to properly host the Holy Spirit. (Practically, to make corporate prayer a priority, pray at least one hour before your time of breaking of bread, then eat and gather to worship.)

I tell you anytime we have had an outpouring of God's Spirit in our simple church gatherings, when people get divinely healed, filled with the Holy Spirit, the Bible study is cutting to our hearts and souls cry out in repentance and radically obey His Word immediately, it is because WE PRAYED BEFORE HAND. Do not let your simple church gatherings simply become "meetings" gatherings that are predictable and going through the motion. NO! Get into the place of prayer, welcome the Holy Spirit to lead and watch Him release miracles every time you gather. You should expect nothing less than revival each time you gather, if not something is wrong with your faith and expectation for we serve a supernatural God who is in the business of disrupting our natural lives with heavenly visitations that He may be glorified and magnified!.

I pray this exhortation and teaching finds you all well. I am here in Malaysia, getting ready to preach to many pastors and leaders, but this morning you were all on my heart. I pray for you, pray for one another, pray for yourself and never cease to pray, if we do this we shall see God's purpose and work truly fulfilled according to His will. Amen.

Under the mercy,

Jaeson

7 Comments:

At 11/27/2007 06:53:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jaesons, this post truely cut to my heart, and I thank our heavenly Father for sharing His thoughts with you.

 
At 11/28/2007 04:18:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jaeson, I am really encouraged by your post. My mom asked me to go to the church prayer meeting earlier but I said no because I was tired. I will go next week and be willing to sacrifice for God. Thanks.

 
At 11/28/2007 09:34:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praise the LORD,that you have shared god's teachings to us Malaysians.We should prepare ourselves before doing anything by prayer with the LORD,even when we are going to accept god's anointings,Amen.

 
At 11/29/2007 05:03:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jaeson, first of all thank you for responding to God to come to Malaysia to impact this nation (and beyond), you've done an amazing job. I believe seeds sown will bear fruit, Malaysia WILL be transformed and REVIVAL will happen..soon! God bless you, God will continue to increase your capacity & enlarge your territory to glorify His name..

 
At 11/29/2007 07:39:00 PM , Anonymous anna said...

thank you for coming to sabah..
we really appreciate it a lot!
by the way, do you mind if i just ask you a question?
how much do you pray everyday?(average)
lastly, there's actually many things that i wanna share with you..i wanna see whether it's from God or not..
cuz sometimes it seems to be quite blur..and i don't know whether it's just my imagination or what~
i hope that i can share it when you're free~

hope to see you again in sabah!
Selamat datang~
God Bless You

-anna-

 
At 12/12/2007 08:26:00 PM , Anonymous rebekah said...

hey Pastor jaeson,thanks for sharing something about prayer..it gives me a lots of ancouragement..ya "7 days without prayer make one weaks".now i understand why prayer is so important...i want to thanks God for using this passage to touch me...ya!!i need to stand up and bow down for the revival in malaysia!!

Thanks you...may the grace and blessing of the lord Jesus be with you!!Amen

 
At 12/16/2007 07:11:00 AM , Anonymous <> said...

PRAISE THE LORD.... Thank you Ps Jaeson for your message. It breaks my heart. I used to be the one who did not voice up during prayer meeting.I used to keep it for myself. After your message i will respond to the call of God. I will voice up my Prayer to God. I will let SAtan know I am NOt afraid. I will keep your teaching in my heart to remain me PRAYER CHANGES THINGS. I pray that this is my starting Point where my prayer life be light up... Thanks! the BLESSING OF GOD FOLLOWS YOU WHERE EVER YOU GO...AMEN

 

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