Circuit Rider's Prayer Boot Camp

Circuit Rider's Prayer Boot Camp

Music Title: Memory
Memory 1995 Clubhouse Productions
Used by permission for non commercial purposes.

Jesus said, "Ask, and it will be given to you ...

seek, and you will find ...

knock, and it will be opened to you ...

For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! (Matthew 7:7-11 NKJV)

Prayer Boot Camp Index

Hello, and welcome to Circuit Rider's Boot Camp! One thing I promise -- there will be no "duck walking" as was the practice at Parris Island SC when I spent time there many moons ago! Also, I make no claims to being an "expert" in prayer -- still learning just like everyone else who engages in that spiritual discipline. The purpose here is to review some things about prayer and consider the challenge to branch out into new areas -- our approach will be as follows:

Positive Praying -- Praise & Praying "for" Persons & Things

Negative Praying -- Praying "Against" Persons & Things

A Time When You Don't Pray!!

Positive Praying

PRAISE & WORSHIP: At the center of positive praying is praise and worship expressed to Almighty God -- how rich the Psalms are in helping us in this very important matter. How about this for an example from Psalm 145 (NKJV) --

"I will extol You, my God, O King; and I will bless Your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless You, and I will praise Your name forever and ever. Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall praise Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts. I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, and on Your wondrous works. Men shall speak of the might of Your awesome acts, and I will declare Your greatness. They shall utter the memory of Your great goodness, and shall sing of Your righteousness. The LORD is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy. The LORD is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works. All Your works shall praise You, O LORD, and Your saints shall bless You. They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom, and talk of Your power, to make known to the sons of men His mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of His kingdom. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and Your dominion endures throughout all generations. The LORD upholds all who fall, and raises up all those who are bowed down. The eyes of all look expectantly to You, and You give them their food in due season. You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing. The LORD is righteous in all His ways, gracious in all His works. The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them. The LORD preserves all who love Him, but all the wicked He will destroy. My mouth shall speak the praise of the LORD, and all flesh shall bless His holy name Forever and ever."

THANKSGIVING: All the bases are covered in Psalm 103:1-5 (NKJV):

"Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's."

CONFESSION: Confession is the "ouch" experience that leads to a very positive result -- finding forgiveness and favorable acceptance with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. It is indeed painful when we honestly come to grips with the fact of our sinfulness -- we go through a lot of misery and discomfit -- and finally have to admit we are guilty and cannot shift the blame on anybody else! Psalm 32:1-11 is a "diary" of this experience:

"Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. When I kept silent, my bones grew old through my groaning all the day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my vitality was turned into the drought of summer. Selah. I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD," and You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah. For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You in a time when You may be found; surely in a flood of great waters they shall not come near him. You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah. I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. Do not be like the horse or like the mule, which have no understanding, which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, else they will not come near you. Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; but he who trusts in the LORD, mercy shall surround him. Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous; and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!"

And of course there is that beautiful promise in 1 John 1:9:

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

INTERCESSION: The Scriptures give a multitude of examples of intercession -- praying on behalf of others and their needs, bringing those concerns by faith to our Heavenly Father and trusting that He will indeed respond and meet the need. Following are some areas where one might be an "intercessor." Scripture references are given as either example or challenge to engage in such disciplined prayer practice.

The salvation of the lost - see 1 Timothy 2:1-4; 2 Peter 3:9; 1 John 3:23; Acts 16:31.

Those who need healing in the physical body - see James 5:14-16.

Those in crisis circumstances of one kind or another - see Acts 12:5.

For fellow believers - see Paul's examples in Ephesians 3:14-19; Philippians 1:9-11; Colossians 1:9-14.

For brothers & sisters in Christ who are being violently persecuted for their faith in other places in this deeply troubled world -- it is really happening -- again, our "media culture" seems to look the other way when it comes to this particular violation of human rights!

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem -- God has great plans for Jerusalem and no city in all the world will come close to the glory and splendor that one day will be bestowed upon that city which experiences constant tension and conflict. The OT prophets mention this great future miracle rather frequently. Our instruction comes from Psalm 122:6: "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: 'May they prosper who love you.'"

Critical intercession on behalf of a nation that is in a massive state of rebellion against God - slowly and prayerfully read Ezekiel 22:18-31 and then note Ezekiel 9:1-11 -- do you see anything that looks familiar -- like you are looking into a mirror of modern society in the U.S. of A!!!

There are a number of other things that certainly could be added to our list of positive praying -- matters about which we need to pray in order to experience a desirable outcome. Some special requests are listed at Circuit Rider's Prayer Room - you can return here after visiting for a bit and interceding. Just lots and lots of ways and concerns for which to pray, IF WE WILL TAKE TIME TO DO IT!!!!

Negative Praying

AGAINST THE DEEDS OF THE WICKED: Face it, my friend -- we are in a war far more vicious than any of us will ever realize -- souls hang in the balance -- Satanic powers show no mercy and operate by no established "rules" for fighting a "clean" war -- their human instruments show no mercy either!! We have a powerful weapon for engaging in spiritual combat -- it is prayer, if we will make use of it! Think on the implications of what the Psalmist is saying in Psalm 141:3-5 when he declared,

"Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips. Do not incline my heart to any evil thing, to practice wicked works with men who work iniquity; and do not let me eat of their delicacies. Let the righteous strike me; it shall be a kindness. And let him reprove me; it shall be as excellent oil; let my head not refuse it. For still my prayer is against the deeds of the wicked."

Well now -- is it proper to pray against the deeds of the wicked? Think for a moment on elements within our society that are organized for the intent of victimizing large numbers of our population -- the destruction that they cause is impossible to fathom! We're not talking a solitary sinner and whatever sins he or she may be involved in -- no, there is a difference -- persons by choice who are part of a sinister and deadly organized group that destroys countless numbers of human beings in one way or another in order to profit financially. Consider these for starters:

Those who traffic in illegal drugs
Those who traffic in pornography
Those who are in 'organized crime'
Those involved in the systematic destruction of the unborn
Those who traffic in alcoholic beverages -- it is impossible to even begin to tally the mass destruction caused by this "business"!!!
Much lamenting has been made about the shooting incidents involving even elementary age (11 yrs & up) children -- who's to blame -- of course there are those who mistakenly believe we must eliminate the guns -- no, the guns are not the problem -- the real problem is the power giants in our media culture that insist on feeding young and old alike a daily diet of violence which encourages them to resolve their frustrations violently, lessons on how to indulge in immorality, how to maintain a sewer quality mouth, to lie, to cheat and to live a lifestyle that thumbs its nose at a holy God and the high standards He has revealed for an orderly, sane and just society!! Let's fix the blame where it REALLY belongs! These parasites reap millions of dollars annually while they ruin and destroy our young! Pray that God will visit upon their heads the "fruit of their doings" and if they will not soon repent, then may Almighty God remove them from our society, just as a surgeon would remove a destructive malignancy to insure the health of the body, so that they no longer will be able to promote the destruction they have been doing for years & years!

While it is not an intentional human "organized" kind of thing as such which is bent on destruction, it is more a matter of unbelieving and skeptical influences (and encouragement from Satanic powers -- you know, the "deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons" thing to which Paul refers in 1 Tim. 4) that are also producing devastating results -- it is the teaching of a human centered philosophy which rejects the reality of, the laws of, and ultimate personal accountability to the God Who brought this universe into existence by spoken command. It is a teaching that misleads the young into believing we are the products of an impersonal evolutionary process as living things, that we humans alone are qualified to determine what our "value system" will be (pick and choose what you like) and that the field of psychology (with an extremely high casualty rate among its professionals) is considered to be THE AUTHORITY on all aspects of human behavior patterns. It is nothing short of the greatest tragedy that the diagnosis made by the world's Foremost Authority on the human behavior problem has for the most part been rejected in the educational institutions at all levels across our society -- ah, just in case you don't know, His name is Jesus and you can read the details of His diagnosis of the human condition in Mark 7:20-23 and His demands for curing this universal malady in Matt. 18:3; Luke 13:3; John 3:3 and John 6:53!!

As you have seen previously, we've got a real problem with corrupted theology -- this is not strictly an "in house" problem with the United Methodist Church -- it has been creeping in just about everywhere over recent decades! There are those who cannot accept the integrity, the reliability and authority of the Scriptures. Consequently they take the position of "What do I have to say about this Book..." rather than the proper (and only sane one) position of "What does this Book have to say about me!" Pray that God will reveal these "wolves in sheeps clothing" to be what they really are and deal with them accordingly! Not a few churches and denominations are now reaping the bitter harvest as a result of what these false teachers have sown!

"Give to them according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavors; give to them according to the work of their hands; render to them what they deserve."

-- Psalm 28:4 (NKJV)

There is a powerful promise that is most encouraging as one prays "against the deeds of the wicked" which is found in Isaiah 59, a chapter by the way that paints a shocking picture of a society in its death throes at points. The promise from Isa. 59:19 is this:

"So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun; when the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD will lift up a standard against him."

AGAIN, remember -- we are in a deadly, vicious spiritual war -- so pray "against the deeds of the wicked!" -- that God will visit upon their heads the "fruit of their doings" -- that if they will not soon repent, then let them be cut off and no longer able to bring about the widespread destruction in which they have been involved -- God is merciful and patient, but there is a limit, especially in regard to those who are systematically involved in activities that bring about wholesale destruction of humans!! It is in that realm that we intentionally "pray against the deeds of the wicked!"

Then there are times when God may reveal that it is too late to pray -- consider these statements in which God specifically says praying will do no good:

Jer. 7:16 -- "Therefore do not pray for this people, nor lift up a cry or prayer for them, nor make intercession to Me; for I will not hear you."
Jer. 11:14 -- "Therefore do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer for them; for I will not hear them in the time that they cry out to Me because of their trouble."
Jer. 14:11-14 -- "Then the LORD said to me, 'Do not pray for this people, for their good. When they fast, I will not hear their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I will not accept them. But I will consume them by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence.' Then I said, 'Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, the prophets say to them, 'You shall not see the sword, nor shall you have famine, but I will give you assured peace in this place.'" And the LORD said to me, 'The prophets prophesy lies in My name. I have not sent them, commanded them, nor spoken to them; they prophesy to you a false vision, divination, a worthless thing, and the deceit of their heart.'"
We see and experience a very limited amount of heart ache, pain, distress, and sorrow in this present world because we are finite human beings -- we cannot begin to fathom what it must be for Almighty God to see continually the total misery and chaos which the members of the human race bring upon themselves due to massive rebellion against Him, both personally and corporately -- there are countless references in the Scriptures of God's grief over all this, with one of the clearest being found in Ezekiel 18:29-32:
"Yet the house of Israel says, 'The way of the Lord is not fair.' O house of Israel, is it not My ways which are fair, and your ways which are not fair? Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways," says the Lord GOD. "Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin. Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies," says the Lord GOD. "Therefore turn and live!"

Folks, could it really happen here? Most would probably say, "No, not here -- after all, we are a "Christian" nation!" Oh, is that so? How about taking a trip to Popular Deities of American Culture! -- take a good look, and reload your prayer weapon with some salvos fired in the direction of those destructive deities that are taking a heavy toll on our country!

My head is still spinning - take me back for a review!

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