“Even those I will bring to My holy mountain
And make them joyful in My house of prayer.
Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar;
For My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples.”
- Isaiah 56
Each week on Saturday mornings, prayers go up from Sydney’s Observatory Hill, dubbed “Prayer Mountain”. We pray as a corporate church, united with one common vision and purpose, attuned to God’s heart. The Psalmist said: “Let my prayer be set before You as incense, The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.”
What is prayer? Prayer is talking to God. What do you talk about? I dunno…what do you and your friends talk about? He is a Friend too, closer than you think or imagine. But it is understandably weird for newbies to imagine talking to an unseen entity….without a Bluetooth earpiece. It helps to shut your eyes (where it is safe to do so, so not while driving) and even more helpful to find a secluded spot, away from the distractions because it is like meditation. This is one of the reasons Prayer Mountain, in the early hours of the weekend, has been a choice location and time for the church since it started.
There are different types of prayers. At the risk of being branded legalistic, it can help to commit to memory four of them, using the acronym, A-C-T-S:
1 – Adoration – Lead with praise and worship. Extol and exalt the Lord. Lift Him up, accord to Him the highest honour, the Glory, the Majesty. You are addressing the God Who created the Universe and all that is in it. He is King over all kings, Lord over all lords. Mention His names, His Titles and His Victories. There are many wannabe gods around, especially in the dark realm, and we must make it clear, Who we are talking to and who we are not. Dial the correct number.
2 – Confession – Confess your sins to God. Do not give the devil a foothold in your life. Sin is his legal ground. Getting rid of it, removes any claims he has as the Accuser of the Brethren, against you. If he has legal ground, answers may tarry.
3 – Thanksgiving – Thank Him for Who He is, for what He has done recently, but certainly for what He did on the cross at Calvary. Seek to have a firm grasp of what took place on that hill 2000 years ago. CT Studd, the founder of WEC said it this way: “If Jesus Christ be God, and died for me, then there cannot be any sacrifice too great for me to make for Him.” He got it. The God Who created you, DIED for you! That’s worth daily thanksgiving. He is worthy of your praise. He is worthy of your thanksgiving. He is worthy of your sacrifice.
4 – Supplication – Big word but simply means, request. Do you have a need? Do you know someone who does? Ask Him. It’s more or less a claim, of divine healing when doctors don’t know what to do (Isaiah 53), of restoration when relationships are broken, seemingly beyond repair (Malachi 4:6), when loved ones die (John 11:25/Rev 21:4), and so on.
“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
– John 10:10
If there is an aversion due to the legalism argument, be reminded that when we get to Heaven, rituals and laws are the order of the day.
Starting a year on the right foot is very important and to us the worldwide CMFI family of believers we do that by uniting in prayer and fasting. We commit the new year to the Lord to lead us and guide us through the uncertainties, for He has already been there.
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