Prayer – In for a Penny, In for a Pound

When it comes to praying for our country on The National Day of Prayer, HOW then shall we pray? What alertness, enthusiasm, and passion will we bring?

May Jesus Christ be lifted upWe can pray angry, anxious, and proud or we can be filled with the Spirit of the Lord and pray for Christ’s glory to be known. So much depends on what longings and motivations bring us to prayer.

If we humble ourselves and seek the face of Christ and His glory in all things, we know for certain that nothing can stop our prayers from helping to bring about great spiritual victories, and much good in the material world as well.

jump-in-to-prayer lthomsason_wordpressIn the 70s I often heard the expression “In for a penny, in for a pound!” The basic idea is an encouragement both to risk everything and to expect full involvement in whatever the consequences may be.

If you’re going to risk a penny (a little bit), why not a pound (everything)? And, if you participate even slightly in something, don’t expect to escape the consequences, or miss out on the opportunity to enjoy them.

Does this apply to prayer? Yes. Into prayer for a penny we are into prayer for a pound – if our heart is in it.

Perhaps all you have now is a penny’s worth of time and motivation. If so, rest assured that in the hands of King Jesus, the true King of Hearts, whatever and however much you offer Him in prayer, He can multiply its usefulness a thousand-fold! But then, the other aspect of that old saying also applies.

If you do have a little bit of time and motivation, why not ramp it up a bit and finally be willing to risk everything in faith? You certainly cannot opt out of the results of praying – or not praying.

reckless abandon - ElisabethElliotImagine what God might do with hearts on fire for Him and totally abandoned to Him! Yes, let’s be in for a penny, in for a pound!

If we’re going to pray at all, let it be to hear what God has to say to us, not demand he do what we say. Let us lift our hands in prayer to the glory of God, our Father.

In for a pound means reverence. In awe of God, we will acknowledge Him as our Creator and the giver of life. We will recognize we are on holy ground and come to silence before Him (Psalm 46:10).

Col 3_16-17If we’re going to pray at all, let it be fully through faith in Christ. Let us bow our knees in prayer to the glorious supremacy of Jesus Christ.

In for a pound means we acknowledge His supremacy and all-sufficiency as our Savior and Lord. Mike Novotny in the “Time of Grace” introduced the following formula: Christ > _________________. It is true, whatever is on our heart to fill in the blank, Christ is greater!!

If we’re going to pray at all, let it be “fruit of the Spirit,” not a “work of the flesh.” Let us yield in prayer to the power of the Holy Spirit.[1]

In for a pound means we acknowledge the Spirit’s presence in the believer and with His people. It means that whatever battle is to be won in prayer, it is not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual darkness. In for a pound means our prayers will be in one accord with the Scriptures – personalizing them, internalizing them, bringing them out of the past alive and pertinent into the present.

we cannot all preach - spurgeonIf we’re going to pray all, let it be in unity or sweet accord with other believers.

In for a pound means we pray as a family, bound together by His love and promises forever! In for a pound, we will be as brief and express agreement with each other as much as possible.

If we’re going to pray at all, let it give evidence of the fruit of the Spirit!

In for a pound means we put away anger[2] or any other “work of the flesh” as the motivation for our praying. Instead, we draw upon the Holy Spirit’s love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control to frame our prayers. See Galatians 5:14-26; 6:7-10.

In for a penny, in for a pound!

National Day of Prayer Invite_SnapshotOnce involved in prayer, we must not stop at half-measures.

If prayer is worth doing at all, it is worth doing with all our heart, mind, soul, strength, and relationships (“love thy neighbor”) out of love for God.

Our invitation to the National Day of Prayer:

Rom 8_16-18

[1] Good structure for any prayer: P_R_A_Y:  Praise / Repent / Ask / Yield (Yes! “Your will, your way, your time” Apprentice Prayer)

Still waters[2] Anger (anger at the fear or loss of stability and promise that follows duplicity, betrayal or injustice) can be exceedingly difficult to handle in an open, public prayer forum. Anger can actually hinder the Spirit of God working to unite us and oppress and depress our brothers and sisters praying with us. In for a pound means we will choose humility and forgiveness and faith as the framework for what we pray.

Don’t miss this inspirational devotional on intercessory prayer by Oswald Chambers: “Vicarious Intercession


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