Recently we sent out a call for prayer. We asked the people who truly follow Shulamite Ministries if they wanted to be involved in what the Lord is doing here by praying for us. We were real excited with the influx of people who responded saying that they wanted to stand with us for Christ to reveal Himself through this ministry.
So I started to send out updates and the responses and scriptures that have been sent back to us have been amazing. I don’t know if you knew this, but the message that God gave Martha for the Triumph of the Lamb conference was entirely supported by a group of people who were committed to fast and pray while Martha sought the Lord. They each did a Daniel fast and the fruit was overwhelming. This is just one example of prayer over a message (and eventually that message will be turned into a book).
Personal ROI on My Prayer Investment
This morning I had a revelation about prayer being an investment with a major ROI (return on investment). It isn’t as if the ROI has to be the motivation for us to pray, but it is certainly the reward for praying. God showed me that when we pray, we are investing into our own lives. I don’t know why but this was shocking to me. Sure, when I prayed for someone else there was an increase of the Kingdom of God. I knew that those I prayed for would receive spiritual fruit. What I hadn’t taken into account is that I would personally benefit from my investment of prayer. But here is the spiritual reality that proves this: it is impossible to sow into the spirit and not reap from the Spirit.
This is such amazing news! And of course this would be the case, but I personally have never considered it. I know we can have people ask us to pray and we agree, but do we always earnestly seek the Lord? Or do we give it a halfhearted pass of effort? We are human and life happens. I might have the best intentions but I can have the attention span of a golden retriever sometimes. And Jesus knows that more likely than not our motivation is “What’s in it for me?” Again, this is human. But here’s the amazing news, God gives us the incentive of sowing and reaping. My investments in prayer will reap a spiritual harvest, not just for the one I pray for but for me personally.
Prayer in the Flesh vs. Prayer by the Spirit
Now there is one catch here. We must sow in the spirit to reap from the Spirit. If we sow by the flesh, we will reap only the flesh. This means I have to pursue the Holy Spirit and the Life of Christ even in prayer. I can’t logic my prayers. It can’t be, “This is what is needed, please give it, Lord.” I must go in prayer listening, hearing, and speaking what the Spirit gives.
I have been to countless prayer meetings where the agenda was to present a list to get it filled. Kind of like a heavenly grocery store. And unfortunately a lot of the prayer I have heard wasn’t even sent heavenward; it was a presentation of demands for man to hear. I don’t say this with condemnation; it is just the reality. Most prayer is soulish prayer.
Here is one of the main reasons this is tragic. Soulish prayers are prayers presented while missing the relationship with the Spirit. These prayers are robbed of interaction and relationship with the Answer. That is tragic to me. Even if God would answer the request, the union would be lost. Besides this, soulish prayers are from the soul, which brings death. This means that the enemy can maliciously use even the most well-intentioned words.
The Fruit of My Prayer Life
I don’t say this to frighten you from praying, because prayer is precious. But I am saying let’s not miss the enjoyment of Life in failing to pray by listening. Hearing prayer is eternal because it comes from the heart and mind of God. Prayer is a divine investment, one that reaps eternal dividends and earthly reward. If I sow in true prayer, I will reap in real Life. And not just for the life of the one I am praying for, but also back upon myself.
I sent an update to this prayer list and I was so excited to convey with joy that their flow of prayer being sent up for Shulamite Ministries was going to bring them a return on their investment. What I actually saw was something like a spillway cascading back upon these lives with richness and blessing. They weren’t just sending out prayer; those prayers were boomeranging back into the pray-er’s life. Oh, I thank Jesus that He knows us and works within us to bless us. I look forward to seeing how He will shower these prayer investors with Himself!
Sowing and Reaping
Don’t be under any illusion: you cannot make a fool of God! A man’s harvest in life will depend entirely on what he sows. If he sows for his own lower nature his harvest will be the decay and death of his own nature. But if he sows for the Spirit he will reap the harvest of everlasting life by that Spirit.
Galatians 6:7-8 Philips
Think might have missed getting in on prayers for Shulamite ministry… please add me!!
You can officially count yourself as now included. I will send you the last update and thank you for your willingness! Love you Arleen!
1John 5:14 We have such confidence in Him that we are certain that He hears every request THAT IS MADE IN ACCORD WITH HIS OWN PLAN. v15 says we can be quite sure our prayers will be answered. We have to listen and find out His will first, then we know what and how to pray. The Lord has been revealing this to me over the past couple of months, and your post is the icing on the cake. Thank you so much. This is especially essential right now as shortly I begin teaching once a week on Intercessory Prayer.… Read more »
Oh how exciting. This message of listening is liberating to the many who have exhausted themselves in prayer with little to no result. I will certainly pray for you as you teach on intercessory prayer. I think it is perfect you do it without a booklet or lesson. You literally are demonstrating what you are teaching, listen first. PERFECT! Love you Wanda!
Good Word John,
Many of the things you wrote, the Holy Spirit spoke to us through His many membered body yesterday during our weekly gathering…
“…Most prayer is soulish prayer. Here is one of the main reasons this is tragic. Soulish prayers are prayers presented while missing the relationship with the Spirit. These prayers are robbed of interaction and relationship with the Answer…”
“…let’s not miss the enjoyment of Life in failing to pray by listening. Hearing prayer is eternal because it comes from the heart and mind of God.”
I absolutely love when the Lord affirms and confirms His word through many sources. It just proves His body is one. Love you Bruce.
So encouraging brother John!
I want to be part of the prayer group also!
I got you all covered Dave. You should have your first update in your inbox. Thank you for your willingness and support. Bless you!
~part of that return is a growing relationship with our Father/Creator. Any time we stop to pray – by asking Him what HIS prayer is for the situation…what is His will – often He not only shares His hearts desire but also shares the secret outcome! I can’t imagine any greater return than to share in the secrets of God. What an awesome privilege it is to pray. “Call to Me and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3 The last request I received to pray, as I sought… Read more »
Bless you, love you, and thank you Tammy! You truly enjoy the Reward! I love it.
Thank you, Tammy. I needed that