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Friday, October 29, 2010

The Power of Persistence

Michael Catt is becoming one of my favorite authors. As you know he is the pastor of the church that made "Facing the Giants." He book, The Power of Persistence, is an excellent book on prayer. The quotes below are a great blessing to me.

When we work, we work. But when we pray, God works. p. 1

Mordecai Ham, revivalist: Charlotte, North Carolina, 1934 – Several businessmen, along with Billy Graham’s father, spent a day at the family farm praying that God would touch their city, their state, and their world through Dr. Ham’s meeting in Charlotte. During one of the revival services, Billy Graham came to Christ. p. 5

The strength of the church has never been in programs, numbers, or events, but in prayer and obedience. God is not interested in our innovative methods. He is not impressed with our twenty-first century technology. God is still moved by prayers of simple saints who learn in their quite place to lay hold of the throne of grace. Prayer is not incidental to the work of God—it is the work! p. 7

Our tendency is to have a big view of our situations and a small view of God’s sovereignty. We tend to see God through a microscope and our problems through a telescope, but is should be the other way around. Our problems are miniscule compared to the vastness of God. p. 15

Prayer is faith acting like it’s supposed to act. Elijah “stretched himself out over the boy three times.” Not once. Not twice. Powerful praying demands discipline and patience. p. 15
When’s the last time you asked God for something that was beyond your ability? p. 16
We cannot go any further until we resolve that prayer is a key to all we do and say. p. 22
We are powerless primarily because we are prayerless. p. 23
You can do more than pray after you have prayed, but you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed.” pp. 36 – 37
Prayer is not about changing God’s mind; it’s about changing our mind in light of how God wants things to happen. It’s not about getting my will done on earth; it’s about seeing His will done on earth as it is in heaven. p. 78
The disciples did not ask Jesus to teach them how to perform miracles, how to multiply loaves and fish or to heal the sick. They didn’t ask Him to give them a class in hermeneutics. They didn’t want instructions in preaching, video presentations drama, skis, or any aid to worship. They wanted to learn to pray. They had come to the conclusion on their own that the power behind the Person was prayer. p. 79
When we make prayer a priority, we are telling God that we totally depend on him. [quote by Terry Virgo in the book, Ten Praying Churches] p. 110
Seeking the will of God in prayer is not out our agenda, our itinerary, or our calendar. It’s about His agenda and what’s on the eternal calendar. It is never about our schedule but about the surrender of our schedule. When we walk in the will of God, we cannot fail. But when we try to walk outside the will of God, we cannot succeed. p. 124
Praying by faith must be consistent with the will and Word of God. As Thomas Watson said, “Prayer is the key of heaven; faith is the hand that turns it. p. 132
Augustine wrote, “What is faith, unless it is to believe what you do not see?” p. 133
Jesus taught His disciples that the key to prayer is not faith in faith, but faith in God. God is the object of our faith. p. 133
Thomas Adams wrote, “It is the office of faith to believe what we do not see, and it shall be the reward of faith to see what we do believe.” p. 133
“I consider the problem, but I don’t take the problem into consideration.” The problem is not our priority; having faith in God is our priority. The mountain is not the issue; God is the issue. [quote by Ron Dunn] p. 134
If we want to be effective parents and give our kids the best possible shot at being all God designed them to be, we need to get before our heavenly Father on heir behalf. p. 179
We worry more about our kids being accepted in school than being accepted in the Beloved. p. 196
Also pray that your children will not buy into the lie that fame, fortune, power, and pleasure are the ultimate things that matter. p. 198
The early church was a praying church. That’s why sin was not tolerated (Ananias and Sapphira), evangelism was effective (three thousand saved at Pentecost), persecution couldn’t stop them (they prayed for more boldness to do the very thing that got them in trouble), prejudices were destroyed (Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch, Peter and Cornelius), and missions began (Paul took the gospel to the world). p. 206
If I don’t know how to pray for someone, I pray the Word. If I don’t know how to pray for my church I pray the prayers of Paul. p. 207
We often live as if God and the devil are equals, that the fight could go either way. No, Satan is a defeated foe. His destiny is set. We are to live, act, and think as overcomers. It’s not that we need more power or more of the Spirit; it’s that we need to appropriate what we already have available. p. 223
There is nothing that makes us love a man so much as praying for him.” p. 238

The man who mobilizes the Christian church to pray will make the greatest contribution to the world evangelism in history.” [quote by Andrew Murray] p. 238
If faith without works is dead, so is prayer without putting your feet to those prayers. Prayer and evangelism are inseparable. p. 239
A true prayer warrior eliminates “can’t” from his vocabulary. p. 240
We can't reach out until we reach up. p. 240
“We must pray! Prayer is what moves the hand of God!” “Much prayer, much power! No prayer, no power!” p. 241
Seven practical steps in praying for the lost:
1. Pray for them by name.
2. Ask others to pray with you.
3. Pray for their conviction.
4. Pray for a contact (this could be you).
5. Pray for them to have a seeking heart.
6. Pray in faith for their salvation.
7. Pray in thanksgiving! Praise! Claim! p. 246
“When the outlook is bleak, try the uplook!” p. 259
Our lives, our ministries, and our churches are to be exclamations rather than explanations. p. 264
The time is now for us to get to the point where we dare not go forward unless we sense God’s presence and prompting. We must pour our hearts out on the altar and set our hearts to seeking Him. We must be students of the Scripture to know how to pray, Biblically, not using God as an ecclesiastical Santa Claus or thinking of Him as a bellhop who jumps when we ring. The way to victory is through confession of need, through a broken and contrite spirit, and through tears. When God sees that, He meets us at the altar. He expands our borders and opens doors that were previously impossible to open. p. 266
If you want your prayers to lead to a breakthrough, you have to learn to pray according to the Word and will of God, in the name of Jesus. Breakthroughs are not manipulations of the Almighty; they are a means of aligning ourselves with the will of the Almighty. Breakthrough praying has one goal in mind the glory of God. p. 269
In his book The Theory of 21, Chuck Reaves writes, “For every one person who will say yes, there will be 20 who will say no. For a positive response, you must find the 21st person.” I believe part of our problem when it comes to breakthrough praying is that we are more inclined to be in the group of twenty than to be the one. If we want to see God do a mighty work, we must be willing to stand alone if necessary. Every great work of God has been done by those who believed God when others said it couldn’t be done. p. 271
Prayer is not so much talking to God as it is God speaking to us and telling us what is on His heart. p. 288
It’s not that prayer enables us to do a greater work; prayer is the greatest work we do. “You can do more than pray after you have prayed, but you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed.” p. 302
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