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From the Pulpit: Awakening your prayer life

March 4, 2012
By BISHOP ALBERT MITCHEM - Promise of Victory Church of God , Weirton Daily Times

In Mark 4:35-41 we have the story of the disciples bailing water in the middle of the storm. When they had finally exhausted all other options, they turned to wake up Jesus so He could deal with the problem (singular). Once the problems (plural) were dealt with, Christ addressed the disciples' lack of faith and their overflow of fear. The Lord was trying to help His followers understand that as long as He was with them, they had the authority to overcome the storms of life.

I believe this narrative also serves as an example to us of how we should release the authority of Christ in our lives through prayer. Just as the disciples awakened Jesus, I believe we need to be awakened. Paul said that God "is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think according to the power that is at work in us"(Eph. 3:20). We must awaken ourselves to the fullness of our faith, anointing and authority in Christ if we are going to be able to see God's glory displayed in the middle of our storms.

There is an invisible power behind the visible problem. Notice that after Jesus arose (diegeirowas fully awakened from sleep in the Greek) then He followed an order in addressing the problems. He didn't begin with the waves, but He began with the violent wind. Christ rebuked the windhe diminished the authority of the invisible power.

The disciples, who had been overwhelmed with fear, had been focusing on the visible problemthe water coming into the boat. No matter how much they bailed, the water kept coming in because of the invisible power stirring things up. In much the same way, our prayer life often becomes a means of crisis management instead of spiritual engagement.

Paul said "We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powersagainst spiritual wickedness in high places"(Eph. 6:12). Many visible problems cannot be dealt with until you've dealt with the invisible power. Once we are fully awakened to the fullness of our authority in Christ, we too can diminish the authority of the invisible powers that are behind our visible problems!

Not until after being fully awakened and dealing with the invisible power did Christ address the seathe visible problem. In many of our translations, we read "Peace be still", but in the original language Jesus said "Silence! Be muzzled!"

Peter said that our enemy is like a roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8). The visible problems that surround us often take up more attention in our prayer time than experiencing the presence of God does. The fears that these problems produce keep our faith asleep, and our prayer life becomes empty. After arousing ourselves to our full potential in Christ and diminishing the invisible powers we can silence and muzzle the fears so that our prayers may break through.

Immediately after the disciples' encounter with Christ on the sea in Chapter 4, there was a demoniac waiting for them in Chapter 5, as well as a hungry multitude and another storm to come at them in Chapter 6. We know that challenges will continue to come at us, so let us awaken ourselves through prayer now instead of waiting for the next crisis to bring us to our knees.

Praying great calmness over your storms

("From the Pulpit" is a weekly sermon provided by the clergy members of The Weirton Ministerial Association)

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