Travailing In Prayer Home | Seminars | Preaching | Teaching Series | About Pastor Peter | Contact Pastor Peter | God’s Fire Blog Index By Topic | Blog Index From Newest To Oldest

I have a confession to make:

Many years ago, because of church business meetings and politicians, in other words, the way of society and the world, I adopted this saying, “After all is said and done there is a lot more said, than actually gets done”.

Sadly, I allowed that to gradually creep into and affect my prayer life and my prayer life became stagnant. By nature I am a doer, not someone who speaks to hear myself talk.

However, when it comes to prayer the opposite is actually the truth. In other words, the more earnestly we pray, the more that is accomplished for the Kingdom of God.

Two examples of what the Bible says about prayer:

“With all prayer and petition pray [with specific requests] at all times [on every occasion and in every season] in the Spirit, and with this in view, stay alert with all perseverance and petition [interceding in prayer] for all God’s people.” (Ephesians 6:18 AMP)

“be unceasing and persistent in prayer; in every situation [no matter what the circumstances] be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 AMP) or as other Bible versions translate verse 17: “pray continually” (NIV), “Never stop praying” (NLT), “pray without ceasing” (KJV, NASB).

Just take a look at what three great men of God thought about travailing in prayer:

Smith Wigglesworth:

When asked how often he prayed, Smith Wigglesworth is reported to have replied: “I never pray longer than half an hour. On the other hand, half an hour never passes by without me praying”

Smith had learned the secret of being in continuous, intimate communion with God (sometimes withdrawing quietly into himself for this purpose), even when he was in a crowd of people. He walked by faith, and he was “in the Spirit” at all times.

This was one vital secret to his success.

He said: “There are two sides to this Baptism: The first is, you possess the Spirit; The second is that the Spirit possesses you.”

“I will tell you, for I never saw a man get anything from God who prayed on the earth. If you get anything from God, you will have to pray into heaven; for it is all there. If you are living in the earth realm and expect things from heaven, they will never come. And as I saw, in the presence of God, the limitations of my faith,” (1)

Years ago the Spirit of God began to speak to me, but I was too busy to heed His voice. He persisted, until I commenced to go aside when He spoke so that I could hear what God the Lord had to say. This became my manner of life. I obeyed His pleading voice; until now, at the slightest breath of the Spirit, I leave everyone and everything to be in His Presence, to hear and obey His Word.” (2)

Leonard Ravenhill:

“There’s nothing more transfiguring than prayer. People often ask, ‘Why do you insist on prayer so much?’ The answer is very simple – because Jesus did. You could change the title of the Gospel according to St. Luke to the Gospel of Prayer. It’s the prayer life of Jesus.

> The other evangelists say that Jesus was in the Jordan and the Spirit descended on Him as a dove – Luke says it was while He was praying that the Spirit descended on Him.

> The other evangelists say that Jesus chose 12 disciples – Luke says it was after He spent a night in prayer that He chose 12 disciples.

> The other evangelists say that Jesus died on a cross – Luke says that even when He was dying Jesus was praying for those who persecuted Him.

> The other evangelists say Jesus went on a mount and He was transfigured – Luke says it was while He was praying that He was transfigured.

> There’s nothing more transfiguring than prayer.

> The Scriptures say that the disciples went to bed, but Jesus went to pray – as was His custom. It was His custom to pray.

> Now Jesus was the Son of God – He was definitely anointed for His ministry.

> If Jesus needed all that time in prayer, don’t you and I need time in prayer? If Jesus needed it in every crisis, don’t you and I need it in every crisis?” (3)

One of the dangers that prevent people to travail in prayer is self-ability and self-confidence. Leonard Ravenhill knew that to be true:

“Now I say very often – and people don’t like it – that God doesn’t answer prayer. He answers desperate prayer! Your prayer life denotes how much you depend on your own ability, and how much you really believe in your heart when you sing, ‘Nothing in my hands I bring, simply to Thy cross I cling….’ The more self- confidence you have, the less you pray. The less self-confidence you have, the more you have to pray.” (3)

True prayer is a two-way communication. I speak to God and God speaks to me. I don’t know how the Spirit makes communication – or why God needs me to pray – but that’s how God works. (3)

“People say, ‘I’m filled with the Holy Spirit.’ If the coming of the Spirit didn’t revolutionize your prayer life, you’d better check on it. I’m not so sure you got what God wanted you to get.” (3)

“Jesus, the anointed of God, made prayer His custom. Paul, with his background and intellect, depended on prayer because he said he was weak. David, the king, called himself a poor man and cried to the Lord. Hannah prayed for a son and gave birth to a prophet. The prayers of a handful of young men sparked revival. There’s nothing more transfiguring than prayer.” (3)

 Charles H. Spurgeon:

“C. H. Spurgeon was converted at the age of 16 and began preaching in London at the age of 19. When he was 27, they built him a tabernacle seating 6,000 which he packed twice on Sundays – that’s 12,000 – and once on Thursday nights. How? He waited on God. He got alone with God. He studied…and he prayed.” (3)

“When we cannot pray as we would, it is good to pray as we can.” (4)

“If I feel myself disinclined to pray, then is the time when I need to pray more than ever.” (4)

“Prayer is the natural out-gushing of a soul in communion with Jesus. Just as the leaf and the fruit will come out of the vine-branch without any conscious effort on the part of the branch, but simply because of its living union with the stem, so prayer buds, and blossoms, and fruits out of souls abiding in Jesus.” (4)

“Not to pray because you do not feel fit to pray is like saying, “I will not take medicine because I am too ill.” Pray for prayer: pray yourself, by the Spirit’s assistance, into a praying frame.” (4)

“The best praying man is the man who is most believingly familiar with the promises of God. After all, prayer is nothing but taking God’s promises to him, and saying to him, “Do as thou hast said.” Prayer is the promise utilized. A prayer which is not based on a promise has no true foundation.” (4)

Jesus teaching on prayer:

Luke 11:1-13 “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” (verses 9-10)

And Matthew 6:1-16 “When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get. But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. When you pray, don’t babble on and on as the Gentiles do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask Him!” (verses 5-8)

The bottom line: Pray. Pray when you don’t feel like it, pray when you do feel like it. Just pray. And pray with faith believing the promises of God and taking God at His word. And when you pray take the time to hear back from God, and listen to what the Holy Spirit is directing you to do. As I said at the start of this blog post: the more earnestly we pray, the more that is accomplished for the Kingdom of God.

(1) Smith Wigglesworth, Faith That Prevails

(2) Stanley Frodsham, Smith Wigglesworth: Apostle Of Faith (page 112)

(3) Leonard

(4) Charles Spurgeon, Encouraged to Pray: Classic Sermons on Prayer


Blog Index From Newest To Oldest

Blog Index By Topic

What’s your Reaction?