Standing in the Gap: The Power of Pathos, Prayer, Proximity and Preparation - page 6




Standing in the Gap: The Power of Pathos,
Prayer, Proximity and Preparation

by Ravi Zacharias,
Founder and President of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries

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But what did Nehemiah do? He felt the priority of his mission in prayer. Eleven times in thirteen chapters, he said, “So I prayed to the Lord of heaven, so I prayed to the Lord of heaven, so I prayed to the Lord of heaven.” And I can tell you this much: If you want to know where your spiritual life is, ask yourself the question, what is your prayer life like? You see, this can become a show window. I’m in front of people, but when the door is shut, and I’m on my knees, there’s nothing showy about it then. It’s me alone with my Maker, speaking my heart and confessing my sin and seeking His will and His glory. Prayer is so critical. What was it Robert Browning said?

Go on, you shall no more move my gravity
Than, when I see boys ride a-cockhorse
I find it in my heart to embarrass them
By hinting that their stick’s a mock horse,
And they really carry what they say carries them.

You see, if you’re a praying Christian, your faith in God will carry you. If you’re not a praying Christian, you’ll be carrying your faith and you’ll get exhausted bearing the infinite. These battles are won on our knees, day by day by day, and I want to challenge you, never let the day begin for you without those moments alone with God, because the news out there can just drag you down, it can just drag you down, but get your heart so conditioned.

Prayer does three things. Number 1: It helps you to see your own heart, so that before we even start judging the world, we start judging ourselves and seeing how frail and how weak and how wicked we are. Greatness is always preceded by humility of heart and a confession before God. Prayer helps you to see your own heart.

Second: Prayer will always recognize the sovereignty of God. God is sovereign, and it is critical we always remember that. He doesn’t begin the day by saying, “My word, I wasn’t expecting this.” He’s weaving a pattern, a grand pattern.

When I applied to the Indian Air Force, I placed number three out of three hundred. They were only going to select ten. I phoned home and told my mom and dad, “I’m in.” Number three! I’d done well on all the testing, endurance, physical, this, that, and all. I went and saw this Churchillian-looking wing commander who was interviewing me – a huge guy – and he looked at me and asked me a lot of questions and then he leaned forward and said, “Beta (that’s Hindi for ‘son’), you’re a nice young man. I am going to reject you.” “What?” I said, “You’re going to reject me, Sir?” He said, “Yes.” I said, “Can you tell me why?” He said, “This job is about killing. And you are psychologically not equipped to kill.”


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