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Jan20FriWhen we humble ourselves in prayer, God will restore us, direct us and help us to stand firm January 20, 2012 by Major Brenda Murray
Recently I attended the International College for Officer Training (ICO) in London, England. This was nothing short of a life-changing experience. It was an opportunity to “come away” from the regular routine of life―from family, work and ministry―to focus on my own spiritual journey.
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While at ICO God spoke to me about deepening my spiritual relationship with him; for who am I without him in my life? What is the purpose of what I do, if it is not all for his glory? What does my life count for if it doesn't cause others to be challenged to accept Christ into their lives?
Christ calls his people to pray. When we pray and commit everything to God, he uses that and blesses it. When we are obedient, God is faithful. If we look at the life of Christ, he always prayed before ministry. How often do we set the agenda and then get at the task without praying to find out if this is what God desires?
Over the past year there has been a renewed emphasis on prayer. General Linda Bond has asked the international Army to participate in a global prayer meeting on Thursday mornings (click here to join).
The Spiritual Life Development Centre located in London, England, has initiated a Global Call to 24/7 prayer, which has been adopted by our territorial youth department. The youth department is calling young people to pray for our corps and ministry across the Canada and Bermuda Territory.
At the Ontario Central-East Divisional Headquarters, Lt-Colonel Susan van Duinen has developed a strategic plan for the division with one of the objectives being “to reclaim the Salvation Army value of prayer” through prayer mentoring and prayer partnerships. Following the divisional commander's invitation, divisional headquarters team members took the challenge and opened and dedicated a prayer room in October. The quiet place of prayer and reflection is warm and inviting and has been well used in these early days.
Scripture states: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time” (1 Peter 5:6). When we get down on our knees to pray we are humbling ourselves before our Creator. We recognize the one to whom we pray deserves this honour. In this post-modern age, I believe that we have lost some of the “awe” of who God is. We need to humble ourselves before him.
We are also called to let the chains of bondage fall:
• Personally—kneeling before Christ, being in relationship with Christ, asking for forgiveness of sins, praying for protection.
• Praying for justice issues—human trafficking, poverty reduction, homelessness, abuse and violence.
• Praying for our divisions—souls saved, creativity, positive risk-taking, clarity of vision
• Praying for the world—for our partner territories, international leaders and political leaders.
And then God tells us to stand firm.“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast” (1 Peter 5:10).
I believe that if we humble ourselves and let the chains of bondage fall, we will then be able to stand on a firm foundation. In closing, I am reminded of the words of the song God of this City by Chris Tomlin: “For greater things are yet to come, greater things are yet to be done in this city,” and I would like to add “in this division, in this territory and across the globe,” when we pray. Catch the vision and start praying in a renewed and refreshed way today.
Major Brenda Murray is the Ontario Government liaison officer of the Ontario Central-East Division.