Is Prayer a Burden?

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

Perhaps prayer is a burden to you. Is prayer boring to you? Is it more of a duty than a pleasure?

So few Christians enter God’s presence with delight, simply for the pleasure of his company. Some think of it only as work. When we commune with a dearly loved one here on earth, do we think of it as work? No, it is a pleasure to us! If you are happily married, you don’t think of your times of intimacy with your spouse as work.

Christ likens his relationship with his people to that of a husband and wife, and the Bible says Jesus delights in us. The fact is that a husband’s pleasure in enjoying intimacy is not simply the satisfaction of his own needs. No, his real pleasure is in the joy of knowing his wife shares his delight. He says in his heart, “She really wants to be with me. I’m first in her heart; I’m everything to her.”

We know the Lord delights in his people. David said, “He delivered me, because he delighted in me” (Psalm 18:19, NKJV). The scripture gives us a picture of the Lord and his exuberant delight in us.

Do we delight in him? The Bible tells us, “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and he shall give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). Delighting in the Lord does not mean simply being happy in his presence. 

I asked the Lord what the word “delight” means, and he answered, “David, delighting in me means simply being able to say, ‘I would rather be with Jesus than with anyone else on earth. I prefer his company to that of my spouse, family or friends. I prefer him over all celebrities, world leaders, even great men and women of God. He is my delight.’”

It also means being able to say, “I long to be shut in with Jesus because he is the only one who can satisfy me. All others leave me empty and unfulfilled. No one but Jesus can touch my deepest needs, and I rush to him as often as I can.”

Prayer that Pleases the Lord

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

I believe the kind of prayer that most pleases God is very simple and easy to understand. It is so simple that a little child can pray in a way that pleases him.

The disciples said to Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1, NKJV). They would not have asked unless they had wanted to learn. I believe that most who are reading this message would love to be faithful in prayer, but they do not know how. They simply do not understand the purpose of prayer; and until they grasp this vital purpose, they will never be able to maintain a fulfilled, meaningful life of prayer.

Many Christians pray only out of a sense of obligation. They think of prayer as something they are “supposed” to do. Others pray only when tragedy strikes or when a crisis befalls them, and then they do not pray again until the next difficulty comes along.

Prayer is not only for our benefit but also for the delight of our God. We are not just to intercede for things we need, but we are to ask for the things he desires. Unless these two elements go together, we do not have a foundation upon which to build a prayer life. Whereas we seek relief and help from the Lord, he desires fellowship with us.

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?” (Matthew 6:25).

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow…” (Matthew 6:33-34).

“Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask him” (Matthew 6:8).

God is saying to us, “When you come into my presence, focus your attention on fellowship with me, on getting to know me. Don’t let your focus be on material things. I know what your needs are so you don’t even have to ask. I will take care of them all. Just seek me. Let us enjoy sweet communion!”

Daniel’s Penitent Heart

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

Daniel, a righteous man, had such devotion that you would not expect to find him repenting. Daniel’s heart, however, was sensitive to sin, and also he identified with the people’s sins.

“We have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from your precepts and your judgments. Neither have we heeded your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings and our princes, to our fathers and all the people of the land. …O Lord, to us belongs shame of face, to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, because we have sinned against you” (Daniel 9:5-6,8, NKJV). Daniel repeatedly used the words “we,” “us,” “our.” He was saying, in essence, “Every one of us is affected.”

The key to it all is found in this verse: “Now while I was speaking, praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God…” (Daniel 9:20).

Daniel said, “God, deal with me while you are dealing with your people. If there is any iniquity in my heart, bring it out.”

Daniel was given new lips that had been touched by God’s purging hand. “Suddenly, one having the likeness of the sons of men touched my lips; then I opened my mouth and spoke…” (Daniel 10:16). Whenever Daniel spoke, he spoke as unto the Lord.

The prophet Isaiah was a godly man who had issued mighty prophecies, but when he stood before the Lord in all his holiness, this prophet could only say, “I am a man of unclean lips…” (Isaiah 6:5). God took coals of fire from the altar, put the tongs on Isaiah’s lips, and burned out all self and flesh, everything that was unlike him; then he gave Isaiah a new pair of lips. I believe the prophet never again had to have his lips purged. 

God does this for every person who repents! Once your tongue and lips are purged, you will never again want to speak anything that is unlike Jesus. The words that flow from you will be pure.

Removal of Fear

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

“Suddenly, a hand touched me… And he said to me, ‘O Daniel, man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright…’ Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words” (Daniel 10:10-12, NKJV).

Show me a Christian who refuses to acknowledge his sin and who says, “My hands are clean”, and I will show you someone with a false piety. Such a person puts on a big smile, has a confident walk and boasts that all is well. It’s all a facade! The Bible makes it clear that if anyone hides his sin, he will not prosper. God lifts his Spirit from him, and his unrepentant heart is full of fear and restlessness.

Show me a repentant Christian who is sensitive to sin, willing to be searched, crying out, “I’m guilty, God!”, and I will show you one who soon will walk without any trace of fear. God will reach his mighty hand into that believer’s heart and pluck out all roots of fear so that he will know the immeasurable favor and blessing of God.

Beloved, let God examine your heart; ask the Holy Spirit to reveal everything you have said or done that is grievous to him. Think of anyone you have slandered or gossiped about, and admit how sinful it was. Go to that person, and seek forgiveness.

I promise that if you make things right, you will release in your life favor from God as you have never known before. The Lord will open your eyes, ears and understanding. 

“For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter” (2 Corinthians 7:10-11). 

Crossing the Jordan

Gary Wilkerson

We all have a high calling from the Lord. At some stage of our lives, he sets before us a preordained plan we are to fulfill. God promises that if we act in faith, he will bring that plan to completion.

However, this is not always easy. As everyone who has walked with Jesus for any length of time knows, following his calling means we will encounter obstacles. One of the most common obstacles is the skeptic’s voice. As we seek to cross the Jordan River into the Promised Land, we will hear every kind of voice telling us not to go.

Joshua heard these voices as God stirred him to lead Israel to cross over the Jordan. The crossing held all the promise of God’s future glory for his people on the earth. You can be sure there was no way they would make that crossing without hearing the shrill voices of skeptics trying to dissuade them.

Our God wants to obliterate every skeptical voice that would keep us from obeying his direction. Whenever he asks us to take a step of faith, he is leading us to “cross over” to a measure of trust in him we have never had before.

When the priests carrying the ark stepped into the rushing river, God supernaturally parted the water. After that, every evil thing the skeptics had predicted was turned into good for God’s people. When the people came to a great fortified city occupied by their enemy, they marched around it, and the impenetrable walls came tumbling down.

Are you willing to step into the river? God may be saying, “If you’ll just commit to putting your toe in, you will see me part the water for you. I will carry you across to the other side. I have already laid out my plans for you, and I will see them through to fulfillment.”

I urge you to trust God to lead you across your Jordan. Let him silence the voice of the skeptic. His plan for you won’t be defeated. He is faithful!