30 August 2014 by Michael Cheng –
Michael Cheng has written three articles (see below) for how we can pray according the acrostic “PRAYER.” In this article, he will be touching on the letter “Y”, which stands for yield.
When we pray, we need to yield to the Holy Spirit. Yielding to the Holy Spirit means giving up our own ideas and perspective, our own perceptions, and prejudices and being willing to submit to the leading of the Holy Spirit and to receive guidance from Him regarding what to pray for and how to pray for each issue according to the prompting of the Lord.
Often, we do not heed God’s voice or are not sensitive to His promptings because we do not wait to listen to God’s directions. Yielding to God’s promptings during prayer will help us to see things from God’s perspective and enable us to pray according to His Will. That is the key to answered prayers.
Sometimes, God may prompt us to get right with Him before we go into intercession. We need to yield to His prompting and obey; otherwise, our prayers will be hindered.
Ephesians 5:25 says:
“Husbands love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her…” (Eph 5:25)
Thus, when we quarrel with our spouses and later go into prayer, the Lord may convict us of our need to reconcile with our spouse first. Ignoring the prompting of the Lord is being disobedient. Should we then be surprised that our prayers are not answered?
In another situation, we may have unforgiveness and bitterness in our hearts because of what others have done to hurt us. During prayer, the Lord may require us to yield to His command to forgive our enemies, love them, and pray for them as stated in the gospels of Matthew and Luke:
“But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” (Matt 5:44)
“Bless those who curse you and pray for those who spitefully use you.” (Luke 6:28)
Another area that God would expect us to yield to Him is forgiving others and being merciful, as taught by Jesus:
Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times but up to seventy times seven.” (Matt 18:21-22)
“Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” (Matt 5:23-24)
“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive you trespasses.” (Matt 11:25-26)
Yet another area that we need to yield to Him is in “taking up our crosses and following Him”.
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matt 16:24-25)
Following Christ is an act of obedience that sometimes requires sacrifice, or our enduring suffering and self-denial. We may have to give up even legitimate pursuits of worldly ambitions. This is what carrying the cross to follow Him means. It proves that we are serious in our devotion to the Lord. Our prayer life will be enhanced as we strive to yield more and more of ourselves to Him and obedience to His commands become our top priority. It may be costly sometimes. It is what true discipleship means. The wonderful thing is, Christ our Savior and Master will help us along even if we begin with “baby steps”. Christ will empower us to do what He demands, if we cooperate with Him.
When our Lord Jesus was in great sorrow and distress in the Garden of Gethsemane, He still held His Father’s will uppermost on His mind, as indicated in the scripture verse below:
He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” (Matt 26:39)
When we yield to the Holy Spirit in prayer, we demonstrate sensitivity to His leading and obedience to do His bidding that pleases God more than merely offering sacrifice, like in the Old Testament. This will bring about a manifestation of God’s power and might in response to our prayer. On the other hand, willful disobedience to God’s word is a major hindrance to effective prayer, as the following scripture passages show:
“But they refused to heed, shrugged their shoulders, and stopped their ears so that that they could not hear. Yes, they made their hearts like flint, refusing to hear the law and the words which the LORD of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets. Thus great wrath came from the LORD of hosts. Therefore it happened, that just as He proclaimed and they would not hear, so they called out and I would not listen, says the LORD of hosts.” (Zec 7:11-13)
“One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.” (Prov 28:9)
To sum up, the fourth principle to remember in effective prayer is to yield in submission and obedience to the Holy Spirit, which is very important as it will help to align us and our prayers with God’s word and bring us to experience a new, deeper, and higher dimension of His power.
ABOUT Michael Cheng: This reflection is an excerpt taken from the book ‘Man of the Hour’ written by Michael Cheng. Michael has held various management positions in the banking, educational, manufacturing sectors. He is a Founding Member and former National Secretary of the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship Malaysia (FGBMF). Michael has also held various leadership positions in the local church and Christian ministries. Currently, Michael coordinates the Prayer Shield in FGBMF. He holds an MBA and a Bachelor of Economics (Honors) degree and is a Certified Trainer. Michael is married to Kim and they worship in Full Gospel Assembly, Kuala Lumpur.
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