By Joyell Nevins – CFFM Blogger
“If people do not pray, the earth does not change.” Roberts Liardon
Prayer and other spiritual disciplines took on a greater depth when Christian Family Fellowship believers and friends experienced a weekend with guest speaker Dr. Roberts Liardon.
The founder of Roberts Liardon Ministries and Embassy International Church loves Jesus, loves people, and is not afraid to speak the truth! That may be why, as Pastor Tonia stated, “We are honored to call him pastor and friend.”
No, that “s” in his first name is not a typo: Dr. Liardon’s mother was attending Oral Roberts University when he was born, and for the distinction of being the first male child of a student, he was named Roberts in honor of its founder, Oral Roberts.
Let’s start with some of his stats:
127+ countries he has ministered in
40+ churches founded
80+ books translated into 60 languages with
16.5 million copies sold
1 giant heart of service
Liardon moves in the spirit, operates the nine manifestations, and believes in the power of story and truth. He gives great deference to his elders, both in the church and in his family. His teaching at Christian Family Fellowship was peppered with wisdom from his grandma, including this humdinger:
“The Bible says watch and pray – so don’t close your eyes, or you’ll miss the miracle!”
Liardon emphasized, though, that prayer is not about a physical posture or a place in a building. He said, “Prayer is opening your mouth with your faith and talking to the Lord God Almighty!”
“When they heard the report, all the believers lifted their voices together in prayer to God: ‘O Sovereign Lord, Creator of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them…” Acts 4:24 NLT
“I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere…” 1 Timothy 2:8 NRSV
Right Heart, Wrong Prayer
Since God promises to hear our prayers and respond, when nothing seems to be happening, Liardon said the first place to start with is ourselves.
“Instead of accusing God and quit praying, why don’t you investigate what you’re doing,” he encouraged the audience.
Liardon also pointed out that there are different prayers for different tasks. He compared praying with the wrong type to playing football with basketball rules – not very effective!
One misuse would be to pray “if it be thy will,” like when someone is sick, when the Bible clearly states that God desires health for His kids (when did Jesus ever make someone sick that was healthy?).
“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” 3 John 1:2 KJV
“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy; I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10 KJV
He also exhorted the CFF crowd to know how their individual bodies work. Liardon’s grandma would often kneel when she prayed as a sign of respect and honor. But for himself, Liardon noted that he can’t kneel when he prays for very long, or he’ll go to sleep!
So instead, Liardon said he walks when he prays, which helps keep his body as well as his mind engaged.
In Good Company
Liardon also encouraged the group by showing that even at a prayer meeting led by the Lord and Savior himself, there were fleshly issues. While Jesus was literally sweating blood, his disciples were sleeping on the job!
“Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:40-41 NKJV
But the good news is, when we overcome our barriers to prayer, whether it’s a time, type, or tactile reason, those chains are broken! And there is great power when we pray.
“So Jesus answered and said to [the disciples], ‘Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘be thou removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done. And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” Matthew 21:21-22 NKJV
For the full Sunday teaching about prayer, watch Dr. Roberts Liardon – Sunday morning.
To glean more of Liardon’s wisdom, watch his other Christian Family Fellowship Sunday morning sermon entitled Breaking Free. You can also read God’s General is in the House! from his first visit to CFF.