Thursday, February 6, 2020

Prayer...not Just for Emergencies

Praying at all times. Ephesians 6:18 ESV

What a multitude of prayers we have offered up from the moment we learned to pray! Our first prayer was a prayer for ourselves—we asked that God would have mercy on us and blot out our sin. He heard us. But when He had wiped away our sins like mist on a window, then we had more prayers for ourselves. We have had to pray for sanctifying grace, for constraining and restraining grace; we have been led to crave a fresh assurance of faith, the comfortable application of the promise, deliverance in the hour of temptation, help in the time of duty, and relief in the day of trial. We have been compelled to go to God for our souls, as constant beggars asking for everything. Bear witness, children of God: you have never been able to get anything for your souls anywhere else. All the bread your soul has eaten has come down from heaven, and all the water it has drunk has flowed from the living rock—Christ Jesus the Lord. Your soul has never grown rich in itself; it has always been dependent on the daily bounty of God, so your prayers have ascended to heaven for an infinite range of spiritual mercies. Your wants were innumerable, and therefore the supplies have been infinitely great. Your prayers have been as varied as the mercies have been countless. So don’t you have cause to say, “I love the LORD, because He has heard My voice and my supplications” (Psalm 116:1 NKJV)? As your prayers have been many, so also have been God’s answers to them. He has heard you in the day of trouble. He has strengthened you and helped you, even when you dishonored Him by trembling and doubting at the mercy seat. Remember this, and let it fill your heart with gratitude to God, who has graciously heard your poor, weak prayers. “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits” (Psalm 103:2 ESV). - C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening 

I would like to say that I have much to share on prayer and praying.  There indeed is much, but, my friend what is it first?

Prayer or praying is not some repetitive chant. It isn't saying the same words each time before you eat. 

Granted God is a God of patience, and mercy, but oh how we give Him cause not to be!

If we talked to each other the way many pray to Jesus we would unfriend or disown most we know.  We would simply stop talking to them or taking their calls. 

"But I don't know what to say!"  Really? Is that what you really think?  Somehow I don't think so.  You can either walk up to someone or they to you and a conversation can ensue.  

It's not supposed to be any harder to talk to the one who saved you. 

If there was a tragedy and some strangers helped you. You probably would be overflowing with gratitude.  You wouldn't have any difficulty in being thankful.  So why is it any different with Jesus?

In too much of our world history God has been looked upon as some genie. That His purpose was to fulfill our fondness wishes.  That His personal feelings on the matter weren't high on the priority list. 

The truth is so much more different. 

God the Father doesn't want the separation that exists between Him and His creation.  But sin happened in Adam and Eve.  All their descendants are cursed with it.  It took the Father's own Son, Jesus, to have to sacrifice Himself to put an end to sin, an end to death. 

We who are in Christ have a permanent open relationship with Jesus.  We can be anywhere from miles below the Earth's surface to the other side of the Heavens and Scripture says He would still find us.

He longs for the day when we are all together who have been found to be in Christ.  

His love never fails.  Do these descriptions sound like attributes of an impersonal non-existant character called a genie?

I admit in my early years of walking with Him that I used to do the very thing that I mentioned here earlier.  Repeating the same words for prayer over food or even the end of the day. 

Today, after many years of learning, I pray conversationally.  He's my friend!  He not only is my God, my Creator, my Savior, but He is my friend!  Scripture says so!  

You know how to talk to those you call your friends.  Talking to Jesus should be that and more.  I tell many of my closest friends that I love them.  I tell Jesus that I love Him.  

The better part of your friendship with Jesus is it absolutely doesn't matter what is on your mind He listens.  There are no subjects you can bring up that are taboo.  Nothing that He doesn't know everything about.  

In prayer He can even do things between you and people you care about that you cannot.  

For years there was a misunderstanding between myself and a friend.  In those silent years I prayed daily concerning this problem.  In my dreams Jesus connected us.  Allowing me to try to talk with the person.  We were on a bridge.  I was pleading with the person.  Then came a day when I received a letter. The contents are unimportant but the fact is the relationship was restored and the dreams ceased.  Have not had it again. 

With God all things are possible. 

In prayer, I have been through some seriously stressful times. I went through a breakdown many years ago on my way to work.  I couldn't take a situation anymore that was going on there.  Seems like my career was over.  Satan meant it for evil, God allowed it for good.  I had wanted to go back to school but couldn't afford it.  In the next 5 years He took me from job to job giving me a paid education in learning new things.  In that time He began healing me of what had happened.  About 3 years ago at a Sunday night service or two, He broke through some walled up doors in my heart.  I am so glad He did.  A bit over a year ago I read something online.  Something about bringing me back to where I was broken and building me up in front of those who tore me down.  

I had said upon leaving where I worked after the breakdown that unless 5 people were gone I could never come back.  When I received word that this place was interesting in me, I learned those 5 were gone.  God had used my reconstructive healing time to obliterate the mountains in my way.  This last year had been incredible.  Mountains are still moving. 

I tell you all of this because it was praying that made it happen.  It wasn't me, it was my Savior.  Scripture says that the fervent prayers of a righteous man avails much.  It is because of my relationship with Jesus.  It's because no matter how many times I fail Him He is faithful and just to forgive me and we move on from there. That's what a true friend does.  

He can be the same way with you. 

Be personal with Him.  Look, there have been many times when I couldn't find the words to pray.  Jesus said it's ok. Because His Spirit within me knows what I can't express. In those moments He still gets the message loud and clear. 

People sometimes wonder what's gotten into me when I am happy in situations when most are not.  It's Jesus!

My friend start being personal with Jesus today.  If you don't know Him as your Savior and Lord, start there. Ask Him to be that with and for you.  Then keep learning who your new friend Jesus is and is about.  

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