Sunday, March 22, 2020
Why Pray? Where is Hope?
He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying. Matthew 26:39 NLT
There are several instructive elements in our Savior’s prayer in His hour of trial. First, it was lonely prayer. He withdrew even from His three favored disciples. Believer, spend much time in solitary prayer, especially in your times of trial. Family prayer, social prayer, and prayer in the church are not enough—they are precious, but the best incense burns in your private devotions, where no one but God hears. Next, it was humble prayer. Luke says Jesus knelt, but Matthew says He bowed with his face to the ground. What then is our place, as humble servants of the great Master? What dust and ashes should cover our heads! Humility gives us a good foothold in prayer. There is no hope of prevailing with God unless we lower ourselves so that He can lift us up at the appropriate time. It was the prayer of a child to its parent: “Abba, Father” (Mark 14:36). You will find protection in the day of trial by pleading your adoption. You have no rights as a subject; you have given them up by your treason. But nothing can forfeit a child’s right to a father’s protection. Do not be afraid to say, “My Father, hear my cry.” Observe that it was persevering prayer. Jesus prayed three times. Don’t stop until you prevail. Be like the persistent widow of Luke 18, whose continual asking earned what her first request could not win. Continue in prayer, and do it with thanksgiving. Finally, it was a prayer of resignation. “Yet I want your will to be done, not mine” (Matthew 26:39 NLT). Yield, and God yields. Let it be as God wills, and God will determine the best. Be content to leave your prayer in His hands—He knows when to give, how to give, and what to give . . . and what to withhold. So plead earnestly and persistently, but with humility and resignation. You will certainly prevail. - C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening
In the hour in which we live, it's beginning to set in that people are looking for signs of hope. People seek some form of solace in the midst of apparent chaos.
My dear reader, it is just that, apparent chaos. Nothing more. As a wise man once taught me, perception is everything to everyone. What we perceive becomes truth to us.
Some view holding onto a belief in Christ as a fallacy. That it shows someone who is weak and can't know what it means to live life. On the contrary, it shows someone who has had their eyes opened to see what life is about.
Prayer and praying only work when directed at the one true God and His Son, Jesus Christ and done through the Holy Spirit. He is the only Creator of this world. He is the only one who has proven countless times in human history that He is and that He does love mankind.
Praying isn't our handing over a list to a servant to be filled. It's open communication with one who loves us unconditionally. One who knows every fault we have and loves us anyway. One who leads us through every storm and every dark valley. Not just the one who shows up on a bright sunny day.
He knows everything you consider a secret. He wants an intimate relationship with you. He is ready to forgive you when you ask. He doesn't run away or even walk away when we sin. Because He knows we will. We should never intentionally sin. There are many who do. Intentionally doing what He said no to. That's what it means in Romans about a practiced sin. One you willing do with no remorse. Excusing it because it's easier than obeying.
Prayer indeed moves mountains. My friend, I have seen so many moved in recent years it's astounding. This virus is nothing to God to handle.
As I remember from a movie a character asks an interactive hologram a series of questions. When at last the character gets it the hologram responds with telling him that was the right question and self terminates.
The right question is what are you doing about your prayer life? You want hope, but keep looking at those in this world for it.
It's not found in world leaders. It's not found in Doctors. It's found in Christ.
Daniel could have lost hope in the lions den.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego could have lost hope in the fiery furnace.
John the Apostle could have lost hope when he was boiled in oil.
Peter could have lost hope when called out because of denying Christ.
Did they? Should you, in this time in which we live?
Prayer isn't for weak people, it's what makes them strong.
Prayer is your heart to speak with His heart.
Prayer brings hope in the midst of hopelessness. Not just when our back is against the wall and we promise God anything if only He would save us.
Where is your prayer life? Are you even a Child of God? If you are not, your prayers go no where unless it's a prayer leading to Salvation. God does indeed save unbelievers, but look closer, the intent behind it is He wants more of you. He wants you to believe in Him and have a relationship with Him.
Running short on hope? Look where you stand with Jesus. It will tell you everything you need to know.