Friday, November 13, 2020

If only we would and could

If only we could and would 

In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. Luke 6:12 ESV 

If any human being could have lived without prayer, it would be our spotless, perfect Lord—yet no one was ever as prayerful as He was! Jesus had such love for His Father that He wanted to have much communion with Him; He had such love for His people that he desired to offer much intercession for them. This conspicuous prayerfulness of Jesus is a lesson for us—He has given us an example that we might follow in His steps (1 Peter 2:21). The time that Jesus chose was admirable—it was the hour of silence, when the crowd would not disturb Him; the time of inaction, when everyone but He had stopped working; the season when sleep makes people forget their sorrows and stop begging God for relief. While others found rest in slumber, Jesus refreshed himself with prayer. The place was also well selected. Jesus was alone where no one would intrude, where no one could observe—so He was free from the Pharisees’ ostentation and interruptions. Those dark, silent hills were an appropriate prayer chapel for the Son of God. In the midnight stillness, heaven and earth heard the groans and sighs of the mysterious Being in whom both worlds were blended. The length of Jesus’s pleading is remarkable. Long watches were not too long; the cold wind did not chill His devotion; the grim darkness did not darken His faith and loneliness did not restrain His persistent prayers. We cannot watch with Him for one hour (Matthew 26:40), but He prayed for us all night. And the occasion for this prayer is notable—it was after His enemies had become enraged with Him. Prayer was a refuge and solace for Jesus. This was just before He sent out the twelve apostles, so prayer was the gate of His enterprise, the herald of His new work. Shouldn’t we learn from Jesus to resort to special prayer when we are under special trials or contemplating fresh endeavors for the Master’s glory? Lord Jesus, teach us to pray. - C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening 

"If only..." As if just using the word "if" wasn't strong enough for a possibility, we add "only" to it.  Turning it into a kind of plea. 

If only I could...
If only God would...
If only I wouldn't.. 
If only...

If only my prayer life was as vibrant as my Lord's oh what my life would be like.  If only it were a tenth as potent as His, what my life would be like.  

Prayer with tears, prayer without them.  Just prayer of the honest and true kind. 

Oh the changes wrought by those found to be in prayer. Our wants and desires change ever so slowly, but they do change.  Our worries start to ebb and peace we cannot explain starts to settle in.

Many think that I am something special in what I am able to do.  Problem solving, troubleshooting, finding ways to make things happen when on the surface it didn't look like what it ends up looking like.  

My Brother's and Sister's in Christ...let it be known that it's prayer and only prayer that causes what you see to happen with me.  

I am nobody special. I am a sinner saved by Jesus Christ.  He is alive and at work in me.  He answers prayers.  I share my heart with Him as daily as I can.  He knows my pitfalls and my challenges.  He knows my weaknesses and my strengths.  As Scripture says power is perfected in weakness.  His Grace is sufficient.  When I am at my weakest it is then when I am the strongest in Christ. 

You who claim the name of Jesus, just how honest are you in your prayer life?

How important are the things of God to you?  

You really should be prepared to look odd to the world when you choose to put what God wants first in your life.  Because you're going to look odd.  Those in darkness cannot understand the light. 
Scripture further says that the natural man cannot understand the things of God for they are spiritually discerned.  We are to be an enigma to the world.  Offering that new relationship to those who aren't there yet.

Your prayers are to be an honest outpouring of you.  It's not just an emergency phone line. 

It's not you sending a list to your Butler of items you wish and wish to be done. 

It's not to be complicated.  The Gospel message was never to be complicated. 

Jesus wants a personal relationship with us.  Not an impersonal.  Not without feeling.  

When we try to separate our lives from our life with Christ, we lose.  You cannot serve two masters.  You will love the one and hate the other. You will despise one and cling to the other.  You cannot have it both ways.  

When we rage at the world how is that being Christ-like?  When we rage at people  how is that Christ-like?  When we only think on people with anger, are we being Christ-like?

Inevitably we put up a wall between us and God when anger is our strange bedfellow. 

I am not better or worse than any other sinner who has lived or will live.  I am saved by the grace of God through His abundant mercy live each day trying to do my best for Him and Him alone.  I do not work for my employer or my family.  No where in Scripture does it say to work for them or even myself.  It says in Colossians 3 to work as unto the Lord.  Period. 

Oh what we could and would be doing in this world if more professing Christians prayed with an honest heart.  

I am as much blown away as others who see my supposed accomplishments.  They are not mine.  What is seen is an answer to prayer. 

I read my Bible whether or not I understand it now or days, months, weeks from now.  It feeds my Spirit and my soul.  You eat meat and vegetables yet you don't sit n ponder how your body separates them into something useful to your body. 

My prayers are different in that I can see, hear what is in me towards God and others.  I can see the before and after if I am looking for it.  God uses even a wretch like me.

What are you doing in your prayer life? Do you even have one? Is your time with Jesus only about being thankful for food at your time to eat it? Is it only a flippant mention of thankfulness when you weren't hit by a car?  Is there anything personal about your prayers?  Is your prayers, and yes the invoking of God's Name in all instances is always the beginning of a prayer, only when you utter His Name in vain?  There is no mentioning God without it meaning God. To flippantly say "Oh God!" in exasperation is to open in prayer.  To use the Lord's name in vain is really to open in prayer between you and Him.  It isn't some figure of speech.  You are using what the Bible teaches is "the Name above all Names".  Satan teaches that it's a curse word.  That it can be can be said without meaning something.  I know of Christians who speak that way.  

I am also horrified at unbelievers who speak that way.  Why so? Because in their next breath which came from God they curse my God.  Because that breath can be taken at any moment and their eternity is sealed in that they will spend eternity crying out in torment either in sorrow or anger at God. 

Prayer is supposed to change you. It turns the soil of your heart.  It pulls the weeds of the world away from your soul. 

It prove that without faith it is impossible to please God.  

What of you my friend? What are you going to do about your prayer life today?

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