by David Brenneman
"The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tellIt goes beyond the highest starAnd reaches to the lowest hellThe guilty pair, bowed down with careGod gave His Son to winHis erring child He reconciledAnd pardoned from his sin
Could we with ink the ocean filAnd were the skies of parchment madeWere every stalk on earth a quillAnd every man a scribe by trade
To write the love of God aboveWould drain the ocean dryNor could the scroll contain the wholeThough stretched from sky to sky
O love of God, how rich and pure!How measureless and strong!It shall forevermore endureThe saints' and angels' song"
- Frederick Lehman 1917
"The Love of God is Greater Far
I only learned in this moment that long before Mercy Me had is as a song that it existed as a hymn from 1917.
Was reading in Luke this morning, it was in Chapter 22 just before Judas returned with those men to have Him arrested. Jesus had just told Peter that Satan had demanded to sift him like wheat. We see a brief stand by Peter. Something tells me that there was much more of an argument that Peter was wanting to make or did and it wasn't written. Peter was, at this point, still very much emotionally driven.
The passage transitions to Jesus telling them they are going to need to be ready. Persecution was coming. The protection they had with Jesus there was going to go away for a time. All the powers of Satan were focused on killing Jesus but soon afterwards he would turn and go after them, which he did. We read of them holding up in a place rather than being out in public. The boldness of the power of the Spirit hadn't come yet.
But there's something bigger about the prayer time portion in Luke 22. Do you see it? Persistence. The outcome wasn't going to change. Jesus relinquished His will to His Father. It doesn't mention the angel by name but the angel was physically seen strengthening Jesus. I imagine it was Michael.
Billy Graham once said that if Jesus felt compelled to spend a whole night in prayer, how much ought we to spend in it?
Are your prayers more comparable to a Tweet on Twitter than a letter to God? Would your prayers be as sincere and as involved as those of Jesus to His Father?
We read of the heart of King David. We read of how King Solomon began his reign in Israel. Several books are attributed to them both in our Bible.
Many of the great passages we read are their prayers.
Why are most sending prayers to the Savior that amount to a perfunctory "What's up?"?
They used to teach us in school of the weight of words. Of how you said something and the depth of which it affected the listener. Putting your heart into it.
When you pray, is your heart in it?
When you pray, are you considering your words?
When you pray, and my sincere hope is that you are, are you weighing your words?
We are not to pray a grocery list.
We are not to pray, Heaven forbid, as though Jesus, the Spirit or the Father were our butler.
We are shown how to pray by Jesus. We are shown from that which is written of what praying from the heart looks like in the book of Psalms.
"Listen to my prayer, God;
And do not hide Yourself from my pleading. Give Your attention to me and answer me; I am restless in my complaint and severely distracted, Because of the voice of the enemy, Because of the pressure of the wicked; For they bring down trouble upon me And in anger they hold a grudge against me. My heart is in anguish within me, And the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fear and trembling come upon me, And horror has overwhelmed me. I said, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and [f]be at rest. Behold, I would flee far away,
I would spend my nights in the wilderness. Selah I would hurry to my place of refuge From the stormy wind and heavy gale. Confuse them, Lord, divide their tongues,
For I have seen violence and strife in the city. Day and night they go around her upon her walls, And evil and harm are in her midst. Destruction is in her midst; Oppression and deceit do not depart from her streets. For it is not an enemy who taunts me, Then I could endure it; Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me, Then I could hide myself from him. But it is you, a man my equal. My companion and my confidant; We who had sweet fellowship together, Walked in the house of God among the commotion. May death come deceitfully upon them; May they go down alive to Sheol, For evil is in their dwelling, in their midst. As for me, I shall call upon God, And the Lord will save me. Evening and morning and at noon, I will complain and moan, And He will hear my voice. He will redeem my soul in peace from the battle which is against me, For they are many who are aggressive toward me.
God will hear and humiliate them—Even the one who sits enthroned from ancient times— Selah With whom there is no change, And who do not fear God. He has put forth his hands against those who were at peace with him; He has violated his covenant. His speech was smoother than butter, But his heart was war;
His words were softer than oil, Yet they were drawn swords. Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken. But You, God, will bring them down to the pit of destruction; Men of bloodshed and deceit will not live out half their days. But I will trust in You." Psalm 55 NASB
Would it be that the depth of my own prayers would scratch the surface of this kind of deep thought and emotion!
Jesus compared every single king after David with David in how they walked before Him. In Samuel, Jesus had it written that King David was blameless before Him in everything except Uriah the Hittite. 1 Kings 15:5.
Satan's always going to want to sift people who are strong in the Lord. We read that he spends much of his time accusing the brethren day and night.
Would your prayer life reflect someone whom he would have a problem with or are you actually no real threat to Satan or his minions due to how little effort you put into it?
Truth is what Jesus revealed in Luke 22. He was putting the Disciples, soon to be Apostles, on notice: You are very soon to be behind enemy lines. The war over souls is going to escalate. Persecutions are coming. Be in prayer. That's your lifeline. I will be with you.
How serious do YOU take prayer?
Is it your desires that you keep asking for, or are you after what the Father is after in you and your life?
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