Saturday, September 2, 2023

Did You Think to Pray?

Did You Think to Pray?
by David Brenneman 

Ere' you left your room this morning
Did you think to pray?
In the name of Christ our Savior
Did you sooth for loving favour
As a shield today

Oh how praying rests the weary
Prayer will change the night to day
So when life seems dark and dreary
Don't forget to pray

When you've met with great temptation
Did you think to pray?
By his dying love and merit
Did you claim the Holy Spirit
As your guide today?

Oh how praying rests the weary
Prayer will change the night to day
So when life seems dark and dreary
Don't forget to pray

When your heart was filled with anger
Did you think to pray?
Did you plead for grace my brother
That you might forgive another
Who had crossed your way.

Oh how praying rests the weary
Prayer will change the night to day
So when life seems dark and dreary
Don't forget to pray

Don't forget to pray.

When my mind is lead by the Spirit towards a song, there I follow along.  I find it funny that Alistair Begg travels that same path through many of his sermons.  Hymns and songs, spiritual songs, there must be something to take away from that.  

Oh it is: "Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God." Colossians 3:16.

Been a lot of reminders in the video clips that I have seen of late towards prayer and praying.  

There's been no shortage of people in this world who will try to tell you how to pray.  

The truth of it is found in God's Word on how to pray.  There's no formula to prayer. No special set of supernatural words that you can use to get what you want.  

The power of prayer lies in the person praying with God concerning what He wants.  (For those versions of this sentence without the text formatting: 'with' and 'He' are in bold, underlined and in italics for emphasis.)

A poem on my reminders wall in my study is called "The Difference" by Alan Grant. 

"I got up early one morning
and rushed right into the day.
I had so much to accomplish
that I didn't have time to pray.

Problems just tumbled about me
and heavier became each task.
"Why doesn't God help me," I wondered.
He answered, "you didn't ask."

I wanted to see joy and beauty,
but the day toiled on, gray and bleak.
I wondered why God didn't show me.
He explained, "you didn't seek."

So, determined to be in God's presence
I used all my keys at the lock.
God gently and lovingly chided,
"My child, you didn't knock."

I woke up early this morning
and paused before entering the day.
I had so much to accomplish
that I had to take time to pray."

In reading in Leviticus this week, if you read between the lines, the right heart attitude needs to be with each of us when we pray.  We have no shortage of verses reminding us that it is the Lord Jesus Christ who weighs the motives of men’s hearts. That it's Jesus who knows our hearts at all times.  When we are so grieved or words just escape us, the Spirit intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.  

Honestly should always be at the root of your prayers.  Whatever you do, do not try to outwit God.  Don't do as the one man did in front of Jesus and go on with your self-praise of all that you've done for God and how you're not like everyone else.  Be like the other man in Luke 18:9-14. "Be merciful to me the sinner!".

My prayers are very conversational on my drives to work or when I am alone driving anywhere.  

I know that I can pour out my heart in prayer.  My frustration, my anxiety, my dreariness, my life in part or the whole is all laid bare before Jesus with whom we have to do.  

From the hymn "Search Me, Oh God"...
"Try me, O Savior, know my thoughts, I pray; See if there be some wicked way in me; Cleanse me from every sin, and set me free."

Whatever you do, do NOT count out the idea that Jesus would audibly speak to you.  Why wouldn't He?  Quite a few times He's audibly spoken to me.  The problem, as it was with a young Samuel, is that we don't readily recognize His voice.  

Pray with expectation.  Pray without ceasing. Pray without conditions on your part. Pray with sincerity. With honesty. With confession being among the first things you cover in prayer.  Some subscribe to ACTS.  Adoration Confession Thanksgiving Supplication.  Saw one suggestion to Open in prayer then just ask Him to speak to you, then to sit in silence waiting to hear from Jesus. 

Nothing going on in your world is more important than where you ought to be in terms of your loving relationship with Jesus Christ.  

It's saddening to hear people say they just don't have time for it.  

Jesus made the time to be with His Father. Even if it meant getting up earlier.  If He could do that, we can do that. 
Jesus made the time to die for us, why wouldn't true Believer's live for Him first and foremost?

It's also saddening to read of people thinking that time with Jesus is realistically optional to them.  That movies, television, streaming, sports, etc. are more important than a committed appointment with Jesus.  

You do realize that what is possible to do before you CAN be taken away in a mere breath?  Will that which you've placed such importance on add value to your testimony before Jesus when you give an account of your life?

It's oh so heartbreaking to hear of people so ready to give up hope because they aren't truly in a right relationship with Jesus.  Giving up on marriages, giving up on family. On people they thought were friends.  If you aren't in your right state of mind spiritually, you're going to emphasize self over others.  If you are in your right state of mind spiritually then people are more important than things or stuff or achievements that only you and the world recognizes as important. 

Your degrees your certifications your awards your public accolades are rubbish in terms of what you need in growing in Christ Jesus.  Growing in Christ Jesus requires a healthy prayer life. 

1 Corinthians 2:16 "For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE WILL INSTRUCT HIM? But we have the mind of Christ."

Me, personally, I get up earlier than most because I value my time with Jesus before going out into the world.  I have added time before going to bed.  

The Scriptures says "Thy word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against thee".  

Praying ought to be like breathing. 
You don't sometimes breathe. 
You might sometimes eat but you never sometimes breathe. 

Take stock of your life.  Did you think to pray?  When you get up do you think of what God might have to say to you?  He loved you enough to die for you, He absolutely isn't going to leave you to your own devices until you die.  

Maybe right now would be a great time to start a new habit. Read Proverbs, a chapter a day.  Add to it whatever the Spirit takes you to next.  

But don't forget to pray. 

All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. Lockman Foundation.

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