Life is Fragile - Handle with Prayer!
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Handle With Prayer!
I have recently been inspired on the subject of prayer after reading a book by Eugene Peterson, and I am sharing some thoughts with you today.
The act and practice of prayer is a gift from God – never forget that. But what are we doing with it? Is it exercised regularly, neglected often? Do we really value and appreciate this vital line of communication between Earth and Heaven? When you think about it, prayer is our first language. Anybody can pray, and everybody does at some point in their lives. Prayer is the heart that pumps blood into all our words and actions. Learn to enrich your prayer life by regularly reading worship and prayers from the book of Psalms. Jesus, while on Earth, found it necessary to pray – often! In Luke’s Gospel alone there are no less than nine references to Jesus at prayer: Luke 5.16. 6.12. 9.18. 9.28. 11.1. 22.31. 22.31. 22.41. 22.44. 24.30. Christ’s example of talking to His Father prompted the disciples to ask: “Lord, teach us to pray.”
The Lord’s Prayer then follows. All Jesus ever said, all Jesus ever did in His public ministry was birthed in prayer. An example all of us ought to follow!
On one occasion Jesus cleansed the Temple of merchants and money changers using the authority of Scripture: ‘My House shall be called a House of prayer for all people or nations.’ Isaiah 56. 7. Prayer ought to be a priority in our church programmes! How many churches today practice regular, extended times for prayer? Collective prayer has the potential to be powerful because Jesus said so! “If two of you agree down here on Earth concerning anything you ask for, My Father in Heaven will do it for you.”
Christ, in His Sermon on the Mount posted three warnings about prayer: Matthew 6. 5-8. Don’t pray to show off in front of an audience – prayer is not theatre. Don’t pray to lobby God with many words – prayer is not rhetoric. Don’t pray for impress men, and least of all, God. The right attitude is vital. Beware of being familiar when talking to God. We need to practice prayer in solemn reverence. When Moses approached God at the burning bush he was told to remove his shoes for the place on which he was standing, was holy ground. Exodus 3. 5. Remember! Our God is a consuming fire! God is in Heaven and we are on Earth!
John 17.9. ‘I pray for My disciples, those You have given Me.’ Jesus is praying for US – a humbling thought! Jesus has promised to pray for you and me, and His promise is never overlooked or forgotten.
Hebrews 7.25. ‘Christ always lives to make intercession for us.’ Christ’s intercession for us is a current event. We may not know how to pray. We may not feel like praying sometimes, or we don’t have time to pray. But Jesus is praying for us! Jesus not only prays FOR us, He also prays WITH us. Romans 8.34.
Notice the opening line of the prayer Jesus taught His disciples and us: OUR Father Who is in Heaven. Not YOUR Father. ‘Our Father’ puts Jesus Himself in our company. So prayer is never solitary.
Prayer is not a message: ‘To who is may concern.’ God is not anonymous. God is not a principle. God is a living Person with a name – The Lord, Jehovah, the I AM! Prayer is the expression of our organic intimate relationship with God. Romans 8 15-16. ‘The Holy Spirit bearing witness with our spirits that we are children of God.’ Galatians 4.6. God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba, Father.” Our Heavenly Father is a Person, not an object. Quote: ‘No prayer in Earth is made alone. The Holy Spirit pleads, and Jesus, on the eternal throne, for sinners intercedes.’ (Montgomery)
Talking to God is not something to be used only in emergencies or crises. Prayer is as ordinary as asking for and receiving a piece of bread. In prayer we submit ourselves to their sovereignty of God, confident that He is acting right now on our behalf, in our best interests. Remember, God is on OUR side!
Real prayer is not passive, it is active! Jesus invites us to join Him in the action. Quote: ‘O Lord, convert the World and begin with me.’
Psalm 46.10. ‘Be still and know that I am God.’ Silence or meditation forms an important part of our prayer life. Any language spoken or written has silences built in such as commas and full stops. Silences in our talking to God is making space for listening to what He might have to say to us. Let us follow Samuel’s example: ‘Speak, for Your servant is listening.’ 1 Samuel 3. 10. Quote: ‘The beginning of prayer is silence.’ (Mother Teresa)
Finally, what happens to our prayers when they are released? Do they hit a glass ceiling? Are they lost in space? No! ‘The prayers of God’s people are offered on the golden altar before God’s throne. Revelation 8. 3-4. Few of us will ever access the place of earthly power, but our voice can be heard and listened to in the highest place in the Universe – God’s Throne Room! Notice that our prayers are offered on the Golden Altar, pointing to the fact that our talking to God is often costly and sacrificial. Incense mingled with our prayers are well pleasing to God, rising as a delightful aroma! Romans 8.4.
Be encouraged to pray without ceasing! 1 Thessalonians 5.17. Let Christ have the final word: ‘We should always pray and never give up.’ Luke 18. 1-8. God bless you! (Author:
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