Good morning Hands on Missions family. We have been on the topic of prayer for sometime now. For this blog, I wanted to get some feedback about your discipline of prayer. How often do you find yourself going into prayer daily? Do you find that a particular time of day works well for prayer? While you pray; do you use a method or format (eg confession, praise, requests; etc.)? Share a particular prayer request that was answered . What confidence did the answer give you in additional prayers? Have you ever had to wait for a long period of time before receiving the answer and how did you cope with the waiting period? I believe many of you can provide feedback to one or more of these questions. As always, grace and peace.
“But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail you”. Luke 22:32
These are sobering words we often reflect upon after our failures of sin. While that may sound discouraging; we can know without a doubt that the Spirit of God is,performing His work within us to bring us to,confession afterwards. This is how we know that we are a child of the King. It is also comforting to know that Christ is praying for us daily. Christ understands our struggle; for He struggled with the same temptations while on Earth (Hebrews 4:15).
“And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” Mark 11:25
It becomes apparent that our Lord reminds us the importance of forgiveness. The account of the holy week and teachings of our Lord serve as a reminder that forgiveness is a virtue of our Lord. Too often I believe that we fail to acknowledge the virtue of forgiveness which must prevail in the life of the believer. Our verse this morning sheds light on this topic. It is far easier for the believer to find peace in knowing that his or her sins have been forgiven by the Father; but how do we react when the words of our verse today implies the responsibility of forgiving others first? What are the implications if we fail to perform this act of forgiveness to others? What are the benefits? Will God hold me accountable for failure to extend forgiveness? Well I am confident that we could present several defenses to acclaim our self righteousness and why we fail to extend the mercy toward others. What is our Lord teaching us? I would propose three thoughts for continued discussion.
“Give ear to my prayer, O God; and hide not thyself from my supplication. Attend unto me, and hear me: I mourn in my complaint, and make a noise; because of the voice of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked: for they cast iniquity upon me, and in wrath they hate me.” Psalm 55:1-3
These blogs are intended for the believer to think biblically. We are addressing a topic which is commonly overlooked by the believer. Many have been taught in a discipleship program through the church that believer’s should not complain before God. Yes, scripture does promise trial and tribulations will be active in the role of every believer; but that does not mean that we are not to express our emotions before God. What role does one’s heart now become involved? I believe that it will be beneficial for us to look deeper into scripture to find such answers and guidance. My prayer is that the ministering work of the Holy Spirit will guide the words written within this and all other blogs that I post. There are four major elements of prayer which elicit prayers of complaint. For today we will examine the first.
The title of today’s blog seems contradictory of what is commonly perceived as biblical prayer. This not so if you understand the many prayers among the prophets and others which were accounted in scriptures. How does God view those which demonstrate this activity at times? What can we learn from scripture that may help us understand this element of prayer? Can pressing our Lord with persistent questioning directed to God be beneficial in the believer’s life of prayer? I am confident that we could create a multitude of questions surrounding this topic. The truth remains that God may seem distant and inattentive during some of our prayers; but we never doubt that the best answer to our prayers is found in God’s plan and his timing.
“Lead Me O Lord, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies: make thy way straight before my face” Psalm 5:8
David repeatedly demonstrated the benefit of prayer. Many of the Psalms offer the believer wonderful accounts of how prayer creates fellowship with our Lord. The discipline of prayer helps every believer to express his or her confidence into what God has promised. Our verse today shows humility and adoration to the Godhead. It emulates the words of an old hymn “have thine own way” that resonates in my heart. One can not express a more positive action than that of humility. Humility does not seek satisfaction in the eyes of others; but of the One whom we love (Matthew 18:4; 23:10-12).
“Then He brought him outside and said: ‘Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.’ And He said to him: so shall your descendants be.” And he believed in the Lord and He accounted it to him for righteousness. Genesis 15:5-6
Much of our nation has new guidelines to adhere due to the Covid 19 virus beginning today. Social distancing is strongly encouraged and many are sheltering in place within their homes. Churches are creating new platforms to keep its members informed and connected within the fellowship. Crisis abounds seemly everywhere. There are two mindsets which people are personifying. They either adhere to the nth degree or remain lackadaisical in wake of what is occurring. You can be confident that Satan is using the mind of people to create confusion. Satan always creates confusion.
“Hear my prayer, O Lord, and let my cry come unto thee. Hide not not thy face from me in the day when I am in trouble; incline thine ear unto me in the day, when I call answer me speedily” Psalm 102 : 1-2
The news headlines are filled with stories of how the Covid 19 virus seems to be esculating. Governments at the national and state levels are implementing new requirements to combat the spread of this dieasa. Our economy is like a roller coaster with its ups and downs. Our world is in a state of shock and families are faced with new challenges to accomodate work, school and parenting schedules. There are some glimpses of good news of how small businesses and faith based groups are reaching out to those in need. What will be the outcome of all this? How will people interact socially moving forward? Does this panademic point to the end times? I have been posed all these questions and the answers are still unclear.
“We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you.” Colossians 1:3
These words must have been reassuring words for the church at Colosse. The church has always excelled in troubling times. Today is no different than previous times of trials for people. Our Lord has equipped the church to be a motivating presence in all of life’s challenges. A key component to that motivating presence has always included prayer. Many people are evaluating their lives now and performing actions which causes humanity to recognize the priorities which should prevail. Within those thoughts is the working of the Holy Spirit; performing the work of preparing hearts to be receptive to the peace and joy found in the Gospel message.
Wow! These are some challenging times. Things seem to be more fluid nowadays more than ever. The current events of today have affected everyone to some degree or another. I believe that our approach to ministry will change due to the Covid 19 pandemic. Today’s blog will address what and where the believer can find comfort and peace amidst these ever changing times. What is an appropriate reaction for believers according to the Bible? Questions abound such as how can I find peace when the world seems to be crashing about us?