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.