Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

Prayer series #1: Privilege of Prayer

What a privilege is ours to be able to enter into the very presence of the Creator and Sustainer of the universe! What a privilege to know Him intimately as our own personal Heavenly Father. What a privilege to be able to pour out our hearts to Him, knowing that He hears and answers us! It would be great to have an audience with the President of the United States, but to think of having an audience with God is infinitely more awesome. And to think, we can approach Him through our relationship with Jesus anytime and anywhere!

In the first stanza of that well known hymn, What a Friend we Have In Jesus, Joseph Scriven describes prayer as an amazing privilege. Most of us really don't recognize it as a privilege. Witness the low attendance in prayer meeting in most churches. Oh, I know we are all busy or we are tired from a day of hard work and that if we could find the time and energy, and desire, we would be there. I know how you feel, for I often feel the same way.

But I don't feel like praying!
Prayer is not something we feel like doing; at least we don't feel like it- UNLESS we are facing a crisis! Then we are glad for the privilege.

I'm too busy or too tired to pray!
I am one for getting to a task right now. It is my nature to be impatient and to get started immediately. But no sooner do I get started, when my work comes to a grinding halt. Burdens and concerns are crowding in to fill my mind with confusion. I lack clarity of thought. I sense my need of dependence on God and breathe a prayer of HELP to Him. Sometimes we have to make a big mess of things and fall flat on our faces before we become aware of our need to pray.

God helps us in our weakness.
Thank God for His faithfulness. Though we are unfaithful, He is always faithful to us. II Timothy 2:13 Our resurrected Saviour, the Lord Jesus, sits in Heaven making intercession to the Father for us. Hebrews 7:25-27 He invites us to draw near to Him with a true heart in full assurance of faith, for He is faithful who promised. Hebrews 4:14-16 and 10:11-23

His Holy Spirit dwells in the hearts of every believer and He is there to help us pray. Sometimes we are speechless with grief or confusion but as we attempt to pray to God, the Holy Spirit takes our feeble groanings, reads our hearts and makes our prayers intelligible to God. See Romans 8:26-27

In the midst of our busyness, let us draw near to God in hushed silence and praise to Him. One reason we don't pray as we should is because our minds and our lives are too noisy and cluttered. They are too cluttered with our self-importance, our self-righteousness, our self-interests. Yes, we are often too self-centered to pray. So when we do actually pray, our prayers are selfish. Listen to the Psalmist as he invites us to be still and approach God in praise and prayer. Psalm 65:1-4 Psalm 4:4 Are you facing some turmoil or fear in your life? Dear brother or sister, read Psalm 46 and calm down.

What right do we have to approach Almighty God?
We Americans think we have the right to approach God as our "good buddy". After all, we are a "Christian nation". right? We sing God Bless America, especially after a national crisis such as the 9/11 catastrophe. But then we go right back to living our own lives, doing our own thing and ignoring God and His Word.

Dear Friend, in your sins, you cannot approach God. He will not hear you. He is your enemy and you are His enemy. You want nothing to do with Him. You want nothing to do with the Bible. In your sins you are lost and bound for Hell when you die.

But I have good news for you who are willing to admit you are sinners. God loves you and He showed it by sending His Son, Jesus, to be your Saviour. Romans 5:8 Jesus, God in human flesh, went to the cross two thousands years ago and died to pay the full penalty for all your sins, past, present and future. Trust Jesus as your Saviour. God will cancel your sin debt and declare you perfect in Christ. God did it for Old Testament saints such as Abraham and David who looked forward to the promise of the coming Saviour, the Lord Jesus. Read carefully Romans 3 and 4. God will save you the same way as you look back to what Jesus did for you on Calvary. Trust His sacrifice for you. Romans 4:23-25

But I'm not perfect.
I know that. Neither am I. In fact, if we thought we were perfect, we would be deceiving ourselves and calling God a liar. See I John 1. But God declares me perfect through my faith in the sacrifice of His Son. That's called justification. Furthermore, God is perfecting those who are saved through the work of His indwelling Holy Spirit. That's called Sanctification. As the Spirit of God convicts you of sin, confess it as sin and turn from it. When unconfessed sin is not hindering, God will hear and answer our prayers. Psalm 66:18

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April 28, 2006 - Posted by | Prayer Series

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