Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

Why Pray?

Certainly we ought not pray, as the Pharisees,  to be seen of men and to try to impress them with our supposed spirituality.   Rather, prayer is perhaps our most precious privilege as a child of God, to pour out our hearts to our loving Heavenly Father concerning anything and everything that concerns us.

 

Prayer should not be used as a cover for sharing our needs with others, hoping they will hear and help us. God alone is our source of supply.  David in Psalm 62:6 said about prayer, “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him.”   The writer of Hebrews in 11:6  said about faith and prayer, “without faith, it is impossible to please God; for he that cometh to God must believe that He is and that He is the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”

 

Prayer is trusting God alone with all our burdens, needs and desires. I Peter 5:7 encourages us to “cast all our burdens on Him, for He cares for us.”

 

Prayer does not necessarily need to be with words.  God, who reads our minds and our desires, can hear and answer those prayers.   Two hundred years ago,  James Montgomery wrote the hymn “Prayer is the Soul’s Sincere Desire”  As you read this wonderful old hymn of the church, ponder the words and be blessed.

 

“Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire, unuttered or expressed,

The motion of a hidden fire that trembles in the breast.

 

Prayer is the burden of a sigh, the falling of a tear,

The upward glancing of the eye when none but God is near.

 

Prayer is the simplest form of speech that infant lips can try,

Prayer the sublimest strains that reach the Majesty on high.

 

Prayer is the contrite sinner’s voice returning from his ways;

While angels in their songs rejoice and cry “Behold he prays.”

 

Prayer is the Christian’s vital breath, the Christian’s native air,

His watchword at the gates of death. He enters Heaven with prayer.

 

The saints in prayer appear as one in word and deed and mind;

While with the Father and the Son sweet fellowship they find.

 

Nor prayer is made by man alone; the Holy Spirit pleads.

And Jesus on th’ eternal throne for sinners intercedes.

 

O Thou by whom we come to God, the Life, the Truth the Way,

The path of prayer Thyself hast trod. Lord, teach us how to pray,”

 

As Jesus spent hours with the Father alone, so we need times of intimacy with God alone.

We who are married need to spend times of intimate prayer together with our spouse.

 

Parents need to spend time praying with their children, using a vocabulary and praying about things that concern them. Share specific requests with your children and rejoice together when the answers come.

We also need to take advantage of the blessings of praying with fellow Christians in our church prayer meetings. What a blessing it is to join our hearts together in prayer for common concerns and to praise Him together when He answers.

 

Why Pray?

 

God commands us to pray always, day or night. 

See that command in Luke 18:1, 7  and  I Thessalonians 5:17.    

Colossians 4:1 encourages us to pray and watch for and expect answers. 

I Timothy 2:1-4 commands us to pray for all men, especially for those in public office that we may live quiet, peaceful lives in freedom.

I Samuel  12:23  reminds us that when we fail to pray for one another, we sin.

Don’t be too anxious  to go into debt for your needs, when God may be working in your life to provide that need debt free. Learn to wait on the Lord.

James 1:5  and 4:2 teach us that we receive from God by simply asking.  If you don’t receive it; perhaps you didn’t really need it.

God sometimes uses unusual instruments to meet out needs.  He used ravens and  a destitute widow to meet Elijah’s need and to bless the widow.  Read I King 17 to read the interesting stories about this.

Read in Philippians 4:19 of the blank check on the Bank of Heaven that God gives you  as a  Christian.  Read in John 16:24 of the joy that comes from receiving directly from God in answer to prayer. Proverbs 10:22 tells of an added bonus we receive with answered prayer. When we grasp for things, pain and sorrow are sometimes attached to them. When God gives, He adds no sorrow to it, Proverbs 10:22 promises.

Prayer is the key to victory over sin Ephesians 6:16 promises. In II Chronicles 7:14,  God promises revival to any one who will earnestly seek Him. Churches can claim that promise also.

 

The Unjust Judge

 

Now read Jesus’ story in Luke 18:1-9 and learn what Jesus promises in answer to prayer.  He tells the story of a widow who had an adversary.  To add insult to injury, this poor widow had to deal not only with her adversary, but also with an unjust judge who finally gave in to her importunate pleading; though he didn’t want to bother with her.  God of course is contrasted with the unjust judge. Unlike the unjust judge,   He is glad to hear our requests and solve our problems.

Of course, we can apply this story to ourselves, remembering that Satan, according to Ephesians 6:10-20 is our sworn adversary.  I Corinthians 6:19 warns us that with the open doors of service to us as Christians, come many adversaries.  That has been proven to me repeatedly through over fifty years of pastoral service; but those adversaries only encourage me by proving I am right where God wants me, doing what He has called me to do.   Praise God, that in Heaven we will no longer face our adversary, the devil.  He will be cast into the Lake of Fire for eternity.

We all have our feelings hurt from time to time and need a sympathetic friend; but some immature Christians spend a lifetime nursing grudges and lose out on enjoying a lifetime of blessings from God, because they are so focused on their grudges and hurt feelings.

 

Why do Christians faint?

 

 

 Some, like Esau in Genesis 25:29-34, faint  because they have no desire for spiritual blessings, so focused they are on seeking material blessings.  They lack stamina to keep on keeping on doing right.  Someone has said, “When the going gets tough, the tough keep going.”  Basically, these faint-hearted  lack faith in God.

 

 How can I have the necessary faith to not faint?

 

The answer is simple. As Luke 18:1 says, Keep on doing what you ought to do, PRAY! When we pray, we are strengthened not to faint.

Read God’s Word.  Take every opportunity you can to be in church. Those who  feed on the Word become strong Christians, unshaken by adversary.   From the Word we gain strength to do what we ought to do.  .

As we wait for the return of Christ when He will settle scores,  II Peter 3:11 challenges us that we ought to live holy lives. As we faithfully serve the Lord, waiting on Him in prayer, He gives us the strength we need to persevere.  Isaiah 40:28-31

 Galatians 6:9 promises that we will reap if we faint not.

 Luke 18:8 reminds us to make sure Christ finds us strong in our faith in Him when He returns.

 Remember this little saying.  Memorize it, putting the emphasis on the words in bold print.  

 

 I’m ONLY ONE.

But I AM one.

I can’t do EVERYTHING,

But I can do SOMETHING

And what I CAN do I OUGHT to do.

And by the grace of God
I’ll  DO IT!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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July 12, 2008 - Posted by | Prayer Series

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