Saturday, February 3, 2018


I Was Just Thinking About – PRAYER PEAKS AND VALLEYS

For those who make use of the Westminster Shorter Catechism, there is a very succinct statement regarding: What Is Prayer? The answer given is: “Prayer is an offering up of our desires unto God, for things agreeable to his will, in the name of Christ, with confession of our sins, and thankful acknowledgment of his mercies.” Two passages from God’s Word utilized are Psalm 62:8, “Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.” Additionally, I John 5:14-15 states: This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.  And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” Is this the confidence that you have as and when you pray?

A modern response to the question – What is Prayer? – is offered by The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association that defines prayer as: “Prayer is spiritual communication between man and God, a two-way relationship in which man should not only talk to God but also listen to Him. Prayer to God is like a child’s conversation with his father. It is natural for a child to ask his father for the things he needs. There are many promises in God’s Word to encourage us to pray, such as: “He shall call upon me and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honor him” (Psalm 91:15); “And it shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear” (Isaiah 65:24); “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). The Scriptures tell us that we are to pray for one another and also assure us that God hears and answers prayer.”

There are two passages that should encourage all of God’s people as they approach Him in prayer. In the last words of Matthew’s Gospel (Matthew 28:20), Jesus is making a declaration about reaching the world with Him. He then closes with these words: I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Reflect on this great truth of the presence of Jesus Christ with “you” always. In addition to His Presence with us always are the words of I Thessalonians 5:17 that instruct one to be spontaneous in prayer – “Pray without ceasing.”

There are two other truths that we should always remember in terms of how one prays. Psalm 55:22 (ESV), “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.” The idea is to trust the Lord to manage and work out the details of those things which are a burden to you at a given moment in your life. The second verse is very similar in I Peter 5:7, “Casting all your anxieties (cares) on Him, because He cares for you.” These words precede the statement of the adversary, the devil, doing his utmost to devour you. In 1920, Edward H. Joy wrote the words to a Hymn – All Your Anxiety. Some of the lyric states:
Is there a heart over-bound by sorrow?
Is there a life weighed down by care?
Come to the cross, each burden bearing;
All your anxiety—leave it there.
All your anxiety, all your care,
Bring to the mercy seat, leave it there,
Never a burden He cannot bear,
Never a friend like Jesus!
Prayerfully – consider these things with me.

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