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Over the past few years my blog has been visited by people from all over the world. Very few know me, or of me, they simply are looking information concerning the Bible and discover my blog. After many years of intense study and teaching, I've come to believe we are vulnerable to misguided and incorrect teaching if we don't understand for ourselves the teaching of God's Word. My 'hot buttons' are - grace, sovereignty, exhortations and sanctification. If you understand these basic principles of Scripture, and apply them to daily life, you will understand what it means to have peace, joy and absolute security in any circumstance.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

WHY SHOULD WE PRAY?

"Every leaf speaks
bliss to me,
fluttering from
the autumn tree."
~ Emily Bronte
 
 
I know just what Emily meant. I too love the autumn season. I noticed recently that the stores where I live are beginning to carry things like pumpkin flavored coffee, pumpkin potato chips, orange donut holes, and cookies and cakes beautifully decorated in - what else, orange frosting of course! I wonder why so many of us love this time of year since this is a prelude to winter when trees, plants and flowers 'die back'. That which appeared to be dead in winter months will be revived in the spring. Such is the cycle of nature, and we've come to trust that new life will come; God's perfect plan.
 
My husband was hospitalized three different times during the month of September. His life was in jeopardy and I thought maybe the Lord would take him home. But God sustained his life. He's actually doing very well now. During his last hospital stay, he had a heart procedure called ablation. This is tricky - we're blessed to have an expert available who was able to accomplish all that he hoped for. Many prayed, not just for my husband, but for this doctor's skill. We thank you.
 
Was I praying for my husband? Of course, but not what you may think. It's so tempting to pray, "Lord, please do this or that. . ." But I've learned that our heavenly Father knows best. We have no idea what is ahead; what future pain or struggle we may have to endure. In His infinite wisdom, God does what He knows is best. Therefore, I can pray "Lord, I trust you and whatever your plan may be, help me to know that it will ultimately be for the best." People die every day, does that mean that God was powerless to rescue them from death? Is God not in charge of live and death? He has numbered our days and counted our steps - God has set a limit for our days on earth that we cannot exceed - Job 14.
 
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord." Isaiah 55:8
 
This is one of my husband's favorite verses. The passage goes on to say that God's word will not return to Him empty but will accomplish the purpose for which He has sent it. We pray that "Gods will be done", but don't always mean it. When we pray in faith trusting the wisdom and sovereignty of God amazing things will happen.
 
"You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands."  Isaiah 55:12
 
Maybe sometime God overstates truth to get our attention - sounds good to me! I'd love to see the trees clap their hands. What a great visual. I want my husband to be here with our family. He, right behind Jesus is the centerpiece of my life. Humanly speaking, he's not perfect, there are things I'd like to 'fix' or change, but I need to know that God made him just the way He wants him to be and he's the perfect husband for me. I also know, God won't take him away until I'm prepared for that to happen. I trust Him.
 
So, what good does prayer do when God has already set His plan in place? Can we change His plan if we pray long and hard enough? Would you want to change His plan? Wouldn't that be like thinking you know more than God? Ponder these questions.
 
We pray because, for one thing, we can't help it - it's natural for a believer to pray; it's part of our nature. We have a strong desire to come before God with our troubles and concerns. Even though He knows all that is happening, we want to discuss our life with Him. We pray because He told us to, knowing that this is what we need to do to have a relationship with Him. Christianity isn't a religion with a list of do's and don'ts and a set of rituals to follow. Christianity is a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
 
In order to have a relationship with someone, anyone, you need to communicate with one another. You talk face to face, you call, e-mail or text - right?
 
You can 'think' your prayer in your head, never uttering a word out loud; the Lord will hear you. You can write your prayer in a letter or on the back of your shopping list; the Lord will see it. You can shout your prayer from the highest mountain, or whisper in the middle of a barren desert; He'll hear you. There is a very interesting verse that describes and defines what happens in prayer. . .
 
"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the (Holy) Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the  Spirit intercedes for the saints (believers) in accordance with God's will." Romans 8:26-27
 
How does that make you feel? I can't think of anything that gives me more peace and hope then knowing the Holy Spirit is interceding for me in accordance with the will of God. It doesn't get any better than this.
 
I want to thank all of you who prayed for my husband's recovery; the Lord heard every prayer. God didn't change His plan based on what you prayed; the Holy Spirit was guiding your prayer into exactly what He wanted it to be.

I would be remiss if I didn't share another Biblical truth concerning prayer. Simply stated, if you do not know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, God considers you to be a sinner. The only way we can come before God is through the death and resurrection of Christ - Galatians 2:20-21. Jesus has paid the price for the sin we commit daily; past, present and future. If Jesus is your Lord, sin is gone, totally gone.
 
"We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly man who does his will."  John 9:31
 
 Of course the next question would be, "Who is a godly man, or woman? Scripture answers this very clearly and simply in John 6:29. Jesus had been preaching to a group of religious Jews who were confused about what Jesus was saying. One of them, Nicodemus, came to him privately and asked directly, "What must we do to do the works God requires?" Today, we'd probably state the question differently and ask, "How can I be sure I'm going to heaven?" This is the answer. . .
 
"The work of God is this: believe in the one he has sent." John 6:29
 
This is how we become godly and how we are able to do the will of God; simply believe in Jesus, who was the One God sent.

Thank you Lord that we can have peace in this life where chaos so often reigns. Help us to come to you in faith knowing that your solution to our problems is superior to any we humanly could come up with. Grow our trust so others notice and will seek you to become their Lord and Savior.