Humble and insightful prayer

King Manasseh becomes king, starts to build high places, altars and even an image. He does not listen well and so God brings in the Assyrians. At this point things change.

So the Lord let the commanders of the Assyrian army invade Judah. They captured Manasseh, stuck hooks in him, put him in chains, and took him to Babylon. In his suffering he became humble, turned to the Lord his God, and begged him for help. God accepted Manasseh’s prayer and answered it by letting him go back to Jerusalem and rule again. This convinced Manasseh that the Lord was God. – 2 Chronicles 33:11-13 GNT

Even though Manasseh really messed up, he prayed and God answered. There is something special about a humble prayer that moves God to restore and can cause me to hope.

On his robe and on his thigh was written the name: “King of kings and Lord of lords.” – Revelation 19:16 GNT

When I am humbled and pray the Lord’s prayer, I know the Kingdom of God shows up.

Now, you priests, try asking God to be good to us. He will not answer your prayer, and it will be your fault. – Malachi 1:9 GNT

Imagine being in a place of responsibility where lives are at stake and there is no prayer of humilty to make a difference? Imagine there is no repentance and there is a continual practice of turning backs toward God? Only a humble prayer to a gracious God is wanting.

Some years ago a minister came to me at the close of an address on prayer at a Y.M.C.A. Bible school, and said,

“You have produced upon those young men the impression that they can ask for definite things and get the very things that they ask.”

I replied that I did not know whether that was the impression that I produced or not, but that was certainly the impression that I desired to produce.

“But,” he replied, “that is not right. We cannot be sure, for we don’t know God’s will.”

I turned him at once to James 1:5, read it and said to him,

“Is it not God’s will to give us wisdom, and if you ask for wisdom do you not know that you are going to get it?”

“Ah!” he said, “we don’t know what wisdom is.”

I said, “No, if we did, we would not need to ask; but whatever wisdom may be, don’t you know that you will get it?”

Certainly it is our privilege to know. When we have a specific promise in the Word of God, if we doubt that it is God’s will, or if we doubt that God will do the thing that we ask, we make God a liar.

Here is one of the greatest secrets of prevailing prayer: To study the Word to find what God’s will is as revealed there in the promises, and then simply take these promises and spread them out before God in prayer with the absolutely unwavering expectation that He will do what He has promised in His Word. – R. A. Torrey


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