Prayer for deliverance and salvation

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There is a section in Psalm 119 that walks me through some areas of prayer.

Let your constant love comfort me,
    as you have promised me, your servant. – Psalm 119:76  GNT

This is how I am persuaded to pray – knowing that my sin will be pardoned and I will be reconciled to God. It is here that I receive the peace I have been looking for and it is here, in my heart and my conscience, through the power of the Holy Spirit, and based on the promises of God, that I find myself “comforted” even before my troubles are resolved.

May the proud be ashamed for falsely accusing me;
    as for me, I will meditate on your instructions.
May those who honor you come to me—
    all those who know your commands. – Psalm 119:78-79  GNT

It is a prayer and maybe it is a spoken declaration of hope – it is when I breathe not a request necessarily, but a desire of my heart – that is, not a formal request.

Your commandments are all trustworthy;
    people persecute me with lies—help me! – Psalm 119:86  GNT

If God’s commandments are trustworthy, they make God truthful and faithful. Those who go against God are thereby not. If those against God find themselves in this postion, am I not encouraged to pray and hope for deliverance and salvation?

In humility I get down on my knees.

I am the high and holy God, who lives forever. I live in a high and holy place, but I also live with people who are humble and repentant, so that I can restore their confidence and hope. – Isaiah 57:15  GNT

It is a great place to be in prayer because I join my spiritual expression with my physical one and together they reveal the attitude of my heart. I feel that if I really want to know God, there needs to be humility in my heart. That is what I pray. So I look for salvation from my sin, pride, selfishness and the tendencies to exalt myself.

That is why the miracle of praying for my enemies never ceases to amaze me.

But now I tell you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. – Matthew 5:44  GNT

It has to be one of the deepest expressions of love. It is why, very early on in my walk with God that I would seek this above all.

The issue is not just doing nice or helpful things, but it is the ability to see, hear, engage with that person and truly love them for who they are and where they are. I think Jesus expressed this on the cross and I know Stephen echoed His words as he was being stoned and Paul prayed in a similar passion when you think of the Jewish people being his enemies wherever he went.

 I did not see that it is in the process of being worshipped that God communicates His presence to men. It is not of course the only way. But for many people at many times the ‘fair beauty of the Lord’ is revealed chiefly or only while they worship Him together. Even in Judaism the essence of the sacrifice was not really that men gave bulls and goats to God, but that by their so doing God gave Himself to men; in the central act of our own worship of course this is far clearer — there it is manifestly, even physically, God who gives and we who receive. The miserable idea that God should in any sense need, or crave for, our worship like a vain woman wanting compliments, or a vain author presenting his new books to people who never met or heard him, is implicitly answered by the words, ‘If I be hungry I will not tell thee‘ (50:12). Even if such an absurd Deity could be conceived, He would hardly come to us, the lowest of rational creatures, to gratify His appetite. – C.S.Lewis

Pray for others in my prayer time

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Sometimes desperate situations that we have put ourselves in rob us of our faith to believe that God will do anything gracious to us. Sometimes, in those moments, we need others who seem to be in right standing with God, to make that prayer for us. Such was the case with Moses. The people knew their complaining was not to Moses, but directed at God. When He struck them, they knew exactly why. In this very real moment they did not ask for a golden calf, they knew the answer laid in the saving work of God.

The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Now pray to the Lord to take these snakes away.” So Moses prayed for the people. – Numbers 21:7 GNT

God’s remedy was not necessarily simple to put together from Moses’ perspective but it was simple for the people to receive their healing. It took a little while to be organized and put together so more people died while waiting for the plan to take shape, but when it was completed all they had to do was look and live.

It is what we all hope for when we pray – that God would listen and hear as we call out to Him.

Hear my cry, O God;
    listen to my prayer!
In despair and far from home
    I call to you! – Psalm 61:1-2 GNT

Crying out is what I do when I am not content in expressing my need but an actually need for heaven to hear and for God to help. And while I may hope that my prayer is heard I want more. I want God to listen to it so that in His wisdom He may see fit as to how He will answer it. I do not believe that God is ever hardened against the cries of His own children. For whatever reason God does not act on our behalf in the way we think He should, praying is never something we do in vain.

I can only imagine how much this description can fit me when I am in a depressed or melancholy frame of mind – far from home. While I may be diminutive in my calling out, David continues to call out.  David knew that there is no place in the world unsuitable for prayer. What he is sure of is that some circumstances require resolve and it helps sometimes to call them out. Is it not true that when I fail to pray that it becomes the end of myself – despair takes over. I love that David sought no one else but God.

Am I not ashamed when I find myself praying with selfish motives after listening to such an honest prayer?

And when you ask, you do not receive it, because your motives are bad; you ask for things to use for your own pleasures. – James 4:3 GNT

I sometimes amaze myself when I think about how much I am not like God in how I think and act. When I drop the mask and really look at my motives when I pray, I believe I find much more self-centredness than I would hope to find.

At the end of the day, God has not called me to walk in comfort, but to live for Him in a world that does not actually like me – maybe I should be ready for the day when it will hate me. How much more important is my prayer time and to set aside time for others, like me.

It is a glorious divine manifestation of God unto the soul, shedding abroad God’s love in the heart; it is a thing better felt than spoken of: it is no audible voice, but it is a ray of glory filling the soul with God, as He is life, light, love, and liberty, corresponding to that audible voice, ‘O man, greatly beloved’ (Dan. 9: 23); putting a man in a transport with this on his heart, ‘It is good to be here.’ (Matt. 17: 4.) It is that which went out from Christ to Mary, when He but mentioned her name– ‘Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto Him, Rabboni, which is to say, Master.’ (John 20: 16.) He had spoken some words to her before, and she understood not that it was He: but when He uttereth this one word “Mary”, there was some admirable divine conveyance and manifestation made out unto her heart, by which she was so satisfyingly filled, that there was no place for arguing and disputing whether or no that was Christ, and if she had any interest in Him. – William Guthrie, The Christian’s Great Interest