Inspiring prayers are answered

Prayer-Quotes-1

Acts 4:24-30 contains one of the most inspiring prayers in Scripture. The believers were living in dangerous circumstances. Peter and John had just been arrested after the healing of a crippled man.

When they prayed for boldness they knew what they were praying for. The mission the Lord had given them had not changed, and neither had the source of their power. The prayer recorded in this passage is marvelous in its simplicity and its comprehension of the Person and purposes of God.

Compare that to a person, maybe the one who knows about God but chooses each and every day to ignore Him.

He has seen you do the things he hates. He has seen you go after pagan gods on the hills and in the fields, like a man lusting after his neighbor’s wife or like a stallion after a mare. People of Jerusalem, you are doomed! When will you ever be pure? – Jeremiah 13:27  GNT

One thing is noted in both these cases – without God is is impossible to believe in the impossible. Can I be made pure? Though difficult, it is not impossible. When could I say that something is impossible? When my obstinate refusal of God’s grace renders it impossible. I cannot change myself, I need to come before God and pray for Him to do it and I do that through Jesus Christ. If I can pray and believe what I am praying, God’s power is available to me. If I do not, I will not survive.

Think about Jesus’ own words.

At about three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud shout, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why did you abandon me? – Matthew 27:46  GNT

That was a difficult moment. I know that as a teenager I asked the question – where was God? I know now that He was in the same place He was yesterday, today and forever. My immediate response is – God show up now and deliver me now. In my spirit I know He will show up in His time. I have learned that when God is quiet, He is up to something. I am inspired to pray, which is an expression of my trust in God, and then wait for an answer. The answer will not be what I think it will be so I best be on the lookout and careful not to miss it.

Other inspiring prayers include Hezekiah who was so sick he was going to die. God called it out and told him so. He did not freak out and start to swear and curse God, he did not complain, pout, beg or go into a depression, and he did not feel that God was picking on him. What he did do was turn to God in prayer, remind Him that he had been serving Him since he was a young. He turned his face towards the wall and started praying.

As a result he was given another 15 years of life. Such was the strength of his prayer in the face of adversity and such was the importance of having a relationship with God where He can be trusted and who would come when needed.

When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, ‘Repent,’ He willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance. – Martin Luther

 

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Pray for help

pray for help

Leviticus 18 has some actions listed that people might have done and would be considered as something that could push their relationship away from God.

You know that whoever does any of these disgusting things will no longer be considered one of God’s people. – Leviticus 18:29 GNT

It is not the evil one who will punish those who commit these sins but God. I suppose if I were to fall into the hands of the evil one, I could pray, and God would help me. But is there a place for me to go when God decides to not call me one of His?

It happened to Jesus and I saw it through the eyes of Psalm 22 today. This is where the gospel of Matthew correlates between what Jesus was seeing, experiencing and saying. There were four of them.

  1. Matthew 27:35 GNT – They crucified him and then divided his clothes among them by throwing dice.

Psalm 22:18 GNT – They gamble for my clothes and divide them among themselves.

2. Matthew 27:39 GNT – People passing by shook their heads and hurled insults at Jesus

Psalm 22:7 GNT – All who see me make fun of me; they stick out their tongues and              shake their heads.

3. Matthew 27:43 GNT – He trusts in God and claims to be God’s Son. Well, then, let us see if God wants to save him now!

Psalm 22:8 GNT – “You relied on the Lord,” they say. “Why doesn’t he save you? If  the Lord likes you, why doesn’t he help you?”

This next one is where I noted the abandonment of Jesus by God.

4. Matthew 27:46 GNT – At about three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud shout, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why did you abandon me?”

Psalm 22:1 GNT – My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? I have cried desperately for help,     but still it does not come.

How do I pray Psalm 22 with Jesus in mind? How do I meditate on what Jesus experienced and prayed? The Psalm jumps back and forth between the Messiah describing His experience and then praying.

When I feel abandoned —

My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
I have cried desperately for help,
    but still it does not come.
During the day I call to you, my God,
    but you do not answer;
I call at night,
    but get no rest. – Psalm 22:1-2 GNT

When I want to remember Christ’s presence —

But you are enthroned as the Holy One,
    the one whom Israel praises.
Our ancestors put their trust in you;
    they trusted you, and you saved them.
They called to you and escaped from danger;
    they trusted you and were not disappointed. – Psalm 22:3-5 GNT

What I do know is that I can cry out to God for help.

Lord, don’t stay away from me!
Come quickly to my rescue!
Save me from the sword;
save my life from these dogs.
Rescue me from these lions;
I am helpless[d] before these wild bulls. – Psalm 22:19-21 GNT

This is why I can pray and ask God for help for I have not lost my confidence in God’s ability to rescue. Though He may seem far, He is near. My crises of life should never become a crises of faith.

Discipline

BY GEORGE HERBERT

Throw away thy rod,
Throw away thy wrath:
                  O my God,
Take the gentle path.
For my heart’s desire
Unto thine is bent:
                  I aspire
To a full consent.
Not a word or look
I affect to own,
                  But by book,
And thy book alone.
Though I fail, I weep:
Though I halt in pace,
                  Yet I creep
To the throne of grace.
Then let wrath remove;
Love will do the deed:
                  For with love
Stony hearts will bleed.
Love is swift of foot;
Love’s a man of war,
                  And can shoot,
And can hit from far.
Who can ’scape his bow?
That which wrought on thee,
                  Brought thee low,
Needs must work on me.
Throw away thy rod;
Though man frailties hath,
         Thou art God:
Throw away thy wrath.