God answers when I come with prayer

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All answered prayer can be seen as miraculous, but some are quite obvious – Joshua asking for the sun and moon to stand still would be such a miraculous answer to prayer.

On the day that the Lord gave the men of Israel victory over the Amorites, Joshua spoke to the Lord. In the presence of the Israelites he said,

“Sun, stand still over Gibeon;
Moon, stop over Aijalon Valley.”

The sun stood still and the moon did not move until the nation had conquered its enemies. This is written in the Book of Jashar. The sun stood still in the middle of the sky and did not go down for a whole day.

Never before, and never since, has there been a day like it, when the Lord obeyed a human being. The Lord fought on Israel’s side! – Joshua 10:12-14  GNT

I believe God honours bold prayers.

“Bold prayers honor God, and God honors bold prayers.  If your prayers aren’t impossible to you, they are insulting to God.”  Mark Batterson 

Is there not a correlation between God being moved and the level of faith I bring to my prayers? Is my prayer life too small and is my life a witness to the smallness of my prayer? I believe my prayers reflect how big or small I believe God is. Maybe I believe that I am offering God a prayer I have no business praying – maybe this is where my faith gets stretched.

Bold prayer requires bold faith believing God is able. All impossible things that He does comes in response to prayer. Do I believe that God fights for me in the battle?

“Anytime our Heavenly Father intersects our earthly lives, and answers our prayers by any means He chooses, it is a miraculous occurrence. And I believe He desires to do this in a bigger way in our lives — here and now — than most of us have ever imagined.” — Pastor Steven Furtick, Elevation Church

No matter what my trials and troubles are I have a choice – fall away from God or take them to Him, in prayer, so that I may endure and grow. Psalm 143 is a greater psalm of prayer teaching me how to pray correctly when facing serious trials.

It reminds me that praying is not something I consider to manipulate God to get what I want. It is place for me to repent, and to trust Jesus to be my Saviour. It is where I know God as my God and I want to follow and obey Him as His servant.

For the particular mercies bestowed on us. Ways God has been patient with us; ways he has helped us change and break bad habits and patterns of thought, heart attitude, and practice; ways he has protected us from the fuller consequences of our own blindness and foolishness; ways he has revealed himself to us, giving us communion with him; ways he has answered our prayers; ways he has walked with us through pain and suffering. – Timothy Keller

 

 

 

Endure with prayer, do not keep silent

enduring prayer, do not keep silent

I have experienced what it means to be looked on with contempt, as an object of ridicule. The feeling produced is one where I felt I was nothing, where I was not even a person. So praying the Psalms is real to me.

Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us,
    for we have had more than enough of contempt.
Our soul has had more than enough
    of the scorn of those who are at ease,
    of the contempt of the proud. – Psalm 123:3-4  GNT

I have not experienced this at the hands of people who have hated my faith in God and so I pray for those being persecuted like this because of their faith. God’s people are experiencing this right now – they are being kicked around, ridiculed, disrespected, mocked and treated as if they were nothing. The early Church knew what this was all about – intimidation, physical suffering and for some, martyrdom. How did they endure it? By prayer and an added blessing that comes through prayer – Spirit enabled joy.

I am encouraged to be in prayer always.

On your walls, O Jerusalem,
    I have set watchmen;
all the day and all the night
    they shall never be silent.
You who put the Lord in remembrance,
    take no rest. – Isaiah 62:6  GNT

Prayer warriors matter – they constantly pray and when you think about it, as they take no rest, they do not give God rest either until the matter is resolved.

 “There is a threefold rich thought: (1) The Lord Himself does not rest with regard to Zion; (2) He does not want His petitioners to keep silence in their prayers for Israel; (3) and He does not want His people to leave Him alone concerning Israel’s deliverance.” – Harry Bultema

“A restless Savior calls upon his people to be restless, and to make the Lord himself restless – to give him no rest till his chosen city is in full splendor, his chosen church complete and glorious.” – Spurgeon

“‘Give him no rest’ is our Lord’s own command to us concerning the great God. I do not suppose any of you ever advised a beggar to be importunate with you. Did you ever say, ‘Whenever you see me go over this crossing ask me for a penny. If I do not give you one, run after me, or call after me all the way down the street. If that does not succeed, lay hold upon me, and do not let me go until I help you. Beg without ceasing.’ Did any one of you ever invite applicants to call often, and make large requests of you?… He does in effect say, ‘Press me! Urge me! Lay hold on my strength. Wrestle with me, as when a man seeks to give another a fall that he may prevail with him.’ All this, and much more, is included in the expression, ‘Give him no rest.’” – Spurgeon

It reminds me again of this challenge regarding the kingdom of heaven.

And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’[c] Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers,[d] cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay. – Matthew 10:7-8  GNT

Once I have spent my time in prayer, it will be time as Jesus did, to move among people and not just to preach and pray but to provide action – heal, raise the dead, cleanse and cast out demons. Quite a challenge.

I have tried…to make every pleasure into a channel of adoration. I don’t mean simply by giving thanks for it. One must of course give thanks, but I mean something different. How shall I put it?

We can’t—or I can’t—hear the song of a bird simply as a sound. Its meaning or message (‘That’s a bird’) comes with it inevitably—just as one can’t see a familiar word in print as a merely visual pattern. The reading is as involuntary as the seeing. When the wind roars I don’t just hear the roar; I ‘hear the wind.’ In the same way it is possible to ‘read’ as well as to ‘have’
a pleasure. Or not even ‘as well as.’ The distinction ought to become, and sometimes is, impossible; to receive it and to recognise its divine source are a single experience. This heavenly fruit is instantly redolent of the orchard where it grew. This sweet air whispers of the country from whence it blows. It is a message. We know we are being touched by a finger of that right hand at which there are pleasures for evermore. There need be no question of thanks or praise as a separate event, something done afterwards. To experience the tiny theophany is itself to adore.

Gratitude exclaims, very properly, ‘How good of God to give me this.’ Adoration says, ‘What must be the quality of that Being whose far-off and momentary coruscations are like this!’

One’s mind runs back up the sunbeam to the sun.

If I could always be what I aim at being, no pleasure would be too ordinary or too usual for such reception; from the first taste of the air when I look out of the window—one’s whole cheek becomes a sort of palate—down to one’s soft slippers at bed-time.

I don’t always achieve it. One obstacle is inattention. Another is the wrong kind of attention.

One could, if one practised, hear simply a roar and not the roaring-of-the-wind. In the same way, only far too easily, one can concentrate on the pleasure as an event in one’s own nervous system—subjectify it—and ignore the smell of Deity that hangs about it. A third obstacle is greed. Instead of saying, ‘This also is Thou,’ one may say the fatal word Encore. There is also conceit: the dangerous reflection that not everyone can find God in a plain slice of bread and butter, or that others would condemn as simply ‘grey’ the sky in which I am delightedly observing such delicacies of pearl and dove and silver. – C.S. Lewis, Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer