Thursday, June 2, 2011
A recent In Touch devotional, which I found to be a very good explanation for why believers pray, gave me good food for thought, and an application for today.
Bless ye the LORD, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure. Bless the LORD, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the LORD, O my soul. (Psalms 103:21-22 KJV)
“Recognizing that God is sovereign prompts some questions about the nature of prayer. Specifically, many people have asked me, ‘If the Lord is in control, why does He expect us to pray?’
“Prayer brings us into cooperation with what God has purposed to accomplish. He desires to involve believers in the work that He is doing in the world and in their lives. We aren’t to sit around when there is kingdom building going on—there isn’t a single scripture to support the idea that we relax while the Lord works all things to His good pleasure. In fact, the opposite is true.”
And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. (John 17:11 KJV)
“Jesus asked God to protect the disciples by the power of His name. Did He think they might lose their salvation or drift from their commitment? Absolutely not. Jesus was God in human flesh. He knew exactly what was going to happen—how these men would spread the gospel and remain faithful even unto death. Jesus was taking part in the Father’s plan for His followers by interceding for them.
“God certainly can build His kingdom without believers’ input or help. But a relationship develops depth and intimacy when the Lover and His beloved share an interest. Praying and working alongside our Lord grows our faith and strengthens our trust in His power.
“Talking with almighty God is a privilege. The Lord created you to love Him and be loved by Him. Prayer is how that connection gets nurtured and developed. Our Father calls us to communicate with Him so He can draw us close to His heart and involve us in building the kingdom.”
Today I stood with family members around a hospital bed holding hands with a dear friend of ours. Doctors are still running tests trying to find out what is physically wrong with her. We prayed for her healing, knowing that God is sovereign and not every prayer is answered in what we consider to be a positive manner. But we know, as the devotional states, “Talking with almighty God is a privilege.”
What a blessed privilege it is. I am eternally grateful that He provided the propitiation for us to freely speak directly to Him. We understand that the true Lord’s prayer includes the words of Matthew 6:10; 26:42; Luke 11:2:
Thy will be done.