Sunday, April 19, 2015

Prayer Time


I still hope to get this posted Sunday – but our internet is down and it’s getting later and later. Might be a good idea, though, for my readers to get used to sporadic postings over the next few weeks as we travel.

Prayer has been on my mind. I picked up Terrie Chappell’s “The Choice Is Yours” and it opened to the chapter on prayer. Chappell has several examples of prayerful people, beginning with Hannah, who was very misunderstood:

And it came to pass, as she continued praying before the LORD, that Eli marked her mouth. Now Hannah, she spake in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard: therefore Eli thought she had been drunken. And Eli said unto her, How long wilt thou be drunken? put away thy wine from thee. (1 Samuel 1:12-14 KJV)

Eli heard her defense:

And Hannah answered and said, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD. Count not thine handmaid for a daughter of Belial: for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief have I spoken hitherto. (1 Samuel 1:15-16 KJV)

She didn’t tell him what she petitioned of the Lord, but Eli was given a prophecy:

Then Eli answered and said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him. (1 Samuel 1:17 KJV)

Later, Eli benefited greatly through her answered prayer:

And she said, Oh my lord, as thy soul liveth, my lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the LORD. For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of him: Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD. And he worshipped the LORD there. (1 Samuel 1:26-28 KJV)

She poured out her soul in prayer with complaint and grief. The entire nation of Israel benefited through her son Samuel. How do we approach Him in prayer? Chappell gave another example of prayer.

Daniel did it several times a day, and his enemies were aware of this:

Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him. Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God. (Daniel 6:4-5 KJV)

So they convinced Darius to create a law that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions (Daniel 6:7b KJV)

Daniel changed nothing in his relationship with his Lord:

Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime. (Daniel 6:10 KJV)

Two excellent examples – and several questions: 1) do I pour out my heart and soul? 2) do I follow through on commitments? 3) do I have a prayer time scheduled? 4) what do I let get between me and my prayer time? 5) Why – or why not – for each of the four answers?

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