Wednesday, March 14, 2012

To Pray

“And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth. And I say unto you, ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” Luke 11:5-9 When I was in the eighth grade, I decided to try out for the high school play, since they were allowing the eighth grade students an opportunity to audition alongside the high school students. My audition went well, and I decided all I could do was pray for God to allow me to have the part. I was an immature Believer and I didn’t yet understand praying within God’s will. So, my immaturity aside, I did understand that I should be persistent in my request. The staircase became a measure of my earnest plea as I knelt on every step to plead with the Lord about the part for which I auditioned. Growing weary during my second trip up the stairs, I thought the Lord would surely somehow honor my efforts and that I could somehow “get Him” to give in to my request. I did indeed get the part, but it obviously wasn’t due to my physical efforts or the whole staircase ritual. I agree that persistency in prayer is good, but persistency for persistency’s sake implies that we are trying to pry something good from God’s unwilling hand. Jesus’ disciples had asked Him to teach them to pray. Our Lord obliges and recites what we know as “The Lord’s prayer”. Notice that they asked to be taught to pray. Jesus went on to teach them about the loving Heavenly Father that hears their prayers by teaching them first what He is not. God the Father is not the friend that will be disturbed in the middle of the night by your requests…only giving you what you desire so that you will leave Him alone. He is not lazy and unwilling to give unless it is convenient. He does not have His hand closed tight around good things expecting us to wrench them from Him. No, Jesus teaches the disciples and us that the key to praying is knowing our Heavenly Father loves His children dearly, and He desires all that is good for them. Our requests may be offered up boldly, according to His will, and with the right heart when we pray in the knowledge that He “… is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” We are taught to pray as we learn more about who our Father is and draw close to the One who spared not His own Son, for our sake.

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