First we learned to recognize that our HOPE is in believing that Christ died so that believers (having faith in what is unseen) could become heirs to eternal life (rather than eternal death). Second, last week, we discussed ‘persevering in tribulation’, which means we keep our trust in God in the hard times knowing that He is developing our character and recognizing our need of Him.
Now we see that we have to “keep on praying”! NASB translation reads “devoted to prayer”. The Message says “pray all the harder”. And NIV says “be faithful in prayer”. The point is that we must communicate with God. Many of us in class were eager to share our “two bits” so much so that our leader had a hard time getting back to his notes.
Prayer can be hard to fit within our busy lives. Often when things are moving smoothly in our lives we let prayer slide. But if we run into trouble we are quick to cry out. (Reminds me of the Israelites.) The point is that we are to be faithful and consistent in prayer. There are two styles for consistent prayer. Some of us are familiar with “breath prayers” where we pray all day. Sometimes if I am on hold on the phone I use that time to pray. But, although that is keeping an open line to God, it is not a time when we stop and listen.
The example that Jesus gave was to withdrew to quite place for prayer. God said “Be still, and know that I am God.” As one of our classmates said: ‘it is awesome to think that the King of the universe want a relationship with me!’ He wants to communicate but it is a two-way line. Since we are to pray in His will, we must take time to listen; take time to hear Him.
God created Adam to fellowship with as well as to worship Him. Having a puppet would not be very meaningful so God gave man free choice. When Adam and Eve sinned, their guilt and disobedience caused them to hide from God and we tend to do the same thing. Satan uses this tool in his propaganda: “You are disgusting and shameful; God could never love you; God doesn’t want to hear from you; God won’t give you any blessings; God will punish you. But these are lies. God is a merciful God. Yes, He wants obedience and there may be consequences for wrong choices. But God knows that our flesh is weak and we are unable to be obedient (or perfect) without His guidance. God wants and needs to hear our prayers to know that we are relying on Him, not on ourselves. Jesus was sent to reconnect the communication that was lost in the Garden. He is the operator and He always provides an open line for us to communicate with God. Speed dial is good but an open line is best!
This song speaks perfectly of this problem for many of us:
I Miss My Time With You (Larnelle Harris)Verses for Today:
Hebrews 5:7-9 NLT
7While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could rescue him from death. And God heard his prayers because of his deep reverence for God. 8Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered. 9In this way, God qualified him as a perfect High Priest, and he became the source of eternal salvation for all those who obey him.
God, please help me to be better at my prayer time. Help me to do more than bring my petitions but rather help me to go to a quiet place, spend time and listen to Your will and direction.