Sunday, February 7, 2016

Let us pray

I heard a message by Pastor Dave Hall today at Reveal Fellowship and it inspired these musings. 

" Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, The watchman keeps awake in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, To retire late, To eat the bread of painful labors; For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep."  Psalms 127:1-2

One of the key factors that have to be faced is that our lives, families, ministries, communities, and nations will only be successful with the help, blessing, support, and purpose of the living LORD of heaven and earth. 

“The poet proves that everything depends upon the blessing of God from examples taken from the God-ordained life of the family and of the state. The rearing of the house which affords us protection, and the stability of the city in which we securely and peaceably dwell, the acquisition of possessions that maintain and adorn life, the begetting and rearing of sons that may contribute substantial support to the father as he grows old - all these are things which depend upon the blessing of God without natural preliminary conditions being able to guarantee them, well-devised arrangements to ensure them, unwearied labors to obtain them by force, or impatient care and murmuring to get them by defiance. Many a man builds himself a house, but he is not able to carry out the building of it, or he dies before he is able to take possession of it, or the building fails through unforeseen misfortunes, or, if it succeeds, becomes a prey to violent destruction: if God Himself does not build it, they labor thereon (עָמֵל בְּ, Jon 4:10; Ecc 2:21) in vain who build it”  Keil & Delitzsch Commentary

The way we acknowledge this dependence is in prayer.   A prayerless people are those who either feels they can control things through their own efforts apart from God or who have lost confidence in prayer.  These attitudes can come even into churches and ministries.   Messiah Jesus warns us about losing faith in the effectiveness of prayers.

"Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart, saying, "In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man. "There was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, 'Give me legal protection from my opponent.' "For a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, 'Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.'" And the Lord said, "Hear what the unrighteous judge *said; now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? "I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?""  Luke 18:1-8

The point of the parable is that if we could trust an unjust judge to provide justice to get rid of a bothersome widow how much more can we trust that God who is the just judge to listen to the cries of HIS people.   So we should not lose heart or conviction that the Lord will hear us as we cry for the God’s will to be done on earth as it is done in heaven. 

Messiah Jesus warns however that by the time of the end, many people will have lost faith in prayer and become prayerless. 

If we are to seek personal revival and the renewal of God’s kingdom community the church then we must begin with an examination of our attitudes towards prayer. 

Have we lost faith in prayer?  Do we trust more in our plans and programs than on God building up our lives, families, and ministries?  How can we know? 

The test is easy.  Are we passionately and regularly seeking God in prayer?  Do we pray?  Or are we prayerless or do we pray with passionate faith in the goodness and grace of God to hear us. 

When there is a mass movement of prayer among God’s people that is the first sign of revival.

Let us pray!

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