Thursday, March 22, 2007

Thoughts on Prayer

I have to confess that I have had some real struggles with prayer. It was hard to see my mother enter eternity recently and not know whether she was with God. I have had someone very close to me just go through a horrible and ugly divorce and my prayers in the matter seemed to prevail nothing. My husband and I have had some struggles with his job. He has been demeaned and treated badly and every time we think the situation might change or he has an opportunity for another job, things fall through. Years ago, I prayed for my previous marriage, that God would restore and reconcile and it didn't happen. I have prayed for my grown children's salvation and one walked away recently and I am still waiting for the other two.

I don't mean to say that God has not answered any of my prayers. He brought me my husband who is such a blessing. He has blessed me with certain jobs, and took care of me when I was single. I can go on and on about his many answers to prayer.

I wish I had the confidence in prayer that George Muller had. He just seemed to have a gift of confidence and trust in God. Sometimes I don't trust God. Isn't that terrible to confess? I know He is sovereign and providential, but when I pray sometimes it is with an air of resignation, almost expecting a no answer despite my pleas. I have noticed that my prayers have become fewer in number and I add a prayer of grace that I might desire to pray and seek God. I feel dry instead. So, as I shared this with my husband recently, it is interesting that today I read from Spurgeon these words. I hope they sink in and I can be renewed in my desire to glorify God in my life and prayers.

Matthew 26:39

There are several instructive features in our Savior's prayer in His hour of trial. It was lonely prayer. He withdrew even from His three favored disciples. Believer, be diligent in solitary prayer, especially in times of trial. Family prayer, social prayer, prayer in the church will not be sufficient; these are very precious, but the fragrance of heaven will be sweetest in your private devotions, where no ear hears but God's. It was humble prayer. Luke says He knelt, but another evangelist says He "fell on His face." Where, then, must be your place, you humble servant of the great Master? What dust and ashes should cover your head! Humility gives us a good foothold in prayer. There is no hope of prevailing with God unless we abase ourselves, that He may exalt us in due time.
It was filial prayer. "Abba, Father." You will find it a stronghold in the day of trial to plead your adoption. You have no rights as a subject--you have forfeited them by your treason; but nothing can forfeit a child's right to a father's protection. Do not be afraid to say, "My Father, hear my cry."
Observe that it was persevering prayer. He prayed three times. Do not stop until you prevail. Be like the importunate widow, whose continual coming earned what her first supplication could not win. Continue in prayer with a thankful heart. Lastly, it was the prayer of resignation. "Nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will." Let it be as God wills, and God will determine for the best. Be content to leave your prayer in His hands, who knows when to give, and how to give, and what to give, and what to withhold. So pleading, earnestly, importunately, yet with humility and resignation, you will surely prevail.


At 7:29 PM, Blogger Martha's World said...

lonely, filial, persevering prayer. I'll remember that.

Thanks for sharing this-- particularly your own struggle. It's nice to see another believer put into words what I sometimes feel... What I'll bet MANY people often feel but don't often confess!

At 9:40 PM, Blogger candyinsierras said...

Hi Martha...Thanks for your comments and dropping by.


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