The Work And Joy Of Prayer

By , September 12, 2013

“After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:
‘Father, the hour has come.
Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.'”
John 17:1 (NIV)

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“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’” Luke 18:13 (NIV)

Prayer is so easy that a child learning to speak can pray. Sometimes prayer is so difficult that the seasoned saint is at a loss for words. Romans 8:26 (NIV)

“In the same way,
the Spirit helps us in our weakness.
We do not know
what we ought to pray for,
but the Spirit himself intercedes for us
through wordless groans.”

Our heavenly Father delights in our prayers of any sort. He loves to meet with us for an extended period of time and He delights in the brief, one sentence, hurried petition. Just as earthly parents love to hear from their children in any situation so our heavenly Father is always attentive to the weakest, most confused words sent to heaven in Jesus’ name.

At times we come shamefaced, like the publican in the temple, mourning the fact we have been caught once more in sin. We cannot look to heaven eye to eye with the Father any more than the publican did (Luke 18:13). Yet we are heard.

Then there are occasions, especially when we have been blessed with some favour from the Lord when we look up to the heavens as Jesus did in our first verse for today. These are precious times of intimacy with the Lord and we are as excited, joyful, exuberant as is possible. Again we know we are heard.

Whatever the occasion, joy or sorrow, earnest or fleeting, we ought to pray at all times, in every situation, for all our needs.

Luke 18:1 (NIV)

“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable
to show them that they should always pray and not give up.”

 

Prayer is the breath of God in man, Returning whence it came;
Love is the sacred fire within,  And prayer the rising flame.

When God inclines the heart to pray, He hath an ear to hear;
To him there’s music in a groan, And beauty in a tear.

The humblest suppliant cannot fail, To have his needs supplied,
Since He for sinners intercedes, Who once for sinners died.

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