The privilege of prayer

By , August 9, 2011

“As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord
by failing to pray for you.”
1 Samuel 12:23 (NIV)

Gordon Rumford Ministries Daily Devotional - Slippery Slopesrivilege of prayerA couple of days ago a dear friend and faithful reader of these daily devotionals emailed me to thank me for that particular day’s offering. He suggested that the devotional was written as though I had him in mind. He and his lovely wife have had serious health issues for years. He felt that devotional especially spoke to them as she must now consult with another specialist for help. He asked me to pray for them.

Those of us who know the inside story of their suffering have had a Gethsemane experience of prayer on their behalf. We have asked that their cup of suffering might be removed just as Jesus in Gethsemane asked for His cup of suffering to be removed. Our loving and sovereign Father in heaven did not remove Jesus’ cup of sorrow and it seems He is not removing my friends’ cup either.

This “Gethsemane” experience in prayer is indeed a most challenging issue for people as we ask but do not receive. We remind the Lord that we are praying especially for their beloved child and so think He should hear us. Alas it seems, our prayer goes unheeded by God. We pray again and still no answer. We wonder what is wrong that we are not heard.

I have friends as far away as Africa who are in similar situations to the one mentioned above. They update me on their issues and I redouble my efforts to get from God what all of us desire. I feel honoured and count it a privilege to pray for these dear people who mean so much to me.

If I miss a day or two in seeking God on behalf of these people, I am apologetic to the Lord for the neglect. You see, the verse for today reminds us that we sin against God when we do not pray for those we know who are in need.

If you suffer today and are in need of mercy from God, find someone who cares about you and pour out your complaint to them. Let them know honestly how you are struggling with grief and need help. Be bold enough to ask them to pray for you. If they really love you they should feel honoured to accept this responsibility of prayer.

God desires us to come to Him with our issues in life and tell Him all about it. We should never be hesitant about speaking our minds to the One who loves us more than a parent. He urges us to come with His promises in Scripture and He tells us that He will indeed respond to our petitions. It is our privilege to pray for ourselves and for one another.

We are assured in Scripture that we shall either receive a solution to our issue or else we shall receive the grace to cope with it.

Do not neglect this privilege and duty of seeking the face of a merciful and loving Father in heaven. Do not sin against God by giving up on your prayers for those in special need. Prayer is a most powerful tool in dealing with life’s issues. Do not neglect your most helpful source of strength and encouragement in life. Prayer is indeed a privilege.

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