Monday, February 1, 2016

Prayer The Outflow Of Faith

Prayer is the outflow of faith and the only overt and sometimes covert evidence of the believer’s acknowledgement and dependence on God. It is the only means by which we communicate with our Creator, either through words spoken or by thoughts and sighs which only the Spirit can understand. There is no specific time or place when we should pray, I often turn to the Lord out on my patio while having morning coffee. At my age, and after reflecting on some of the things I have endured and how God has been there all the time ordering my footsteps, I have no choice but to be thankful and to express my thankfulness to Him. Oftentimes I have taken advantage of the noise of my morning shower and the exhaust fan where no one can hear me but God while praying about those stressful things that can bring grown men to tears and make them want to cry out to God for His forgiveness and providence. “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old received divine approval.” (Hebrews 11: 1 - 2) We as believers want to receive divine approval as well. “ And without faith it is impossible to please him. For whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. (Hebrews 11:6) The converse of that is also true, meaning that He does not reward those who don’t seek him! How often I have yearned to hear from my adult sons as I wondered how they are doing and if all is well with them. The only time they ever call me is if they want something or need my help. We shouldn’t treat our Creator as shamefully when He loves us so much.

(Proverbs 15:29) The Lord is far from the wicked, But He hears the prayer of the righteous.
We are righteous only because of the righteousness of Christ imputed to all believers, thus we are encouraged to pray if we claim Him as Savior and Lord. Prayer is an act of faith that is routinely overlooked by many who claim to have faith in God. First of all we are inherently lazy, then there are too many other things that are tangents that seem to demand our attention which deflect our thoughts and usurps our time to communicate with God. Like so many children we simply just take Him and his great daily providence in our lives for granted which is a sin of omission by putting ourselves and our interests before acknowledging Him first on a daily basis which flies against the commandment which is written in the hearts of all believers, “Love the Lord with all your heart.”

(John 16:24) “Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” The Lord expects us to pray with thanksgiving in our hearts for the forgiveness for our sins that He has provided us through His Son Jesus Christ. Pray always in Jesus name as it is He who imparts His righteousness on us as it says, “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” (James 5:16b)

(Matthew &: 7 - 8) “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” The converse of that is also true, those who don’t ask will not have any answers. Those who don’t seek will find nothing. Those who fail to knock on wisdom’s door cannot expect to receive any.

(Matthew 21:22)  “And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”
Prayer is a twofold act of faith which entails both doing and believing. I have often wondered about those who pray out loud in the congregation with such eloquence. My prayers are often such simple and sometimes garbled messages to God that I wonder if He even understands what I’m trying to say. But here’s what Jesus says God wants from us, after all He already knows all those flattering praises that men down through the ages have said, He’s more interested in the matters of the heart, our attitude means everything.

(Matthew 6: 5 - 8) “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. 

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