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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 6

Introduction continued...

Too often we treat God as an old acquaintance, who we hadn’t bothered to call for years, who we hadn’t visited going on forever, yet who we go to needing to borrow some cash. We never bothered to maintain the friendship, or the relationship, but we are quick to call them ‘friend’ when we need their help.

The audacity of those who think they can put one over on God still amazes me. God knows the intent of your heart, dear friend, He knows if you truly love Him, or if it’s just a pretense so you can get something from Him.

Prayer shows our connection with God. In conversation or fellowship, with the Father, we are not having a one sided monologue, we are having a dialogue between ourselves and Him. We do not serve a mute God, nor do we serve a deaf God. When we pray, He hears, and He answers. When we cry out to Him, He is there.

Is there anything more comforting, encouraging and edifying than the knowledge that God hears us when we pray? Is there anything more humbling than the knowledge that He who spoke all things into being, and created man from the dust of the earth, harkens unto our cries?

Since the beginning of creation men have called on the name of the Lord. The first mention of what we would interpret as prayer in the Bible takes place in the fourth chapter of Genesis, shortly after Seth, Adam and Eve’s son, has a son of his own which he named Enosh.

Genesis 4:26, “And as for Seth, to him also a son was born; and he named him Enosh. Then men began to call on the name of the Lord.”

From this point forward, we see men of every generation calling upon the name of the Lord, incorporating prayer in their daily lives, and seeing their relationship with Him growing stronger and becoming more established due to the time they spent in God’s presence.

When we pray we seek the presence and the face of God. Our hearts desire to be in His presence, and prayer is the means by which we come into that presence.

Psalm 26:8, “When You said, ‘seek My Face,’ My heart said to You, ‘Your face, Lord, I will seek.’”

God is still calling upon His children to seek His face, He still desires a relationship, and an intimacy with each one of us, yet sadly our hearts no longer respond in kind, our hearts no longer say, ‘Your face, Lord, I will seek’ because our hearts have been turned from the path of righteousness, our hearts have been turned from the simple joy of being in His presence, and are now seeking to find fulfillment anywhere but at God’s feet, or in God’s presence.

2 Chronicles 7:14, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

The cure to our diseased and ailing land lies not in a more libertine church, it is not to be found in a greater tolerance for sin and perversion, it is not to be discovered in better entertainment, it is not to be revealed in uncontroversial or all-embracing doctrine. The cure to the disease from which the land suffers is humility, and prayer and seeking His face and turning from our wicked ways. It is only then that God hears from heaven, it is only then that God will forgive the sin of the nation, and it is only then that God will heal.

We attempt to find remedies everywhere else but in the word of God. We attempt to employ means and stratagems which are wholly unbiblical, but because they are unbiblical they are neither contentious nor provocative, and so the world doesn’t mind. So we sing a little louder, stomp a little harder, act a little wilder, have more classes on finances and saving for retirement instead of worship service, stop talking about Jesus, stop praying, stop seeking His face, ignore the deathly pallor our countenance has taken on, all in the hopes that the fatal disease plaguing us will go away all on its own.

Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Humble yourself and pray, seek His face above all else, and you will know Him in a deeper and more profound way than ever before.

God will not force himself into the hearts of individuals. He doesn’t come in uninvited, He doesn’t barge in; God stands at the door and knocks. We open the door, and dialogue with Him through prayer, through spending time in His presence and once we invite Him in, He takes up residence in our hearts.

When we live true fellowship with God, if a day goes by wherein we are not in His presence, we feel it. Prayer for the spiritual man is as food for the physical man. If you don’t consume nutrients for an entire day, your body warns you, your stomach beginning to grumble, and your entire being becomes weaker and less vibrant. If you go a week without food, your body grows progressively weaker, and given enough time without sustenance, the body dies.

Many people no longer miss fellowship with God, they no longer miss spending time with Him, they no longer miss being in His presence, because they are already spiritually emaciated, and at the point of death. They have gone so long without communing with Him, they have gone so long without conversing with Him and dialoguing with Him, that their spiritual man withered up and became comatose.

Just as those of the church of Sardis, many today have a reputation of being alive, but they are spiritually dead. The fire has long flickered and gone out, the passion has long dried up, the desire for God has long been extinguished, and what remains is a form of godliness, an imitation of spirituality, with no true life to be found.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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