Sunday, April 22, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 53

Prayers of Petition continued...

Whenever we petition God, we do so acknowledging we have a need, acknowledging we can’t resolve the need on our own, and asking Him to intervene on our behalf.

When we pray prayers of petition, we know beforehand what it is we will be asking God for, what it is we will be asking Him to intervene in, or what it is we desire Him to bless us with.

It goes without saying that when we petition God for something, it will not be anything unworthy of Him or something that would bring offense to His righteous character. We are not petitioning a neighbor, a friend, or a spouse, we are petitioning the eternal creator of all that is, the One who breathed life into a lump of clay and called it Adam.

We have lost the requisite reverence expected of us in recent times, seeing God as less than what He is, and superimposing our own feelings as to what we think He ought to be upon His character. We have lost the fear of the Lord, we have lost reverence for Him, and now think Him to be nothing more than a kindly, gentle fellow, looking down from heaven, and scratching at his white beard.

If you’ve forgotten who God truly is, go back to His word, and rediscover Him. Go through the Bible and see what He has done, what He had spoken into being, what He had demanded of His people, and how He went about punishing disobedience and rebellion.

For many individuals the way they view God determines not only the level of their commitment to Him, but also how they approach Him, the reverence they show toward Him, and the obedience and worship they offer Him.

Yes, He loved the world insomuch that He sent His only Son, yes, He is merciful, longsuffering, kind, and gracious, but He is also God! He is just, and righteous, and holy, and omnipotent. We must have a complete picture of God, and all His attributes, rather than focus on the one attribute we really like in Him and discount all the rest.

Even when we petition other human beings, we come before them with respect and deference because we know we will be asking them for something shortly. How much more deference and respect ought we to show God when we come before Him with prayers of petition?

The word of God encourages us to ask, and to petition God. It counsels us to tell Him our worries, our concerns, to share our anxieties, our fears, and bring before Him every need we have and every area of our lives we might be lacking in.

Matthew 7:7-8, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it will opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, to him who knocks it will be opened.”

Matthew 7:11, “If you then, being evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”

If anyone knew the Father, it was the Son Jesus Christ. He was after all with Him in the beginning, for in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. So if Jesus tells us that the Father who is in heaven gives good things, then we must believe Him at His word.

Now the Father who is in heaven doesn’t give good things to just anybody, nor does he give good things to everyone, but rather to a select group of individuals. The Father in heaven gives good things to those who ask Him!

God’s desire is to teach us dependence upon Him, to teach us to trust Him, and teach us to run to Him when we have a need. God doesn’t want to be our last resort. Even for those who don’t believe, often times when all else fails, they will utter a prayer, and make a petition. If God is consistently our last resort, if we only go to Him when we’ve fallen flat on our faces, failed miserably, and found no one who would hear our petition, then we are no different than an unbeliever.

When God is the first and only one we run to in our time of need however, when we bring our petitions before Him before we bring them to anyone else, and trust Him enough wherein we will not bring our petitions to anyone else, then by our actions, and willingness to go to Him first, we show our trust, and our dependence upon Him.

Jesus encouraged us to ask, and promised it would be given to us. He made it a point to continue in this vein, and make certain those who heard Him, and who would later read His words understood that we must initiate the dialogue in order for God to respond. Whether it’s asking, knocking, or seeking, they require action on our part, they require us to act first, and God will respond in kind.

Prayers of petition are always of a personal nature. When we pray prayers of petition, we are not asking God for something on behalf of someone else, since that would be a prayer of intercession. When we pray prayers of petition, we are coming before God for ourselves, with our own personal needs, and petitioning Him to work on our behalf. As such, prayers of petition are always more intimate, more personal, and more emotional.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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