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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 60

Prayers of Petition continued...

There is no substitute for the actual act of praying in the life of a believer. Reading books, blogs, suggestions, or quotes on prayer will not suffice. We must pray!

Prayer is our way of communicating with God; it is our way of telling Him of our hurts, our needs, our failures, our victories, and yes, even our defeats. Presenting God with only our need, is just as one sided as presenting Him with only our victories. A true relationship is based on total honesty, openness, and willingness to share the difficult things just as readily as the encouraging ones.

One of the greatest epiphanies of my life was when I realized as a young man that God is interested. It changed the way I approached prayer, it changed the way I approached God, and allowed me to unburden myself, to share my heart, to be honest with Him.

God is interested! God wants to know how your day went, He wants to know the areas of your life where you might need some guidance, or some help. He wants to know that you are thankful for His protection, His timing, and His leading. He wants to have a relationship with you.

Psalm 143:10, “Teach me to do your will, for You are my God; Your Spirit is good. Lead me in the land of uprightness.”

Whether or not the fullness of the Holy Spirit resides in us, whether or not the fullness of God is evident in our lives has much to do with how much of Him we desire in our hearts.

The ugly truth is that most people desire only a tangential relationship with God. They want to know Him insofar as they are sure to go to heaven, and have His favor, but not to the point of doing His will, and being led in the land of uprightness.

We want the benefits of a relationship with God, without the constraints of a relationship with Him. Any relationship is reciprocal. It is a two way street, a give-and-take, a shared experience, and not something wherein one party is perpetually giving, and the other is perpetually taking.

Because we know the goodness of our God, because we know He leads us to green pastures, because we know He wants what’s best for us as individuals, we desire to know His will, we desire to be led in His way, and we desire to obey His voice.

It’s difficult for me to reconcile the notions that although I know God loves me and wants what’s best for me, I have no desire to know His will or follow Him into the land of uprightness. As such, I don’t understand people who know the goodness of God firsthand, but refuse to follow and obey Him.

In a world growing exceedingly evil with each passing day, in an hour when the household of faith is buffeted on every side, we need the fullness of the Holy Spirit as much, if not more than we ever have.

We seem to have no problem making the time to pray for worthless things, but when it comes to praying for the priceless attributes only God can bestow upon us, we find something more important to occupy our time with.

I will say the following as gently as possible, as to spare the sensibilities of some. The coming battle will be so heated, the violence, hardship, and turmoil visited upon the house of God so pronounced, that the fullness of the Holy Spirit in your life will be the deciding factor as to whether you stand or you fall.

Even those whom for years took the warnings of God lightly and even mocked them, are now beginning to show less enthusiasm in their vitriol because the things foretold as far back as two and three decades ago, are beginning to come to pass before their very eyes.

2 Peter 3:11-12, “Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?”

At first it seems as though Peter is asking a redundant question, but he really isn’t. What he is trying to do, is highlight, and emphasize the need for holiness and godliness in one’s life, knowing the end result of all things.

The conclusion both Peter, and the rest of the disciples who wrote concerning the Day of the Lord and the preceding end times, was that nothing would remain, and all would crumble into fiery dust. Even the elements would melt with fervent heat on the Day of the Lord. They did not conclude these things of their own volition, they did not come to these conclusions based on their own reason and logic, but due to the revelations they received concerning the days which are about to unfold before our eyes.

God showed them the things which will be, and Peter, Paul, and John the revelator warn of these days, and encourage all who would follow to lead lives of holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God.

We can no longer afford to be distracted, we can no longer afford to be sidetracked, but must with all diligence be single-minded in our desire for the fullness of God in our lives, praying to Him, petitioning Him, to fill us with His Holy Spirit, that we might stand when others have fallen, and proclaim His name when others have gone silent.

2 Peter 3:13, “Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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