10/18/2004 0 Comments
Prayer IV: Effective Prayer
Prayer can be one of the most disingenuous exercises we undertake as Christians. When I go to the Lord in conversation am I intent on discerning His will or am I out to gain my own agenda? My life is full of plans. I know what I would like to happen. It’s my life and I know what is best for me. Immediately I have gone astray. I have made the cardinal error that so many Christians insist on making.
My life is not my own. It belongs to God. Therefore, I cannot know what is best for me other than the fact that I should be utterly dependent upon my Father in heaven. What I want to happen could in fact be disastrous and counter to what God intends. The moment I stray towards the accomplishment of my will at the expense of understanding God’s will, I veer left. The path of humanism marked by the pavestones of independence leads me across ground my Lord never intended I traverse. Instead of perfecting holiness I cultivate confusion.
Jeremiah 10:23--I know, Lord, that a man’s way of life is not his own; no one who walks determines his own steps.
Effective prayer begins and ends with a commitment to agree with God’s purpose. We see this throughout Scripture. This is precisely why the first three statements Jesus taught His disciples to pray were God-centered: hallowed be Thy name, Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:9,10). “Thy” always trumps “my” and the sooner we understand this the more rapidly we will begin to see our perspective on life transformed.
My life is not my own it belongs to God so I approach Him with the heart of a servant. “Lord, what would you have me do and be today?” Now I find that adversarial people or pernicious problems, cannot rob me of my joy for I know that God’s will sovereignly guides me. Hallelujah! The best way to help both others and myself is to meet my Maker’s specs. I approach Him in prayer intent on discerning His plan. Then I proceed in the confidence that He is able!
Agreement in purpose on earth must not be taken to mean a predetermination to agree together to storm God’s fort doggedly till He yields. It is far from right to agree beforehand over what we want, and then go to God and wait, not until He gives us His mind about the matter, but until we extort from Him permission to do what we had made up our minds to do before we prayed. We should rather agree to ask God to convey His mind and meaning to us in regard to the matter.—Oswald Chambers in Christian Discipline
©2004 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)
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