Friday, January 18, 2008

The Privilege and Power of Prayer (part 1)

There is a privilege and power in prayer. Some have made prayer into a ritual. This is the sin of praying as the heathen do, basically "vain repetitions" (Matt. 6:7). The Lord Jesus warned us about such a prayer. He tells us that God doesn't want empty and meaningless words. This can be characterized by too many words. A ritual, a form without genuine or sincerity of heart. When we pray, do we use vain repetitions? Are they just words without sincerity and expectation? We should guard ourselves from the mechanical prayer, to many words and very little or no heart cry.

The other extreme is that of no words. The empty prayer closet or the unbended knee. This is the sin of prayerlessness. James 4:2 "Ye lust, and have not: Ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.” It could very well be true, that our failures in the Christian life, or in the service of our Lord is a direct result in a lack of genuine and sincere prayer. Joseph Scriven wrote the words to the famous hymn (and it happens to be one of my favorites) "What a Friend We Have in Jesus." In it he has this line:
"Oh what peace we often forfeit,

Oh what needless pain we bear,

All because we do not carry,

Everything to God in prayer."

I wish to share some of the most precious Bible verses on prayer that I have found, you are more than welcome to share some yourself. But if we really let these Bible verses and Bible truths about prayer grip our hearts, I believe we would see prayer as a divine ordinance. Let these Bible truths about prayer enter our eyes, fill our heads and hearts, then perhaps it can reach our hands and knees, to where they clasp and bend in genuine, and sincere prayers.

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