Prayer--A Gift of God

     This week, I will be reposting my series on Prayer.
     Our pastor addressed an eagerly sought after topic yesterday, yet one that does not have easy answers.
Prayer--Asking and Receiving from God.
     I was alert, not drifting in and out. The congregation, unusually still, hanging on his every word. All hoping to find that magical formula that guarantees answered prayers. Prayers answered according to our heart's desire.
     The foundation for prayer was established first by our pastor.
     "The Lord wants us to ask," he said. However, the promise to be heard by the Lord is given to believers. In Psalm 32:6, it reads, "Therefore, let everyone who is godly pray to you while you may be found;..." When we look in Matthew, chapter 6, if we backtrack to chapter 5, we will see that Jesus has drawn His disciples close to Him to speak directly to them while surrounded by the crowds.
     Does this mean that those who cry out to God will not be heard?  Absolutely not!   There are many passages in Scripture that encourage us to seek God.  Paul was speaking to unbelievers in Acts 17:27: "God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us."
     Sunday evening wrapped around our kitchen table with our sons, we chewed over some of that day's teaching.  We surfed over the depths of  how, why, and when God answers prayer.  Factors that influence prayer were presented.  Praying according to God's will (1John 5:13-15); unconfessed sin (Psalm 66:18); wrong motives (James 4:3); when a "no" honors God more than us (2Col 12:7); God's delays are not necessarily God's denials (John 11:45); and sometimes we are praying for a situation in which God has already shown us how to respond (Exodus 14:15).
    We hardly scratched the surface but the thoughts were churning in our sons' minds.  Not always pleasant ones.  But the one that touched me most came as we prayed for a family who had just lost their father after praying years for his healing.  The youngest said, "But he lived far longer than the doctors thought possible.
A gift. One of many this week.

          "I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears:"  Psalm 34:4 all references taken from the NIV

     How has the Lord gifted you in your time of prayer with Him?

From My Heart to Yours,


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