Wednesday, March 2, 2011


I have been encouraged recently as I have been pondering the act of prayer in the life of the believer.  That God desires us to commune with Him in a real way is, to me, most amazing.  I have often taken my life, even after conversion, for granted and gone long periods of time without any significant praying.  I am glad the Lord watches over me and does not wait for me to ask Him to do so.   I am also glad He does not give to me everything I ask for, and many times, I cannot tell you why, but I am assured that if I had His perspective, I would see clearly that what I was asking for was not what was best for me.

I bring this up because I have been struggling with how to go about praying for my wife's illness.  Should you ask for healing if your not sure whether or not the Lord will actually do it?  And if that is so, then how will one ever know until time has run its course?  I have also found that one cannot 'cry out' to the Lord without any emotion.  The word 'crying' implies an emotional response to a situation(I assume).  Feelings must be involved in the prayers for the ones we love.  And so emotions should be involved in our prayers.  I think of the Apostle Paul in Romans 9 where he said concerning the Jews, "I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart.  For I could wish myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren...", and later in chapter 10, "Brethren, my hearts desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation."  I do not think he said these things without emotion, but was making statements where his love for others was being exposed to heartache and pain.  I have looked up what others had to say concerning prayer and decided to quote Luther:

"We should pray by fixing our mind upon some pressing need, desiring it with all earnestness, and then exercise faith and confidence toward God in the matter, never doubting that we have been heard.  St. Bernard said, "Dear brothers, you should never doubt your prayer, thinking that it might have been in vain, for I tell you truly that before you have uttered the words, the prayer is already recorded in heaven.  Therefore you should confidently expect from God one of two things: either that your prayer will be granted, or, that if it is not granted, the granting of it would not be good for you."

"No one can believe how powerful prayer is and what it can effect, except those who have learned it by experience.  It is important when we have a need to go to God in prayer.  I know, whenever I have prayed earnestly, that I have been heard and have obtained more than I prayed for.  God sometimes delays, but He always comes."

"It is amazing that a poor human creature is able to speak with God's high Majesty in heaven and not be afraid. When we pray, the heart and the conscience must not pull away from God because of our sins and our unworthiness, or stand in doubt, or be scared away.  When we pray we must hold fast and believe that God has heard our prayer.  It was for this reason that the ancients defined prayer as an Ascensus mentis ad Deum, "a climbing up of the heart unto God."

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