Here are some more items from my mother’s collection, along with some of my own thoughts. This time we’re thinking about prayer.
He knows, He cares, He understands;
With love and wisdom He commands
Our lives, and knows our every need;
Lovingly, He’ll intercede.
- Author Unknown
My thought: There is a lot in that short poem.
Romans 8:26-27 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
Hebrews 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
The Holy Spirit of God and the Lord Jesus are both said to intercede for the saints. Because they are members of the Godhead it is impossible for them to ask anything that is not the will of God. It is strange that we so quickly forget that God knows and understands our every need and that His own Spirit is praying for us and helping our infirmities.
In another place in her book where she was likely taking notes on a sermon or teaching session, my mom wrote a short note on Acts 4:24-30. I am going to include a couple more verses.
Acts 4:23-31 And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them. And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done. And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus. And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
“Prayer for boldness, not for situational change. Our attitude needs to be changed. God has a purpose in every situation.”
My thoughts: I don’t know about you, but that rebukes me. I know that it’s OK to pray for situations to change up to a point because Paul did pray that his thorn in the flesh would be removed (2 Cor. 12:7-8). However, the Lord did not change that situation for him either. There are other instances in scripture where people did pray for a situation to be changed, and God changed it for them.
But, what is our attitude? How often when we get into a trial do we ask God to change it for us, to take it away, to make it better with little reference to what He wants us to be doing? Sometimes it’s as if we think we shouldn’t have to suffer, even for Him. 1 Peter 4:19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.
I know from my own experience that there are times when instead of praying for deliverance from a difficult situation, I should be praying for wisdom and boldness to speak the right words – His words – at the right time. I fail to speak His words so often, I surely need to pray about it more! We can’t deliver ourselves from troubles, and while it is fine for us to pray for deliverance and let our requests be known to Him (Philippians 4:6), yet how often we fail to pray that we might glorify Him and speak His word! I feel very deficient in this myself. How about you?
Be Still and Know
When the cares of the day overwhelm us,
And its tensions are hard to bear,
There’s a refuge that’s sure,
And a shelter secure,
In the quiet communion of prayer.
For there in the hush of His presence,
We lose all our sense of despair;
Our hope springs anew,
And His peace comes through,
In the quiet communion of prayer.
- Cleo King
My thought: This reminds me of one of my favorite verses.
Isaiah 30:15 For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength…
How hard it is sometimes in the clamor of life to just be still and know God. We are so apt to pray a lot of “please do this” prayers, and neglect to listen for His still small voice and His comforting words. Maybe if we were quieter and more focused upon His words to us we would have more confidence in His ability and have more peace and rest.
The last part of that verse, the part I left off, says, “…and ye would not.” What a horrible commentary on the people to whom God was speaking. They would not. That means it was their will – their choice – to refuse to rest and be quiet and confident in the Lord. What would the results be? They would not be saved from their enemies (in the context) and they would not have strength.
Do we wonder sometimes why we lack strength and can’t resist the enemy? Perhaps we need to return to the Lord, and rest in Him in quietness and confidence. What better way to do this than to pray and listen to Him?
Psalms 55:16-17 As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.
Isaiah 32:17 And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.
Psalms 85:8 I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly.