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Prayer

By Bro Fred Stevenson

Psalm 55:16-23

16 As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me.

17 Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.

18 He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me: for there were many with me.

19 God shall hear, and afflict them, even he that abideth of old. Selah. Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God.

20 He hath put forth his hands against such as be at peace with him: he hath broken his covenant.

21 The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.

22 Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

23 But thou, O God, shalt bring them down into the pit of destruction: bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in thee KJV

Prayer is one of the most misunderstood teachings of the Bible. Far too many people try to use it as a spiritual Emergency Room. They go for years without darkening a church door, then adversity enters their life and they want God to solve the problem without any help from them. People like King David who wrote these verses not only knew about God, they knew God on a personal basis. In fact, the Bible called him a man after God’s own heart. Why would he be discussed in such a manner? A study of David, particularly to read the Psalms he wrote will give one a better understanding. Also, Psalm 51 will give some more insight to this.

The apostle Paul wrote to the church at Thessalonica in I Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.” Does this require a Christian to go around with their head bowed low or looking up toward the heavens? Obviously this could lead to serious consequences. No, what is meant is that we should be in a relationship with God that allows us to have access to Him at all times. I can remember laughing at a comedian on a country/western record saying “Its me again, God.” That should be our relationship with God. I have been pastor of 2 churches that had mature, even aged men who would panic when called upon to pray in services, what a blessing they lose by their refusal to do this.

Another thought is what do we say when praying to God? Simply speak from the heart, words that state what a person desires, needs or the needs of someone we know. The King James Version Bible uses what we commonly call “Old English” words. Is it necessary to use these as we pray? Let us consider this question a little more. Jesus spoke in either Greek or Hebrew, English of any sort had not developed then. Can one imagine the thought that words have to be in a particular language? What about our Hispanic, Japanese, Korean, French, German brethren? If God understands and accepts only the old English then what about those of us who speak modern English? It is important to speak to God in terms we can understand. Do not worry about what we have heard others say; say what you want to discuss with God.

Another matter is this, what do we want God to know about us? Too often we forget that we need to thank Him for His blessings and answered prayers in our lives. Yes, we should go to Him with life’s problems and challenges, but keep in mind He simply wants our heart. Pray that He will guide and protect as He has promised; also, be in a place of prayer. Do we really expect Him to respond when we wait for problems to speak to Him? I certainly hope not. It is strangely foolish to expect God to accept our ignoring Him until the problems of life are too complicated for us to handle on our own.

Where do we pray? The obvious answer is everywhere, anytime. We do need to love Him enough to go where He has promised He will meet in a special relationship with us. Where is that? In a true church where the Bible is taught regularly and in completeness; that is where He is waiting to meet with us in that special capacity.

Prayer is the vehicle that puts a special love for God to work. Thank Him, love Him enough to talk with Him. Work for Him daily and the Christian life will be rewarding and full.

In closing, let me present our church, Landmark Missionary Baptist Church. All of us who are members are concerned about your spiritual and physical well-being. If we can pray with or for you, please let us know. If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, the alternative for you is all eternity in torments and in hell. Please let us know your needs.

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