Hope through Prayer - 28 January 2020
- Matthew 7:7-11
7“Ask, and you will receive; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks will receive, and anyone who seeks will find, and the door will be opened to those who knock. 9Would any of you who are fathers give your son a stone when he asks for bread? 10Or would you give him a snake when he asks for a fish? 11Bad as you are, you know how to give good things to your children. How much more, then, will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
- James 5:17-18
17Elijah was the same kind of person as we are. He prayed earnestly that there would be no rain, and no rain fell on the land for three and a half years. 18Once again he prayed, and the sky poured out its rain and the earth produced its crops.
- 2 Corinthians 12:7-10
7But to keep me from being puffed up with pride because of the many wonderful things I saw, I was given a painful physical ailment, which acts as Satan's messenger to beat me and keep me from being proud. 8Three times I prayed to the Lord about this and asked him to take it away. 9But his answer was: “My grace is all you need, for my power is greatest when you are weak.” I am most happy, then, to be proud of my weaknesses, in order to feel the protection of Christ's power over me. 10I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and difficulties for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Don’t worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart. And God’s peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 (GNT)
Prayer played a vital part in the life of our Lord. It should be an integral part of our life too. Our Lord told us that when we approach the throne of grace, seeking and searching God’s guidance and help, we would be blessed. (Matthew 7:7-11)
But how should we pray? David had the right attitude when he was in distress: “I waited patiently for the Lord’s help; then he listened to me and heard my cry.” (Psalm 40:1) Too often when we pray we expect God to immediately grant what we want. However God has his own timetable and it’s his will not ours that prevails.
God answers every prayer in one of three ways – yes, no and when the time is right.
Yes, as in the case of Elijah the prophet: “He prayed earnestly that there would be no rain, and no rain fell on the land for three and a half years. Once again he prayed, and the sky poured out its rain and the earth produced its crops.”(James 5:17-18)
No, as in the case of Paul: Three times he prayed to God to remove the “thorn in the flesh”that was tormenting him and hindering his ministry. Instead God granted Paul grace to bear his suffering in order to experience the protection of Christ’s power over him. (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)
When the time is right, as in the case of the priest, Zachariah and Elizabeth. For many years they prayed for a child. When they were old, the angel, Gabriel, brought them the news; they would have a son who would be filled with the Holy Spirit from birth and pave the way for the Lord. (Luke 1:13-17)
God is a prayer-hearing and a prayer-answering God to whom we can make our needs known. When we pray we enter into the divine presence of God. There we can confess our sins and he will forgive us and purify us from all our wrongdoings. Read 1 John 1-9.
Paul urged the church at Thessalonica to “pray at all times”, we should too.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for the hope we have in prayer and help us to remain in constant dialogue with you. Amen