From Praise to Prayer

During this isolating pandemic period, I was motivated to read several books that are lying around the house longing for me to pick them up. One small book, easily digested but held a wealth of spiritual truth, is If You Will Ask by Oswald Chambers. This book, insightful and timely, is a testimony of Chambers’ spiritual depth with the Lord, even though his years were not many. He died at forty-three years of age. When I think back to my spiritual depth at forty-three, I’m thankful the Lord is allowing me additional time (now in my 50’s) to grow more fully in love with Him, His Word, and “laying up” treasure in heaven instead of grasping for the moth-eaten trinkets that previously were my inclination.

My last blog post focused on Praise; this post will fixate on PRAYER!

Only when we are in great difficulty and cannot understand things, do we really pray. . .. Prayer is an interruption of personal ambition, and no person who is busy has time to pray. If we do not pray, what will suffer is the life of God in us, which is nourished not by food but by prayer. . .. Prayer develops the life of God in us. When we are born from above, the life of the Son of God begins in us, and we can either starve that life or nourish it. Prayer nourishes the life of God. Our Lord nourished the life of God in Him by prayer. He was continually in contact with His Father.

If You Will Ask: Reflections on the Power of Prayer, Oswald Chambers, p. 14.

This is too relevant not to repeat: “Prayer is an interruption of personal ambition, and no person who is busy has time to pray.” What is our ambition? To make money? To pray? Have you noticed more time on your hands with this persistent pandemic lockdown? O Christian! Have you felt malnourished? The Lord’s ambition was to glorify the Father, and to do the will of the Father. He didn’t neglect the nourishment needed to fulfill these life-sustaining objectives. His communion with His Father in prayer throughout His ministry made His objective, glorifying the Father and going to the cross, possible. What more could we be doing to enhance a lifestyle of prayer in our own lives? What more might we be accomplishing with our lives if we were in constant contact with the Father and nourished to the brim?

I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone. This is the message God gave to the world at just the right time. And I have been chosen as a preacher and apostle to teach the Gentiles this message about faith and truth. I’m not exaggerating—just telling the truth. In every place of worship, I want men to pray with holy hands lifted up to God, free from anger and controversy (1 Timothy 2:1-8, NLT).

As we continue to wait for an end to this aggressive pandemic, please don’t neglect nourishing the life of God in you through prayer.

Dear Heavenly Father:

(1) . . . I give my life to you. I trust in you, my God! (4) Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow. (5) Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you. (6) Remember, O Lord, your compassion and unfailing love, which you have shown from long ages past. (7) Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth. Remember me in the light of your unfailing love, for you are merciful, O Lord. (8) The Lord is good and does what is right; he shows the proper path to those who go astray. (11) For the honor of your name, O Lord, forgive my many, many sins. (16-18) Turn to me and have mercy, for I am alone and in deep distress. My problems go from bad to worse. Oh, save me from them all! Feel my pain and see my trouble. Forgive all my sins. (20) Protect me! Rescue my life . . . Do not let me be disgraced, for in you I take refuge. (21) May integrity and honesty protect me, for I put my hope in you (Psalm 25, NLT).

In Jesus’ Reassuring Name, Amen!

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