Wednesday, June 3, 2009

GRACE AND PEACE TO YOU FROM GOD OUR FATHER

“Be careful [anxious] for nothing; but in every thing prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Philippians 4:6).

I believe that prayer mixed with faith is the answer to everything. Paul says here, “in everything” – meaning, “Pray about everything. And give thanks that your requests will be heard and answered.” We are told to pray as our first option, not after we have tried everything else in vain. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God” (Matthew 6:33, my italics).

So many Christians today are being plundered by Satan. Their homes are in turmoil, they are plagued with fear and guilt, they face trouble on all sides. The problems our ministry reads about in letters from Christians are overwhelming.

But to be truthful, so few believers who are facing difficulties turn to the Lord in fervent prayer. Few today have consistent, daily, quality time alone with God in prayer. Too often, despair sets in because they do not go to the secret place, to unburden their souls and cry out their sorrows to the Lord. Instead, they tell all of their problems to friends, pastors, counselors – and they neglect the Lord, who waits to have them all alone. We pray as a last resort.

Could God be grieved with this generation the same way he was with Israel? He said of them, “My people have forgotten me days without number” (Jeremiah 2:32).

God is pleased when we run to him first, when we make special time to be alone with him, pouring out our innermost feelings and laying our petitions before him. We have no right to say we love the Lord if we don’t spend time with him on a regular basis. He will hear your prayers and answer. But he needs you alone so he can speak to you in a quiet moment.

As I go into the Lord’s holy presence each day, my most consistent petition is that the Holy Spirit will open God’s Word to me so I can be a true oracle of him. I trust him that my messages to the body of Christ will edify, convict and provoke believers to righteousness.

May you make quality time for him, trusting him with your petitions.