Thursday, March 17, 2016

Persistence in Prayer – Part 2

Michael continues that Abraham had the audacity to ask God to save the city of Sodom and Gomorrah and to spare the city for the sake of only five righteous souls. He kept on asking because he knew the heart of his God. Like Abraham approaching a loving God, I once was a stranger, but now I am a son. This is the essence of God’s “adoption.”  Adoption is a legal term that means that we have access to intimacy and freedom from guilt before our Holy Father. An adopted son has legal standing before his father to ask for his needs to be supplied. 

According  to James Packer, when God’s children pray, he always give them what’s best for them in the long term, even though it may not be what the son asks for at the moment.  Children don’t know what they really need.  Like the stone mason who was asked what he was doing, we need to understand our upward calling.  The stone mason pointed to the cathedral’s spire and said, “I’m chiseling this stone down here so that I can set it up there in the spire to glorify God.”
Our job when we pray is to sort through the chaff of our life.  God will open our eyes so that we can see to appreciate the harvest that God has set in our lives not only in the here and now but also in the hereafter.  Prayer is persistence… we need to keep on repeating the word of God in our lives to understand what really matters and to walk humbly with our Father one day at a time.

On the night before Jesus was crucified, the disciples were arguing who would be the greatest. In the upper room, they walked past the foot washing basin and took their places at the table. Jesus Christ, with a heart of love and humility, gladly took the role of the lowliest household servant and washed the disciples’ feet. This was an example to the disciples that He who is greatest shall be servant of all.

How can we be sure that God will answer our prayer? After supper, Jesus took Peter, James and John to the garden of Gethsemane to watch and pray. Jesus prayed to his Father, “if there be any other way, let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless, not my will but thine be done.”  The cup signified the wrath of God … the righteous sentence of death for the sin and iniquity of fallen mankind. Prayer is not aligning God’s will with my will. Rather it is aligning my will with God’s will. How did Jesus align his heart with his Father’s will?  The scripture does not reveal the answer in Matthew 22. However, the Word of God is its own best commentary. The answer is in Hebrews 12:2: Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. On the cross, Jesus Christ satisfied and balanced the scale of God’s righteous judgment for all of our transgressions. God revealed to Jesus those of us who would be made righteous by the shedding of his innocent blood. Therefore, He endured the pain and suffering of a shameful death because of His joyous expectation of your salvation and mine. As a result of His answered prayer, Jesus Christ voluntarily drank the cup of death as full payment for our sin and iniquity …  for He who knew no sin was made sin for us that we may be made the righteousness of God in Him.

May God richly bless you!
Your brother in Christ, 

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