Jonah 2:2 – “In my distress I called to the Lord, and He answered me. From the depths of the grave I called for help, and you listened to my cry.” (NIV 1978)
My Musings – Unfortunately, we often wait until we are in distress or the depths of despair before we call upon the Lord. We need to be in constant communion with Him, not just when we need His help.
My Advice – Do not restrict your calling on God to when times are bad. You would not like your friends, family or anyone else to treat you like that and you do not want to treat God like that.
Joel 2:32 – And everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved. (NIV 1978)
My Musings – This promise is not just reserved for the unsaved. It holds out a promise to those who are saved as well. If we call upon Him, He will save us from disaster, regret and discipline.
My Advice – When in trouble, call out to God. He will deliver you. When you’ve fallen into sin, call out to God, He will forgive you.
Daniel 9:18 – We do not make requests of you because you are righteous, but because of Your great mercy. (NIV 1978)
My Musings – Because we are saved, we are considered righteous in God’s eyes. Righteous because of the blood of Jesus. Nevertheless, when we approach God with requests we should understand we are able to do so because of His mercy.
My Advice – Do not be self-righteous when asking God to answer your prayers. Be humble and recognize that it is only because of His mercy that you can ask for anything in the first place.
Ephesians 6:18 – And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. (NIV 1978)
My Musings – Wise men (and women) still seek Him, even after they have found Him. Because being born again is not the end of seeking. It is merely the beginning. We become children of the Father and have access to Him 24/7. Regrettably, many only seek this access (through prayer) when in times of need. Then we pray in earnest, often wondering why the answers are not immediate. At other times, prayer may be nothing more than something we mumble before meals, or words we recite from memory without thinking before we retire for the evening. Prayer is, or at least it should be, much more than any of these. It should be a continual state of mind. It should be more than a list of urgent requests or dry recitations. It should be an intimate two-way communication between a loving Father and devoted child. He, the Father, should be more than someone that we take for granted will be there when we need Him and standing by just in case when we do not need Him (or think we do not need Him).
My Advice – Developing an intimate two way communication does not come naturally for everyone. Like those in Jesus’ day we need to be taught how to pray. Jesus’ response was to give an example, which became known as the Lord’s Prayer. It was then and is now a model (not a formula) that can launch us into effective communication with God.
There are definite characteristics in this model prayer that we can use as an initial guide in how we ought to pray. These characteristics are:
Understand the relationship
Focus on His holiness
Submission, petition, confession
Forgiveness (of others)
Seek guidance and deliverance
Praise and belief
Coming Soon – An updated version of my Bible study “Got Spiritual Milk?” will soon be available in the Store link on my home page. What you see above is a short excerpt the chapter dealing with the sixth of twelve “steps” discussed in the study.
Matthew 7:9-11 – “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (NIV1984)
My Musing – Who among us, when we were children did not play dad off against mom or mom against dad, until we got the answer we wanted? I wonder Continue reading “We’ll See”
Job 38:2 – “Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?”
My Musing – As children of God, through the blood of Jesus Christ, we have the privilege of being able to approach the throne of God with confidence. Let’s not abuse that privilege. We should be respectful, humble and thankful before Him.
My Advice – God’s counsel is beyond our comprehension. When things are not going the way you like or think that they should, it is okay to ask God why. But don’t do it in a way that challenges Him with words without knowledge. He knows what is best and when is best.
2 Chronicles 7:14 – “If my people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (NIV 1978)
My Musing – The world keeps getting worse all the time. We would like to blame the worldly for the problems our country faces. But we cannot. The responsibility rests squarely with those called by His name: Christians.
My Advice – Be humble, not arrogant, boastful or proud. Pray often, do not be a stranger to God. Seek His guidance rather than the counsel of those that the world consider wise. Do not follow the ways of the world, but rather go in the opposite direction. Do these things and you can be confident that God will hear, heal and respond.