Thursday, February 21, 2013

How Do We Pray?

Children of the Street
Jacob Riis
Public Domain

After weeping until he could weep no more, after strengthening himself in the Lord, even in the face of the murderous ire of his companions, David called for Abiathar the priest to bring him the ephod, and there, where the symbols of priestly love and watch-care dwelt, David inquired of the Lord.

It was a simple question, “Shall I pursue?  Will I overtake?”

What questions would we like to ask this day?  We are often afraid to ask, because Zachariah was struck dumb!  Yes, he was, but he was still given a son in his very old age, and he still held him in his arms and named him, ”John.”

We do try not to ask the Lord, “How will we know that You are a faithful God?”, but other things we must know: how to proceed, what route to take, what special instructions we ought to heed.

Today is the day for this.  How can we best pray for those we love, for those we see bowed down by oppression?  What are the special needs of those for whom we pray?  Are they merely willful and disobedient, or are they being tempted and led astray?  Are they as angry as they seem, or are they fearful? 

One thing we do not wish to do … we do not want to cast off the lost, the captives, as though they must stay lost!  Jesus didn’t, David didn’t, and we mustn’t.  As long as the impossible is possible with God, we seek to know how to pray, and to call upon God like the widow did before the unrighteous judge. 

Our God wants our day and night prayer.  (Luke 18:6)  If we are in a place where we cannot help but pray without ceasing, we pray.  If we are in a place where we must teach ourselves to pray fervently and continually, we set out to learn and to learn quickly.  Those around us have been hurting, have been “bent double,” for too long.

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