Tuesday, September 21, 2010

2010 – September 21 – The Frustrating Matter of Prayer

Study from God’s Word Daniel, Chapters 7 – 9 … Passage for Reflection: Daniel 9: 23 … NIV As soon as you began to pray an answer was given, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed.

My Journal for Today: Nailed to the wall of conviction!! That is me today.

When I read Daniel’s contrite and moving prayer in Daniel 9, it is no wonder God sent the Angel Gabriel to respond to old Dan. What a beautiful, specific, and honest prayer it was which must’ve moved God because of Daniel’s humility, honesty, and openness.

And now my conviction is deepened from F. LaGard Smith’s self examination question at the end of his devotional for today, which reads, ”When was the last time any prayer of mine might possibly have moved God to tears (or I might add, ‘to joy’)?” Maybe, if the Angel Gabriel showed up now and then, as he apparently did for Daniel, I might be more motivated to prayer more diligently or with more passion.

But then again, didn’t God show up … Himself … in human form … to all mankind; and didn’t He humble Himself, even unto a cross … just for me (well, and you too!). And didn’t He, through His Spirit, give me, not only eternal life from my faith in Him, but also He gave me (and all believers) His word so that I would know that He hears me and that He answers my prayers. And I have promises from the OT, as in Psalm 116: 1-2 [linked], which, sitting right here today, He brings into my consciousness – from my memory – which promises that my God stoops down to hear what I have to say in prayer. And then from the NT, He promises that if I bring my cares to Him, caring for me, that He’ll give me His peace (read 1st Peter 5: 7 and Phil. 4: 6-7). These are thoughts, from God Himself, for any believer who desires to let God hear someone like me (or you); and for us to share with God as did Daniel in his day.

So, I’m riddled with conviction as I read what Dr. Smith also writes today. He writes, “Think back on your prayers. Were any worthy of a divine conversation? Were they serious prayers? Specific prayers? Passionate prayers? Humble prayers? … In particular, how many of your prayers have been deeply confessional, like Daniel’s?” And with that scrutiny, I must say that my prayer life comes up sorely wanting. And so, … now, … knowing this, … what am I going to do about it? More same-ole, same ole? Or am I going to get to my knees and let God know where I stand - … but even more importantly, where He stands in my life.

My Prayer for Today: Oh, this prayer hurts, Lord! Help me pray today. Amen

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