Wednesday, December 24, 2008

God with Us - Prayer Part 5

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? –Matthew 7:7-10

Every once in awhile one of my children will say to me, “I can’t hear God talking.” My response is usually to take them to 1 Samuel 3:10. I ask them if they have been listening for God’s voice and whether they have been spending time in prayer “talking” to God. I also ask them (the older children) if they have been reading their Bibles – as I feel that God often speaks to us through His Word and I’ve learned that it is easier to distinguish God’s voice from my own if I am familiar with what He has said in His Word – because anything that we feel God is telling us should be the same as what He has already said in His Word. A brief example of this is that once I had a woman tell me that God had told her to divorce her husband. This troubled me deeply because it just didn’t line up with what I knew God had to say about marriage and divorce and I told her so. Needless to say, she wasn’t very happy with my response and got very upset with me. She wanted her way not God’s way.

Sometimes my children will come to me and tell me they have been praying for something which seems inappropriate to me – like a new toy or game – and I will ask them if they really think that they should pray for things that they don’t really need. Things that are not really necessary…but I know too that even as God meets our basic needs He often gives us more than we need and desire. And He does so for His own reasons. I believe that often “blessings” are given to both teach us and to grow us as well as to give us pleasure – children are a good example of this.

If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! –Matthew 7:11

1 Thessalonians 5:17 says
“Pray without ceasing…”

I think that when we cease to pray – even about the little things - we eventually cease to be in relationship with God.

I also need to say that God’s first concern is not our happiness.

His primary concern is the state of our hearts and souls.

Our response regardless of what happens to us good or bad has to be - God’s will be done, not what will make me happiest be done. Our response regardless of how God chooses to answer our prayers should be the same…God’s will be done.

When our friends hurt us we can turn away from them. We can cease to talk to them. We can walk away and never return, but with family we can turn away, we can even walk away and never look back...but family is still family. For a Christian, God is family. He is Your Father. You can turn away, you can decide that you don't like him much, but that doesn't change who He is or how He will relate to you. He is still there. He is still loving you.

Relationship…can you hear the whisper…God saying…I…love…you.

He came as a helpless babe. He was born into obscurity. He lived his life for many. He healed, and helped, and called others to follow Him, and He gave His life that You and I might live. That we might be reconciled to Him…why? Because He loves us.

So does He want us to pray…you bet! Pray away! Because He loves you and He wants to be known by you…


For to us a Child is born,
to us a Son is given;
and the government shall be upon His shoulder,
and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
–Isaiah 9:6

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call His name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). –Matthew 1:23

God with us!

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