Effective Praying involves Reasoning from God to God

~ The best prayers are those which reason from God to God. That is to say, we go from God’s character and His acts to our requests and petitions. God is the ground of our seeking something. He is the foundation for what we want.

A classic case of this is Abraham reasoning with God when God reveals to him that He is going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah.  Abraham intercedes saying,

“… Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it?  Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?”  ~ Genesis 18:23-25

Note what Abraham is appealing to. He is appealing to God’s goodness and justice.

Another example: It says in 1 Samuel 2:30: ” …Those who honor me I will honor, but those who despise me will be disdained.” 

I think that Nabeel Querishi (see previous post) is totally honoring God with his joy, hope, faith and so on. He is like a living embodiment of Romans 12:12,

“Joyful in hope,
patient in affliction,
faithful in prayer.”

Praise God! So my point is that in my prayers to God, I can basically pray to God telling him that Nabeel has honored him, so do honor him also.  Why is honor important for Nabeel and really God at this moment in life? I mean he has Stage IV cancer with a 1% chance to live. Doesn’t he have better things to worry about than honor?

Well – there have been people who have alleged that the reason why Nabeel has cancer is because he converted from Islam to Christianity. Apparently this is some kind of divine punishment from Allah.  They have urged him to return to Islam so that Allah may heal him.

My personal concern here is that if Nabeel passes away, then this will discredit and dishonor the God of the Bible. So while I think we have good reasons to be hopeful that Nabeel will survive the cancer, I still think that if things go otherwise, we must pray that the living God will not be dishonored. So we can make our appeal on the basis of 1 Samuel 2:20. We ask God to honor Nabeel + the entire situation + its outcome because of what God said there. We appeal to God’s glory and honor here.

One last thing: Another 1 Samuel 2:30 related video from the movie, Chariots of Fire.  I will leave out the explanation since this has been long enough already.

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Yet Another from – E.M. Bounds on Prayer (2)

The following is a sentence that I have excerpted from Ch. 6 of E.M. Bounds book, Power Through Prayer. 

bounds“I am sorry that I have prayed so little,” was the deathbed regret of one of God’s chosen ones, a sad and remorseful regret for a preacher.” 

~ I find this to be quite a thought.  When I am on my deathbed, I cannot say something like, “Yeah. I have not prayed much in life, but thats ok. I will make up for it now by praying non-stop until I make my exit from this life.”

No. Its not going to happen. Likely not going to happen anyway.  Lost time is lost. Lost time is dead to you. It cannot be resurrected. It will not come back. You could have prayed during all that time, but did not. You could have poured it out and you life and other peoples lives could have been so much different, but – but – its all gone now. It never happened. It never will happen.

 

One More from – E.M. Bounds on Prayer (1)

~ These words from Ch. 4 of E.M. Bounds(1835-1913) book, Power Through Prayer, are words that I always will need to be reminded of.

” … The character of our praying will determine the character of our preaching. Light praying will make light preaching. Prayer makes preaching strong, gives it unction, and makes it stick. In every ministry weighty for good, prayer has always been a serious business.

The preacher must be preeminently a man of prayer. His heart must graduate in the school of prayer. In the school of prayer only can the heart learn to preach. No learning can make up for the failure to pray. No earnestness, no diligence, no study, no gifts will supply its lack.

Talking to men for God is a great thing, but talking to God for men is greater still. He will never talk well and with real success to men for God who has not learned well how to talk to God for men. More than this, prayerless words in the pulpit and out of it are deadening words.”

~ The entire book is online. Its very powerful.
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~ Elsewhere Bounds uses the term, “oil of prayer”. I really like that. We all know that whether it be mixing ingredients when we cook, or wiping our hands or the hinge on a door or the engine in a car – oil makes everything go smoother. Everything flows better.

oil

~ Like so with prayer and the things of our life.  So we must pour prayer out into our lives and the lives of others.


1 Peter 5:7 ~ Casting All Your Anxieties On Him

In 1 Peter 5:7, we are told, “Cast ALL your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”

I would like to make 3 points concerning this text.

1. ALL means ALL

~ Not just 1, 2, 3 or 5,6, or 7 things… but a 1,000 and then some more.

So how is your prayer life? Do yo pray 1, 2, or 3 things and then fall asleep?

2. ALL means ALL

~ This includes not just the big things, but the little things also. There is nothing that God does not hear. Sometimes we may think that the request we have to make is too small to bother others with, and who know they may be … like “How could something silly like that bother you???”

Illustration: Laurie N who stubbed her big toe in ballet practice…

God does not mind. ALL means ALL.

3. ALL means ALL

~ But this also includes the big things that we find it difficult to say to others. Perhaps they cannot handle it.

Illustration:

There is nothing that God so big that God cannot handle otherwise… In fact, no matter how big it were, it would still be too small for Him. In fact the bigger, the better. Why? Because the bigger it is, the more God is honored and glorified.

One last point: ALL means ALL.

At any point in the Gospels, do you every see Jesus condemning anyone for bringing a request to Him. Instead James 4:2 tells us, that “You have not because you ask not.”

So if ever you see anything being criticized, it is not asking.