LENT: PRAY

Ephesians 3

“We tend to use prayer as a last resort, but God wants it to be our first line of defense. We pray when there’s nothing else we can do, but God wants us to pray before we do anything at all. Most of us would prefer, however, to spend our time doing something that will get immediate results. We don’t want to wait for God to resolve matters in His good time because His idea of ‘good time’ is seldom in sync with ours.” Oswald Chambers 

WHY SHOULD WE PRAY?

We pray so we can know God…because God already fully knows you. Before the world began, God knew you. Jer. 1:5 says, Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” You have been created in HIs image (Gen. 1:27). His eyes saw your unformed substance (Ps. 139:13). He knows the number of hairs on your head (Matt. 10:30), and every word on the tip of your tongue (Ps. 139:4). You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps. 139:14). 

He knows where you will live, and the number of your days (Acts 17:26). You are more valuable than sparrows (Matt. 10:31). You have been given dominion over the beasts of the earth and birds of the heaven and fish of the sea (Gen. 1:26). God takes great delight in you (Zephaniah 3:17). He calls you friend (Jn 15:15).

HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW GOD?

God reveals Himself to you so that you can know Him. He wants you to know Him personally and intimately, and we do so through prayer. Imagine it. I don’t mean to burst your bubble today—but this book, the Bible, is not a book about us. It is a book about Jesus. When we turn the scale to read the Bible as a book about Jesus, fireworks go off. When we get our eyes off of us, light bulbs light up.

Everything in this world is a picture to point us to God. To reveal to us who He is. To show us attributes about who He is. He knows you. Now He wants you to know Him.

  • He is just.
  • He is faithful.
  • He is good.
  • He is kind.
  • He is patient.
  • He is powerful.
  • He is able.
  • He is real.
  • He is love.
  • He is merciful.

Everything that happens to you happens for a reason. It is for you to come deeper in your walk. To draw deeper into a relationship with God. For you to know God intimately and well.

Our purpose here on life is revealed in John 17:3.  And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.  

God desires that we know Him and His Son, Jesus Christ.  Not that we merely know about Him.  For even the demons know who Jesus is and tremble at His name (James 2:19).  But rather, our primary purpose is to intimately and deeply know Him by being in a relationship with Him.  To be in a relationship with Him means to spend time with Him.  Communication is a two-way street, a time of talking and also listening. 

THE KEY TO RELATIONSHIP

If I did all the talking when my kids arrived home from school and told them all about my day, never lending an ear to hear about their day, then I would eventually know nothing about their friends, their likes and dislikes, their troubles or accomplishments.  Furthermore, if I never let them get a word in edge-wise, but rather dominated the conversation, they would eventually tune me out (as if that isn’t already a struggle as a parent).  Instead, I have to bend over backward to pay attention to what they are saying.  Because I️  have a deep desire to know my children and stay connected with them.  But if I’m not willing to give them the time of day, there will soon be a great disconnect. 

The same is true in our relationship with God. If we don’t want to be shaken by the things of this world, we need to stay in tune with God. We do so by spending time in His Word and prayer. It’s no wonder that Jesus was always escaping the crowds to pray. Likewise, we should do the same.

PRAY FOR STRENGTH

God loves you so much! If that truth can only resonate into your inner-being so that you begin to believe. Because when you begin to believe it, you will start living that way too. Jesus taught us to pray because He knew our life should depend on it. For us to be radically changed, pulled away from the callousness of this world and not swept away by its indulgences, we must be a praying people. If we are to utter the words, “Thy will be done” in all circumstances, then please, Lord…teach us to pray.

“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.Eph. 3:14-21

Do you believe everything happens for a reason? Why or why not?