A thought or two on prayer…

Wednesday July 15, 2020

Are you tired yet?

Has the cacophony of voices arguing on all levels of society caused your soul unrest?

Are you ready to throw your hands up?

Has the state of the world begun to erode your joy?

Have you felt the cold shadow of fear at times?

Do you sometimes feel angry, but aren’t really sure why?

The season we are in is draining.

If you are in relationship with the Triune God you are in a better position than those who do not have that blessing. But, we all know that being a Christian does not make you immune from feeling the effects of all this tension in body, mind, and soul.

Early on, I shared that I sensed that this Covid 19 season was a call to prayer.

 

This morning, that was again pressed upon me.

 

How do we gain strength and endurance when we feel exhausted? Pray.

How do we rise above the discord? Pray.

How do we rest in the midst of unrest? Pray.

How do we create space for joy in the midst of anxiety? Pray.

How do we shake off fear? Pray.

How do we cast off anger? Pray.

 

Consider a few Scriptures that invite us into prayer:

  • Psalm 50:15, “Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.”
  • Jeremiah 29:12-13 says, “you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart”
  • Psalm 10:17 says, “You hear, O LORD, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,”
  • Isaiah 30:19 “O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you.”
  • Isaiah 55:6 “Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Isaiah 55:6 (NIV)
  • Psalm 91:15 God Himself says, “He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.” Psalms 91:15 (NIV).
  • Jesus said, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8).
  • James wrote, “you do not have, because you do not ask God” (James 4:2).
  • Paul assures us in Romans 8:26-27, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.”

Today, I have been thinking about the groaning that is going up all around the earth from people paired with the Spirit. Nations struggling with so many sick people, the effects on the economy, the fear, the arguing… it’s all too much for us, really. I thank the Lord that even when we don’t know how to pray, intercession is still happening! The Holy Spirit and Jesus both participate in our praying to God the Father. That’s encouraging isn’t it? Especially, for those of us who feel as though our prayers don’t sound very good or some other hang up that keeps us from praying. I have had several songs playing through my mind this morning as I have been thinking about prayer. I’ve included lyrics to 2 of them that are stuck on repeat as I type this:

I cast all my cares upon You
I lay all of my burdens down at Your feet
And any time I don’t know just what to do,
I will cast all my cares upon You.

I cast all my cares upon You
I lay all of my burdens down at Your feet.
And any time I don’t know just what to do,
I will cast all my cares upon You.
I will cast all my cares upon You.
– Kelly Willard

 

What a friend we have in Jesus
All our sins and griefs to bear
And what a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer

Oh, what peace we often forfeit
Oh, what needless pain we bear
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged
Take it to the Lord in prayer

Can we find a friend so faithful
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness
Take it to the Lord in prayer
-Charles Crozat Converse / Joseph Scriven

Prayer seems so simple… and is so easily left behind in the busyness of life… many of us are quicker to turn on the TV or pick up a phone and scroll through page after page as an escape… I wonder what would happen if we spent half of that time in a more intentional way… praying. What fruit might we see in our community, in our lives?

Oakwood – would you please keep praying? (Or start praying?) It is our prayers that God will use to help us as we move through this season. Only by pressing into God will we find what we seek in the midst of all the world’s drama.

In the past weeks, I have felt a growing call to start exploring intercessory prayer with a group of prayer warriors at Oakwood. As we move forward, l am certain that we need to pray our way into what is next and that we must remain committed to continual prayer. If you are sensing that you might be called into intercessory prayer and want to talk about stepping into that role here at Oakwood please let me know. When we worship in the sanctuary again, I picture these folks being prayer warriors at work while we worship, but also available to pray with those who need prayer ministry. They also will be praying in God’s good pleasing and perfect will for Oakwood as we seek new ways to minister in our changing world. This prayer ministry would be in addition to our prayer team that covers the needs of the congregation.

If you would like to be involved in either of those prayer ministries, please let me know. You can even partner in prayer from home!

Christ’s Peace to you Oakwood!

God is on the move… “Be still and know He is God” as you meet with Him in prayer.

Pastor Kevin Heeres

 

 

Posted in RevKev Devotional Thoughts

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