2018-01-19 The Privilege of Prayer

Good Morning!

Our new men’s group met for the second time last night, and an interesting thing happened. One guy revealed to me that after we saw each other at church on Sunday, he was overwhelmed to pray for me, particularly Hebrews 12:1-2. I had no clue until last night. If you recall, I wrote about this verse just this past Wednesday. Let me share that with you:

There are some people in my life that share the same anguish over this topic. One may think we are sour, miserable creatures, pre-occupied with morbid thoughts. On the contrary. Well, some are. Others are quite joyful. Why? Because they also are getting glimpses of the true nature of God’s mercy. They are getting glimpses of the true price Jesus paid for us on that cross. It might be tempting to feel bad because of our immense obligation for this, one we can never repay. Yet, that is exactly opposite of what he intends. Let’s take a look at something:

Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Ok, so the reason I looked to Verse 2 was to point out that Jesus died on the cross in joy of what it accomplished. He did not complain (and isn’t) about the price he paid. He was happy to pay that bill! Can we settle ourselves on that?

What’s really amazing to me is how well both verses address my whole problem lately. It addresses both sin and mercy. It provides us with hope and encouragement of a far better life, eternal life! We are in this thing together and do not have to struggle alone! Woo Hoo! I’m telling you, the more I read this verse, the more I see.

Coincidence? I think not. Neither one of us had this passage in mind; it just came to us. Both. Tell me there isn’t a God at work here!

Have you ever had someone tell you that they have been overwhelmed to pray for you? I’ve had that happen, one time especially so. My pastor’s wife dreamed about me and was compelled to pray for me for quite some time. She didn’t know it, but I was going through an extremely difficult time right then. Apparently, God uses us to pray for each other. Prayer must be a necessary task in the Kingdom. It would seem that it is important enough that he assigns some of us even if we don’t know what it’s about.

I find this very interesting.

This gets us back to prayer in general. I think we all feel as if we don’t pray enough. Let’s not beat ourselves up over that. Instead, let’s look at it as a privilege. Let’s learn to enjoy prayer. Prayer can certainly seem like a chore when I treat it as one. Don’t I enjoy a meal more when I set make it a special time as opposed to eating junk on the run? Of course, I do. It seems to be the best favor I could do for myself is to make time to pray. In fact, I did just that now. I took ten minutes which turned into twenty and simply prayed for people, including all of you. I think it’s interesting that when I pray for specific things for people, I always end up praying they grow closer to Jesus. I guess in the end, that’s what all of us need – a closer walk with Jesus.

Have a great weekend, folks. Enjoy some time in the bible and in prayer. Tell people that you prayed for them. It’ll make them feel good.

Father, teach us to pray. I enjoy my connection time with you. I desire to set aside the cares of this world to read my bible and to pray with you. Make that happen. Assign me people to pray for. Amen.

Copyright © 2018 Scott Powers

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