"Prayer - Privilege and Responsibility"
Prayer constitutes privileged responsibility, privileged in the sense that God graciously calls us to commune with Himself, responsible in the wonder that He involves us through prayer in the fulfillment of His purposes.
"We have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand" (Romans 5:2).
"God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you" (I Samuel 12:23).
Prayer involves both the personal and the practical. Our Heavenly Father loves fellowship with His trusting children - "the prayer of the upright is His delight" (Proverbs 15:8). How much "delight" does He find in us? The sacrifice made by the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary best answers this question. Thereupon our Savior was abandoned by God in order that He might enter and forever remain within our hearts. "My God, My God why hast Thou forsaken Me?… I will never leave thee nor forsake thee" (Matthew 27:46; Hebrews 13:5). Nothing more confirms the wonder that God deems us the objects of His affection, interest, and committed devotion. Indeed, we may not think we pray well. Certainly we all need to grow in our understanding and application of this most blessed gift. However, the truth remains that we bless our Father's heart when we prayerfully come to Him to a degree we cannot fathom. No truth more motivates us to pray than this wonder of our personal capacity through Christ to foster literal delight in the heart of God as we pray. "Let Me hear thy voice, for sweet is thy voice" (Song of Solomon 2:14).
Prayer is also the most practical reality in our lives. Consistently communing with God means that we acknowledge, appreciate, and affirm reality. The prayerless heart exists in darkness. The prayerful heart walks in "the light of life" (John 8:12). Human beings "live and move and have our being" in God (Acts 17:28). Failure to pray thus means we are fish that live in a vast ocean, but who do not realize we exist to swim. We can do many things without praying, of course. God supplies "life and breath and all things" even to the prayerless (Acts 17:25). However, we miss the primary purpose of our existence if our doings proceed in the darkness of ignoring the Source and Supply of our being. God made us for the glory of His Son, the revelation of Himself, and the gracious blessing of knowing and responding to Him and others in the love of Christ. Everything in our lives flows with the current of such purpose. "Whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God" (I Corinthians 10:31). To pray means that we accept our blessed place in God's economy and serve as vital conduits through which His Spirit flows to fulfill His eternal intentions. "Our Father, which art in Heaven, hallowed by Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done" (Matthew 6:9-10).
No greater privilege. No more important responsibility. Privileged responsibility. This is prayer, the gift and calling of God's grace in the Lord Jesus, and the blessed opportunity to consciously, decisively, and devotedly swim in the Ocean wherein we live, move, and have our being. Our Father beckons, and may we join the Psalmist in grateful, amazed, and determined response…
"When Thou saidst, Seek ye my face, Lord, my heart said unto Thee, Thy face Lord will I seek."
Weekly Memory Verse
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.