Saturday, July 9, 2022

Orange Moon Saturday, July 9, 2022 "Always To Pray" - Part 4 - Providence and Prayer

The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…

"Always To Pray"

Part 4 - "Providence and Prayer"

"Men ought always to pray, and not to faint."
(Luke 18:1)

     Amid the countless mysteries regarding God's relationship with humanity resides the incomprehensible wonder that our prayers serve as a means through which He fulfills "the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Ephesians 3:11).

    "After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:9-10).

   Incomprehensible indeed.  No one knows begins to completely know how our praying serves the Divine purpose.  We simply know that it does.  Things happen by the hand of God that would not otherwise occur when we pray in accordance with "Hallowed be Thy name."  This seems to place at least a portion of our Lord's working in our hands, or rather, our hearts.  It does.  No reasoned understanding of Scripture can avoid passing through this realm of mystery:

   "Ye have not because ye ask not" (James 4:2).
   "And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us, and if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him" (I John 5:14-15).

   At the same time, the Bible plainly declares God's providence in  all things, and that His ultimate purposes in Christ will be fulfilled:

    "God… worketh all things after the counsel of His own will" (Ephesians 1:3; 11).   
    "And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him that put all things under Him, that God may be all in all" (I Corinthians 15:28).

    Incomprehensible.  Things happen because we pray.  Things do not happen because we do not pray. Things in our families.  Among our friends.  Our enemies.  The world.  Amid angels who often serve as God's heralds, warriors, and executors of His will.  And, in our own hearts and lives.  We often have because we ask, and we have not because we do not ask.  Our Heavenly Father nevertheless works and coordinates His purposes in all, leaving to scratch our heads, bow our hearts, and frequently tell Him how wonderful He must be to weave together the tapestry of all things, laced ever so finely with the perfection of His providence and the imperfections of our  praying.

    "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!" (Romans 11:33).

   Proper awareness of such mystery greatly encourages and challenges us to pray.  We do not have to know everything about the synthesis of providence and prayer in order to practice the privilege.  As a good friend once suggested, we come with the attitude, "Lord, I don't really know what I am doing as I come to You in prayer.  But I know I am doing something!"  The Apostle Paul confirms such an honest realization:   "We know not what to pray for as we ought" (Romans 8:26).  God, conversely, knows all about prayer, and how His providence works as we seek His answers.  Thus, we focus on Him in our praying rather than ourselves, a perspective that will always yield far more "effectual" and "fervent" results (James 5:16).

    If we are "always to pray," it must be that great and glorious things happen as we do.  Again, this says little about us.  However, it speaks  infinitely vast volumes about the God who motivates, leads, and empowers us to pray by yet another wonder: "Because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying Abba Father" (Galatians 4:6).  Why would our Creator call us to such a privileged responsibility whereby He involves us in the fulfillment of His will?  How can it be that He sent the Spirit of the Lord Jesus to dwell within trusting hearts to make possible our participation?  What prayers might we pray in this day, the answers of which will resonate throughout eternity?  How can God do what He does through those like ourselves who ebb and flow in faithfulness?  

    No complete answers exist for any of these inquiries, other than this: the God and Father of our Lord Jesus must be good and great and glorious beyond all comprehension and imagination.  He is.  Moreover, we are those through whom He executes "wonders without number" as He works to redeem human hearts and a fallen, sin-ravaged creation (Job 9:10).  Our prayers serve a vital role in the holy process, including those we will offer today.  Certainly, we will never fully comprehend how providence and prayer work together.  Nor do we require such knowledge.  Instead, we rejoice in God's perfect knowledge of the holy wonder, leading us to rejoice with Him in the privilege and the responsibility of always to pray.  

"My voice shalt Thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto Thee, and will look up."
(Psalm 5:3)
"The secret things belong unto the Lord, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law."
(Deuteronomy 30:20)

Weekly Memory Verse
    I will go in the strength of the Lord my God. 
(Psalm 71:16).




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