Essentials Of Prayer

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My Prayer: Let The King Of My Heart Be The Shadow Where I Hide; and may My Life Be The Brightness Of His Coming.

“Blessed be God, who did not turn away my prayers nor his gracious love from me. (Psalms 66:20)

wings of Faith

wings of Faith

Victor Frankl was a man who survived the concentration death camps of the last world war, and as he related his experience in his signature book, He was able to simplify the way that he survived, by ascribing “survival” not of the fittest; but of the ones who could find real meaning to whatever was going on around them – no matter how horrible it was:

As to the causation of the feeling of meaninglessness, one may say, albeit in an oversimplifying vein, that people have enough to live by but nothing to live for; they have the means but no meaning. To be sure, some do not even have the means. Frankl, Viktor E.. Man’s Search for Meaning (p. 140). Beacon Press. Kindle Edition.

I actually don’t know for sure if Frankl was a believer, per se; but I think he was definitely on to something, and that he certainly saw God’s providence, in his experiences; he found meaning in the meaningless, and hope in the hopeless. That had to come from God.

It has been my experience, that prayer, true, heart-felt prayer creates meaning for our lives, in the midst of clouds and confusion, just as well as it does on a sunny day, when “all is well.” I have found that prayer, illuminates the providence of God in my life.

As one Christian writer puts it:

Prayer unites us with one another and with God. Prayer brings Jesus to our side, and gives to the fainting, perplexed soul new strength to overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil. Prayer turns aside the attacks of Satan.—(Christ’s Object Lessons, 250.)

I also found the following commentary from a module on the E Sword Bible software called “The Biblical Illustrator:”

Gods Providence

The real theme of this psalm is in the last section: it is a psalm of thanksgiving for a special mercy experienced by an individual. But the account of this special providence is prefaced by two sections descriptive of the providence of God in general. This is in accordance with a law of the spiritual life. Those who enter into real experience of their own are thereby united with the entire religious experience of the race. There is no influence so broadening and refining as that of a living Christianity.

I. The providence of power (Psalms 66:1-7).

God is in the midst of His people like a watchman on the watch-tower, not only observing all that is taking place within the city of God, but keeping a keen outlook upon the enemies by whom the city is surrounded, lest the rebellious should exalt themselves (Psalms 66:7). Of this protecting care an instance never to be forgotten was the scene at the Red Sea, when the flood was turned into dry land, and His people, who had been in mortal terror, had their apprehensions turned into rejoicings. Another was the passage of the Jordan, when they entered Canaan. These may be called the stock examples of Hebrew poetry. We have better instances supplied by subsequent history; but the great lesson is that all history belongs to us, and we are selling our birthright if we do not know how to travel through the tracts of the past and discern in them the footsteps of our God.

II. The providence of discipline (Psalms 66:8-12).

When God is celebrated merely as the Champion of His people, who discomfits their enemies, there is danger of boasting. But the psalmist is well aware that God sustains a more delicate relation to His people. He does not always prosper them; He does not always spare them disappointments and defeat. On the contrary, adversity is one of the gifts of the covenant. And in this psalm the sufferings of God’s people are described in a series of touching images (Psalms 66:10-12). They have been tried like silver; they have been brought into the net like a bird which is in the grasp of its captor and cannot escape; they have been yoked to oppression like the ass to its load, and the oppressor has lorded it over them like the driver riding above the head of the camel; they have been brought through fire and through water. Yet for these experiences the psalm calls for praise. The old poets used to say that the nightingale sang with its breast resting against a thorn; and it is certain that the mellowest notes of the religious voice are never heard till suffering has been experienced. The distinction of God’s people is not that they have less to bear than others, but that they get the good of their affliction, and, when they trust God, He always at last brings them out, as is said here, into a wealthy place.

III. The providence of grace (Psalms 66:13-20).

There are those who have never had anything done for their souls. They can speak about their bodies, their properties and their fortunes, but their soul has no history. If a man’s soul has a history in which God is concerned, and of which he himself is glad, we know a good deal about him. It is a great thing to be able to say, “Come and hear” (Psalms 66:16), “Come and see” (Psalms 66:5). Have you seen any sight and heard any message which you feel to be worth the attention of all the world? I should not like to live and die without having seen and heard the greatest and best that the world contains. Perhaps a further biographical feature is indicated in the saying that if he had regarded iniquity in his heart God would not have heard him. At all events, we have here one of the profoundest remarks on prayer to be found in the whole Bible. God will not hear the prayers of a man who is cherishing known sin. But the psalmist does not ascribe the glory of his answered prayer to his innocence. He finishes with a humble ascription to the God of Grace. (J. Stalker, D. D.)

I have sometimes wondered why we Christians shrink and cringe at the many and horrible ways that “culture” is being radicalized and weaponized, towards people faithful to Christ, when we can have so much more, no matter whats going on. How can we just be “happy in Jesus” when things are bright and sunny, and as soon as there is a cloud in our horizon, act like Jesus isnt even there?

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When I saw the Red-Tailed Hawk pictured above; I literally saw that as God’s providence, a strong reminder of the meaning of “Christ in the life.” Christ in my life; and I was reminded of the following in the book of Deuteronomy, althought deut was talking about “the eagle,” but the Hawk did give the correct meaning of the thought too, in a smaller way:

Deliverance for the Oppressed

As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: so the Lord alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him. Deuteronomy 32:11, 12. {HP 297.1}

The Captain of our salvation strengthens His followers, not with scientific falsehoods, but with genuine faith in the word of a personal God. This word is repeated over and over and over again with deeper affirmative power. Satan brings all his powers to the assault in the last close conflict, and the endurance of the follower of Christ is taxed to the utmost. At times it seems that he must yield. But a word of prayer to the Lord Jesus goes like an angel to the throne of God, and angels of God are sent to the field of battle; all the way to our life and times today. That is called Jacob’s Ladder,” by some.

For the Christian, who stays their heart upon Christ, the tide is turned. The “meaning” that Frankl found, is also found by us. His living people, but His living people are lacking, if all they can do is spout doctrines as dry as the hills of Gilboa, and to not have a personal testimony about “Christ in the life,” then they are WRONG, no matter what they believe.

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I  have had the experience of “the wondrous light that shines in the face of Jesus Christ” stopping the mouth of the carping opponents. Admittedly, sometimes I am very slow to see this in my experience, but all those times that I saw just one set of foot prints, It was actually Christ who carried me,” and here I thought I was walking such portions of my life alone. Without meaning. Has Jesus carried you? That’s your testimony! “…they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die.” (Rev 12:11)

Under the power of the polarizing murderous spell that is upon them their lips are, in effect, closed, but the oppressed are delivered through prayer, as it leads us into Gods providence. The believing, harassed souls are borne up as on eagles’ wings, (Isa 40:31, etc) and the victory is gained; often by our testimony! (Rev 12:11, 1 John 1:1-3).

God calls upon His people to prepare themselves for scenes of severe conflict. (see Daniel 12:1, Rev 3:10).

We must, like Frankl, take up our duties, faithfully, just where we are. No matter where that is.

Take up your duties in a meek and lowly spirit. Always pray about HOW to face our enemies in the strength and in the name of Jesus. Discharge with faithfulness every duty. Realize that you must now obtain by daily conversion and humility an unquestioning trust in the One who has all power and who will not abandon you or leave you to be destroyed. Our personal meaning and faith comes from that unquestioning trust in “Jesus Christ The Righteous,” (1 John 2:1)

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You may know Christ by personal experience in the trials of these last days Christ will be made unto His people wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption: (Col 1:30). They are to develop an experience, in their daily life, and in their personal relationship to Jesus, and with the societies or cultures around us that will be a convincing power in the world:

“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13)

In next week’s email I will be discussing Personal Testimony: and how Prayer is the key in the hand of faith.” How To Give A Winning Testimony That Counts and makes others want to embrace Christ and to want and ask for Jesus in their hearts; giving them the meaning, and the hope that it is the privilege of all to have. In Fact, there may be two or three separate of our weekly emails to deal with the matters of personal testimony, and prayer, and how one illuminates the other.

Don’t wait for the next email to do it. Wont you let Jesus in today? Jesus is asking you now:

Listen! I am standing at the door and knocking! If anyone hears my voice and opens the door I will come into his home and share a meal with him, and he with me. (Rev 3:20)

1/ If you would like to post questions to me about these ideas, or if you would enjoy sharing your own thoughts, on these or on other Bible doctrines of your choosing; I would love to see the forum start getting some use too. Please go to our forum by clicking here. You might have to enrol/registrate for that but its a simple process, and I think we would all enjoy discussing Bible questions, or giving testimony, all are welcome; unless you dont play well with others. 🙂

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Till next time:

“there is always a little light”
– David

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“speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music from your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,” — Ephesians 5:19-20 Listen to chapter . Powered by BibleGateway.com.
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