Monday, February 20, 2006

BE BLESSED AS YOU PRAY

Jesus did not say, “if you pray,” but he specifically said, “when you pray.” Prayer is communication with our heavenly Father, and the closer we draw to Him, the more reverent our prayers should become toward God and the more compassionate, concerned, empathetic, and kindhearted our prayers should become toward others.

Yes, we are to pray for our own needs, but first we should pray for God’s will. His will is that we be as the Samaritan who was actively concerned for the stranger on the road. We should pray for the needs of others too.

This is not something new. We know this. Yet prayer can easily become a routine “gimme” session, a gripe fest or a “conference demand call.” (Some of the prayers I have seen posted on the Internet or making the rounds in e-mail messages to pass on to all our friends, acquaintances, relatives and enemies appear more demanding than respectful. I do not believe we have any right to tell God what to do or how to answer our prayer. Therefore, I think of them as “conference demand calls.”)

We should also grow from a selfish, local view of praying for the Body of Christ and acquire the habit of praying for the worldwide body of Christ. People in other countries do not have the freedom to worship as we do in America. And yes, despite some arising hindrances we do still have freedom to worship here.

What brings this subject to mind is an e-mail message I received this morning from a Christian minister serving in a Moslem country, where the freedom to worship as we do in this country does not exist. He writes:

Dear Friends,

“The country is in the grip of violent street protests for a week. It does not seem to calm down at all. Four persons have lost their lives so far. A church and a Christian school have been attacked and burnt to ashes in the southern city Sukkur, yesterday on Feb. 19, 2006. The whole city came out and attacked the church and later a school. They were headed to burn the next church when police intervened. Christians have been the easy target, in the past during similar unrest in Pakistan, which is 97% Moslem. Violence is the way of life for fundamental factions. Please pray that sanity returns to the streets, of this land, where violence against the west and the Christian has publicly become a "heroic" act. Your prayers do lot of good to us. Be blessed as you pray. (Signed) Al”

The prayer requests this minister sends are for the protection of Christians in a land where they are despised and for opportunity for those that hate them to come to know Jesus. The simple sincerity of his requests inspires me to pray. I hope it will inspire others to pray for these brothers and sisters in Pakistan, as well as all of the other countries where Christians are persecuted. Men and women in other countries are being martyred for Christ.

If you pray with reverence and faith for the entire Body of Christ, you will, indeed, be blessed as you pray.


www.mercyandpercy.com

2 comments:

Vicki said...

Good post, thought-provoking. All too often we pray like God is some big candy-dispenser in the sky. Oh, that we would be humbled in His presence and pray for His will to be in our hearts and lives.

Thanks for continuing to edify with your encouraging thoughts.

love & hugs,
Vicki

ps--I see you've changed the background colors here and enabled comments again! Yay!

Vicki said...

I meant to say: "that we would pray for His will to be done in our hearts and lives."