2011-06-23 - Three Hundred Sixty Two
Did your parents often repeat a rule or a phrase to try to get a point across? A search run on the New American Standard Bible using the word "pray" comes back with 362 references. If God repeats Himself them it would seem that He is trying to make a point. In these references are instruction on prayer, encouragement to pray, reminders that people are praying for others, etc. But the core piece to take away is the importance of spending time in prayer.
We are told to make our needs known to God, to pray without ceasing, to pray for healing , to confess our sins, to praise God for the good things - the spectrum of life is to be covered with prayer. How many times do we struggle with something until we finally run out of our own resources, and then finally pray? I must include myself in that "we" or I would be a hypocrite.
I'm going to throw out a suggestion or two. Maybe that sleepless night is a call to prayer. Maybe that sick day at home is the Lord trying to get your attention. Prayer does have a place in school or the workplace if you can take a minute to pray for a difficult or tense situation. Don't pray necessarily for what you want. Pray for God's will and see what He does, maybe through you.
In a situation where we clearly have no control it is easy to remember to pray. Can we turn the list top down so that prayer is on top in the other times when we think we have control?
Psalm 35:12-14 12 They repay me evil for good, To the bereavement of my soul. 13 But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth; I humbled my soul with fasting, And my prayer kept returning to my bosom. 14 I went about as though it were my friend or brother; I bowed down mourning, as one who sorrows for a mother. (NASB)
What a heart to pray like this! The people are not the enemy. The philosophy that drives them, the delusion or the spirit that drives them is the enemy.
When you want to get closer to someone you try to spend time with them. Prayer is how we can spend time with God. Three hundred and sixty two times we have been reminded about prayer in a wide variety of ways. Turn your list of resources over so that prayer is on top. Selah.
Grace & Peace,