A Good Thing - May 8

May 8: Prayer

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit – Ephesians 6:18

Remember to pray often. Paul here says we are to be praying always. He admonished the church at Thessalonica to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). This indicates that our whole life is to be constantly bathed in prayer….

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I cried unto the LORD with my voice; with my voice unto the LORD did I make my supplication. I poured out my complaint before him – Psalm 142:1-2

Many Christians simply do not know how to talk to God. And we are particularly uncomfortable talking to God about our discontent, grief, or pain.

Yet the Bible actually models for us how to do that very thing. The Bible encourages us to bring our discontent to God in genuine lamentation. We often think that if we are not coming with words of overflowing gratitude, or with happy songs of praise, or with full assurance of God’s forgiveness — then we have to wait until we feel those emotions before we can come before God in prayer.

The fact is we live in a troubled, broken world. There is not a single adult who is not hurting in some significant way. Whether mourning sin in our own lives, or some great tragedy that has befallen others, sorrow is sometimes the only right response. Christians must deal with their problems by, among other things, expressing to God their struggles to believe his promises, to trust in his superior wisdom, to rely on his unfailing love. Christians should admit to God that we are hurting and that we do not know what all the answers to our sufferings are.

Taking our problems to God brings about resolution to our problems — not necessarily by ending the pain or removing the loss, but by reminding ourselves in prayer of who God is, of how God works, and of what God has promised. Prayer of honest complaint to God helps us not just to communicate our problem to God, but to recognize God as God, to own God as our God, and eventually then to exult in God as a result.

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