Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Mid-Day Devotion 4/7/10

“And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father. At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you: For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God. I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father. His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb. Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God.”
John 16:23-30

Is there any greater blessing in this life that exceeds the promises that are given unto us in the assurances that we are offered through the power of prayer? Save salvation itself there is none, for it is how God makes manifest His truth and His wisdom, it is how He reveals Himself unto us in the hope that He has for us amidst the plans that He has made for us in our lives. Through prayer the Lord offers unto us the full measure of His devotion and grants unto us a divine reconciliation of His design with our understanding in order that we may more completely comprehend the true nature of all that surrounds us amidst this temporal existence.

This is the message of the lesson taught by our Saviour as He looked to the disciples and sought to impart upon them a deeper truth, a deeper awareness as to the true power of their relationship with their Heavenly Father and the place that their conversations with Him had amidst that. It is because Christ understood that God, He bases our prayers on His faithful dedication to us and His vigilant love for us, and, in that, lays the treasures of Heaven on our willingness to come before Him in humble submission to His Word, entreating Him with our supplications lifted to Him as we lay them at the feet of His Son, our Redeemer, trusting that our burdens will be lifted from us.

Too often though do we let ourselves flounder in our prayer life. We know the promises, we know the blessings that have been guaranteed to us, and the sacred vows that God has made in His pledge to stand beside us and answer our prayers. It is a precious gift that we keep locked up as we find little time in our lives to dedicate the necessary time to communicate with the Lord.

Our reasons for this are many... we have commitments that extend far beyond the time that we have, we go to church on Sunday’s and pray there, we have to dedicate this time to other relationships or other ambitions but we will make the time to work on this relationship with God later, our problems and our concerns, they are just too small for God or our sins have made us too unworthy to come before Him in a way that He will listen to us. Yet the deeper lesson of Christ amidst His admonitions is that all, regardless of who we are or what we have done or what we have going on in our lives, need the blessings bestowed upon us by the power of prayer in our lives, for it is God’s love extended to us in mercy, compassion and grace.

It is here that we have to understand that the worthiness of our prayers, and the ability for God to hear them and reveal Himself in the lives of His people, it is not based on our own works or deeds, it is not based on the value that we place on ourselves or on our own righteousness, but rather it is based upon the redemption we are given through our Saviour and the blessings that can be bestowed upon us by a loving Heavenly Father who looks past the sins and the iniquity of this temporal existence to the promises that He has made unto His children from even the most ancient of days.

This is the authority of God to break all bondage and captivity that would so grip the hearts and the souls, the spirits and the minds of His people in the darkness that could so ensnare them. This is the power of God to extend His healing touch to bind up the wounds of the afflicted, to make whole the broken-hearted, to offer hope to the hopeless and to mend the crushed spirits of those who find themselves amidst suffering and sorrow. This is the love that our Lord has for all of His people, the love that He has for all of His creation as He offers the miracle of His blessings to all who are moved by the power of the Spirit to humble themselves before Him and to ask for the help that they need, trusting that He shall grant unto them all that they need to be delivered amidst the mercy and the compassion of His divine grace.

Rightly then do we have to understand that prayer, it is not a task or a duty of a disciple of Christ, it is a gift given unto them to draw closer to God in all need and trouble, in all trial and turmoil. It is a promise offered to them that regardless of the struggle, regardless of the challenge God will be there for His people when they draw nigh to Him and call upon His Holy name, never abandoning them, never failing them or forsaking them. Whatever then one may know about the world or see in it, God is there to show that it is nothing compared to the authority in which He contends with the cause of His people as He shows unto them that He is their rock of refuge and their ever present shelter through all of the storms.

Trust in Him, and humble yourself before Him, knowing that He is there for you in the love that He has for you. Raise your prayers on high, being ever vigilant, ever faithful in your supplications to Him, knowing that He will always intercede for the cause of His people and guide them to the places of hope where His blessing dwell if we are willing to bow before Him and raise up to Him the troubles and the struggles of this temporal existence knowing that He is capable and willing to disperse all of the dark clouds that would so impose themselves on us.

Trust in Him and know that, as He hears your prayers, He will bend His ear to the cries of His people, and look upon the trials that seek to devour them and He shall rise up in mercy and love, compassion and grace to bring His blessed hope into your life as He girds you with His strength and gives you the courage you need to stand in His righteousness through all of the days that are before you.

What a wondrous assurance that is when we come before Him...

What a miraculous promise that is when it encompasses our lives in His love for us...

Lord, therefore grant this unto us all.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, Amen.

First Prayer:

With the promises of Your love on our lips do we come before You, seeking and imploring Your mercy in the lives of Your people...

With the assurances of Your compassion in our hearts do we come before You, seeking and imploring Your grace in the lives of Your people...

Be not far from them as darkness descends upon them, be not distant from them as pain and sorrow comes upon their lives and they find that the struggle is before them. Look upon the faces of all who are taken captive and prisoner, all who have been made hostages and slaves, and let not persecution and oppression devour them amidst the tyranny that can be inflicted upon them amidst the agony and the anguish that they now feel.

In the vows You have made to uplift Your people raise up Your hand for the cause of justice, that they shall find hope in even these, the days of hurt and hardship that are now before them. In the faithfulness of Your devotion let Your mercy encompass their lives that they shall be led from bondage to the places of peace and rest that You have promised unto Your children.

Into their lives bring hope that they may find the light of Your love and the beacon of Your mercy that guides them from their grim estate that they may be, in Your glory, restored unto their lives amidst the integrity that You give unto life and the liberty You have endowed Your creation with.

With love in Your heart and mercy in Your eyes hear our prayers O Lord that our supplications shall find favour in Your sight and hope shall be restored in a lost and fallen world as Your compassion brings freedom in the lives of all who long for that blessing to encompass their lives once more.

In the name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You in the Kingdom, one God, world without end, Amen.

Second Prayer:

By Your mercy do we find the hope to kneel before You O Lord, bowing before Your throne most high to seek Your divine grace the lives of Your people...

By Your love do we find the assurances to trust in Your promises O Lord, humbling ourselves before Your throne most high to implore Your compassion in the lives of Your children...

By Your grace do we praise Your name O Lord, knowing that through Your strength all things are possible in the lives of Your people.

Hear the names that we raise to You O Lord. Hear the names of all who are held in any captivity and bondage, look upon the face of all who are made slaves and prisoners, and lift Your hand for their cause, showing the faithfulness of Your devotion for them as You contend with their cause in the love that You have for Your creation.

Let not darkness encompass this existence, nor let it claim the lives of Your people. Though oppression and persecution may surround Your children, though poverty and destitution may seek to devour Your people, set it all to flight that Your hope shall find strength in the mercy that You extend as You give unto us Your strength as You shelter us in the shadow of Your wing.

Bless us... bless us in the shelter of Your name, creating a courageous heart and a strong spirit, as You teach us Your truth and give us Your hope in even this a lost and fallen world that so often finds itself so far from Your mercy, and let Your freedom reign in the lives of Your people.

Then shall we praise Your name for the love You have brought into the lives of Your people as Your song is raised on high from our lips, as we rejoice in Your compassion.

In the name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You in the Kingdom, one God, world without end, Amen.

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