Saturday, November 22, 2008

Pray Specifically

I have a new set of CDs from Chuck Swindoll on the Book of Daniel. He has run this series on his radio program for the past couple of months, but I kept missing parts of the lessons, so I just decided to order them so I could hear the whole thing.

The series had (of course, being from Daniel) quite a bit to do with prophecy, but the whole series (both halves of the book) was so relevant to the difficulties of today.

As you may recall, Daniel was taken into captivity with the Israelites as a young man, and rose to great prominence in the land of Babylon (much like Joseph’s captivity in Egypt.) The first half of the book of Daniel is (you might say) “practical” and the second half is “prophecy.” (Personally, I believe that Daniel wrote the whole book - but that’s another debate for another day…)

Again, what really struck me about the radio series was it’s relevance to today.
Rev. Swindoll spoke of elections, and of praying for the nation in times of great difficulties. He talked of wars and terrorist attacks and financial woes. I actually thought we were getting the sermons, pretty much, as he preached them.

Then I got the set in and found that the sermons were originally preached, just before the elections, in 1976! Wow! Thirty-two years ago… The similarities were eerie!

One thing he said really struck me, though. He said, “As Christians, sometimes our answer to difficulties is to look for the Rapture. Just ‘take us out of here’ we cry. But instead, our answer should be, as Daniel’s was, to pray.”

And so I urge you today… pray, pray, and then, pray some more. And don’t pray “generically”; pray specifically! If you don’t pray specifically, how are you going to know when God answers?

And, if you don’t know when He answers, how can you have faith in prayer, and how can you praise His Holy Name?

Precious and Gracious Lord; Father of our Saviour Jesus Christ, and by adoption, our own Abba, Father… we fall on our knees before You and pour out our hearts to You this morning.

God, we specifically name those things that create such terrible weights on our shoulders, and we pray, Lord, that You would lift our burdens.

For each of us, the “names” of the burdens may be different, but the pain is the same; the concern is the same; and the paralyzing fear of uncertainly is exactly the same. We just don’t know what to do next. Show us, I pray.

Lay out a path of direction that is so clear, that it could come from no other but You. And give us peace, Lord. Give us an assurance, an encouragement that our prayers are being heard, even if it’s going to be a long time until the complete answer comes, give us “something” to hold onto until that day. Give us… that peace that we so often hear of… that surpasses understanding.

Father, my personal prayer is for those that I wish (and that each of us wishes) would pray this prayer, but we just can’t seem to convince them to pray. We all have those, Lord; our friends, our family, our brothers and sisters in Christ - who just don’t seem to “get it.”

We pray that their eyes will be opened; we pray specifically that they will hear Your Voice when You call out, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you. Let Me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

And we pray specifically that (this person) will respond.

In Jesus’ Holy and Perfect Name - Amen! (and Amen.)

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Blogger Ursula said...

I was looking for some insight for our prayer meeting tonight in regards to praying specifically. I plan on quoting you in this article! Wise words!

2:57 PM  

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