Monday, August 17, 2015

When Should We Pray?

Chuckle: A cop to an offender: "If you run . . . you'll only go to jail tired."
Quote: "I have so much to do that I must spend the first three hours of each day in prayer." --Martin Luther
"Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise . . . Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man (person) is powerful and effective" (James 5:13, 16 NIV).
We should pray when we are in trouble. This original Greek word translated as "trouble" means stress, difficulty, affliction, suffering. These are emotional stresses brought on by outward difficulties (finances, family, work, etc.). What should we do first? We should pray -- even before we seek help from a friend, a counselor, parents, or pastor, etc. David quoted the Lord as saying: ". . . call upon me in your time of trouble; and I will deliver you."  (Psalm 50:15 NIV). We must come into God's presence so his power can be brought to bear on our problems.
We should pray when we are happy. Our prayers should take the form of songs of praise. "Praise the Lord! Praise God in his Temple; praise him in his mighty heaven. Praise him for his strength; praise him for his greatness. Let everything that breathes praise the Lord. Praise the LORD!" (Psalm 150:1-2; 6 NIV). Songs/sounds of praise should rise to God spontaneously from the basic mood of joy which marks the lives of the people of God. God's attributes give us all the justification we need to praise him -- His love, mercy, power, majesty, presence, etc.
James is telling us that prayer of some kind is appropriate in all situations -- whether we are troubled, happy, or sick. He is confirming the instructions of the apostle Paul to "pray without ceasing." This means we go through life in a constant attitude of prayer -- constantly seeking God's wisdom in every situation. We should value our privileged communications with the Creator of the universe in the name of Jesus.
"Prayer pulls the rope down below and the great bell rings above in the ears of God. Some scarcely stir the bell, for they pray so languidly; others give only an occasional jerk at the rope. But he who communicates with heaven is the man who grasps the rope boldly and pulls continuously with all his might." -- C. H. Spurgeon
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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