Lesson 8 -- fourth quarter 1997
October 26, 1997
© Copyright 1997, Christian Light Publications
I wonder if we have become a little brazen in our praying. I know that in Jesus "we have boldness and access with confidence" (Ephesians 3:12) and because of His blood we can have "boldness to enter into the holiest" (Hebrews 10:19). I also know that the Scriptures assure us that we "have access" (Ephesians 2:18) and invite us to "come boldly unto the throne of grace" (Hebrews 4:16). And for all this I praise the Lord! But I don't think boldness and brazenness are the concocted from the same ingredients. The recipe for Christian boldness uses large quantities of humility. Brazenness, on the other hand, is saturated with self. Daniel came before God recognizing his own failings, and exalting God for His righteousness, mercy and forgiveness. Daniel was bold because of Who God is. The Pharisee of Luke 18:11 was keenly aware of the failings of others and magnified his own self- righteousness. This fellow was brazen because of who he thought he was. Daniel prayed unto the Lord his God; the Pharisee prayed with himself. So let me ask you: do you brazenly barge into God's presence because Jesus bought you boldness? Or do you come before the Lord aware of your own undoneness and His unparalleled righteousness? Don't ever forget: we approach Him because of Who He is!
I wonder if we have become a little narrow in our praying. We see our immediate dilemma, our present circumstance, our current trouble--so we pray. We see our own failings, our own sins, our own undoneness--so we pray. These are proper and I firmly believe God wants them of us. But let's not stop there! Notice that Daniel's prayer took into account the problems and sins of his whole generation...and of his forefathers. It would seem that the prophet saw a multi-generational pattern that needed to be broken. While he did not need personal forgiveness for the sins of others, he recognized that he needed to clearly and conclusively reject the attitudes and lifestyles of others that had directly contributed to his own bondage to the heathen. Perhaps the issue in your life is music. Repent and seek the Lord's forgiveness for listening to the wrong stuff. Turn it loose and turn away from it. That clears your conscience and your record before God. But what about your peers? And what about your parents? Reject before God the wrong patterns of music accepted by some in your age group; you cannot repent for others, but you can reject what they accept. If your taste for heathen music comes from careless or unwise choices and practices by your parents or grandparents, tell the Lord you want to step away from that heritage. In other words, learn to broaden your praying!
I wonder if we have become a little impatient in our praying. What a mighty God we serve! He can make things happen instantaneously, completely unencumbered by the constraints of nature and time. But often He chooses to work His will at a pace that we can absorb and assimilate. When we forget that, we pray about a matter a while, then drop it. God wants us to be tenacious and persistent in our praying...because that will makes us victorious. When you pray, don't quit too soon!
I wonder if we have become a little blind in our praying. Because of our human limitations, we perceive only our dimension. This can limit our praying, unless we discipline ourselves to remember passages like Daniel 10:13,20,21. Let that affect your vision in prayer.
Like I've been saying, I just have to wonder. What do you think?
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