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Friday, 28 August 2015

Prayer!

The third of our four anchors should be, I would suggest, prayer.  Some might even suggest that it should be first - but, like the best competition results announcements, I am working in 'reverse order'!!

There is little hope for the ship that leaves for the open seas of life without this anchor aboard!  So many do - and many, who once possessed it, have long since cast it away.  It is sad, but true, that there are a lot of people - including some who would make the claim to be Christians - who seldom, if ever, pray except when in a tight corner.  One wit has commented that the most sincere prayer ever uttered is "God help me!"  I would dispute that conclusion - but I can understand it being made.

But how can God possibly be real to such people?  Even the Lord Jesus, as we read often in the Gospel narratives, "... continued all night in prayer to God." (Luke 6:12; KJV).  And if He, God the Son, the Second Persona (see the chap on the 'Trinity' in "Great Words of the Faith") of the Godhead, had need to pray - and to spend much time in prayer - how much more do we need to pray?!

It is, surely, much more than mere coincidence that great times of spiritual awakening have times when men and women have fervently sought God's face in believing prayer!  Someone has written that, "To neglect prayer is to play around with one's very soul.  Without it, we cannot commune with out Maker."

 James, the half-brother of the Lord Jesus, wrote: "The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects.  Elijah was a man of like nature with ourselves and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth.  Then he prayed again and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth its fruit." (James 5:16-18).

But "None is righteous, no, not one;" writes Paul (Rom 3:10), referring to Psalm 14.  So where does that leave us?  Praise God, He has not left us helpless.  The same Paul writes to the early believers in Philippi: "... whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as refuse, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own, based on law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith;" ( Phil 3:7-9; emphasis added).

Be certain that you have that righteousness - that you may effectively make use of the anchor of prayer!

Hope - in the Lord Jesus, the Christ; Duty - steadfastly carried out; Prayer - that is fervent and believing.

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