Page Two: Prayer And Wisdom - 8/04/13
When you read and study the Bible, it’s a whole lot better to study the actual word and uncover its true meaning. This is a clear example of that.
“Continue” means all of the following: “to persist at,” and “to remain with,” “to occupy yourself diligently with something,” “to pay persistent attention to.”
And how does this work? Think about your own decisions; your present situation in life; your day; your financial circumstances; your job or your need for a job; your home; your relationships; the LORD’s will; even your troubles. All of these things need your attention and time.
Yet, don’t they also need your effort in prayer? Isn’t there a real need in your life to “continue,” to “persist,” to “occupy yourself diligently with” prayer for every one of these things?
Folks, God never designated just one person or one group of people to pray. He’s called each one of you to “continue in prayer.”
Philips Brooks was the author of a well-known Christmas Carol “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” Philips Brooks was a Pastor. And in one of his sermons on prayer, he said this. “O, do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men! Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks! Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle. But you shall be a miracle. Every day you shall wonder at yourself, at the richness of life which has come to you by the grace of God.” [Found on www.wikuquote.org].
So, if you are finding that praying is not the easiest thing you’ve ever done, go back to the Bible and memorize Colossians 4:2 “continue [occupy yourself diligently with] in prayer.”
First, your personal prayer life is central to your success in this world.
Second, gratitude is an essential part of prayer. Paul writes Colossians 4:2 “Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;”
A large part of your personal prayer-life is giving thanks. But did you notice Paul’s word is “watch” in the same with thanksgiving?
Whenever you read “watch” in Scripture, remember this. It means “be alert.” This is the Greek word “grhgorew.” We get our English name “Gregory” from this word.
Now how many blessings have come your way this week? And how many last week? And the week before? And how about God’s promises? Shouldn’t you humbly express your gratefulness to the LORD for all He has sent your way?
Here’s what Paul is reminding each of us to do. Persist in prayer. And as you pray, be alert to your level of gratitude.
And here’s at least one reason why you should be filled with gratitude when you pray.
There was a woman at work when she received a phone call that her daughter was very sick with a fever. She left work and stopped by the pharmacy to get some medication for her daughter. She returned to her car to find that she had locked the keys inside the car when she went into the pharmacy and was now unable to get into her car to drive home.
She didn’t know what to do and started to panic, so she called home and told the baby sitter what had happened and that she did not know what to do. The baby sitter told her to find a coat hanger and see if that would open the door.
The woman looked around and found an old rusty coat hanger that had been thrown down on the ground, possibly by someone else who also had locked their keys in their car. Then she looked at the hanger and said, "I don’t know how to use this." So she bowed her head and asked God to send her some help. In so doing, she obeyed the command to never stop praying. Do you think God would provide for her?
Within five minutes a motorcycle roared up and pulled into the parking space next to her car. A rough, tattoo-covered, scruffy-faced biker got off and saw her situation. He asked if he could help her. The woman thought, "This is what you sent to help me, God?"
She finally told him yes, as she needed to hurry and get home to her sick daughter. He walked over to the car, and in less than one minute the car was opened. She hugged the man and through her tears she said, "Thank you so much! You are such a nice man."