Saturday, December 7, 2013

Prayer, a Picture of Dependence

"P.T. Forsyth once said, 'The worst sin is prayerlessness.' Does this statement surprise us? We usually think of murder and adultery as among the worst offenses against God and humanity. But the root of all sin is self-sufficiency--independence from the rule of God. When we fail to wait prayerfully for God's guidance and strength, we are saying with our actions, if not with our words, that we do not need. Him. How much of our service is actually a 'going it alone'?" 
~ Charles E. Hummel
Tyranny of the Urgent

If you understand the depravity of humankind, the thought that you are self-sufficient and can successfully walk through life alone is laughable. Until you realize that you often live as though you were sufficient, not prayerfully waiting upon and seeking the Lord.

Perhaps you have been there? You say that without Him you are nothing, you admit that there is no good in you, but you go about life, rarely stopping to speak with the Lord. You life is full, you are too busy. Any prayers are whispered on the run, and most often consist of "help me, help them, bless us" and little else.

What kind of relationship is that? You never stop to listen, never stop to have deep conversation. Isn't it hollow, empty? Doesn't it say that you do not need them/Him to exist? That you can "go it alone"?

I've been there. More times then I wish to count. Oh, thanks be to the God of mercy Who opens our eyes that we might see!

My prayer today, as we enter this holiday season, is that we will realize that the most important thing we can do, the most urgent thing, is to stop and spend time in prayer. He is the source of good, He is the One Who saves the lost, it is in Him alone that we have hope and that we can offer hope.

"Be Thou my strong habitation, where unto I may continually resort."
Psalm 71:3

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

I Asked the Lord

A friend recently shared this hymn with me. It is fast becoming a favorite.
I Asked the Lord
I asked the Lord that I might grow
In faith, and love, and every grace;
Might more of His salvation know,
And seek, more earnestly, His face.
’Twas He who taught me thus to pray,
And He, I trust, has answered prayer!
But it has been in such a way,
As almost drove me to despair.
I hoped that in some favored hour,
At once He’d answer my request;
And by His love’s constraining pow’r,
Subdue my sins, and give me rest.
Instead of this, He made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart;
And let the angry pow’rs of hell

Assault my soul in every part.
Yea more, with His own hand He seemed
Intent to aggravate my woe;
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Blasted my gourds, and laid me low
Lord, why is this, I trembling cried,
Wilt thou pursue thy worm to death?
“’Tis in this way, the Lord replied,
I answer prayer for grace and faith.
These inward trials I employ,
From self, and pride, to set thee free;
And break thy schemes of earthly joy,
That thou may’st find thy all in Me.”
~John Newton