Daily Thought for: 24th July
CONTINUING INSTANT IN PRAYER
Romans 12. 12; Ephesians 6. 18-20; 1 Thessalonians 5. 25
Are you a man or woman of prayer? Evidence suggests that Christians, in general, do not pray enough - no one could be guilty of too much prayer.
The entire word of God points us to prayer. The prayers of outstanding men and women of God are recorded for us, including even the prayer of the Lord Himself, John 17. Examples of answered prayer, what prayer includes, what prevents answered prayer and numerous exhortations to pray should leave us in no doubt that we should be a praying people. With all that is given us in our Bibles about prayer it remains a mystery why we are not a praying people.
Prayer in the Bible is not merely a religious exercise that one should engage in out of legal duty. We are not exhorted to simply ‘say prayers’ in the sense of repeating a pre-printed prayer. Prayer is the natural expression of one who possesses eternal life. Such life responds to God Himself and senses the need for heartfelt fellowship and communion with Him in prayer. David expresses this as follows, ‘As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?’, Ps. 42. 1-2.
There are no set times of prayer given for the believer. The Psalmist prayed seven times in a day, Ps. 119. 164. Daniel prayed three times a day, Dan. 6. 10. Our Lord prayed early in the morning, Mark 1. 35. Paul urged the Thessalonians to ‘Pray without ceasing’, 1 Thess. 5. 17.
It should not surprise us that there is opposition to prayer. Our flesh rebels against it; it will never encourage that which feeds the spirit. The devil is desperately against a praying saint: ‘Satan trembles, when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees’, W. Cowper. But none of these enemies are excuses not to pray.
If we have been guilty of prayerlessness, today is the day to start being a man or woman of prayer. The thought of ‘continuing instant’ is to attend assiduously. J. N. Darby translates our verse, ‘As regards hope, rejoicing: as regards tribulation, enduring: as regards prayer, persevering’.