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17 October, 2012

Prayer is a Way of Life


Read Jeremiah 14: 10-12
 "This is what the Lord says about this people:“They greatly love to wander; they do not restrain their feet. So the Lord does not accept them; he will now remember their wickedness and punish them for their sins.” Then the Lord said to me, “Do not pray for the well-being of this people. Although they fast, I will not listen to their cry; though they offer burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Instead, I will destroy them with the sword, famine and plague.”
 The Jews loved the fact that they were God's chosen ones but they treated Him as if He was the one who needed them. They never quite grasp the magnitude of being chosen by God. There was never an indication of being grateful for having been chosen. If they understood what they had in Him, they would have acted differently and stop doing things that were displeasing to Him. God had enough of their lack of reverence, their wickedness, their ungrateful hearts, and their love for new idols with no self-control. Jeremiah knew the only way to root out his people harden hearts and their callous consciences was through prayers, yet he was told by God to stop praying for them. There was nothing that God wanted from them anymore. This time was different He wanted to hold their sins against them. He wanted to remember how much they did not want Him.‒ Imagine the pain of our God's heart, His heart was grieving!
 Most of us do not realize God's attitude with the Jews has not changed with us Christians. We go on with God with our defiant attitude, we sin left, right and centre because we take Him for granted and expect Him to forgive us. A lot of us corner Him by taking our salvation for granted and thinking that God cannot lie so basically there is nothing He can do to us. We are so self-righteous, full of unbelief we ignore His Words and we are filled with hypocrisy. We entertain unforgiving spirits, we give more importance to the things of this world than we attached to God. We give Him lip service during worship time and we feel He should be satisfied with those bread crumbs we hand Him. Some of us would not even consider examining ourselves. We choose lifestyle pleasing to us, and as for idols we have them coming out of our ears. Most of these things that I mentioned are attitudes and motives of the heart. Yet, the Bible is full or verses where we are warned about hindrances to our prayers and verses that tells us who God listen to. Two of them on the top of my head would be Proverbs 28:9 it says: "one who turns away his ears from hearing the law, even his prayers is an abomination" and Proverbs 15:29 says: "The Lord is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous".
 My dear brothers and sisters, prayer is not something we do when all else fails. You see, prayer is a way of life. Would you consider asking God to teach you how to cultivate a righteous life with Him. A life where He is the Master and you walk according to His leading alone. A life where the pain of brokenness is of no importance if at the end of it you find His heart. Keep your heart open, get rid of all your reservations about Him because if you do not want all of Him by any means and any road He leads, it simply means you are not in love with Him enough and you are not desperate to find Him. Go to Him, know for sure that at the end of it, you will find the pearl of great price which is the heart of God the father. I have been through it, and it is painful, but I would do it all over again because of the treasure I found in the triune God.
PRAYER: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
In His Agape Love & Service, 
M. J. Andre