Monday, May 20, 2013

When I Come to God in Prayer

It is in prayer where I can pour out myself to God and tell him the things I couldn't share with anyone even with my pakner4lyf.  During prayer it is who I really am - I come to Him just as I am; there's nothing to conceal knowing that the God whom I talk with knows every detail about me.  God moves and changes things as we pray.  We can find our strength when we're down on our knees in prayer.

Whenever I come to God in prayer it always reminds me to continually give grace to those who err against me.  As I draw near in prayer to God, I see my impurities in the light of his holiness.  Having a God who chose to love someone like me; who hurt him most of the time because of my frailty - I fail to keep his words, to be grateful for each and every day and constantly commune with him; I might be even asking him for the things out of his will, but those shortcomings will not change the fact that he will still love me no matter what.  This amazes me, what a kind of love!  It is one definite reason to grant forgiveness because God forgives - Now it is easier for me to grant forgiveness to those who caused me pain.  I will choose to remember that I am not perfect, I commit mistakes and keep on erring with God and the people around me, so I can graciously grant grace to other.  

Romans 8:26
In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; 
for we do not know how to pray as we should, 
but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.

I came across reading Grace to You that explains how "The Holy Spirit Prays for Believers" as stated in the above verse.  I chose some paragraphs so I can share it with you.  

"For we do not know how to pray as we should but the Holy Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words." They are unutterable. They aren't audible groaning. They are inaudible groanings. They are too profound for words. There are no words. There are no sounds. There are no noises. It is the Holy Spirit doing this. Not us. And what is it he's doing? He's helping our weakness. This refers not just to sort of weak prayers but it refers to the whole debilitating power of our falleness. We are so sinful, so fallen, so stained by sin. Sin is so endemic to us, it's so much into the fabric of our beings that we bear two heavy burdens. We bear the burden of sin and the burden of suffering. And under both of those, we're supported by the Holy Spirit. Under the burden of suffering, he's our comforter. Under the burden of sin, he is our intercessor.

He helps our infirmities, the Greek says. He deals with the whole scope of our weakness. It's not just weakness in the style of our prayers or the frequency of our prayers or the manner of our prayers, it's weakness in our very nature that limits the expression of prayer. And it's weakness in the content of prayer. God answers prayers but we just don't know how to pray. We don't know how to pray he says as we should. Why? Because we can't see the future. Because we can't even understand the present. Because we don't know what's good for us. Because if we had our choice we'd pray that we never had any suffering or pain or anything and that we'd always be healed of everything and all of our difficult circumstances would go away.

We don't know how to pray for the future because we don't know what's coming. We are too fallen and too corrupt and too weak to secure our own eternal glory by our weak prayers. We're helpless in our sin. We're helpless in our suffering. We don't even know what to pray for. Now listen carefully. Inherent in this statement is a very important divine truth that we're secure - listen carefully. We are secure not simply by some divine decree in the past. There was such a decree but that's not what sustains our security. We are not secure because of some warranty valid forever, no matter what we do or don't do, no matter what God does or doesn't do. We are secure - listen to this - by ongoing prayer. In other words, I think we sometimes think that God just created the world and then just sits back and lets it all go and it all sort of just floats along in his sovereignty.

No God sustains his plan all the time with the same amount of energy he used in creation and of course, no matter how much energy he uses, none is dissipated. Nonetheless it takes all that God is to create and all that God is to sustain the creation and the reason things go the way they go is not just because God said they would but because God said they would and then made sure they do. He upholds all things by the word of his power. He continues to sustain everything and faith is sustained by prayer.

We are saved. We are kept saved by ongoing faith and our ongoing faith is preserved by prayer. Problem is it's not sustained by our prayer. Our prayers aren't powerful enough to do that but we have a high priest Hebrews 7:25 who always makes what? Intercession for us. It's not our prayers that keep us saved. It's his prayers. It's the prayers of the great high priest on our behalf. It's his intercession with the father. Father, bring them to glory. Just like John 17, Father, bring them to glory. Father, bring them to glory. Father, protect them. It's his prayers. Not our prayers.

Hebrews 10:21, we have a great high priest. We have a great high priest. We have according to 1 John 2:1 an immense promise. We have an advocate with the father, a lawyer on our behalf. It's not our prayers. They are just too weak, too meager, too infirm. It's the prayers of Jesus Christ and the prayers of the spirit. Jesus Christ our faithful high priest in heaven and the Holy Spirit, our faithful priest in our hearts.

We could never attain to the resurrection. We could never come to glory. We could never make it to heaven by the strength of our own faith. We could never get there by the strength of our own prayers. We could never overcome our sinfulness. We could never, ever know what to pray for. We don't know what's coming. We could never protect ourselves from the temptation that would overwhelm us. We have to be helped and the spirit helps us. He helps us by interceding for us in a profound groaning for our glory that could never be uttered by human lips. To take that verse and make it have something to do with talking gibberish is a travesty. It's an absolute travesty on the profound reality of what is being presented here and must grieve the Holy Spirit deeply. As active as we are in the perseverance of the saints, as active as we are in obedience, and as active as we are in learning the word of God so that our faith is strong, and as active as we are in our prayers and in the application of the means of grace, all of our activity including our most passionate prayers could never sustain us to glory because we do not know what to pray for. We are so weak. So we have an advocate in heaven at the right hand of the father interceding for us at all times and we have an advocate on earth dwelling in us interceding personally on our behalf.

Click this link to access the complete sermon.

I am convinced that I really do not know how to pray and what to pray, with that, I am so thankful of the presence of the Holy Spirit who intercedes for me.

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