Bible · Christian · Faith · Grace · Jesus

Dear God… …Amen!

“Dear God” Amen’ (How to pray – Pete Greig – p1).

Have you ever been abroad on holiday with friends, and gone to a country where no-one in the group knows how to speak the local language? The only proper conversations that you will likely have during your stay will probably be with them, unless you meet others who speak your language.

I like to go to different places and explore the surrounding countryside, but I also like to learn some of the local language, even if it is only to say hello, please, and thank-you and good-bye.

Have you ever really tried to have a proper in-depth conversation with someone that speaks a different language?

I have; I remember once speaking to an Aunt who lived abroad, and was over in England visiting another of my relatives. I was having a conversation with her, using bits of English, French, sign-language, and even a little German. I soon became aware of the fact that she could not understand me properly, so I started to speak louder to her. My other Aunt, who was also present, then said to me;

she does not understand you, shouting at her will not help, as she will still not understand you, she speaks Spanish, she is not stupid”.

I thought that this statement was a little harsh until I started to watch other people also try to have conversations in the same way that I had.

But, whatever situation we find ourselves in, there is always someone that we can talk to, no matter where we find ourselves, and whatever language we speak. We do not need to go to their house, we do not need an internet connection, there will be no ‘face-time’, video call or text; the person that we can always talk to is God!

Wherever we are, we have absolute, direct access, ‘back-stage-pass’ if you like, to the creator of the universe. So we can talk to him anytime that we want to, we do not need an appointment, we do not need to schedule some ‘together-time’ we just need to call out to him, as David did;

I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry’ (Psalm 40:1 NIV).

Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer’ (Psalm 61:1 NIV).

But does God really care for us, or have surplus time for us?

Of course God cares for us; he even created us to like him;

So God created man in his own image… … male and female he created them’ (Genesis 1:27 ESV).

The Psalmist David also asked questions about God and his people;

what is mankind that you are mindful of them… that you care for them’ (Psalm 8:4 NIV).

God created you and me, on purpose, and for a purpose! We were planned and created.

We know that whatever we have done, wherever we are, God is also there with us;

Never will I leave you’ (Hebrews 13:5 NIV).

Jesus also told the disciples the same thing;

And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age’ (Matthew 28:20 NIV).

And even if everyone else in your family or circle of friends leaves you, you will never be truly alone;

the LORD will receive you [me]’ (Psalm 27:10 NIV – emphasis mine).

So we know that the creator of the universe, the creator of you and me is always with us, then having a conversation whenever we want, is not a problem. Is it?

So how do we really talk to God?

Do we need to get on our knees? No but it may help you feel humble about meeting God in prayer!

Do I have to close my eyes? No but it may help you concentrate on God.

What do I do then?

Well we go somewhere we are comfortable, and then we talk to God using normal language, we speak simply; we do not have to use a foreign language or archaic words, we do not have to use mantras or even speak with specific intonation;

More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of’ (Idylls of the King – Tennyson).

So why do we pray, and what is prayer?

The word ‘pray’ has is derived from the Latin language, and the root of the word is, precari, which means to ask in earnest, or to beg or to entreat, (https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/pray – accessed 15/06/19).

We pray because life is precarious’ (How to pray – Pete Greig – p8).

Jesus taught his disciples to pray, and even to ask for their daily bread (Matthew 6:11), he also taught them that whatever the asked for would be done for them;

If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer’ (Matthew 21:22 NIV).

That does not mean that we should all go to pray about what we want materialistically, we do not need Ferrari’s or luxury yachts; they may be nice, but they would also help us to lose our focus, and we should focus on God, we should not conform to the world (Romans 12:2), but be apart from it, live in such a way that we live in the world, but live as Jesus wants us to.

Prayer is a powerful tool, and George Müller knew this more than most people; on one occasion, he stood up and said grace in front of 300 hungry orphans, with absolutely no food to give them; he thanked God for the food that he was ‘going to give them’. Upon finishing saying grace, a few minutes later, a baker came in giving them bread that he had baked the previous night, and he was followed by a milkman offering them milk (How to pray – Pete Greig – p75 – alsohttps://www.christianity.com/church/church-history/church-history-for-kids/george-mueller-orphanages-built-by-prayer-11634869.html – accessed 15/06/19).

Talking to God in prayer should be like talking to a friend, chatting simply; but prayers are not always words;

Sometimes I imagine my prayers… … they’re not always audible’ (Anon – Sicangu Oyate tribal member – How to pray – Pete Greig – p20).

the Spirit helps us in our weakness… … the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings’ (Romans 8:26 ESV).

That does not mean that when we cannot bother with prayer that we should just sit there and groan. When we least fell like praying, that is when we should pray our hardest.

Cause you are strong when I’m weak, so I’m still standing, still standing on my knees’ (Standing on my knees – Sarah Kelly).

Basically, prayer is talking, about what you have done, what scares you, what angers you, what you need help with, asking for specific things such as people you know to encounter God maybe for the first time. We should also find time to thank God for the good things in our lives such as family and health, and also find time to praise him and worship him.

pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances’ (1 Thessalonians 5:17 ESV).

We need to pray all the time, in the morning with thanks for waking up, during the day with expectation on chances to share the gospel, and in the evening with a thankful heart at the end of the day, and asking for more time to share Jesus with people tomorrow.

P.R.A.Y. – Pause, Rejoice, Ask, Yield. I’m not a big fan of acronyms… … but this particular one works’ (How to pray – Pete Greig – p3).

I remember speaking to a worker on a site in Derby about prayer, and he asked what he should say. My reply was simple, and I said, talk to God, in the exact same way that you are talking to me, he is your heavenly Father and just wants you to talk to him.

Prayer should be like talking to a best friend, it should be easy and uncomplicated;

You just say, “Dear God”, chat to him for a bit, and then say Amen’ (How to pray – Pete Greig – p1).

Prayer can really be that simple.

Pray to the One

The splendour of the King
Clothed in majesty
Let all the earth rejoice
All the earth rejoice
He wraps Himself in light
And darkness tries to hide
And trembles at His voice
And trembles at His voice

How great is our God
Sing with me
How great is our God
And all will see how great
How great is our God

And age to age He stands
And time is in His hands
Beginning and the End
Beginning and the End
he Godhead three in one
Father Spirit Son
The Lion and the Lamb
The Lion and the Lamb

Name above all names
Worthy of all praise
My heart will sing
How great is our God

How Great Is Our God

Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, Jesse Reeves

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Father we thank you for always being with us, we thank you that we can talk to you in prayer any time that we want, we thank you that you are on-call 24-7. Lord, help us to want to talk to you more, help us to be ready to talk to you more. Lord, help us to be better people that reflect you to the world.

Amen

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Bible · Christian · Faith · Grace · Jesus

God my rock!

God my rock’ (P. Baloche & B. Brown)

We need a rock in our life!

Something to cling to in times of trouble!

When my heart is overwhelmed I will look to you alone. God my rock’ (God my rock – 2012 – Paul Baloche & Brenton Brown).

As I look at my life, there is only one thing that has been constant throughout, and that is God.

Even when I did not think about him when I was younger, and I never went to church, never even thought about reading the Bible, and never prayed, but, God was still always there, waiting for me.

O Lord you have searched me and known me!’ (Psalm 1139:1 ESV).

So, even though I knew very little about God when I was younger, he still knew me, intimately.

You… are acquainted with me’ (Psalm 139:3 ESV).

Even more, he knew every fibre of my being, because he formed my body;

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb’ (Psalm 139:13 ESV).

God knew and still knows every little detail about my life, and yours, and now that I have a relationship with my maker, I understand that he has always been there with me, he truly was and is my rock.

 ‘The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge’ (Psalm 18:1 NIV).

I know that I can place my trust in God, and he will never let me down, and always be there for me.

You will stand when others fall, you are faithful through it all’ (God my rock – 2012 – Paul Baloche & Brenton Brown).

I call out to God regularly, whether in the good times, and I call out with thanks, or the bad times when I cry out in pain;

In the blessing, in the pain, through it all You’ve never failed me… … … Carried through the darkest storms – You have held me in Your arms – God my rock’ (God my rock – 2012 – Paul Baloche & Brenton Brown).

No matter what has happened in my life, and what happens in yours, we can always remember what the Psalmist knew;

I called to the LORD, who is worthy of praise’ (Psalm 18:3 NIV).

God is indeed worthy of our praise. He is worthy of so much more than we give him, and he is always there, ready to listen to us, and it does not matter where we are. We do not have to be in a church to speak to God, we can be anywhere;

Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you’ (Psalm 61:1-2 NIV).

And I know that God listens, and I know that he answers prayer, in his own time not ours, so we have to be patient, but I also know;

I can rely on You’ (God my rock – 2012 – Paul Baloche & Brenton Brown).

When trouble assails us, where do we turn? Do we turn to family or friends? Maybe we do, and maybe it helps a little. But if we want hope in any situation, then we need God;

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him’ (Palm 62:5 ESV).

Everyone needs something in their life that is un-moving, firm, reliable, always there, rock-like. I used to think that was my dad, but then he died and was not there anymore, there was just a massive hole where he used to be. I got past that and grew up, and I now know that I had two dads, my earthly one, and my heavenly dad, so even when my earthly father died, my heavenly father was still there for me, even if at the time I did not realise it.

I know that God is there for me;

he is my mighty rock’ (Psalm 62:7 NIV).

And I know that whatever happens, he has a plan for my life and everybody’s life (Jeremiah 29:11) and if we let him, he will lead us and teach us what we need to know (Psalm 32:8). I also know that he will always be there for us, whatever happens (Hebrews 13:5).

There is no one as true. Jesus I trust in You’ (God my rock – 2012 – Paul Baloche & Brenton Brown).

 

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Who is this King of glory, Maker of all the heavens
Author of all creation, what is his name?
Who is the One who formed us, made us into His image?
At who’s voice will all of heaven one day bow in praise?

His name is Wonderful, his name is Counsellor
His name is Prince of peace, the Living Word
His name is Mighty God, eternal Father
His name is Jesus, His name is LORD

Who is this King of Glory, born to the virgin Mary
Who’s simple words could raise the dead and heal the lame?
He gave His life for many, was crucified and buried
But on the third day He rose up from the grave.

Ransomed for my release, He died to set me free
Oh how amazing is my Saviour’s love for me

His name is wonderful (Our God is Near #5)

Brenton Brown

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Father we thank you for being unmovable. We thank you for always being there for us. Lord you are our rock, in good times, in bad times, all the time. Lord you are amazing, and we thank you for loving us and sending your son to die for us. There is no-one as true, Jesus we love you!

Amen