June 26, 2016
“….he is praying.”
The person speaking is the Lord as he gives Ananias his marching orders to go and pray for the new convert Saul, so that his sight can be restored. And the distinctive mark that will help Ananias identify Saul is that he is praying.
How about you? Is prayer a distinguishing mark of who you are? Samuel Zwemer, the great missionary to Islam, said of prayer:
The Christian on his knees is a king and priest unto God in His universe and the inner chamber becomes a gymnasium for the soul.
The effort to realize God’s presence in His world stretches the sinews of our faith and hardens its muscles. We believe because it is impossible.
Prayer invigorates the will, purifies it and confers decision on those that waver. It gives energy to the listless, calmness to the fretful, sympathy to the selfish, and largeness of heart to those who are narrow and provincial.
Paul calls this part of his life “wrestling.” It is a great spiritual conflict in an arena where the weapons are never carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.
Prayer, the Church’s banquet, Angels’ age,
God’s breath in man returning to his birth,
The soul in paraphrase, heart in pilgrimage,
The Christian plummet sounding heav’n and earth;
Engine against th’ Almighty, sinner’s tower,
Reversèd thunder, Christ-side-piercing spear,
The six-days’ world transposing in an hour,
A kind of tune, which all things hear and fear:
Softness, and peace, and joy, and love, and bliss,
Exalted manna, gladness of the best,
Heaven in ordinary, man well dressed,
The Milky Way, the bird of Paradise,
Church bells beyond the stars heard, the soul’s blood,
The land of spices; something understood.
This coming Sunday, Eric Twisselmann will help us to think about the role of prayer that God intends to have in our lives as a vital means of grace. Come expecting to be reminded of what we already know, that…
The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
He fulfills the desire of those who fear him;
he also hears their cry and saves them.