Praying for an answer

Isaac prayed to the Lord for his wife, because she was unable to conceive children; and the Lord granted his prayer and Rebekah his wife conceived [twins].  But the children struggled together within her [kicking and shoving one another]; and she said, “If it is so [that the Lord has heard our prayer], why then am I this way?” So she went to inquire of the Lord [praying for an answer] – Genesis 25:21-22

Others may not have sensed it, but there was in Hudson Taylor’s heart a poignant sense of dissatisfaction. He yearned for a life characterized by the filling of the Holy Spirit, unbroken fellowship with his Lord, peace in the storm, joy in adversity, and attainments in holy living. How was he to enter this deeper work of grace, this plenitude of spiritual power? His favorite text pointed the way: “Ask in my name.” John 14:13 affirms that every blessing of God and every promise of Christ is available through the channel of prayer.

When God shines the light of His own holiness through it, and examines by His own knowledge every molecule then there are the greatest flaws in the best things we have done. They simply do not pass muster. They need God’s mercy, and we would have no one to blame but ourselves when He judged us. Aren’t we mighty glad that He chose sinners like Jacob, and brought us under the gospel, and opened our understanding, and gave us saving faith in a Saviour whom He led us to know, and entered our hearts and sealed us with the Holy Spirit? So we flee from our good works as a foundation of attaining heaven and we run to the Saviour, to Jesus Christ, to His cross, to blessed Golgotha and the blood He shed as the Lamb of God, and we plead His life of good works. That is where in the world the perfect good works of a person are found. That is where our righteousness is, and where by His death and His resurrection we plead our only hope of being saved. He only could unlock the gate of heaven and let us in.

In the  Lord’s Prayer, we are to ask that His will is done on earth just as it is in heaven (Matt 6:10).   We know that God’s will for believers is to grow in grace and knowledge, so we can ask for spiritual understanding of His Word just before we read the Bible.  There is confidence in praying when we know His will for out lives as it says in I John 5:14-15, “This is the [remarkable degree of] confidence which we [as believers are entitled to] have before Him: that [a]if we ask anything according to His will, [that is, consistent with His plan and purpose] He hears us.  And if we know [for a fact, as indeed we do] that He hears and listens to us in whatever we ask, we [also] know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that we have [granted to us] the requests which we have asked from Him..”

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