".....The righteous are as Bold as a lion." (Proverbs 28:1)
True Prayer begins with God who moves our spirit, as the Gospel song tells us, to seek Him seeking us.
To believe that we who Pray take the initiative is a conceit born of pride! The impulse to Pray always begins with God. We may either choose to Obey or ignore that impulse, but the impulse itself always begins with God. Through our Prayers He reveals that His Will is wholly Love, and that our response to that Will must be Love as well. Even our Love for God draws its Energy from the Source of Love itself, which is God...........
This yielding may begin hesitatingly, reluctantly, and with apprehension, but over time these misgivings must give way to the Joy of that New Awareness that comes of Spiritual Rebirth. (Russell M. Hart, "Crossing the Border")
WESLEYAN LIFE APPLICATION TOPIC: PRAYER
Wesley calls Prayer the "proper test of our desires, nothing being fit to have a place in our desires which is not fit to have a place in our Prayers." (Sermon 26) He says we Pray "not for a passive, as for an active conformity to the Will of God." Testing desires and being conformed to God's Will do not happen in passive pleasantries of Prayer. It takes us beyond a "sweet hour of Prayer" into a Profound Awareness of God's Goodness and painful confession of our sin until we hear the often disturbing and always challenging Word of God for our world. (The Wesley Study Bible, 2009)
REFLECTION: PRAYER CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE: Rest for the Soul:
We need to find an "out-of-the-way" place in our own backyard or by a lake or at a park to "rest awhile." When we are stretched in so many different directions we still need time by ourselves to get our Life together.
Most of us only spend time at these rest stops once or twice a year during the period we have marked on our calendars: Vacation.
When that time arrives and we hit the road to get away from it all, sometimes we maintain the pace we keep during the rest of the year. When we return we often seem more tired than when we left. But every now and then during this sacred space of leisure----whether we put our feet as we gaze at majestic mountains in the early morning mist or soothe our thirsty feet in a cool stream; or put our feet under the table in the company of Friends----we may find ourselves whispering, "Ah, the Good Life."
The challenge comes in keeping that whisper Alive in our hearts when the rubber meets the road again and we find ourselves rushing off to our next appointment. The challenge is to find these holy places of rest in the midst of the hectic pace of everyday Life. The challenge is to take a few mini-vacations each day to refresh the spirit and restore the soul. (Joseph Nassal, "Rest Stops for the Soul")
2 Corinthians 12:7-10:
"My God, I have never thanked Thee for my thorn. I have thanked Thee a thousand times for my roses, but not once for my thorn. I have been looking forward to a world where I shall get compensation for my Cross, but I have never thought of my Cross as itself a present Glory. Thou Divine Love, whose human path has been perfected through sufferings, teach me the Glory of my Cross, teach me the value of my thorn." "George Matheson, 1842-1906)
Dear God, we Know to Trust You with our sufferings. Help us to understand Your great compassion, even when You choose to let us remain broken. Teach us through our weaknesses to lean on Your Strength. Give us Grace as You keep us humble, so that Christ's Power may rest on us. Forgive us, Lord, when we forget Your Gift of how to Pray, and Your example of Love. Come, Holy Spirit, purify our hearts with Holy Fire this day. Teach us is our Prayer always. Thank You, Gracious God. Thank You, Christ Jesus. Thank You, Holy Spirit! Amen.
"But He gives us more Grace. That is why Scripture says: 'God opposes the proud but gives Grace to the humble.' " (James 4:6, Prov 3:34)