Search me, God, and know my heart ;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
(Psalm 139: 23-24)
As we move towards the end of a week of praying it may be helpful for us to reflect a little further and review some of what we have read and prayed about these past few days:
“Search me, God, and know my heart.
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me…
Helen Lescheid*** suggests there are ten questions that are raised and that need answers when our prayers are unanswered.
- Is God listening? (Psalm 10:1)
- Does God care? (Psalm 77:7-9)
- Am I praying in God’s will?
- How is timing involved in the answer? (Lazarus – John 11)
- Is God answering in a different form than I would expect?
- What does God want to accomplish in me?
- Is there anything hindering this prayer? (Is 59:1-2; 1 Pet 3:7)
- How is God working right now?
- Is God asking me to do something? (Exodus 14:15-16)
- Can I trust God with the outcome?
In his book “Dangerous Prayers” Craig Groeschel challenges us with what’s most important in our endeavours when we engage with God in prayer.
He says, ‘Every phrase in this faith-filled cry to God is important. But it’s incomplete without the final passionate prayer—lead me in the way everlasting. We don’t want God to just show us the impurity of our hearts. We want more than to simply know our fearful and anxious thoughts. We desire more than just knowing how we are offensive. We want God to lead us, to direct us, to guide us to become who he wants us to be. Lead us in the way everlasting.
If this is true, perhaps, as we have been crying out to God then what is most important is to reflect on what He wants to accomplish in and through us?
We have ‘access’ (Esther 1:14; Romans 5:1-2; Ephesians 2:18) to God Himself through the work of Jesus on the cross therefore; we should have confidence (Hebrews 10:19) to enter into the most intimate of relationships we shall ever experience. Intimacy with God is reflected in the priority of prayer for Jesus (Luke 5:16) and his Disciples (Luke 11:1); the pattern of prayer (Matthew 6:9-13, 21) that we have been instructed in; the power prayer releases (2 Corinthians 10:3-6); and the privilege prayer bestows (Psalm 34).
Paul Yonggi Cho, Pastor of one of the world’s largest church in Korea says, ‘We have seen that fasting and prayer causes one to become much more spiritually sensitive to our Lord.’ So, if we are going to be serious about God’s leadership in our lives and if perhaps, we have engaged with God over these past few days and He has been speaking to our hearts, what then do we need to do in response?
Rev Brett Mitchell
BUV Mission Catalyst Team
***Lescheid, Helen Grace. “Ten Questions To Ask When Your Prayers Are Unanswered – What Is God Doing When He Seems to Be Ignoring Our Prayers?” Discipleship Journal Issue 68 (1992).
- Has He been asking you to stop and listen to Him, but you’ve been keeping as busy than ever?
- Has he challenged you about your anxiety, but you have been adding to an invisible list of more and more things to be anxious about?
- Did the Lord shine a light on a hidden sin or attitude and rather than repent or ask someone to pray for you instead, you remained hard-hearted and justified away your actions or sin?
- Is there a relationship, a person, a feeling or even an event that God brought to your mind that you have neglected to follow through on?
- Is there a missional imperative from your prayer of “Lead me” that speaks of new beginnings, new ways, new innovations where the view is “out” rather than “in”?
2 John 6 states: ‘And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love’
Pray also for:
- The members of your group and their concerns
- The three people you have committed to pray for each day who are not followers of Jesus
The April 17th BUV Calendar prayer – “Protection for Health Care Workers”