Prayer – Class 4 of 6

There is so much that prayer adds to our lives. We see examples of great men and women in the Old Testament using this tool during their times of struggles and thanksgivings. In this lesson, Kevin Rutherford takes an in-depth look at some of the Old Testament examples of faith and prayer.

 

http://video.wvbs.org

Prayer – Class 2 0f 6

Description

Our heavenly Father is willing to listen to us any time we want to pray to Him. He wants us to talk to Him and He wants us to talk to Him frequently in prayer. In this lesson, Kevin Rutherford presents three specific aspects of prayer: the plan, the privilege, and the problems of prayer.

 

https://video.wvbs.org/embed/?ID=2-the-plan-privilege-and-problems-of-prayer

Hoot’s Musings

Our world is a mess! Unbelief, sin, terrorism, corruption, sickness, pain, disease — they are all running rampant. In the Spiritual war that is taking place, it would seem that the devil has the upper hand right at the moment. That really should not surprise us, since I John 5:19 tells us (that until Jesus comes) “…that the world around us is under the control of the evil one.” So even though we know that, even recognizing that ultimately God is over everything, we don’t have to like it. In fact, we should not like it!

 Our country is split, almost right down the middle, over the direction we are going. The division seems larger now that I can ever remember in my lifetime — civil rights era, Vietnam war, etc. This old country preacher believes that the division is more between rural and urban than anything. What has happened in the cities since the election, has done nothing but make the division more intense. I don’t know about you, but I am not real fond of the condition of our country. Last night, in our prayer meeting, I prayed for President Obama, and President-elect Trump, that they could put behind them the rhetoric of the campaign; that they could work together peacefully, and lead the country through a smooth transition of power. I don’t think what is happening is good, and I don’t like it.

 Let me ask you a question — have you complained about it to God? Does that question surprise you? Was your reaction, complain — who am I to complain to God? One of the recurring themes of our Tuesday morning Bible class, is the astonishment at the way the psalmists (particularly David) talk to God. You see one of the unique characteristics of the Psalms is that not only do we have the words of God to man, we have the words of men to God. And, sometimes, they say exactly what they are thinking!

 A verse this morning caught my attention:

 “O God, listen to my complaint. …”

(Psalm 64:1, NLT)

 Would you be comfortable saying that to God, the one that created everything? If not, why not? Let me remind you: if you have thought it, you might as well say it, because He already knows! Is there anyone, that you have a really close relationship with, that you can hide your feelings? My wife knows when I am not happy, even when I don’t vocalize it. She can tell by the tone of my voice, my body language, the shortness of what I say, and my actions. The same is true of me being able to tell about her feelings.

 I firmly believe that God wants us to come to grips with our feelings, and we can’t, until we address them. “Lord, I’m not happy about the condition of our world!” “Lord, are watching what is happening in our country?” “Lord, I want to complain about the attitudes that people, even people that call themselves Christians are manifesting toward others.” “Lord, you need to wake up (Psalm 35:22-23) and watch what is happening!” If (?) we have thought anything like this, don’t be ashamed of it — vocalize it, and tell God why you are not happy.

 BUT, that is not the end of the story in the Psalms. Most of the time, the psalmist continues his “prayer-song” by remembering what God has done, and confidently praising Him for what He will do now.

 Lord, help me to have the confident trust in You, to tell You how I feel. Bless me with a willing spirit to know that You have this, because of what I know that You have done in the past. Most of all Father, help me to develop the faith that will know, and praise You, that You will do the right thing now. Lord, I believe, help me when I struggle with that.

Peace.

Hoot’s Musings

Less than a week, and all this nonsense will be over! It is my prayer that this election will be one that we can get through, put in the rear view mirror, and forget about. I have been observing presidential elections since John Kennedy and Richard Nixon, opposed each other in 1960, and I have never seen anything like this.

 Our country is an angry country! It is seems as if every demographic group is angry about something — policies, or at another group (because they are angry about a policy), or the platforms of the parties, or the list could go on and on! Just start scrolling down a day on Facebook, and see the venom that is spewed, the stories that are shared (that you know that there is no way that they can be true), and the friends that argue continuously about what they think. What is really amazing is that the candidates, and the media, seem intent on fanning the flames of that anger. I am very afraid that our real problems will begin after the election.

 There was a line from Psalms this morning, that made me think about what is going on in our country. Listen, to what it says:

 “Why are the nations so angry?

Why do they waste their time with futile plans?”

(Psalm 2:1, NLT)

 We expend so much energy on so many things! There are “issues” that are incendiary with almost everyone. I believe that as God’s people we ought to be concerned about those who can’t defend themselves, and those are not always just the unborn. A godly world view is not just determined by stands on abortion, same-sex marriage, and gun-control (and that is not saying, that those are not very important).

 This old, country preacher does not have all the answers; in fact, I’m sure that many (after reading this) will say that I don’t have any. BUT, there is another verse later in Psalm 2 that speaks loudly to me.

 “Now then, you kings, act wisely!

Be warned, you rulers of the earth!

Serve the Lord with reverent fear,

and rejoice with trembling.”

(Psalm 2:10-11, NLT)

 I’m sure that it will never happen again in my lifetime, but I would love to have a president that affirmed his faith, and made no secret about taking the difficult decisions to God in prayer. I don’t believe that America ever has been a “Christian” nation, or ever will be; but I believe that it could have a wise “Christian” leader.

 That, I am sure, is a dream. But, regardless of what happens, I will continue to love my God, and to love my neighbor; and, I will pray for whoever leads this country — Hillary Clinton, or Donald Trump, and the decisions they make (whether they do or not).

Peace.