The Pillar of Need – Asking the Father. Excerpt 17
What should we pray for?
Spiritual growth: Most importantly, we must pray that His word will remain in us and produce much fruit. Ask for grace to walk in humility, to obey Him without hesitation and for wisdom to not run ahead of God. May we remain in the Vine, being nurtured by His love and fruitful all the days of our lives. Moses prayed: “If I have found favour in Your eyes, teach me Your ways that I may be pleasing in Your sight”. This should be our constant prayer too.
Let us pray
Father, we come before You with a heart of thankfulness for all Your care and provision in our lives. We lack nothing because You are sufficient for us. We humbly ask that You continue Your mercies to us and supply all our needs for today. Help us manage our time and money wisely. We pray for Your grace and wisdom in our work and relationships. We especially seek Your favour as we guide those under our care. Help us do everything in Your love so that we may bring glory to Your name.
The Pillar of Need – Asking the Father. Excerpt 16
What should we pray for?
The handling of money: In these days when governments cannot be trusted with taxpayer’s money, nor banks with their customer’s earnings, we learn to look to God and not our jobs or governments for financial security. The principles of serving God with our money are laid out in the scriptures. God clearly expects us to be good stewards of our material blessings. We are to spend wisely, save carefully, be generous to those less fortunate, but above all provide for the work of the gospel by being faithful with our tithes and offerings.
We need to seek God’s blessing over our money so that it lasts. Ask Him for enough to meet unforeseen circumstances, when they arise. Pray for our hearts to be kept pure from the love of money which is the root of all evil. God warned the kings of Israel against acquiring too much gold or too many horses. When the Bible talks of prosperity being God’s plan for His children, the prophets did not envisage a church populated by multimillionaires. While it is not sinful to be rich as Abraham was, prosperity in biblical terms meant having enough for our needs and something more to benefit others. We should pray to see good days and also to be free of the greed for money.
The Pillar of Need – Asking the Father. Excerpt 15
WHAT SHOULD WE PRAY FOR?
Work: Pray for the strength to work with diligence and to be a light in the workplace. Thank God for the job that helps you earn your daily bread. Pray for the right attitude toward your boss and colleagues; and for opportunities to witness.
Relationships: In an age where many have grown up in small self-contained nuclear families rather than the large extended families and communities of previous centuries, the wisdom and discipline of getting along with people has diminished. In churches too, people have forgotten how to treat one another with kindness. We tend to be overprotective of our rights even in our closest relationships. “Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated?” was Paul’s question to Christians eager to take other believers to court.
God wants us to live in harmony with others, in decency and order. “The servant of the Lord must not quarrel.” Role models of good behaviour have become scarce both in church and society, yet we may look to God for wisdom to manage our relationships for His glory.
The Pillar of Need – Asking the Father. Excerpt 14
WHAT SHOULD WE PRAY FOR?
Character growth: We need to ask God to search us and show us the areas where we lack, and depend on Him for the grace to change. Do we lack patience? Pray. Are we tempted to waste time watching TV or overeat? Include these in your daily prayer. Is your speech lacking in kindness? Like David we may pray for God’s bridle over our tongue. Pray for the sharp edge to be removed and for our conversation to be “full of grace, seasoned with salt.” Do we lack joy? Ask the Holy Spirit to fill our beings with joy.
Children: Parents need special wisdom and strength to raise children in these difficult days. The call to prayer for children is as desperate today as in Jeremiah’s time (Lamentations 2:19). Pray for their well being, both physical and spiritual. Pray for the grace to relate to them in this age of rebellion. Ask God to give them hearts of wisdom that they may choose to walk in the fear of the Lord and serve Him with undivided hearts in their generation.
The Pillar of Need – Asking the Father. Excerpt 13
WHAT SHOULD WE PRAY FOR?
Jesus said: “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven, give good gifts to those who ask Him!”
Everything that concerns us is of deep interest to God. “I will perfect all that concerns you” is His promise. We may bring to God even things that seem frivolous to our friends, and be surprised that He cares and thinks enough of us to answer. So you may ask Him for anything, only be careful to surrender your own will in everything to Him. I thought it might be helpful to provide a list of things that we should regularly bring to Him in prayer.
Physical needs: We depend on God for food, shelter, clothing, safety and protection as we travel. We ask and receive these with thanksgiving, being careful not to take His goodness for granted.
Peace in our land and safety: Paul advises us to pray for quietness and safety in our land so that we may serve God without hindrance.
Emotional needs: We live in a stressful world where the demands on us seem relentless and our emotions are constantly battered. We long to live in a secure and nurturing environment. In the Father’s arms we find the love and acceptance we crave. So a life of prayer not only meets our innermost needs, but also helps us cope with the outside pressures. Filled and satisfied with His love we have something to share with others.
The Pillar of Need – Asking the Father. Excerpt 12
When you receive, give cheerfully
When God answers our prayer, what should our response be? At the point of victory, when God has given us our heart’s desire, our reaction will often determine our future. We must bear in mind that we are now being called to higher service. Our moment of deliverance should be a time of thanksgiving, celebration and ‘fellowship offerings’ – meaning a willingness to share the blessings we have received with others. Gloating over those who had put us down in the past is wrong. The gifts of God are for the encouragement, edification and blessing of all. We should continue to seek God’s wisdom so that we may remain faithful stewards of all His gifts.
The Pillar of Need – Asking the Father. Excerpt 11
God’s denial is often the true test of a believer’s faith. Do we still believe that God is good? Are we convinced that He is worthy of our love and obedience in the midst of darkness?Moses was forbidden to enter the Promised Land. He spent the next forty years instructing and equipping a new generation of Israelites to receive the very promise he was denied. How many in churches today would be willing to lay down their lives for the good of others when there is no reward for themselves? God Himself declared that “there has never been a man like Moses, to whom God spoke face to face” as a “man speaks to his friend.” Yet even Moses had to learn that only one thing mattered in the end: to know God and find favour with Him. All earthly ambition, not just the treasures of Egypt, but also the hope of rest in the Promised Land must pale in comparison with the exceeding greatness of knowing Christ.
Hebrews 11 records the great crowd of witnesses, many of whom were to die without seeing the fulfilment of God’s promises. The promises of God would most surely come to pass, but their earthly eyes would never behold the long desired moment of triumph. ‘Their’ victory was laid out for others to see and experience, and to these believers who came after them, were handed the rewards of their forebears and the joy of being inheritors of God’s lavish promises. The original ‘receivers’ of God’s promises caught glimpses of their better rewards in His eternal heavenly kingdom; this knowledge filled their hearts with rejoicing in the midst of earthly shame and contempt. To them was given the unsurpassed privilege of “going outside the camp with Jesus” bearing His disgrace. The scripture declares that the world was not worthy of them. How careful we must be to honour their sacrifice, and we do this by following their example.