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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

STRUGGLING IN PRAYER

All prayer is not a struggle, but some of the best prayer is like Jacob wrestling with the Lord.
There are several reasons we must struggle in prayer. They are diverse enough that they could not be covered thoroughly in a single blog entry. I will pray about writing a series of blogs on this important subject. But for now I want to overview the issue.
We need to struggle in prayer because of the condition of the fallen world where God has assigned us to minister. In Joel's powerful call to prayer we read,
"Gird yourselves and lament, you priests;
Wail, you who minister before the altar;
Come, lie all night in sackcloth,
You who minister to my God;
For the grain offering and the drink offering
Are withheld from the house of your God.

We need to struggle in prayer over the condition of our country, our city, sometimes our churches. Jesus wept over Jerusalem. Have you wept in prayer over someone you love who is rejecting Christ. Have you fasted before God because of things were terribly out of His will?
We sometimes need to struggle to discern God’s will. Have you prayerfully poured yourself out over scripture and circumstances to clearly hear God’s voice?
I also have to struggle over my will. In a sense this is struggling over the will of God. Only saying it that way sounds like God is the enemy. But as a child of God, He is no longer the enemy. He is on my side against the selfishness and foolishness of my sinful nature.
It is almost blasphemous to compare my struggles with that of Jesus in the garden before the cross. But He showed us the right attitude of prayer. Even as Jesus was asking if there were any way "the cup" could pass from Him, He surrendered to His Father’s will. And after He had spent time in the presence of God, Jesus made peace with God's will even though it would cost Him everything. The struggles God leads you through are never so difficult or so crucial. But they are important. And they are a necessary part of spiritual growth.


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