VIDEO Praying to God in Secret – In Times of Sorrows, God Is There

Praying to God in Secret

When you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place… —Matthew 6:6

The primary thought in the area of religion is— keep your eyes on God, not on people. Your motivation should not be the desire to be known as a praying person. Find an inner room in which to pray where no one even knows you are praying, shut the door, and talk to God in secret. Have no motivation other than to know your Father in heaven. It is impossible to carry on your life as a disciple without definite times of secret prayer.

“When you pray, do not use vain repetitions…” (Matthew 6:7). God does not hear us because we pray earnestly— He hears us solely on the basis of redemption. God is never impressed by our earnestness. Prayer is not simply getting things from God— that is only the most elementary kind of prayer. Prayer is coming into perfect fellowship and oneness with God. If the Son of God has been formed in us through regeneration (see Galatians 4:19), then He will continue to press on beyond our common sense and will change our attitude about the things for which we pray.

“Everyone who asks receives…” (Matthew 7:8). We pray religious nonsense without even involving our will, and then we say that God did not answer— but in reality we have never askedfor anything. Jesus said, “…you will ask what you desire…” (John 15:7). Asking means that our will must be involved. Whenever Jesus talked about prayer, He spoke with wonderful childlike simplicity. Then we respond with our critical attitude, saying, “Yes, but even Jesus said that we must ask.” But remember that we have to ask things of God that are in keeping with the God whom Jesus Christ revealed.

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

The truth is we have nothing to fear and nothing to overcome because He is all in all and we are more than conquerors through Him. The recognition of this truth is not flattering to the worker’s sense of heroics, but it is amazingly glorifying to the work of Christ. Approved Unto God, 4 R


In Times of Sorrows, God Is There

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The Right Way to Pray

When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Matthew 6:6

I admire people who record prayer requests in journals tattered from daily handling, those who keep track of every prayer and praise and then faithfully update their lists. I’m inspired by those who gather with others to pray and whose kneeling wears out the carpet at their bedsides. For years, I tried to copy their styles, to emulate a perfect prayer life, and to imitate the eloquence of the so-much-more-articulate-than-me folks. I strived to unravel what I thought was a mystery, as I longed to learn the right way to pray.

Eventually, I learned that our Lord simply desires prayer that begins and ends with humility (Matthew 6:5). He invites us into an intimate exchange through which He promises to listen (v. 6). He never requires fancy or memorized words or phrases (v. 7). He assures us that prayer is a gift, an opportunity to honor His majesty (vv. 9–10), to display our confidence in His provision (v. 11), and to affirm our security in His forgiveness and guidance (vv. 12–13).

God assures us He hears and cares about every single spoken and unspoken prayer, as well as the prayers that slip down our cheeks as silent tears. As we place our trust in God and His perfect love for us, we can be sure praying with a humble heart that’s surrendered to and dependent on Him is always the right way to pray.

Lord, thank You for reminding us You hear every prayer.

Calling on Jesus as our loving Savior and Lord is the right way to pray.

By Xochitl Dixon 

INSIGHT

Today’s Bible reading, taken from our Lord’s Sermon on the Mount, gets to the heart of one of the most important issues in Christian living—motives. In Jesus’s teaching, He continually brought the “why” issue to the forefront because, in many ways, whatwe do is often secondary to why we do what we do. In a world focused on performance, Christ focuses on motive; and this focus drives us to the priority of motive as well.

Do we do what we do to be seen by people or to please our Lord?

Bill Crowder

Equipped for the Valley

Psalm 119:17-24

If a sermon is worth listening to, we’re wise to jot down its important points. Writing etches wisdom deeper into the heart and mind, where a foundation of biblical theology is built.

You can’t afford to let a message or scripture brush over your ears and drift away. Christians who aren’t listeners may panic upon entering a spiritual valley; since they’ve retained very little teaching, their understanding of the Lord will be limited. Those without a theological foundation don’t realize God is upholding them through their difficulty—and their trial has purpose (Isa. 41:10; Rom. 8:28). Nor do they understand they must surrender to God’s work in their life. Otherwise, though they are still believers, they’re not advancing the kingdom and could be set aside. Consequently, a Christian without a solid biblical foundation may seek counsel from worldly problem solvers who offer only temporary release from pain and fear.

David, the author of Psalm 23, said that he did not fear evil (Psalm 23:4). He knew God, so he had nothing to be scared of since the One who controlled everything was on his side. How could he be stifled by anxiety while in the Spirit’s comforting presence? David held on to what he knew of God and endured. But he had to be familiar with God’s character and promises in order to believe that the Lord would not fail him.

A spiritual relationship heavy on emotion but light on education falters in a valley. Believers must know how Scripture applies to life. Unless your belief system can withstand pressure, pain, and criticism, you are at risk. Start building your biblical foundation so you’ll have it in times of need.

Three Harmful Worldly Powers

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” (1 John 2:16)

This well-known passage identifies three fountainheads of ungodly power that will, if unchecked and unguarded, ensnare a believer into a sinful lifestyle.

Sensual power (lust of the flesh) is a body-oriented and emotion-driven reaction to fleshly appetites that can never please God (Romans 8:8) and is in constant warfare with the Spirit of God (Galatians 5:17). We are told to “flee” these “youthful lusts” (2 Timothy 2:22) that are a “corruption” (2 Peter 1:4) of the “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14) God-designed human body.

Visual power (lust of the eyes) is an intellect-oriented and imagination-driven stimulation of wishful thinking that will take control of behavior (Matthew 6:22-23) if not carefully curtailed (Job 31:1; 2 Peter 2:14). Although impacting men more than women, this kind of “lust” will “conceive” sin instead of merely reacting to it (James 1:13-15).

Personal power (the pride of life) is a self-oriented and ego-driven desire for dominance that has no ethic or limiting factor other than the praise of men, not God (John 12:43). Such pride, dominated by the “natural mind” (1 Corinthians 2:14) and a “deceitful” heart (Jeremiah 17:9), spirals into a self-love that twists and distorts human behavior into a litany of ungodliness that loves pleasure rather than God (2 Timothy 3:1-5).

Giving in to these “worldly” powers may grant us pleasures for “a season” (Hebrews 11:25), but will surely make us an “enemy of God” (James 4:4). May our Lord Jesus grant that we stay armed against such “wiles” (Ephesians 6:11), covered and protected with the “whole armour of God” (Ephesians 6:13-17). HMM III

Strive together with me in your prayers

Romans 15:18-33

What plans of usefulness were in Paul’s mind at this time, and what he did after the uproar at Ephesus, we gather from—Romans 15:18-33.

Romans 15:20, 21

His was an aggressive policy, he pushed into the enemy’s territory, as all God’s servants should endeavour to do, for multitudes are still ignorant of the name of Jesus.

Romans 15:22-24

Little did he know in what manner he would enter Rome. He thought to journey thither at his own cost as a free man, but the Lord had other plans for him: he would enter Rome, but only as a prisoner.

Romans 15:25, 26

It seems that his business at Jerusalem was, for a second time, to carry help to the needy brethren. Such generous tokens of love from the new converts would greatly tend to break down the prejudice against the Gentiles, which still lingered in the Jewish capital.

Romans 15:27

We are all debtors to believing Jews, and ought to be always doubly ready to relieve their necessities. To despise or think harshly of a Jew is very unbecoming in those who adore “The King of the Jews.”

Romans 15:28, 29

And in this he was not disappointed. His minor expectations failed, but the major were fulfilled; so shall it be in our own cases as we journey through life. Our. essential interests will be safe, though in many a matter of less moment we shall experience failure.

Romans 15:30-32

Even an apostle craved the supplications of saints, and that, too, about temporal matters. Never can we attach loo much importance to prayer. Everything should be gone about in the spirit of prayer, if we desire it to prosper. Yet how strangely is prayer answered; for Paul went to Rome, but it was as an ambassador in bonds. His wish was granted, but not in such a manner as he would have preferred.

Romans 15:33

Sweet benediction. Lord, fulfil it to us at this hour.

 

Now may the God of peace and love,

Who from th’ imprisoning grave

Restored the Shepherd of the sheep,

Omnipotent to save;

 

Through the rich merits of that blood

Which he on Calvary spilt,

To make the eternal covenant sure

On which our hopes are built;

 

Perfect our souls in every grace,

To accomplish all his will,

And all that’s pleasing in his sight

Inspire us to fulfil!

 

Do You Have Heavenly Wisdom?

For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2:6)

The writer of the Proverbs in the Old Testament taught that true spiritual knowledge is the result of a visitation of heavenly wisdom. It is a kind of baptism of the Spirit of Truth that comes to God-fearing men and women. This wisdom is always associated with righteousness and humility; it is never found apart from godliness and true holiness of life.

We need to learn and declare again the ministry of wisdom from above. It is apparent that we cannot know God by the logic of reason. Through reason we can only know about God. The deeper mysteries of God remain hidden to us until we have received illumination from above. We were created with a capacity to know spiritual things—that potential died when Adam and Eve sinned. Thus, “dead in sin” is a description of that part of our being in which we should be able to know God in conscious awareness.

Christ’s atoning death enabled our Lord and Savior to take God the Father with one hand and man with the other and introduce us. Jesus enables us to find God very quickly!

 

Reward Is Certain

“And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.” Matt. 10:42

Well, I can do as much as that. I can do a kind act toward the Lord’s servant. The Lord knows I love them all, and would count it an honor to wash their feet. For the sake of their Master I love the disciples.

How gracious of the Lord to mention so insignificant an action — “to give to drink a Cup of cold water only”! This I can do, however poor: this I may do, however lowly: this I will do right cheerfully. This, which seems so little, the Lord notices — notices when done to the least of His followers. Evidently it is not the cost, nor the skill, nor the quantity, that He looks at, but the motive: that which we do to a disciple, because he is a disciple, his Lord observes, and recompenses. He does not reward us for the merit of what we do, but according to the riches of His grace.

I give a cup of cold water, and He makes me to drink of living water. I give to one of His little ones, and He treats me as one of them. Jesus finds an apology for His liberality in that which His grace has led me to do, and He says, “He shall in no wise lose his reward.”

 

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