28th January 2012

Magnificent Prayer, part 1

“Jesus’ mother was a guest at a wedding celebration in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the celebration. The wine supply ran out during the festivities, so Jesus’ mother spoke to him about the problem. ‘They have no more wine,’ she told him.”
John 2:1-3 (NLT-1996)

There are Christians I worship with who give such wonderful prayers. Some speak with great eloquence, interceding for their friends or family, clearly expressing the desires of our hearts. Others have a gift for making me feel that I can almost touch God’s throne when they bring praise and glory to our Father in heaven.

I have often felt clumsy and stuttering in prayer, not able to find the right word at the right time. But great eloquence is not the path to great prayer. Instead, involving God is the key.

Notice Mary, quoted above. She knew Jesus could do something about the problem at the wedding. She just pointed out the problem – with no idea of what the solution might be.

A little while ago, I found myself wanting to pray for individuals- all of whom had suffered set backs in their fight against long term problems. I had no new words to offer to God. No novel way of phrasing the issue. So I just took each of them before him and effectively said, “Here they are. Here are their problems. I know you can do something about this. And I ask in your Son’s name.”

Revelation 8, verses 3-4 tell us that God savours all of our prayers in the same way that incense arrests our senses. He loves the “clumsy” prayers just as much as he loves the “eloquent” ones, for both are a heartfelt call for God to take first place in our lives.

Let’s not be put off by our inadequacies; instead let’s just say our piece—and look for what God does next.

Father, prayer is such a precious and wonderful gift. We thank you that you always hear – and love to hear – our prayers. As always, we bring praise to you through your Son, Jesus Christ.

Study by Ian Woodley

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