Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Psalm 142

1 I cried unto the LORD with my voice; with my voice unto the LORD did I make my supplication.
2 I poured out my complaint before him; I shewed before him my trouble.
3 When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path. In the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare for me.
4 I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.
5 I cried unto thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living.
6 Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I.
7 Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me.

Key Verse:
6 Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I.

Key Observation:
David, a man of prayer!

Memory Verse:
5 I cried unto thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living.


What does it mean to be a man of prayer? As I look at the Bible, the Old Testament and the New Testament seem to have this as a clear unifier between the two: Both are replete with examples of men and women who knew what it was to cry out to God. Once I tried to count all the prayers of the Bible. Did you know that there are more than 2,500 verses dealing with prayer or are actual prayers themselves? David knew how to pray to his God. But he was not the only one. Elijah prayed and the Lord sent lightening, and later rain. Elisha prayed for the king to have his eyes opened, and the king saw an innumerable host that was for us. Ezra prayed and watched his people crowd back to be with their God.

Outside of the Bible, in later history, examples abound of men and women of God who know what it is to talk to the living God. I am currently reading one of the prayer journals of George Mueller and am amazed at his faith. Day unto day he depended on God’s provision for his orphans, and never once did God fail him. Mueller believed strongly in not advertising his need; rather he believed that his God was all sufficient and would provide. Would that more of our charities today ran on this principal! I knew a time of day to day poverty where I remember bowing my head with my wife, and my brother-in-law and giving thanks to God for providing when we had nothing in the house. That time, hard as it was, is a time of God’s blessing a refreshment to our souls as we remember it today. More than that, I believe it was a time where God was growing our faith- our trust in Him alone to care for us even in a hard world.

So what is it to be a man of prayer? I once suggested it was a person with a proclivity to bring everything to God. I think prayer should be as automatic to us as breathing, and if I acclimatize myself appropriately to my world, I do so with asking one question all through the day. What would God have me to do with this? Am I entertaining unholy thoughts in my head? What would God have me to do with this? As soon as I find myself asking the question, the Holy Spirit seems to direct me to look at the person’s need, and prompts me for prayer.

Did I have a problem with a student in my class this day? What would God have me to do with this? I find myself praying for the student, and sometimes changing my approach that the student might better understand. Do I have a problem with a neighbor? What would God have me to do with this?

I think that we all might find a more gentle world, a world that would certainly be nicer, if we strove to allow God to move us. I recently read “In His Steps”, by Charles Sheldon. It is an older work, but its timeless truth has not changed, and I commend it to your reading list. His question is: What would Jesus do? In his novel he presents a very plausible picture of what might happen if a Christian would order his life the way that he thought Jesus would. The whole city ends up being changed by one soul, then another daring to examine his own life, and reordering it according to what Jesus might have him do.

I think it is ever thus with revival. I see the hot winds of the Holy Spirit bringing people to Christ, but revival never begins with the mass. Revival begins with the heartbeat of one saint, willing to change his life and order it the way Jesus would have him to do. Revival does not begin in the hustle and bustle of the greatest crusade; instead it begins in the heart of one man yielding himself to what God would want. If we had the prayer of Elisha, and God would open our eyes, we would see that one man or woman of God, crying out day and night with their burdened soul for the regeneration of men and women.

I watched my college (Biola) double its property by the prayer of three men of God, burdened by the Spirit. They dared to pray that God would give them the public school adjacent to their property, and in a time when that just was not considered by men, dared to challenge God to demonstrate His awesomeness in granting their request. He did and my school was able to reach twice the number of students because of three men, daring to look at their world through the eyes of God.

I have been praying for several years for revival, beginning with me, and moving into my church, and then even into the community in which we live. It starts with one person, and then perhaps two or three to start the fires of the Holy Spirit burning anew in the hearts of people. It starts with me. It starts with you. Can we find more to surrender, to do as our Lord would want us to?

Revive Us Again

1. We praise Thee, O God, for the Son of Thy love,
For Jesus Who died and is now gone above.

2. We praise Thee, O God, for Thy Spirit of light,
Who hath shown us our Savior and scattered our night.

3. All glory and praise to the Lamb that was slain,
Who hath borne all our sins and hath cleansed ev'ry stain.

4. Revive us again fill each heart with Thy love;
May each soul be rekindled with fire from above.

Hallelujah, Thine the glory!
Hallelujah! Amen!
Hallelujah, Thine the glory!
Revive us again.

Lyrics: William Paton Mackay

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