LOOKING TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. 18 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Poverty in Prayer

If one turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.
(Proverbs 28:9 – ESV)

Did you ever have a problem, a serious problem, and no matter how hard you prayed, God seemed to be turning a deaf ear to you? Perhaps it is because your prayers are not seasoned with soul food; you haven’t been in your Bible lately. However, if you have been in His Word, and your prayers aren’t getting answered with a “yes”, then there is some other thing, and this might not apply to you today. Be on guard about it, though, and be brutally honest with yourself about it. For the seasoned Christian, we most often sin in ways we don’t even realize (Psalm 19:12-14).

If you have been out of His Word, then you cannot hear His voice because your heart is so hard He could be shouting the answer, and you still wouldn’t hear. It isn’t that God is deaf it is that you are. You aren’t answering His call. It is like you have a phone call in to Him, but He was already on the other line trying to call you first. You can’t seem to get through to each other because you are on different lines. He called you first, click over to that line. He is always calling you to read His Word, to study it, to learn it, to do it. He cannot answer your prayer until you answer that call. We must continually be in His Word for that Word to be continually keeping our hearts soft, our eyes open, and our ears ready and able to hear.

If you stay out of His Word, you can’t pray out of your world. You dug yourself into that worldly pit without His Word, and now you must dig yourself out with His Word. Why should God deliver you right now when you failed to plant the seeds of deliverance back then? No, you must plant those seeds for there to be a harvest. How can His Word save you when it isn’t sown in your heart? If you had sown it long ago, but haven’t sown it recently, are your meager tears enough to water the seed and make it active again? Is that what you mean to do, to trust in your own sincerity when the chips are down? The less worth God’s Word has to you the less worth your prayers will have to God.

Friend, you need to work your soil and keep planting the seeds of God’s kingdom in your heart. You cannot do this on your own any old time you feel like it; you must remain diligent. Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits will have plenty of poverty (Proverbs 28:19 – ESV). The reason you are in such spiritual poverty is that you have strayed from the house of God, from the Word of God, from the people of God.

Now true, godly spiritual poverty is where you remain broken and usable before God, where you may be bold because of finding your worth in Christ (Hebrews 4:16), at the same time understanding your utter poverty without Him. This is evidenced by reliance; continued reliance on Him. And this happens by staying in His Word, not straying from His Word (John 8:31-32). You see there is the spiritual poverty where someone has tended another garden, outside the will of God, outside the Word of God, outside the walls of God’s design, and the fruit is ripe to cause destruction in your life (Galatians 6:7-8).

It isn’t about mustering up a mustard seed when you pray. It isn’t about how much faith you have during the prayer; it is about how much faithfulness you have had before it. Not how obedient you have been to earn a prayer reward, no, we aren’t talking about a performance based prayer theology. But have you been spending time with Him in His Word at all, do you know His voice, today? Remember, He values your words as you value His.

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14 Comments:

Blogger Maalie said...

>For the seasoned Christian, we most often sin in ways we don’t even realize (Psalm 19:12-14)

Yep, that's it; no matter how good you try to be, the controllers can always damn you for something else. Nothing like the threat of hell to keep the masses in their place...

January 31, 2008 7:06 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

JD,

Great exhortation!!! Thanks for this challenging post to stay in His Word, by reading, studying, and DOING!

January 31, 2008 7:54 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

JD,
Good post. It is all about His grace and not a man centered "my faith".

January 31, 2008 9:34 AM

 
Blogger Gayla said...

...you haven’t been in your Bible lately. However, if you have been in His Word, and your prayers aren’t getting answered with a “yes”..."

What do you mean a 'yes?' A yes in our own mind - the way 'we' want something answered, or the way God wants to answer?

"...then there is some other thing, and this might not apply to you today."

What might that other thing be?

I don't know if I'm just misunderstanding you or what, but to me, this absolutely smacks of performance based theology. How would you answer someone who IS in the Word, who IS chasing after God - but God's answer is "no?"

What of Paul's pleas to remove his 'thorn' and the answer was no?

Of course I agree that we are to be in God's Word, but to dogmatically say that "He won't if we don't seems to suggest that we can "activate" God by doing certain things.

January 31, 2008 9:48 AM

 
Blogger Even So... said...

Read it again, sister..

January 31, 2008 11:33 AM

 
Blogger Gayla said...

Actually, I did read it...several times.

You don't wish to answer my questions? Well, ok then.

January 31, 2008 1:11 PM

 
Blogger Even So... said...

I mean no harm, no performance based prayer theology, only exhortation...

January 31, 2008 5:22 PM

 
Blogger Even So... said...

What do you mean a 'yes?' A yes in our own mind - the way 'we' want something answered, or the way God wants to answer?

I am saying you won't hear Him, and so you will not know what to ask for because not being in His Word you are out of touch with His will, which is for His word to continually abide in you, and so by not asking in His will, you will receive "no's"...

January 31, 2008 5:26 PM

 
Blogger Even So... said...

What might that other thing be?

Of course I would not know, it would be case specific, that is why we must be in His word and praying as I instructed from Psalm 19:12-14, 139:23-24...

January 31, 2008 5:27 PM

 
Blogger Even So... said...

I don't know if I'm just misunderstanding you or what

I believe so, forgive me for not being clear enough...I pray these answers will suffice...

January 31, 2008 5:28 PM

 
Blogger Even So... said...

How would you answer someone who IS in the Word, who IS chasing after God - but God's answer is "no?"

Perhaps there desire is not fully mature, it would not give God the most glory for Him to answwer in the way they pray for...again, this is why we pray as I mentioned, and also keep seeking, etc....

January 31, 2008 5:30 PM

 
Blogger Even So... said...

What of Paul's pleas to remove his 'thorn' and the answer was no?

He realized God would be given more glory by the "no", and glorified God for the answer after all...but it wasn't wrong to ask...

January 31, 2008 5:31 PM

 
Blogger Even So... said...

Of course I agree that we are to be in God's Word, but to dogmatically say that "He won't if we don't seems to suggest that we can "activate" God by doing certain things.

I agree, as I said in the post...

Now true, godly spiritual poverty is where you remain broken and usable before God, where you may be bold because of finding your worth in Christ (Hebrews 4:16), at the same time understanding your utter poverty without Him…Not how obedient you have been to earn a prayer reward, no, we aren’t talking about a performance based prayer theology.

January 31, 2008 5:34 PM

 
Blogger Gayla said...

Thank you, JD. :)

February 01, 2008 9:25 AM

 

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