Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Prayer of a Righteous Man…. Part II

“Hear me, LORD, my plea is just;
listen to my cry.
Hear my prayer—
it does not rise from deceitful lips”.   Ps 17:1 NIV

Daniel was a man of prayer.   Nothing could detour him from his daily appointments with God.

Daniel would not stop praying, even under the threat of the lions’ den.   His peers caught him in the very act of praying and forced the king to carry out the decree. 

Why would Daniel continue to pray even when it could mean it would destroy his life?

The answer is simple.   Prayer is not about the person praying.  It is about the Kingdom of God.   We do not pray so our life will be easier, better or enriched.   We pray because we are compelled to reach through prayer to the throne of God to impact our world.

The person that others depend on to pray, often have important things to pray about, because of the depth of their faith and the direction of their life.

Amazingly, prayer is added to the list of “abominations,” if it comes from one who turns his ear from hearing the Word as stated in Prov. 28:9.   That becomes especially significant in view of the consideration that all of God’s laws are summed up in the great principle of love.

We have to ask our self: Are my prayers an “abomination”?  

Is there sin in my life that would make my prayers an abomination?

I am forced to the conclusion that an “abomination” simply refers to something God “hates”-----something totally out of harmony with His character of purity and love.  If we take the biblical record as a whole, we find that pride and self-sufficiency are mentioned more often than any other qualities as being distasteful to God.  

Pride feels no need, and there is nothing even God can do for a self-sufficient sinner.  That is why Jesus said that He came to save sinners and not the “righteous”.   Given that the Bible is clear that there is “none righteous” Jesus’ statement indicates as clearly as any other that a self-righteous spirit excludes the person from the Kingdom of God.

Finally, not only did Jesus clearly teach that a self-righteous spirit is a tough defense against saving grace, but He actually used the key word abomination in describing such a spirit.

Luke gives this account in Luke 16:15: “…… He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts.  For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God”. (NKJV) 

Daniel being a man of prayer still had to spend a night sleeping with the lions. 

What does God say when people pray?

Sometimes, He says, ‘you have to go to the lions’ den, but I will be with you when you do.

Prayer teaches us things like how to survive a night with the lions and how to be victorious!

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