By prayer we mean

God always does what he says, and is gracious in everything he does. Psalm 145:13

Prayer is coming to God fully aware that God already knows what is in our hearts and minds. We come to Him in prayer because His presence compels us to beseech Him. We call on Him because He’s there and He is involved in our lives whether we like it or not.

We come because all that He wants to give us is already there for the taking. We come because as His children, we belong to Him and are comfortable in telling Him everything. To Him we laugh, we cry, we murmur, we shout, we ponder, we act, we despair, we hope.

We make Him happy when we seek Him. We give Him gladness when we obey and follow Him. We allow His love to flow even more when we run to Him for help.

When we come to God in prayer, we experience the mystery of our being – in Him – and we realize even more that without Him, we are nothing. But as we come, we affirm our meaning. Jophen Baui

If God is not Sovereign

“The ocean is roaring LORD! The sea is pounding hard. It’s mighty waves are majestic, but you are more majestic and you rule over all.” Psalm 93:3-4 CEV

If God is not sovereign a house will be full of chaos. Tempers flare at the slightest provocation. Sometimes, reason is waylaid and all past hurts and bitterness surface, that the anger of the moment turns out only to be just “the tip of the iceberg.” If God is not sovereign, it will be harder to forgive.

But old hurts and feelings may dominate and rule the day yet in the end, we can run to God and tell all – including the reasons, however illogical, for our own lapses in judgment.

If God is not sovereign, the war in Israel right now would not have a framework. All events going on in the World would be chance events, wrought by chance, propagated by chance, would probably have their day by chance.

But God’s sovereignty makes us understand that there’s an end to all of this, since He has been in control from the beginning of time. He holds the universe in His hands. While we think about the probability of war and Armageddon, God has long ago thought about delivering man from all that the evil of this world can possibly do. He even conquered death. God has given His Son so that those who believe in Him may live even if they die, and so, their lives are not a matter of chance, and are not in vain.

If God is not sovereign, we have a reason to grumble about disorder, the lack of beauty, a dearth of quiet and peace, a shortage of space. We will see every circumstance as unsatisfactory, and each season will only usher in more misfortune.

But God’s sovereignty makes us see beauty in disorder, and our heart is at peace even if the daily news bombard us with endless tales of suffering. In our limited space we can find profound connection with the One who created the world and the universe. We will appreciate the blessings of both sun and rain, and we know that every storm and hurricane is a reminder of God’s mighty power over all that man can ever do or accomplish.

God’s sovereignty teaches us to be still – enables us to hope – makes us pray unceasingly. God is mighty and even those who think this isn’t true aren’t exempted from His grace.

Animated

“Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit. Then you won’t feed the compulsion of selfishness.” Galatians 5:16, The Message

Three words grab my attention in Eugene Peterson’s version of Galatians 5:16. Freely, Spirit, Compulsion.

Freedom defined is disentanglement from any bondage – and in the modern sense, this also means “unaffected” by forces other than “God’s Spirit.” To be animated and motivated by God’s Spirit is to consciously move, and live, and have our being in Him. We can only be “slaves” to God’s Spirit if we gain complete freedom from anything in this world – love of money, friends, desires, influence, power, prestige, lovers, food, body, wants and even charity and good works. These are in fact our source of “compulsions” because we are naturally selfish and want to satisfy every whim and will to either prove or affirm our existence.

To be free is to be “born again” literally, so that our “natural” selves can be changed. Only God’s Spirit can accomplish such change. God’s grace is that we realize how much we need God in the process and His unconditional forgiveness frees us even from the pangs of our own conscience. We are “normally” unrighteous, but as we move, and live, and have our being in God, this normalcy changes and we begin on a journey to reformation.