Apples of Gold

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Pray without ceasing

'Pray without ceasing.' 1 Thessalonians 5:17

No matter how tired I may be, I cannot find sleep until I have made my requests known to my God. It matters not how often I have prayed during the day, this is something I must do, no matter what. Some nights I enjoy great liberty and my pillow is indeed sweet as I drift along into Beulah's Land.
Other nights it seems as though I am spitting feathers. Vain repetition mingled with great doubt and unbelief make up my prayer. As if God were deaf, I repeat myself over and over again, often trying different phrases or terminology as if that will somehow impress the King of Kings!

These days I confess that I have more of a yearning for His Presence and nothing else. It is what my soul needs most and nothing else really matters. If He will join me in fellowship and be my constant Companion then I have a greater confidence that all that I ask for will be given. It is a love affair and He has ravished my heart and has won me for Himself.

Sins and iniquities that once kept us apart have been washed in His precious blood. Sins of commission and omission, and sins of ignorance have been covered by the blood. He provided an atonement that delivers me from guilt even before I know that I am guilty! My Beloved gives me songs in the night.

He loved me from all eternity. He called me by my name and told me that I was His. He promised me that none shall be able to pluck me from His hand. He promised me that His love for me will never die and that He will never leave nor forsake me. He embraced me this morning with nail pierced hands and whispered in my ear, 'be still and know that I am God.'

Last night I struggled to form any kind of prayer. I felt spiritually dead and I was also keenly aware of the exhaustion of 'trying' too hard to get on the Lord's good side - trying too hard to win His favour. I felt useless and hopeless, and I even remember shaking my head and saying, 'what is the point?'

He could easily have left me in that condition and today would once again have been a burdensome experience for me, but He had mercy upon my soul when I least expected it.
He lifted my soul from its slumber as surely as I lifted my children from their cots when as babies they were crying, afraid of the dark and helpless. There is strength and safety in my Father's arms that is comfort indeed for a weary soul.

I talk with Jesus whenever I am alone, seeking His Will and sometimes arguing with Him. When things go right I am happy to give praise, but when things go wrong as they often do, I am quick to point the finger in blame.

Can you have a Best Friend if you cannot share the good as well as the bad? He knows my every thought even before I think it. True it is wrong to blame the Lord for any problem that may arise in my life, but He orders my path and my way. If I acknowledge the Lord in all my ways then when difficult times come who then is to blame?

But faith thankfully speaks a different language! It does not point any finger, it simply trusts even when things are not easily understood. Living by sight and by feelings leaves me like a drunk man staggering to and fro, never stable and always prone to a fall.

God knows what I want, but He knows even better what I need. His grace is sufficient for me and He proves that daily. He never fails me nor lets me down. I on the other hand fail Him continually. He has never failed to supply my need, yet so often I fear that His timetable is far slower than mine!
Prayer I believe is an acknowledgement that help is required. I can do nothing on my own. I need the Lord's help in everything that I do. I murmur against Him so often, especially when I am impatient.

I am always looking for instant fixes and easy answers.
I wonder if I will ever learn patience. It seems that I am more impatient now than I ever was.

Even my impatience keeps me praying! Sometimes it is out of frustration, other times it is a genuine cry for grace but I am most thankful that my Lord has not yet shut His ear to my pitiful cries.

I can tell Him all that is in my heart and mind and He listens. Whenever He answers my prayers that answering is the most wonderful gift imaginable. It is a gift, and it always wrapped in love.

Pray without ceasing and get to know your Saviour, the One that sticketh closer than any brother. He is my Best Friend in this world. Is He yours? I pray that this reminder to pray will spark an uplifting of hearts unto God and that He will delight in hearing and answering. Our God answers prayer. Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.

Author : Iain Mackenzie       Edited by : Pastor Al Moak