Isaiah 58:9 – Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer, thou shalt cry, and he shall say, “Here I am.”
Prayer is revealed as a direct application to God for some temporal, earthly, or spiritual good. It is a powerful appeal to God to intervene in life’s affairs for the good of those whom we pray (including one’s self). God is recognized as the source and fountain of all good, and prayer implies that all his good is held in his keeping for those who call upon him in truth.
May I turn your attention to Abraham and Sodom and Gomorrah. (Genesis 18:20-33) I’m sure many know the story. God is upset with Sodom & Gomorrah and is planning on destroying it. Understand this was God’s decree that he himself spoke. This declared purpose of God to destroy Sodom confronted our dear brother Abraham. God said: “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do?” Abraham’s soul within him was greatly moved because of his great interest in that fated city. His nephew and family resided there. What great interest do you have in your life and how strong and passionate are your prayers to God concerning those interest? Are you truly praying for change or the power of God to move? Perhaps you have simply started accepting the situation under the false christian thought, “Well God knows” or “This is God’s will, there’s nothing I can do!” Yes, God does know, He may have even decreed and spoke the situation as he did for Sodom, but that does not give you or I the right to give up our God given authority to pray for change.
Abraham, even after hearing from God directly concerning what God’s plans were, came to the conclusion that the purpose of God must be changed. God’s decree for destruction of this city and it’s inhabitants must be revoked. Gen 18:22 & 23 – The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the Lord. (He begin to intercede, to urgently and passionately petition God and pray for change)
Understand beloved that this was no small undertaking, to take on the idea of beseeching God and setting himself to change God’s purpose, that purpose being to save Sodom. Abraham was going to throw his influence with God in favor of the doomed cities (influence that we also have through Jesus Christ and God’s gracious love for us).
Abraham, beginning to pray, advanced step by step in faith, in demand and urgency, and God granted every request which Abraham made. It has been well said that “Abraham left off asking before God left of granting.”
Beloved, this praying of Abraham’s was no mere performance, no dull, lifeless (Oh, if it be your will God, OK then), ceremonial praying. This praying was an earnest plea, a strong advocacy, a burning heart’s desire to secure a desired end, to have an influence, one person with another (God). The all loving and gracious God stayed and answered as long as Abraham stayed and asked. Are you rushing through your prayers? Are you willing to stay before God until the answer comes? Do you realize that you have favor with God the moment you go before your heavenly father with a pure heart and right motive? Do you understand that God desires you to come before him with your loving trust and persistence? (Please read Luke 18: 1-8)
My precious brothers and sisters; what are you truly desiring? What change, what promise, what issue, what circumstance are you accepting without earnestly petitioning God for change and a desired end?
* To our dear brother Abraham God is existent, approachable, and all powerful, but at the same time he defers to men and women, acts favorably on their desires, and grants them favors asked for.
Is your life (all in your life) glorifying God, a blessing to others, and an example others would want to follow or have in their life? If in any area the answer is “no”, perhaps you have simply accepted where you are or the situation at hand and have grown comfortable with it. Instead, start putting a demand on God’s word and promise, through urgent prayer, that brings forth a change and desired end.
James 5:16 – …The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man availeth much (makes tremendous power available, is dynamic in it’s working, touching the very heart of God).
Start today attacking what is not right or could be better with detailed, earnest, urgent, honest, heart filled praying.