Sunday, September 03, 2017

Is prayer really necessary?

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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Exodus 2:11-25

“So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel and God acknowledged them.” Exodus 2:24,25

Meanwhile back in Egypt, where we left the Israelites a week ago, the people were getting desperate  Under their cruel slave masters they “groaned” and “cried out” - Exodus 2:23.

Then God heard, remembered, looked and acknowledged - Exodus 2:24,25. I looked up each of these words in the Hebrews. Their meanings are pretty straightforward:

Heard - Shama
Remembered - Zakar
Looked - Ra’ah
Acknowledged - Yada

It appears the Israelites got God’s attention But they did something to get it: they groaned and cried out.

This isn’t the only time such a thing is mentioned. Notice what Abraham’s divine visitor said about why God chose to act over the situation in Sodom and Gomorrah: “‘I will go down now and see whether they (the citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah) have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to me…’” Genesis 18:21.

The word for “outcry” is tsaqah. The same word is used in God’s conversation with Moses to describe Israel’s present condition in the next chapter - Exodus 3:7.

That outcry was also the action of the Israelites that God responded to when He gave them a king - 1 Samuel 9:16.

To me this speaks of the necessity of prayer. Here is how some of history’s prayer warriors have described the importance of prayer:

“Prayer is the contact of a living soul with God. In prayer, God stoops to kiss man, to bless man, and to aid in everything that God can devise or man can need” - E. M. Bounds
“Prayer is the slender nerve that moveth the muscles of omnipotence” - Charles Spurgeon.
“In prayer you align yourselves to the purpose and power of God and He is able to do things through you that He couldn’t do otherwise. For this is an open universe, where some things are left open, contingent upon our doing them. If we do not do them, they will never be done. For God has left certain things open to prayer—things which will never be done except as we pray” - E. Stanley Jones.
- All quotes taken from the “Introduction” to The Hour that Changes the World by Dick Eastman, emphasis added.

What things distress us to the point of crying out? What issues in our lives need God’s hearing, remembering, looking, and acknowledging? Let’s keep crying out in prayer over these things.

PRAYER: Dear Father, thank You for the privilege and responsibility of prayer. Help me to pray with faith that You will, in Your time, hear, remember, look, and acknowledge. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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