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Tenacious Prayer

Dear Quail,
To stay positive in the Pandemic, engage in “tenacious prayer.”

In his book The Table of Inwardness, Calvin Miller writes of the day when, as a boy, he found in his attic an old fashioned wooden box labeled “danger - dynamite!” His young mind was filled with the explosive possibilities of the treasure he had discovered, a box full of dynamite! However, when he opened it, it was filled with everyday junk.

This is the picture of the believer who has lost his passion for his urgency in prayer. The label of power is there; however, the power seems to be gone.

What image comes to mind when you hear the word “prayer?” The image of the praying hands? A quiet time of solitude? Stained glass and organ music? Maybe an uncomfortable silence when you are unsure what to say and have a strange feeling that you are talking to the wall!

In Genesis 18, we see Abraham engage in what I will call “tenacious prayer.” Here is an example (in the setting, he is talking with “The Angel of the Lord” about the fate of Sodom)…

31 Abraham said, "Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?" He said, "For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it." 32 Then he said, "May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?" He answered, "For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it." (Genesis 18:31-32, NIV)

Tenacious intercession is grappling in prayer of a sort that most of us casual “pray-ers” just don’t do. However, we should because the one true God not only rules sovereignly, but He also relates intimately with His creation. He takes the time to listen to the prayers of His people.

Abraham’s conversation is passionate, caring intercession. He pleads for the cities of the valley. As you listen to the interaction, you see that there is a strange blending of boldness and terror as he engages the Lord in conversation.

Satan says to us – don’t pray, don’t speak to God. He whispers two things to support that idea. The first thing for most of us is, “You can handle things on your own strength.” Or he says, “Your prayers will make no difference.”

But in the mystery of prayer we see that God’s sovereign control of the universe and His answers to our heartfelt prayers coincide. We see in God the ability to perfectly balance His own sovereignty with His ongoing availability to the prayers of His people.

God is aware and cares. So, talk to him!

A Silver Lining
Let Your Heart Take Courage

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Friday, 30 September 2022

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