Monday, December 12, 2011

How to Pray and Stay Awake part 4

"People find it easier to be childish rather than childlike"

"When we were children, we had faith in such things as Santa Claus simply because such a person was described to us by those we had learned to trust.  In those tender years, there was no doubt in our minds as to whether there was such a jolly old man, for everybody knew it was so, it seemed to us.  We were also told about God, Jesus, angels, what happened to good boys and girls and what happened to bad ones.  This too, we believed.  We were also told that God would answer our prayers.  We believed that too, so when we prayed, we did not doubt..."

We need to return to the childlike belief we once had if we want more out of our prayers.   The adult cynicism, and skepticism does not aid our prayers, but in reality hinders them.

"Another hindrance to prayer was emphasized may times by Christ.  When teaching his followers how to pray, he counseled, "And when ye stand praying, forgive, if he have other against any; that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses." (Mark 11:25).  An unforgiving spirit is undoubtedly on of the most common hindrances to prayer.  Prayer is answered on the basis that our sins are forgiven; but God will not deal with us on the basis of forgiveness while we are harboring ill-will against those who have wronged us.

Peter instructed the saints regarding another related impediment to prayer.  He tells us plainly that a wrong relationship between husband and wife inhibits our communication with the Lord.  "Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered."

I found this in a bible commentary which I thought was appropriate regarding part of that verse: When Peter references "the weaker vessel", it is not necessarily meant that she is of feebler capacity, or inferior mental endowments, but that God has so constituted male and female with inherently different needs, strengths, and weaknesses. As such, husbands should regard their wives with a special kindness and attention.  

"that your prayers be not hindered"... In present day, with the rapid increase of divorce and general breakdown of marriage, this would indicate there are a great many prayers being hindered.  How we regard our spouse makes big difference.

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