THE EMMAUS WALK
Part II--"How Definite Are We to Be in Our Praying?"
By Mrs. Bernice Schaefer, late Aunt to Ronald Ginther
The question often arises, "How definite are we to be in our praying?" In our praise and in our thanksgiving in respect to all that God has made Christ to be to us, to be less than ABSOLUTELY definite would be unbelief. But, there are whole areas where we must acknowledge that we are not omniscient (know everything) and God has not "spoken" in any way so that we must pray believing that God knows what is best, and ask Him to do what He knows to be best. Too often we feel we know better than God, and decide what we want Him to do, and this inspite of Romans 8:26 reminding us that "...we know not what we should pray for as we ought."
Our one desire is this, and all matters, is that He would do His will. This means that we are absolutely convinced of His infinite love, knowledge, and power, so that we do not want to substitute our desires that arise out of our infirmities. Just as when we are fellowshipping with God when we open our hearts and minds to His Written Word, so too prayer is fellowship, a mutual sharing of relationships, of family, cares, of concerns, of pain, of praise, of joy, of sadness.
What touches us, touches Him. And: Romans 8:28, "In all things, He will work together with us, for good." In this attitude of "togetherness, of being"Sons in the Son of God" there is no room to dictate what He shall do in our affairs, or how He must carry out our plans, or what He shall do amongst governments and in the affairs of the world. All such attitudes of prayer arise from the "old man" within us. We who cannot manage our own affairs need not tell God how to manage His! How are we to know how great will yet be His grace and love to this sad world even as it was and is to us! So we cannot grow impatient with God so as to tell Him what to do and when. A true knowledge of God would lead to a very different condition of things, a different attitude.
Our prayers would be frequent, indeed unceasing from the heart, but so filled with a sense of His wisdom, power, goodness, and love so that we would cease to pray as though we had more compassion than He; as though we were more concerned about others than He is; as if we were more interested in His work than He is. To be "sharers" in His love to other, to be "sharers in His work, and wisdom, and grace, even as Paul, in the sufferings of Christ (Col. 1:24), is to make prayer the place of partnership with God.
We should be definite in many things where from His Word He has spoken clearly, we should also be definite in leaving our cares with Him! We should say, "Lord, do in love what You know to be best, do not heed my requests if they are not good, withhold it, as You alone can see the end from the beginning. I am foolish and ignorant before Thee. Thou art so wonderfully wise and good. Goodness and Mercy attend all thy ways, and Thy love is so infinite so that you can only do what is most wise and the best. Thy will is love itself! Oh, that I may be filled with such a knowledge of thy will, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding that I may enjoy the perfect rest which that knowledge gives."
When we insist that our will be done, we must be willing to accept the responsibility if that request is granted. How different this is from sharing our burdens with One Who cares, Who gives us strength for the hard places, rest when we are weary, and Who is our Surety, and Who is responsible for us in life and in death, Jno. 6:39. Oh! To know the Person, the Power, and the Wisdom and Love of our God! How can anyone explain God unless God is known? And, how can God be known apart from His Word? The supreme necessity of so studying the Word of God is that we may not only enjoy but be able to speak of Him of Whom that Word is sent to testify. When we do not know how to pray, or what to pray as we ought, the Blessed Spirit Himself helps us in knowing our infirmities. He knows our need if we do not. He knows what to ask for, if we do not.
PLEASE LINK TO THE CONCLUDING THIRD PART, "CHRIST'S PRAYERS AND OURS," OF THIS ARTICLE ON PRAYER BY BERNICE SCHAEFER!
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