Tuesday, 21 February 2017
Neglecting to pray
When did you last pray for Zuma? Or, for that matter RSA, or for the USA with its new president? But the Bible tells us clearly that we should! Is there nothing that we can do about the big issues - are they beyond us? We can, and should, pray.
But the little things? What do you do when things are not what you want? What do you do when we feel that others are wrong? Do you protest, complain, or worse? Samuel prayed!
The people of Israel had made a big mistake in asking for a king - they wanted to be like everybody else. But God did not just reject them, and God did not just undo the mistake. God brought good out of the mistake. An early church father said that God even did that for the first sin, because it gave us Jesus - O felix culpa! (o fortunate sin! And Samuel prayed!
Do we think that prayer does not matter? Is that what we really think? Read 2 Chron 7:14, and notice the first word IF But lack of prayer is SIN
Sin against God - He tells us to pray - do we obey? Prayerlessness indicates that he is not fully our Lord, which is the basic sin
Sin against others. if we do not pray, we give less than the best to them
Sin against ourselves. prayerlessness is belittling a blessing. I have so often seen God blessing in response to prayer. It is doing and accepting what is not the best. It results in slowing our spiritual growth.
Even though what he wanted did not happen, Samuel did not cease praying. God had not answered his prayer? It was the people who did wrong - they had free will. He had not sinned, but would if he stopped.
Samuel did not only pray, but also acted. He instructed the people. He could do this BECAUSE he prayed, and was in touch with God's will.
Do we sin in prayerlessness? Are we concerned for RSA, for the world? And for our church. We will never see blessing in our church until ....
Prof David T Williams