Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Power of Prayer

1 Peter 5:6-11 (ESV)
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, [7] casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. [8] Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. [9] Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. [10] And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. [11] To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

“Casting all our anxieties on him, because he cares for you. ” “What a Friend we have in Jesus” may be on the kitschy side of hymns, but it does drive this admonition home quite well. God cares for us. Whatever worries we have we would do well to listen to this and bring them to him in prayer. Prayer, it could be encouraged more. It really is a wonderful gift to be made more use of. Sometimes I don’t think it is used often enough. In some circles the old “well it isn’t the third sacrament” bit has been used too much. No, it isn’t a “sacrament” according to the popular definition used among protestants which we inherited from Augustine. But if we can have as many sacraments as we want depending on how we define the term according to the Apology, given that the term sacrament originally meant mystery, I am inclined to redefine sacrament to make prayer a sacrament before I am marriage or ordination. It is a mystery after all, and is an article of faith at that. No, grace isn’t promised for it. Forgiveness of sins is not attached to a visible element with prayer. But it is a mystery that sinners like you and me are able to approach “our Father in heaven like dear children asking their dear father.” It is a mystery that we can go to him in prayer, and that the Holy Spirit translates our prayer in groans that we cannot understand. To say that prayer should not be neglected is to make an understatement. Prayer cannot be praised enough or emphasized enough as part of the Christian life. Prayer is not only powerful, but beautiful in what it does. So go to your friend in prayer, cast your anxieties on God, then let them stay with him so you can be sober-minded and watchful in your work, and with your day. To cast your anxieties on God is to be sober-minded and to thwart the temptations and of the devil. It is to resist him in your faith.

1 comment:

Steve Martin said...

Great post!

Prayer is needed to help us resist the devil.

It helps to keep the fire of faith burning.

It keeps the channel of communication open between God and ourselves, and thereby keeps the relationship alive.