Friday, May 11, 2007

The Value Of Prayer

This week I have been listening to Rev Peter Lewis speaking on the book of Revelation. One thing that particularly struck me was his teaching on Rev 5:8:

They held gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of God's people. (NLT)

The Immeasurable Value Of Our Prayers
We are perhaps tempted sometimes to think that our personal prayers have little value. Why should the Lord be interested in what I have to say? But this verse shows us that our prayers are treasured by God. Gold was the most valuable substance known to the first century believers who first read John's revelation. They would not have missed the significance that the prayers of God's people are presented to Him in bowls of gold. Our prayers have immeasurable value to the Lord and this image should encourage us to pray and to see the importance of prayer as a part of our worship.

Sorrow in Prayer
There is a similar image in the Psalms, but this time the subject is our tears.

"You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book." (Ps 56:8 NLT)

Our tears are also precious to the Lord. We may weep alone but the Lord sees all of our distress and each individual tear touches Him. Imagine then the impact that prayer coupled with tears has on God. We may be tempted sometimes to simply embrace our own sorrow and not open ourselves up to the Lord in times of distress, but Scripture shows that if we turn our tears to prayers they will be effective.

"Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with joy." (Ps 126:5-6 NLT)

We do ourselves no favours if we try to control our emotions and keep a British "stiff upper lip" when it comes to prayer. We come to our loving heavenly Father and being honest with Him about how we feel will add power to the prayers He already regards as precious.

Prayer College Assignment
Ask the Lord to help you to bring your prayers to Him with genuine emotion and not simply as dry requests.

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