Friday, August 01, 2008

Toiling in prayer

If you find prayer hard, be encouraged. You are supposed to. One of the great benefits of salvation is the God invites you to take part in the way he orders history. Prayer is co-operation with God. "For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building." I Corinthians 3:9

Don't think that this is sitting on clouds enjoying one another's presence. Look how Paul describes this relationship:

"continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose." Philippians 2:12-13

"by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me." I Cor 15:10

"I no longer live, but Christ lives in me." Galatians 2:20

"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10

Sometimes we don't know what we should pray, but all is not lost. "the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express." Romans 8:26

Imagine that we are the new boy in the factory. We look at the immense machines, the great vats of molten steel that swing suspended above us. The noise is deafening. People move left and right of us in an orchestrated mass - everyone fulfilling his or her appointed task. We are confused, bewildered and panicky. We don't know what to do.

But the boss's son comes down to greet us. He takes us to our appointed place. He makes sure that we have the correct attire. He instructs us on our task. He begins to do the job so that we can copy him. He guides our hands and our feet. He teaches us our task. He stands back and watches as we have a try, and when we falter he leaps in to show us again. He is infinitely patient. He never gets cross with us. He is the best teacher there could possibly be. Because we are doing his will we are content and satisfied.

1 comment:

kbbryant said...

Thank you for this reminder.