Dear Friends in Christ,
As you will see throughout this month’s newsletter we are highlighting many of the opportunities for prayer that we have here at Elmwood. In the past weeks the Lord has been impressing upon me once again of how vital prayer is to the health and well-being of our congregation. There is a line in the classic hymn, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” that declares, “What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer”. Sadly, even though this amazing privilege has been provided for us at the ultimate cost, the death of our Lord and Savior Jesus, we so often do not take advantage of this free gift. In fact, we are actually subtly rejecting this precious treasure by our lives of haphazard prayer and out-right prayerlessness. Once again we need to hear our gracious Lord calling to us to continuously ”ask, seek, and knock”. Below is a devotional by one of the great author’s on prayer,
O. Hallesby. I pray that as you read it you will feel the flame of prayer fanned by the Holy Spirit deep in your spirit and that you will joyfully come often to the throne of grace in prayer.
Together let us take it to the Lord in prayer,
“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find;
knock, and it shall be opened unto you!” LUKE 11:9
When I read what Jesus and His disciples said about prayer, then I understand how little most of us have learned to pray.
Jesus expects us to come to Him and to tell Him what we need. The oftener we come, the more He likes it.
When I err during the day, He expects me to come to Him at once and ask forgiveness. He longs to impart it to me.
As I day by day feel the power of sin in my life, He expects me to tell Him about it in order that He may impart to me from on high the power which I need in order to combat my super-powerful foes.
When my dear ones, or I myself, are in difficulty and distress, Jesus expects me to come and tell Him what the trouble is. He longs to help His poor friends, this rich Friend of ours!
When it is a question of God’s cause, with its many tasks, both new and old, its opposition from the world and the indifference of so many believers, then Jesus expects us to come to Him and tell Him what our feelings in the matter are, to ask Him what it is necessary to do in each particular case.
He has never intended that His cause should be furthered without our coming to Him each day and availing ourselves of the power which He will supply and which no opposition can withstand – the holy power of prayer, which moves both heaven and earth.
Jesus expects that we who have received His own permission to pray for whatever we desire should go our way through this world’s barren desert like streams of refreshing water.