Encouragements to Pray

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Have you ever felt sometimes that prayer seems so difficult? Or that God seems so distant? If so, remember Jacob.

When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, "Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it."  He was afraid and said, "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven." (Genesis 28:16-17)

Have you ever felt sometimes that prayer seems so difficult? Or that God seems so distant? If so, remember Jacob. He simply went to sleep one night – and found that God was there! The presence of God had come in the night and God had spoken to him. What a picture of how easy it is to relate to our heavenly Father! Jacob’s encounter brings home three things to remember as we come to pray.

First, remember that God is with us. As David put it, "The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth" (Psalm 145:18). And Zephaniah said, "The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing" (Zephaniah 3:17).

Second, remember that God wants to be found. Since God is spirit, we could never discover Him by ourselves. But he doesn’t play "Hide and Seek" with us; rather, He does everything possible to make Himself known. That’s why Moses said, "If … you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul" (Deuteronomy 4:29 ). It’s why God Himself says, "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you"  (Jeremiah 29:13-14).

Third, remember that God wants to answer. He not only hears prayers, but answers them. He Himself promised, "I am the Lord their God and I will answer them" (Zechariah 10:6); and David confidently declared, "I call on you, O God, for you will answer me" (Psalm 17:6).

With these promises in our hearts, we find prayer will be spontaneous and natural.

"I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me; I was found by those who did not seek me. To a nation that did not call on my name, I said, 'Here am I, here am I.’ " (Isaiah 65:1).

Copyright © 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont

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