A Prayer Nag! (09.28.05--Teach Me to Pray!--Colossians 1:9)
Does god ever weary of hearing our prayers? I mean, it’s the same old, same old–day in and day out. Does He really need to hear the same things over and over again?
Being a “broken record,” the one that just can’t get over the rut in one’s life, seems tedious at best. We have a need and that need has not been fulfilled. Do we let it drop or do we continue to bring it before the Lord; believing that He will act upon it in His time? Human nature tells us that saying things over and over again can be self-defeating to one’s purpose. Like the mother who pleads with her child to clean up his bedroom, after so many pleas the child might become deaf to the pleading. We tend to turn-off “broken records” because the consistency and the repetition are irritating. It’s an invasion of our space. Like a constant poking or prodding, we strain and push against the words of a nag until such point as we either don’t hear them any more or we become confrontational.
But, how important is repetition in prayer? Dr. Wilbur Chapman often told of his experience when, as a young man, he went to become pastor of a church in Philadelphia. After his first sermon, an old gentleman said to him, “You’re pretty young to be pastor of this church. But you preach the Gospel, and I’m going to help you all I can.” Dr. Chapman thought, “Here’s a crank.” But the man continued: “I’m going to pray for you that you may have the Holy Spirit’s power upon you. Two others have covenanted to join with me in prayer for you.” Dr. Chapman said, “I didn’t feel so bad when I learned he was going to pray for me. The 3 became 10, the 10 became 20, and 20 became 50, the 50 became 200 who met before every service to pray that the Holy Spirit might come upon me. I always went into my pulpit feeling that I would have the anointing in answer to the prayers of those who had faithfully prayed for me. It was a joy to preach! The result was that we received 1,100 into our church by conversion in three years, 600 of whom were men. It was the fruit of the Holy spirit in answer to prayer!” (Source Unknown.)
In Colossians Paul tells us that he “never stopped praying for” the church in Colossus. Never stopping indicates that Paul was a veritable “prayer nag.” Paul knew that repeating a prayer was not bothersome to God. Repetition in prayer represents faithfulness to God’s command that we pray continually and with an earnest desire to put all things before God in prayer. Does He hear us the first time? Of course. Does He hear us the seventy-seventh time? You bet! And, the first prayer is no more precious than the last to God. When it comes to “nagging” God, He says, keep those prayers coming!
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matt 6:34)
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