Summary: As we mature in our walk with the Lord, mature Christians cherish life experiences of being delivered by the Lord our God and being provided for by our God whose goodness and mercy shall follow us all the days of our lives.
BLESSED BE THE LORD GOD OUR DELIVERER AND PROVIDER
A dear saint of God went Home to be with the Lord one week between sessions at The Baptist Inn where we gathered each Sunday for Bible study, like we do here, until that senior adult facility moved to Palmetto sixteen years ago.
Her caregiver shared with us Miss Lillian’s last moments as she passed from this life to the next . . . from the land of the dying to the land of the living . . . from the presence of her friends into the eternal presence of her Father in Heaven.
In response to my question, the caregiver told how our friend, aware that she was at death’s door, spent her last conscious moments whispering the prayer Jesus taught His disciples to pray.
Folks, prayer had become a way of life for this dearly beloved saint of God. In fact, my conditional response “The Lord willing” became automatic on my part because of my association with folks who consider the model prayer to be a way of life by which we should be led - not simply a memorized prayer to be said.
Thus, communicating with God as our Father in Heaven, coming into His presence as our Creator, speaking to and about Him reverently as our Superior, respecting His authority as our King, living according to His rules as our Lord, always asking His Will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven has become a way of life for us! Thus, Blessed be the name and the reign of the Lord God our Father the King!
Even so … Just as a loving, caring, compassionate earthly father would be attentive to the needs of his children, God our Father in Heaven would have us turn our thoughts and prayers from the glory due Him to what we ask for ourselves - according to our NEEDS, as expressed by the petition, “Give us this day our daily bread.”
Take your needs to God in prayer! All your needs! Physical . . . Material . . . Emotional . . . Spiritual . . .! Yes, our Father knows what we need before we ask! Ask anyway - inasmuch as it is in asking that we receive, in seeking that we find, in knocking that the door of opportunity is opened to us.
God knows . . . But do we know . . . Who He is, that it is He Who made us, not we ourselves . . . Who we are, like a vapor that appears for a little while and then is gone . . . Aware of these two realities, we ask in humility for His blessings.
Pastor James (remember him) advised Christians to approach prayer with humble submission to the Will of God - “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up!” He shall lift you out of the pit and He shall meet your needs! The Lord will deliver . . . will provide! Blessed be the Lord God our Deliverer and our Provider!
For a biblical example of one of God’s devoted servants who asked God to deliver and to provide, we review the near-death experience of one of Israel’s good kings - Hezekiah – Isaiah 38:1-6 . . .
0ftentimes a prominent person is known by the company he or she keeps! If you have been a student of Biblical character study, you know how blessed this king was to have as his personal friend as well as his advisor none other than one of the greatest prophets who ever lived – Isaiah!
We should not be surprised therefore that, when the going got tough in his personal life . . . when he was blindsided with an ominous prognosis . . . when the moment of truth about the inevitability of death arrived, Hezekiah wanted to be left alone with the Lord God - his Maker, Father and Redeemer!
The time had come for a Life Review . . . Early in his life Hezekiah had been encouraged to “remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth” but, in these final moments of solitude, Hezekiah did that which he probably had learned from his friend Isaiah. He turned to God in prayer, pleading with the Lord to remember him, Hezekiah - who he had become, and how he had sought to live according to God’s Will.
Most of us have learned that even faithful believers face struggles . . . trials . . . tough times . . . due to the fallen world in which we live. And, we have learned that, in such times, the first place to go is to the Lord in prayer.
Not as a last resort! Not as an old saying goes, “when all else fails, pray” but, as we have learned via our experience, “Pray! And if all ‘else’ does fail, know that God will still be there for you in your time of need.”