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Time for Prayer

Psalm 66:18-20

18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:

19 But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer.

20 Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.

Lately I have been made aware that people in God’s church are facing struggles and battles that are wearing them down and breaking their hearts. The people in need of prayer are you and I. We who are called the Saints of God have our eyes fixed on the storm instead of the one who walks on the waves of the storm. (see Matthew 14:24-26)

I know how the storms of life can really put fear and a sense of hopelessness in a person’s heart. I too have been there. Job changes, raising children, marriage, sickness and health, are all very real places were a storm can break out at any time.

But we must remember “that greater is He that is in you than he who is in the world” 1 John 4:4

That may sound like a trite comment but it is actually a promise from God’s word and God keeps His promises.

Sometimes we may fear what we know we deserve as a consequence of our sins. But still we expect things to work out in our favor that is our sinful nature.

We lie to ourselves instead of being honest like the Psalmist tells us in verse 18 of Psalm 66.

18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:

Let me illustrate what I mean with this little story…

One Sunday a young child was "acting up" during the morning worship hour. The parents did their best to maintain some sense of order in the pew but were losing the battle. Finally, the father picked the little fellow up and walked sternly up the aisle on his way out. Just before reaching the safety of the foyer, the little one called loudly to the congregation, "Pray for me! Pray for me!"

You see the child knew what he deserved and what was coming but he could have avoided it all if he had just obeyed his Father’s instructions the first time. There will be times when you and I will need the prayers of others to help you face what you know will be difficult times ahead. Like that little boy we need to shout out to the congregation – pray for me everybody.

Prayer is so very important to the Christian life that Jesus took time to teach His followers how to pray, what to pray for and when to pray. I also think it’s great that Jesus followers asked to be taught to pray. They were around Jesus a lot and knew that He often prayed and they realized that they too needed to understand its power and importance.

The Lord’s Prayer is just one example but even we sometimes get that wrong just like the little girl who prayed.

"And forgive us our trash baskets as we forgive those who put trash in our baskets."

Children exhibit spiritual wisdom even when they’re not trying just like this little girl’s mistake. Out trespasses is what she was trying to say but I think she really got it right for all of us. Our Trespasses really are the things that belong in our trash baskets and we need to forgive those who put their trash in our baskets too.

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