“Persistent Prayer”

Date: 01-09-15

Text: — Nehemiah 1:4 —  When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. [NIV84]

The Big Idea: It is in the very darkness of our grief that we must continue to persistently offer prayers to the God.

My Thoughts: 

Usually the first “thing” that goes in a grief cycle is prayer. As CS Lewis once put it: “Where is God? … But go to Him when your need is desperate, when all other help is vain and what do you find? A door slammed in your face, and a sound of bolting and double bolting on the inside. After that, silence” (A Grief Observed, p. 9). So why pray? As our emotions scream to us, “ It’s not fair,” and “if God really loved me, this wouldn’t be happening,” we hear the subtle gurgling of our soul’s draining of hope….

But Lewis groped through his darkness to realize that, “I need Christ, not something that resembles Him” (Ibid, p. 51). He observes that he does not need his own idea of God, but God as He is; not some icon or image he’s conjured up, but the real Christ, the real God. Only this reality will see him through this profound grief….

Lifestyle worshipers, it is in the very darkness of our grief that we must continue to persistently offer prayers to the God, Who is real in the person of Jesus. In these heart-cries, He is stripping away our Sunday School, childish images of God & Jesus that have been marred by adult disillusions, and replacing them with a truer picture of the Jesus who was well acquainted with soul sorrows and gut retching grief. At the very least, you can prayer to the God of Hope for those you know who are still groping in their darkness, hearing only the echo of the double-bolted door. Persistent prayer got Nehemiah through his grief. And it can see you through yours. Your thoughts.

Scriptures to Renew Your Thoughts

Keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened for you. 

— Matthew 7:7 (ISV)

  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus, the Messiah! He is our merciful Father and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our suffering, so that we may be able to comfort others in all their suffering, as we ourselves are being comforted by God. For as the Messiah’s sufferings overflow into us, so also our comfort overflows through the Messiah.

— 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 (ISV)

    Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.

— Colossians 4:12 (NIV)

Lord Jesus Christ,  You are my Hope of Glory. Shine in the darkness of my grief so that I may intercede for others in their darkness. Infuse in me a passion for those who have yet to find their voice in their grief.  In Your Name, Amen.

Pastor Mike

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