How excellent is thy loving kindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. 8 They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures Ps 36:7-8 (KJV).
Beloved, is a new month; the month of October our month of “Divine Lifting”. The Lord is set to do great things in our lives, glory be to His Name. Is another time of prayer and we will be considering “Adoration” This has been defined as the act of rendering Divine honor, including in it reverence, esteem and love. It literally signifies to apply the hand to the mouth, “to kiss the hand. “In Eastern countries this is one of the great marks of respect and submission. The importance of coming before God in this spirit is great, therefore it is so often impressed upon us in the Word of God.
The Rev. Newman Hall, in his work on the Lord’s Prayer, says: “Man’s worship, apart from revelation, has been uniformly characterized by selfishness. We come to God either to thank Him for benefits already received, or to implore still further benefits: food, raiment, health, safety, comfort. Like Jacob at Bethel, we are disposed to make the worship we render to God correlative with ‘food to eat, and raiment to put on.’ This style of petition, in which self generally precedes and predominates, if it does not altogether absorb, our supplications, is not only seen in the votaries of false systems, but in the majority of the prayers of professed Christians. Our prayers are like the Parthian horsemen, who ride one way while they look another; we seem to go toward God, but, indeed, reflect upon ourselves. And this may be the reason why many times our prayers are sent forth, like the raven out of Noah’s ark, and never return. But when we make the glory of God the chief end of our devotion, they go forth like the dove, and return to us again with an olive branch.”
Let me refer you to a passage in the prophecies of Daniel. He was one of the men who knew how to pray: his prayer brought the blessing of heaven upon himself and upon his people. He says: “I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes; and I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love Him, and to them that keep His commandments!”
The thought I want to call special attention to is conveyed in the words, “O Lord, the great and dreadful God!” Daniel took his right place before God—in the dust; he put God in His right place. It was when Abraham was on his face, prostrate before God, that God spoke to him. Holiness belongs to God; sinfulness belongs to us.
The Lord is calling on us to cast your cares upon Him, are ready to do that or do you want to be your burden bearer. The choice is truly yours.
. . . casting all your care upon Him, because He cares about you.—1 Peter 5:7
As you’ve no doubt discovered, becoming a Christian does not make your problems go away. But it does give you an Advocate to whom you can take every concern. The Christians Peter addressed were facing persecution. They did not know whom they could trust; a friend, a neighbor, or even a family member could betray them, resulting in suffering and even death. But Peter had walked with the risen Christ, and he had personally experienced the love that Jesus had for His followers. He knew that Christ was in control, capable of handling every trial and that He wanted to do so as an expression of His love.
Casting our cares is a choice. It means consciously handing over our anxiety to Christ and allowing Him to carry the weight of our problems. At times this is the most difficult part of trusting God! We don’t like turning over the responsibility for our problems. We have been taught that self-reliance is good and praiseworthy. We may even enjoy worrying. Yet if we are to be freed from the burden of our concerns, we must choose to cast them into the strong hands of our Father.
Peter does not distinguish between little cares and big cares. God does not differentiate between problems we should handle on our own and God-sized needs. He asks us to turn them all over to Him. One of our greatest errors is to assume we can deal with something ourselves, only to discover that we really can’t.
God sees you as His frail child, burdened with a load that surpasses your strength. He stands prepared to take your load and to carry it for you. Will you let Him?
Good question, will you let Him? Back to “Adoration” Brooks, that grand old Puritan writer, says: “A person of real holiness is much affected and taken up in the admiration of the holiness of God. Unholy persons may be somewhat affected and taken with the other excellences of God; it is only holy souls that are taken and affected with His holiness. The more holy any are, the more deeply are they affected by this. To the holy angels, the holiness of God is the sparkling diamond in the ring of glory. But unholy persons are affected and taken with anything rather than with this. Nothing strikes the sinner into such a damp as a discourse on the holiness of God; it is as the handwriting on the wall; nothing makes the head and heart of a sinner to ache like a sermon upon the Holy One; nothing galls and gripes, nothing stings and terrifies unsanctified ones, like a lively setting forth of the holiness of God. But to holy souls there are no discourses that do more suit and satisfy them, that do more delight and content them, that do more please and profit them, than those that do most fully and powerfully discover God to be glorious in holiness.” So, in coming before God, we must adore and reverence His name.
The same thing is brought out in Isaiah:
“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphim; each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said: Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory
And the Lord said open wide your mouth and I will fill it. There is the need to open our mouth before God; He hears and knows our heart desires.
“Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.” Ps. 81:10
What an encouragement to pray! Our human notions would lead us to ask small things because our deservings are so small; but the Lord would have us request great blessings. Prayer should be as simple a matter as the opening of the mouth; it should be a natural, unconstrained utterance. When a man is earnest he opens his mouth wide, and our text urges us to be fervent in our supplications.
Yet it also means that we may make bold with God, and ask many and large blessings at His hands. Read the whole verse, and see the argument: “I am Jehovah, thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it. Because the Lord has given us so much He invites us to ask for more, yea, to expect more.
See how the little birds in their nests seem to be all mouth when the mother comes to feed them. Let it be the same with us. Let us take in grace at every door. Let us drink it in as a sponge sucks up the water in which it lies. God is ready to fill us if we are Only ready to be filled.
Let our needs make us open our mouths; let our faintness cause us to open our mouths and pant; yea, let our alarm make us open our mouths with a child’s cry. The opened mouth shall be filled by the Lord Himself. So be it unto us, O Lord, this day.
I hope that our prayer lives are improving as we take time to consider all these aspects of prayer. May God help us to serve Him better. Amen. (please don’t forget that this is our welfare help us to give a cup to the thirsty).
Remain blessed in the Lord.
Evang. Ifeoma Ohondu