But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof. Proverbs 1:25.
In the night season the angel of God came to Balaam with the message, “Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people: for they are blessed.” …
A second time Balaam was tested. In response to the solicitations of the ambassadors he professed great conscientiousness and integrity, assuring them that no amount of gold and silver could induce him to go contrary to the will of God. But he longed to comply with the king’s request; and although the will of God had already been definitely made known to him, he urged the messengers to tarry, that he might further inquire of God; as though the Infinite One were a man, to be persuaded.
In the night season the Lord appeared to Balaam and said, “If the men come to call thee, rise up, and go with them; but yet the word which I shall say unto thee, that shalt thou do.” Thus far the Lord would permit Balaam to follow his own will, because he was determined upon it. He did not seek to do the will of God, but chose his own course, and then endeavored to secure the sanction of the Lord.
There are thousands at the present day who are pursuing a similar course. They would have no difficulty in understanding their duty if it were in harmony with their inclinations. It is plainly set before them in the Bible or is clearly indicated by circumstances and reason. But because these evidences are contrary to their desires and inclinations they frequently set them aside and presume to go to God to learn their duty. With great apparent conscientiousness they pray long and earnestly for light. But God will not be trifled with. He often permits such persons to follow their own desires and to suffer the result…. When one clearly sees a duty, let him not presume to go to God with the prayer that he may be excused from performing it. He should rather, with a humble, submissive spirit, ask for divine strength and wisdom to meet its claims.
Conflict and Courage p. 113
—–Pray for Fred who was just diagnosed with Lung Cancer. He’s a smoker and elderly. Linda
—–Please pray that B will get a good job. L
One weekend when Esther was in college, she and her classmates went on a short singing tour to Colorado. After a long day of travel, they arrived at their destination, changed into their choir garb, and warmed up their voices. Before they were to sing, Esther and a few others suggested to the teacher that they pray before their concert. He felt that there was no time for prayer and commented, “Since the songs we are singing are religious, they are our prayer.”
As they began their concert, they knew that something was not right. They did not sound as well as they normally did and had difficulty coming in on cue. In fact, one song was so bad that their teacher stopped them and started all over. By this time, both the students and the teacher knew why they were having all of the trouble.
The next day before the concert, the teacher began with prayer. What a difference in their singing. Everything went smoothly. Everyone’s voices sounded beautiful. They could feel the angels singing with them. They could feel God’s blessing upon their concert. What a difference prayer makes!
How important it is to sanctify with prayer all that we do, all that we say. If we do so, we will be able to feel God’s blessing upon us, He angels surrond us. Paul advises, “Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thes 5:17, 18
We have a great privilege in prayer, for through it we come into the very presence of the King of the Universe. Whether we pray silently as did Nehemiah, cupbearer to a heathen king or pray before a great multitude as did Solomon when he dedicated the temple <1 Kings 8>, we can be assured that our Great Creator hears our prayer and will answer “abundantly above all that we ask or think.” Eph 3:20
Our Dear Saviour promises, ” If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” “And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you, seek, and ye shall find, knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” John 15:7, Luke 11:9-13
Think of it! Our Loving Father in Heaven is even now bending over His throne, waiting with longing desire to hear our prayer. His Great Heart of Love yearns to grant us our petitions as He sees fit. Sometimes we “ask amiss” and do not receive that for which we ask, but we can know that He has heard and answered in the way that is best for us. Whether the Great Granter of Petitions answers with a “Yes,” a “No,” a “Wait awhile.” or a “Here’s something better,” we have the assurance “that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Heb 11:6
May we pray as did David, “My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD, in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.” Ps 5:3 May we come to our Loving Redeemer telling Him all of our joys, all of our sorrows, all of our perplexities, all of our desires, laying them at His Nail-scarred Feet to be answered according to His will. May we “be careful for nothing, but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let [our] requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep [our] hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:6, 7