Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Let Us Draw Near

Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16

Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Lent is a season of fasting and prayer before Easter, representing the forty days Jesus spent in the wilderness before He began His earthly ministry. It is a time for believers to prepare for the celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

For me personally, I want to use this season as a time to devote myself more actively to prayer.

As Christians, we have the duty, and an awesome privilege, to speak to God the Father directly through prayer. I must include this excerpt from a sermon by Pastor John Piper because the Holy Spirit has used it to compel me to this season of focused prayer.

"But the hard truth is that most Christians don’t pray very much. They pray at meals—unless they’re still stuck in the adolescent stage of calling good habits legalism. They whisper prayers before tough meetings. They say something brief as they crawl into bed. But very few set aside set times to pray alone—and fewer still think it is worth it to meet with others to pray. And we wonder why our faith is weak. And our hope is feeble. And our passion for Christ is small.

Is it true that intentional, regular, disciplined, earnest, Christ-dependent, God-glorifying, joyful prayer is a duty? . . . Is it a discipline? You can call it that.

It’s a duty the way it’s the duty of a scuba diver to put on his air tank before he goes underwater.
It’s a duty the way pilots listen to air traffic controllers.
It’s a duty the way soldiers in combat clean their rifles and load their guns.
It’s a duty the way hungry people eat food.
It’s a duty the way thirsty people drink water.
It’s a duty the way a deaf man puts in his hearing aid.
It’s a duty the way a diabetic takes his insulin.
It’s a duty the way Pooh Bear looks for honey.
It’s a duty the way pirates look for gold.

God has given us means of grace. If we do not use them to their fullest advantage, our complaints against him will not stick. If we don’t eat, we starve. If we don’t drink, we get dehydrated. If we don’t exercise a muscle, it atrophies. If we don’t breathe, we suffocate. And just as there are physical means of life, there spiritual are means of grace. Resist the lies of the devil in 2009, and get a bigger breakthrough in prayer than you’ve ever had."

Every movement of God begins with prayer. During this season of Lent, I am asking the Lord for a revival. And I am drawing near to Him, asking that that revival begin with me.

In the morning, O LORD, You will hear my voice; In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch. Psalm 5:3

Join me here for the next 40 days as we draw near to God through prayer. Each day I will post what God has laid on my heart to pray for, along with Scripture verses that I am using to guide my prayer. On Sundays (historically “not counted” in the 40 days of Lent) I will post hymns and reflections that will draw us nearer to the Cross as we look forward to celebrating Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Let Us Draw Near
Words by Margaret Clarkson

Let us draw near!
The blood is spilt, the Lamb has borne the sinner's guilt;
The sacrifice for sin is made, we meet our Father unafraid;
Then let us draw near!

Let us draw near:
The holy door stands open wide forevermore;
No longer flaming angels guard the gate by Jesus' hand unbarred:
Then let us draw near!

Let us draw near!
No more we fear, our Savior bids us welcome here;
We come as guests of princely grace to feast in heaven's most holy place:
Then let us draw near!

Let us draw near,
With hearts aglow, in reverent stillness bowing low;
Before the throne love's emblems plead - in simple faith, with all our need:
Come, let us draw near!

1 comment:

Helena said...

Challenging words!!! I will be back!! Lave ya Girl!!