OK, So I am reading this book: "Behind the veils of Yemen" by Audra Grace Shelby. She shares her and her family's experience in moving from America to go and share The Light of the World, Jesus Christ, with this dark Muslim country. But more than that, her innermost heart thoughts and walk with God. You know, those questions of "why me?" and "why this and why this now at this time of our lifes?" etc. There are so many things that needs to be chewed on. I'll probably reread this book a couple more times in my life. But this one thing that I read this morning, is chewing on me. I have to share it. Each and everyone of us have to go and check our hearts, when we pray, do we really believe that God can do that which we pray. Well of course He can, He is in control of everything in this world, from the stars in the sky and politics and the beating of our hearts. but is our words just mere words, because it is the right thing to pray that God will save these people. or for that matter anything that we pray about. Let me quote the passage from the book:
"I (Audra) prayed passionately, longing for the Tihama people to hear and know Jesus. Then, as I prayed I became suddenly overwhelmed as I saw God's power. I saw His ability to move across Yemen as the Almighty God, pouring His love, surging forward to bring His peace and reconciliation to every man, woman, child. I was ecstatic. "Yes, Lord, Do It!" I cried. :Move forward!" But then I saw God holding back. It was as if He were standing on the crest of the mountain ready but waiting. He was capable, with every resource at his command, fully able to take over the valley. But He was not moving. He was waiting. I was confused. "Why, Lord?" I did not understand. "Why are you waiting?" You desire that every one of these people be saved and come to know the truth. Your word says so (see 1 Timothy 2:4)! Why are You waiting?" I heard the Lord's clear answer. " I am waiting until My desire is the desire in the hearts of My people. I am waiting for My people to want what I want and to ask Me for it....... Did God's people desire Muslim nations to hear God's message? ...... Were they praying like they desired it? Were they praying like they believed God could do it? "
So this had me pondering. Do we pray Please God save all these people but do not really mean, we just pray because it is the right thing to do. when we meet for prayer meetings it is what people would want to hear us pray, but deep in our hearts we feel a bit uncomfortable because maybe tomorrow God will ask of me to go to Yemen or Mozambique or to my next door neighbour or wherever and share His word. or my Muslim/ Hindu/ Atheist/ Jewish/ gangster/ add what you like neighbour would sit next to me in church and I don't really want to see them, here in our church? It's so comfortable here just us group of friends, why more people? Do we really desire what God is desiring. and if we do desire that, do we believe that He can do it?
Here is some scripture verses that go with this for you to ponder on. and Yes there are probably many more verses that I could have quoted. Shall we check our hearts before God and really pray what He desires and believe that He can do it?
Psalm 44:21b "For He (God) knows the secrets of the heart.
Psalm 37:4. Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.
Matthew 6:6-7. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who sees in secret and He will reward you. And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.
Matt 19:26: With man this is impossible but with God all things are possible.
1 Tim 2:1-6
Hebrews 11:6, and without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him.
Heb. 9:14 : How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.
Col. 4:2-3 Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ.
John 14:13-14. Whatever you ask in My Name, This I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in My Name, I will do it.
John 15:7-8. If you abide in me, and my words abide in your, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you may bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples.
Psalm 25:14; Psalm 104:34; Psalm 96: 3, Psalm 112:1; Heb 13:20-21; James 1:22; James 4: 5-10.