Streams in the Desert: Morning and Evening
By L.B. Cowman, Compiler
“Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him."
Prayer is the link that connects us with God. It is the bridge that spans every gulf and carries us safely over every chasm of danger or need.
Think of the significance of this story of the first-century church: Everything seemed to be coming against it, for Peter was in prison, the Jews appeared triumphant, Herod still reigned supreme, and the arena of martyrdom was eagerly awaiting the next morning so it could drink the apostle’s blood. “But the church was earnestly praying to God for him.” So what was the outcome? The prison was miraculously opened, the apostle freed, the Jews bewildered, and as a display of God’s punishment, wicked King Herod “was eaten by worms and died.” And rolling on to even greater victory, “the word of God continued to spread and flourish” (vv. 23–24). Do we truly know the power of our supernatural weapon of prayer?
Do we dare to use it with the authority of a faith that not only asks but also commands? God baptizes us with holy boldness and divine confidence, for He is looking not for great people but for people who will dare to prove the greatness of their God! “But the church was earnestly praying.” ~A. B. SIMPSON
In your prayers, above everything else, beware of limiting God, not only through unbelief but also by thinking you know exactly what He can do. Learn to expect the unexpected, beyond all that you ask or think.
So each time you intercede through prayer, first be quiet and worship God in His glory. Think of what He can do, how He delights in Christ His Son, and of your place in Him—then expect great things. ~ANDREW MURRAY
Our prayers are God’s opportunities. Are you experiencing sorrow? Prayer can make your time of affliction one of strength and sweetness. Are you experiencing happiness? Prayer can add a heavenly fragrance to your time of joy. Are you in grave danger from some outward or inward enemy? Prayer can place an angel by your side whose very touch could shatter a millstone into smaller grains of dust than the flour it grinds, and whose glance could destroy an entire army.
What will prayer do for you? My answer is this: Everything that God can do for you. “Ask for whatever you want me to give you” (2 Chronicles 1:7). ~FREDERICK WILLIAM FARRAR
Wrestling prayer can wonders do,
Bring relief in dire straits;
Prayer can force a passage through
Iron bars and heavy gates.
Holy Father, attend to each of us in the area of prayer. We desperately admit to our need of having our hearts cultivated and molded in the school of prayer. We are weak, and we need you to strengthen us in the holy work of prayer. Our spirit cries out to you to make us holy as You are Holy. Our soul stands in need of Your power to control our thoughts and emotions so that they do not lead us astray. And our bodies look only to You for the courage to be broken, and denied its fleshly desires, so that our life may bring Your heart joy. O God revive in us a passion to pray, and may the fire you light never grow dim in our hearts. In Your Gracious Name, I pray, Amen.
Identify one area of your life that is not sanctified before God and write it on sheet of paper. It may be a quick temper, or a relationship, or an unresolved conflict, or a marital concern, or some other area. Then determine one action you will do every day to correct and change that area of your life, and make every effort to do it. Finally, look at the sheet every morning and pray for God’s help in changing that one area of your life until it no longer exist, and then move on to the next area.
L.B. COWMAN. Streams in the Desert: Morning and Evening Devotions (p. 748-749). Zondervan.
Published on Jan 9 @ 12:25 AM EDT