D. L. Moody wrote “I had rather know how to pray than how to preach, the Lord Jesus never taught his disciples how to preach, but rather, how to pray”. Several old and wise men of God have told me over the years “preaching is easy when you love God and know your bible; it’s praying that often eludes us”. I have seen that is right. Isaiah 59 tells us “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. [Isaiah 59:1-2] From this it is clear that the physical consequence of our sins bleeds over into our spiritual life and impacts our prayers and sanctification. We know this is the case for we see how that great men of God in the bible have sought God’s intercession by first repenting of their own sins and the sins of the people. Take for example one of my favorite verses from Daniel chapter 9 vs 16 where the bible records Daniel praying “O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us. 17 Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord’s sake. 18 O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies”. I wish I had something to trade for God’s mercies. I wish I had some work which I might offer in trade for God’s goodness when I call on his name in prayer. But the reality is that I have learned, like Paul said in [Romans 7] “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but…” and like Paul I have learned that all I can do is cast myself upon the mercy of my Great and Terrible God and ask my petitions in his mercy. As it should, this Christ centered prayer puts the glory of answered prayer upon Christ rather than man. For instance: take the lame man in Acts 3:1-6 who, after Peter and John prayed for him in the name of Christ, he was healed and leaped and praised God! When the people were amazed and turned to Peter and John, Peter said [Acts 3:12] “Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? Or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk?” Notice that wording carefully, it wasn’t by Peter and John’s power NOR by their own holiness that God’s mercy was obtained but by God’s glorifying his son and thereby Peter and John trusted God’s mercy for this answered prayer. So let us strive to live as Christlike as is possible, sanctifying ourselves in heart and mind and let us trust in God’s mercies and not our own power or holiness for our prayers. Calvary Baptist Church welcomes you to come and be a part of the family of God with us. Calvarybcpalestine.com 903-729-5924