Today’s (Mo 08/01/2018) FDR is Nahum 1 and Luke 18:1-8
What does Nahum chapter 1 and the first 8 verses of Luke chapter 18 share in common? Not many things but a great powerful and merciful God. Our glorious God as the centre piece.
Yesterday Steve took us into Psalm 99 and concluded with these words:
“. . . shows us that God is both reigning king, mighty and awesome, AND loving father, responsive, forgiving and faithful. What more can we do than to fall upon our knees and ‘exalt the Lord our God for the LORD our God is Holy!’ (v9).”
Today, Nahum’s prophecy in this first chapter prophesies about an overlord called “Ninevah”, a great and worldly powerful oppressor whose descent from its own glory and might occurs in the face of the Lord’s greater power and justice. This provides us with the same perspective as more ancient readers of this prophecy such as those between 7th century BCE and Christ’s birth. That is, a message of hope and trust in God for those of us who are oppressed by our own “Nineveh”. The same message for the ancients and ourselves.
Today also this familiar passage from Luke 18, as Jesus relates the parable of the lonely and persistent widow and her constant approaches to the normally unsympathetic judge so that he accedes to her requests. Luke, in his helpful style, identifies for us that the parable’s purpose is prayer.
But how to characterise these two players in this parable? While it is easy to see ourselves as the petitioner, the widow. Possibly feeling alone and unsuppported. I don’t believe we should ascribe the role of the judge to God! In fact, it is my view that the description of the judge is deliberate to encourage us to think about our own perspective in which we see our God.
Is He a grumbling reluctant judge who approves our prayers after we have “droned on” for a while about what we want? Not so.
The Bible describes an very different God. Our God, in my experience, is an extremely generous and considerate God. A personal and committed God, who is keen for each of us to know Him and Jesus and the Holy Spirit, as part of our own lives. Also as part of our collective lives together as the church, as Christ’s redeemed people. God demonstrates His great care and interest in us in many ways, not the least of these being the provision of both a personal and collective prayer connection for ours and His use, as often and as many times as it is needed. There are many different prayer modes, of which some examples are, those urgent times when something disastrous is about to occur or has just occurred, when we or our brothers and sisters are in need of grace and peace, and in praise and worship of our great God.
Just three of all the many examples of prayer conversations we can have with God.
Why is prayer so important? Briefly, prayer demonstrates our faith in God through Christ and it stokes our hunger for things of God encouraging us to leave the sin and mundane of this world and revel in Him. Prayer is an important part of each of us remaining as an elect child of God and those who will be taken on Christ’s turbulent return to be with Him.
Its time to pray. Its always time to pray.
Note to all diaries: Monthly FAC Community prayer mornings recommence on Sat 3rd February, 2018 from 7am to 9am.