The Struggle to See The Need For Prayer

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Hi R____,

Thank you for your honest response to that e- mail. The way you feel at this time is very common to anyone who comes to know that God is “working all things… the preparations of the heart and the answer of the tongue… after the counsel of His own will,” and that it is all “predestinated.”
It is logical to come to the conclusion that the fervent prayer of a righteous man doesn’t really change anything, and that we really ought never to make our petitions known to God because we should be seeking only His will.
But the truth, nevertheless, is that we are predestined to be brought into trials that will involuntarily prompt a fervent prayer by a righteous man, such as this prayer.

Luk 22:40  And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.
Luk 22:41  And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,
Luk 22:42  Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
Luk 22:43  And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.
Luk 22:44  And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
Luk 22:45  And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow,
Luk 22:46  And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.
Luk 22:47  And while he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him.

Twice in this story our Lord tells His disciples to “Pray that you enter not into temptation.” We will all be tried and tempted, but we are nevertheless exhorted by our Lord Himself to pray that we be not led into temptation. That is the same exhortation He gave them when He instructed them how they ought to pray.

Mat 6:8  Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
Mat 6:9  After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Mat 6:10  Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as [ it is] in heaven.
Mat 6:11  Give us this day our daily bread.
Mat 6:12  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Mat 6:13  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Notice that all these very general requests are instructed to be made immediately after informing us that “your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. “

This is all coming from our same Lord who devoted two whole parables to telling us to make our petitions known and be persistent in prayer. Why does God do this?
The answer is that He certainly does not do it for His own benefit. He already knows every word we will pray. We are instructed to be persistent and fervent in prayer for our own benefit, “that you enter not into temptation.” If we do not follow these instructions we will certainly “enter into temptation, and if we are stubborn in resisting these instructions, then that temptation just might be the temptation of Judas.

Yes, it is all written in advance, but the example of our Lord demonstrates that those who are “as He is” will be brought to fervent and persistent prayer.
So if you are not yet led to pray for any specific thing then just wait until that time comes, because it will come, just as it came to our Lord. You have apparently be given to “pray without ceasing,” and you have been given to ask “thy will be done” so if He wills it you will become a fervent, persistent prayer warrior who will “pray that you enter not into temptation” in God’s own time.
None of us is really alone, but we are all scattered and in dire need of each other’s fellowship and yes, each other’s prayers.
You are right where God wants you at this time. Your prayer life is what He wants it to be at this time, but rest assured you will be brought to fervent prayer for specific needs at your own appointed time.

Your brother in Christ,
Mike

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