40 days of prayer are here and gone. Time flies. It’s March now, which is a happy word during Wisconsin winters, and though I know that snow still finds its way here (like today) the temperatures moderate a bit, and if spring isn’t quite in the air, at least hope is.
So here are some final thoughts on this season of prayer:
1. Now is the time to watch. David said in Psalm 5:3, “In the morning O Lord, thou wilt hear my voice; in the morning I will order my prayer to Thee and eagerly watch.” As you have been “ordering your prayers before” God over these 40 days, now is the time to watch Him move in response to your petitions, and watch Him eagerly.
Watching is a key part of prayer, which is one reason that keeping track of your petitions, while not required in any sense, is a wonderful thing to do.
2. Now is the time to glorify God. One of the great purposes of prayer is that in receiving answers, we glorify God. Psalm 50:15 says, “…call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.” (ESV) If God has moved in response to your consistent seeking, then consider taking some time, some special time, to glorify and honor Him.
When we were trying to get pregnant for the first time, Diane went through two miscarriages. Both times, obviously, we were heartbroken. But we hadn’t really told anyone about the pregnancies, because we had heard you should wait until the 12th week to make sure you don’t miscarry. Well, when she was pregnant the third time, we broke all the rules. We started telling people right away. Why? Because we wanted them to pray that the baby (a.k.a. Josh) would make it to full term, and when he did, we had many people to glorify God with us.
One of the great purposes of prayer is this: when God delivers us, we glorify Him. I’ll bet God has done some deliverance if you have prayed over these last 40 days. Glorify Him!
3. Now is the time to keep praying. Jesus told his disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane, “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” And in the last 2,000 years, nothing has changed. We have spirits willing to do what is right, and flesh that is weak. And that is just one of a thousand reasons that we need to keep praying. We need the Lord. Simple as that. We need Him for everything. Have you seen that over the last 40 days. More than one person has told me that their life will never be the same. I hope that is true of you.
So by the grace of God, whatever pattern you have established over these last 40 days, don’t stop now. Keep going. Keep coming day by day to the throne of grace and you will see over and over again, that your receive mercy and grace in your time of need.
One final note: The blog will continue, though with a little more variety in subject matter (that is, whatever I’m pondering at the moment) and once a week or so, I intend, Lord willing, to continue to write about prayer over this year which at Edgewood we are calling the Year of Prayer. If you haven’t yet, you might consider clicking on the link to your right to receive email notifications when the blog is published, because likely it won’t be every day, but more like 3 – 5 times a week. So, God bless everyone, and thanks for reading!
March 2, 2012 at 8:13 pm
Have so enjoyed reading your blog and so glad you will continue. I’ve enjoyed, been taught, been convicted, thank you.
March 3, 2012 at 8:00 am
Sure appreciate it, JoAnn. Good to see you last week!
March 2, 2012 at 10:19 pm
Pastor knowlton, I have missed hearing your sermons since I moved to Madison last year, and this blog has been such a blessing and gift for me since that move. Thank you pastor knowlton.
March 3, 2012 at 7:58 am
Thanks so much, Vicki! You are an encouragement! Hope you’re doing well.
March 4, 2012 at 4:58 pm
I agree…..I am compelled to praise Him for his goodness and mercy to me! He has rescued me from so many snares!
March 4, 2012 at 8:00 pm
You and me both, Connie!