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“The clearer our understanding of who God is, the better our prayers. Instinctive prayer is like an emergency flare in reaction to a general sense of God’s reality. Prayer as a spiritual gift is a genuine, personal conversation in reply to God’s specific, verbal revelation.”  

~ Timothy Keller, Prayer46.

DEVOTIONAL FOR JUNE 17, 2014

“This is the man to whom I will look, he that is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word.” (Isaiah 66:2)

The first mark of the upright heart is that it trembles at the Word of the Lord.

Isaiah 66 deals with the problem of some who worship in a way that pleases God and some who worship in a way that doesn’t. Verse 3 describes the wicked who bring their sacrifices: “He who slaughters an ox is like him who kills a man; and he who sacrifices a lamb, like him who breaks a dog’s neck.” Their sacrifices are an abomination to God — on a par with murder. Why?

In verse 4 God explains: “When I called, no one answered, when I spoke they did not listen.” Their sacrifices were abominations to God because the people were deaf to his voice. But what about those whose prayers God heard? God says in verse 2, “This is the man to whom I will look, he that is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word.”

I conclude from this that the first mark of the upright, whose prayers are a delight to God, is that they tremble at God’s Word. These are the people to whom the Lord will look.

For the rest of the post…

“Our prayers reveal much about us. Prayers with little or no worship and focusing in on our own needs (usually health) reveal a distorted, Adamic bent. What they reveal is self-centeredness, what Martin Luther labels homo in se incurvatus: “man curved in on himself.

Listen to prayers at the church prayer meeting (if one still exists). You will discover that the majority of prayers are “organ recitals”–prayers for someone’s liver, kidney or heart.

Not that we shouldn’t pray for medical issues, but a preoccupation with health itself is a reflection of how little we understand why it is we desire good health. We desire it so that the person we are praying for lives for Jesus Christ”

Dr. Derek W.H. ThomasPrayer in TabletalkApril 2012, 14.

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