April 9, 2018

2 Corinthians 1:11… You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.

            This is an interesting verse about prayer, one that I have not heretofore studied. Paul is asking for prayer that the furtherance of the gospel might not be hindered. Notice the sense of urgency, “You must help us by prayer.” His conclusion is helpful as well. “Many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.” By using the word ‘Many’ twice, he draws attention to the fact that those who pray will be particularly thankful when the prayer is answered. That adds importance to prayer. The answer to the prayer is only part of the blessing… the effect on the pray-er is also significant and beneficial. I don’t want to overstate this; Paul only put it in as a final sentence in a paragraph about surviving the afflictions and burdens he endured. But, I also don’t want to miss it. He asked for prayer, knowing that he would be grateful for the same, but also knowing that when God delivered him, the people praying would be blessed. Prayer is particularly troublesome to me. At the same time, it is delightful. It is troublesome because I have learned that God is all powerful and sovereign; who do I think I am, asking Him to make or change a plan? Surely His actions are established in His character and not my requests. At the same time it is delightful to pray for something that comes to pass. Did I just pray what He was already going to do? Perhaps… but what a joy. We are told in Thessalonians to pray without ceasing. This morning, I am thinking that means to pray about everything. That makes more sense than praying an unending prayer about one thing. Both could be in view. But, today I am wondering if prayer is more about connecting with God, rather than getting an answer. Prayer is an action associated with trust. If I trust God, I am going to ask Him. ‘Trust’ is another word that I am particularly challenged by lately. Do I trust God? Why, of course, but do I always trust him?  I think I need to honestly pray, “Lord, I trust you, help my lack of trust.”  This entry is an honest study of my emotions. I do not wish to cause any consternation; but, I also don’t want to hide behind religious platitudes. This walk of faith is not simple and easy.