Once again, God is calling us to stop thinking about ourselves all the time! Today’s lesson by O. Chambers gets straight to the root of the problem:
A pitiful, sickly, and self-centered kind of prayer and a determined effort and selfish desire to be right with God are never found in the New Testament. The fact that I am trying to be right with God is actually a sign that I am rebelling against the atonement by the Cross of Christ. . . . There is a great deal of prayer that comes from actual disbelief in the atonement. Jesus is not just beginning to save us–HE HAS ALREADY SAVED US COMPLETELY. It is an accomplished fact, and it is an insult to Him for us to ask Him to do what He has already done.
If you are not now receiving the “hundredfold” which Jesus promised (see Matthew 19:29), and not getting insight into God’s Word, then start praying for your friends–enter into the ministry of the inner life. “The Lord restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends.”
There’s a few things I think about when I read this but I’m only going to focus on praying for friends–and “enemy’s”. When we pray for others with the intent for them to know God more and to experience Christ in their life as we’ve experienced Him, our mind is off of ourselves and on others; it’s impossible to hate or dislike someone while praying for them–our hearts are restored to love them–a characteristic of Christ–even though things may have not changed; when we pray for our spouse or our children, the offenses they may have done “against” us begin to disappear because we start considering their situation and their needs which help us understand more their actions–our relationship is restored and strengthened–we are more like Christ . . .In short, changing our focus to others brings about the change that can’t come when we’re focused on ourselves.
By the way–and this is a BIG by the way–don’t pray with strings or preconceived ideas or outcomes. God uses every life situation and experience to bring us to Him, let Him do things His way with others, they are where they are because He designed it to be that way. It’s our job not to judge their lives and situations, just to pray and be restored by unconditional love.