PRAYER

Jan Antonsson

The Glory Road Blog, A Kingdom Highway

August 4, 2018

Neosho, MO

I pray to GOD, my life a prayer, and wait for what he’ll say and do” (Psalm 130:5, The Message).

Prayer has been written about, spoken about, and preached about so much, we all think we know everything about it, but perhaps there is more to the subject to explore.  Shall we explore it together?

Moses has been on my mind and in my thoughts a lot lately, because he was an Old Testament hero to me in my youth.  I thrilled at the miracles God wrought by his hand, a man whom scripture declared was “very meek, more than all the men on the face of the earth” (Numbers 12:3, NKJV).  Meek he may have been; nevertheless, God used him to deliver the hapless sons of Israel from Pharaoh’s fury, and lead them to the land He had promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  When in their frantic flight from Egypt, they came to the Red Sea, with Pharaoh’s horsemen and six hundred battle chariots in hot pursuit, they stared death in the face as there was no way to cross the watery grave in front of them.  

Had Moses been running for any office at all, even goat herder, he would have gone down in flames because they took their fear and anxiety out on him.  I love The Message rendition of this dramatic scene:

“They told Moses, “Weren’t the cemeteries large enough in Egypt so that you had to take us out here in the wilderness to die? What have you done to us, taking us out of Egypt? Back in Egypt didn’t we tell you this would happen? Didn’t we tell you, ‘Leave us alone here in Egypt; we’re better off as slaves in Egypt than as corpses in the wilderness.’”

Moses spoke to the people: “Don’t be afraid. Stand firm and watch GOD do his work of salvation for you today. Take a good look at the Egyptians today for you’re never going to see them again. GOD will fight the battle for you. And you? You keep your mouths shut!”

“GOD said to Moses: “Why cry out to me? Speak to the Israelites. Order them to get moving. Hold your staff high and stretch your hand out over the sea: Split the sea! The Israelites will walk through the sea on dry ground. “Meanwhile I’ll make sure the Egyptians keep up their stubborn chase; I’ll use Pharaoh and his entire army, his chariots and horsemen, to put my Glory on display so that the Egyptians will realize that I am GOD (Exodus 14:11-18, The Message).

This small snippet of the story of God’s dealings with Israel proves in a nutshell why the Bible truly is a collection of the greatest stories ever told.  It also shows in shocking detail that many of us haven’t advanced much since then in our faith or trust in God’s deliverance.  I often get prayer requests from readers which I’m happy to fulfill.  Sometimes those requests involve asking for advice about some trauma in their life at the time.  I always reply that they should listen to what God has to tell them.  Frequently, they answer, “But He never says anything to me.”  I remember once telling the person that perhaps if she would quit whining, she could hear the “still small voice.”  Been there, done that, guilty as charged am I.

There is a time to speak and a time to listen:  “Be still, and know that I am God. I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth!” (Psalms 46:10, RSV).  But what to do when He seemingly doesn’t hear us; when the line is disconnected or busy and there seems to be no one there to help us?  The answer is in one of my all time favorite verses:  “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31, KJ21).  That verse meant so much to me back in the days when I jogged everyday.  It was my time of meditation to be with God, to bask in His Presence, and to soak up His counsel.

Lenny and I have a Buddhist friend who lived with us for 6 months years ago.  He sat cross legged on the floor, staring at a blank wall for his time of meditation.  Lenny often joined him, though usually, that wasn’t Lenny’s method to enter into the Presence.  I tried to join them once, didn’t even last five minutes, because sitting still isn’t my style.  Neither is being still, truth to tell, but when I jogged, my body was busy so my mind was free to soar in the heavenlies with Father God.

Lenny always said that he would not do anything until and unless he saw or heard the Father doing it.  I have adopted that for myself because only God knows the end from the beginning.  We do not, and when we try to model our behavior on what we guess He wants, we often miss the mark.  Yesterday, the answer came regarding an issue which has concerned me for several months.  He lifted that burden and relieved me of responsibility for finding a solution. What a blessing it is to depend on Him to show me what to do,  because without a “green light” from Father God, I will not move on anything.  I am flawed and fallible. He is neither.

Our Brother Paul encouraged us to “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing” (I Thessalonians 5:17, ESV), but at one point in my walk, I asked why bother to pray, when my prayers seemingly were going unanswered.  Because our Abba is tender and kind to the ungrateful (Luke 6:35), He never rebuked me for that, but patiently waited until I understood that a major reason for us to pray is to “to enter into, to practice His Presence.”  When we pray, we are ushered into the Throne Room where we may plead our cause, repent of our stubborn clinging to our own will, and bask in His love and concern.  That’s worth the price of the ticket right there.

Lenny spoke often to the Baptist men to whom he was sent, about God knowing the end from the beginning.  It took a while for the meaning of that to soak in for me.  Here’s the verse:   “Remember your history, your long and rich history. I am GOD, the only God you’ve had or ever will have, incomparable, irreplaceable,

From the very beginning telling you what the ending will be, All along letting you in on what is going to happen, Assuring you, ‘I’m in this for the long haul, I’ll do exactly what I set out to do’” (Isaiah 46:8-11, The Message).

Paul echoed this thought in his letter to the Ephesians,  “In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will (Ephesians 1:11, ESV).  Once this verse soaked into my spirit, I understood that it is by God’s will, not Jan’s that my prayers are answered positively or negatively.  That may seem frustrating, but in reality, the acknowledgment of this great truth brings peace and comfort, rest for the weary soul because His burden is easy and His yoke is light. Our only response then,  is to quit whining,  sit down, buckle up, and know that He’s driving this train.

Father, we rest in the sure knowledge that YOU do all things well.  Thank You for choosing us in Christ before the worlds were formed, for inviting us to walk with you and talk with you and be with you forever.  Remove the veil from our eyes to see You as You are, that we may be like You.  Grant that we may hear the seventh angel sounding and the many voices declaring, “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign for ever and ever!”  Amen.  Jan Antonsson

Jan Austin Antonsson

17178 Highway 59, Neosho, MO 64850 (Snail Mail)

All our writings from 1997 to 2010 are on

The Glory Road

Our writings from 2010 until the present are on this blog.

We always enjoy hearing from you!

Jantonsson@aol.com

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