Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens. — Lam 3:41
The act of prayer teaches us our unworthiness—which is a very beneficial lesson for such proud beings as we are. If God gave us favors without constraining us to pray for them—we would never know how poor we are but a true prayer is an inventory of needs, a catalogue of necessities, a revelation of hidden poverty. While it is an application to divine wealth—it is also a confession of human emptiness. The most healthy state of a Christian is to be always empty in self and constantly depending upon the Lord for supplies; to be always poor in SELF and rich in Jesus; weak as water personally but mighty through God to do great exploits. And hence prayer, while it adores God, it lays the creature where it should be—in the very dust!
Prayer is in itself, apart from the answer which it brings, a great benefit to the Christian. As the runner gains strength for the race by daily exercise, so for the great race of life, we acquire energy by the hallowed labor of prayer. Prayer plumes the wings of God’s young eaglets—that they may learn to mount above the clouds. Prayer sends God’s warriors forth to combat—with their sinews braced and their muscles firm. An earnest pleader comes out of his closet, even as the sun arises from the chambers of the east, rejoicing like a strong man to run his race.
Prayer is that uplifted hand of Moses—which routs the Amalekites more than the sword of Joshua. Prayer girds human weakness with divine strength, turns human folly into heavenly wisdom, and gives the peace of God to troubled mortals. We have no idea what prayer can do!
We thank you, great God, for the mercy-seat, a choice proof of your marvelous loving-kindness. Help us to use it aright throughout this day!
Whom he did predestinate, them he also called. — Rom 8:30
In 2 Timothy 1:9 are these words, “Who has saved us, and called us with a holy calling.” Now, here is a touchstone by which we may try our calling. It is “a holy calling, not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace.” This calling forbids all trust in our own doings, and conducts us to Christ alone for salvation but it afterwards purges us from dead works to serve the living and true God. As He who has called you is holy—so must you be holy. If you are living in sin—you are not called by God. But if you are truly Christ’s, you can say, “Nothing pains me so much as sin! I desire to be rid of it! Lord, help me to be holy.” Is this the panting of your heart? Is this the tenor of your life towards God, and His divine will?
In Philippians 3:14, we are told of “the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Is then your calling, a high calling? Has it ennobled your heart, and set it upon heavenly things? Has it elevated your hopes, your tastes, your desires? Has it upraised the constant tenor of your life, so that you spend it with God and for God?
Another test we find in Hebrews 3:1, “Partakers of the heavenly calling.” Heavenly calling means a call from heaven. If man alone calls you, you are uncalled. Is your calling from God? Is it a call to heaven—as well as from heaven? Unless you are a stranger here on earth, and heaven your home—you have not been called with a heavenly calling. For those who have been so called, declare that they look for a city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God, and they themselves are strangers and pilgrims upon the earth.
Is your calling thus holy, high, heavenly? Then, beloved, you have been called of God, for such is the calling with which God always calls His people.
Morning and Evening - October 11
Public domain content taken from Morning and Evening by Charles H. Spurgeon.