Eli Stanley Jones, a 20th-century missionary and theologian, once said: “Prayer is surrender to the will of God and cooperation with that will. If I throw out a hook from a boat and catch hold of the shore and pull, do I pull the shore to me, or do I pull myself to the shore? Prayer is not pulling God to my will, but the aligning of my will to the will of God.”
In PSALM 74:1-23, the psalmist complained about the desolations of the temple, which would not have been possible if God had intervened on behalf of His people. The psalmist prayed to God to act for them as He had done for their fathers, whom, by His miraculous power, He saved.
He begged God to arise and vindicate His honor against His enemies, and the enemies of His people. But the psalmist’s prayer suggested that God’s people, when they are in sore afflictions, are apt to have misgivings about God, as if He did cast off His people without a cause.
O God, why hast thou cast us off for ever? why doth thine anger smoke against the sheep of thy pasture?” (Psalm 74:1).
The psalmist never mentioned any national or personal sin, which they needed to repent of, nor did he justify the Lord’s righteous dealing in their punishment. There was no supplication for pardon and forgiveness. This showed that some people who are under divine chastisement, might humbly protest against God about their cause.
The Israelites were sorry because their enemies destroyed the temple. But they were not sorry that they had disobeyed God.
As it was then, so it is today. Many in affliction might be in such condition because of their misdeeds. Instead of looking inwards to discover their sin, they look outwards, sometimes holding God responsible for their plight. Are you in such a situation? Be contrite and meek to return to the Lord in penitence and repentance instead of making silly excuses.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: True prayer is measured by weight, not by length.
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