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Tag Archives: Prayer

Isaac Intreated The Lord

“And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived.” (Genesis 25:21 KJV)

As Sarah before her, Rebekah was barren and unable to conceive a child. But there is a remarkable distinction between Abraham’s response to Sarah’s infertility and Isaac’s response to Rebekah’s infertility. Back in Genesis 16, we read about Sarah’s scheme to employ her handmaiden, Hagar, as a surrogate through which Abraham could produce offspring for their family:

“So Sarai said to Abram, “The Lord has prevented me from having children. Go and sleep with my servant. Perhaps I can have children through her.” And Abram agreed with Sarai’s proposal.” (Genesis 16:2 NLT)

But what did Isaac do when his wife was unable to conceive? He went to the Lord in prayer. We know that Abraham was a great man of faith, so we naturally assume that he had prayed and petitioned God about his wife’s barrenness a great deal before resorting to the plan of using Hagar to bear a son. But perhaps we assume too much. We see in Genesis 15:2-3 that Abraham asked God about who his heir would be, but we do not see him asking God to give him a son by Sarah. Would this have made any difference in the time frame in which his son would be born? Only God knows. But we do know that it pleases the Lord when we specifically ask Him for those things which we desire.

How often do we neglect to ask the Lord for those things which we desire? We go about our daily lives without pausing to take the time to petition the Lord for those things of which we are in need. We know for certain that God is not ignorant of those things which we need and desire, although we are also aware that He delights in our taking the time to acknowledge those needs to Him. And so we forgo the formality of bringing our requests to Him in prayer and hope that He will grant them anyway. It seems such a simple point to remember, but so often we overlook it. James penned a timeless axiom in regard to this reason for unmet needs:

“…You do not have because you do not ask.” (James 4:2)

Who can know but God what heartache, what suffering, what needless pain that Isaac avoided by going straight to the Lord in prayer when he and Rebekah were unable to conceive? Unlike his parents before him, Isaac did not seek to take matters into his own hands. We learned in the life of Abraham that God can cause His will to come to pass regardless of our own failures and frailties. Abraham’s mistake of going to Hagar in order to conceive a son in no way frustrated the plan of God to bring about a line of descendants through Isaac, a line through which the Lord Jesus Christ Himself would ultimately come. But at what cost was this mistake to Abraham? At what cost to his descendants? To this day, the sons of Ishmael (the Arabs) afflict the sons of Isaac (the Jews) and there is a never-ending strife between them.

Without any doubt,  Abraham must have surely told Isaac of all that God had promised him. He must have related to him many times how a multitude of descendants would come from them and that their seed would be too vast to number. Yet when Rebekah was unable to conceive, Isaac did not sit idly by, supposing that his petition to the Lord was unnecessary. No, he took his request to God and intreated Him for her. What a great reminder that we should do the same.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6)

To Jesus Christ goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

loren@answersfromthebook.org

[This post was originally published May 4, 2010]

[If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not certain where you are headed when this life ends, I invite you to read the article “Am I Going To Heaven?“]

**Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) © The Lockman Foundation and are used by permission.

Scriptures marked (CSB) are taken from the Christian Standard Bible  (CSB) Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

Scriptures marked (NLT) are taken from the New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible,New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Scriptures marked (KJV) are taken from the King James Version of the Holy Bible, Public Domain.

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Man Was Given Dominion

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“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” (Genesis 1:28)

Adam was given dominion over the Earth and instructed to “subdue it.” God intended for mankind to rule over the Earth as His representative. All things would be subject to mankind’s authority and man would be accountable only to God. Yet for this one stipulation, Adam would sacrifice all. Satan would tempt Adam and Eve to desire not to rule under God’s authority and in His stead, but to rule as gods themselves.

In this passage of Genesis 1:28-30, we have a beautiful picture of God’s wonderful grace. God provided everything that the man and woman would need (v.29), freely giving them dominion over all things to enjoy. He gave them power over the Earth itself and sent them forward to populate it. But they would forget that it was only by God’s grace that they would continue to enjoy the dominion that they had been given. Verse 28 says that God “blessed” them. This was not a one time blessing as we might initially think, but rather an ongoing “blessing”;  in that it was God Who was the continual Source of their blessing and provision.

Jesus Christ would later come to Earth as the last “Adam” (1 Corinthians 15:45). He would come with the power and dominion over the Earth which the first Adam had laid down in his disobedience. Jesus demonstrated this authority in His power over sickness, disease, death, demons, and even the weather itself. He would walk on water, calm the storms, raise the dead, and feed the multitudes with a single basket of food. But Jesus would do these things under the authority of the Father. He would exercise this dominion the way that it was intended to be used.

In this fallen world, we do not have the dominion and authority over the Earth that Adam was given. Nor do we have the dominion that Jesus exercised. But He has given us the dominion and authority to do the things that He has called us to do. It doesn’t come from our own power, but from God’s power. We may not be able to heal the sick, raise the dead, or calm the stormy seas, but we serve the One Who can. He has equipped us and anointed us to do those things which He has called us to do.

Lord,

Thank You that we serve the One to Whom all power and authority has been given. We may not have the dominion over the Earth that Adam was originally given, but You do.

Lord, we pray that You work in our lives and exercise Your dominion over our own circumstances. Bless us and provide for us just as You blessed and provided for the very first man and woman. As we walk in Your grace and blessing, Lord, may we never lose sight that all blessings, all provision, and all dominion comes from You. May we never take for granted any power and authority You do bestow upon us, seeking to usurp that which You have not given. Lord, may we always seek Your glory in all things,  not our own.

In the name of Jesus,

Amen

[This post was originally published July 26, 2009]

All Food Is Provided By God

"And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so." (Genesis 1:11)

“And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.” (Genesis 1:11 KJV)

Not long ago, I read about an animated television show that depicted a young boy and his family sitting at the dinner table. The young boy was being more or less forced against his will to pray the blessing over the meal by his parents. So, he sarcastically said, “Lord, thank You for this food even though we were the ones who worked to earn the money to buy it.”

Such a statement was obviously written into the script to elicit a laugh from an audience hostile towards God. When I read about it, I was reminded how there really are so many people who hold such a prideful attitude. They feel that they have been given nothing in this world and have earned everything that they have ever received.

The truth of the matter is that it does not matter how much money a person has nor how hard they have worked to earn it. If God had not created the plants and trees that would bear the fruit to feed us, we would starve. I knew of a man who would not lift a glass of water to his mouth without giving thanks to God. It wasn’t the monetary value of the water or the difficulty or ease with which he acquired it that caused him to give thanks. He was thankful to the One Who had created the water in the first place.

Whether we acknowledge Him or not, it is only by the grace of God that any of us has anything to eat. God created the fruits, grains, and even the animals who bear the meat that we consume in order to stay alive. No man is fed save by the Hand of God. Are you giving Him the credit that He deserves or are you supposing that you eat entirely through your own efforts?

To Jesus Christ goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

loren@answersfromthebook.org

[This post was originally published July 19, 2009]

**Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) © The Lockman Foundation and are used by permission.

[If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not certain where you are headed when this life ends, I invite you to read the article “Am I Going To Heaven?“]

Were Not Our Hearts Burning Within Us?

Brooklyn_Museum_-_The_Pilgrims_of_Emmaus_on_the_Road_(Les_pèlerins_d'Emmaüs_en_chemin)_-_James_Tissot

They said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:32)

The two travelers to Emmaus were astonished by their own unbelief after the Lord Jesus revealed His identity to them. How could they have walked so many miles beside the Savior, hearing His own exposition of Scripture and not have even recognized Him?

The Lord Jesus speaks into the ears of many, both those who are His own and those who are not. Some recognize Him, others don’t. Yet the day will come when we shall see Him for Who He truly is and wonder, like the two travelers, did not my heart burn within me as I heard His Words? How could I have failed to recognize, in so many instances, the voice of the Son Of God speaking into my life?

“And they approached the village where they were going, and He acted as though He were going farther.” (Luke 24:28)

Jesus had appeared to these two men for the specific purpose of showing them that what had happened to Him in Jerusalem was not the end, it was only the beginning. All that had transpired was according to the plan of God. The Crucifixion, the Resurrection, all of it had been spoken of by the Holy Spirit, through the prophets, and recorded in the Scriptures.

And it was the response of the two disciples to what He had said that caused Him to tarry long enough to show Himself to them. Though He did not intend to go farther, Jesus acted as though He would. They asked Him to stay with them. Their prayer, as it were, was that the Lord might remain with them.

God is speaking to us daily; through His Word, through the preaching of His ministers, through the circumstances of our lives. He would that we would all pray Him, “Abide with me.” But for some His voice makes no impression at all and the heart remains hard and the ear closed. So He goes father, just as He has before. And with each passing the hardened heart grows colder and His voice seems all the fainter. It is never His intention to pass us by, He only acted as if He would go farther along the Road to Emmaus. No, His business and purpose was within the place where Clops and his companion were staying.

May we all stay sensitive to the voice of our Shepherd. May we recognize Him when He speaks. And may we, too, bid Him to stay with us.

To God goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

loren@answersfromthebook.org

**Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) © The Lockman Foundation and are used by permission.

[If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not certain where you are headed when this life ends, I invite you to read the article “Am I Going To Heaven?“]

These Men Had Been With Jesus (Acts 4:13)

“When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13 NIV)

Lord,

This verse of your Holy Word convicts me because I confess that there are not many “astonished” by my courage for You. We, the people of Your Body, are all ordinary men yet You have called us to do extraordinary things by the power of Your Spirit. For it was not the courage and confidence of Peter that gave him the strength to preach the Gospel before the very men who called for Your blood to be shed, but Your Word tells us that he was filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 4:8). It is not many of the wise, or the noble of this world whom You have called to share the Message of Salvation with a lost and dying world but ordinary, weak and earthen vessels into whom You have poured Your power.

Nor is our courage and confidence to be found in the education and knowledge of this age, even if such things have their benefits. Though we might possess great acumen for scholarship, or a prodigious aptitude for philosophical and intellectual pursuits, these can do nothing to change a hardened heart except Your Spirit moves upon it. Neither must a lack of education or learning be cause for fear and anxiety because, after all, it was Your power present in those two fishermen that day that made the lame man walk — something which all the combined mental abilities of some of the greatest thinkers in Israel could not accomplish. Day after day that crippled man was set right before the door of the great temple as the most prominent religious leaders in the nation walked right by him and his legs remained as lifeless as they had been the day before; until Your Spirit raised him up at the word of two of the most unlikely men in the entire assembly. 

Perhaps, Lord God, it is the last words of this verse which bring the most conviction. Because after the miracle of the crippled man leaping up and walking and the untrained fishermen preaching boldly in the temple to the astonishment of the religious leaders of the Sanhedrin, it is said that those present took note that these men had been with Jesus. Their words and their actions did not reflect their own “glory” but pointed squarely to the One Who had sent them: You, Lord Jesus. Are those whom I encounter in my own day-to-day life taking note that I have spent time with Jesus? Are they hearing my words and seeing my actions and praising my Heavenly Father? Or do I even look and sound like I have spent much time with You at all? 

Lord, let my life be so lived that others may examine it and take note that I have been with Jesus. Let my own words and actions be saturated with a holy courage, causing others to be “astonished” that the power of God can work through even the feeblest of instruments. Let me sit and learn at the feet of the Master and enable me to proclaim with boldness those things which I shall hear there. 

In the name of Jesus I pray,

Amen

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