|Good morning everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “Mighty Prevailing Prayer”
Our Bible verse for today: “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10 (NIV)
Our thought for today: “Let the Spirit show you your sin”
A few days ago, in a previous devotional, I noted that sometimes the reason God draws us to prayer and holds us there, delaying an answer to our prayers for perhaps weeks or even months, is to help us see that there’s something about us that needs to change before He can or will grant our prayer request.
I personally believe this can be one of the most important aspects of mighty prevailing prayer. Sometimes there are deeply embedded issues in our own life that need to be addressed. Perhaps there are character traits that are so much a part of our personality that we aren’t even aware of them, but which are not God-honoring and which therefore need to change. Often, it’s through sustained periods of prayer during which the Spirit is free to search our hearts and reveal things to us (Psalm 51:10 above), that it begins to dawn on us that we need to change.
I recently came across an interesting note about this very thing from Dr. Dennis Prager. He was commenting on the interaction between Jacob and Laban in Genesis chapter thirty-one and he noted that both Jacob and Laban were habitual liars, to the point that both of them lied as easily as they breathed. Referring to people who habitually lie this is what he wrote:
For such people, lying can become so natural they believe it themselves; they have actually convinced themselves they are not lying. According to a study conducted by a professor of cognitive neuroscience at the University College of London: ‘People who tell small, self-serving lies are likely to progress to bigger falsehoods, and over time, the brain appears to adapt to the dishonesty.” Dr. Prager goes on, “The brain adapting to dishonesty is another way of saying the individual no longer regards the lies he or she is telling as lies. It is therefore very difficult, if not impossible, for such people to change because, having done nothing wrong in their own mind, they recognize no reason to repent and therefore no reason to change.”
This is where the searching and revealing ministry of the Holy Spirit comes in. It may be difficult or even next to impossible for us to discern our own sinful ways, but the Holy Spirit can uncover such tendencies, show them to us, and move us to deal with them. But that process often takes sustained prayer. We have to be open to it and we have to want it.
Perhaps one of the greatest impacts mighty prevailing prayer can have in our own lives is to show us things about ourselves that needs to change. That’s what David was praying for in Psalm 51:10 and it’s what we should want too.
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