Strive in Prayer


Today’s Reading: Lam 3:1–66, Rom 15:22–33, Prov 31:1–9

Today’s Theme: Strive in Prayer

Today there is a general theme of prayer.

We learn that prayer is not automatic as if God had no personality or choice in either hearing our prayers or in the way He answers. Other religions see God as a force to be tapped into with no power of choice or essence of person to refuse our requests, which is not the biblical picture of God.

We also learn about God graciously taking up our case and the call for us to strive in prayer with our leaders.

We should always pray that God’s will be done regardless of our own requests or plans.

The final lesson is that the temporary escape from problems through drink, is of no benefit, and in keeping with our theme, we should bring our cares to God in prayer.

Lamentations 3:1–66

The steadfast love of the Lord

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.(Lamentations 3:22–23, ESV)

This is where that wonderful hymn ‘the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases…’ is taken from.

We should consider this truth and rejoice in it, that God’s steadfast love never ends and He shows us new mercy every morning, which should fill our hearts with joy and assurance in His love.

Prayers are not automatic

you have wrapped yourself with a cloud so that no prayer can pass through.(Lamentations 3:44, ESV)

We must not presume on God hearing anyone’s prayers, God actively chooses to ignore some prayers if they are said in hypocrisy, for example. God is personally active and voluntarily involved in the hearing and answering of each individual prayer made to Him.

God has taken up our case

“You have taken up my cause, O Lord; you have redeemed my life.(Lamentations 3:58, ESV)

Lord, thank you for taking up our case, fighting for us and paying the price to redeem us.

Romans 15:22–33

Strive in prayer

I appeal to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf,(Romans 15:30, ESV)

There must be striving and purpose in our prayers for our leaders, that God would hear and answer our prayers and take up our case.

By God’s will

so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and be refreshed in your company.(Romans 15:32, ESV)

We should always say by God’s will, we make our plans and set about to work, praying the Lord’s will be done. This is an important element of our general prayers that Jesus taught us and we must not forget it.

Proverbs 31:1–9

Escaping does not help

let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more.(Proverbs 31:7, ESV)

The purpose of wine and strong drink… no thanks, escaping is not the answer!

Earlier in this passage we read that a King should not drink wine and strong drink so that they can always use good judgement.

Instead of escaping with drink, bring your requests to God in prayer.

Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.

Additional resources

The Gospel Coalition on Romans 15

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