As I read Ecclesiastes 5:1-3 this morning, I could not help but feel this was timely in the light of our current cultural and social environment. Ecclesiastes 5:2 was especially instructional, Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. To all the Christians out there, remember who is in control. Nothing you can say outside of love will ever change someone else’s opinion. Only God can truly change people through the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives. Prayer and trust in God is more effective than yelling at someone on social media. God is in control no matter what you think and feel.
We all get overwhelmed by our circumstances and stress. And while we don’t always turn to God as our first response, He is the best solution to all our problems in ever situation. In Psalm 142:1 David begins the Psalm with a plea for help, I cry aloud to the Lord; I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy. There is no question God is the only guaranteed solution to all our problems. We may not always like the answers, and our requests may not be answered exactly as we had envisioned in our minds, but when God answers our prayers, it is the best answer in the light of eternity.
God is always there for us when we need Him. He listens to every word when we ask Him for help and He answers us according to His will. David recognized this in Psalm 66:20 Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me! God deserves our praise for may reasons, but especially because He listens and answers our individual prayers and our prayers as a body of believers who wait patiently for God’s perfect plan.
In my opinion, the best time to spend time in prayer is first thing in the morning. It is when our minds are most clear from the stress of the day. In Psalm 5:3 David says, In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation. When we set our mind right with God in the morning and we lay our needs at His feet, we then have the entire day to wait and see Him answer our prayers.
God asks us to pray, not because He needs us to ask, but because it is a privilege to interact with the creator of the universe. We are children of God and He wants us to have a personal relationship with Him where we interact with Him and ask Him to intercede in our lives.
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In todays reading, Paul urges us to pray. In 1 Timothy 2:1-2 he says, 1 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. Even though God already knows our needs and requests, He still wants to engage with us in a dialogue that expresses our need for Him in our lives. Paul also urges us to pray for those in authority over us, including rulers and governments. This is a remarkable request from Paul considering Nero was the Roman Emperor at the time (A.D. 54-68). Nero was a very cruel ruler who would later heavily persecute Christians (e.g., after Nero needed a scapegoat for the fire that destroyed much of Rome, he blamed the Roman Christians – A.D. 64). But Paul knew the importance of praying for those in authority. No matter how bad a ruler or government may be, only God can ultimately change them.
In chapter 54, David is asking God to hear his prayer and to deliver him from his enemies. In verse 2 it says, Hear my prayer, O God; listen to the words of my mouth. How often do I need to feel God is hearing my prayers and is going to answer them.