Collective Wisdom of the Church
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who art always more ready to hear than we to pray, and art wont to give more than either we desire or deserve; Pour down upon us the abundance of thy mercy; forgiving us those things whereof our conscience is afraid, and giving us those good things which we are not worthy to ask, but through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, thy Son, our Lord. Amen.
The collective wisdom of the church wanted people to know that God is more ready to hear us than we are to pray and that He is willing to give more than we ask or deserve. What an encouragement about the graciousness of our heavenly Father. Too often we get caught up with our sin and think it presumptuous to ask anything of God. But we need to see Him as a good Father who loves to give good gifts (James 1:17). He is not waiting for you to prove yourself, but there are cases where we don’t have because we don’t ask (James 4:2).
What Do You Think You Deserve?
Do not doubt whether you deserve something from God. You may have lung cancer because you smoke. You may be bankrupt because of poor decisions with your credit card purchases. You may have an STD because of promiscuity. You may suffer with guilt because of what you have done to someone else. Do you think this disqualifies you from a touch from God?
All sin has been punished at the cross (Colossians 2:13-14). God has no more anger for sin (Romans 8:1). You may be suffering consequences to poor decisions, but you may still go to your Father to receive mercy. Mercy is the interruption of the law of sowing and reaping, and it is readily available to you. How many of you would bail your child out of jail after they were caught drinking and driving? God sends the rain on the just and unjust. He is not looking to punish but to bless.
When we see that we have a loving Father who loves to give good gifts (James 1:17), we will have joy in our prayer lives. We will know we can come to Him. Our sins are not excused; they have been dealt with through what Jesus has done. Therefore, we can BOLDLY come before the throne of grace to find mercy in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16).
These thoughts were spurred on by a sermon by a friend of mine, Ron Kuykendall. He is an bishop at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Gainesville, FL. If you would like to hear more, you can download a version the talk here.
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Kevin Shorter is the founder of this prayer-coach site and have served for several years in ministry and churches teaching on a variety of Biblical topics. Go to the contact page to request him to speak at your conferences and seminars.