Homily on Prayer October 20, 2019


Genesis 32:22-30

32:22   The same night he arose and took his two wives, his two maids, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 32:23 He took them and sent them across the stream, and likewise everything that he had. 32:24 And Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. 32:25 When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and Jacob’s thigh was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. 32:26 Then he said, “Let me go, for the day is breaking.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go, unless you bless me.”  32:27 And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” 32:28 Then he said, “Your name shall no more be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.”  32:29 Then Jacob asked him, “Tell me, I pray, your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. 32:30 So Jacob called the name of the place Peni’el, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life is preserved.”  


2 Tim 3:14 – 4:5

3:14   I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these instructions to you so that, 3:15 if I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth. 3:16 Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of our religion:      He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the nations, believed on in the world,   taken up in glory. 4:1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by giving heed to deceitful spirits and doctrines of  demons, 4:2 through the pretensions of liars whose consciences are seared, 4:3 who forbid marriage and enjoin abstinence from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the  truth. 4:4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving; 4:5 for then it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.  


Luke 18:1-8

18:1   And he told them a parable, to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. 18:2 He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God  nor regarded man; 18:3 and there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, Vindicate me against my adversary.’  18:4 For a while he refused; but afterward he said to himself, Though I neither fear God nor regard man, 18:5 yet because this widow bothers me, I will vindicate her, or she will  wear me out by her continual coming.'” 18:6 And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. 18:7 And will not God vindicate his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them?  18:8 I tell you, he will vindicate them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth?”



My friend said he prayed for money. God gave him work.

Another friend prayed for patience. God gave him trials and suffering.

I was thinking we should pray for wisdom; then we would know NOT to pray for things like money or patience.


Notes on the Gospel 

  1. “Not lose heart.” See 2 Corinthians 4 where this phrase appears twice; in between those occurrences Paul reminds us that we have the treasure of a soul regenerated in the image of Christ in a jar of clay (a body). A regenerate soul rooted in/inspired by the Word of God prevents any loosing of the heart.
  2. Biblical arguments from lesser to greater. Consider Romans 8:32, “He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also, with Him, freely give us all things?” 
  3. “Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will anyone be here who is honest about dependence? That matters because honesty about our dependence on God is what keeps us clinging to God’s Word and promises which inform and inspire our prayers.


A, B, C’s of prayer.

A – ALWAYS.  1) No need to fret or stall over which words to use or how to put them together. Our thoughts are already known to God so why worry about how to say them (except practicing articulation helps our communication with other people). 2) Think about how much praying we might accomplish and what serenity we might know if we pray every time life slows us down or gets in our way; driving, checkout lines, waiting?

B – BEFRIEND. 1) Prayer is often the only thing we can do for others but it IS doing something for them. 2) our life in the Word takes on new meaning when prayers for others make us conscious of them when we are reading the Bible, and that reading, in turn, helps our prayers and our concerns.

C – CANCEL. Bose invented a noise-canceling headphone set; quite fantastic. They have made traveling through airports and on aircraft a whole new, better experience. When anxieties and emotions are oppressing us praying for others has a profound “noise canceling” effect. Interesting how God’s design means that love for others is a powerful remedy for our own troubles.

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