Friday, December 21, 2007

Composing Arguments in Prayer

by Soli Deo Gloria

Oh that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat! I would order my cause before him, and fill my mouth with arguments.(Job 23:3-4 )
In my last installment “Filling You Mouth with ArgumentsI tried to break down Charles Spurgeon’s sermon on Effective Prayer, we addressed Job’s desire to come before God with fully scripted arguments and present them in a way to invoke God to intercede for him.
We also tried to show how this method of invoking God’s Name was not an isolated incident, with examples of Abraham and King David. In the last paragraph we talked about the power of God’s grace and the need for a contrite heart, before even coming before God in prayer.
In this final installment I will address the need for arguments, the different type of arguments, and the power of praise and thanksgiving toward God. As you may know this is an exegesis of
Charles H Spurgeon’s Effective Prayer sermon and just as in the first part, I will be quoting him throughout this blog. 

Why Arguments?

First I want to commend anyone that has read this far in my blog and have not already decided to end their subscription or delete me from their MySpace friends. I know after reading the blog myself the first thing that crossed my mind was “Does this guy think that arguments in prayer can convince God to do something that God would not have done otherwise?” If I said yes you would call me some kind of witch doctor, especially with me using words like invoke, that’s always a very evil word. And of course if I said then your question maybe “Then why should I even bother to read further?”
Well its not because God need to be reminded of what we need, God is Omniscience he know all things; It not because we are forcing God to do something God is Omnipotent and all power and
force comes from God. The reason we compose arguments in prayer is because it attaches value and importance to that thing for which we pray for. Further it shows that we have humbled ourselves before God, and are unworthy to come before God with just our unsubstantiated desires. This is a requirement of God that we plead with him with sorrowful (contrite) heart and tears for what we desire. In
Isaiah 41:21 God demands that we bring forth our arguments before him.
Consider argument in prayer very much like tithing, God does not need you money however, when we pay our tithing even when the rent is due or the gas payment or even groceries are needed fro the house we are saying that “ I put my trust that God will take care of the problem, if my heart is right with God and I am obedient to God’s word.
We argue not to convince God of anything but build within ourselves a confidence in God through the argument. Let consider some of the foundation by which we can build an argument to God in prayer.

The Attributes of God

When Abraham invoked his cause before God for Sodom in Genesis 18:24-25 he founded it not in God’s grace but in God’s attribute of justice. When we have studied the Word of God
and have prayed and meditated on God we have put enough ground work whereby we can know what the Attributes of God are, and can therefor use this attributes as foundation for arguments in prayer.

God's Promise

Sometimes the greatest argument toward God in prayer is God's own promise. When Esau was coming toward Jacob at the brook of Jabbak in Genesis 32:11-12 Jacob prayed that God would deliver him from the hands of his brother, on the foundation of the promise that God had made to his grandfather Abraham. Remembering that the promise to Abraham would have to be manifested from his (Jacobs) bloodline, since he had received the blessing of his father Isaac, Jacob held God to God's word saying "It is through me that you would full-fill the promise that you made to my grandfather Your Servant Abraham," deliver me and I will make my grandfather's seed like the multitude of the sand.

The Great Name of God

A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold (Proverbs 22:1 NIV) .
In 2 Samuel 7:25 King David's prayer of thanksgiving his argument rest on God's promise. Though at first this may seem a bit too bold, fact is that for every honest man this is a legitimate argument "Do as Thou hast said." where is the value you have put in your own word? A man of honor will do as he has said, If we can use this as a legitimate argument toward man, how much more will God uphold His Word?
A man of statue honors his word at every chance he can, But God will never fail his word!. If God says he will do it, he will. In Numbers 14 When the Children of Israel came against Moses and God was angered with them as said to Moses "I Will Smite Them With Pestilence And Disinherit Them..." but Moses composed his argument toward God for their salvation on the grounds of God's Name (verse 15-16) and on God's promise (verse 17) on God's grace (verse 18) and God's mercy (Verse 19) Wow! Then in verse 20 God said " I Have Pardoned According To Thy Word" This should be a revelation of how to pray to God since it perfectly demonstrates how to compose arguments toward God in prayer and bring forth positive results!
When Rabshakeh tried to convince the Jews that they had misplaced their confidence in God. In silence King Hezekiah dealt with his blasphemy, and placed his letters before God. God therefore came into the battle to provide victory against this enemy because he (Rabshakeh) came up against God with his own testimony.
As Christians we MUST use in prayer all the hate spoken by atheist, and those against Christ, all the crimes against Christians and humanities together, as argument toward God for the manifestation of his Gospel. we must cry with contrite hearts.
In that we can therefore pray, "Father see how they reproach the Gospel of Jesus Christ?, They defy You Father, and dishonour Your Son with their hateful words. Lift up Your hand against them, that they may know that You are God. Show them the strength of Your Arms and do not let their actions go unpunished!

The Sorrow of God's People

In Lamentations 4 Jerimarah talks of all their griefs and straitnesses in the siege. He calls upon the Lord to look upon the suffering of Zion; and before long his his supplications are made true. Whenever it seems that nothing in life is going correct, and the world is against you it is at that time you need to pray to plead with moanings and with tears, setting an argument before God as to why god should rescue you of all your conditions.

The Past

Then Samuel took a stone and set it between Mizpah and Shen, and he called the name of it Ebenezer [stone of help], saying, heretofore the Lord has helped us (1 Sam 7:12 Amp)
For the mature man or woman of God there is power in the knowing how to plead the past to God. I think of the old gospel hymn by Stuart "Russ" Hamblin, Its no secret, what God can do what he's done for others he'll do for you. What God has done for you in the past God can and will do for you again.
We must learn to pray to God in such a way that it praises the great thing in our life he has done for us in the past. We must pray to God saying " You have never failed me Father not even once. I have set up my Ebenezer in Your Name. I know that if You intended for me to fail You would not have brought me this far. You are an Unchanging God and what You have done in the past, I know you can do in the present.

The Merit and Intercession of Jesus Christ

What does it really mean when we ask God to do something in Jesus' name? What we are asking is that because Christ loved us, and died on the cross while we were yet waddling in our own sin; because we have made Jesus Christ head of our lives; Christ has given us the authority to come to You and ask with the confidence that You Heavenly Father will give what we ask on the name of Jesus Christ alone.
 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it (John 14:14).
We are saying that Jesus Christ boar all our afflictions, all our sickness, all our sin by the weight of his passions. But the devil wishes to make us believe that Jesus's death was in vain. When we plead before God in Jesus name we are saying by his stripes we are healed by his blood we are forgiven by is passion we ar reconciled back to You!When we plead the name of Christ there is no need to speak with fear and trembling, we can be strong in our faith, because we are pleading the name of that shakes the gates of hell, We are pleading the name that every angel in heaven must obey, we are pleading a name so great that God himself almighty feels the power of our supplication.

Praise and Thanksgiving

I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it(Psalms 81:10)
When we open our mouths, are we filling it with the will of God? Ask yourself when last you open your mouth was it full of arguments of prayer to God? or when you awoke this morning was it full of complaints, and criticism? Survey your heart and ask, is it the Holy Spirit which fills your mouth with arguments? Or is it filled with the bitternes of this world that prevails you not?
"That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment."(Matthew 12:36)
The question then becomes what idle word will you have taken account of in the day of judgment? Charles H Spurgeon, in his sermon on effective prayer says that "The man who has his mouth full of arguments in prayer shall soon have his mouth full of benedictions in answer to prayer." I understand this to mean that by effective use of prayer, God will give answers, and these answers will result in your desire to give testimony of God's greatness in your life. "Let us then open wide our mouth when we have to plead with God. Our needs are great, let our askings be great, and the supply shall be great too."(Charles H Spurgeon)
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