5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So when He heard that Lazarus was sick, He stayed where He was two more days, (John 11:5-6 NIV)
But the ways of divine are not as the ways of human love. Often they are the reverse. When His people are sick, in body or spirit; when their case is waxing more and more desperate every day; when all hope of recovery is about to expire—just then and therefore it is that “He abides two days still in the same place where He is.” Can they still hope against hope? Often they do not; but “this is their infirmity.” For it is His chosen style of acting. We have been well taught it, and should not now have the lesson to learn. From the days of Moses was it given sublimely forth as the character of His grandest interpositions, that… The LORD will vindicate His people and relent concerning His servant when He sees their strength is gone and no one is left, slave or free. (Deuteronomy 32:36 NIV)
“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
Blessed be God, that we have this short prayer upon record, as an answered prayer; and that we are sure that he who prayed it, went to his house justified; for so shall we be, if we pray it, as he did, through Jesus Christ.
He owned himself a sinner by nature, by practice, guilty before God. He had no dependence but upon the mercy of God; upon that alone he relied.
And God’s glory is to resist the proud, and give grace to the humble. Justification is of God in Christ; therefore the self-condemned, and not the self-righteous, are justified before God. -MH
LORD, I have heard of Your fame; I stand in awe of Your deeds, LORD. Repeat them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy. Habakkuk 3:2
Mercy is what we must flee to for refuge, and rely upon as our only plea. We must not say, Remember our merit, but, Lord, remember thy own mercy. -MH
The Prayer For The Murderers
And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide His garments. Luke 23:34 (ESV)
“The greatest sinners,through the intercession of Jesus, may obtain pardon.” -B
“I will give Him the honors of a victorious soldier, because He exposed Himself to death. He was counted among the rebels. He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels.” Isaiah 52:12
“Nothing more honors God’s sovereignty than prayer.” – I.H
23 …When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them,… Acts 4:23-24 (ESV)
25 Our father David was Your servant. With the help of the Holy Spirit he said:
‘Why are the nations so angry?
Why are the people making useless plans?
26 The kings of the earth prepare to fight.
Their leaders make plans together
against the Lord
and against His Christ.’
27 These things really happened when Herod, Pontius Pilate, the non-Jewish people, and the Jewish people all came together against Jesus here in Jerusalem. Jesus is Your holy Servant. He is the One You made to be the Christ. 28 These people made Your plan happen; it happened because of Your power and Your will. Acts 4:25-28(ICB)
29 …And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to Your servants to continue to speak Your word with all boldness,… Acts 4:29 (ESV)
“They do not pray, Lord let us go away from our work, now that it is become dangerous, but, Lord, give us thy grace to go on steadfastly in our work, and not to fear the face of man.” MH
Heard of God
“She was deeply distressed and prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly.”
“For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him.”
And Hannah prayed and said,
“My heart exults in the Lord;
my horn is exalted in the Lord.
My mouth derides my enemies,
because I rejoice in Your salvation.
2 “There is none holy like the Lord:
for there is none besides You;
there is no rock like our God.
3 Talk no more so very proudly,
let not arrogance come from your mouth;
for the Lord is a God of knowledge,
and by Him actions are weighed.
4 The bows of the mighty are broken,
but the feeble bind on strength.
5 Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread,
but those who were hungry have ceased to hunger.
The barren has borne seven,
but she who has many children is forlorn.
6 The Lord kills and brings to life;
He brings down to Sheol and raises up.
7 The Lord makes poor and makes rich;
He brings low and he exalts.
8 He raises up the poor from the dust;
He lifts the needy from the ash heap
to make them sit with princes
and inherit a seat of honor.
For the pillars of the earth are the Lord‘s,
and on them He has set the world.
9 “He will guard the feet of His faithful ones,
but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness,
for not by might shall a man prevail.
10 The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces;
against them He will thunder in heaven.
The Lord will judge the ends of the earth;
He will give strength to His king
and exalt the horn of His anointed.”
1 Samuel 2:1-10 ESV
“she looked from the gift to the Giver, and praised Him with joyful lips. Her heart rejoiced not in Samuel, but in the Lord.” -BD
“My heart rejoiceth in the Lord;” not merely before Him but in Him, as the Object and Source of its joy- BD
“All that is selfish and low is purged out of our hearts in the act, suspicions and doubts fade away when we pray for those whom we love. Many an alienation would have melted like morning mists if it had been prayed about..” -MacLaren
And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:9-11
“Herein is My Father glorified,” says Christ,
“that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be My disciples”
“Faith, which is the life of prayer, clings to the divine promises, and pleads them.”
And Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O Lord who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your kindred, that I may do you good,’ I am not worthy of the least of all the deeds of steadfast love and all the faithfulness that you have shown to your servant, for with only my staff I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two camps. Please deliver me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I fear him, that he may come and attack me, the mothers with the children. But you said, ‘I will surely do you good, and make your offspring as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.’” Genesis 32:9-12 ESV
Isaiah 1 (ESV)
4 Ah, sinful nation,
a people laden with iniquity,
offspring of evildoers,
children who deal corruptly!
They have forsaken the Lord,
they have despised the Holy One of Israel,
they are utterly estranged.
5 Why will you still be struck down?
Why will you continue to rebel?
The whole head is sick,
and the whole heart faint.
10 Hear the word of the Lord,
you rulers of Sodom!
Give ear to the teaching of our God,
you people of Gomorrah!
13 Bring no more vain offerings;
incense is an abomination to me.
New moon and Sabbath and the calling of convocations—
I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly.
14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts
my soul hates;
they have become a burden to me;
I am weary of bearing them.
15 When you spread out your hands,
I will hide my eyes from you;
even though you make many prayers,
I will not listen;
your hands are full of blood.
16 Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean;
remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes;
cease to do evil,
17 learn to do good;
bring justice to the fatherless,
plead the widow’s cause.
18 “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord:
though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red like crimson,
they shall become like wool.
19 If you are willing and obedient,
you shall eat the good of the land;
20 but if you refuse and rebel,
you shall be eaten by the sword;
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”