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- By Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
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WHAT IS LEGITIMATE IN PRAYER?
O God, how long shall the adversary reproach?
Pleas and arguments and requests are perfectly legitimate in prayer. Have you noticed how men of God prayed? They knew God was omniscient; so they not only made their requests known to Him but also pleaded with Him. And what I like above everything else is the way they argued with Him. Moses, for example, did so. On one occasion he came down from the Mount and found the people rebellious, and when he found God threatening to disown them and leave them to their own devices, Moses said to God, “You cannot do this.”
Look too at the man in Psalm 74. “O God, how long shall the adversary reproach?” (Psalm 74:10). He says in effect, “Lord, why do You allow men to do these things?” I believe God as Father delights in listening to such pleas and reasonings and arguments. This flabby generation of Christians seems to have forgotten what our fathers used to delight in when they talked about “pleading the promises.” They did not regard that as offensive. They had no sort of mock humility, but they felt they were entitled, according to this teaching, to go to God as the psalmist did and remind him of His own promises. They said, “Lord, I do not understand. I know it is my imperfection, but I am certain of these promises. Lord, help me to see how the promises are to be related to these perplexities.”
So it is perfectly right to plead with God; our Lord pleaded with Him. In His great prayer in John 17 our Lord argued with God by bringing His requests. He reminded God of His own promises and of His own character. I believe God delights in this as Father, and as we do these things in this way our hearts will be reassured before Him, and often we shall be amazed and astonished at the answers that we receive.
A Thought to Ponder
Pleas and arguments and requests are perfectly legitimate in prayer.
From Saved in Eternity, p. 37.
Today’s devo is taken from Walking with God Day by Day © 2003 by Good News Publishers. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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