2016 - A Prayer

IMG_6877I have never spent as much time praying as I have this past year, but it has taught me something--prayer is good. And God is great, and sometimes trials of life show you how much you need Jesus. I recently discovered in the first chapters of Genesis, a prayer lesson I almost missed.

So before I share my 2016 prayer, I hope you will allow me to share the story of Eve--the mother of all the living, and the one blamed for leading the world astray.

Garden Mt. Carmel1We aren't told how many years, months, days, Adam and Eve lived in Eden. We do know that God walked with them in the evenings there and that there were lots of trees, pleasing to the eye, with all kinds of fruit hanging from them for Adam and Eve to eat.

When God filled the garden with these fruit trees, he put one in the center with a "do not eat this" warning attached. It was actually the only time God commanded them anything regarding what they could do. He gave them instructions and put them in charge of His creation, but He only gave one command. So they obeyed him. 

Garden Mt. Carmel6Until one day--Eve was probably closer to that tree than she should have been--or perhaps she was some distance away, this crafty snake started talking to her and wooed her closer. He got her thinking about that tree's good qualities. It was desirable for wisdom. Wisdom is a good thing, right? Aren't we told to get wisdom later on in Proverbs?

I looked that up, just to be sure and Solomon said "The Lord gives wisdom." And "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." Solomon had asked God for wisdom and God gave it. Eve didn't ask. The tree of good and evil looked like a really tempting way to get wisdom and wisdom would make her more like God.

Mt. of Beautitudes 2Again, being like God sounds like a good thing--if it means we are like Him in character. We are told  that when we see Jesus, we will be like Him because we will see Him as He is. But Eve saw God every day, so wasn't she already like him--perhaps in the way we will be someday when we live without human frailties, without sin?

But I kind of doubt that she was thinking clearly at this point.

The serpent had told Eve she would be like God, but we know from other Scriptures that the serpent himself wanted to BE God, and I believe that was the temptation he held out to Eve. And Eve did not stop to pray when faced with those deceptive words.

Mt. of Beautitudes 13I think Eve learned a hard lesson about asking God when she took and ate instead of prayed and sought. Later on when she gave birth to Cain she said, "I got a man with the help of the Lord." I think maybe she understood then, that she should have asked. And nothing we do or attempt to achieve should carry the thought that WE did this. God is the one who blesses and gives us aid.

If we ever needed Him more, 2016 seems like a good time to seek Him. So if you will bear with me for a few more lines, won't you pray this with me?

Dear Lord,

We know you are good and gracious and merciful and just and righteous. You are loving and forgiving when we often are not. We, as your people, think ourselves wise, and too often lean on our own understanding. We can do nothing on our own that will give us what we need most.

Tel Bet She'an Roman Settlement8Because we need You.

We need a fresh vision of You for each and every generation. We need to see Your holiness, to fear You in a proper way.

We know you have good things in store for us and You want to set us free from the things that keep us captive, but You want us to ask You for that freedom.

You want our obedience. You want us to ask for the wisdom, not just snatch it like fruit from the forbidden tree. You want us to fear you enough to realize that we can't do life without You. Please forgive us, Lord. Please forgive your people and help us to want You above all else. To love You love like no other. To give You all.

In Your Matchless Holy Name

Amen.

 

Happy New Year