Prayer Starts with God (Isaiah 65:24; 1 John 5:12-15; Romans 8:26-30)

The age-old conundrum speaks, thundering through my consciousness,

Which came first – the Chicken or the Egg?

Yesterday, I shared Daniels Prayer from chapter 9. Working through it was a totally amazing experience for me. I want to share a revolutionary thought. It has changed my life. My whole perception of prayer has been transformed by it. As a result, my prayers and praying have become more exciting than ever.

I believe that I have been a “Christian” for twenty something years now. Yet after experiencing Daniel 9, I now realize that far too many of those years were spent being a “Christian” with a totally incorrect conception of prayer and of answered prayer. All those years I labored with the misapprehension prayer was my idea alone, that conversation with God was initiated by me.

That idea took on the unknown, unrealized inconceivably heavy baggage of my believing that I had to get God’s attention and that He would listen and respond if only I said ‘exactly’ the right words, led a good “Christian” life worthy of His condescension.

Prayer became burdensome, laborious. often, I was reluctant to pray when I needed to the most because of things I’d done or said which made me feel ashamed or embarrassed by a less than perfect life. The conception that prayer was initiated by me left it up to my changing moods and spiritual readiness.

Then one day ago, I happened on a combination of Scriptures from the Old and New Testaments which exploded the tight, constricted, and limited view of praying, prayer and answered prayer which I had held. They all thundered forth coming together in a stunning truth that I desperately needed to learn and live.

Stated simply it is this: prayer always starts with God. It is His idea alone.

The desire to pray is the result of God’s greater desire to talk with us. He has something to say when we feel the urge to pray. He is the initiator. The keen desire to make sure I begin, end the day with prolonged prayer is His gift.

The sense of need to pray for challenges or opportunities throughout the day is because He has wisdom and insight He wants to impart.

When we face crises and suddenly feel the urge to pray for strength, that feeling is a response to the Lord’s invasion of our minds which triggers the thought of needing help which is congealed into the desire to pray.

How arrogant of me to so naturally believe it was my idea first to pray when I “felt like it.” God, not us, was the author of the longing for His help. He is the instigator, He is the implementor of prayer, and He is the inspiration of prayer.

So, today I begin a three-part series of devotionals on those Scriptures which God, the Holy Spirit placed upon my heart following my ‘Daniel 9’ experience.

Isaiah 65:24-25 NKJV

24 “It shall come to pass
That before they call, I will answer;
And while they are still speaking, I will hear.
25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together,
The lion shall eat straw like the ox,
And dust shall be the serpent’s food.
They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,”
Says the Lord.

The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.

The Answer Is Prepared Before We Pray

In Isaiah 65:24, listen to what the Lord Himself tells us about prayer.

“It will come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear.”

The answer to our prayers is prepared before we pray.

The desire to talk to the Lord about our needs comes from Him.

Prayer begins in the mind of God, invades our minds, is formulated into a clarification of what He wants to do or give, and then is articulated in our words. He is more ready to hear than we are to pray!

This propitious promise of the Lord was made in response to an excruciating question asked by Israel, recorded in Isaiah 64:12.

The people had sinned and felt the judgment of God.

They were distant from Him; He had never left His people. Their sorrow had reached its height when they cried out, “Wilt thou keep silent …?” (RSV).

The response of grace was mediated through the prophet.

How much of our “prayer life” is devoted to, without any second thought of acknowledging, knowing, believing, there will come a time when not only will the Lord answer, but His answer will precede the petition, and prayer will be the gracious, loving response of God’s call rather than just His response to our call.

Isaiah’s stunning revelation of our future. I believe this prophetic revelation of the nature of prayer is in his sure and certain anticipation of the arrival of the messianic age when God Himself would come to reconcile, redeem His people.

25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together,
The lion shall eat straw like the ox,
And dust shall be the serpent’s food.
They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,”
Says the Lord.

The people to whom the Prophet Isaiah wrote never fully appreciated the wondrous offer God made in this statement. It was only after the incarnation and Pentecost that a new creation was prepared to appreciate, appropriate it.

It was not until the liberation of the bondage of the will took place on Calvary and the new creatures in Christ were filled with His Spirit at Pentecost that a new Israel, the Church, was born and could accept and utilize the awesome promise the Lord had made so long before.

2 Corinthians 5:16-21 RSV

16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once regarded Christ from a human point of view, we regard him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; [a] the old has passed away, behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling[b] the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 So we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Thomas Carlyle (4 December 1795 – 5 February 1881) was a Scottish essayist, historian and philosopher. Known as the Sage of Chelsea, once said, “Prayer is and remains a native and deep impulse of the soul of man.”

That sounds lovely, but I don’t know that I believe it as much as I once did.

Based on Isaiah 65:24, No one naturally desires to pray. Our volitional capacity is debilitated by our sin until we are loved, liberated, and regenerated by Christ.

It is after we have been transformed by the cross and filled with the Spirit that we can experience the enlivening of the “native and deep impulse” to pray.

And even after we’ve been born again, it is the Lord who motivates us to pray. It is part of His prevenient, beforehand grace.

Not even the longing for God is our accomplishment.

It is birthed in our souls by the Lord who created us for communion with Him.

Commenting on this promise in Isaiah, Martin Luther said,

“Our prayer pleases God because He has commanded it, made promises, and given form to our prayer. For that reason, He is pleased with our prayer, He requires it and delights in it, because He promises, commands and shapes it. … Then He says, ‘I will hear.’ It is not only guaranteed, but it is actually already obtained.”

Isaiah 65:24 (KJV) declares, “And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; And while they are yet speaking, I will hear.”

Remember when God is quiet, He is up to something.

There are several other examples in the Bible that show the power of prayer.

God already knows our needs, but He wants us to ask and prove to Him that we believe and trust in Him.

Sometimes God allows adversity to come into our lives to see if we will surely and certainly love and have total faith in Him. He quietly stands back to see how we are going to handle the situation.

In His name alone, In His time alone, He “will move” in the manner that He alone chooses. Therefore, when God is quiet, He is up to something.

Are WE?

In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Let us pray,

Psalm 130 Complete Jewish Bible

130 (0) A song of ascents. By David:

(1) Adonai, I call to you from the depths;
hear my cry, Adonai!
Let your ears pay attention
to the sound of my pleading.

Yah, if you kept a record of sins,
who, Adonai, could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness,
so that you will be feared.

I wait longingly for Adonai;
I put my hope in his word.
Everything in me waits for Adonai
more than guards on watch wait for morning,
more than guards on watch wait for morning.

Isra’el, put your hope in Adonai!
For grace is found with Adonai,
and with him is unlimited redemption.
He will redeem Isra’el
from all their wrongdoings.

Holy and gracious God, you are the greatest of all. You are full of wonders that no mere human can ever hope to comprehend. Lord, I seek to understand you and your ways so that I can live according to your commandments. I pray for your divine illumination in my heart and mind. Help me see what you intend for me to see. Help me understand what you intend for me to understand. Open my eyes and my ears to see you and hear your whispers. Gloria! Alleluia! Amen.

Author: Thomas E Meyer Jr

Formerly Homeless Sinner Now, Child of God, Saved by Grace.

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