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The Word and Prayer
The Morning and Evening devotion for today exhorts us to read the Word and pray. Not for a ritualistic endeavor or a means of salvation, but for our daily sustenance. The Gospels tell of our Lord’s continual practice of prayer (Luk 5:16; Luk 6:12-16; Luk 9:18-27; Mat 14:23-33; Mat 19:13-15; Mrk 14:32-41).
Many commentators have likened the reading of the Word to the manna in the wilderness. The Jews had to accumulate their manna for the day and only for that day (except for the day prior to Sabbath on which they could acquire two days worth). The model being that we must go to the Word to feed our soul for this day. You cannot accumulate a week’s worth in one day.
My observation is that many people in the Church think of prayer as primarily a means to make requests of God. And Jesus does allow for that in His model prayer for the disciples. But I believe prayer is a two way communication. It is also a method for God to speak to our hearts through the Holy Spirit, to lead us, to guide us and to comfort us among other things. I think this is most often done in conjunction with His Word. Spurgeon has combined these two aspects of Christian living in today’s reading, and exhorts us to their practice.
Many people ask, “What is the will of God for me?” Often they are asking it in relation to some specific decision, hope or expectation in their life. A friend of mine would almost always answer this question with the following:
This is the will of God for you:
And really that is a basic answer that really seems to cover it all. I think that is what Spurgeon is trying to say here as well.