God, Help Me To Do Something Radical In Regard To Prayer!
"Oh, how we need to wake up to how much 'nothing' we spend our time doing. Apart from prayer, all our scurrying about, all our talking, all our study amounts to 'nothing.' For most of us the voice of self-reliance is ten times louder than the bell that tolls for the hours of prayer. The voice cries out: 'You must open the mail, you must make that call, you must write this sermon, you must prepare for the board meeting, you must go to the hospital.' But the bell tolls softly: 'Without Me you can do nothing.' " - John Piper, Brothers We Are NOT Professionals: A Plea To Pastors For Radical Ministry
In Psalm 24:6, David made this declaration - "This is the generation of them that seek Him, that seek Thy face, O Jacob."
What he was describing here is a people who refuse to be satisfied with the status quo or sheer mediocrity. They understand that they are on a mission. In the distance, they could hear the "beat of a different drummer."
They are "strangers and pilgrims" (Hebrews 11:13; 1 Peter 2:11) in this life, and they know it! Hence, nothing that they try or seek after in this world satisfies - no matter how earnestly and inexhaustibly they seek after it.
The best way to describe these people is to say that they have "pierced ears." Not in the sense that most would think. In Isaiah 50:5, the Prophet explained - "The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back." In Psalm 40:6-8, David added - "...mine ears hast Thou opened...I delight to do Thy will, O my God..." Their Master - the Lord Jesus - bore their ears through with an aul, and they have became his Eternal "Love Slaves." They never think of returning or going back to their old lifestyle or ways (Exodus 21:6; Deuteronomy 15:17). Theirs is an upward climb as they "ascend into the hill of the Lord" (Psalm 24:3), letting go of any excess baggage - impurities, vanities, or deceit - that would hinder them in their approach to the "King of glory" (Psalm 24:8-10).
Because their ears have been opened, depicting their total and absolute surrender to their God, they are able to hear the Universal Call that is sounding out loud and clear to all mankind which says - "...Seek ye My face..." (Psalm 27:8).
Their instant response is "...Thy face, LORD, will I seek." (Psalm 27:8).
So many are seeking the Lord for the opening of His hand - "Thou openest Thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing" (Psalm 145:16). But this "generation" of seekers sees past this "shallow" approach. They recognize that their relationship with God is something far beyond that of the animals and all creation who simply seek the Lord daily for their "meat in due season" or nourishment (Psalm 145:15)..
These true people of God seek Him for more. They make it their chief purpose and desire to seek Him for Himself. They seek His "face" or His favor. They allow no excuses, delays, or other desires to get in the way of their obtaining His wonderful favor and grace upon their lives.
They are the true Jacob seeking the God of Jacob - "...that seek Thy face, O Jacob" (Psalm 24:6). Their desire to be accepted by Him distinguishes them from the insincere and false professors of Christianity who only seek God when it is convenient and for the opening of His hands - or for what they can get from Him.
These are not afraid to call God their "God" - "O God, Thou art my God..." (Psalm 63:1). They acknowledge that He is the Almighty. He, and He alone, has divine attributes of power - needed to rescue and deliver them from their adversaries. He is their one and only source of strength.
Therefore, they waste no time in their pursuit. They don't allow anything to hold them back from seeking after this Eternal One - "...early will I seek Thee..." (Psalm 63:1). The first thing in the morning, at the start of every new day, at early dawn, before other distractions, diversions, and influences would dare to control and direct them - they offer the firstfruits of their thoughts and time to Him.
They recognize the snares, tricks, and traps of the enemy to busy their day with things of utter insignificance. They are fully aware of their adversary's desire to draw them from the "path of righteousness" onto the "path of destruction" through the temptation to sin.
They are also mindful that there are assignments of the devil to steal, kill, and to destroy all that they have and own through the "terror by night, " "arrow that flieth by day," and the "destruction that wasteth at noonday" (Psalm 91:5-6).
They hear the Call sounding from heaven to all who have "ears to hear" " what the Spirit saith unto the churches" (Matthew 11:15; Revelation 2:11).
Psalm 105:4 defines this call in saying - "Seek the LORD, and His strength: seek His face evermore."
In the "perilous times" in which they live, they realize their desperate need for God's "strength" - His grace and Holy Ghost Power to do that which is right and good.
John Piper, in his aforementioned book, goes on to say - "Both our flesh and our culture scream against spending an hour on our knees beside a desk piled with papers...And sometimes I fear that our seminaries conform to this deadly pragmatism which stresses management and maneuvering as ways to get things done with a token mention of prayer and reliance on the Holy Spirit..."
And may we add that beside the desk piled with papers stands the computer and all of its distractions to keep us from one solitary hour of prayer.
Would we rather talk to men than God?
Piper's advice to us is priceless - "Take one of your days off and go away by yourself and pray about how you should pray. Say to yourself right now: 'God, help me to do something radical in regard to prayer!' Refuse to believe that the daily hours Luther and Wesley and Brainerd and Judson spent in prayer are idealistic dreams of another era..."
"This is the generation of them that seek Him, that seek Thy face, O Jacob."
Are you a part of that Holy Race? Have your ears been bored through by the Master, calling you to Eternal Service in His Kingdom?
Do you hear the Universal Call that is sounding out to all mankind to "seek the LORD" ? Will you be one who will seek Him for more than the opening of His hands?
Will you seek Him for Himself? Do you recognize your great need for His daily power, strength, grace, and touch?
And finally, will you put an end forever to the "nothingness" that is consuming your life?
Then, pray this prayer - "God, help me to do something radical in regard to prayer!" Amen & Amen!