“In every province to which the edict and order of the king came, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting, weeping and wailing. Many lay in sackcloth and ashes.” (Esther4:3)
Praying can be expressed symbolically as well as orally. Kneeling or lying on one’s face before God represents humility. Outstretched hands represent dependence on God for our needs. Fasting represents total dedication and willingness to forego normal need to concentrate on one particular need before God. Weeping reveals sorrow and heartfelt emotional reaction to a need of crisis.
Sackcloth represents the willingness to sacrifice life’s luxuries and efforts to impress others in absolute concentration on finding God’s solution to the problem at hand. Ashes placed on the head or face represent a problem at hand. Ashes placed on the head or face a sense of worthlessness, shame, humility and penitence. Expression of these attitudes is prayer when asking God for help in a desperate community or individual situation.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, it has been said that even when we are unable to utter a single word, that the Holy Spirit will speak to you on our behalf. Oh Lord, we have a pandemic going on that has re-surged once again and more and more people are sick and the deaths are forthcoming. People are fearful, scared, and wondering whether they will get sick or not; yet, they have been in quarantine for so long a time, that it is taking a toll on our mental health and well as our physical health. This day we call out to You in every form we know of to pray to you and even this prayer is an appeal for You to intercede and stop this spread of the virus and allow us as a people not just of the US, but of the world, to find Your healing power at work, healing all that are affected. For it is in Your Son’s name that we pray. Amen.
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Those who follow Christ, lead the way for others.”
“This is what the Lord says to the house of Israel: ‘Seek me and live; do not seek Bethel, do not go to Gilgal, do not journey in Beersheba. For Gilgal will surly go into exile, and Bethel will be reduced to nothing. See the Lord and live, or he will sweep through the house of Joseph like a fire; it will devour, and Bethel will have no one to quench it.’ Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you, just as you say he is.’” (Amos5:4–6, 14)
Going to public worship is not necessarily prayer. Public worship can turn into self-serving ceremony without God’s presence. Humble service of God and the oppressed He protects is a necessary partner to true prayer.
Prayer is seeking God’s presence. Prayer results in true, meaningful life. God want to be personally present with us. He is not present just because we make loud claims He is. We must be faithful, obedient servants for Him to be present, blessing us.
“Every man who prayer or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head. And every woman who prayer or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head—-it is just as though her head were shaved.” (1st Corinthians11:4–5)
In Paul’s day humility was indicated in different way for men and women. The men prayed with their heads uncovered to indicate reverence and respect. Women covered their heads to demonstrated modesty.
Immodest women were immoral. The important factor in either case was humility. In public prayer people need to demonstrate humility before God, for it reveals to Him our true respect for Him and our obedience to His will.
SECOND THOUGHT of the DAY:
“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” (Mark11:25)
Forgiveness with God is linked with understanding one’s relationship to other human beings. Grace enters our life to the extend that we understand and employ God’s grace in human relationships.
No one position is commanded for prayer in the Bible. Standing in God’s presence is one posture of prayer. God’s presence is one posture of prayer; So was kneeling. Prostration on one’s face before God shows intense humility and need. Bowing the head is another gesture of humility. The point is that it is our attitude toward God that reveals our humility and He will not miss it, no matter what our posture. Seek Hi, beloved, honestly, obediently, and in humility, and He will reveal His presence to you.