“Like clouds and wind without rain is one who boasts of gifts never given”.
~ Proverbs 25:14
It is not for the Christian to speak loosely with empty words and vain promises. Those who talk themselves up in order to look more intelligent, more favorable or more popular in the eyes of others may have a form of those things, but lack the true substance. Let the words of the believer always speak with grace, as seasoned with salt. Let your nay be your nay, and your yea, your yea in the eyes of the Lord. Amen.
“In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise.”
~ Proverbs 10:19
There used to be a popular old adage that said God created us with two ears and one mouth so we should listen twice as much as we speak. In a day and age where through social media and the like everyone feels the need to have a “voice”, let us remember the Scriptural wisdom of guarding our speech and restraining our lips. Because of our sinful hearts, the more the mouth speaks, the more prone it is to speak sinfully. There is godly wisdom in silence. Let us speak only when it will be edifying for others and pleasing to the Lord (Col. 4:6).
“One essential element of all true prayer, is its final reference of all requests to the will of God. Yet this quality of prayer is often forgotten or overlooked in our pleading. We often pray earnestly—but it is for the doing of our own will that we ask, not for the doing of our Father’s will. Yet nothing is clearer than that no prayer is acceptable to God which, after all its intensity and importunity—is not referred to God and left to His superior wisdom.”
~ J.R. Miller
“Who is wise? Let him understand these things. Who is prudent? Let him know them. For the ways of the LORD are right; The righteous walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them.”
~ Hosea 14:9
The Christian is called to be wise in the ways of the Lord. We are to exercise understanding – that is – we are to possess a working knowledge of God’s ways as presented in the Scriptures. Likewise, Believers ought to exhibit prudence in life and character. What is prudence? It’s living in the present with an eye toward showing consideration and thought for the future. The sinful lack this care and concern. Sadly, many wander aimlessly with little to no true purpose or plan. The transgressor stumbles in the ways of the Lord. To them, God’s ways are a hinderance not a help. But the righteous, those to desire to be in and follow God’s will, shall walk in the wisdom and prudence of the Lord.
Prayer Life Pause: Heavenly Father, show me the paths of righteousness for Your name’s sake. Help me to live in Your wisdom, looking ahead in my life with full assurance of Your presence and control. In Jesus’ name, amen.
I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with understanding.~ 1 Corinthians 14:15b
I would like to take a few posts and survey some of the prayers and prayer methodology of the Apostle Paul. Paul is well-known for his fervent proclamation of the Gospel and his tireless defense of sound doctrine. But this dear saint was also a deeply devotional and passionately Spirit-filled man of prayer. With even a cursory reading of Paul’s epistles, one will find a treasure trove of guidance and instruction for their own prayer life. After studying Paul’s prayers, I might even say he is the quintessential New Testament example for believers today. My sincere hope is this series will be of spiritual profit to those who read it.
In 1 Corinthians, the 14th chapter, Paul lays out two guiding principles for his prayer life. Number one, he will pray with the spirit. Number two, he will pray with understanding. Any meaningful and moving prayer will always consist of these two elements. As for praying with the Spirit, it can be said there is no godly prayer without it. Prayers of our own making, prayers of our own strength, without the abiding and enabling help of God’s Holy Spirit are no prayers at all. We pray in the power of the Spirit or not at all. The person who seeks to bring their supplications before the Lord, must first seek and find the communion of the Holy Spirit to make their prayers pleasing and acceptable to God (Romans 8:26-27).
Second, Paul’s desire is to pray with understanding. The idea here is he will pray intelligently, with a working knowledge of how and what to pray for. This is accomplished through the ongoing cultivation of our over-all spiritual life. People learn to pray with more and more spiritual understanding as they grow in their faith and fellowship with Christ and by feasting on His Word. There are those who pray without understanding and you will find them praying in a frivolous and worldly manner. Paul’s principle of praying with the understanding is essential for growth in God and in a purposeful and fruitful prayer life.
If you find yourself struggling to know where to begin in your own prayer life, take these two fundamental principles of the Apostle Paul to heart. Prayer with the spirit and with understanding; they are so important and a prerequisite to finding fulfillment in prayer.
Wisdom rests in the heart of one who has understanding… ~ Proverbs 14:33 (NAS)
Wisdom is understanding in action. Wisdom is applied knowledge. And while knowledge may reside in the head, wisdom rests in the heart. Bare knowledge left to itself creates pride. But when filtered through the wisdom of the heart, understanding and knowledge are wonderful things that can a blessing and used to serve the Lord. Therefore never leave knowledge to itself. Let us always allow the thoughts of our head to flow through the wisdom of our heart before applying it in our life. For whosoever does this, is the one who has true understanding.
The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life~ Proverbs 13:14a (ESV)
As the waters of all true wisdom find their original source in God alone, so the many streams which flow out from wise godly people serve as a refreshing supply of the Lord’s spring. The teaching of the wise, of those who first seek God’s face and depend on His counsel, can be a blessing to others. God grants His people the privilege of sharing in His wisdom and He gifts Christ’s church with the knowledge and understanding to accomplish all His holy will. May we find and keep company with the wise, and drink deeply thereof, for there is a fountain of life.