Today, we continue sharing devotionals from the book Let’s Pray: Talking to God with the Words of the Bible, by Dr. James Banks, who serves as a pastor at Peace Church in Durham, North Carolina and is a regular writer for Our Daily Bread.
In this short book, we are reminded that the prayers of the Bible are an amazing gift from God and they have so much to teach us.
Scripture tells of God guiding His people through all kinds of circumstances. He went ahead of Israel through the wilderness, leading them with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, as we read in Exodus 13:21. He sent angels to lead Lot and his family out of Sodom, which we find in Genesis 19:16, and led Peter out of prison, as we see in Acts 12:7.
Both David and Isaiah describe God affectionately in Psalm 23 as a shepherd and Micah prophesied about Jesus saying “He will stand to lead his flock with the Lord’s strength.” The Bible’s message is comforting and clear. Its message is this: even though God knows every detail of our lives, our heavenly Father still cares deeply about the intimated details of our lives.
With all the instances of God leading in scripture, the prayers for guidance and direction are relatively few. Haddon Robinson writes, “It’s surprising to note that nowhere in the Old Testament, the teachings of Jesus, or the New Testament epistles do we see any description of a step-by-step process by which we can determine God’s will”. There is a reason for this.
God’s guidance stems from our relationship with Him. Our shepherd wants to feed us, carry us in his arms, hold us close to His heart, and gently lead us. We find that in Isaiah 40:11. We are told through 1st Thessalonians 5:17 that we should pray continually because it is impossible to discern God’s leading in our lives without prayer.
As with prayers about everyday needs, the Bible’s prayers for guidance and direction are relational prayers. Relational prayer doesn’t just seek God’s will – it seeks His face as well. Relational prayer puts us in a place where the Lord can help us discover His leading and response with deeper obedience and love.
God reminded His people through Isaiah, “Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength” and we find that in Isaiah 30:15. Fresh strength flows into us as we pray, fast, and wait before Him in His word.
Thanks for listening!
– Hannah and Lilly