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Agreeing with God in Prayer

I would imagine that there are a lot of prayers being offered up these days. We are inclined to pray more and even specifically when things are not going the way we would like. You know things like a good financial climate, good weather, people getting along and overall things are OK kind of feeling.

Well, those are not necessarily what any of us are experiencing today. Things seem very unsettled even chaotic right now. All that does is just add more angst to what otherwise happens in life. In these types of times, our prayers become more frequent but are they offered in a manner in which we can see God answer them and we clearly understand what He is doing?

The essence of the Christian life and of prayer itself is an agreement with God. If we do not agree with God, then we cannot walk with God. A person can disagree with God and this usually means they think their opinions or their ways are better than His.

Mathew 16:21-23

21 From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.

22 Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, [i]“Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!”

23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are [j]an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”

Was Peter’s response in thinking with God’s plan? NO, Peter was well-intentioned at the time of the response. He had not however listened to what Christ had been telling them.

Jesus is the example that we must follow in life. Remember that as a young child of 12 years old He was agreeing with His father. The accounting is of the trip he took with his parents to Jerusalem and what occurred are an excellent reminder of what agreement is to look like. They had left to return home and realized as the day wore on that He was not with the other children. As they returned to Jerusalem to look for Him they found that He was teaching and in Luke 2:49 and He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”

It is important for us to be in agreement with God. Throughout Scripture we read of those who lived in agreement with God:

Enoch Genesis 5:22-24

22 After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters.

23 So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years.

24 And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.

Noah Genesis 6:8-9

8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.

9 This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, [f]perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God.

Abraham James 2:23

23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was ]accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God.

Agreement with God is sensible. It is the only way you can have an intimate fellowship with God.

Agreeing with God calls for confession. The Greek New Testament for the word confess means

to “speak the same thing” that God speaks. We are then to agree with God.

In the course of a day, a week, a month, a year it is necessary that we confess “speak the same

thing” with God about sin, needs, Jesus as our Savior, Lord, and truth.

Psalm 51 is David’s prayer for pardon, a prayer of confession. This prayer was David’s offered to God after he had sinned by committing adultery with Bathsheba and he had her husband

Uriah killed to hide the sin and was confronted by the prophet Nathan. All of this lead to this

Psalm being written by David.

In verses 1-4, he records four different words about the wrong he had done transgressions,

iniquity, sin, evil. David asked God to do somethings in forgiving him:

1Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions.

2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin.

3 For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me.

4 Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight— That You may be found just when You speak, And blameless when You judge.

In verses 1, 2, 7, 14, 15 David asked God to bring about change

in his life:

1Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions.

2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin.

7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;

Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, The God of my salvation, And my tongue

shall sing aloud of Your righteousness.

15 O Lord, open my lips, And my mouth shall show forth Your praise.

We see in verses 6, 7, 8, 10, 12 David concluded that it was important that he agrees with God about sin. There was no arguing with God or trying to justify his actions.

6 Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.

7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;

Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

8 Make me hear joy and gladness, That the bones You have broken may rejoice

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.

12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.

Confession should always be immediate, unconfessed sin compounds itself and breaks fellowship with God. Look at James 3:16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.

Steps in Confessing Sin:

1) Acknowledge sin when committed

2) Repent, turn from the sin

3) Accept God’s forgiveness

Psalm 32:5 I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”. Acknowledge here means to know or to perceive. You need to know when you have sinned

Ezra 9:5-6 5 At the evening sacrifice I arose from my fasting; and having torn my garment and my robe, I fell on my knees and spread out my hands to the Lord my God. 6 And I said: “O my God, I am too ashamed and humiliated to lift up my face to You, my God; for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has grown up to the heavens. This is repentance and it requires more than feeling sorry for sin it calls for action to turn from sin and do as God asks. Genuine repentance requires that radical change happens in a person's life.

1 John 1:9 instructs us that If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. This is God’s word of promise to us that sin is forgiven and that in order to have that special relationship with Him we need to confess sin. This is needed so that the results of those sins are removed from our thoughts and our life. Not to be able to be used against us by Satan

An important foundational block is laid here for us to understand: God totally forgives sin-

Micah 7:18-19

18 Who is a God like You, Pardoning iniquity And passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in mercy.

19 He will again have compassion on us, And will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins Into the depths of the sea.

Isaiah 38:17

17 Indeed it was for my own peace That I had great bitterness; But You have lovingly delivered my soul from the pit of corruption, For You have cast all my sins behind Your back.

Psalm 103:12

12 Indeed it was for my own peace That I had great bitterness; But You have lovingly delivered my soul from the pit of corruption, For You have cast all my sins behind Your back.

Hebrews 9:13-14

13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh,

14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Confessed and forgiven sin affect the life of the forgiven.

Matthew 6:14-15

14 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

The one who has been forgiven can find it in their nature to become like the merciful God who forgave us. Agreement with God must include duplicating His character in every way.

Are you totally forgiven? Then forget past sin, God spoke of a New Covenant coming in Isaiah 43:25 “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins. This was to His people Israel. It is important to remember that Jesus reminded the disciples at the Last Supper that the cup they received was a new covenant in His blood. We have the assurance of God’s promise to us that He had made to His people Israel.

If God refuses to remember sin, so should you. In not forgetting your sin, you have not really accepted God’s forgiveness of that sin. The consequences may persist but the mental acceptance of forgiveness means you move forward in the relationship with God, not backward.

To not accept the reality of the forgiveness of God is to make Him a liar, to disagree with what He said He would do. The agreement is the positive action that places sin at our back just as it is with God.

A thought to ponder,

Elbert Nasworthy

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