The Privilege of Prayer

Part 1:

Part 2:

Praying Through the Bible #75

TEXT: Proverbs 15:29: “The Lord is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.”

While kayaking in southern England, Mark Ashton-Smith, a 33-year-old lecturer at Cambridge University, capsized in treacherous waters. Clinging to his craft, he reached for his cell phone. Mark’s first inclination was to call his father. It didn’t matter that his father was at work training British troops in Dubai 3,500 miles away. Mark called his father up. Without delay, the father relayed his son’s distress call to the Coast Guard installation nearest to his son’s location. The Coast Guard happened to be less than a mile away. Within twelve minutes of his capsizing, a helicopter rescued Mark Ashton-Smith.

Christians enjoy the privilege of having a similar relationship with our Heavenly Father — or at least we ought to. When we cross paths with trouble, our first inclination should be to call on God. As the Bible says, he is “a very present help in trouble.” What a privilege it is to be able to call on the God of the Universe just as we would call on a personal friend for assistance. What a wonderful blessing it is to know that God is near and ready to help us.

The verse that we are looking at today, however, informs us that there are some people who do not have this privilege. Yes, there are some people whom God is truly distant from. Let’s focus on these people as we begin to look at Proverbs 15:29.

1. The first thing we notice from this verse is the separated sinner. Our verse says, “the Lord is far from the wicked.”

2. The second thing we notice from this verse is God’s choice. It is interesting how this Scripture places “the Lord” in the position of action. It says, “the Lord is far from the wicked.” In other words, God makes a choice not to hear and answer the prayers of one who refuses to confess and forsake his sin.

3. Finally, today, the last thing we must consider from this verse is man’s voice. Verse 29 says, the Lord “heareth the prayer of the righteous.” There are two questions you and I must ask ourselves: (1) Are we living righteously? And, (2) Are we lifting up our voice in prayer to God?

In closing, today, ask yourself if you are using the privilege of prayer to its fullest extent. Have you confessed all of your sins? Are you striving to live obediently so that you can draw near to God and He will draw near to you? Are you consistently lifting your voice in prayer to God asking Him for what you need?

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