How Shall I Pray This Night?

In an essay entitled, “Petitionary Prayer: A problem without an answer,” C.S. Lewis tries to harmonize the two types of prayer recorded in the New Testament. On one hand the scripture instructs us to “pray according to his will” (1 John 5:14), on the other it tells us that “whatever we ask we receive from him”. The former he associates with the “weakest” of prayers, while the latter he says are those who come with confidence, those who are seeking miracles. This in turn became a very perplexing problem for Mr. Lewis, leading him to ask of more seasoned men: How shall I pray this night? After studying prayer, and those great prayer warriors throughout church history, it seems that this bridge is easily crossed. When we have spent time, quality time, agonizing time, relentless time abiding in Christ we slowly begin to think like Christ and to see the world through his eyes. It is at this point that the spirit begins to teach us what to pray, and for what to ask. Our will (read: our desires) begins to bend to his, and we find ourselves no longer concerned with the problems of this life as they relate to us, but rather with more serious matters; matters of discipleship and salvation. It is here that our prayers will be focused.

“How shall I pray this night?” Will not be a question that troubles me this evening. No, this night I know how I shall pray, “My lips will shout for joy” (Psalms 71:23), “they will pour forth praise” (Psalms 109:171), YES, “my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness” (Psalms 51:14). God is good, he always has been and whoever says otherwise has not known the same God I know tonight, and am knowing more every day. “He teaches me all things” (John 14:26), and is a “stronghold and a very present help in the times of trouble” (Psalms 9:9, 46:1).
Tonight, I will slip off to sleep with praise upon my lips. I will be drawn in to his bosom and comforted there. I will be reminded of his great goodness, and yesterday will be just another chapter in our lives. Perhaps it will be titled “this night I know how to pray”. Surely, these are not the end of our troubles, there is certainly more to come. The refining is not over, and deliverance from this body of death is still to come. But tonight we celebrate, we celebrate life, life that is being weaved together in its mother’s womb by the master weaver himself, and life that was weaved together just a few years ago. While we wait for a child to be delivered, another child waits thousands of miles away for us to deliver her. Scout, we love you, and we are fighting for you, but more importantly God is fighting for us all. Hold the line, Scout, don’t give up hope only b

elieve and you will see the Glory of God, and when it’s all said and done you will stand as a testimony of God’s faithfulness. You will have a new song in your heart, and together we will sing this song of praise to the world.

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