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January 30 – Proverbs on prayer

“The LORD is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayer of the righteous.” – Proverbs 15:29 

Scripture reading: Proverbs 28:9-13

Prayer is the means God has ordained to give you the things that are necessary for you to do the work He has called you to do.

God delights to hear the prayer of the upright. In Proverbs 15:8 He tells us, “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, but the prayer of the upright is His delight.” Who can say this? Who delights to have people ask him for things? Only God!

But if God delights in the prayer of the upright, how does one become upright? One can only become upright when the righteousness of Jesus is counted as his own. So there is no prayer without sacrifice, the sacrifice of Jesus. This means the non-Christian cannot pray. His prayers go into the air, not to God.

There are things that hinder your prayer (proof that prayer by itself is not magical). First, Solomon warned that God will not answer your prayer if you neglect His law and refuse to be obedient. Proverbs 28:9 says: “One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.” In fact, without proper ground for prayer, your prayer can become the cause of judgment. It is trying to get something to which you are not entitled. Second, if you are secretly living in sin, your prayers are dead. Proverbs 28:13 says: “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.”

Suggestions for prayer

May you always pray through Jesus Christ and pray often for things that are good in doing God’s work.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Mitchell Persaud is pastor of New Horizon URC in Scarborough, ON, a mission church under the oversight of Cornerstone URC in London, ON. He was born in Guyana, South America, into a Hindu home, baptized Roman Catholic, raised Pentecostal and then became Reformed.

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