Pickle Heaven Press-James R. Johnson

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a well-worn prayer — February 19, 2020

a well-worn prayer

My wife and I have kept daily prayer journals each of our 43 years of married life.  God has faithfully given definite specific answers to maybe 98% of our requests.  BUT there are some requests, concerning people mostly, that we have labored over the entire time.

The pages with their names are worn, yellowed with finger grease and patched together with brittle tape.  Sometimes we come to those unanswered prayers with a little disappointment 

But still we pray.  Jesus told us that we should, “always pray and not lose heart.” (Luke 18:1). We pray because we still believe that God will answer.

Some have prayed even longer.  The Jewish people have pleaded with God for millennia to send the Messiah. 

The events in book of Job took place in the time between the tower of Babel and the appearance of Abraham. (Genesis 11-12)  At that time, Job said, “As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and that at the last he will stand upon the earth.”  (Job 19:25)   He was the first to express the hope of seeing his redeemer come. 

Faithful Jews today pray the Amidah (18 Blessings). Three times a day they utter these words, “The offspring of your servant David, may you speedily cause to flourish, and enhance his pride through Your salvation, for we hope for Your salvation all day long.”

This is a prayer that God would send the Son of David – the rightful King of Israel; that He might assume leadership of the nation and usher in His Kingdom. 

And then the Passover Seder meal ends with “Next Year in Jerusalem.” – a wish for Messiah to return and establish His rule there.

Now the irony is that the Son of David, the promised Messiah has already come and gone.   His name is Jesus.  Sadly, the Jewish people greeted Him with a cross instead of a crown, and yet today they still pray for Messiah to make His appearance.

And their prayers are oddly joined to ours.  For since Jesus ascended to heaven, Christians have also longed to see Him return according to His promise. (John 14:3)    John ended the book of Revelation with this prayer, “Even so, Come, Lord Jesus.”  (Rev 22:20)

What provokes this kind of prayer? 

When He comes, He will make all things new.  He will cause truth and justice to prevail in politics.  He will right every wrong that’s ever been perpetrated.   He will banish sin and suffering and He will reunite generations of families who have loved Him.  Perfect reasons to pray but not quite enough.

Our precious 5-year-old granddaughter recently asked her daddy if we could come over for dinner.  Good with us except that she lives in Pennsylvania and we’re in Texas.  To her – time, distance, trouble and cost were not important.  What was important to her was relationship – just being with the people she loved. 

Likewise, if we love Jesus, we will want to see Him.

Paul wrote, “We wait for the happy fulfillment of our hope in the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.” – Titus 2:13

He even mentioned a reward for those who actively anticipate His return. “…the crown of righteousness is reserved for me. The Lord, the righteous Judge, will award it to me in that day—and not to me only, but also to all who have set their affection on his appearing.” –  2 Tim 4:8

This prayer was written into the book of the Revelation.  “The Holy Spirit and the bride of Christ (which is the church) say, “Come.”  – Revelation 22:17.   John the apostle added, “Come, Lord Jesus!”  – Revelation. 22:20.

A great prayer BUT is it our prayer? 

I’m embarrassed to say it is not.  Of the myriad of prayer requests recorded in our journal, there is not a single plea for Jesus’ return.  I will change that. 

Some want to know if Jesus will return in 2020.   “I’m not sure.  I don’t have 2020 vision.” (pun intended) 

But He is coming and I will be praying it will be soon.  So, “Come Lord Jesus.

All biblical references are from the NETBible ®

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