The puritan pastor Thomas Brooks tells the story “of a man who, being sick, and afraid of death, fell to his prayers; and, to move God to hear him, told him ‘that he was no common beggar, and that he had never troubled him with his prayers before; and if he would but hear him at that time, he would never trouble him again.”
That is a sad state and a prayer that God rejects. God doesn’t bargain. His graces are not to be bargained for or earned. Thomas Brooks’ comment on this beggar is, “This world is full of such profane, blasphemous, atheistical wretches.” Brooks doesn’t mince words, does he? He doesn’t mess around with diagnosing a self-righteous sinner.
Have you ever believed that you “trouble” God when you pray? I mean, is there a hesitancy to pray due to a whisper in your ear that says something like, “God doesn’t want to hear my measly prayer.” Perhaps it is more like, “God is too busy and He isn’t going to stop and give much attention to my prayers. I don’t even know how to pray, so why would He listen.” Perhaps the whisper is, “I’ve prayed and asked for many things and rarely do I see God’s answering my requests.” Then there is the common, “I haven’t been a good Christian, God doesn’t want to hear my prayers.”
Whispers that say you are troubling the Infinite, Eternal God, the One who loves you with an infinite, eternal love–not from your faith, they are from doubt. These whispers may be coming from a carnal mentality from the world’s anti God view, or they may be spiritual arrows from the enemy meant to deter you from prayer. One thing is for sure, they are meant to deter you from accessing the heavenly throne of Grace. Having access to God the Father is a privilege that Jesus Christ purchased for you and me by His eternal sacrifice on the Cross. Jesus, our High Priest and Mediator, tore the veil in two opening up the Holy of Holies, and these devilish whispers are discouraging you from responding to Jesus’ invitation into that glorious place before your God.
Remember, you also have an invitation from God the Father. Has He not invited you to a secret place, the proverbial closet, to get alone with Him and seek Him that you may know Him and ask requests of Him? (Matthew 6:6; 9-13)
These devilish whispers are meant to deter you from giving thought to God and His loving invitation to commune with Him. They are intended to deter you from giving thanksgivings to Him and receiving grace that comes from drawing nigh unto Him. Has He not promised that those who draw near to God that God will respond and draw near to the seeker? Indeed! (James 4:8)
Do you trouble God when you pray? NO! You do not! For it is written that God delights in the prayers of the righteous! They are His delight! (Proverbs 15:8)
Do not approach God with a bargaining chip in your hand. You have nothing to bargain with. Do not approach Him with the idea that you have been good enough, because you haven’t and never will be. We approach the living God solely on the merits of Jesus Christ. I am able to approach God and be accepted and heard only, only because of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ plus nothing. I am removed from the reason for God listening to my requests. He listens to my requests coming from the perfect High Priest.
Since God takes pleasure in our prayers it obvious that we do not trouble or bother Him. So then, PRAY! Pray Often! Pray More! Pray without ceasing, continually! Shouldn’t that be the response of our heart? If God is delighted when we talk to Him, then why wouldn’t we want to pray? In other words, if we know what gives God delight and joy, and we can give it, why wouldn’t we give it? When we think of the word “delight” we think of joy, smiles, and being pleased, right? Then pray! God is pleased and is delighted when we pray. Pray in the morning, in the middle of the day, in the evening, and at night. Now you know what delights God.
What happens as you enter into pray, which delights God:
- You will find yourself delighting in God, or enjoying God. Man’s chief and highest end is to glorify God, and fully to enjoy him forever, right? (Isaiah 58:2)
- You will find God rewarding you with spiritual graces in ways that you do not ask for or expect (Matthew 6:6).
- You will learn to see God and know Him as he reveals Himself to those who seek Him, delight in Him, and honor Him (Hebrews 11:6).
When the blind beggar, Bartimaeus, heard that Jesus was calling him to come, he cast off his beggar’s coat and went to Jesus. We need to cast off our doubts and those arrows of whispers from the enemy. Your God delights in your delight to talk with Him, to bring requests to Him, and telling Him what’s troubling you. Remember, when you approach the Thone of Grace in the merits of Christ, you are accepted with delight.