Friday, January 8, 2010

Angling Our Lives Toward God

Alec Motyer comments on James 5:13:

Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.
"Our whole life, we might say, should be so angled towards God that whatever strikes upon us, whether sorrow or joy, should be deflected upwards at once into his presence. In particular, this is an exercise in glad acceptance of the will of God. This is the common denominator of prayer and praise. In praise, we say to him, 'Your will is good, perfect and acceptable; this is what you have done for me and I rejoice.' And as for prayer in times of trouble, it attempts--however poorly we may succeed--to copy the Gethsemane prayer of Jesus in saying, 'Not my will but yours.' R.V.G. Tasker notes helpfully that when Jesus was in agony, 'wrestling with the forces of evil at the moment of their strongest attack, he "prayed more earnestly" (Luke 22:44). Prayer may not remove the affliction but it most certainly can transform it.'

"This, then, is the individual at prayer. He is reflecting all his life upward, acknowledging the sufficiency and sovereignty of God, practicing the grace of acceptance and rejecting the disgrace of stubbornness. In this the voice of prayer and the voice of praise are at one, for alike they say that the will of God is good."

(I've been reading Motyer's wonderful commentary on James in the past weeks. Read a bit about his love for the Bible here.)


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