Message for the Fourth Sunday After the Epiphany – January 31, 2021


As we continue to think and talk about prayer, we become more and more aware that the main purpose of prayer is not to allow us to have our own way or to fulfil our earnest desires, but rather to let God have his way with us.  Andrew Murray expresses it this way:

The Spirit teaches me to yield my will entirely to the will of the Father.  He opens my ear to wait in great gentleness and teachableness of soul for what the Father has day by day to speak and to teach.  He discovers to me how union with God’s will is union with God himself; how entire surrender to God’s will is the Father’s claim, the Son’s example and the true blessedness of the soul.

To this word of wisdom, Richard Foster in his book on ‘Prayer’ adds:

As we are learning to pray we discover an interesting progression. In the beginning our will is struggling with God’s will.  We beg.  We pour.  We demand.  We expect  God to perform like a magician or shower us with blessings. In time, however, we begin to enter into a grace-filled releasing of our will and a flowing into the will of the Father.

When we learn to pray at the feet of Jesus, we are given glimses of his unwavering commitment to the will of the Father.  He said, “I do always the things that are pleasing to Him.”  As a young twelve year old, he was not afraid to declare to his bewildered parents who were searching for him; “Did you not know that I had to be about my Father’s business.”  On his lips were the words which I bring together here, ‘not my will, not my works, not my words.’  S.D. Gordon expresses it this way:  “The controlling purpose of his life was to please the Father.”  That was the secret of the power of his earthly career, and the secret of his prayer power.

Paul reminds the Christians in Corinth that they must make it their aim to please God.  It is never enough for us to trust God for his blessings, if at the same time God cannot trust us to make the right use of those blessings.  As Gordon states, “ God will fairly flood your life with all the power he can trust you to use wholly for him.”  This thought invites us to make this song our own:

Have your own way Lord, have your own way; You are the Potter we are the clay; Mold us and make us after your will; While we are waiting yielded and still