Cornerstone Prayer Time Meditations

Humility & Boldness. What do they have to do with one another? Don’t they contradict each other? In the flesh, yes; but in the Christian’s heart in matters of prayer, no. Humility, for the Christian, is found by looking at ourselves, seeing who we are in light of God’s holiness. Boldness is found by looking to Christ. bold prayerHebrews 4.16 says, "Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." (ESV) Do you see it right there? We are bid to come boldly before God, at His throne of grace. Now, I can’t come boldly beofre a governor, a mayor, or the president. I’d be so nervous, my hands would be shaking. And now, Scripture exhorts me to come boldly before the King of kings? In Isaiah 6, the angels had to cover their faces before the awesome glory and holiness of God… and they serve Him night and day! They are way holier than I am. And when Isaiah saw this, he fell at his feet and cried, "Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips…" (ESV) When the Pharisee tried this kind of bold approach in the middle of the synagogue (Luke 18.9–12), his prayers stopped at the rafters. True biblical boldness in prayer arrives when we see our own vileness in light of God’s holiness. Sometimes, however, we find ourselves asking: "Doesn’t God get weary of me and all my sinning and failings?" At other times, it’s as if the more we see of righteousness and holiness the less and less inclined we are to come boldly, if at all. Yet we’re told to come, commanded even, to come boldly to His throne of grace. This boldness is not found in the sinner; so how can I come? We must make sure we see the "therefore" (or the "then" in the ESV). This leads us back to verse 14: "Since then we have a great high priest…" Praise the Lord, we have Christ, not a man, as our high priest. Study this in Hebrews and you will rejoice in this glorious truth. In the Old Testament, the people of God needed a prophet who would side with God and speak to men on His behalf. They also needed a high priest who would be on their side, speaking  – or better yet, sacrificing to God on their behalf. But now, you and I, have Jesus Christ, the perfect prophet, the Son of God who comes to us; and the perfect priest, the Son of Man who saves us. He takes our side as guilty sinners. So, come boldly; it’s a great encouragement for the humble. I hope by now, you’re beginning to see how humility and boldness go together in prayer. We’re to come boldly to the throne of grace and we’re to come humbly before the throne of grace. Satan tries to convince us otherwise. How many times have you heard him whispering in your ear: "You’d better shape up first; you have to get your life straightened out before God will ever listen to you." If this were true, we’d never, ever be able to approach God. We can’t cleanse ourselves enough to ever approach Him. This is the glory of this passage: the boldness isn’t in me, in my works, my good deeds, my fine upstanding motives or even in my praying. All my good deeds can’t open up heaven’s door. No, my boldness is not in me; it’s in Christ Jesus, my Great High Priest. But have you ever found yourself, as a sinner, saying similar things: "It’s just impossible; I can’t pray. Who am I kidding? Certainly not God." And it does appear that the more we see of righteousness and holiness that the less and less we dare to draw near in prayer. Yet God says: "I accept you. I see the blood of Christ My Son, not you and your sin." Our boldness is in Christ and only in Christ. God’s a consuming fire, so if you or I came in our own strength and merit, how could we avoid the deluge? No, we must lean on Christ and receive boldness, courage and strength to draw near to Him. Jesus is the way for sinners. There is no other. When we think we dare not come near, Jesus lets us know: "It’s all about grace, not your worth or works." So we join boldness with humility and say, "God, be merciful to me, the sinner." And in humility with boldness we say, "I come in Christ’s name." The bolder we are in Christ, the more humble we will be in ourselves. And the more humble we are in ourselves, the bolder we will be in Christ. Bold prayer glorifies Christ as well. We use Him as the door, the way. He loves to work for us: "…the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve…" Bold prayer also glorifies God the Father: He sees the joy of the Son interceding for us, His children and it brings Him great pleasure. And bold prayer also glorifies the Holy Spirit: He is the one who clothes us with humility and He also clothes us with boldness. This glorifying boldness is not a matter of working myself all up into a lathering and some high energy emotional state. No, this true boldness is a matter of simply coming through Christ to God and praying. So come boldly; hold nothing back. That’s what the word literally means: without concealment, freely, openly. That means we come confessing everything: sins, joys, weaknesses and strengths. There is nothing hidden when we come before the One who sees into our very heart. It’s like coming as a little child, with that little child’s faith. We bring a bold request to our Heavenly Father. What glory: this true boldness doesn’t make little ones proud, it makes proud ones little – we become humble. Boldness, humility, child-like faith: they all bear fruit together. "… that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Mercy is God inwardly moved through Christ to work for us. Grace is what we receive, undeservedly so and yet in Christ Jesus for the times we are in need (and tell me, when aren’t you in need?). Mercy and Grace. They’re all-sufficient. One writer said: "One crumb of these is worth more than all the riches of the world." Finally, help in time of need: we’ll find this in God, not in ourselves. We’ll never be able to pull up our own boot straps; God is the one who helps us. So come boldly.

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One Response

  1. Choice thoughts!
    Bill

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