Petitions! – 13 July 2018

And Abraham said to God, “Oh, that Ishmael might live before you!” (Genesis 17:18).

The word ‘petition’ appears for the first time here. It has been used for around fifty times in the Scripture. When a person is empowered with power and authority, the requisition letter submitted to him is known as ‘petition’.

When Solomon dedicated the church, he submitted several petitions before God. He prayed, “Yet regard the prayer of your servant and his supplication, O Lord my God and listen to the cry and the prayer which your servant is praying before you today” (I Kings 8:28). In going through I Samuel 8th chapter, we can understand Solomon had submitted twelve requests in relation to the children of Israel.

In the Old Testament, ‘frankincense’ and the ‘myrrh’ are the signs of prayer. When a Myrrh tree is torn with a sharp knife, the myrrh comes out of the opening like a balm. It is a bitter one; soft one. But at the same time, it is with fragrance. The Myrrh is the sign of the prayer made with tears when the heart is squeezed by several problems in the life.

For example, when Hannah came to the church, to the presence of God she was in bitterness of soul and prayed to the Lord and wept in anguish (I Samuel 1:10). In turn, she received Samuel the prophet in response to her prayer. The word ‘application’ gives a peculiar meaning in Tamil. A Tamil Pandit says that ‘application’ is விண் + அப்பம். The word விண் gives the meaning ‘Heaven’ and the word அப்பம் means ‘food’. The blessings required by man are offered to him from the heaven based on his petitions.

A child cries to indicate its needs to the mother. It cries when it is bitten by an ant; when it is hungry; when it falls down. Once the mother hears the cry of the child, she rushes to it and meets its needs. God alone is the one who stays as our father and mother. He never neglects your applications.

King David took small requests to God. He said, “Give heed to the voice of my cry, my King and my God, for to you I will pray” (Psalms 5:2). He told the children of Israel, “The Lord has heard my supplication; The Lord will receive my prayer” (Psalms 6:9).

At the same time, Jacob cautions “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures” (James 4:3). Dear children of God, make your applications according to the will of God.

To meditate: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6).