Aug. 20, 2009
“And Ruth said, ‘Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee….’”
Ruth 1: 16
King James Version
“Ruth’s Prayer” “To Entreat:” To intervene or intercede on behalf of a specific purpose or person.
“Do not forget prayer. Every time you pray, if your prayer is sincere, there will be new feeling and new meaning in it, which will give you fresh courage.”
What do I believe is the purpose of prayer?
How do I define the word “intercede?”
“It is not enough for the believer to begin to pray, nor to pray correctly, nor is it enough to continue for a time to pray. We must patiently, believingly continue in prayer until we obtain an answer. Further, we have not only to continue in prayer until the end, but we have also to believe that God does hear us and will answer our prayers. Most frequently we fail in not continuing in prayer until the blessing is obtained, and in not expecting the blessing.”
“God’s acquaintance is not made hurriedly. He does not bestow His gifts on the casual or hasty comer and goer. To be much alone with God is the secret of knowing Him and of influence with Him.”
E. M. Bounds
My personal prayer life has been deeply influenced by the prayer ministry of E. M. Bounds whose words I quoted above. If we want, as I know without a doubt we all do, to have a meaningful and life sustaining relationship with our Father in heaven, then getting to really know Him is imperative.
So I ask you, “How do you get to know a person?” Is it in some come and go fashion? A few minutes here and there?
Obviously, if this were the way we chose to carry on all the relationships in our lives, in a superficial fashion, we’d find that a shallow friendship equals no intimacy at all.
Having established the fact over the last few days that Naomi and Ruth had developed a deep and harmonious friendship, likened by some Biblical scholars to the relationship between David and Jonathan, it would be well for us to take a few days to explore the prayer of intercession spoken by Ruth to Naomi.
Perhaps you’re wondering why I refer to the words found in Ruth 1: 16, 17 as a prayer. Frankly, until a few weeks ago, I had never thought about Ruth’s “entreaty” as anything but a beautiful passage of Scripture often used at weddings to symbolize the closeness between two individuals.
But as we have repeatedly found out in the Bible, if we take time to study more and dig deeper into God’s Word, it’s the hidden treasure that’s buried under the surface which can nourish, inspire and refresh us in ways we could never imagine.
This is what we will find happens as we study Ruth’s “entreaty” or “intercession” to Naomi. By looking closely at the elements found in Ruth 1: 16, 17, we uncover the keys which unlock the storehouse to heaven’s bounty.
Years ago, as an 8-year-old girl, I attended a summer Vacation Bible School where our class leader got the bright idea to do a skit. On the final “family night,” when parents came to watch us perform, we “acted” out the story of Naomi and guess who got to play the part of Ruth? You guessed it! I did and let me be quick to point out, it wasn’t because I was a budding actress! Far from it! I was just good at memorizing “stuff.” Everyone in my family still laughs at me because I can remember every phone number our family ever had, to the time before I even started school. This was why I was assigned Ruth’s role because I had to repeat Ruth 1: 16, 17 by memory. Perhaps this is the reason these two verses hold a special place in my heart. But, as I’ve been using a shovel and pick to unearth God’s message for His daughters’ hearts, I’ve found these words have taken on a deeper and more meaningful hue as I’ve explored the colors God uses to paint this picture which depicts in vivid shades the fulfillment which is ours when we take time everyday to develop a meaningful, life-changing friendship with our Father in heaven.
Tomorrow we will expand on this idea more as we study the way friends approach one another, especially when one has a purposeful request. Why not invite a friend to spend time in the garden with God’s daughters (and sons) this week.
“Let your fleece lie on the threshing floor of supplication till it is wet with the dew of heaven.”
C. H. Spurgeon
“Lord, give us grace to hold to you
when all is weariness and fear
and sin abounds within, without
when love itself is tested by the doubt…
that love is false, or dead within the soul,
when every act brings new confusion, new distress,
new opportunities, new misunderstandings,
and every thought new accusation.
Lord, give us grace that we may know
that in the darkness pressing round
it is the mist of sin that hides your face,
that you are there
and you do know we love you still
and our dependence and endurance in your will
is still our gift of love.”
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, ChristianBook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal.
If you would like to purchase When A Woman Meets Jesus at a 30%-50% quantity discount for your Women’s Ministry Program or for Bible Study Groups, please visit:www.direct2church.com or email direct2church@Bakerpublishinggroup.com.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.