Oct 192017
 

pray6

“And He gave them their request, but sent leanness into their soul” (Psalm 106:15).

I sometimes hear people say, “I have been wrestling with God in prayer!”
My first thought always is, “I hope you lost.”

If you have been trying to bend God your way-
– then that is a problem.

Prayer is not trying to move God your way.
It is moving yourself His way.

In fact, I’m glad that God hasn’t said yes to every prayer I have ever prayed.

When I look back on some things I’ve prayed for-
I realize that if the Lord would have allowed them, they could have destroyed me.

They were not the right things or the right situations.
So, God graciously and lovingly said no.

In John 15:7, Jesus gave an incredible promise regarding answered prayer.
He said, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.”

From the original language, this verse could be translated-
“If you maintain a living communion with Me, and My word is at home with you, I command you to ask at once for yourself whatever your heart desires, and it will be yours.”

When I read a promise like that-
I gravitate immediately toward the part that says I can ask whatever my heart desires and it will be mine.

But before that, Jesus said:
“If you maintain a living communion with Me, and My word is at home with you…”

If this is happening in your life-
– then you are going to want what God wants.

If you are maintaining a living communion with God and His words are at home in your heart-
– then your outlook, desires—and in time, your prayers will change.

(PA)

Oct 172017
 

 prayer

 May Samuel’s words to the people of his day guide us well:

“As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you” (1 Samuel 12:23).  

It’s easy to get disillusioned over the complex problems our nation faces-

– not just in politics but in almost every part of our society.  

More than ever, we seem to have lost our way.

And millions of young people are growing up without ever learning the difference between right and wrong.  

We’re in danger of becoming like the ancient Israelites during the days of the judges-

– when chaos ruled because “every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25). 

Where will we turn for answers?

We need to turn to God! 

Only He can change our hearts-

– and turn us away from that which is evil toward that which is good.  

It has happened before.

And it can happen again.  

Don’t despair!

But pray and trust God to work in our midst.  

The Bible tells us to pray for “all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” (1 Timothy 2:2).  

Pray daily for our nation, that God will turn us back to Himself.  

But may it begin in your life-

– as you turn to Christ in repentance and faith,

– and commit your life to Him.  

(PA)

Join me in my struggle

 Prayer  Comments Off on Join me in my struggle
Aug 312017
 

“I urge you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ…to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me” (Romans 15:30).

To be a missionary in today’s world-

One has to separate himself from the I-want-it-now culture we live in.

Results on the mission field can be slow going!

So it’s not uncommon for missionaries to retire having seen but a handful of conversions during their entire career.

This fact is enough to discourage many people-

– from ever becoming full-time missionaries.

But for those who have heard their Divine calling to missions-

– nothing—not even the lack of apparent progress

– or the constant persecution—can keep them from fulfilling their task.

One reason they are able to push on is that-

– they have Christian brothers and sisters faithfully supporting them through prayer.

Fellow believers!

We should never underestimate the power of our words offered up to God-

– on behalf of the brave souls on the mission field.

God hears those words and grants His workers the ability-

– to remain encouraged and faithful to the cause.

Prayer for our missionaries is tantamount to the work itself!

American missionary Samuel Zwemer once said:

“The history of missions is the history of answered prayer.”

Remember us in your prayers-

– that we grow not weary in well doing!

(PA)

Aug 242017
 

“Look, the days are coming”—this is the LORD’s declaration—“when I will fulfill the good promises that I have spoken concerning the house of Israel and the house of Judah.” Jeremiah 33:14. 

The prophet Jeremiah told us God would fulfill His promise of a Saviour.  

The people could look forward to someone who would save them from captivity. 

What did they expect as an answer to their prayers? 

They thought the Messiah would be a powerful leader, capable of subduing an empire and ushering in God’s reign.  

But instead of answering the promise as they anticipated-

God did the opposite. 

He sent a servant who would die on the cross for their sins. 

God often does that!

He answers our prayers in unexpected ways.  

We ask for healing, but God chooses to give us strength for each day. 

We ask for relief from our trials, but God helps us endure and grow stronger. 

We ask God to deal with our adversaries; instead, He transforms our attitudes. 

God is always faithful to his promises.

He just doesn’t do things the way we expect.  

When you don’t see answers to prayer that you are anticipating-

– take a look to see if God is blessing in unexpected ways. 

“Father, You are faithful to Your Word. I give You praise.”

(PA)

Jun 072017
 

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9-10).

Prayer is not meant to change God’s mind.

But to change us and align our thinking with God’s.

When we begin our prayer with praise-

– we take the focus off of ourselves and put it on God.

When we pray for God’s will to be done-

– we take the focus off our desires and put it on God’s desires for our lives.

Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

For those who recite what we’ve come to know as the Lord’s Prayer on a regular basis, it is very important that we never take those words for granted or treat them like a doxology to a commonplace prayer.

It is the cornerstone, the focus, and the ultimate purpose of prayer.

Jesus, Himself, prayed for God’s will to be done.

In the Garden of Gethsemane , just before his arrest, Jesus prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me.”

His prayer was so intense, capillaries burst and droplets of blood trickled down his forehead.

And yet, as much as He would have welcomed redemption in a way other than the cross, Jesus prayed, “yet, not my will but yours be done” (Luke 22:42).

I am so thankful that God has not answered each of my requests with a “yes.”

My life would be much different than it is today – and I don’t mean for the better.

How thankful I am for my Heavenly Father Who knows what’s best for me!

He has plans that are “above and beyond all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20).

And in order to hear God speak through prayer, we must allow ourselves to think beyond our limited knowledge, to see beyond our limited vision, and to believe beyond our limited understanding.

Prayer turns our focus toward God and allows Him to rearrange our priorities.

It is more than unloading our burdens and enumerating our desires.

Prayer sets our agenda.

Did you ever notice that Jesus didn’t set His agenda and then ask God to bless it? No!

He did only what the Father told Him to do. He “had to go” to Samaria , to the next town, and to Zaccheus’ home for dinner.

He also had to delay his journey to see his ailing friend, Lazarus until he had been dead for three days.

Prayer is more than telling God what we want.

It is asking God what He wants and then following His lead.

(PA)