The act of writing, of sharing the circumstances, the gifts and the graces planned and carried out by my Savior and God brings joy, peace, and contentment to know that He has my life in His hands. My prayer for those who read, who share in what I continue to learn each day, many times through my weakness, is that you will be encouraged to look for God's presence and grace in your life also.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Prayer changes people
Do I really believe that? Do I pray like I know God will answer my prayers. Do I believe what He says?
Matthew 7:7 "Ask, and it will be given to you seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you."
Matthew 21:22 "And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”
Mark 11:24 "Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."
So what is the problem? We have access as His children to the very throne of God—the creator of the universe and the Father God who loves us, who wants to and promises to give us our desires if we just ask.
John 14:13-14 "Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it."
Prayer is one of those things, like all the disciplines of grace, that we need ask for growth:
We need to ask the spirit to.....
—teach us how to pray,
—lay on our hearts what to pray,
—give us a desire to pray,
—and open our eyes to see God answering specific prayers.
There is nothing like seeing specific prayers answered in the lives of others.
Then the real test came in watching for His answers.
Would God have worked without my prayer? Undoubtedly, because there were probably others praying also but Praise God, He included me in the process so I could see Him working in lives.
One reason I share this is that each of us have sons, daughters, parents, grandchildren, close friends, sisters and brothers in our church family that have "needs." Whether that be fruits of the Spirit that need to be developed further, personality traits that need to be strengthened or even controlled, habits that need to be overcome, or even sin issues (which we all have) that need to be dealt with.
Ephesians 6:18 "praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,"
Paul E. Martin in A Praying Life; Connecting With God in a Distracting World says that the reason we don't pray for these very issues in our spouses or others we love is that we don't think they can change, after all, "that is just the way they are." Of course they can't, but God can change them and he tells us to pray for ALL the Saints.
One of the issues we all have is that while we can see the sin and needs of others, we don't see our own sin and neediness. One of my deepest prayers is that there are friends of mine who are praying for changes in me.....that they have chosen a verse/s for me and they have specifically asked God to change me so that I will be conformed to the image of His son.
And then just today—isn't God good?—in Sarah Young's Jesus Calling, she shares that God impressed her with the importance of laying out our requests for others before Him but then instead of falling into repetition, we should begin to thank Him for what He is doing EVEN if we don't see God working yet. Be assured He is working in His time and plan.
And there we are again....thanking God in everything. Trusting him for what He is doing and thanking Him for it because we know He is answering our prayer.