I have had a busy week filled with other people’s (handyman) problems as well as some of my own. However, I am thankful to possess the God given gifts to solve most of these situations or at least know the pro’s that can. I realize that problems are simply a side effect of living. No big deal! I thank God for our granddaughter (Morgan Loftin) that turned 18 years of age this week. Oh, happy day! Pat and I spent a half day volunteering at Sugar Loaf Elementary in Taylorsville, NC, Saturday. Thank you, guys, for allowing us to help and have fun.
Acts 12:5 (ESV), So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church. A praying church is something slowly fading into the past. Yes, I know that churches still pray but how many of them are praying in earnest for the same thing at the same time? I remember those old-fashioned prayer meeting that would pop up from time to time, in the different churches of my area. During my research into this matter of prayer, I have come to the conclusion that most of us fail to fully understand the power of prayer. We have been taught the feel-good parts of prayer such as Matthew 21:22 ESV, And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith” or 1 John 3:22 ESV, And whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. A lot of Christians rely on this type of prayer life because it can be done in a half-hearted effort and still receive some positive results. Just as we learned the Lord’s Prayer in Sunday School and/or in my case public school. Matthew 6:9-13 (ESV), 9 Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. 10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread, 12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. I said this prayer for a lot of years with little to know understanding of its power or its meaning. Just another case of halfhearted Christianity and our churches are filled with such. There is unimaginable power in prayer to be discovered, rather prayed by a believing individual or a congregation of earnest prayer warriors. The time to review our prayer life is now! Just ask yourself, are my prayers being answered? James 4:3 (ESV), You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. God knows your every motive the instant your heart isn’t right with Him! Matthew 6:7 ESV, “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Getting back to my opening verse, the church prayed in earnest and God answered. Acts 12:7 (ESV), And behold, an angel of the Lord stood next to him, and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And the chains fell off his hands. Peter was saved through the power of earnest prayer. The word earnest could easily be replaced with diligent, urgent, passionate, purposeful or fervent. My favorite word is deliberate as it helps me to be respectful, loving and to the point. I have learned to rely a ton on 1 John 5:14-15 ESV, And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him. Key phrase for me in this scripture is according to His will. I have to remind myself, God doesn’t need my help, nor is my advice helpful in His answering my petition. As a matter of fact, I am instructed in Romans 12:12 ESV, Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer and leave the driving to Jesus. God is only interested in the condition of our hearts! If our motives are pure and our hearts are set on Him, He will hear our request and answer. It may not be the answer we want but it will always be according to God’s will and for our benefit. We need to learn to live out Romans 12:12 as a testimony to the goodness of God. Philippians 4:19 ESV, And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
HAVE A BLESSED WEEK BY BEING A BLESSING TO OTHERS!
COMMENTS / ENCOURAGEMENT WELCOMED; 06/03/2018