Archive for the ‘Prayer’ Category

THE WRESTLER

Monday, November 1st, 2010

Day 238

“You have striven with God and men and have prevailed”
Genesis 32:25-28

This story is one of the more interesting ones detailed in the scriptures. Jacob lived filled with conflict that took his spiritual life to heights and depths. His life began in deceit, cheating his brother out of his birthright. It did not get any better as time went on, but through it all, He was a chosen man of God.

Later in the story, Jacob was to meet his brother and he feared for his life. He earnestly prayed humbling himself before God. That night, when alone, this self-sufficient man wrestled all night with a man. He became involved in a struggle of his body, soul and spirit and as He wrestled with this angelic being. He persisted and refused to let go. He knew he was contending with God, yet he prevailed in the struggle. He wept and interceded in agonizing prayer. He was as he was in birth—he grabbed a hold of his brother’s heel and would not let go. Now he grabbed a hold of God and would not let go.

Prayer is to be conformed to God’s will. He will contend with us in prayer to bring us into conformity to His purposes. Yes, He will even oppose us. And, as we learn to more perfectly submit our will to God’s will, God will no longer prevail against us. Jacob was humbled in his wrestling with God and He was made limp in his hip as a physical reminder of the encounter.

It would do well for many of us to pursue God with this passion.

“So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, ‘It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared'”
Genesis 32:30

GOD’S WORK

Friday, July 30th, 2010

Day 148

“He will rescue us because you are
helping by praying for us”
2 Corinthians 1:11

When Paul mentions his missionary trip, he recounts the hardships he and his co-workers went through. It was so severe they thought they were going to die. They were under great pressure, weighed down, beyond their own strength to endure, all of which brought them to despair. They were crushed and overwhelmed to the point they saw no way of escape from death. It was a gripping account.

Paul states, in the midst of this ordeal, “we learned not to rely on ourselves, but on God who can raise the dead.” And learning to rely on God in the face of death brought strength and deliverance. God delivered them from mortal danger. It was at this point that Paul addresses his main point – they were rescued because the Corinthian church was helping by praying for them. The results of their prayers brought gratitude to God by many others who heard this account.

God has not just saved us. He has made us co-workers and it is a great honor to be among those that labor in the kingdom of God. The Corinthians finally discovered that when they heard how their prayers assisted Paul and his companions and served to have many give thanks to God. What a great opportunity we have because all of us, men, women, and children can pray! God has entrusted us with this work.

“They were holding golden bowls of incense,
which are the prayers of the saints”
Revelation 5:8

SEEK AND EXPECT

Monday, June 7th, 2010

Day 106

“The Lord is good to those who hopefully and expectantly
wait for Him, to those who seek Him inquire of and
for Him, and require Him by right of necessity
and on the authority of God’s Word”
Lamentations 3:25 (Amp)

Over and over the Lord says to us, “Seek to know Me and expect to receive.” Too often, we seek to know, but never expect to find out. The answer comes and we miss it. The whole thing flies right past our mind set. We never recognize we have missed a piece of the puzzle we’ve been searching to find. But, our God is very practical. He gives us answers in practical, everyday events.

We should pray and ask the Lord to show us where He is in all circumstances that come up in our life. Ask Him to teach us how to recognize His hand in our lives. He is a gracious Father and desires for us to know His gentleness. Otherwise, we are blind without His light. We cannot get past our own reasoning and emotions. God uses creative persuasion in our life. We can be soft and pliable in His hands, or we can resist and suffer loss. The Israelites spent 40 years in the wilderness for a two week trip! It’s our choice.

We’ll find His goodness when we expect to see Him. His goodness will bring joy and His perfect work will be accomplished in us. If you want to see the goodness of the Lord, expect it! He is before you, behind you, all around you and has laid His hand upon you.

“My soul, wait thou only upon God;
for my expectation is from Him”
Psalm 62:5

DIVINE DELAYS

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

Day 24

“Yet when He heard that Lazurus was sick,
He stayed where He was two more days”
John 11:6

“Lazurus is dead” (vs 4).

We live by time; minutes, hours, days, months and years. Our prayers concerning crises, important issues, and matters that we perceive will happen soon, are usually made looking for an answer right away. Our sense of need is framed in time, but God does not seem to always answer in the time we think He should. Often an answer does not seem to be forthcoming at all.

Consider some of the biblical situations where God delayed answering. Abraham received the promise of a son, but it was over 20 years before it was fulfilled. Elijah was sent to a brook to wait and was there several years. David was anointed by the Lord to be king, but ended up fleeing to save his life, living in the wilds as a fugitive; and it was 15 years or more before he became king. Job suffered severely in the loss of his children, servants, cattle and then was personally afflicted. His wife urged him to give up, but he endured a long period of suffering. Peter was told by Jesus to wait by Sea at Tiberias, and when He did not show, he went fishing.

Have you experienced this? Have you cried, “how long O Lord,” or, “I am worn out calling for help” [Psalms 13:1, 69:3]? And like Martha, have you said, “If You had been here . . .”

Yet, even when it seems to us that God has not heard or answered, He has an appointed time for everything. Delays remove any illusions of our self-sufficiency. They dissuade man’s attempts to make an answer, and permit all to see His glory.

“Did I not tell you that if you believed,
you would see the glory of the Lord? ”
John 11:40