Posted Oct. 24, 2012
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement
give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus,
so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 15:5-6 (niv)
“What are we going to do?” I asked him, knowing full well that we were both stumped.
“I don’t know.” He replied.
“I have to pick up the girls from school…I have to leave. Are you okay?” I knew the answer to that question, also. No, he wasn’t okay. Neither was I.
As I drove off I realized I had never seen my husband quite so discouraged. After all, this was our only son we were discussing. A son who was deciding to rebel against everything we believe. The signs of a troubled youth were all too obvious and there was just too much evidence showing we had to do something. But what?
I felt I really needed to pray for my husband. The obvious prayer was to ask God for wisdom and strength and answers for our dilemma, but we had been praying that sort of prayer for quite a while now. This time I just prayed for him to be encouraged. I asked God for just some kind of encouragement for my husband. I knew he needed a boost, but I didn’t know what that would be, so I just left it in God’s hands.
Doing the car pool and listening to all the normal chattering about school from kids who were happy about their lives gave me a boost. While I drove I continued to pray for my husband.
Arriving home I was greeted by a far less discouraged mate.
“Guess who was here while you were away,” he said.
“Okay, I’ll bite, who?”
“Craig, our neighbor from a while back. He just wanted to stop by and tell us he was a Christian now. He has accepted Christ into his life and will be baptized next week. He invited us. He said because we had been a big influence in his decision that he wanted us there. Pretty good news, eh.”
Why is it, that when I pray and ask God for something, I’m then surprised when He does what I ask?
Another question and I know the answer to this one, also. Not enough faith.
In Mark 9 Jesus told a sick boy’s father, “Everything is possible for him who believes.”
His answer to Jesus is my answer to Jesus, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
Posted March 2, 2012
It was a nice size group. Well, for a Wednesday night prayer meeting. This was back in the days when churches still had Wednesday night prayer meetings. And, back in the days when mini skirts first came into style. So, of course, when I saw the lady in the mini-skirt seated a few rows over from me, well, I did what any young, red-blooded Christian would do. I passed judgment. As in, “How can a person possibly be a Christian and dress like that.” I think I was thinking that quite a few times during the devotion time and even through the time of sharing personal requests for prayer.
So, of course, when we were divided into groups of two for prayer, I was put with the lady in the mini-skirt. I even asked her to go first because I knew I would be the one to pray the best and the longest. After all, she couldn’t be very godly dressed like that.
And so she prayed. I was in shock. It was the loveliest, most devoted and earnest prayer I had heard in a very long time. I could tell she really loved the Lord and must have a close walk with Him. I was so ashamed of my judgement of her. When it came time for me to pray I stumbled, faltered, lost words and generally sounded completely inept. Probably my face was red with embarrassment the whole time.
I would like to tell you I never passed judgement again quite so fast and so adamantly, but I have. At least now I recognize what I’m doing and ask God for forgiveness immediately. And thankfully, most of the time, I’m able to do that before the words come out.
And I did have one other thought. “Maybe if I looked that good in a mini skirt maybe I’d wear one too.” Ah, how very patient God is with me as He is constantly teaching me His way.
O Lord my God, many and many a time you have done great miracles for us, and we are ever in your thoughts. Who else can do such glorious things? No one else can be compared with you. There isn’t time to tell of all your wonderful deeds. Ps 40:5 TLB
In the first place, I believe all prayers are answered. Every request laid before God is heard. His answer is either “yes”, “no”, or “later.” I don’t know about you but sometimes I don’t like the answer God sends. I don’t want to wait and I really don’t like being told “no.” It has taken me a long time to learn to rest in His answer, no matter what it is. And often He still has to remind me that “This plan of mine is not what you would work out, neither are my thoughts the same as yours! For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than yours, and my thoughts than yours.” Isa 55:7-9 TLB I need to rest in not only that verse but in Romans 8:29 which instructs me that God’s purpose in my life is to make me more like Jesus, and He will use everything and everyone He brings into my life to bring that about. With that said, I want to account the times I have seen His hand in my life and all the times He has said “yes” to my pleas and my requests. And in this context, “answered” will mean the same as “yes.”
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