Friday, September 13, 2019

Prayer Prepares

C.S. Lewis's life reflected his belief that a person is “never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream.”

As we make plans and follow dreams, God can purify our motives and empower us to devote whatever we do to Him (Proverbs 16:1–3). From the most ordinary tasks to the greatest challenges, we can live for the glory of our almighty Maker, who “works out everything to its proper end” (v. 4). Every action, every word, and every thought can become an expression of heartfelt worship, a sacrificial gift to honor our Lord, as He watches over us (v. 7).

God can’t be limited by our limitations, our reservations, or our tendencies to settle or dream small. As we choose to live for Him—dedicated to and dependent on Him—He will bring about His plans for us. Whatever we do can be done with Him, for Him, and only because of Him. - Our Daily Bread

Prayer is designed to adjust you to God's will, not to adjust God to your will. If God has not responded to what you are praying, you may need to adjust your praying to align with God's agenda. Rather than focusing on what you would like to see happen, realize that God may be more concerned with what He wants to see happen in you. - Blackaby

I often face challenges in life the most when it seems that my actions aren't in line with what God's wanting of me.

In prayer, in the midst of wondering what God would have me write this morning, I was in need of help.  I didn't know what would come because it wasn't time. Add to it that I really don't feel adequate to be doing what it is He would have me do. Like you, I stumble and fall over sin.  Unlike what happens most of the time in the physical world when you fall it's typically not met with scorn or laughter. In the Spiritual world often times you sense the enemy laughing it up. Mocking our efforts.  Deriding our actions and abilities.  Cutting us down.  The truth is, Jesus is there to help us back up onto our feet.  He is always there when we stumbled and fell in the first place.  I am so thankful for His forgiveness.  Yes, this ties in to prayer.
That's where forgiveness lives.  As I was reading this morning, prayer is aligning our will and lives to where God is and what He is doing.

The opening part with the quote from C.S. Lewis is a truth in my life.  Over 6 years ago I was lost, looking for a goal, a dream, a further ambition.  I had accomplished just about everything that I had dreamed of growing up.  Well at least what was reasonable.  Then, after God sent me away from where I was working, He sent me to 'school' albeit paid and in the form of one job after another.  He was needing to work on something for me and others and my staying wasn't going to make it happen.  And now, I am back where I was 6 years ago.  Only now the place is vastly different and improved.

Dreams really do belong to God.  When we come to Christ, our lives are hidden with Him.  We take up our cross daily and follow Him.  Which means what's important to Jesus is to come first.  Read the Four Gospels.  Look at what the Disciples did, how they did and why they did what they were doing.

The part from Blackaby was an interesting fit today.  He began by referring to the Disciples at Pentecost.  Before the Holy Spirit came in power upon them. They obeyed Jesus and stayed together.  It's sort of obvious that the experiences of those who were taught by the resurrected Jesus of all the places the Old Testament where it spoke of Him was discussed.  They were diving into the Scriptures.

They were deep in prayer.  Then, as Blackaby wrote...their prayers began moving their motives and thoughts to where God was.  It's where we need to go.

People have been preaching about wanting a revival.  Oh how this nation needs one!  But it seems that everyone is missing the real beginning of one.  Intense focus on where God is, what God wants and reviewing where He has been is being missed.  If He is indeed the Head of the Church why is the body trying to find its own direction?  Why isn't it listening for the Head to speak?

Life is going to be rough.  Especially for those who come to Christ.  I was also reading in Corinthians again this morning.   Pretty much everyone has either experienced or read of what happens when you are in darkness a long time and someone turns on a bright light.  It hurts!  The pain!  If done outdoors, you will see animals, insects etc scattering!  Why?

Because it hurts to see the revealed truth!

Why does the world have a problem with Christianity? Because Jesus insists on His light shining in this darkness to reveal the truth about people's need to be saved!

Prayer will take you places you likely never expected to go.  God's ways are not ours. His thoughts are higher than ours.

We, like those before us, will experience the same things as the Apostles as Paul wrote to the Corinthians. The hardships the pain. People abruptly exposed to the light aren't the most pleasant to be around.  They lash out.  They are angry. They kick and scream.  They were happy in the lie of the darkness.  Some, after adjusting to the light of Christ, begin to see the truth.  They open their hearts to Him and receive His free gift of Salvation.
Then they too became points of light.

Prayer is what helps them align their goals and purpose to God's. 

Pray with the thought in mind of obedience.  Where is God working and what part is yours to do.  You do have a part.  If you are indeed saved, you are part of the body of Christ and have a purpose.

Today,  change your thoughts on prayer if it's only been a grocery list of things.  Get personal.  Jesus is a personal Savior.
Get real with Him.  Quit hiding inside your heart. Open it all to Jesus.  Find out what it is He wants of you and just do it.

THAT is when you will begin to LIVE.

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