Friday, November 1, 2019
What to Say
How you pray for your family members and friends is important. There is no better way to pray for someone you love than by following the example found in Scripture. Paul often asked for specific gifts from God for those He cared about. On Timothy's behalf, Paul requested grace, mercy, and peace.
Grace is the unearned gift the Father bestows on His children. The Lord relates to us only by His grace. His grace provided salvation though we deserved destruction (Eph. 2:8). His grace blesses us with the riches of heaven. His grace brings us peace in troublesome times. His grace brings us good things every day (1 Tim. 1:14).
Mercy is God withholding the punishment we deserve because of our sinfulness. The consequences of our sin is death, yet Jesus paid this penalty for us (Rom. 6:23). God is long-suffering and will delay giving us our just punishment in order for us to have every opportunity to repent and to receive His gift of salvation (2 Pet. 3:9). Peace is the state of mind and heart we experience when we are confident of God's grace and mercy toward us.
Peace comes in knowing that God's grace will sustain us, even in our most difficult crises (Phil. 4:7). God assures us that even when we fail miserably in our commitments to Him, He will show mercy upon us. This assurance gives us peace.
- Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day
It's often the most terrifying of things for me to do. Knowing what to say. In the analytical sense I take in as much information as possible then hopefully speak accordingly. Doesn't always work.
I used to have a problem with what and how to pray. Talking to someone that I couldn't see? Yet believing Jesus was right there with me.
I have friends facing a 'Job' moment in their lives. The world is trying to close in, physically they are struggling, family issues abound. It's the kind of struggle that you read about in the book of Job. It's insanely hard. How do you know what to say to a friend who is going through so much? Well, thankfully, I guess, we see in Job of what not to tell a friend.
For Satan to ask about turning up the heat on a believer, to my understanding, tells me that God must indeed have big plans for them. You can read how it turned out for Job. Consider Scripture. God causes all things to work together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. How many things? ALL.
The bad things as well as the good? Especially the bad things. We crave peace and rest. We struggle when storms come.
Consider a tree in all its splendor in the fall. Very beautiful. Yet unless storms come it's roots will never be deep. If the roots aren't deep it won't survive the winter. If it survives the winter because of the storms, the new life it shows in Spring is an awe to see in God's creation.
We really are no different. Without storms we don't really grow. The Church had to face huge storms to be pushed out of Jerusalem at its beginnings. Throughout his missionary career Paul wouldn't have found as many Churches had persecution not pushed him onward.
None of us likes it. It's emotionally difficult. Physically demanding. It's draining. It hurts.
Scripture speaks to that concerning discipline. All discipline for the moment seems sorrowful. It's the fruit it bears out that is what makes it worth it.
Like the parent who follows their child learning to ride a bike without training wheels, Jesus is always there. Even when the training wheels are no more.
I do pray for peace, grace and mercy for my family and friends. Things that Satan cannot defend against. Yet...I cannot escape the reality of Thy Will Be Done.
We must we must we must always remember that though it be granted that He slay me I will continue to praise Him. That was Job's response. Is it yours?
Most, including myself, have never been brought that low as Job was brought. But I am convinced none has escaped being sifted as Peter was.
We know how to talk to our family and friends. Jesus is the closest family member you have and the dearest friend you will ever have.
Talk to Him. Tell Him everything that is on your heart and mind. Sit in a chair facing a chair. Picture Him there with you. He is there, eager to listen. Ready to help.