Sunday, May 24, 2020

Prayer and Faithfulness

Praise God, who did not ignore my prayer. Psalm 66:20 NLT 

If we honestly look back on the character of our prayers, we will be filled with wonder that God has ever answered them. There may be some who think of their prayers as worthy, like the Pharisees did—but true Christians, with an enlightened consideration, weep over their prayers. If we could retrace our steps, we would want to pray more earnestly. Remember, Christian, how cold your prayers have been. When, in your place of prayer, you should have wrestled like Jacob did, but instead, your petitions were faint and few. They have been far removed from that humble, believing, persevering faith that cries, “I will not let you go unless you bless me” (Genesis 32:26). But it is wonderful to say that God has heard these cold prayers of yours—and not only heard them but answered them! Think too how infrequent your prayers have been, unless you were in trouble—then you’ve often gone to the mercy seat. But after God’s deliverance came, where was your constant praying? Still, even though you stopped praying like you once did, God did not stop blessing. When you neglected the mercy seat, God did not desert it; the bright light of the Shekinah glory has always been visible between the wings of the golden cherubim. It is a wonder that the Lord pays attention to those intermittent spasms of prayer that come and go with our needs. What a God He is to hear the prayers of those who come to Him with their pressing wants, only to neglect Him after they receive mercy! What a God He is to hear those who approach Him only when they are forced to come, but forget to address Him when mercies are plentiful and sorrows are few. May God’s gracious kindness in hearing such prayers touch our hearts, so that going forward we may be found “praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication” (Ephesians 6:18 ESV). - C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening 

“Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.” Mark 14:9 

We may assume that our expressions of devotion to God are small and insignificant, but in God's eyes they may hold much meaning. Our love and dedication to Christ may even create memorials to God for future generations. This woman performed a profound act of love for Jesus. She did not do it to impress His disciples or to gain public attention or to gain praise from Jesus. She simply sought to express her love for Jesus. She did nothing spectacular; she performed no miracles; she preached no sermons. Yet Jesus was so moved by her selfless loyalty that He deemed it worthy of remembrance throughout the remainder of history. We do not know all that God finds most pleasing, nor do we know what acts of our love He may choose to honor through our children and future generations. Abraham could not have known that the day he demonstrated his willingness to sacrifice his only son would be memorialized and would bless many generations who heard of his obedience. David could not have known that his walk with God would please Him so much that David's example would bless generations who followed him. God can take your faithfulness and begin a spiritual legacy, making it a blessing to others for generations to come. You will never know until eternity all who received a blessing because of your righteous life. That is why it is so important that you daily express your love and devotion to Jesus. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

Two things that go together more than peanut butter and jam or Lucy and Ethel or ANYTHING else you love to pair up are prayer and faithfulness. 

Our walk with God is strong at its weakest moment because of His faithfulness. Our prayers no matter how small or great are heard no matter how insignificant the world may see them. 

Our relationship with Jesus isn't to be evaluated by the world. The world cannot contemplate the value of sin, much less, the value of righteousness.  A relationship with Jesus is determined by first coming to Christ for salvation.  Then the housecleaning begins.  The moving in of the Holy Spirit.  The conversations between you and your Savior.  Be they small or long winded they are recorded and cherished by Him.

It matters not how faithful we are Jesus cannot deny Himself.  He will remain faithful, it is us who miss out on what might have been. 

My greatest regrets in my life are the moments that I can remember failing Jesus.  The times when I am not lying to myself about the things that happened that I knowingly did. Yet throughout my life His faithfulness has never wavered. 

Satan relentlessly tries to introduce doubt.   He relentlessly tried to sew discord and strife in my mind.  He tries to muscle his way into my heart, where the Spirit says 'No Vacancy'.

He doesn't get in, but his words are all too often heard.   It's not just my struggle to remain faithful, it's yours too. It's the struggle of everyone who had ever been saved.  Thankfully, mercifully, Jesus remains faithful. 

Our anger, our selfishness, our pride, our desires, our anything you can name, if it's ours, it can trip us up. Only that which is in us that is of Christ is holy, pure and true. 

Prayer and faithfulness go hand in hand. 

The looking back from the New Testament writers to the Old Testament writers shows a history rich with both.  There in is the path to the will of God. 

Satan will never be overt in his attempts to manipulate us. It will always be subtly done.  Always softly spoken.  Always something to introduce a minor change of direction that we won't notice right away. 

Scripture says at all times pray.  
Scripture says to love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and Spirit. Love your neighbor as yourself. 

That's prayer and faithfulness together.  This world today has had the impossible happen. The bulk of worldly idols have been irrevocably removed.  Some still remain.  Selfish people are still in this world.  That would be everybody.  Power and money are Satan's best weapons. He still is trying to wipe out Christianity and the Jewish people.  What the rest of the world doesn't get is he doesn't care if he takes everyone with him in the process.  His aim is to become like God.  Will never happen but that's his endgame. 

How much are you in prayer?
Where is your heart?  Where is your faithfulness? Are you, as mentioned in the devotional, only faithful when times aren't so good?  Do you not pray so much when life is good?

Consider your own life. This is between you and God.  Only God has the right to look on you and if you are bold enough, ask Him what He thinks.  

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