Upon waking I go over to my prayer spot – just a comfy chair in my sitting room – I kneel and lean upon the seat of the chair, head down, hands folded, and pray my silent prayers. Well lately, the needs in my life have become especially urgent. You know we all have those times in our lives when things are just difficult. Money is short, jobs uncertain, difficult teenagers, someone may be sick, disagreement with your spouse, a change in circumstances, add your own situation here______________…the scenarios in life that challenge us are virtually endless. There are times such as these when all our own self efforts seem pretty futile. It’s during these times of seemingly hopelessness that you have to pray more.
It’s during these tougher times that the regular routine types of prayers seem especially ineffective. As I pondered this thought the scripture came back to me…The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. If I want my prayers to mean something they have to be fervent. That means when I pray, I pray HARD, and let God know I am really counting on Him. I might pray aloud, and my prayers are specific. I pray believing that the only one who can answer my prayers is God. I pray believing God is there, He cares and is listening. That’s a fervent prayer.
Fervent prayer has fervor…or fever! Pray like you are in hot water and that you need God’s help getting out. God rewards this type of prayer because regardless of what you believe about God, it’s true that God wants to help you…no matter what you’ve done. And it true that God is a rewarding of those who diligently seek him. As long as you come to Him in a humble way repenting of your past, He wants to help you. It is never correct to think that you are not worthy of God answering your prayers, no matter how many times you’ve sinned. The scriptures say to….. Cast your cares on God because he cares for you.
Hey, pray like you mean it. Pray like you need God, don’t just go through the motions. Pray and keep praying until God turns your situations around for your good as the Apostle Paul describes in the book of Romans 8:28 …And He works all things out for the good for those who love God….He will, but you must believe in Him and believe Him for His answers.
Pray today, and pray hard!
There are jerks is this world. Surprise! No matter how good you are or how upstandingly you live your life, you will get jerked around one time or another. It is inevitable. It will definitely happen to you.
Stop believing that the group you’re in, whether Christian or non-Christian, is a happy, blessed sphere where the Lord makes peace to reign between brothers and sisters at all times. Stop thinking that if you always do what is right and fair others will follow suit. Unfortunately, it’s just not true. Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble.”
Some of you may be saying, “Duh… I know this.” But many of you are thinking that I am being cynical. I am not being cynical. In fact, I believe I am one of the most optimistic around. I am saying this because I forgot that I would receive trouble and when it happened to me, I was caught off guard. Don’t get caught off guard! There are jerks around, and some of them are professing Christians. Yes, those who can talk a great talk about how much they love the ministry or how much they love the Lord will jerk you around when they decide their own agenda is important and it justifies their unChristian actions. If you are caught off guard when you are really given the shaft, your heart can be broken. This can in turn stop you from doing God’s work, and that is what I want to prevent.
Jesus’s real disciples understand the greatest commandments: Love the Lord God with all your heart…and love your neighbor as yourself. No matter the situation, circumstance, offense or need these two commandments must be paramount in the life of the follower of Christ. No other need is urgent enough to forsake what Jesus asked us to do here–love Him and love others. This is our number one priority and responsibility. An individual or group may think some noble (or at times ignoble) cause might be more important. Other causes may indeed be important, but if you disobey God or hurt another person, then the cause has lost its true worth.
Or an individual or group may want to hurt someone because they want to get revenge for a hurt they themselves received. This, too, is wrong, and if you act on it then you also become a jerk, not to mention a disobedient disciple.
So you will get jerked around…jerks are out there. Don’t get caught off guard. Continue to be faithful in your call to love the Lord with all your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself.
“Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.” 1 Cor 1:7-9