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Monday, January 27, 2014

Praying Dangerously Week 4

So far, I've shared questions and ponderings on praying dangerously. And challenged all of us, me included, to pray this first dangerous prayer: 

I surrender. Continue Your good work in me. Change me.

What I'd like to do today is offer an answer to one of my deepest questions and then ask you to join me and share with others where you need prayer. 

I'd love the honor of praying for you and knowing we are lifting each other up to our Lord, who is Himself the answer.

My question: How do we change what needs changing in us?

I could offer many "ten steps to a new you" lists, some of which have helped me and some have not.

I could say exercise, read the Bible more, reach out to others. All of which are good, very good, things to do. 

But many of us have tried various ways to accomplish those things and many more things...and failed. 

I'd like to offer another suggestion. 

It's not original. It's not a life-shattering revelation. 

It is where I am and what I've seen work in my life more than anything else I've ever done.

Believe in Christ and pray God's Word and don't give up. 

Simple. Not easy.

Prayer is the work. 

It's not all the work because sometimes we have to put feet to our faith, but prayer is what focuses us on what God wants and on who He is. 

John 6:29 "Jesus told them, 'This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the One He has sent.'"

1 Thessalonians 5:17 "Never stop praying." 

Something I've started that keeps me from constantly begging God for relief or provision is to pray His Word for my children and myself.

For example: We have all struggled with anger over various injustices in our life situation. So I went to the Word and asked God what to pray about this issue. Then I wrote out a prayer based on Ephesians 4:26, 1 Peter 2:23, and Romans 12:17-21.

"May my children not sin by letting anger control them, but instead entrust themselves to God who judges justly. May they not seek revenge but leave it to the Lord, and may they overcome evil with good." 

It settles my heart to pray this way. To believe God hears, is good, and will answer according to His character and His will and His perfect timing. 

The praying isn't the hard part for me. The believing is. Which is why I go back to the Word and affirm the truth, no matter what I feel. 

Simple. Not easy. 

None of us will be perfect in this...or anything else. Which is one reason we don't give up. And we look forward to heaven when the imperfect disappears, and we will see the Perfect One face to face.

So there's my answer. I hope it encourages you and inspires you to dig into the Word and pray.

Now I'd like to ask what to pray for you...and yes, I mean you. 

What burden can you share that we can help you bear up under? What need do you have that we can pray God's Word for you? 

Father, thank You that You hear the cries and joys and fears and hopes of Your people and are already at work in all of our circumstances. Thank You that You capture every tear in a bottle, and You treasure every one of Your children. We are noticed and cared for and cherished, even when we don't feel it. You rejoice over us, You hold us in the palm of Your hand, and You promised You will never abandon us. May we draw near to You as individuals and as a group of pray-ers, lifting each other to You. You inhabit the praises and hear the prayers of Your people, so we come and thank You for who You are and what You will do in and through and for us. In Jesus' Name. Amen.


Judy said...

Funny, but my word for this year is prayer. Yup, prayer! Debbie Macomber asks for God to give her a word every year and I decided to do it. Read her blog to see the particulars.
As to what I need prayer for? I need to have a more structured prayer and devotional life because I've been all over the place spiritually. Not good for me or my hubby. I did commit myself to The Lord years ago, but hubby has questions and as he says, hasn't received the gift of faith yet.
If my faith walk becomes a better witness to him I'm trusting in The Lord to do the rest.
Sorry for rambling on.....

Amy Wallace said...

Father, I pray You would draw Judy and her husband ever nearer to You. Let them experience Your amazing love and be drawn into Your Word and long to spend time with You. Give them hearts filled with joy and faith. And may they each know you more and glorify You with their lives. Amen.

Judy said...

Thank you, Amy....

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