Sir Winston Churchill is credited with saying, “Never, never, never give up.” No doubt that’s a valid claim to the quote, but I think it started way back, thousands of years ago, in the Bible.
Yesterday I was going through my Bible looking for verses about praying and seeking reassurance that God wants us to keep praying even when we wonder if any of our requests are getting through the rafters. Remember Peter? The prisoner Peter in Acts 12 who was broken free of his shackles by an angel … all because people back at the church prayed strenuously for him. I haven’t been praying for anyone in jail (at least I don’t think they are) but months have passed since I began praying for some individuals.
When God says no or not yet, for too long (too long based on my flimsy time table) I wonder. Maybe I wasn’t praying with the right motives or maybe even though I was praying for others, there was an element of selfishness in there. James 4:3 forces us to examine the reason behind our prayers. “Yet even when you do pray, your prayers are not answered, because you pray just for selfish reasons.” The truth is, God is in charge of the tapestry. He began weaving it before the Earth was formed and he will continue until the Earth is no more. He looks down and sees every intricate detail of the pattern, every splash of color, every speck of bling. We look up, seeing a tangled mess of thread. Isaiah 55:9 “Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, my thoughts and my ways are higher than yours.”
Didn’t we just talk about this yesterday? Well yes – and no. Yesterday afternoon, late last night, and early this morning, I found out through private messages that God said yes to four of those strenuous prayers. Two were health situations and two were for jobs for men who had been downsized last fall. You might be saying right now, a few months is nothing; you’ve been praying for the same thing for years. I encourage you to not give up. Remember the story Jesus told his disciples in Luke 18? Keep praying and don’t give up. Just don’t! A lot of praying goes on in the Bible; a lot of praying goes on today. One of the reasons is found right here in 1 Samuel 12:23 “I would be disobeying the Lord if I stopped praying for you! I will always teach you how to live right.” That’s one sincere reason to pray isn’t it? Sometimes the book of Hebrews is a little challenging to understand but this verse is heartwarming as we obey the Lord and pray for each other. Hebrews 10:22 “let’s come near God with pure hearts and a confidence that comes from having faith. Let’s keep our hearts pure, our consciences free from evil, and our bodies washed with clean water.”
I don’t know what you have on your agenda for any day of the week, but I encourage you to make prayer a part of it. Without prayer, J.O.Y. will be missing from your pattern. Jesus.Others.You spells JOY.
Ready team? Let’s get out there!
Romans 1:8-9 [MSG] “I thank God through Jesus for every one of you. That’s first. People everywhere keep telling me about your lives of faith, and every time I hear them, I thank him. And God, whom I so love to worship and serve by spreading the good news of his Son—the Message!—knows that every time I think of you in my prayers, which is practically all the time.”
Please enjoy this musical presentation of The Prayer by Celine Dion and Josh Groban. I wish I could find just the song but this is a live event so there is a 2 minute intro before the song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DbviXG_56ss&index=1&list=RDDbviXG_56ss