During trials and pain...

**Sorry about the image. I tried to edit it to face the correct way but nothing worked! The photo is of a small canal I found on my runs near my house. It is a place where I have found solitude with the Lord. Its not the prettiest of places, but its mine and I love it! (fyi, I think if you click on the photo, it may reload and show you the correct position)

This past week I was asked to share a devotional to our team of interns and our leader. As I was praying and seeking the Lord on what topic He would want to share…He put the power of prayer on my mind.

Prayer is something the Lord continuously teaches me. Seriously, I feel like this is my life’s lesson. But as I opened my bible to Ephesians and I began reading about the armor of God in chapter 6, verses 10-17. This is where Paul gives us a great description of the importance of putting on the armor of Christ which consists of: belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shoes of the gospel, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit (also known as the Word of God).  Then I went on and read verses 18-30 where Paul talks about prayer and how important it is.

Ephesians 6:18-20~

“18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”

PRAYER is so important that Paul could not give it an imagine, because it is just so POWERFUL! Prayer is our secret weapon! A weapon that the Lord honors us with the ability to be in relationship with Him….that is what prayer is all about: Being in a constant relationship and conversation with our Savior!

I remember a quote from Francis Chan when he spoke at a chapel I attended. He stated: “Our God listens to us. Our God is a living God. He is not a block of wood you made up that’s not going to answer you. My God listens to me. He answers me.”

Wow. Just let those words seep into your soul. Sometimes I know I take this for granted. I just say a prayer and don’t realize just how blessed and privileged I am to even speak to the only True God that always listens and answers me. Yes, His answers may not be what I expected or sometimes even wanted, but He always answers and its always for the best.

As I started to read Ephesians 6:18-20, the Lord blew me away. He continuously reminded me of events in my life where prayer was POWERFUL and always answered….sometimes instantly and other times it was a loooong difficult process.

 Prayer takes perseverance. 

I need to hear that again, prayer takes perseverance.

I love this story I heard once from I honestly don’t know where, but it was a story of this woman who called a hotel she stayed at on vacation and asked if she forgot her diamond earrings on the night stand. The attendant asked her to hold and eagerly went searching for the earrings. After some time, he found them and immediately put them in the safe because he didn’t want anything to happen. He was so excited to tell the woman he found her earrings, but when he went back on the phone she hung up. Her impatience got the best of her and she gave up on someone who diligently went to her aide. 

I feel like many times that’s what I do. When I don’t get the answer immediately, I just give up on God and try to succeed on my own. My impatience takes over and my flesh begins to think I can do things on my own, but man, how constantly wrong I am.

I can’t do anything without God. We can’t do anything with God.  We are nothing without Him, so why do we think we can take control? Why do we get impatient and say whatever and end our conversation.

As I have been suffering through some health trials as of late, I begged, literally cried and begged God to help me. First I asked Him to take away the pain I was experiencing from the kidney stone, then I begged Him to take the itching away that prevents me from sleeping. I sit at night and just cry and beg for the Lord to intervene, to save me, to heal me. Although it wasn’t the immediate response I longed for Him to give me, He eventually took the pain away after I passed the kidney stone. And now, I am still dealing with this awful itching, but as I sought the Lord last night around 2:30 am the Lord took me to Isaiah chapter 58 twice. As I read it, it talked about fasting and what true fasting is.  I felt the Lord call me into a deeper season of fasting, praying, and leaning on Him for my every need. It’s difficult not being able to sleep, but I find it a somewhat peaceful time with the Lord—I mean I am still itchy and the crazy dogs outside are still howling—but I find solitude with the Lord. 

I don’t have answers. I will never have answers. But God always does. He knows why I am suffering right now, but I know He is watching over me. He always watches over me. He never leaves my side. And the greatest thing is that its not just for me.

God LOVES YOU! God ALWAYS knows what’s best, even when we get the thoughts that we know better or when we are facing trails. God is ALWAYS by YOUR side, He never leaves YOU! He is ALWAYS Faithful and His Love for You Never Ceases!

 

Thank you Lord for your everlasting love and provision. I hope to persevere in my relationship with you on a daily basis. I pray for strength to rely on you and not my own flesh and impatience. I pray that as I walk into this season of deeper prayer, fasting, and choosing you—the people I love, the people you always see and are proud of are touched and choose you as well. Amen.