Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Don't Loose Heart! Pray, Praise, and Wait on God

As a Bible study teacher and speaker, the one thing I hear most from young women is this: "I am praying for my husband to become a Christian, but I feel like I'm fighting a loosing battle." Or, "I am praying that my husband will step up and be the spiritual leader in our home, but I'm still the one praying before our meal, praying with our children, or reading them a Bible story. Maybe I need to just forget it and do the best I can." And when they ask me, "What else can I do?" I can only reply, "Don't give up, God has a plan for you and your family, and in His timing, He will pull it all together for you."

One thing I learned many, many years ago is this: the only person I can change is myself. And when I learned this one, very important fact, it changed everything for me. Because you see, when I finally figured that out, I began focusing more on what God wanted to do in my life, and less on what I thought David should be doing in his life. And as I began to allow God to do His work in my life, I began to notice that He was also working in David's life and in our family.

Maybe you have something that you have been pryaing for and you are just about ready to call it quits;
PLEASE DON'T!! When you reach that piviotal place in your praying it can only mean one thing; breakthrough is so close, the answer is within reach, but.....what do I do while I wait on God?

In Luke 18, Jesus told a parable about prayer that is just as relevant to our prayer lives today as when He first told it to His disciples. So get your Bible, turn to Luke 18, because this is so good, I don't want you to just take my word for it.

In v1, Jesus said, "Believers should always pray and not loose heart." When you and I loose heart, we are discouraged. I don't know about you, but I can sure get discouraged easily. Jesus said that when we feel discouraged that means it is time to dig in our heels and pray harder and praise Him more for Who He is.

In the parable Jesus told about a widow who was being harassed by an "adversary." She asked to see the judge in her district, but he refused to meet with her. But look at v4; she kept on and on and on and finally he got so weary of her asking that he gave in because she "wore him down".

Anybody been pickin' on you lately? Making life harder for you, criticizing your best efforts, pointing out your failures? Then you have an adversary. And look at v7 at what God will do about your adversary; He will avenge us and v8 says He will be quick about it!

Now I don't believe for one minute that we have to "wear God down" in order to get our prayers answered, but the meaning of the parable is this; by refusing to give up, we reveal our faith.

So..this is what you do while you wait for God to answer your prayers for your husband, your children, your health, your finances, or to "avenge you because of your adversary":

1. Keep praying. Refuse to be moved, keep praying until God answers with a big yes, or you know that He has definitely said no. Either way, commit to keep praying.

2. Share your struggle. For me, just sharing with a close friend and sometimes even my class what I am praying about clarifies things and involves them in the process. And let me tell you, there is nothing off limits with God. I have the sweetest young Mom in my class who shared with us her potty training struggles with her toddler, then shared with us how God had answered and he was now doing "both" things in the potty!! God wants to be involved in every area of our lives and ladies that includes potty training those toddlers. Share your prayer stuggles and you just might be surprised by how sharing can speed up the process, or at least make the journey from unanswered to answered prayer just a little sweeter!

And the 3rd thing (I think the most important) is found in Acts 16. Please read this, it is sooo good.
Paul, Silas, and Luke had been preaching all over Europe and a woman by the name of Lydia was converted to Christianity. She invited them to stay in her town, they did, continuing to preach. One day during a prayer meeting, a young slave girl who was considered a medium, (you don't watch that show on TLC do you? Didn't think you did.) came to the meeting. Now she made a lot of money for her masters and when the meeting was over and Paul and Silas left, she followed them all over town, drawing attention to them by shouting, "These men are the servants of the Most High God who show us the way of salvation." She kept this up for several days and v18 says she just plain and simply got on Paul's last nerve. When he could stand it no longer he turned to her and commanded that the evil spirit leave her and it did. When her owners saw that she couldn't make them money, they had Paul and Silas arrested and brought before the judge. The judge ordered them beaten and thrown into prison. The jailer took them to the "inner" prison and placed their feeet in stocks and left them there. The prison system was made up of 3 separate spaces. The 1st was for the lesser of the offenders, the 2nd was for those who had committed worse crimes than those in the 1st cell, and the 3rd prison was horrible. No window, no ventilation, poor food and water, and little or no light.

Well just take a look at v25 of Acts 16; what in the world were Paul and Silas doing at midnight?
Who heard them?
What happened in v26?
When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors open, he naturally thought everyone had escaped. Knowing that he would be executed because of his derilection of duty, he drew his own sword, intending to take his life when Paul yelled out, "Don't hurt yourself. We are all still here."

The jailer called for a light and when he saw that every prisoner was in his place, he came to Paul and Silas' cell, fell trembling at their feet, and asked, "What must I do to be saved?" He immediately accepted Christ as his Savior, took them to his home where they witnessed to the jailer's family and they were all saved. The jailer took water and cleaned their bloody wounds, then he and his family were baptized. I heard Beth Moore say that the family was likely baptized in the same bloody water that had been used to clean the wounds of Paul and Silas.

Isn't it amazing what God can do with a woman who loves so much and loves so deep that she refuses to stop praying, no matter how hopeless it looks?
Isn't it amazing what God can do with a woman who, in humilty, shares the prayers of her heart with someone who will step into that prayer journey with her and together they claim Matthew 18:19, 20 as their very own promise?
And isn't it amazing what God can do with a woman who sings praises at midnight even though her heart is so heavy with discouragement that the words just won't come and the only sound you hear is the melody?
Whether you can carry a tune or not, whether you feel silly or embarrassed or not, get a good praise cd, (I highly recommend "3 For Thee") plug it in, turn it on, and belt it out!! Singing and praying the Word changes a lot of things, but most importantly it changes me.
Everyday, in every situation we have 2 choices; we can complain and make things worse, or we can pray and faithfully wait for God to change our situation. If I get mad at God because of my circumstances, immdediately a wall goes up between us. Many times my situation hasn't changed until my atttitude changed.

While we always have the privilege of prayer, we do not have the right to tell God how and when to answer them; that's His job. Ours is to pray and praise and let Him do in our lives what He knows will be best for us and bring the most glory and honor to His Holy name. Devils will run and demons will get out of town quick when we pray and sing praises through our circumstances, because they cannot stay in the presence of the name of "The Most High God."

Share with us your favorite praise cd. We love to hear about it.

Have a great and blessed day.


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