Matthew 6:6: “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
I wanted to end this summer on the power of prayer. Keep praying no matter what! God hears. God answers. He rewards those who faithfully pray to Him. He knows all especially your heart. Pray, pray, pray! Only in prayer will you find the answers you seek.
James 1:12: “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”
No matter what you are going through, God is going through it with you. He never forsakes you. He is there always. When you’re sleeping. When you’re crying. When you’re laughing. Always. He has a purpose. Latch on to that. And let all worries fade away to dust…
Fear Thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help; yea I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
O God you are my God, and I long to bring you honor and glory. Please stir my courage to live victoriously and passionately for you. I trust that as I display your character and live for your glory that you will strengthen and uphold me by your mighty presence within me and by your arm of grace around me. In you, I have placed my hope. Search me O God, I know that my heart is not always pure and my ways are far from perfect.
Search me O God, for I need your purifying presence. Search me, O God, for I want you to set the course and destination of my life.
Give me faith , O Lord, during the times I am weary, discouraged and beaten down. Inspire me to trust in your great promises. Please give me courage, O Lord, when my faith wavers. Help me obey your word no matter how challenging it may seem or how discouraged I feel.
Knock and I will answer
Seek and you will find
Why does it seem harder
To talk to you sometimes
Then I stop to examine
What have I done today
Have I committed any sin
Getting in the way
The only time I find it hard
Is when I move away
Make sure I stay on guard
Please help me Lord to stay
I know words do not matter
You see right through my heart
You know what I am about to say
Even before I start
I thank You God for listening
Praying day or night
For me prayer is talking and listening to God.
It is a response to God inviting me to spend time with Him.
He wants to have a relationship and prayer
helps develop my relationship with Him.
What I yearn and long for in this life is having
that relationship with Him.
I can go to Him with problems, with confessions,
with my gratitude. He will never tire
of hearing from me,
He loves me and knows me by name.
Praying isn’t always easy. When I have sinned
and not confessed it seems like my prayers are futile.
But it isn’t that God is not there, not listening.
In the Bible it says
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart”
I was seeking when I felt His presence.
Seeking is a way of praying.
God knows what I need or what I am going to say.
I wasn’t eloquent, I just cried out wanting to know Him.
In my distress I called to the Lord;
I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came before him, into his ears
Our BSF lecture last week insinuated there was something wrong with self-help books. I immediately bristled.
As some of you know, I’m working on myself, trying to grow and fix some of “me”, smooth out the rough edges and I have chosen to do this through God’s word, prayer, and books. Most of these books are self-help books.
The argument was made, “People look to themselves rather than God when they read these books.” I think this is a valid argument if you do indeed rely on self-help books only instead of God.
But self-help books combined with God is a powerful tool. I read books and I get ah-ha moments.
God speaks through people. People write books (like myself). And I believe God helps me write and He uses me to convey His message. So why wouldn’t He help others? Why wouldn’t God give us the gift of books through others to know Him better? It sounds a lot like what the Bible is, doesn’t it? Others words inspired by God and a chronicle of Jesus’s life–words written down so we can know Him.
Most of the books I read have God as a critical component in it. It’s psychological advice accompanied by a strong message of faith and prayer. It’s powerful. It gives you ideas you normally wouldn’t see (I haven’t studied psychology) so you can become more like Jesus.
I believe God knows just what to put in my hands at just the right time. Besides His word, books that teach life lessons that you can apply are powerful. They challenge me to think, to analyze, to delve into my past, to see things through others’ eyes, to see me through others’ eyes. They tell me things people would never tell me.
I agree self-reliance can lead to a powerful fall. But I see nothing wrong with the desire to improve yourself and looking at other places in addition to the Bible and prayer.
Romans 5:3-5 “We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”
So, through our suffering we have hope that love will be poured into our hearts.