March 24, 2014 Journal Entry: Prayer Time

Most “bed times” consist of Amy marching Will into his room, brushing his teeth, reading him a story, etc. and then they both call for me to come into his room for prayer time.

Tonight went a little different.

I walked into his room where Will is lying in his crib: “Hey buddy! What’s up?”

Will: “Yes.”

I looked at Amy: “We’ll get there…. OK, it’s prayer time! Who’s going to say the Our Father, you or mommy?”

Will: “Will.”

Me: “OK!”

Amy starts it and Will says it with her.

Will: “Our Father, whoartinhebbin, hallowed be dye n…”

Will starts snoring.

Reaching the Unreachable

My husband, Joe, has a long-time friend who has been running away from God all of his life. Several years ago, the Lord led me to begin praying for this man and his family on a regular basis. I stood on God’s promise which says: “He will even deliver the one [for whom you intercede] who is not innocent; yes, he will be delivered through the cleanness of your hands.” (Job 22:30 AMP)

Well, my husband’s friend didn’t turn his life over to Christ after I prayed, but his son did. Not only did this son get saved, but he married a Christlike believer who encouraged his devotion to the Lord. They have three children now–grandchildren of my husband’s friend–and God is using these little ones, and their godly parents, to draw this man to Him. Now they can claim God’s promise in Acts 16:31 (NASB), which says: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” And I believe with all my heart that it’s only a matter of time before Joe’s friend surrenders his life to the Lord.

If you have people you care about who are unsaved, pray faithfully for them. Even if they look like a hopeless case, rest assured that the Lord has a way of reaching them, perhaps even through their own loved ones. Let this encouraging promise from the Scriptures fill you with a fresh sense of hope today–“The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working].” (James 5:16 AMP)

A New Resolve

I’ve always found the ending of an old year, and the beginning of a new year, bittersweet. When 2010 recently came to a close, it was no different. While I was excited about what new things 2011 would bring, I couldn’t help but feel a bit wistful about the unanswered prayers that I still held in my heart. I confessed my struggles to God, and I asked Him, “Where do I go from here, Lord?” He led me to a passage in Isaiah 62:6-7 (AMP) which says: “You who [are His servants and by your prayers] put the Lord in remembrance [of His promises], keep not silence, and give Him no rest…” Those hopes, dreams, and promises in my heart, that I had been so sure were put there by God Himself, were ones that I was not to give up on. On the contrary, I was to continue to partner with Him to bring them to pass by persevering in prayer for them.

James 1:16 (AMP) says: “The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working].” The Lord used this verse to remind me that because I had received Christ as my Savior, and made Him the Lord of my life, my prayers had “tremendous power”. And if I would “continue” in prayer, instead of losing heart and giving up, I would eventually see the manifestation of those things that I was petitioning Him for. So my advice to you today is–don’t give up on those hopes and dreams that you believe are from the Lord. Ask Him to fill you with a new resolve to lay hold of every good thing He has in store for you and those you love!

Don't Fail to Ask

When my son, Joseph, and his wife, Miriam, visited us from California recently, he sent a text message to my cell phone saying that they were running late, and that they were probably going to miss their flight. That would mean that they would miss their connection in Chicago, too, and that they might not be able to arrive in Pennsylvania at all that evening. They were only coming for a weekend visit, so every moment counted on this trip.

Immediately, I turned to the Lord in prayer, and I asked Him to enable my son and his wife to make their flight out of California right on time. A short time later, I got another text from Joseph saying that they had made their flight, with time to spare. When I sent my son a text saying that I had been praying for them, and that I was giving God the glory, I got a text from him shortly afterwards saying that Miriam had told him: “I wonder how much wouldn’t happen for us if your mom weren’t praying for us!”

Miriam’s words greatly encouraged my heart, because I do spend a lot of time in prayer for my loved ones each day. I know what a difference it can make, and how worth the time and effort it is. It wasn’t always this way for me, though. Years ago, I spent very little time in prayer, and when I did pray, I didn’t see the amazing answers to my prayers that I see now. It wasn’t until I started studying the Scriptures diligently each day, and praying and standing on God’s promises, that I began seeing the hand of God moving mightily on my behalf, and on behalf of my loved ones.

The Bible says: “You do not have because you do not ask God.” (James 4:2 NIV) This verse literally changed my life, and my prayer life, when I began meditating on it, and applying it to big things and small. These days, I’m afraid NOT to pray about something, because I hate the idea of missing out on God’s best in a situation. No concern is too small or trivial to take to the Lord in prayer. This may sound like an overstatement or exaggeration at first glance, but I assure you that it is not. If you agree with me on this point, but you seem to simply forget to pray about certain things, then ask the Holy Spirit to remind you to “pray about everything,” as the Bible tells us to. (Philippians 4:6 NLT) Then rejoice and give God thanks, as you witness Him intervening mightily on your behalf!

Ask God for Something Tangible

When we are in a difficult place, and we are seeking the Lord, sometimes it helps to ask Him to answer our prayer in the form of something tangible. Remember the story of good King Hezekiah and the illness that threatened his life? God had Isaiah the prophet tell His servant the king that he should get his house in order, because he was about to die. Instead of resigning himself to his fate, Hezekiah turned to the Lord for help. As a result, God provided a poultice of figs which ministered healing and restoration to the king. (2 Kings 20:1-7)

The Lord could have easily healed Hezekiah without a poultice or any other remedy, but instead, He used this manner to bring about His servant’s recovery. I’ve discovered that when I need healing myself, or I have a problem with no apparent solution, I can ask the Lord for a “fig poultice” of my own, and He will often provide one for me. Receiving something tangible from the Lord when I am confused and hurting can encourage my heart and my faith.

After Hezekiah’s recovery, he didn’t go around telling people that he was healed by a fig poultice–He gave God the credit and the glory. But that poultice bolstered his faith in a way that helped him to see the Lord’s love and concern for him. Perhaps today, you are in a painful place, and you need a touch from God. I encourage you to turn to Him today and say, “Lord, please give me a fig poultice of my own…”

Seek Him Expectantly

My favorite time of the day is the morning, when I get to spend some time with the Lord in His presence and His Word. I get still before Him, and I talk to Him about anything and everything. I’ve discovered that if I approach God with an attitude of expectancy, it makes all the difference.

David knew this, too, because he wrote: “In the morning You hear my voice, O Lord; in the morning I prepare [a prayer, a sacrifice] for You and watch and wait [for You to speak to my heart].” (Psalm 5:3 AMP) I’ve gotten in the habit of saying to God as I sit before Him with an open Bible: “Lord, show me where to go in Your Word today. Speak to my heart, and help me to hear and heed Your voice.” When I do this, I find that the Spirit of God always leads me to the Scriptures I need at that moment, and He makes me sensitive to His “still, small voice”.

If your prayer life isn’t what you would like it to be, perhaps you aren’t praying with the proper attitude. Psalm 85:8 (AMP) says: “I will listen [with expectancy] to what God the Lord will say.” If you will approach God with an attitude of expectancy every time you seek Him, you will find Him eager to speak to you, and to reveal Himself to you. And as you respond to Him in faith and obedience, you will find yourself knowing Him and His will for you better and better all the time!