Thursday, November 21, 2013

I Thessalonians 5:16-18 - PRAY CONTINUALLY (Part 2)

"Be joyful ALWAYS.; 
give THANKS in ALL circumstances
for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Last week I wrote about the first three words of this verse - "be joyful always." How did that go for you? What did you choose to find joy in? I hope you continue to find joy in the best and worst and most normal of time. It's God's will for you that you are joyful!

Today we're talking about praying continually. To some people, prayer is a foreign thing; to some it's scary. I've known people that think their prayers aren't heard, that they just talk to a wall or ceiling. I've know Christians that are afraid to pray because it won't be "good enough." Prayers can be short or long; on your knees, aloud, or in your heart; it can be a shout to God, it can be a cry for help. Prayer is about talking and about listening.

The simple fact is - prayer is a conversation.

For me, prayer is an ongoing conversation throughout my day with my King, Protector, Comforter, Creator, and Shepard. I need God in so many different ways, depending on the day and sometimes my prayers start by calling Him by the name I need him. "Jesus, my King, I am in awe of your blessing...", "My Comforter and Protector, I need your now as I am afraid", "Savior, like a Shepard, lead me!" I ask God for what I need in my prayers, I tell him why I am afraid and how I don't want to be, I share with God my hopes and dreams, I ask Him for strength on the tough days, and I seek His will and plan for my life when I may be lost. I thank God for blessings, big and small, I pray for those in need of healing or grace, I pray for my marriage that it would grow and flourish into what God intended it to be, I pray for my son that he would grow big and strong and come to know Jesus. My prayers are asking, telling, listening, begging, seeking, thanking, praising. 

Prayers are active, ongoing, conversations with God.

In her book, The Power of a Praying Woman, Stormie Omartian writes, 
“The battle for our lives, and the lives and souls of our children, our husbands, our friends, our families, our neighbors, and our nation is waged on our knees. When we don't pray, it's like sitting on the sidelines watching those we love and care about scrambling through a war zone, getting shot at from every angle. When we do pray, however, we're in the battle alongside them, approaching God's power on their behalf. If we also declare the Wordog God in our prayers, then we wield a powerful weapon against which no enemy can prevail.” 

If we're not praying for the loved ones in our lives, who is? If we're not praying for the salvation of our friends and neighbors, who is? Who is covering them in prayer and protection? There is an enemy among us who will do anything to devour our souls, to ruin our lives, and to stop anything and anyone from praising the name of Jesus or growing in Him. If we are not praying against Him, who is? There is POWER in the prayer. Never doubt what God can do and how much he loves to have a conversation with you.

Pray continually... this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

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