Pray First!

Photo courtesy: Taiisia Stupak

“What? It is only 3:15 a.m.”

I could not believe it was happening it all over again. Waking up in the middle of the night and thinking about work issues are definitely not one of my preferred activities.

“I rather sleep and rest all night long!”

I kept on thinking about all possible scenarios for a couple of hours and could not fall back asleep again. The core issue was I failed to pray. I wanted to be in control and change the outcomes right there and then.

I neglected to rely on God’s sovereignty and let go of the issue at hand.

Have you ever thought of all types of outcomes when exploring a situation? It sure happened to me this past week. I lost some sleep and was distressed for close to twenty-four hours when I failed to trust God.

God wants us to trust Him in all of our circumstances.

“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” JOHN 16:33 NASB

God wants us to be courageous and in Peace.

“So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” JOHN 20:19

God guards our hearts when we pray and surrender all of our troubling and challenging situations.

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” PHILIPPIANS 4:7 NASB

God wants for us to be grateful.

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.” COLOSSIANS 3:15 NASB

God wants for us to believe He is fighting on our behalf.

“”Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.” JOHN 14:1 NASB

Lord, help me to believe, trust in You alone so I may surrender all of my intrusive and troubling thoughts in prayer. I want a heart like Cornelius who feared You and prayed continually (Acts 10:2).

In Jesus’ name I boldly pray, Amen.

Less Busyness, More of Jesus!

Photo Courtesy: Ben White at Splasher

Idolatry existed in Biblical times and it still is apparent in today’s world.

At a social gathering this past weekend, a middle-aged woman kept telling me how much rest she needed from her ‘crazy schedule’ at work and home. She appeared exhausted, preoccupied and anxious about her day-to-day business.  Because I am quite familiar with today’s fast-paced lifestyle and worldly views, I listened attentively and prayed silently for her to sit at the feet of Jesus more often.

The middle-aged woman who complained about her busy schedule at the social gathering was ‘me’!

As I reflect over the past three weeks of Micah’s bible study, I soon realized ‘busyness’ is a common distractor for most of us. Our schedules may be considered as an idol if these activities take priority over our relationship with Jesus. I tend to drift away from the Lord when life gets too busy and my schedule is overcrowded with appointments, work meetings, errands and other demands.

An overcrowded schedule will not allow us to hear the soft whispers of the Holy Spirit. Our flesh will be vulnerable and we may easily fall into temptation(s) or be deceived by the enemy’s lies. If we do not make time for God’s Word, then the Holy Spirit will not have the opportunity to encourage or counsel our hearts. Our lives will never be transformed.

Lord, help me clear out my daily schedule so I may dig deeper into your Word one day at a time.

Even though the Israelites sinned by worshipping false gods in Biblical times, our Lord loved on them and waited patiently for them to repent. He is still the ‘same’ patient, merciful, compassionate and forgiving God today.

Lord, please forgive me for ‘being too busy’ in life. Help me worship and glorify You in all I do. I want a heart just like King Hezekiah who genuinely loved You.

Lord, search my heart and forgive all of my unconfessed sins, help me follow your commandments and love on me today. You pursued me relentlessly until I surrendered my heart at the foot of the Cross.

Please demolish all of the idols in my life today.
Help me rest at the feet of Jesus more often.

“Praise the Lord, O my soul; all of my inmost beings, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits – who forgives all of your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems  your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires  with good things so that your youth is renewed like eagle’s.” Psalm 103:1-5 NIV

“For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.” Psalm 107:9 NIV

“You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.” Psalm 145:16 NIV

He is the One who forgives, heals, redeems, loves and satisfies the core of our souls. Idolatry or worshipping false gods is just a temporary fix and will never satisfy us.

King Hezekiah praised and loved God with all of his heart, mind, and soul. Let us pray we have the heart to love God greatly. He is our only hope and security in the midst of confusion, turmoil, and darkness that exist in today’s world.

Let us pray for our daily schedules to allow us to read and reflect on His Word every day. In Jesus’ name, we boldly pray.

Amen.

Strength Renewed

Photo Courtesy: Steve Douglas @ Unsplash

“But those who wait for the LORD [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] will gain new strength and renew their power; They will lift up their wings [and rise up close to God] like eagles [rising toward the sun]; They will run and not become weary, They will walk and not grow tired.” ISAIAH‬ ‭40:31‬ ‭AMP‬