Everyday Faith

Now faith is the assurance of what we hope for, the evidence of things not seen.
                                                                                                 Hebrews 11:1

What promise(s) has God made to you, deep in your heart, that you have not yet seen come to completion?

If you’re not sure, I encourage you to spend some concentrated time with the Lord over the next few days, asking Him to identify the desires in your heart that He has planted there. We’ll talk more about that process later this week.

Today as I contemplate Hebrews 11:1 I am reminded that God develops our faith as much in the everyday ordinariness of life as in those crisis, on our knees, face to the floor times. At least He desires to, if we allow it.

As we read on through Hebrews chapter 11 we are presented with a list of a few of God’s faithful servants. This is sometimes referred to as the “Hall of Faith”. A pattern emerges as the list unfolds. In the lives of many of these saints God made a promise but the fulfillment of the promise was a long ways off. For some their promise wasn’t even fulfilled in the his or her lifetime, but each continued to be faithful, seeking God’s direction for every step they took towards the fulfillment of the promise.

Consider Joseph. God gave him dreams as a young boy where he ruled over his family, each member bowing down to him. Joseph believed these dreams/visions were from God and yet the road his life took did not appear to be taking him toward the fulfillment of the vision. Sold as a slave by his own brothers and taken to another country, Joseph was tested, lied about and thrown in prison. But he remained faithful to the vision God gave him, trusting the path God laid out for him. Years later Joseph saw his dreams become reality as God blessed him in ways he couldn’t have imagined. (See Genesis Chapter 37 & 39-50)

tulip potential

When God plants a desire in our heart or gives us a vision He often needs time to prepare us for the reality of that promise. Rarely are we instantly ready, and were God to bring the vision to completion before we are prepared it would certainly fail. We may also be tempted to think we have reached the vision in our own abilities instead of relying on God’s strength and direction. When we trust God to lead us where He wills, looking back we will see how we have grown and developed both spiritually and practically, watching each piece falling in place.

Walking through these times is not always easy. We can be tempted to lose faith or turn from God’s path toward what seems to be an immediate reward. At times we may even question the vision God gave us, wondering if the desire is ours alone and not one planted by God. It is during those times of unrest we need to run to the scriptures and fall to our knees. As we pour our hearts, our doubts and questions out to God He will point us to scriptures that will encourage us, build us up and replace our anxiousness with His peace.

Trust Him. He is faithful to bloom in us what He has planted.

tulip potential blooming

Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Philippians 1:6

Blessings and peace as you watch God’s visions develop in you.

Paula

 

 

Prayer Power

“Prayer does not equip us for greater works. Prayer is the greater work.”    
~ Oswald Chambers

This quote met me one morning as I sat down for my time with God. And it hit me square between the eyes.

I am a fixer by nature and like to figure things out. Often to my detriment I try and try to solve something until I’m out of ideas and frustrated then I ask someone to help me. Usually I find that if I had asked for help before I started things would’ve gone much more smoothly.

Sadly going to God is too often the same. I’m sorry to say that many times I  choose prayer as a last resort. If I can’t find a solution for something on my own I talk to God about it.

This is certainly a backwards way of thinking and something I work on daily.

God has given us an incredibly powerful tool in prayer. He promises that when we come to Him our prayers will be heard and answered. Our prayers can bring us close to God, encourage and inspire us, challenge us, and show us miracles.

I’m not an expert on prayer, but through reading and my own experiences I have found a few things I’d like to share with you.

prayer hands

1. While spending a concentrated block of time with God in prayer, thanking, seeking and listening to Him is important God doesn’t intend for us to pray only when we can get to our quiet place with a chunk of time.

Ephesians 6:18 charges us:
 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”

There isn’t anywhere that you can’t pray. When someone comes to mind, breathe a prayer for them. When you see something beautiful, say “thanks” to God (yes, that’s a prayer if you’re talking to Him!) These prayers may give a friend just the encouragement they need at a difficult moment and keep you in constant contact with God, developing a closer relationship with Him.

2. Do you know how powerful your prayers are? If you are a child of God and the Holy Spirit lives in you the power of God also resides in you!

Mark 11:24 encourages us:
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

Sometimes we hold other Christians in high regard because of their knowledge or gift of speaking and believe that God hears them better than us. We want someone ‘important’ to pray so that God will hear and answer.

Guess what? You are just as important in God’s eyes as any other person He created. Your prayers are POWERFUL! Believe that and you will see God bless your efforts.

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
James 5:16b

3. The habit of prayer is much more important than the words we say or how we say it.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
Romans 12:12

I am learning to change my thinking about prayer. Instead of saying, “I can’t do anything to help, so I will pray” I am learning to pray first. Many times God will then show me if there is something more He wants me to do.

I’m still working on understanding the full power of prayer. I’m thinking it may take my lifetime — at least!

What have you learned about the power of prayer?

blessings and peace to you today!
Paula