“Is Prayer Your Last Resort?” June 16

 

Is Prayer Your Last Resort? - Are you a person of prayer? Do you pray at the first sign of a problem? Or do you first exhaust all your other options? Is prayer only a last resort?

 

Today’s Readings:
2 Kings 19, 20 & 21
Psalm 74.9-17
Proverbs 19.1-2
Acts 2.1-21

 

Is Prayer Your Last Resort?

 

2 Kings 19, 20 & 21:

 

What a great example Hezekiah was of how to respond when the odds seem stacked against us. Chapter 19, verses 14-19:

14 And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD. 15 Then Hezekiah prayed before the LORD, and said. “O LORD God of Israel, the One who dwells between the cherubim, You are God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. 16 Incline Your ear, O LORD, and hear; open Your eyes, O LORD, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to reproach the living God. 17 Truly, LORD, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands, 18 and have cast their gods into the fire; for they were not gods, but the work of men’s hands—wood and stone. Therefore they destroyed them. 19 Now therefore, O LORD our God, I pray, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the LORD God, You alone.

As I’ve mentioned before, God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He still rises up on behalf of His people. But too often instead of going first to the Lord in prayer, we exhaust all our own solutions and go to Him as a last resort! I know I’m guilty.

Notice, too, Hezekiah’s prayer wasn’t focused primarily on himself, or even the people. Instead, he prayed that God would answer, “that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the LORD God, You alone.”

When you pray is it all about you or is God’s glory the ultimate goal? I know I fall far short in this area.

While it’s not wrong to pray for relief from difficult circumstances, to be healed when we or our loved ones are sick, or for God to make it right when we’ve been wronged, we shouldn’t neglect to ask God to help us bring Him glory no matter what the outcome.

 

While it’s not wrong to pray for relief from difficult circumstances, to be healed when we or our loved ones are sick, or for God to make it right when we’ve been wronged, we shouldn’t neglect to ask God to help us bring Him glory no matter what the outcome. 

 

 

Today’s Other Readings:

 

While Waiting on God

Psalm 74.9-17:

 

Waiting, Clock, Woman

Here the psalmist wonders aloud where God is and why He hasn’t answered. But he reminds himself of God’s mighty works in the past, as he continues to wait on Him.

Another great example for us of how to respond when God’s answer seems slow in coming. Instead of doubting His love and goodness, we should meditate on His attributes and allow the Word of God to strengthen our faith and trust in Him.


Avoiding Hasty Decisions

Proverbs 19.1-2:

 

Verse 2, “Also it is not good for a soul to be without knowledge, and he sins who hastens with his feet.”

Fools make hasty decisions, while the wise man seeks information and understanding.  Continue reading

“When Still Fighting the Same Struggle” May 5

 

When Still fighting the Same Struggle - Do you find yourself praying about the same struggles day after day and week after week ... sometimes year after year. Maybe you've, actually, stopped praying about it, because you're sure God is tired of hearing it. Or have you been tempted to think ... I give up! I've tried to stop or I've asked God to take this away. Maybe He just isn't listening!Do you find yourself praying about the same struggles day after day and week after week … sometimes year after year. Maybe you’ve, actually, stopped praying about it, because you’re sure God is tired of hearing it.

Or have you been tempted to think … I give up! I’ve tried to stop or I’ve asked God to take this away. Maybe He just isn’t listening!

 

Today’s Readings:
1 Samuel 12 & 13
Psalm 56.1-13
Proverbs 15.21-23
Luke 22.47-71

 

When Still Fighting the Same Struggle

 

Luke 22.47-71:

Redeemer of Our Failures

 

Have you ever felt you let God down by something you did or failed to do? You told Him, you would never do such and such again, but a day or two or three later … there you are again. You may feel like Peter when the rooster crowed and He realized Jesus was looking right at him (Lk. 22.34, 60-61)!

Do you find yourself praying about the same struggles day after day and week after week … sometimes year after year. Maybe you’ve stopped praying about it, because you’re sure God is tired of hearing it.

Or have you been tempted to think … I give up! I’ve tried or I’ve asked God to take this away. Maybe He just isn’t listening!  Continue reading

May 5 “Redeemer of failures” & LINKUP

Have you ever felt you let God down by something you did or failed to do? You told Him, you would never again do it again, but a day or two or three later …

redeemer of failures

Today’s Readings:
1 Samuel 12 & 13
Psalm 56.1-13
Proverbs 15.21-23
Luke 22.47-71

1 Samuel 12 & 13:

The testing of your faith

Saul is hardly out of the starting blocks and he’s already doing what seems right to him. Samuel had made him wait 7 days to test his character and willingness to obey God. And he failed miserably.

God’s tests are never intended to tempt us to fail, but to strengthen us and mature us. James 1.2-4 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (NIV).

In what situation is God asking you to “wait,” not as a means to discourage you, but to grow you and to reveal Himself to you in a greater way?

Psalm 56.1-13:

The size of our God

Verse 11, “In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Proverbs 29.25 says, “The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe.” Too often we worry about what someone else will think or do or how they might cause us some harm or trouble. Yet, we give very little thought to what God thinks and neglect placing our complete trust in Him.

That was Saul’s problem. He was more concerned about what the men around him were doing, whether or not they might leave, and about what they thought. He saw them as his strength. Men were big in his mind and God was small. As believers, when we face problems, we are not to look at the size of the problem, but at the size of our God!

Continue reading

March 23 “Love your cats & dogs, but …”

Whether we’re dog people or cat people, we love our animals. But what does the Bible say about our pets? What about animal rights? And what about humans, are we just higher forms of animals? How should a Christian view his or her animals?

cats & dogs cats & dogs

Today’s Readings:
Deuteronomy 7 & 8
Psalm 37.5-11
Proverbs 12.9-10
Luke 1.39-56

Deuteronomy 7 & 8:

Remember … remember … remember!

Remember … remember … remember! This seems to be the theme of much of today’s Old Testament reading. When you’re afraid of your enemies, remember what I did to Egypt when they tried to keep you in bondage. When you’re afraid the task is too big for you, remember what I did for you in the wilderness. And even when you have experienced success, remember Who enabled you to be where you are!

And to us … “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope” (Rom. 15.4).

We, too, need to remember … what God has done for us personally, what He did for His people in the past, and Who is to receive the glory! Continue reading