Sunday, September 7, 2014

Prayer


What do you think of when you hear the word prayer? Do you think of it as a time of talking to your Father in Heaven or is it just a time of asking Him for things and it goes no further? Or maybe you don't think of prayer much. Recently I did a Bible study on prayer. My study was to see what the Bible said about who I should be praying for as well as how to pray for those people and that helped me to view prayer a bit differently. But what I really want to talk about is, do you and I realize how important prayer is and also what an impact it has on not only those around us but also in our lives?

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
-James 5:16

I don't know how often you get told by someone that they are paying for you but if you ever have, I am sure your remember how encouraging that was, especially when you were really struggling with a decision or an issue in your life. Not only is it encouraging, but knowing that you are not alone in your battle can make the road ahead not seem so long and difficult! I believe that is why sharing, or as the verse above says, confessing, our struggles with one another is so important. First of all, because by sharing our struggles, we have prayer support behind us as well as encouragement. Second of all, sometimes there is someone else who comes along and says, "I also have struggled with that" and often they can offer encouragement in how they faced that struggle. Sharing with one another is one of the many wonderful blessings of having sisters and brothers in Christ.

Then looking at the last part of the verse above, "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." It really does avail much. By our interceding for our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ and bringing them before the throne of God through our prayers can make such a huge difference in their life and walk with God. It honestly ceases to amaze me the impact prayer has on not only my life but the lives of those around me! I have seen numerous situations where when people prayed, God moved and worked. Imagine that just by praying for one person, every day, the impact that would have on their life! I know not everyone will change just by our praying for them but I do know that prayer still does have an impact though God never over-steps our free will. Sometimes the impact it has is by our prayers for them, changes our attitude toward that person as well as how we relate to them and act around them.

There are some situations that all you can do, is lift it in prayer to our Father in Heaven and believe that He will work out things in His time. God has showed me that prayer is enough at those times and then after praying for those things, follow those prayers with belief in the fact that God will work in the way that He knows is best.

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
-John 15:7

One amazing thing about prayer that I love, is when you are able to look back and see how God answered your prayers. Sometimes you are in the midst of something and you can see how God is answering prayer but usually the way He answers isn't in the way we would ever think or imagine, but it always is for our best and His honor and glory!

Prayer is something that should be a part of our daily lives as children of God because it is a time of opening our hearts to Him and drawing closer to Him as well as lifting our fellow believers in Christ to our Heavenly Father. So my challenge to you is, intentionally pray for those around you, share your struggles with others, so that together, we may bring honor and glory to our Heavenly Father as we walk this earth.

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
-Hebrews 11:6

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Fear


For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
-2 Timothy 1:7

Have you ever thought about how much of a hold fear can have on you? Maybe it is fear of the future, fear of a problem in front of you, or maybe just a fear of someone or something. Whatever it may be that you fear, remember fear builds a wall not a bridge. Often it keeps you from truly being able to enjoy your life. At one point in my life I feared public speaking and sometimes what the future held, but God did and still is working in my life to remind me that He holds the future and if I trust those things I fear to Him, He will help me face my fears. I enjoy read the above verse that instead of fear we have the wonderful promises of power, of love, and of a sound mind. Another verse that comes to mind is "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love." -1 John 4:18 Many times God has shown me that what I fear often is in my own mind and nothing to worry about. As far as public speaking, it is by far not my favorite things to do but you know what, instead of fearing to teach youth girl's Sunday school at church, I actually don't mind it and enjoy studying the lesson to prepare for it. That was surprising to me but it just showed me that sometimes what you fear, is often in your own mind.

Now when I fear something, I just remind myself that fear is of the devil, and not of God, therefore what I fear I just need to take to God and trust that He knows what is best. So if you struggle with fear, remember that if you give it to our Father in Heaven, He will help you to overcome it and be with you when you face whatever you fear!!

 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. 
-Isaiah 41:10