Pondering Prayer #6

Have you ever felt encouraged because you knew someone was praying for you? Have you ever encouraged someone by letting him know you are lifting him up in prayer? Chances are, there’s a lot of “yes” being said regarding those two questions, since most of us have been blessed to be on the receiving and giving ends of prayer.

There’s no doubt about it, prayer encourages us. Why? First, because you know someone cares enough about what you are experiencing to bring the matter before God’s throne. God cares, too, and He acts upon and answers prayer at just the right time. I know, I know, sometimes it may seem that He takes a while to answer, but know that God answers on time. Every time. No, He may not deliver you from whatever is going on, but He will spiritually strengthen you and equip you to go through whatever is before you. God doesn’t promise deliverance from all things, but He does promise to make all things, that’s good and bad, work together for the good for those of us who love Him. (Romans 8:28) I know I love Him, and I pray that you do, too.

Second, prayer helps us focus on God, who is all-powerful and can do things we can’t. Prayer connects us to the creator of this world and all there is and lets Him know we need and want His help. So, prayer not only strengthens and encourages us, it humbles us. Education doesn’t deliver, and neither do reason, logic or intelligence. Our willpower is limited. Only God can do things that are physically impossible for us to do. Someone once told me that miracles are God’s specialty. Miracles transcend the physical to make real things and situations that are indeed physically impossible happen. Humility is vital because we need to realize and know, really know, how truly limited we are. Yes, we have capacity, but it’s limited. God’s capacity is limitless. Yes, our bodies have limited abilities to restore themselves to health, but God has limitless power and capacity. You’ve probably seen me testify that, physically speaking, I should not be here blogging. That’s what the medical community said. Praise God that He restored my health to the point that I can share things with you and be the witness He leads me to be.

There’s a wrong statement floating around the church: “Prayer changes things”, implying that because we pray, because of the words uttered, changes are made physically. Let’s be clear about that. Of ourselves, we don’t have the capacity to transcend the physical and command God or those words to alter our lives or circumstances. It’s God who changes things according to His will, plan and purpose for our lives.

There’s so much of the spiritual we have yet to grasp and discover. The worst we can do is think we know how things work spiritually when, in fact, we are basically clueless. Rely on God the Holy Spirit to guide your understanding and don’t rely upon your own understanding.

Pray with me: Father God, please help us all to know You more and to understand the spiritual better. Help us to understand that we are truly but little children spiritually regardless of how long we have been Yours. Grant us the faith and all that we need to move forward in our walks with You and let us be the opposite of the verse “ever learning but never coming to the knowledge of the truth”. That verse referred to those who had itching ears and who were swayed by every wind of doctrine. We seek to know the spiritual truth that has been progressively setting us free. Help us to release what we have been taught by sincerely wrong denominations, books and spiritual leaders, and grant us the discernment to separate pure spiritual truth from spiritual error and doctrines of men. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Copyright 2015, Pastors George and Sharon Billington, All Rights Reserved

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We are partners in marriage and ministry and are ordained spiritual leaders and skilled, trained Christian counselors who have been God's instruments in making a difference in many believers' lives. God has led us to write an emotional and spiritual recovery workbook for Christians that's been widely praised by respected spiritual leaders like Joni Eareckson Tada. Contact us if you want a copy. We have just a few left from the second printing.
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