How many times have you prayed about something, or for someone, and felt like "nothing is happening", or "the Lord's not answering"? Or how many times have you been telling yourself (or others) that you're praying about something/someone but you haven't been as faithful to prayer as you should have been? Be honest with yourself in answering these questions.
The Lord showed me this morning that I've done that a few times here lately. How can I expect the Lord to answer prayer when I haven't been praying "without ceasing" about it? I've just been "trusting that He knows my heart" but haven't been lifting the needs up to Him daily in prayer. What a lesson to learn.
In my quiet time this morning (which is another thing I haven't been doing lately), I was brought to Romans 12:1-3. Before I get started on that, let me share a little background. Lately, I've been struggling with some things that I just didn't know how to deal with. In those times, you would think that I would pray about it and turn to the Lord. Well, I would "talk to the Lord" in my head, but never actually found a quiet place and took time to come before the Throne and verbally say it out loud and place it before His feet. I needed to say it "out loud" for myself to hear so that I would know truly what I was facing. Sometimes if we keep things to our self, we don't truly recognize the magnitude of what we've been dealing with unless we say it out loud. It's easy to "forget" how small thorns can become BIG thorns when you cover them up for so long. So, I shared them out loud with the Lord this morning and through that I came across Romans 12:1-3.
Romans 12:1 (NIV) - Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship. 2. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will. 3. For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgement, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.
OK, I know what you may be thinking..."How do these verses pertain to praying without ceasing?"...well, they don't really but they do pertain to certain areas of my life where I've been struggling...not just with myself, but with others in my life. Refer back to the God's word above and I'll break it down for you below:
Romans 12:1 - Do everything as unto the Lord. What I say, what I think, what I do, how I treat others, how I think about others, should ALL be done as unto the Lord. Would the Lord want me to say that, think that, do that? Would he want me to treat others how I want to be treated, how HE would treat them, or would He have me to just treat them as a stranger? I need to give others the GRACE that He gives me. It's not about me or them, it's about Him.
Romans 12:2 - The things of this world don't matter...focus on Jesus! Now you would think that's a 'given'...that I would know that already. Well, I did. There are times when I need reminding of that, and I'm thankful for those times, but other people were brought to mind when I read this verse. I wish other people would remind themselves of this verse. I pray the Lord reminds them of this verse too.
Romans 12:3 - I'm no better than the next person. I am the chiefest of sinners. So, while I'm "thinking in my head" about the person/people that I wish the Lord would "deal with" I'm forgetting that I have my own problems that I need to deal with. I'm forgetting that I am the chiefest of sinners. I need to make sure my own problems are dealt with before I go thinking others need to deal with theirs.
How strange do things work out sometimes? I went before the Lord placing all the "potatoes I've been throwing in the sack" and carrying around for so long before Him and these verses are what comes out of it. It seems I've been reminded of a few things I had no idea I needed to remember right now.
I hope and pray that I will continue on the path of wisdom I've stepped onto this morning. I know it's going to be a battle as the enemy would have all of us live in ignorance. Ignorance of what the Bible says, what the Lord says, and how we are to apply that to our lives. If you've taken the time to read this blog, I ask that you would please take a moment to pray for me and my family. Please pray for wisdom in all things as we travel this journey of life. God didn't promise the journey would be easy but I do know it will be worth it in the end. Remind me who I am, Lord...I am YOURS!