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Devoted to Prayer: “In Desperate Places”

“Devote yourselves to prayer … .”
Colossians 4:2, NASB 
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you … .”
James 4:8 

Amazingly God doesn’t need to hear from us—He wants to. Privileged to pour out our hearts, we receive His comfort in exchange. Prayer intimately and powerfully connects us to God in every place.

“Devoted to Prayer: In Desperate Places”

 

“In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety.” Hebrews 5:7, NASB

medium_8050708619-300x198“Please, Mommy—please!” Anyone with children has heard that before, and the response often requires tremendous wisdom. Sometimes I hold the line, and other times I’m a softie mom. I find it especially hard to resist tears, which still occasionally well up in my daughter’s eyes. Either I relent or firmly maintain what’s already been determined. When I do say no, it’s usually because I believe that answer will benefit my child more in the long run.

Jesus earnestly prayed daily throughout His earthly life. Sometimes His prayers were more urgent, thus offered with wrenching cries and tears. Because of His piety (godly fear), His Father heeded His petitions. Jesus knew who held the power to grant His desires, so He withheld nothing in His honest, heartfelt requests. He always asked.

God hears our requests too. He sees the tears. He listens to our anguish. But that doesn’t mean He always gives what we want. Why?

God says no because His plans are better than our desires.

Agonizingly Jesus pleaded with His Father before He went to the cross: “Father, if Thou art willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Thine be done” (Luke 22:42). As He prayed, He didn’t sweat normal tears—His consisted of blood. Yet His Father still said no … so hard to imagine. The perfect Man, the sinless Son labored in prayer to the “One able to save Him from death.” And He said no. Why?

Because our Father’s plan superseded saving His Son—it involved saving us. 

God’s plan existed before time began. Lovingly He determined to buy us back through His beloved Son’s blood. Generously He gave His only Son. Selfishly sinners rejected and killed Christ. But God won! Today Jesus sits at God’s right hand—offering up prayers and supplications—for us (see Rom. 8:34).

Maybe you’ve been crying to the Lord for something or someone in particular. Like Jesus, keep asking. Like Jesus, stay surrendered to God’s will. Then like Jesus, God’s perfect plan will be enacted through your life.

If God says no, we can rest in knowing His plan surpasses that desire.

Gracious Father, please empower me to always ask … and always accept Your answer. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.

Drawing Near,

Emily

Image courtesy of Mick Amato www.flickr.com/photos/mickamato/8050708619/

via www.photopin.com

Devoted to Prayer: “In Secret Places”

 
“Devote yourselves to prayer … .”
Colossians 4:2, NASB 
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you … .”
James 4:8 

Amazingly God doesn’t need to hear from us—He wants to. Privileged to pour out our hearts, we receive His comfort in exchange. Prayer intimately and powerfully connects us to God in every place.

 

“Devoted to Prayer: In Secret Places”

 

“But you when you pray, go into your inner room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will repay you.”
Matthew 6:6, NASB

medium_3206459897-214x144Preparing for my son’s high school graduation required colossal effort.  Steadily busy two weeks out, I transitioned into an intense pace the week prior. My biggest challenge involved scanning photos into the computer, sorting them by year, and preparing two slideshow presentations. Though I genuinely desired to create these digital albums—especially for my son’s sake—the fun evaporated after countless hours at my desk. Glitches in formatting certainly didn’t help either. I also had food to purchase, desserts to bake, cakes to decorate, company to clean and cook for, etc. Truly at times I didn’t know how I would accomplish everything.

But I survived! The Lord incredibly carried me. Lovingly, comfortingly, powerfully, He met with me daily in my prayer closet. Time with Him in that special place absolutely made ALL THE DIFFERENCE. Normally I would have fretted about every detail, to the point that inner turmoil would have spilled into family relationships. You know how it is: sometimes we diligently labor for such ideal future results that the present is less than pleasant. Though I didn’t behave perfectly, the Lord undoubtedly provided peace within. As I began each day in prayer and active trust, He led me by His Spirit—even regarding average responsibilities. He cradled me in His arms and supplied all my needs. He encouraged my with His Word. He evidenced Himself in the form of loved ones who graciously helped. Recognizing my stress on graduation night, I prayed again. The Lord gently answered, “I am with you.” Yes, He most assuredly was.

All can access God’s throne of grace through Jesus Christ. When we experience extreme demands or everyday life rigors, let’s take them to Him. Unquestionably He makes ALL THE DIFFERENCE! “His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He increases power … those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength” (Is. 40: 28-29, 31). Oh, SO true! God accomplished this for me … surely He will do the same for you.

Loving Father, thank You for the privilege of prayer. Draw me often to Your “throne of grace … that I may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:16). In Jesus’ powerful name, Amen.

Drawing Near,

Emily

Image courtesy of Flood G. www.flickr.com/photos/_flood_/3206459897/

via www.photopin.com

Devoted to Prayer: “In Deep Places”

“Devote yourselves to prayer … .”

Colossians 4:2, NASB 

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you …”

James 4:8

Amazingly God doesn’t need to hear from us—He wants to. Privileged to pour out our hearts, we receive His comfort in exchange. Prayer intimately and powerfully connects us to God in every place.

“Devoted to Prayer: In Deep Places”

 

“Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God …”
Deuteronomy 7:9, NASB
 

“Trust Me, My daughter. Trust Me.”

medium_3847728569-300x200Weighed down by heavy thoughts, my morning prayer lacked vibrancy and worship. Basically I expressed my determination to remain in prayer until I felt God’s presence … or heard from Him … or something. Craving His encouragement and direction—longing for Him—I waited.

Soothingly the Holy Spirit reminded me of His part in prayer:

“And in the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words”
(Rom. 8:26).

 

“Too deep for words …”

Profoundly those words resonated within. There I was—a writer of words—and they simply wouldn’t come. So many needs, so many aches, and I didn’t even know how to verbalize them to my heavenly Father. Trickling down, only tears came.

Silently He communicated, “Trust Me, My daughter. Trust Me.”

Repeatedly the Lord has conveyed this message. I wish I learned more quickly! But He’s growing me. I don’t need to understand His methods or plans—I just need to trust Him. Sounds simple. But in life’s pressures, trust doesn’t come naturally. Not to me, anyway. So God patiently reminds me.

Do you sometimes think God doesn’t care about your life’s details? Do you ever feel like He’s indifferent to your needs? My friend, that’s simply not true! He has reached out and fulfilled my heart’s longing for His presence, His encouragement, and His direction countless times—not because I’m significant in myself, but because I’m significant to Him. Surely He’ll do the same for you.

Psalm 147:5 beautifully expresses, “Great is our Lord, and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite.” Instead of trying to understand the “whys” and “whats”, we just need to trust God and know He understands. God is great! God is strong! Even in deep places when we don’t know how to pray, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us. His groanings—too deep for words—speak for us.

Loving Father, You are my perfect Provider. Thank You for the Holy Spirit, who helps me in my weaknesses and intercedes when words elude my prayers. Please make me increasingly aware of His presence as I enter Your presence. In Jesus’ worthy name, Amen.

Drawing Near,

Emily

Image courtesy of Petras Gagilas www.flickr.com/photos/gagilas/3847728569/

via www.photopin.com