The Path to Surrender
|October 19, 2021|
As we wrap up discussing the “wait or no” to our prayers; there are three truths that bear repeating from last week’s newsletter:
1. The importance of receiving Jesus/Yeshua as Lord; having an on-going relationship with Jesus
2. The importance of believing that God’s word (the Bible) is true
3. The importance of believing “….We are God’s children….and co-heirs with Christ…” Romans 8:16-17
If you have questions or concerns about any of these three statements, I encourage you to talk to a trusted pastor, elder, or leader within your church or congregation. You are also welcome to email me by simply replying to this newsletter.
As we address unanswered or the disappointment in answered prayers, I’d be remiss in not acknowledging what many of us have claimed. There is an expectation that when we pray, God will answer. After all, 1 John 5:14-15 states, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of him.” We need to notice that the verse states, “according to his will” and it doesn’t give any timeframe on when that prayer will be answered. YES, I believe it is God’s will for there to be healings and salvations. We simply don’t know the How and the When. With regards to other types of prayers – we may not know what God’s actual will is. We’d like to think we are praying God’s will, but sometimes we may wonder. So, can we trust God in all this?
When approaching our Lord it is important to come before him with the right mindset and with the right attitude – after all he is our Sovereign Lord & King. We need to examine ourselves. Is there in my life unconfessed sin or unforgiveness? One of many thought provoking verses in scripture is Matthew 6:15, Jesus’ words, “But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sin.” Am I coming before my King with an attitude of humility and gratitude; or, am I coming before the one who will give me what I want?
Something else to consider. Do we have the willingness to allow God to modify our prayers? Are we dogmatic about what we want or are we willing to listen and be taught? 1Kings 19:11-13a concerns Elijah, one of my heroes of faith. The Lord said (to Elijah), “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.”
Are you like me where you really want to hear from the Lord while at the same time emphatically telling God your prayer need? How many of us want God to communicate with clear cut, understandable answers? A note from God would be helpful! “Dear Kris, Here’s how I answered your prayer. Love God” It would be nice if it worked that way, but it doesn’t. Elijah did not hear God’s voice in the great wind. Or in the earthquake. Or in the fire. Elijah heard God’s voice in a gentle whisper. This whisper can only be heard if……if I stop talking. The gentleness of a soft whisper can only be heard if I am willing to listen for it. God knows the importance of our prayers – for the situation, for the individual, for us. Is God wanting to share with us how he plans to answer our prayers through us – but cannot because we are not listening for that gentle whisper? Are we are not trusting God to answer our prayer in his timing and to his perfect completion?
Have you ever put a jigsaw puzzle together without looking at the picture on the lid? I sometimes think this is how we Christians look at our circumstances and the circumstances of others. We see only in part. God sees the entire “picture”. Only he knows what he wants to do in and through others. Psalm 23:4 states: Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you (Lord) are with me, your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Sometimes when I pray for someone I leave off the word death and simply say “through the valley of shadow” because times of difficulties have a plethora of names or maybe no name at all. But, God is still faithful!
As I close, I encourage you to consider incorporating some of the following as you come before the Lord in prayer:
· Take time to be quiet
· Ask the Lord for guidance on how he wants you to pray
· Consider praying out loud some of the many promises found in scripture
· Prayerfully meditate on Jesus/Yeshua’s words, “…not my will but yours, Lord…”
· Consider practicing spiritual disciplines (which I will begin touching on next week)
Note: I will have a prayer table at the Fresh Start event listed below on Sat. 10/23. Please pray for this event and its participants. It has the potential to touch many lives. If you’d like to join me, I’d welcome the company. Also, right around the corner, on Sat. 10/30 is Encircle Tucson with Prayer. Please click on link below for more information.
Blessings & Shalom,