My Grace-Full Life

5.29.19 Praise & Prayer Prompt: Fighting Discouragement with Prayer

PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• Our 11 year old dog, Beth, is struggling.
She’s a beautiful Labrador and my husband and I love her to pieces.
Beth has issues—We rescued her when she was three and she is a complete non-conformist when it comes to standard Labrador-behavior (terrified of water, hates riding in cars, never understood the concept of “fetch,” cannot walk on a leash without trying to be a bronco, etc).
But despite her quirks, she’s very much a part of our family.
Lately, she’s having issues with her hips.
She can’t get up easily and navigating the stairs is becoming an issue.
Our hardwood floors aren’t helping and I’m going to get a runner for the hallway today.
Watching her struggle has reminded me of another truth—it’s so hard to watch people we care about make harmful and painful choices.
It’s hard to watch them struggle with consequences of their decisions when the answer is right in front of them—surrender to Jesus.
Yet, they doggedly choose what they think is their own path.
Romans 12:2 tells us not to be conformed to the world, but we all know those who embrace the conformity and refuse to look beyond the present pleasures to an eternal future.
We have all made bad choices, of course, but for those who have chosen Jesus, you know from personal experience that there is a much better option.
It’s just hard to watch friends and loved ones choose the opposite.
We feel powerless, especially when they refuse to listen to wisdom.
But we aren’t powerless.
That sense of defeat is a weapon of Satan’s—one of his favorite uses of discouragement.
Because he wants us to forget we have our own weapon—prayer.
In fact, our weapon is so powerful, Jesus said, “And if you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer” (Matthew 21:22).
That’s not to say God is a genie.
As it says in 1 John 5:14, “This is the confidence we have before him: If we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”
The key words—“according to his will.”
And then, my personal favorite verse on prayer—James 5:16b, “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”
Watching someone physically struggle is hard; watching them emotionally and spiritually struggle is even harder.
But we serve an all-knowing, all-powerful God for whom nothing is impossible.
Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” and Jesus said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29b).
When we see someone going down a wrong path, we have two things to do.
First, pray.
And second, pray believing in the unseen and unknown-to-you plan of God.
He hears you.
Today, as you pray, thank God that even in the situations that feel hopeless, there is a reason to hope.
Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with belief and ask Him to help you fight the enemy’s weapon of discouragement with the far more powerful ammunition of prayer.

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