1 John, 1 Thessalonians, Galatians, Luke, Micah, Praise Prompt, Prayer Prompt

8.12.19 Praise & Prayer Prompt: Keep Praying

PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• When I was a little girl, I loved bubbles. To be honest, if you were to hand me a bowl of soapy water and a pink plastic wand right now, my inner 5-year-old would squeal with delight. I loved the iridescent sheen and the gentle way they bounce and float. Besides getting that one incredibly huge and perfect bubble, I loved the ribbon of bubbles that would pour out of a generous wand and result in what seemed like a million bubbles dancing around me!
But remember all those failed attempts to get the bubble to appear? The times when no matter how gently you blew, the soapy water wouldn’t cooperate? The result was just a sad spray of soapy water instead of a glorious bubble.
Yet, even when our best efforts didn’t yield results—we persisted. We continued to try until we got our perfect bubble.
We persist in many things in life, knowing that the best things come to those who don’t give up. But one area that we give up on too quickly is prayer. In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV, it says, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
To pray without ceasing is a tall order. But not an impossible one. It’s an opportunity to continue reaching out to our Father and then, watch the generous blessings and beauty of His answered prayers pour forth. The thing is—because His answers don’t always come out as we expect them to, we sometimes miss them.
That’s why praying without ceasing and being diligent to His will matters so much.
In 1 John 5:14 ESV, it says, “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.” And in Galatians 6:9 ESV, it says, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”
We don’t give up on prayer because, in God’s timing, He will answer us when we’ve prayed according to His will. Jesus told the parable of the persistent widow in Luke 18:1-8. Just as the judge acted on behalf of the widow who refused to give up, so can we count on our Heavenly Father to act on our behalf.
To clarify—this isn’t about any and all requests. God isn’t a genie to grant us our three wishes (or the wish for more wishes). He examines our hearts and our motives. But we can rest assured that if our prayers line up with His will and in accordance with Scripture, He hears us! His answers may not look as expected, but we can count on them to come through.
So keep praying. Don’t give up. Let God honor your patience and persistence and when He answers, be in awe of His great goodness and how when He answers, it’s always for our benefit and better than we could expect.
Today, as you pray, thank the Heavenly Father for His blessings. Thank Him for His willingness to hear our prayers. Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with confidence when giving up seems easier. Ask Him to help you be persistent and constant in prayer.

John, Luke, Micah, Praise Prompt, Prayer Prompt

4.18.19 Praise & Prayer Prompt: Maundy Thursday

PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• Today is Maundy Thursday.
Maundy Thursday is a remembrance of The Last Supper and the command that Jesus gave mere hours before His arrest.
In fact, the word “Maundy” is a derivative of the Latin word for “command.”
Two commands were given at the Last Supper.
The first, we are very familiar with…
It’s the basis of communion.
Jesus broke the bread said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19b).
Then, Jesus did the same thing with the wine (verse 20).
When we move over to the Gospel of John, we find His second command.
John 13:5 says, “Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.”
After talking down Peter’s objections, Jesus explained in verses 12-20, but let’s just look at 12b, 14-15, “Do you understand what I have done to you? If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.”
The point Jesus was making is that we are to love and serve one another.
And we can do this with confidence because Jesus set the example Himself.
We remember the Last Supper today and reflect on the last moments before Jesus was arrested, beaten, and killed…
He knew what was coming and yet, He thought not of Himself but continued to love and serve His disciples.
And He allowed it to happen so He could pay the price for the sins of humanity.
When Jesus prayed that God might take this cup from Him, we sometimes assume that He had no options.
The truth is, as God’s Son and God in human flesh, Jesus could have easily written us all off.
It was within His right and power as the God of the universe to say, “Forget these people.”
But His love…
Greater and bigger and more incredible than any of us can truly comprehend.
All the oceans in the world would look like a meager drop compared to the vastness of His love for us.
It was love that compelled Him forward to love, serve, and allow Himself to be mocked and executed in the most horrific of ways.
Today, on Maundy Thursday, thank Jesus for His amazing love and willingness to be beaten, broken, and killed for us.
Thank Him for His commands and setting the example.
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you reflect on what today represents.