“…you do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you have wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on pleasures.” James 4:2-3 NIV
Whenever you need something come before God. Even though he knows our needs before we ask him, does not mean that we don’t need to ask. The Lord loves to answer our prayers when we ask. If it is important to you, it’s important to God. Do not think that you are bothering God, or that it is too petty to bring to him. Everything that you tend to worry about or get anxious over is important to give to God. It is important to be specific with God. Tell him what’s wrong but you don’t need to tell him how to fix it. Remember his ways are not always ours. He may not do things exactly how you think it should be done, but his ways are best. He knows us because he designed us. Just because he doesn’t answer immediately or the way we prefer does not mean he isn’t listening. He will always answer. In his time, in his way, and always what is best for us. If it’s not for my best, I don’t want it. I trust him. I don’t always understand why someone isn’t healed, or they die, when I had been praying for them. Like when my grandson died before his fourth birthday. I wanted him healed so badly. I prayed for him every day, but he died. Sure it would have been great had he been healed. But was that the best thing for him? Or was that just best for me. Sure I miss him and his family misses him but, so many things tell me he is better off. He has a perfect body and no pain. All his Tay-Sachs friends are there with him and they are perfect too. His Grandpa, who always wanted grandkids, but died too soon, and his great grandpa are with him. He is with Jesus. There is something I have learned about prayer. I have always asked God if I can be a part of what he is doing in our world. I want to make a positive impact on our world. He showed me how I can do that by praying. Praying puts me in miracle territory. Whenever you pray for needs then you are apart of the miracle when those needs get met. In my prayer life I have seen so many prayers get answered in unique and special ways. This has brought boldness to my prayers. When I see great answers I get excited and want to pray more. It is a privilege to come before God and to see his answers.
Do you know someone who needs prayer today?
“but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth consume, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:” Matthew 6:20 NIV
This time of year we need to think of others. God tells us to give 10% of our income to the local church. If we all did this there would not still be needs all over the world but people, at least most people, believe that if they have left over money at the end of the month then they might give some to God. Wrong! That is not what the Bible says. First of all God was here first and all that ever was or ever will be was his, everything. That is why I know that anything I have or earn is from God. It is for me to use to do his will and I will obey his commands. I was raised in the church and my father taught me about tithing when I was a little girl. On weekends I got allowance say $1.00 so I took 10 cents with me to Sunday school for my offering . It doesn’t matter if you get $1.00 for allowance or $2,000.00 a week in pay. It’s still 10% that God expects. 90% of your income totally blessed will go so much further than 100% cursed by God but in your pocket. I have a silly example of tithing. When I decided to tithe after my stroke I had 0 income. I received disability from Uncle Sam and decided to tithe on that. I don’t have a lot of needs but I buy mascara because I have beady little eyes I don’t like. I used to buy a few tubes at a time. Then I began tithing and I don’t remember the last time I bought mascara but it was years ago and it hasn’t gone dry yet. I never need body wash because I always get scented ones as gifts. So God does supply all of my needs, always. Everyone has heard the phrase “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” I really don’t need one more trinket. My room is the only home I have and it is only so big because I live in a nursing home. This morning I was given a little bear. Cute but I didn’t need it. So I gave it to a dear friend worrying about an upcoming surgery. He was upset and scared so I hope it helped. It did feel good. I love to give every time there is a special new need. And I do above what I tithe because My God loves a cheerful giver. I get so blessed every time. Our church has a motto “find a need and fill it, find a hurt and heal it”, well they take that very seriously. Our church has spent millions of dollars doing just that. Now they are having a fundraiser to collect money to help with human trafficking. They are having a walk-a-thon in January and I have decided to walk. Ok so I can’t walk but I will roll for $. We can all be used by God and it can be in simple ways. He just asks for a little. So little that you won’t miss it. Another way to help is pray. It is free! God is still large and in charge and he does answer prayers. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. I have seen some crazy wild answers to prayer and have been blow away time and time again. I get to be apart of it wow!
Wouldn’t you like to be apart of what God is doing in the world today?
“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.” 2 Corinthians 12:8 NIV
When we go through trials and difficulties we need to run to the Lord. We need his strength and wisdom. Jesus was living a life that was hard and he went through so much. He can understand our struggles. He can relate. He, more than anyone had faith, and trust in his father. Over the last few weeks I have had challenges but through them God has shown me so much. Trials are tests and God may not remove them but he will help you through them. I have an electric wheelchair and have had for 12+ years. My chair is comfortable and allows me independence. My chair will recline to relax. Over a week ago it just shut off and wouldn’t come back on. They put me in a manual chair but it is uncomfortable and I can not move an inch on my own. I can take it only so long. I hate to be so dependent on others. I also have been fervently praying for several others who are knocking at deaths door. People who are young and have so much to live for. I found myself crying out to the Lord. We have been promised that if we have faith we can move mountains. When you really want those mountains to move you will cry out. Jesus really had faith. He was perfect. He commanded storms to calm, the blind to see, the lame to walk, and the dead to rise. When he spoke things happened. As he knew his death was near I know he did not fear death. The chance of being back home with his father was a welcomed thought. But like all of us the suffering coming was unwelcome and unwanted. He cried out to God to take this pain away. Not once, not twice, but three times. When God does something three times it is significant. Jesus was doing something we do instinctively. Help, Enough, I can’t do this. God doesn’t expect us to do more than we can but sometimes he does know more than we do. I was praying for a young guy that was in a tragic auto accident that killed his grandma instantly and by all intent he should have died instantly too. But he held on and everyone was praying for a miracle. After a couple weeks the Lord took him home to be with him. Why didn’t God answer our prayers? Why didn’t God answer the fervent prayers of Jesus? Why did Jesus even pray them if it was not Gods will? We have to trust that God sees the big picture. Everyone and everything involved has needs, and God is working in the best interests of everyone involved. That one trial may have far reaching causes. Just think what would have happened if Jesus had not died for our sins? We were lost and needed a savior. It had to be somebody perfect like the father’s son. He is the only one who could do it. Might God have found a different way? Maybe. But the impact of that sacrifice has changed so many lives. It was not easy but it was God’s will to save the world. Jesus did it gladly and looked forward to the day he would see each of us in heaven with him. God helped him endure the suffering and he will be our strength too. Trials do help us grow. The more we go through the stronger we become. Physical, mental, and spiritual strength.
Can you trust that God does know what is best?
“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” Luke 5:16 NIV
Praying is very important. Jesus knew this and spent so much time building himself up in prayer. If Jesus who was perfect needed that, how much more do we need it. It says he withdrew to lonely places. It was important that praying to God was in a quiet place. With nobody around for distractions. When we are alone with God in prayer we are far from lonely. But God deserves our complete and full attention. Praying is not something difficult or exact, but just coming to God and talking. Tell God you’re every need, desire, and what’s important to you, and don’t forget thanksgiving for all he has already done for you. It is easy to focus on needs and what you don’t have. It’s more important to be thankful for all you do have. God takes such good care of me and supplies all that I need. He wants to bless me abundantly and he does as soon as I get my mind off of me and back on what I can be doing for his kingdom and others. He wants us to bear much fruit. If we are praying and desiring to bear fruit he can bless us. He will give us more fruit. It is simple sowing and reaping. If you want to be loved and cared for, then be loving and caring. If you want respect, then be respectful of others. This is not complicated, but very simple. Spending time talking to God and doing things to become closer to him will make you a better, happier person. The more you let him solve your problems and shoulder your burdens, the more you will seek to do the same for others. This will only make your life better, and also for those around you. God’s principles are good. He desires to give us a good and abundant life. But it is not just about what he’s doing. We have to believe in what he asks us to do. To do it all because God knows best. He only tells us because he knows it works. We may not understand everything he does know, but I know him and I know he loves me. He would never steer me wrong. I have sixty years experience following him and I have done things my way and I have done things his way. And guess what? His ways are so much better.
Do you have a relationship with him?