Many of us pray to be more like Jesus. We pray to be perfected and to be patient. We pray to have hearts of humility and obedience. These types of prayers sound wonderful but do we really understand the implications of what we are praying? Have we thought about the reality that trouble and not comfort is often what brings an answer to these requests?
Perfection and patience doesn’t come from a steady stream of comfort but more from various trials that come our way. Read James 1:2-5 for a good dose of this truth. And for obedience, the scriptures tell us in Hebrews 5:8 that “even though Jesus was God’s Son, He learned obedience from the things he suffered.” Yikes! You want to be humble you say? Philippians 2 tells us that Jesus was humble because He gave up His rights and left His place of comfort in heaven. He became a servant and took on punishment He didn’t deserve by dying on the cross for our sins. He didn’t die a dignified death. Instead, He died a criminal’s death on the cross.
We should pray to be like Jesus. As believers, this type of prayer is very much in order. However, be sure that when the trials come you don’t complain but instead begin to rejoice, knowing your prayers are being answered!
Last night in corporate prayer, I witnessed something that brought me to tears. I heard the prayers of someone who had experienced deep pain intercede on behalf of another who was going through something similar. I cried because her past pain allowed her to intercede from a place of love. In that moment I realized that her pain was not wasted, it was being redeemed.
Jesus is the greatest example of an intercessor. The pain He experienced on the cross was a form of intercession for me and you. His death purchased my redemption. My salvation proves that His pain was not wasted. His intercession for me did not stop at the cross because the scripture tells me that He is now sitting at the right hand of the father making intercession on my behalf.
We all have stories of difficulties we have had to endure. THose stories can either leave us bitter (wasting our pain) or push us to another level of intimacy with God and making us powerful intercessors (redeemed pain). I leave you with the following questions; what are you doing with the pain you have endured? Are you wasting it or allowing the Lord to redeem it through your prayers of intercession for others.
I pray and then what? Do I doubt or do I wait in expectation for God to answer me, for Him to speak to my heart? (Psalm 5:3). Prayer is the easy part, but waiting with expectation, well that can prove to be a challenge.
I expect from those I trust. If I am worrying instead of expecting after I pray then there is a trust issue going on and I have some backtracking to do in prayer. The first petition should then be to have a heart to fully trust God. How do I get to this place of trust and expectancy? It begins with a knowledge, appreciation and acceptance of the love God has for me. Romans 5:8 says, “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” That’s extreme love and anyone willing to die for a wretch like me is worthy of my love and my trust. I am afraid that the term “Jesus loves me” has been reduced to just a simple song and not an extravagant life changing truth. When I really get this, I can pray with boldness and wait with expectation for my loving trustworthy God to speak to my heart and show up. Reflect on the following questions and use the answers to direct your prayers.
I think about the woman with the issue of blood in Luke 8: 43-48. She bled constantly for 12 years and could find no cure. But when she pressed through the crowd and touched the hem of Jesus’ robe, she was instantly healed. The same is true for us when we press to meet Jesus in prayer.
Prayer is a press, but it’s necessary. It’s my lifeline. I continue to be amazed at what God does as a result of prayer. I can’t allow life and the crowd to keep me away from praying. I must press.
Read my thoughts below and reflect on the following questions: “Have you been pressing to touch Jesus? Have you made prayer a priority? Are you desperate enough to press to prayer? I also encourage you to visit my youtube channel to view my series on how to pray.
PRESS TO PRAY
I show up to pray
And you are already there
You were there waiting for me
I am in awe that when I press to get into your presence
You meet me
And you tell me like you told her
Your faith has made you well
But to touch you, to see you
I have to press through the crowd
The crowd of my circumstances
The crowd of my own thoughts
The crowd of my pain
The crowd of the internet
Crowds can distract and discourage me and make me believe that the press is not worth it
But I see my need for healing on so many levels
I see that I will always NEED you
I can spend my resources on things that guarantee that they will fix me
But these temporal things can’t stop the steady flow of my issues
The pain doesn’t go away
But when I press
I touch you
And in an instant I am healed
I feel the weight lift in your presence
I see my faith affirmed in your presence
I see curses broken in your presence
I see miracles performed in your presence
I see me being transformed in your presence
So while the crowd will always be there
I will continue to press to meet and touch you
I WILL PRESS TO PRAY
We pray. Then we wait. And wait. And wait. We become impatient. Then we come up with the clever idea that God needs our help so we create a plan to answer our own prayers! Ever been there? Confession: I have, more times that I would like to admit. Thankfully I am becoming a little wiser and learning that waiting on God is worth it.
Are you still waiting on God to answer your prayers? What are some things you have done to help you as you wait?
I want to encourage you to really consider the words that are coming out of our mouth when speaking to your children. It is easy to become careless with our words. However, a big part of parenting is blessing (affirming) our children. Speaking the word of God over them is the best affirmation. As I speak the word over them, it shapes their identity and they recognize who they are in Christ. Blessing my children with the word of God also combats the schemes of the enemy and cancels every curse.
Below is a brief worksheet that I created to get the process started to encourage you to speak life (blessings) over your children. Take some time to fill out this worksheet and reflect on the suggested verses. Pray and ask the Lord to help you prioritize spending time with in prayer and the study of His word so that He can fill your mouth with what to say as you parent. Be sure to visit this link for suggestions on scripture that you can speak/pray over your children.
BLESSING OUR CHILDREN BY SPEAKING THE WORD OF GOD OVER THEM
Scripture tells us that _________and ___________ are in the _________of the _________(Proverbs 18:21).
Whose words should you speak over your children?
John 6:63 ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Can we speak life (the word of God) over our children? Can we decree blessings over them if we don’t know the word?
Briefly write down your game plan for studying God’s word starting this week. Consider the following questions as you create your plan.
Let’s get personal
On a normal day, what are some of the things you say to your children (when you are angry with them, when their behavior displeases you, when they interrupt you)?
What are your biggest areas of struggle as a parent? In what ways have your children challenged you?
What are some specific scriptures you can speak over your children to combat these issues?
Don’t forget to visit this site to get ideas on scriptures you can pray over your children. Be blessed!