How is your prayer life?
Prayer is one of God’s greatest gifts to His people yet many believers do not make communicating with God on a daily basis a priority. Sadly, communicating with God is often reduced to when they are dealing with a crisis. However, I recommend that every child of God needs to set aside some time in their schedule to leave the cares of this world behind and find a solitary place where they can be alone and talk to their heavenly Father. Martin Luther King Jr said “to be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.” A person gets a totally new outlook on life when they spend time in God’s presence. Your priorities change as well as your desires and goals in life. No believer is going to grow strong and healthy without cultivating a prayer life. Without prayer we are doing life based solely on our own strength and we lack the wisdom and power we must have if we are going to be used by God to further His kingdom on earth.
Jesus understood the value of prayer. Therefore, He arose early – making it a priority to spend time in prayer. Not only did He wake up early for the purpose of prayer, Jesus made it a point to find a place to pray. Why? Because He wanted to avoid any distractions and focus on what was important – alone time with God. When you spend time with the Father you will be able to focus and receive clarity about what is important in your life. Prayer is the only way to find the source of direction, inspiration and courage to do what God wants you to do. You might be a person who makes a daily ‘To Do” list and you prioritize the tasks according to how important they are to you. You list the most important task as number one but prayer isn’t the least you can do, rather it is the most you can do to change your life and to change the world.
It’s time to examine your prayer life. If you are like most people you wish you could be better at communicating with God but the ball is in your court. Make prayer a priority if you want to allow God’s will, power and blessing in your life. Remember that “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” (James 5:16).
As we journey through this life we will encounter a few storms along the way. Things can be fine one moment and the next you find yourself in the middle of a terrible storm. One phone call, one twenty-four hour period of time, one doctor visit and there you are, in the storm of your life. When the storms of life come, they often cause us great anguish and pain. Your life can change so quickly. One storm can devastate us with heartache, heartbreak and turmoil, but the good news is Jesus is an expert at calming storms. I have found that He will either calm the storm we are going through or He will calm you and allow you to experience peace while the waves are coming against you. Storms are not meant to destroy us even though they bring anxiety and pain. Storms are actually meant to develop us and I just want you to know that there is no storm on earth that Jesus cannot calm! There is no problem so great that Jesus cannot fix. Jesus cares about you more than you could ever know and is with you at all times regardless if you are on the mountain top or in the valley.
The disciples of Jesus found themselves in the middle of a storm and they began to panic even though Jesus was in the boat with them fast asleep. The storm was not an issue for Jesus. The difference between Jesus’ response and the response of His disciples were their thoughts. The disciples thought the storm was too much for them and they were going to lose their lives. Fear took over and controlled them. On the other hand, Jesus knew who He was and to whom He belonged and there was no reason to fear. He could sleep because He was in absolute peace. Even though you might not see exactly what Jesus is doing in your storm, don’t question His concern, He really does care! You don’t have to be afraid of a storm when it’s in the hands of one who loves you. There is one who has the power to calm the storms that arise in your life. You and I need not fear the storm when our gracious, loving Heavenly Father is the one in control! Sometimes, He sends the storms to educate us and to teach us to trust. His purpose is not to hurt us, but to grow us. You can always trust the Lord to do the right thing in the storms of life. Do you need to hear Jesus say “Peace, be still” to your storm? He’s only a prayer away. Don’t do life without Him.
Have you ever found yourself in a position where you wanted to accomplish something big but the odds were stacked against you and it looked like an impossible situation? Many people let go of their dreams because they fear that they will never be able to succeed. Those that do succeed took a leap of faith and landed in a place where miracles happened over and over again. God supported and protected them. Its’ been said that the will of God never leads you to where His grace cannot keep you. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from. The ability to succeed begins with you having faith in God as small as a mustard seed.
God will not give you a blue print of His plans for you, and it’s not up to you to figure out how it will happen. Your job is simply to take one step at a time and never lose sight of the vision and let God do the rest. That is faith – faith is not seeing the destination, but trusting that God will show you what you are to do and when to do it every step of the way. If you can see the end from where you are, chances are you are walking by sight. If you stay where you are until you are sure of the end, you will not move at all. Don’t fear difficulties. Choose to look at them with eyes of faith, and not fear. Eyes of faith focus on God; eyes of fear focus on the circumstances, the problems. Eyes of faith see a big God who is able to overcome a big problem. When Satan comes knocking at your door, simply say, “Jesus, could you get that for me?” Faith is the ability to not panic.
We want to learn to see through eyes of faith, and trust God every step of the way. The odds may look like they are against you right now but hold steady. Go after the dream God has given you. Yes, you will encounter problems but don’t become discouraged. When you come to the end of yourself you will find that God lives there and He is only a prayer away. As a child of God, prayer is like calling home every day. God will give you the strength to succeed and it will be all to His glory!
If you want God to do a new thing in your life, you must be willing to do something new because if you keep doing what you have always done, then you will keep getting what you have always gotten. But, if you want to achieve new things or go places where you have never been, then you must be willing to do some things that you have never done. You are going to have to take a step of faith to get to the next level. God honors those who risks shame, frustration and disappointment when they act in faith. It’s easy to stay with what you are use to – there is some security in that, but if God is calling you to a greater place in your life or in your business, don’t be afraid to take a risk. God might be answering your prayers by telling you to cast your net on the other side so that your boat is running over. But are you willing to risk something in order to see God do something new and great in your life? Sometimes we must do things we have never done to get to places where we have never been!
You must trust God throughout your life. You will not always know where God is leading you but trust that He has it all planned out. One night a house caught fire and a young boy was forced to climb out his bedroom window onto the roof. His father was on the ground below him and he kept telling his son to ‘jump.’ The boy would not jump because all he could see was smoke – everything was black. The boy yelled out “Daddy, I can’t see you.” His father yelled back “But I can see you and that is all that matters!” You may not be able to see where you are going, but God has you in His sight and He will always be there to catch you. You might be asking yourself “Will God really do this new thing in my life?” The real question is not “can God” rather it is can you? Can you trust and believe, not doubting, but be fully persuaded that God is a faithful God? Every promise in the word of God belongs to each of us but they are dependent upon our level of faith. We must be willing to trust and obey God at all times in all situations. When God speaks to us, we must believe that He is faithful to do what He has promised.
If God has told you to do something, the first step belongs to you. It is a step of faith; it might look like a risk but it is your choice to take it or not. You must have faith and trust in God to survive. Your faith will determine how far you go; it will cause you to remain stagnant or it will take you to a place where you have never been before. Your level of faith will tell God when you are ready. There is always a higher level to reach in your marriage, in your job, in your finances, but whether or not you get there is up to you. Worry and fear do not produce change – only faith does! God has a certain time and place to give you your dream. The question is do you have enough faith that will take you there?