“He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them” (Psalm 145:19).
When we draw near to God in reverent awe, what the Bible often calls “fear,” we are in the proper place to receive from Him the desires of our heart. Fear of the Lord means that we are aware that He is God and we are not. It places Him over us as Lord, and we bow before Him, seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness. It means that we are more concerned for God receiving glory than getting what we want.
In that godly place of prayer and submission, it delights the Lord to delight us. “May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed” (Psalm 20:4). “I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry” (Psalm 40:1).
Sometimes our walk with Christ seems really tough. Sometimes it gets so tough we may start to wonder. “Is it really worth it?” If that is where you are then remember that someone is praying for you with a prayer like this.
“With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12).
Notice that Paul did not pray for the hardship to cease. That is hard for us Westerners to grapple with. Somehow, many of our fellow believers have come to think that we should have a pain-free life. At least that appears to be the case when we hear people pray. Our thoughts are always to remove the pain and fix the situation.
Paul prayed that God would count the Thessalonians worthy, that He would fulfill every purpose He had for them and every act of faith they attempted. Why did he pray those things? So that the name of Jesus Christ would be given glory! Paul knew that ultimately God would receive more honor, fame, and glory from His people showing grace in the midst of hardship than by removing the hardship.
So, church when the going gets tough hang in there because bringing glory to God makes it worth it.
The psalmist wrote, “For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does” (Psalm 33:4).
The Word of the Lord is completely right and true. As we hear it and read it, God expects us to do more than think, “that’s nice” _ God expects us to obey it. Our obedience to His Word will give joy to our hearts. Our lives won’t be flooded with doubt and conflict. Instead there will be peace and joy and hope. We need to have great faith in God’s ability to overcome any circumstance the enemy would try to use to discourage us or cut in on the race we are running.
Perhaps your heart or the heart of someone close to you is burdened. Maybe life seems so heavy that you feel that the weight of the world is on your shoulders. If that is the way it seems then pray for the Lord’s intervention and He will show you His faithfulness by delivering you from the burden.
“Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete” (John 16:24).
By offering to let us pray in his name, Jesus is offering an amazingly great privilege. It’s as if he is giving us blank checks to be drawn on his account, knowing we will use them for his honor and his advantage. Jesus is demonstrating great trust in us. He is trusting that his honor and his interests are safe in our hands. Consider what it would mean to place your estate in the hands of another person: your credit cards, your home, your investments, your automobiles, your responsibilities, everything. You’d pick that person very carefully, wouldn’t you? You’d really be giving that person control over your life and your future. That’s essentially what Jesus did when he authorized us to use his name in prayer. He gave us authority over his accounts. He asked us to exercise control over his estate—the kingdom of God.
“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still” (Exodus 14:14) You may ask, “What if I have lots to do – deadlines and responsibilities? How can I take time to just sit and do nothing?” You can take time if it is “divine” nothing. When the Israelites were being pursued by Pharaoh’s army they allowed themselves to be overwhelmed by their circumstance instead of filled with faith. They panicked and blamed their situation upon Moses. Although he must have been greatly irritated at their lack of faith, Moses calmed their fears and told them to set aside their fear. He urged them to let God deal with what seemed to be an impossible situation. Do you have an impossible situation to set aside today? Be still and let the Lord fight for you.
Last week I was at church camp with a group of Junior High campers along with staff and faculty. My role was to watch and pray. On Thursday I was making a prayer walk and I stopped to read a few verses from Colossians 4 and I realized that in verses 7 and 8 there was a person mentioned that I had never thanked God for _ a man named Tychicus.
Tychicus, our beloved brother and faithful servant and fellow bond-servant in the Lord, will bring you information. For I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know about our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts. (Colossians 4:7-8)
After reading that I realized just how special and important Tychicus was in the life of the Apostle Paul. Tychicus was loved _ he was a faithful servant _ he was a slave to Jesus _ he was a messenger. That is who he was, but there is one more role that really jumped out for me. Tychicus was also an encourager. If you have ever read the things that Paul faced you realize that he needed an encourager in his life.
I know that encouragement is something we all need. We face all kinds of issues and we need people that will listen _ that will help however it is needed. We also need to be encouragers. If your name showed up in a letter what would be said about you? Would you be a Tychicus? I sure hope so. Friends pay attention to people around you and let it be said of you that you encourage hearts.
Romans 15:13 is a verse of Scripture that I have used as prayer in many situations that both I and people I serve have faced. It offers three incredible promises… “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Emphasis is mine)
Unfortunately, many modern Western believers have the attitude that life needs to be perfect, or that God promises us a happy life. So, any time calamity comes to us or those we care about, we immediately pray, “Lord, remove this…Fix this.” But He might want to do something for His kingdom through it. Perhaps as unbelievers watch a Christian go through a trial with great grace or as the verse puts it joy, peace, and especially hope, they will come into the kingdom of God.
So, the next time you pray about a difficult situation in your life or the life of someone else, maybe God would have you pray for joy and peace, and for hope to fill hearts during the difficulty, so that in the overflow of hope, people would be attracted to Christ.