What are the things that burden and discourage us….that steal our joy?…our peace? Is it personal sufferings; adversities come in many different forms.
There are certainly no shortage of things to worry about – government/worldwide issues, financial issues, family, relationship issues, health issues…And each of these categories can be sub-categorized into a plethora of smaller details with which we can easily burden ourselves with worry for things over which we hold no control.
I once saw a cartoon that read, “They said it couldn’t be done…so, I didn’t even try!”
The point is not that ‘adversities, sufferings, discouragements are always going to happen and there’s nothing we can do about it, so don’t even bother to try’. The “problem” is fixable. The “way” you’re trying to fix it is wrong. See, Jesus said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Mt. 19:26
When we encounter discouragement, adversity, suffering, we have to stop thinking of “ourselves” as the first “problem fixer” to go to.
Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Unfortunately, our heavenly Father has become a “last resort” to many a believer, who has tried everything in his/her human toolbox to fix the problem their way first. They’ve laid awake endless nights trying to figure out how the issue could be rectified when simply turning it over to the Lord was the right answer from the beginning. We need to take it to the Lord in prayer!
In an internet article titled, 7 Reasons Our Prayers are “Unanswered”, the #1 reason given for why prayers go seemingly “unanswered” is, “We Don’t Ask”. You really can’t blame God for not answering a prayer that was never prayed…right? James 4:2b You do not have, because you do not ask God. 3When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
If it’s Jesus you seek, God’s will that is of primary importance, your prayers will be answered.
Luke 11:9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you. There is so much that we all spend time worrying about, that daily robs us of our joy, that could be claimed “victories for the Kingdom”, if blood-washed believers would daily take it to the Lord in prayer!
Wednesday, March 13th, is exactly 40 days prior to resurrection Sunday; the day we all recognize and celebrate the most important event in history! This year, our focus, and the focus of our sermon series leading up to Easter weekend, is “40 Days of Prayer Leading to Resurrection”. We will begin with that Wednesday evening service/message and each Lord’s day up and through Resurrection Sunday will focus upon different aspects of prayer. All along the journey we will be encouraging one another to be in fervent prayer over particular areas of concern; things of our own volition, we know we are incapable of changing, but by God’s will and not our own, and through the power of Jesus’ name, all things are possible. What things can we lift before the thrown of God as we approach the foot of Calvary? Church growth? Government/Our Nation’s issues? Personal devotion? Forgiveness? Spiritual Revival throughout the Nation/World? There’s still a few week’s left, if you have idea’s, write them down and slip them into our box in the entryway just outside the sanctuary!
The beautiful old hymn says it best:
O, what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry Everything to God in prayer!
Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged, Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness, Take it to the Lord in prayer!
What a friend we have in Jesus! Let’s make Him our first resource, not our last resort!
In the meantime, talk it up, put it on your calendars! Wednesday, March 13th, 6:00 p.m. – bring your friends, your neighbors, your neighbors you wish were your friends! And let’s be a praying force here in Barryton, MI that will make a difference throughout Michigan and the world!
John 14:13-14 13And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.14You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.