(Old Post from 2007)
Today’s Scripture: Read James 5:13-20
So often we begin our day by jumping out of bed, heading for the bathroom, hurriedly getting ready and jamming out the door to begin the day – whether school or work – and I am know exception. I confess that the weeks preceding my trip to Russia, I struggled to find the morning routine of reading my bible and prayer.
As I sit on my bed in Russia at 6:36am, I realize that I long for the time to spend in the morning in God’s Word and prayer. When you begin the day with God, however long it is, your day will go much better. During one of our appointments yesterday, it came to our attention that one of the LDI students begins his day at 4am and prays for 3 hours until 7am, because that is the quietest part of his day, and still his wife (an unbeliever) persecutes him by yelling at him; however, don’t you think that God honors his prayers? Developing a disciplined prayer life and devotional life is vital for spiritual growth. Why you may ask? A prayer of faith can heal the sick, and lead to the forgiveness of the sinner (v. 15); therefore, why wouldn’t we want to pray. In verse 16, it says we should confess our sins to each other and pray for them so that they may be healed. The key is in verse 17 which says “The power of a righteous man is powerful and effective”. What can you do as a righteous man, you pray without doubt knowing and expecting God to answer your prayers. One thing to remember about prayer is that God answers our prayer, not always in the way we want, but he does answer them. He sometimes says “yes”, other times “no” and sometimes with a “not now” or “maybe”. Sometimes the decision we are asking requires more faith and He wants us to continue to pray through our decisions so that our faith may be strengthened. As you go through your day, may your heart be sensitive to the needs around you and may you see others as Christ sees them. Pray with conviction, grace, and faith to move mountains.
Exercise: I would like you to consider two exercises that will challenge you, but will help you in your Christian walk. First, consider the exercise of silence. Take 20 minutes and sit and be silent before the Lord and listening for His voice in your heart. Calm your own internal voice and listen for His voice. This is hard and our own internal voice often gets in the way. If you want help with this exercise call Aaron Poladian or Will Davis. Second, if you have a big decision coming up or just need to spend some concentrated time in prayer, consider participating in a half day fast. While you fast take time to spend in prayer for your decision (at least 1 hour). During this time seek the Lord’s heart for your decision. Usually a good thing to do is to do the silence and fast in the same half-day so that you are dependent upon God for sustainment (don’t worry you can still drink), but no food.
Application: How is your prayer life? Are you bending the Lord’s ear? Spend sometime praying.
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