Simply put, prayer is you communicating to God and God communicating to you! Martin Luther once said, “To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.” The MSG paraphrase of Matthew 6:7-13 is spot on, “The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this: Our Father in heaven, Reveal who you are. Set the world right; Do what’s best— as above, so below. Keep us alive with three square meals. Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others. Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil. You’re in charge! You can do anything you want! You’re ablaze in beauty! Yes. Yes. Yes.” If you failed to notice, this is the model prayer Jesus taught the disciples to pray. Jesus knew the power of prayer and He found it necessary to make sure that we too discovered its power! Prayer is a gift that we can give each other. We can give prayer when we can give nothing else. Prayer is to me, the glue that holds together the relationship between God and His people through Christ Jesus by His Holy Spirit!
The struggle is real but so is our God and to wake up believing that God is on your side should be enough to make you want to jump out of bed and face whatever comes your way! We all get tired and frustrated,but even when we want to give up, God’s word tells us to get up!! Here are 3 scripts from the OT that confirms my statement: Nehemiah 8:10, “Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Isaiah 41:10, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Exodus 15:2,”The Lord is my strength and my song; he has given me victory.” God commanded us to be strong and courageous. He also said , “Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD my God is with us wherever we go.”(Joshua 1:9). Lastly, I’ve heard it said, God has intention for our pain, a reason for our struggle, and a reward for our faithfulness! God doesn’t necessarily ask us to understand our struggles, but He does ask us to trust Him in our struggles!
Proverbs 18:24 (MSG), says, “Friends come and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family!” I’ve heard it said, “Many people will walk in and out of your life , but only a true friend will leave footprints in your heart! Fact is, a true friends has your back, they are honest/ authentic, they accept you for you, they want the best for you, and they don’t abandon you. Much like our personal styles, we all may have different needs and desires when coming to friendship. You may also come to recognize that some differences are able to support you in some areas of life while you may have another friend that you rely on for support in another area of your life. Expanding the friendships that make up your support system can help ensure that your needs are adequately being met. No friend is perfect, and no friend will be able to be everything to you. Even true friends will sometimes disappoint us. What matters most is how they respond to your feelings and the patterns they establish. C.S. Lewis said, “Friendship… has survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.”
Are we family?
Faithfully trust God today no matter what. Although we don’t know what to tomorrow holds, we do know who holds tomorrow! God will never leave lonely or abandoned. Jesus said, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). He remains with us through our most uncertain and difficulty trials. Even if our suffering doesn’t end on this side of eternity, God is and always will be mighty, trustworthy, dependable, good, righteous, and He is able to do exceedingly-abundantly above all that you could ever ask or think through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 3:20)! You can always faithfully rely on God’s constant and loving presence. The God we serve is [always ready] and able to deliver us (Daniel 3:17) no matter what!!
Even when you ‘feel’ like God is absent, He is with you. You may be saying really!? Well, you got to remember God is OMNIPRESENT; meaning He exist everywhere at the same time! Beloved, it’s imperative to know that God’s presence is not based on ‘feelings’. During seasons of difficulty, too many Christians fail to dig into God’s promises and they find ways to justify that God is absent i/l/o discovering His presence. This type of emotionalism is not Christian discipleship. Christians discern the will of God by examining and applying Scripture. Furthermore, Scripture tells us that our heart is deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9), trusting in our heart is foolish (Proverbs 28:26), and the way that leads to death almost always seems right at the time (Proverbs 14:12). In other words, the will of God cannot be determined emotionally. If you’re going through a storm right now listen to what Jesus said in Matthew 6:34 (MSG), “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” Therefore, I encourage you to search God’s word to know His will and the reality of His OMNIPRESENCE. Obey the gospel of Jesus Christ so that “Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith” (Ephesians 3:17). And know that, if you are a Christian, God is uniquely present within you no matter where you are, no matter your circumstance, and no matter how you feel.
If God can love the ugly unlovable in us, we should love the ugly unlovable in others. Now many will say, “I can’t do that because of ______ or I can do this if they will do ________.” Fact is, we are commanded to love everyone including our enemies. The ‘thin line’ between love and hate only exist because of unreciprocated love and ambivalence. Matthew 5:44 (MSG) says, “You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.” What we need to do is start with that dividing thin line, use it as a footing and ‘BUILD A WALL’ between love and hate (pun intended).
We have been redeemed, called by name, and we belong to God! So whenever you feel like you’re trapped between a rock and a hard place it won’t be a dead end! Because God through Christ Jesus is our Champion, Victor, and Savior! Isaiah 43:2 confirms, “When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.” We don’t need to know what the future holds because our God holds the future omnisciently, omnipresently, and omnipotently! If this message doesn’t stir something up in your spirit, I suggest you re-read because the only two things El Shaddi will never do is lie or fail!!