What do you do when you are facing challenges with unknown outcomes? What do you do if you are in the shadow of the valley of death due to an illness or getting older? What do you do when you are facing a relational train wreck? What do you do when you are experiencing a financial nightmare? How do you know what Jesus wants you to do?
I was encouraged again by how David faced his Goliath challenge by remembering the great shared God moments of his past.
Do you remember when King Saul tried to stop little shepherd boy David from getting killed by Goliath?
David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”
Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.” 1 Sam 17:34-37
What are those past shared experiences you have had with Jesus?
Have you recorded them?
When you are in a worship service singing, do these memories flash back into your mind giving your soul strength?
When was the last time God led you to share one of your past shared experiences with Jesus with someone whom desperately needs to be encouraged?
As you face your challenges today and this week, may your soul be injected with strength as you worship Jesus for the past shared experiences you have had with Him.
May you clearly see the opportunities Jesus gives you to share these past experiences with others today and this week.
May you be encouraged and have the faith to face the challenges you are facing.
Remembering our past shared experiences with Jesus together,
Do you ever feel like not praying? Do you ever feel like prayer is a chore or something I should do but just do not want to? Do you ever forget to pray? Is the idea of prayer not on your mind sometimes?
If so, where does this come from?
I think busyness is one of the causes of prayerlessness. When we allow too many activities, responsibilities and desires to take over our lives, it results in distancing of relationships; with our spouse, children, friends and most importantly Jesus.
Another cause of prayerlessness is the inner drive of independence. We are all born with this natural desire for independence and for not wanting anyone to tell us what we can and cannot do. We need to remember that prayerlessness is our declaration of independence from God.
The invisible yet powerful influence of evil causes us not to pray. When the disciples asked Jesus why they could not cast out the evil in a certain person, Jesus said "this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting." Matt17:21 “The devil is not terribly frightened of our human efforts and credentials. But he knows his kingdom will be damaged when we begin to lift up our hearts to God.” Pastor Cymbala
How about the prayer meetings that we have attended that seemed more like a gossip session or a social event or a Christmas wish list.
There are probably more causes of prayerlessness.
One of my Biblical mentors has been the Prophet Samuel. He describes prayerlessness this way. "As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you." 1 Sam 12:23
One of the younger brothers of Jesus explains, "If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them." James 4:17
Let's admit that prayerlessness is a sin. Let's confess this prayerlessness. Let's ask God to motivate us to pray. Let's ask a close Christian friend or family member to pray with us a few times a week. Let's join our church prayer times on Sunday and Wednesday a few times a month. Let's talk about how God has answered our prayers. Hearing the way Jesus answers our prayers is probably the greatest motivator for me to avoid Jonah chapter 1, Prayerlessness.
Praying for you, with you and over you.
Pastor Chris Reinertson enjoys all sports, especially those involving a ball. He loves to hang out with people and challenge them to be Jesus REVolutionizers.