We know that it is possible to take advantage of our physical wealth, forgetting the ultimate source of our blessings. It is however also possible to take advantage of our spiritual wealth as well, forgetting that knowledge of God does not make us special because it is there for anyone who chooses to seek Truth. What it makes us, is accountable to what we claim to believe and to the language and actions we use to express those beliefs. If we say that we are thankful for God’s presence in our life then let us be thankful. Although it may seem inconvenient, thankfulness requires taking the time to pray. Prayer draws us closer to God, opens our heart and mind and renders enlightenment, peace and joy. If we are truly thankful we know that the “holiday” of Thanksgiving is not just one day that we take off (which less and less people are doing every year) but rather gratefulness that is lived out every day. Gratefulness is a gift that desires to be expressed. Let us daily continue to fulfill God’s graciousness with our true thankfulness.
‘Why could we not cast it out?’ 29He said to them, ‘This kind can come out only through prayer.’ Mark 9:14-29 There are times when our words fail us. Nothing we say can help the situation. The words we use to invoke the Holy Spirit upon our lives are being attacked by words of discouragement. That’s when prayer is at its best. Take it to the altar, let it go and trust God.
‘Why could we not cast it out?’ Mark 9:14-29 There are times when nothing we try seems to work. It doesn’t matter what it is; strongholds such as deep seeded habits, anxieties and ways of thinking are difficult to change. This doesn’t mean that change won’t happen, rather simply a reminder of our dependence on God’s grace as we continue to strive in the spiritual life. To live by the spirit is to be guided by the spirit (Galatians 5:25-6:10), and prayer is our lifeline. Use it regularly and live.
Psalm 141:2, Ephesians 6:18, Philippians 4:6, Colossians 4:2, 1 Thessalonians 5:17, James 5:16
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name. I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God (Ephesians 2:11-22). Prayer is always a good way to sustain the spirit and this one from Ephesians I believe is particularly good to embrace. The writer commends the readers and encourages them to focus on their relationship with God in order that the gift of the spirit of God within will continually guide and strengthen them.
Often the issue we have in this journey is whether or not we will allow God’s love to guide and strengthen our resolve to do the work God has called us to do. Our focus on the spirit within will help us stay a course that is pleasing to God. This is not to say that the course will be perfect by human standards. Rather it is a course that involves praise and thanksgiving for our blessings (including hardships & lessons learned), confession and repentance for our mis-steps (including disobedience to God’s word) and our testimony to the glory of Christ to which God in his grace heeds. Thus, when we lose focus (as we sometimes do) in this journey, God’s discipline and mercy will help us regain our focus on his spirit within and move us forward.
Lent: Day 28 – Some strongholds can become so entrenched that all we can do is pray. Their goal is to limit or make ineffective our faith, conjuring up doubt and fear. Prayer is our direct communication to the one who bears, believes, hopes and endures all things on our own behalf. God’s love has absolute authority in all matters particularly those we simply cannot control. When we call on God in prayer we express our faith in his love and his will for our self and for others. God sees and knows what we cannot see or attempt to know. So we entrust our cries to him and let his steadfast love take over.
Exodus 2:23-3:13 But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?’
Mark 9:14-29 ‘Why could we not cast it out?’ He said to them, ‘This kind can come out only through prayer.’
1 Corinthians 13:1-13 It (love) bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
With God we shall do valiantly;
it is he who will tread down our foes.