Christians, if anyone on January 1, 2020 told you on September 1, 2020 that this is what your new reality would look like, you would probably think they were crazy! Look at where we find ourselves though! We knew it was an election year, so we knew it was going to get a bit heated, but I don’t think anyone on either side could have imagined the current reality we face. Persecution for beliefs, confinement, restriction, mandates, regulations, and separation have all been realities we have faced in our Churches and gatherings. Some Churches are STILL locked down and not allowed to meet as this is being written.
How did we get here? How do we move forward? Is there any going back from here? Questions we could all ask and rightly so be justified in asking. The challenges we face as believers are never meant to put the fire out in our faith, if anything, they are meant to fan the flame hotter. When we face these unknown situations and circumstances, we are meant to press into God and seek Him like we have never sought Him before, the main way we do this is through prayer.
Prayer in its simplest and purest form is talking to God. There is power in the simple act of communicating with our Lord, Savior, Creator, Father, Friend, Helper, Deliverer, Protector, Healer, Redeemer, to our God.
I know for myself, for many years, my prayers felt weak and powerless. I felt like I was reciting empty words, that bounced off the ceiling and echoed in my ears. If I felt like some of those words made it through, they were blown to and fro by the winds and worries of life. I struggled to be adamant about prayer because it seemed an ineffective way of accomplishing anything. As I grew in my faith and my relationship with God, my understanding changed. I realized that when I pray, I am speaking directly to God, that He hears my prayers, and He cares about what I am saying. It changes the power I thought my prayers have. It does not mean all my prayers are answered immediately, but I know that God hears me, and I pray less selfish prayers and more empowering prayers for my situations.
Many people could be praying for COVID to just DISAPPEAR. Wouldn’t that be great, if we woke up tomorrow and it was announced that the pandemic was over? As mysteriously as it hit, it went away. That could happen, God could do anything. My deeper prayer is the strength and grace to continue on serving God and carrying out His plan and purpose for my life, in spite of the pandemic going on. When we pray for strength, grace, anointing, wisdom, peace, guidance, we are preparing ourselves for future tests and trials, not just trying to get out of this one, so we can get back to “normal”.
If we are praying our way back to normal and not to a new way of life, then we are likely to fall into old routines, habits, lifestyles, compromises, and potentially sin. We should always be looking to go further in our life with Christ and praying that God leads us into a deeper relationship with Him. God does not just want us to be happy, in fact, He longs for us to be Holy. Refined by the tests and trials we face, to come to a deeper understanding of His heart for His people.
If I look forward to December 31, 2020 and the end of this year, what do I want to envision for my life? There are many things that I would like to see happen physically. There are many plans and promises I would like to see come to pass. If my vision for this year is for all of my tests to go away, then I am focused on the wrong end goal. If my vision for this year is to be more content and Christ minded in the midst of my tests, then whether or not things look that different on New Year’s Eve physically, spiritually I can look at the progress in the plan.
Father God, we pray that you would give us eyes to see, ears to hear, and a heart to receive the plans and purposes you have for 2020. I pray that as we seek you more, you would help us to understand that you hear us and are right with us through every situation. Help us remove any selfishness, pride, wrong desires, or motives in our prayers. Help us to pray out Your will and purpose for our lives, our country, and this world. Help us to never settle for less than your absolute best, no matter how difficult the process to get there may be. May we learn to live and to love, to serve and to seek those who You are drawing to Your Kingdom through our lives. We thank you for the opportunity to hook up with Your Vision, Your Wisdom, Your Purpose and Your will, we pray your Kingdom come and Your will be done, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Then he said, “Don’t be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer.” Daniel 10:12 (NLT)
But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. Matthew 6:6 (NLT)
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2 (NLT)
Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from Him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. Ephesians 4:21-24 (NLT)
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13 (NLT)
I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life. And we are confident that He hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases Him. And since we know He hears us when we make our requests, we also know that He will give us what we ask for. 1 John 5:13-15 (NLT)
written and posted by Daniel Poggensee | 2020