By Brenda Pickering
This Week’s Verse: Matthew 7:7-8, "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened."
Devotion: When life gets rocky, when you're unsure what the next step should be, or when you feel you have lost your way, where do you turn?
Many times we don't turn to prayer. Instead we turn to our spouse, a friend, a family member or we keep it to ourselves believing we can or should be able to handle it on our own. I know I have. But, in the times that I have turned to God for the answers, things turned out in ways I could never have imagined if I were on my own!
After I had my second child, I knew we were struggling financially already with only two children, and I felt the responsible thing would be to ensure that we would not have any more children to support. So, when our youngest was about 1 month old, I went in to have a tubal ligation. I had this nagging feeling that we were not finished and that I shouldn't have the procedure after all. However, I decided to ask God to make the decision for us. I told God, I will trust You because if you want us to have more children, you can do anything. As we drove to the hospital, I continued my conversation with God. It'd be nice to have a girl...one that looks like me, or even one with blond hair, but then, neither my husband nor myself have blond hair, so I would take her either way!
I had the procedure that day, with no regrets, no worries.
I had forgotten all about that prayer until a little over a year later, when I realized I might be pregnant! A test confirmed it, and when I went in for some blood work and they later called me back to ask me to schedule an ultrasound, I was worried. They had mentioned a tubal pregnancy, and they wanted to rule that out. At 10 weeks, we discovered there were two little girls in there! God had answered my prayers two-fold. Our girls are 4 1/2 years old now. One has brown hair, and I think looks a lot like me. The other one has blond hair. God has more than taken care of us since we had our two additions to the family. He has blessed us with a complete family, and since then we have been better off financially than before they were born!
Why do we put so much pressure on ourselves when God desires us to ask Him for help? He says if we would only ask, it is ours. James 4:2 states, "You do not have, because you do not ask God."
In Rev. 5:8 it states, "And when he took the scroll, the four living beings and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp, and they held gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of God's people." (NLT) The incense that is so fragrant to Christ is our prayer! We are reading Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire by Jim Cymbala in our life group. On page 82 he writes, "Just imagine, you and I kneel or stand or sit down to pray, really opening our hearts to God and what we say is so precious to Him that He keeps it like a treasure."
Lord, Help us to call upon your name in every situation, good or bad, and throughout our day. Thank you for storing up our prayers like treasures! Amen
Applications: So, when you call upon the Lord, your burdens will be lifted, you are doing what the Lord has asked, and you will be blessed beyond measure! Pray continually!!
Matthew 6: 9-13, “This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’" (NIV)
Matthew 8: 19-20, “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” (NIV)
I Thessalonians 5:16-18, "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." (NIV)
James 5:13-15,"Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven." (NIV)