Tuesday, January 30, 2007

gaining strength through prayer

In Scripture we're often told, in one way or another, to pray. When we are lost. Weak. Losing ground. Miserable. Tempted to what seems the breaking point to us- and beyond. Defeated.

These times, of course, are not the only times to pray. But they are prime and opportune times to do so, as we see in the Story we find, in Scripture. From which we continue, in the ongoing story of God.

It is especially important for us to pray, when we're in trouble (James 5, etc.). Though we should "pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5). We're always in need of something beyond ourselves. We are never independent, but by nature are depedent on God. And interdependent on others. This is why we need prayers, especially at certain times, from our brothers and sisters in Jesus (James 5).

We also need, through repentance and realigning of our lives, to seek to follow God, as we pray in our weakness and defeat. Our prayer needs to become, truly the cry of our heart. If we half-heartedly pray, "Lord, deliver me," but really more than half-heartedly cling to any sin, then, of course, we have the promise that God will not hear our prayer (Psalm 66). Though we really don't have it in ourselves, to break away from our weakness- by God's grace in Christ, and through the Spirit and the Word, and in communion with God's people, we need to make the break ourselves, in repentance, from any known sin in our lives. And pray for God to reveal any sin we may be uanaware of.

Just yesterday, in my own life, I saw God strengthening me in answer to prayer. It began in the morning, as I sought the Lord. And continued on throughout the day. So that by the end of the day, I sensed, and even knew that I was living in new strength from God. And this strength was good to go, across the board. Helping me cope with the new pressures and challenges I would meet along the way, the rest of the day (as well as just to enjoy the good things).

Inevitably we will face more weakness. Days have their ebb and flow in our experience. Times when we feel low in one way or another. These can become reminders to us to look to God for his strength and help. That we might live in the good will of God for us, in Christ Jesus. With others and for the world.

What about you? Would you like to recount an experience you've had in this reality? Or any thoughts you'd like to share?


Jim said...

This is a good post. In a few paragraphs, you speak of the strength to be gained through prayer. Thanks.

Ted Gossard said...

Thanks so much, Jim.