Tag Archive | Praying

Trouble Doesn’t Last Always . . . For Real, It Doesn’t

storm

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world”—John 16:33, NKJV

Ever thought, New year, same stuff!

We like to think of January 1 as a fresh start, but some issues tend to follow us into the new year. It can be frustrating and cause us to wonder if situations will ever improve. I can think of people who, for years, have experienced a bad marriage, wayward children, financial difficulties, grief, illness, depression, and much more. These issues seem more than temporary setbacks. They have gone on so long that they appear to be more of a lifestyle. For those in such situations, it can be easy to lose hope of things ever getting better. Even when there is hope, sometimes things don’t improve (e.g., sick people die), and then one may wonder where was God or why He allowed such things to happen to those who trusted Him.

Scripture tells us that it rains on the just and the unjust (Matthew 5:45, NKJV). The NIV uses the terms righteous and unrighteous. The point is that no matter who we are or how much we love God, trouble comes our way. Gee, thanks, God. While that Scripture in and of itself may not be encouraging, many others provide comfort. For example, while confirming to the disciples that there will indeed be trouble in this world, Jesus says, “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

While writing, I’m currently in a storm myself, one that pierces my heart like none other. Yet, I have peace. No sleepless nights. Minimal tears. Lots of prayers. For me, it is incredibly comforting to know that all is in the Master’s hands. I also know that I could lose my peace the moment that I take my focus off of God and His word and put it on my situation. So, I try to keep looking up instead of looking around. Here’s what I know:

  1. This thing will end. How it ends is totally up to God. (Of course, I’m fighting the temptation to give God my unsolicited advice of what He should do and how He should do it. Lol.)
  2. I am growing through the process. I am not the same as I was when it first began, and I won’t be the same as I am now when it ends. This is a character-building experience that has the potential to change me for the better if I surrender to the process.
  3. No matter what it looks like, God is in control. I could drop the mic right here because the best part of it all is knowing that God’s got this.

As you journey through whatever current storm life has brought your way, try not to be overwhelmed by your circumstances. Yes, it may be a new year with the same stuff, but we also have the same God with the same power with the same authority to get us through this as He has gotten us through many things previously. Rest in the fact that you do not have to journey alone. Not only has God gone before you, but He’s also currently with you. Each day that passes brings you one day closer to the end of your storm as everything has a season (Ecclesiastes 3:1).

Stay encouraged!

P.U.S.H.

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“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” — James 5:16, NIV

Many of you may be familiar with the acronym P.U.S.H., which stands for pray until something happens. Last night as I laid in bed, I thought about the power of prayer and how much prayer has changed my life. I reflected on many prayer requests that I’ve had over the years—some that have been answered and some on which I am still awaiting manifestations. Some prayers were easy to communicate (e.g., bless this food that I’m about to receive) while others took more oomph out of me (e.g., help me to forgive). I’ve even prayed about what some would consider minor issues (e.g., my Bluetooth not working in my car) and major things (e.g., healing of someone with cancer). Whether big or small, easy or hard, I am confident that God hears our prayers (1 John 5:14).

One key that I’ve learned when praying is to be transparent. My prayers are raw. I hold nothing back from God. I recall a time when I felt pure hatred building in my heart for someone. As a believer, I know that God calls us to love everyone, so the fact that I was hating this person convicted me. So, I prayed. And, honey, my initial prayers were nothing nice. They started out something to this effect:

God, I don’t want to pray for this person. I’m only doing it because You tell us to pray for our enemies. I don’t mean anything I say. I don’t want you to bless her. I don’t want you to save her. I want her to burn in hell for what she’s done.

Ouch! That definitely wasn’t Christ-like.  It was brutally honest. There was no need to pretend that I felt otherwise. God already knew, and for Him to turn things around, I needed to confess the ugliness that was inside of me. The rest of the prayer was something like this:

I know that these feelings are not representative of who I am in You. Jesus, I need You to soften my heart. I want to love as You love. I want to forgive as You forgive. I want others to see me and see You in me. God, I cannot forgive her on my own. No matter how I feel about her or what she’s done, You love her, and I need to love her, too. Please help.

I prayed nearly every day and before I knew it, I started meaning everything that I said about God blessing and saving her. I don’t know if she ever gave her life to Christ or what she’s doing nowadays. The only thing I know for sure is that God completely changed my view of her. Whenever she crosses my mind now, I will say a brief prayer, “Lord, I pray that she knows You and has allowed you to heal her from her pain.”

While God does not always answer prayers in the way we want Him to, He will always use prayer to instill His fruit in us. The person giving her life to Christ is not under my control or even His. She has to make a choice to do so. Nevertheless, God used that situation as a character-building experience. I, too, had a choice. Had I not surrendered to Him, I would have continued down an emotionally destructive path.

When we pray, the external situation may not change, or it might take time to do so, but change can begin in you immediately. Prayer can renew your faith, give you a different perspective about things, and fill you with internal peace amid chaos. “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective,” James 5:16b. Prayer works! So, P.U.S.H.—pray until something happens. That something may come packaged differently than you expected, but if you believe in God’s Word, then you can rest in His sovereignty.

If there are prayer requests that you’d like to share, please do so. I’d be honored to pray on your behalf.

A Message from God – a poem by Yolonda Tonette Sanders

 

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“For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous” — Romans 5:19

“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be understood” — Romans 8:26

“Pray without ceasing” — 1 Thessalonians 5:17

Everyone was born into sin
Because of how Adam behaved
So I sent My Son to die on the cross
So that all might be saved

You often feel that you’re not worthy
Well I can’t argue with that
But I am filled with grace and mercy
So I’ll cut you some slack

Why do you always remind yourself
Of the person in the past
No longer the same, I’ve changed your name
Your sins have been forgiven at last

Remember to pray continuously
It’s important that we communicate
I may not come when you expect Me to
But relax, I’m always on time, I’m never late

Not really sure how or what to pray
Just be genuine and do your best
At times when you’re not sure about what to say
My Holy Spirit will do the rest

Concerned that others will reject the change
And remember what you were
If so, they forget who I am
Because with Me, anything can occur

Others may try to put you down
But My Word is always true
Worry not about what they say
Find comfort in the fact that I anointed you

You may have committed many sins
Others may have committed just a few
But the blood that it took to save them
Is the same blood that it took to save you

(c) Yolonda Tonette Sanders