In our last devotional, I encouraged you to heed the Spirit’s prompting and to pray about whatever “it” is He has been burdening your heart. Have you started to pray?
In a strange, mysterious way — which I will not fully understand until my Father explains it in person — God has chosen to enlist His children to accomplish His purpose for reaching the world and establishing His kingdom on earth! Mind boggling isn’t it, when you stop to think about it? That an omnipotent God would ordain both the prayers of His people and the answers He desires to give them (Is. 65:24).
Have you ever considered that your prayers literally change the direction of your life and play a significant, strategic role in the Almighty God’s work in an individual’s ministry?
...this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. (Phil. 1:19)
You do not have because you do not ask. (James 4:2)
You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. (James 4:3)
...pray at all times in the Spirit,…be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints. (Eph. 6:18)
Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray.... Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him.... Confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. (James 5:13-16)
...praying at the same time for us as well, that God will open up to us a door for the word. (Col. 4:3)
Do you know how Precept Ministries' whole Eurasian ministry came into being? Through a single prayer of Mia and Costel Oglice over a number of years — that God would connect them with someone who would help them reach their people in Romania with His Word. By the grace of God, that connection was made with me! That prayer was answered in a single “Yes, Lord!” Obedience — nothing more, but nothing less.
I remember when I was experiencing piercing pain in my eye. I donned my eye patch and spoke at a woman’s luncheon for Campus Crusade. When Mia Oglice saw the Precept material, she prayed, “Lord, tell that woman to give me one of her books.” When I heard that she was from Romania, I gave her a copy of every one of the books we had on the table. Romania had been on our heart. Little did either of us realize that subsequently God would use them to open all Eurasia to the inductive study of His Word, equipping tens of thousands to reach their people through intensive discipleship training using Precept materials.
The miracle of it all continually brings awe to my heart as I meet men and women willing to suffer in a variety of ways — oftentimes facing shame, rejection, imprisonment and death — out of obedience to the Great Commission to disciple all nations, teaching them to obey all things that He has commanded us. Oh the greatness of our God — how miraculous, how unfathomable are His ways!
Jesus’ first miracle was turning water into wine. There was a need: the wine was gone and the celebration was not over. It was a simple request from His mother: “They have no wine.” The wine came through a single act of obedience, as men responded to Mary’s directive:
“Whatever He says to you, do it.”
Jesus’ hour had not yet come, but the wine was given. Someone asked and others obeyed.
Take a moment.
Let the Lord take your hand and walk you back in time. Let Him show you what has happened in your own life because of a prayer and an act of obedience.
You did not come to this place in your life alone. Somewhere along the way, someone prayed. Someone obeyed. Here you are now, reading this devotional. What is God saying?
He’s telling you to remember the significance of a single prayer — a single act of obedience. You may not see the outcome for a long time; in fact, you may not know it until you reach heaven.
But then — then Beloved — you will know fully how vital your life was to the work of the Kingdom of God. Then you’ll realize that your prayer and your obedience were crucial to a chain of events having eternal value (2 Cor. 4:17). It brings tears to my eyes and awe to my heart to think of the utter delight that will be yours, precious one, then, if not now, when you see how God uses your prayer…your obedience.
Now, Beloved, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” Whatever He lays on your heart, pray it! Know that it will not be in vain. Great shall be your reward in heaven” (Matt. 5:12).
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Precept Ministries International
In the days of Jeremiah, Israel’s spiritual condition was much like our nation’s today. God chose Jeremiah to call people to turn from sin and idolatry and return to Him. Facing unbelievable opposition, Jeremiah warned the people who wouldn’t listen of God’s holy wrath that would soon be poured out.
“The Times They Are A-Changin’,” Bob Dylan’s hit song from 1964, was right—they were changing! A generation of young “hippies” was convinced—American society was at the door to a cultural revolution. Thousands of “flower children” of the 1960s in Haight Ashbury (San Francisco) and Berkeley thought they would usher in communities of peace, love, unity, and sharing that would embarrass organizations representing traditional values (like churches).
If you’re in a difficult trial today my friend, if you’re confronted by an enemy or if you’re being seduced by your mind, by your desires, there’s a key question you need to ask before you head down a path to look for answers other than down the straight and narrow path of God’s Word.
Earlier, we began a “Prayer for Marriage.” Beloved, whether you’re newlyweds just beginning to travel the road of life together or if you’ve been married for many years, learning to talk to your spouse can enrich your life and deepen the bonds of your marriage. God is the master communicator, and we can come to Him to be instructed and taught in the art of communicating effectively with the one He has given us. Let’s continue this prayer: