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
Study God's take down of Saul, His promotion of David through a string of victories over Israel's enemies, and His establishment of Israel's glorious monarchy - its best ever years. For believers, this is a dual lesson in what attitudes to avoid and what attitudes to have as believers.
(The "I Samuel, Part 1 Study Guide" is available as a Free Download if you would like to study the Series on your own. The Study Companion and CD Set are also available for purchase.)
Beloved, we’ve talked about two kinds of love: Storge, meaning natural affection, and Eros—erotic love. Both of these are based on our own self interests. But today we’ll look at two more words for love; one that describes the love of friends and another that has its origins in God Himself! Remember, love is a choice! How will you choose to love?
It was late. She was in bed, reading, and waiting for him to come home. When he walked into the room she looked up and smiled. She opened her mouth to say something, but he walked past her without a word.
Beloved, family was on God’s heart from the beginning. When He sent His son to earth, he intentionally put Him in a family. Although He was the Son of God, God saw to it that His Son was raised with a mother, father, and siblings in an ordinary family.
I’ll never forget his face—the gravity of words haltingly spoken from one so young. He was just a child, yet shouldering the blame of being unaccepted, unwanted, rejected by both his birth parents and numerous foster parents who kept sending him back. “It was my fault they didn’t want me. I guess I just didn’t know how to be good.”
I will never forget my first Christmas as a Christian. I was 29 years old. Before then I was hopelessly lost. Raised in the church, I had a religion but not a relationship. Raised to be moral, in my disillusionment and loneliness I became immoral. I actually raised my fist, cursed God and said, “I am going to find someone to love me.”