[Pray Without Ceasing]
I had to laugh. This isn’t what I’d planned on posting today. In fact, I just wrote this yesterday, so I found it humorous that after my post Step One: Shred the Past, I’d be “Taking out the Trash Talk.”
I couldn’t post “Step Two: Get Set” because I suddenly wasn’t feeling set. I didn’t want to be a hypocrite, but I am. Normally I would be beating myself up for not being perfect, but instead, I’m one happy hypocrite. (Lol) Yep, I’m still laughing. I guess this is joyful laughter because I was just so relieved to have my prayers answered so quickly.
I wasn’t doing well. Mentally I was so sure that I was not only doing everything wrong, but I was also seriously doubting my usefulness and sanity.
Really, I was doubting my sanity because there was so much trash talk going on in my head that needed to be taken out. I wasn’t giving it to the Lord. Why? I don’t know. Normally I’d be able to analyze things and come up with an answer, but I can’t find one. I guess this is better than coming up with an excuse.
I haven’t been praying without ceasing, so the trash talk was building up in my head. This always happens when I either fail to read Scripture or I fail to pray. Infact, the last time this happened it was because I ended up off track with my reading. This is why I’m such a hypocrite: I do it too! I fail to do what I know I should be doing, yet, I can get frustrated with “difficult” people. (Okay, now I’m starting to feel the guilt. This is good. This will fix me.)
I’m not laughing anymore, but right now I feel amazingly calm. I’m going to put this behind me too. God mercifully answered my prayer AND I learned a valuable lesson that will go a long way towards curbing my impatience.
Look and Listen
I don’t know why I delay to pray. However, I really needed a comforting word from God, so much so that I was crying as I asked for this very thing.
After I prayed I sat at my desk. I recently finished reading through Ecclesiastes. Feeling lead to start reading Ephesians next, my Bible was open to this chapter. I immediately started to feel calm as I read God’s word, but I cried when I received my answer. (I usually do.)
Do you Journal? I started doing this several years back. When I read, I write out the Scripture that I’m reading, and as things speak to me I make a note, or I draw a box around the words that speak the loudest. For example: In Ephesians it reads,”You heard the true teaching–the good news about your salvation. When you heard it you believed. (Ephesians 1:13)
I doubt my usefulness, but I forget that it only takes someone hearing the truth for them to believe. Why do I doubt? I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing. (Ephesians 1:1) The truth sets people free.
Praise to His Glory
That wasn’t all. Before these words, I’d read this: And God is the One who makes everything agree with what He decides and wants. (Ephesians 1:11) This is hugely comforting. A little further on I read: this will bring full freedom to the people who belong to God, to bring praise to God’s glory. (Ephesians 1:14)
It was after these last words that I wrote this down in my journal:
“Note to Self: Don’t doubt what your heart desires. God gives you these desires. He makes everything agree with what He decides and wants, to bring praise to His glory.”
Love and Grace
The things that I really want (to love others, and for those who don’t know God to know Him) line up with God’s will. He has given us these strong desires. (Psalm 37:5) They are the things that He wanted and planned before the world was made (Ephesians 1:7-10 ; Ephesians 1:3-6 ) because of His wonderful love and grace. (Ephesians 1:5-7)
We speak and write so that people will hear, believe and receive what they need. At the same time He gives us exactly what we need, such as, prompting me to read Ephesians and this trash talk analogy. Nevertheless, we’re easily fooled into thinking that our words fall on deaf ears, but this isn’t the case.
“The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the Lord has made them both.”–Proverbs 20:12
If you have a tendency to doubt your usefulness, too, let’s make a pact to pray without ceasing and then look and listen as we open Scripture before us. God is merciful and His word is powerful. (Hebrews 4:12 ) Taking things to Jesus does clear out all the trash talk that piles up in our heads.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” –Matthew 11:28-30