Today’s devotion builds on the thoughts from Sunday’s Sermon – Week 1 of “Compelled – Living the Value of Persistent Prayer” (LISTEN HERE).
18 years ago the prayers started. Perhaps not every day, but often. Prayers for her health. Prayers for her friends. Prayers for her faith. Prayers for her heart. Prayers for her well-being. Prayers for guidance. Prayers for the ability to guide her. Prayers for forgiveness for failures. Prayers for her future spouse. Prayers for safety. Prayers for success in school. Prayers for her to be a blessing to many. Prayers for…many things I’m not remembering.
Today marks our oldest daughter’s 18th birthday. I remember when a neighbor gave us a picture board that started with her birth picture and it felt like the picture that would fill the “18 Year” slot was so far away. I wondered as a parent about the journey ahead and overwhelmed by the responsibility to pour my love, heart, and parenting into another individual.
The Lord has answered many prayers along the way and many still continue. She is healthy, off to college, has a strong faith, good friends, and a mind and heart to be a blessing to others.
Lord, thank you for and happy birthday to our daughter!
We don’t always know the timing or the answer to our prayers, but we are encouraged Be joyful always; 17 pray continually; 18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16)
Never stop. The Lord never wearies of hearing our prayers. Admittedly as a parent, there are times when the requests of your children become wearisome. Now that our oldest is about to head out to college I am treasuring the times she still needs help, advice, direction or input. I hope that never changes.
I guess this is the heart of God. He wants to hear from us regularly and often.
As a parent, sometimes the request is so persistent that you give in just to stop the request from coming. “Yes! You can have ice cream. Just stop asking!” The persistence of the ask often turns into the ask being granted. We are encouraged to have this same persistence when we pray to the Lord. Jesus told a story to illustrate the point:
Luke 11:5 Then he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, 6 because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.’ 7 “Then the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ 8 I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man’s boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs. 9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
Verses 9-10 are a wonderful promise that will keep us praying continually and persistently. Ask, seek, knock…often…regularly.
I am grateful to the Lord for all the prayers he has answered over the last 18 years on behalf of our daughter…it is a small example of his faithfulness to hear and answer the prayers of his children.
Apply: How has the Lord been faithful to you? What prayers have you been “constantly” asking? How has the Lord answered?
Prayer: Lord thank you for the invitation and privilege to pray to you constantly. Thank you for not growing weary in listening, but always hearing the requests of your children and graciously answering for our benefit and blessing. AMEN.
Ever need a simple outline for prayer?
Consider the A.C.T.S. model:
A – Adoration – statements of praise for who God is and what he has done.
C – Confession – acknowledging sin and asking for God’s mercy.
T – Thanksgiving – prayers of gratitude
S – Supplication – praying for people and situations.