A Call to Stand Apart: Day #7

My Prayer:  God, thank you so much for speaking through those closest to me.  I appreciate all of the people that You have placed in my life who care enough to support me when I need them, uplift me when I’m down, encourage me when I’m weary, and even lovingly chastise me when I stray from the path to happiness in You.  I pray that You will continue to use them and bless them, and help me to listen. -Amen

What Blessed Me From Chapter 7:

– “Prayer is opening our hearts to God just as we do with a friend. Prayer doesn’t bring God down to us; it lifts us up to Him (ACS, p. 39).”  ~~ When I started thinking about prayer in this way a long time ago, it made it so much easier to do.  Prayer doesn’t have to be formal and rigid.  Yes…God is holy and we are to respect and revere Him as such, but He also calls us His friend and wants us to communicate openly and honestly through prayer.  It’s not like He doesn’t already know all, but I think of it as a kind of therapy.  It helps us a lot more than it does anything for Him.  It gives us the opportunity to share with Him and release exactly what is it we’re thinking and feeling, to make our requests known to God, to ask for forgiveness for those things we have done wrong… In short, it gives us the privilege to communicate to Him about everything and anything whenever we want.

– “Never be reluctant to pray, for prayer is the key in the hand of faith to unlock heaven’s treasure house. Without regular prayer we are in danger of growing careless and losing our way (ACS, p. 40).”

CONDITIONS FOR GOD TO HEAR AND ANSWER OUR PRAYERS

1. Feel the Need for His Help – “Unless our hearts are open to the Spirit’s influence we can’t receive God’s blessing (ACS, p. 40).”

2. Have Faith – “Jesus said to His disciples, ‘Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.’ Mark 11:24, NIV. Even when we do not receive the exact things we pray for, we need to believe; we need to have faith[…]God is too wise to make a mistake and too good to keep from us anything that is for our best good (ACS, p. 40).”

3. Have a Spirit of Forgiveness – “If we expect our prayers to be heard, we must forgive others in the same way and to the same extent as we hope to be forgiven (ACS, p. 40).”

– “[…] take time for personal, private prayer, for it is the very lifeblood of your soul (ACS, p. 41).

– “What will you talk to God about in your personal prayers? Everything! Your wants and needs, your happiness and sadness, your problems and fears, tell it all to God. He will never consider a single word or request a burden, no matter how long or how much you pray […] Nothing is too small for His interest and desire to help you. If it’s something of concern to you, it’s a concern to Him, too. (ACS, p. 41).” ~~ Isn’t this amazingly comforting???  To know that you can talk to to God about ANYTHING and He is willing to listen, even when nobody else is…for that I am FOREVER and ALWAYS grateful and try to never take for granted…

What does it mean to pray in Jesus’ name? ~~ “To pray in the name of Jesus means more than merely mentioning His name at the beginning or end of a prayer. It means praying in the spirit of Jesus, believing His promises, relying upon His grace, and acting as He would have us act (ACS, p. 41).”

Even with prayer, as with everything else in life, there should be a balance. ~~ “A person who does nothing but pray will soon stop praying meaningfully (ACS, p. 41).”

– “[…] we have an infinitely greater reason to love God than to love our friends, so it should be the most natural thing in the world to make Him first in our thoughts, to talk of His goodness, and to share with others His power in our lives (ACS, p. 41).”

*Feel free to leave your thoughts below*

Next Reading:  Section 1, Chapter 8 – “How to Have Faith” (p. 43-45)

Love and God Bless,

– T

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