Sunday, September 23, 2012
PRAYING WITH FAITH
My favorite hymn is “Trust and Obey.” The words speak eloquently of God’s promises to bless us. When we look at a hopeless situation with the eyes of faith, we can know that God will turn it into whatever’s best for us. God is faithful. He can turn a seed into a colorful flower. He can turn our seeds of doubt into faith, and when we turn our faith into obedience it will grow—like a colorful flower.
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES by Sally Bair
All Good Things
My granddaughter’s pregnancy included months of morning sickness and other illnesses. She also had low iron resulting in extreme fatigue and low weight gain. She developed the beginnings of a pregnancy-related liver condition that often leads to still births. By God’s grace and the prayers of hundreds, she delivered a healthy and unbelievably hefty eight pound girl. I’m sure the collective sighs of relief could be heard across the country.
Many of us have experienced a good outcome from a seemingly hopeless situation. Others go through tough times, yet choose to believe God’s promise of blessing. A woman I know suffered from cancer and its treatment, yet thanked God for the experience because it changed her entire perspective about life and death.
Other examples show us the value and blessing of prayer, of a positive attitude, and a strong trust that God will turn bitter experiences into blessing. The Bible is filled with examples of answered prayer, of changed attitudes, and of faith.
Although feeling hopeless, Abraham chose to believe God’s promise for a
legitimate heir, even though old Abe was nearly 100 and his wife way past the age of childbearing. In fact, she bore Isaac. He prayed, he focused on the promise, and he believed. Paul the apostle, and Jesus’ disciples who were sent on an evangelism trip, prayed for healing of the sick and deliverance of the demon-possessed. They saw hopelessness, but focused on the power of God’s Spirit and believed.
We can rely on that same power. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6) When we pray, with thanksgiving and belief, His peace will fill us—through even the worst of situations. But prayer and faith require practice. Every time we decide to believe the best rather than the worst, our faith grows a little more.
Paul writes in Romans 8:28: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” God has called each of us to love Him, and consequently others, for His perfect purpose. When our physical eyes see hopelessness, our spiritual eyes can see hope—and good outcomes like the healthy baby God helped my granddaughter deliver.
Lord, as we pray for ourselves and others, we praise and thank You for the good outcomes only You can bring. Give us eyes that see beyond the hopeless to the working together for good. In Jesus’ name, amen.