Pastor’s Perspective 7-24-18
I know I wrote about prayer in my article last week, but my prayer life has been in overdrive in recent months and I have more to share this week. You’d think at this stage in my life I’d have this prayer thing down pat, but God continues to grow me in this area. Teaching me that patience and persistence in prayer are important parts of the process. That He is God and I am not. That His wisdom and will is more important than mine. And that sometimes He does “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work with us.”
All that to say we found out last Friday that our son and his family are coming back to Fort Bragg. We have been working this possibility since last fall. I can tell you I have bent God’s ear on this for many hours, letting Him know what I wanted, but always praying that His will would ultimately be done. Just when it looked like it wasn’t going to happen, we receive news he got orders. Needless to say, our family is celebrating and thanking God for showing us His favor.
Throughout this ordeal, we never stopped praying for God to do what only He can do. I told my son the Bible tells us “the king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord; He directs it like a watercourse, wherever He pleases.” We needed Him to do that. There are always decisions in life that are beyond our control, but there is nothing beyond His control. Our text in James on Sunday reminds us that we sometimes have not because we ask not. Or we sometimes don’t get what we ask for because we ask with wrong motives. In other words, we are ultimately seeking our will and not God’s. He is under no obligation to answer those prayers. But the Bible also teaches us that sometimes God gives us what we ask of Him just because we ask. And just because of our persistence in asking.
I’ll never forget a father in my first church in rural Kentucky who prayed every night before our week-long revival services for his teenage daughter to receive Christ as her Savior. The services ended and she never came forward. He never stopped praying. Months later, toward the end of my tenure there, Amanda made her public profession of faith. All I could think about was the persistent prayers of her patient father. The Israelites begged God for 400 years to deliver them from slavery in Egypt. They wondered if He heard them. He did. And boy did He deliver them in a way only God can. He still does.
See you Sunday! ~ John