What is Faith?

Throughout commentaries and articles about the Christian life and walk, you will undoubtedly encounter the word faith over and over again. In the book of Hebrews alone, faith is mentioned 23 times. Christ Himself even said to the woman with an issue of blood, that because of her faith, she was healed.

What does that mean, because of her faith or without faith? What, exactly, does “faith” mean? I know what my faith means, but because it’s something so deep inside of me, I don’t know if I could pinpoint it down to a simplified definition. FAITH feels so much bigger than what the dictionary says to describe it. It’s a state of being, something intangible that we can not point to and say, “THIS is what it is.” It’s also something unique to each individual.

Miriam Webster defines faith like this:

  1. 1a :  allegiance to duty or a person :  loyalty lost faith in the company’s president (1) :  fidelity to one’s promises (2) :  sincerity of intentions acted in good faith

  2. 2a (1) :  belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) :  belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion (1) :  firm belief in something for which there is no proof clinging to the faith that her missing son would one day return (2) :  complete trust

  3. 3 :  something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially :  a system of religious beliefs the Protestant faith

In matters of this particular post and the word of which I’m speaking, faith is the belief  and trust in and loyalty to God. In Hebrews 11 defines faith as the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

faith

What I get out of that, is that faith means that I have a trust and loyalty to Almighty God, Creator of the universe, in whom I hope and believe, despite not being able to see Him. And yet, to me, it is so much more than that. Studying faith in the Bible, I encountered more to the word, more to the substance of my being.

Hebrews 11:6 says that without faith, it is impossible to please God.

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

We must have faith in God — we must believe in, put our trust in, and declare a loyalty to God (thou shalt put no other gods before Me.) Having faith in God, pleases Him. In turn, when we have faith, the Bible is filled with promises:

Answered Prayer

And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing (i.e. with faith), you will receive. Matthew 21:22

Hope, Joy, Peace

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

Access to God

in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him. Ephesians 3:12

Power Over Satan

above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. Ephesians 6:16

Power to Perform Miracles

So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. Matthew 17:20

mustard seed

Knowing that faith (belief and trust and loyalty) in God brings us all of these things, then it makes whatever trials we face easier to take. We know that with access to God, answered prayer, power over Satan, and a flooding with hope, joy, and peace in our lives, we are able to build a firm foundation to withstand whatever this world throws at us.

Beyond knowing we can withstand trials, James tells us to face trials with joy!

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:2-4

Through trials, God is perfecting us, completing us. So, even in the midst of the darkness of hard times, our faith allows us to celebrate them, relish in the way God is perfecting us, and to come out of them better, more than, and righteous. One translation I read said to consider trials a gift, because trials allow our true colors in our faith in God to shine.

This website is called “Faithful” – a ministry created to minister to people who have been broken by divorce, to encourage and support blended families who are coming together and seeking a new kind of wholeness. It’s beautiful to think that through the pain in our pasts and the brokenness and trials we have faced, God was using those times to create through Him His perfect work. Lacking nothing.

trials

1 Timothy 6:11 paints a picture of a mature Christian as pursuing righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and gentleness.  The trials and struggles of my first marriage, the heartache and trials I talked about in my post on brokenness, did not take anything away from me in God’s eyes. Instead, through my faith in Him, He has given me a gift that allows me to look joyfully at those times and know that through it all, and through things to come, He has been, and will continue to be, perfecting me. Instead of allowing a bitter shell to form around my heart, I’m able to continue to pursue those qualities of a Christian in Paul’s letter to Timothy.

It isn’t a snap of the fingers change. Believing in God means to obey His commandments. As you begin to work through what the Bible says about how to live, your faith grows, and as your faith grows, you become closer to God. The closer your grow to God, the more steadfast you become in times of trials, and His work toward your perfection continues.

If you know that what you are lacking is faith, please reach out to someone here at Faithful, because it is our desire to help you grow closer to God and stronger in your relationship in Christ, so that you can be strengthened through the trials you’re inevitably going to face in this fallen world.

 Hallee Bridgeman

Lysa TerKeurst: The Female Response

divorce

How many of you were as shocked as I was by Lysa TerKeurst’s blog post last week? I can raise my hand high. I was more than shocked. But not because she announced she was divorcing her husband of almost twenty-five years because of repeated infidelity and substance abuse. But because what she wrote was so full of hurt, devastation, numbness, and the rigid control we (as women) strive to have when our lives are spiraling out of our control. I recognized her. And I wept openly for her. I understood every emotion she was able to convey through the written word.

My husband wrote a response to Lysa’s announcement in a blog post earlier in the week titled Lysa TerKeurst: The Male Response. One of the main reasons he wrote the post was because after her announcement, the internet was flooded with posts from other women and bloggers, supporting her and praying for her. But there was an underlying panic in almost every post I read. If this could happen to Lysa TerKeurst’s marriage, what hope do I have for mine? 

This is called FEAR. And Satan Loves It.

Scott wrote his post because he has a passion for men’s ministry, and he wanted to know: Where are the men in all of this, and do they worry and wonder about their marriages on the same level that women do?  I encourage you to check out his post if you haven’t already. It’s very insightful, and I’m incredibly proud of him.

I want to address Lysa’s post from a female perspective, and I also want to address some of the other posts I’ve read in response to her blog. I’m going to ask a hard question. If your first response to Lysa’s blog post was fear for your own marriage…If you immediately had the thought, “If this can happen to her, it can surely happen to me,” what you need to ask yourself is where your fear is coming from.

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We’ll get back to that in a minute.

I’ve written several posts about infidelity, protecting your marriage, and the role of sex inside marriage (and what happens when it occurs outside of marriage). You can read those posts here.

I’m sensitive to the topic of infidelity. I was watching an episode of Sherlock the other night, and Dr. Watson was texting with a woman he met by chance on the bus that he was attracted to. The entire time I was watching, my gut was clenched in a tight ball. She’d text him, and you could see the struggle on his face while he decided if he was going to respond. He was tempted and he was flattered. And he faltered. He texted her back. And then he kept doing it. Hiding it from his wife the whole time. As much as I love this show, it struck such a chord with me that I almost had to turn it off.

hide-your-affair

The truth is this: Infidelity is a huge problem in our society. It’s in the movies and television, it’s in the books we read, it’s the every day life of some of the celebrities we follow, and it could be happening with our neighbors down the street or a couple from our small group at church.

We don’t live in a culture where marriage and family are cherished. We live in a culture of instant gratification, where everything we could ever want is at our fingertips. And when we don’t get it “right now,” we become impatient and start looking for the next bigger, better thing. That’s how people treat their relationships as well. People have become disposable commodities. Spouses have become disposable commodities.

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Where is Christ in All of This?

He’s right where He’s always been. Right beside us.

I had the privilege of hearing Lysa TerKeurst speak at the Pink Impact Women’s Conference a couple of months ago. I’ve read her books, watched her YouTube videos, followed Proverbs 31 Ministries for years, and I read her blog. She’s an incredible woman of faith, and her making the decision to divorce her husband was incredibly brave, especially considering how public her life is. I support her, and I’ll continue to pray for her.

But what does God say about marriage?

“That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24

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Marriage is a covenant between a husband, wife, and God. Covenants are different than contracts or promises.

  • Contracts generally have a term limit
  • Most contracts have specific actions that must be taken to be fulfilled
  • Contracts are designed as a way for both parties to “get” something
  • Contracts deal with an “if…then” mentality.

A covenant is a binding obligation between you, your spouse, and God.  It’s not meant to be broken. It’s not meant to dissolve because you fell out of love with your spouse. It’s not meant to be broken because things got too hard. Covenant marriage is an unselfish marriage, where you want the best for your spouse. It’s based on unconditional love, and Christ is the first priority, followed by each other. Covenant marriages require confrontation, confession, and forgiveness.

Before you think I’m coming down on Lysa, I’m not. I’ve been divorced. Scott has been divorced. We’ll never cast judgment from this site, and I can tell you with complete honesty I understand Lysa’s decision to file for divorce. Just like I understood her decision to stay with her husband when she found out about the infidelity the first time.

Lysa has every right to make the decision to divorce. Not because our divorce-happy society gives the approval. But because of God’s Word.

I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.” Matthew 19:9

Her husband broke his covenant with her and God (repeatedly), and from what she wrote in her post, he has no intention of changing his ways at this moment. That’s not to say God won’t change his heart and their marriage won’t be saved in the future. But at this point in time, her husband has made the choice to continue sinning against God and his wife. God gave us free will. He also gives us forgiveness and mercy. But we have to confess and ask for it.

God still performs miracles. I’ve seen them in my own marriage.

Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. Hebrews 13:4

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Let’s talk about the response from women all across the globe at Lysa’s news.

Fear.

Fear of our own marriages failing. Fear of getting the devastating news of our spouse’s infidelity. Fear of be married to your best friend for decades, only to have the bottom drop out from underneath you. After all, if it can happen to a Godly woman like Lysa TerKeurst, then the rest of us don’t have a chance.

First of all, if you have a fear or insecurity like this about your marriage, you need to address it. Where is the seed of fear coming from? Do you suspect your spouse of being unfaithful? Statistics show that 85% of women who have a gut feeling that their spouse is cheating are correct in their assumptions. In my post Security in Marriage, Security in Christ I give tips on how to affair-proof your marriage.

Another reason for fear might be because of issues from your past. If there are issues from your past that are making you insecure in your marriage, it’s time to have open communication with your spouse. There should be nothing in this world that you can’t share with your spouse–that includes fears, insecurities, hopes, dreams, worries, and gut feelings.

doubt-and-fear-ahead

God designed marriage to mirror His image. Just like WE are designed to mirror His image. We should glorify God in everything we do. Especially in our marriage. And people should be able to see glimpses of God within our marriage.

God also gave us marriage so we could have companionship. We talk about the Hebrew word ezer in several blog posts, but it literally means “helper.” Another reason God created marriage was to multiply a Godly legacy.

Look how incredibly important and wonderful marriage is. It’s a huge responsibility, but also a huge honor that God has given us. But it’s an equal partnership. Both spouses need to put Christ first. If they do that, their marriage is going to prosper.

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God is a God of forgiveness and mercy. We’ve all sinned. All of us. And by His blood we are redeemed. The bible is an excellent marriage manual. It tells us everything we need to know. Divorce is not an unforgivable sin. And in Lysa’s case, God has given the provisions to release her from a marriage where the covenant has been broken.

“I am brokenhearted beyond what I can express. But I am more committed than ever to trusting God, His promises, and His plans, whatever they are from here.”

~Lysa TerKeurst

She’s an amazing example of a Proverbs 31 Woman. God is in control, and we continue to lift Lysa and her family up in prayer.

Love and Blessings,

Leah Silverii

Proverbs 31:10-31

A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Lysa Terkeurst: The Male Response

The News

My wife shared an article with me written by Lysa Terkeurst, the founder of Proverbs 31 Ministry. 

We’re both big fans and followers of her site and social media platforms which reach about 40 million people. It’s primarily targeted toward empowering women and family and is a wonderful resource for all.

I’d say that prior to Lysa’s June 13th article, Rejection, Heartache, and a Faithful Godshe, her life and marriage were the standards by which millions of people measured their own. She was a light on the hill for what a true, bible-based marriage, Christian wife, and ministry could look like.

On June 13th she bravely shared she was divorcing her husband of almost 25 years.

She remains that shining light on the hill, and even more so in her brokeness and faithful humanity.

The Female Response

My wife was crushed, as were millions of other wonderful women around the globe. I’ve been reading comments in posts and articles all week about their responses to the news. I’d estimate about 99% of all respondents were very supportive offering prayer and support.

If I were to paint a collective portrait of the sentiments, it would reflect most women expressing fear of losing their own spouses and telling how they hurried to their husbands and hugged them or assured them of their love and adoration for their marriage.

These women cherish their marriages, and instead of spreading hurtful gossip about Lysa’s divorce, they flipped the positive opportunity to assess their own relationships in physical and visceral responses.

The Male Response

While heavily under-represented in comments on her’s or any other social media forum, I’d intuitively say not many men rushed to their wives to embrace them over fear of ending up like Lysa and Art. It’s not that men wouldn’t feel empathy for the Terkeurst divorce, or that men don’t cherish their spouses, but the male condition has become conditioned to the reality of marital failure.

Men aren’t as surprised when the other proverbial shoe does fall. Maybe it’s the hardened shell we build around our hearts as a distorted sort of protective barrier, or we’re culturally encoded to suppress emotions while wrapping our minds around rational next steps in a never-ending session of “what-if” bad things happen.

The reality is that we as men have failed in the business of marriage. A January 2017 study claimed between 50 and 60% of all husbands have engaged in extramarital affairs at some point in their marriage. While difficult to determine data related to infidelity being the actual cause of divorce, studies show 37% (either spouse) occur as a result of cheating.

I’d add that while the legal justification for divorce is usually listed as no-fault or irreconcilable differences as a means to get the marriage dissolved as quick as possible, data suggests infidelity is involved at a substantially higher rate than reported. In most states, infidelity is difficult to prove. Many factors prevent either spouse from launching that allegation for reasons ranging from embarrassment to legal settlement.

Despite the data, collectively, men have not equally carried marriage’s yoke. The principle of pursuing marital purity isn’t openly accepted or discussed in masculine circles. Men look at a guy like Art and hope they either don’t get busted in whatever they’re engaged in, or wonder how they’d carry on if their marriages ever fell apart.

Mentoring Men

Unfortunately, men aren’t mentored on how to be husbands. We say “I do,” and then do. But do what? That’s where we drop the ball. Unless we’ve had a strong God-centered teaching on the reality of Adam’s Genesis 2:24 merging of two into one, then chances are, men mistake the verse as combining two resources such as bank accounts or furniture into one.

Without mentors, we do as we see. What men have seen over the last decades are their parents divorcing, fathers abandoning the family by either choice or heavily-burdened custodial requirements, temporary live-in love interests helping raise the kids, and Herculean single-parent efforts to maintain a sense of balance.

These dynamics also create injury for the kids, and where the male child is physically, emotionally or spiritually wounded by their dad, the pain often manifest itself into efforts to medicate it as an adult through alcohol, drugs, sex, pornography or suicide.

Male Infidelity

Lysa shared that Art’s continued substance abuse and infidelity were the major factors leading her to divorce him. While saddened at Lysa’s news, I wasn’t shocked. Cheating runs rampant, and despite the “easy way out alibi” that men just want more sex, there are actual reasons why men act out sexually.

It’s the failure to identify and address the cause that chains men to the bowels of hell through sexual bondage. Sneaky secrets or salacious lies are the devil’s tactics for trapping men and destroying families.

I’ve written on male infidelity in Why Men Cheat, and Men, Stop Cheating. Both may be worth your time to explore, and reference if you find yourself in similar scenarios. There’s also a confidential survey assessment in Why Men Cheat you can take to determine your risk of sex addiction.

But How?

What shocked most were that they appeared to have centered their marriage on Christ first. So how could this happen to people who love God and serve Him? How could God allow that to happen? Lysa’s such a shining example of a strong Christian woman, why would God do this to her, doesn’t He love her anymore.

The above were a few collected comments from articles about the news. The reality is, bad things happen to good people. Another truth is that good people do bad things. While I don’t know either Lysa or her husband Art personally, these truths are universal. God allows His children free will. Otherwise we’d roam the earth like the rest of the beasts of the field chewing cud and mindlessly responding to exterior stimuli.

God did not punish Lysa, and He certainly still loves her very much. We are free to choose our own paths, and it’s God’s desire that we come to Him to enjoy a deep, loving relationship. Unfortunately in Art’s case, as that of many spouses, their desire leads somewhere between a high and an illicit sexual encounter.

Just because Lysa became yet another victim to the ravages of satan’s war waged against marriage doesn’t make her any less of an example. In time and through God’s grace, this will allow her an even greater compassion for people, faith and now recovery from divorce.

In The Beginning

This began long before Lysa and Art.

God loves marriage. He created it to mirror the relationship He wants to have with us. The creation of man and then the gift of man’s helper, woman, was in fact the first marriage in the history of the world. It’s why Adams said:

“For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife;

and they shall become one flesh.”

Genesis 2:24

Neither Adam nor Eve had ever sinned. They lacked the capacity to understand the concept or question the consequences of going against the will of God. Yet, because of the gift of free will, they chose to reject God’s one command. Eat all you want, but leave that tree for Me (to paraphrase.)

They coveted what God solely possessed, and they sinned in their selfish desire to have what God had. They in turn placed God’s will behind their own desires and feasted on the forbidden fruit. Sin separated them from intimacy with God, and with each other.

Men continue to relive this act of defiance, oath breaking and covetousness each time they flirt, text, bait-click pornography, steal a simple kiss at the after work happy hour, or commit to long-term or repeated sexual affairs.

Satan hates marriage because it is the direct reflection of God’s loving relationship with us. It’s why the serpent immediately attacked the first couple with the temptation of something bigger and better than what God had given them. Isn’t it telling that although history tries to blame Eve for bringing down Adam, he was right there as the deception occurred.

Remember, he was the one who spoke of two becoming one flesh. Where there was Eve, there was Adam. He failed her as the spiritual head of their household. Adam allowed his desire for the fruit God forbade to fail in shielding his wife from the consequences of evil. Worse, when confronted by God, Adam blamed the one person who he previously claimed was his cherished own.

Do you see the similarities? Art’s willful desire for sex and substances places them above his passion for God, and therefore his wife. The substance abuse and sexual sin become his god (lower case g) while he failed to protect Lysa from the consequences of his sin. Also, the secretive nature is not unlike Adam’s attempt to hide from God before he was confronted.

In the end, we’ve really not progressed very far from the creation story.

The Hope

God created marriage. There is no coincidence that He places emphasis on the act of marriage. The bible begins with a marriage, Jesus’s first recorded miracle occurred at a wedding, and the bible ends in Revelations with a wedding supper.

God also created sex to be enjoyed within the blessings of that marriage. God has never been shy about husband and wife enjoying each other’s bodies, nor has He minced words about the consequences of sex outside of marriage. Here’s a few bible verses to hammer these points home:

“Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled,

for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.”

Hebrews 13:4

“The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.”

1 Corinthians 7:3-4

“Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.”

1 Corinthians 7:1-2

Men can reclaim their place as the spiritual head of their households, but it will never happen as long as we conduct ourselves outside of the boundaries of marital purity. Wives deserve better than to follow the lead of a corrupted spirit. Consider that your wife is God’s very own cherished daughter. That makes Him your father-in-law. Do you really think God will allow her to be deceived without detection?

Men, if Lysa’s reality doesn’t cause you to rush into your wife’s arms and reclaim the bonds of holy matrimony, then focus on your own. If you have been unfaithful, you should begin with confession and prayer. Concealing your affair isn’t the answer.

Studies show that 60-75% of couples who’ve experienced betrayal stay together. Confession, counseling and accountability in many cases lead to a deeper, more loving marriage. The process through programs like the Conqueror Series is also vital for helping men understand the core causes of their destructive behavior.

Men, there is never judgement in my message. I only share what God places on my heart. God meant for us to be kings and conquerors, but instead we behave like cowards and saboteurs. Your family will only ever be as strong as you are. Are you ready to be strong in Christ for your family?

Keep the Terkeurst family in your prayers.

Lead from the front,

Scott

Do We Really Give a Care… or a Prayer?

Read through to the end to hear an amazing story of perpetual prayer.

Jeremiah 33: Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.

I recently attended a prayer meeting called a “solemn assembly.” It’s named solemn as the needs in the community and around the globe are many and serious. We broke off into small groups and were given specific prayer topics.

Topics included prayer for strong marriages, local government officials, schools, addictions, churches, neighbors, farmers and small businesses, etc.

As with most prayer meetings, it began with a time of worship and repentance, and concluded with a time of worship.

Strange thing is that the solemn nature turned to outright celebration during the worship in the end, at which we collectively marvelled.

What’s the reason we went from solemn to celebratory, regardless of how the prayers are answered? We know the ending and the One who holds the future, of course!

We know how the story ends. We know there is hope and justice and eternal peace and celebration. We believe in the power of prayer.

Persevering in Prayer: For What Do We Really Care?

Certainly, as Christians we can all relate to peaks and valleys in our personal prayer life, but we’re going to deal a bit more with corporate prayer as well here.

As a school teacher and church goer, I have a former pet peeve, partly because I’m just as much to blame. On Labor Day Sundays, we would have a special prayer time at the service, praying for our churched kids to be salt and light when they went back to public schools for a new year, and that was that. No more corporate prayer on the topic until the next year’s Labor Day Sunday.

We regularly pray for that which we really care! In the latter example, did we really care that our students were so bright and “flavorful” that they attracted others to Christ, or that they maintained their own faith?

Our church went through a strategic planning process with an authorized, legitimate strategic church planning company. Initially, it involved some heavy assessment and scrutiny regarding our present condition. It induced or generated our core values. I recall being on the board and devastated that prayer wasn’t one of our core values. I felt like we should close the doors (or at least make prayer a projected core value!).

The Truth Project from Focus on the Family has a slogan: “Do you really believe that what you believe is really real?” The main point being that if you really believe in something, then it will affect the way you live your life, whether privately or publicly.

I think the same could be said for prayer. Yes of course if you really believe in the power of prayer, then you’ll pray. But just as importantly, whatever is really important will be the topic of your prayers.

We had a professor at seminary who challenged us once with, “We don’t really care for the lost like we say we do. If we think hell is real and the stranger at the mall is going to hell, then we’d be in a constant state of prayer right then and there!”

1 Thessalonians 5:  17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Pray without ceasing? That’s a challenge. But one we must strive to achieve.

Power of Prayer

I taught with a colleague who claimed that her youth group produced an inordinate amount of pastors and missionaries. I asked her the secret formula of this youth group. A superstar youth pastor? Her claim was that a group of adults committed to praying earnestly and regularly for the spiritual strength and endurance of those youth.

Our church supports missionary families in central America. These self-sacrificing families develop programs and self-sustaining businesses with youth at a Bible college. They also arrange short-term trips for traveling groups like us in our church.

There is an amazing testimony at their campus. There is a prayer tower or fortress that houses a 24-hour prayer vigil which has proceeded non-stop since October 31, 1998. Perpetual prayer for nearly twenty years!

No wonder they have invaded Latin America and beyond with the gospel to the youth and all ages!

Philippians 4:  do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

From the Savior, Master Teacher and Great Physician Jesus, who knows what’s best for us:

 Matthew 21:  22 And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.

In conclusion, we don’t need to fret about praying about the proper topics or saying the right words. We have supernatural help in prayer endeavors:
Romans 8:  26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.

Whatever the reasons or whatever the answers to prayer, the theology is that our God desires our prayers. We have the privilege to talk to the Creator of all life. He doesn’t shut the door, and He keeps the prayer lines open. No matter the circumstances, persevere in prayer.

Matthew 7:  “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.