Keep On Believing...God Will Answer Prayer!
This morning, I greet you in the name of my Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ. It is in His name that we are called brothers and sisters. It is in his name that we have hope in today and for tomorrow in spite of our past. It is in his name that we believe in Heaven beyond this earth. We should praise His holy name.
And, how do you praise His name continuously? You pray and you believe.
Two scriptures, not exhaustive but illustrative, tell us that prayer should be central to who we are and what we do in living Christ-centered, God-oriented, Holy Spirit-led lives.
In Luke 18:1, Jesus said, "pray always and not to lose heart. " The Apostle Paul followed up in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, "pray without ceasing".
Beloved, do you do that? When I say pray, do you have a running conversation with God, formally and informally, or do you have situational and circumstantial prayer?
Do you pray when you rise up in the morning and stay connected with God throughout the day, or do you pray when you get ready to eat, when a crisis arises, when you come to church...if you come to church?
There is something affirming, relieving, and uplifting about taking everything to God in prayer. And, when I say prayer, I do mean communication with God. You do not do all of the talking. You let God speak to your mind, your heart and to your spirit.
I want to share two situation
s that are wonderful examples of how God can move in prayer.
Sister Alberta Williams, a loving and devoted mother in our church family, allowed me to share an incredible moment with her and her husband, James, when he was at the latter stages of his life. I came to visit them and Sister Williams said that James loved to sing and they had a favorite hymn, "Keep On Believing". She began the song and would get to the chorus, "Keep on believing, God will answer prayer" and the ending chorus, "Remember God still loves you, and He answers prayer." Brother Williams had one part in the song. Sister Williams would pause at the answer(s) and Brother Williams would sing "prayer". She sometimes had to encourage him and say, "Come on James, you can do it." And, he did it. They continued to believe because they continued to pray. Brother Williams has transitioned to the other side of glory; but, that testimony of seeing God's word being ministered in song will prayerfully never leave my mind.
Beloved, I will never forget that story of evidence of those who believe in God's love that motivates them to pray as Jesus and Paul said to pray, ALWAYS!
Yesterday morning, First Lady and I were praying. We start off praying words of thanksgiving to God for Jesus. We pray for the church universal. We pray for the local churches. We pray for Zion Memorial. We pray for individuals and families. We pray for our own family. We pray for each other. And, we pray for God's guidance throughout the day.
Yesterday, we specifically prayed about a situation concerning our oldest daughter, Olivia. She was waiting to hear back from the University of Rochester Medical School, one of the country's top medical schools. The school has a
n early application for college sophomores and you hear back in your junior year. She was supposed to hear back by the end of September but had not gotten word. We thought the delay might have been related to COVID-19 which has disrupted so much in our world. Well, yesterday morning, after we had finished praying and started on our prayerful, read that as full of prayer, day, we heard loud foot running and yelling. Olivia got an email saying that she was accepted into medical school at the University of Rochester. God had answered the specific prayer that we had been praying about yesterday morning.
Now, we are still praying for God's guidance because we are hopeful that this is just the first acceptance as she will not start making formal application to other medical schools until next summer/fall. But, yesterday, God answered our prayers.
Beloved, what are you praying about that you might have given up on, lost confidence in, had your hopes dashed a bit? Unless God definitively tells you to stop and leave it alone, keep on believing and keep on praying!
God absolutely answers prayer. So, keep on praying!
And, in praying, the scripture encourages us to connect so that we do not simply have a private prayer life. It is also supposed to be in relationship with the saints.
Connect with us at Noonday Prayer today. Even if you cannot stay on the line. Come on. Get your prayer in. And know that we are praying with you and for you.
Also, I encourage yo
u to connect with us for HOPE Wednesday this evening. Our still early journey through Ecclesiastes has room for all. For those who have been connecting, it has been a blessing. Pray about it. Pray before you say what you are going to do or not going to do. Ask God if you should keep on connecting with your church family and learning more about Him, the one true God who you claim as your God, or if you should just find something else to do? I think I know how He will answer but you go to Him yourself. Pray about it.
And if He answers in the affirmative that you should connect with us, SPOILER ALERT - HE WILL, then, without excuse or hesitation, get by the church and get a book from the church secretary.
In God's Holy Word, you have all of the evidence you will need that God wants you to be connected to Him and His people, your people, your church family.
So, pray and connect.
And, remember, God loves you and I love you too!