Monday, November 19, 2012

A challenge to pray……..

But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.   For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord…”   James 1:6-7 NKJV

Even in the bleakest and most discouraging circumstances, I must not give up easily on prayer.  I must look upon prayer as a challenge, a sort of spiritual dare that the Lord throws my way. 

Look at Ishmael, Abraham’s son through Hagar.   God said to him, “He shall be as a wild ass among men; his hand shall be against every man, and every man’s hand against him.”  (Gen. 16:12) 

What a despairing future!  What a challenge to prayer!

Did Abraham sit down, wring his hands, and accept an impossible situation?  No!  

For thirteen long years he prayed.  He prayed that what God foretold as Ishmael’s natural future would not come to pass, but that instead God would turn the natural course of events in his life and bring about one of those sweet miracles of God, a transformed Ishmael.

God answered his heartfelt prayer for his firstborn son.  “As for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I will bless him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly.”  (Gen. 17:20a) 

No longer a wild ass of a man; Ishmael was to be “blessed.”   No longer a thorn in everyone’s side, he was to be “the father of twelve princes” and the father of a “great nation” (vs. 20b)

I confess, Lord, my sin of hasty impatience and easy discouragement in prayer.

How often I have given up on someone by saying, “He’s too tough a care; he’s beyond help.”   Or I have given up because results were not immediate.  Forgive me, Lord, for the sin of letting natural results happen instead of changing the natural into the spiritual, changing the wild asses into princes.  I look at the father heart of Abraham and say, “Lord, give me a heart like that; let my Ishmael become a prince!”

For with God nothing will be impossible.”  Luke 1:37 NKJV

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