Friday, 27 December 2019

Uncomfortable Prayer

Proverbs 12:25 Anxiety in a person’s heart weighs it down, but a good word cheers it up.

      Teresa of Ávila said, "More tears are shed over answered prayers than unanswered ones."
      Praying God's will for your life can be uncomfortable. God might ask you to do something that seems to be an enormous request. Nonetheless, it has been asked. When Jesus was praying in the garden of Gethsemane, it was not a pleasant time. It was a time to come to grips with why Jesus came to earth. Luke 22:42b Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done. The courage it took for Jesus to say, "Your will be done" was immense. 

      God may ask you to forgive someone for doing something so heinous and brutal, even though the brutality affected your life. The Lord may ask you to sacrifice something that means so much to you. No matter the degree of difficulty in the natural, we still have to come to God in prayer, and it may be very uncomfortable. God is moved by faith and not the hardships we are going through. Heb. 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
      I had a discussion with my uncle who is having a hard time forgiving two people in his life. One of them is dead, and the other is alive. The interesting thing is that the one who is dead, has so much power over my uncle's life, even though this person is no longer on this earth. The bitterness and resentment my uncle is feeling are being controlled by someone long in the grave. My uncle was being weighed down in anxiety because he could not forgive the past. Prov. 12:25a Anxiety in a person’s heart weighs it down.
      I explained to him - as uncomfortable as it is, he is going to have to forgive the actions that were done to him many years ago. God was asking him to forgive a dead man so that my uncle could be set free to go on living. "This is not an easy prayer," he said. The discomfort came when it was clear that my uncle wanted grace for himself but the judgment of God on those who had hurt him. He only started to get his peace when he asked God to help him forgive the living and the dead. I heard someone say, "What the tongue promises, the body must follow." If the tongue forgives, the body, soul, and mind will heal.
      We would not need a saviour if we could do all these hard things on our own. We need our Lord's help in all our lives and all that we do. Phil. 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Whether we need deliverance from sin we participate in regularly, or we are dealing with a monstrous challenge in our life, we need to get down to some prayer time with the Lord no matter how uncomfortable it seems. 
      When Daniel was in the lion's den, it was not a comfortable place to pray from or situation to be in. But all he could do was pray. When Jonah was in the belly of the great fish, it was most definitely not a comfortable place to pray or be in. But, again, what choice did Jonah have but to pray? Jonah 2:1 Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from the belly of the fish. After being whipped and chained in the deepest dungeon, Paul and Silas prayed and praised God in the discomfort of their pain and humiliation. These people prayed uncomfortable prayers in uncomfortable times but ended up in the comfort of the Holy Spirit.
      Our Heavenly Father may be asking us to do some hard things. It will take prayer and we may not have a nice comfortable closet to pray in. We may be in the depths of our despair, pain, or suffering. The discomfort might even be palpable. Nonetheless, what else are we going to do? Psalm 121:1 I look up to the mountains— does my help come from there? 2 My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth! That is it, saints. We keep looking to God in all our trials and hard times.
      We may be in a place of uncomfortable prayer because of a terrible situation. But, when a good word comes from God, our hearts will lose the anxiety that weighed it down. We will rise in the confidence of our God who loves us. 1 John 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: 15 and if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
      Father, we press into your eternal love and guidance. Many of us are going through very hard times and need your help. We ask for your help, courage, and strength as we go through the valley of shadows with our Lord and Saviour Jesus. We thank you, Lord, that through Christ, we have the victory for our lives, now and evermore. Amen!

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