Never Give Up in Prayer

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“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

Have you ever felt like giving up in your prayers for a certain person or about a particular issue? Maybe his or her heart seems too hard to ever desire a change or maybe that issue seems impossible and beyond all reasonable hope. You may feel like your prayers aren’t making a difference at all.

We’ve probably all experienced discouraging thoughts like these at some point or other. When we grow discouraged, when we grow weary in our prayers, let’s remember that “…nothing is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:47)

The next time we lose heart, let’s be honest with the Lord and ask him to refresh us. Let’s share our burdens with one another and encourage each other. Let’s determine to keep looking for the harvest. Let’s determine to never give up.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21 NIV

*Is there something or someone I can join you in prayer for today? Please feel free to share in the comments.

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter which includes a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, came out last week. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is free and to the right!

*I hope this slightly revised encore post from January 2011 was a blessing to you today!

*Flickr photo by ^@^ina (Irina Patrascu Gheorghita ), Creative Commons License

Midweek Morsel: We Flourish Because God Blesses

438756167_fcc0efd8ab_z“Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundredfold because the LORD blessed him.” Genesis 26:12

When we flourish, when we experience success and reap a hundredfold the way Isaac did, who gets the credit? If we’re not careful, we can get caught up in the way the world thinks. We’ll either think we just got lucky or we’ll start thinking our success resulted from all the smart decisions we made or all the things we did right.

Yes, the seeds of success are planted because of hard work—we reap because we sow. My own experience is testimony to that. I wouldn’t have a book coming out later this year if I had not done the hard work of writing and revising and polishing that book and if I had not taken years of steps towards securing an agent.

But when the seeds that we plant grow, when we reap in bounty, when we flourish, it’s because God blesses us. God blessed me with doors finally swinging open. He is the one who blessed me with an agent. He is the one who, against extremely high odds, opened a door at BroadStreet for me. And now as I move into a new phase of doing the best I can to help market my book when it releases, I need to remember that he holds this step in his hands as well. Any blessing that results will come from him.

Yes, friends, let’s remember who gets the credit for blessings in our lives.

“I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.” 1 Corinthians 3:6

*How has God blessed your efforts lately?

*Don’t miss out on the One-More-Chance Starbucks Giveaway. Deadline to enter is Feb. 10th!

*The latest issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, came out this week. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is free and to the right!

*Flickr photo by Frank Hamm, Creative Commons License

Sowing in Tears

13153221935_58034d137e_z“Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him.” Psalm 126:5-6

What does it mean to sow in tears? I’m sure there’s more than one way to interpret these verses, but one thing I think of as I read them is prayer.

We sow seed as we pray for those who have never come to faith in Christ. We sow as we pray for those who have drifted away from God and as we pray for the needs of our churches. But how earnestly do we intercede for these deep needs?

When was the last time our tears flowed or we experienced internal anguish as we prayed for a family member, a friend, or someone else’s loved one to give his or her heart to the Lord? When was the last time we wept over a people group deluded by a false religion? When was the last time we sowed in tears?

If we’re not careful, our prayers can be half-hearted or superficial. To sow in tears we must take time to care. We must open our hearts and love people. If we do this, their separation from God for eternity will surely drive us to our knees — and to tears.

So yes, we will feel sorrow, but the Word tells us we will also “reap with songs of joy.” And when it comes to the salvation of a soul, one song of joy will be worth a thousand tears.

“I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers . . .” Romans 9:2-3

*Have you had the blessing of reaping with songs of joy after sowing in tears for someone?

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, will come out next week. Sign-up is free and to the right. Also have added the option to receive my blog posts by email as well as RSS feed now. See right sidebar.

*Update: Due to an unexpected family situation, I didn’t get to go on the Beautiful Feet Mission Trip I told you about in my last post.

*Flickr photo by MarLeah Joy, Creative Commons License