Read His Words Before Ours!
I have been blessed with amazing parents. The Lord has used them and their examples to shape me in innumerable ways throughout my life.
Sitting down to prepare for this study helped me see another such way they impacted me.
Recently, a friend of mine had unexpected car trouble and needed a ride. As it was the middle of a work day, I could not leave to help. However, I knew my parents might be available. I texted them and quickly got a response they could come to the rescue.
In this scenario, I confidently knew if my parents were not in the middle of another commitment, they would be willing to help. Over the years, they’ve shown their hearts are to serve and demonstrate the love of the Lord in tangible ways.
This pattern enabled me to ask with humble expectation.
Just as I had confidence to ask my parents for help, Paul had confidence to pray according to the proven character of the Lord. His rich history with the Father enabled him to pray with faith and fervency.
That history began when Paul, formerly known as Saul, hunted those who loved Christ. His first encounters with the Lord involved witnessing the faith of those he persecuted. How must Saul have been impacted by the faithfulness of the Lord shown to someone literally suffering for believing in Him?
The road to Damascus encounter shifted Paul’s world, and he became as those he’d once hunted. His knowledge of the law became a foundation for freedom as he learned to walk with the Truth. The fervency with which Saul once attacked Christians became the fervency with which Paul sought to spread the Gospel.
Paul did not lead an easy life. He experienced great persecution throughout his missionary journeys. Beatings, shipwrecks, and imprisonments are only a few of his documented trials. I have no doubt Paul’s understanding of the Lord’s character carried him through every struggle. Because Paul boldly walked with the Lord in his private life, he was able to carry that boldness into his public life. The God he knew first in intimate prayer, was the God he depended on in persecution and trial. Prayer was the undercurrent weaving both together with integrity. Paul captured his encounters, both public and private, in writing so we have powerful examples of perseverance, humility, and faithfulness.
While I haven’t experienced the degree of challenges Paul did, the Lord has revealed His character to me by faithfully walking me through every season of my life. For instance, I waited for my husband for decades (for the record, I did not start counting at birth!). I relied heavily on the Lord and Scripture throughout those years. I believed I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living (Psalm 27:13-14), that He would never leave me nor forsake me (Hebrews 13:5-6), and many other promises in the Word. He poured into me sustaining contentment because I knew He is faithful.
Ironically, but probably not surprisingly, the arrival of my husband presented new and intense opportunities to lean heavily on the Lord’s character and deepen my prayer life. We married as the pandemic shut down the world, and I stepped into an overwhelming whirlwind of change.
In the midst of a season when almost all of my identity markers have shifted, I have rooted myself in who the Lord says I am and trusted He would remain true to His character, bringing to pass what He desired in me. (1 Thessalonians 5:24)
I am deeply thankful for the answered prayer of my husband and all the growth my marriage has already evoked in me. I am even more appreciative that, as my world tumbles into a new normal, the Lord faithfully remains the same. Knowing I can call on Him and will surely find Him enables me to pray with confidence and purpose.
Trust His character and pray with confidence. He is faithful!
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!