Closing the Gap 6.12.18

Week 23 “Pray Constantly” Day 2

Pray:

Ask God to reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.

Read:

1 Thess. 5:16-18 Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Reflect:

Continual joy, prayer, and thankfulness are linked together like the molecules that combine to make water. These three choices come together to shape a clear picture of God’s will for you.  People will often search frantically to discern God’s unknown will on the particulars of their lives. Who to marry, what to do vocationally, whether to make major purchases, where to go to school, where to live, or what church to join.  It is odd that sometimes these same people are not as diligent to pursue the known will of God for their lives… which is to keep on being joyful, praying, and giving thanks. This is clearly the will of God for your life. Continual joy is a by-product of living in his presence in prayer.  Giving thanks in all the circumstances of your life flows naturally from living in his presence and experiencing his joy. This kind of life is available to you. You don’t have to wonder about it or say, “If it be your will, I would like to pray more, live in your joy and be thankful.” It is his will, now move more faithfully and diligently into his will for your life.  You can be sure that if God is all for something, then all that remains is for us to be all for it as well.  He could keep us from this kind of life, but he won’t. We can keep ourselves from this kind of life, though, and we often do.  Close the gap. Move further into the will of God for your life – an ever joyful, prayerful, and thankful life.

Pray:

(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)

Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today.

 

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Denise Hulse says:

    These verses have been my life focus and goal for many years now. And because they were critically important to every area of my life I concentrated on keeping them even in extremely difficult circumstances. The result was God’s peace and joy in the midst of whatever was going on. I just returned Monday morning from a nine day trip (cruise) with my 18-year-old granddaughter. Although it was made abundantly clear to her in advance that she had to stay with me every moment that we were off the ship, and let me know exactly where she was when we were on the ship and exactly when she would be returning to me she chose to disregard the latter the entire time we were on the boat. I was frantic whenever she would disappear for hours at a time, especially late at night, without letting me know where she was and if she was OK. As a result, even though she had an amazing time on the cruise I was constantly stressed to the max. I didn’t realize until afterwords how much my worry had made a lie of my belief in the importance of these verses, which had been such a bedrock to me. I did pray continually for her, But I left out the commands to be joyful always and to give thanks in all circumstances. Instead of surrendering her completely into God’s hands, acknowledging how much He loved both her and me, and His control over all the universe, and thus experiencing His peace and joy I chose frantic anxiety and control instead. I know that He has forgiven me, but what an opportunity to grow in faith and to honor God I missed out on by not remembering to practice what I know to be true. How timely your devotional is to me today. Thank you.

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