Obviously, as long as a husband or wife or church member has in their minds, a ‘way of escape’ when the ‘hard times’ come… the probability of taking that way out is great. The ‘bigger’ Jesus is in your life, the less likely you are to ‘bail out’! We have to get this settled. We just don’t quit! Well, saying it, ‘don’t make it so!’ So how can we ‘make it so’?
In this and the next few articles we will be looking at: Prayer (Help me Lord!!), Commitment (we are ‘glued’ to each other), Patience (endurance / giving each other ‘elbow room’), Forgiveness (‘first stone’), Love (agape style), The Holy Spirit (Our Helper), Disagree if you must, BUT…, Practical suggestions like: “Things change”. Why? well, hopefully, these will give us at least some ideas on how to be stronger, “steadfast, unmovable, always abounding” in living the Christian life.
When dealing with each other, with all our differences and ‘baggage’, weakness, and weird ways, we need help. Sometimes we just can’t figure someone out.
Starting place should be prayer. Why?
1. Because of the example of Jesus, (Lk. 6:12; 11:1; 18:1; 22:32)
2. Because of the example of the Pentecost disciples, (Acts 1:14)
3. Because of the example of the early church, (Acts 4:23-31)
4. Because of the example of Paul, Col. 1:9-11
Prayer, has been and still is the great privilege and pathway to the Throne of God, through our Master, Jesus Christ. Does it work?! Absolutely! Can we pray enough? Well, what is enough?
Paul says, “Pray without ceasing.” Why? Because WE NEED TO. Come on, we are human, with failures, weakness, imperfection, needs, and not only us, but we also pray for others. James says, “Is any among you afflicted? Let him pray…. Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him…
And the prayer of faith shall save the sick… and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him … pray one for another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Elijah… prayed earnestly, that it might not rain: and it rained not by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heavens gave rain… ” James 5:13-18
How can prayer help us not quit? Well, when you think of what goes on when you pray there are some things to keep in mind.
Prayer time is a time for you and God. A time when humility is a must. A time when you need not hide anything from Him. (He knows your hurts and secrets anyway.) Usually it is most helpful when you are alone and can simply pour out your heart to Him. If you are struggling with bitterness, and hate, or jealousy, or perhaps just upset over brother or sister ______, or the leadership… Pray for them. This is much better than gossiping about them. Ask God to bless them because they are your brother and sister. Ask God to help you to understand their situation or problem. Ask God to guard your own heart from bitterness and hate. ASK HIM ANYTHING… BUT ASK!
Prayer is a positive move, a cry in faith. Somehow, when you are genuine and real in your prayers, it helps you. It lightens the ‘load’ you have been carrying. However, you have to trust Him. Know for sure, He will do something. It may not be in your time frame (like NOW), BUT He will act. He is just waiting for you to ask. To trust. To lean on him. To humble yourself.
Prayer can help you not quit. But you have to trust Him, and try not to rush into something you may regret. Prayer slows down reactions, and helps us wait on the Lord, and He will show you the right time, and give you the right words. A quick explosive temper, NEVER… NEVER… has good results.
It usually results in hurt feelings… and regrets….
PRAY, PRAY, PRAY