Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 13, 2021
So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him… Peter motioned with his hand for them to be quiet and described how the Lord had brought him out of prison. Acts 12: 5, 17
Prayer is a timesaver. It saves followers of Jesus from unnecessary seasons of anxious worry. It saves an employer from a wrong hire and the valuable investment of time, money and training in someone who does not stay around for very long. It saves a dating couple from a naïve emotional engagement to marriage without counting the cost of a lifetime commitment to love, to respect and to serve each other. Prayer waits for God’s best.
The flesh forces issues when prayer is void in the relational process. A person who is self-motivated but not Spirit led exerts a lot of energy, but can waste a lot of time. A prayerless approach to life and work can easily end up in a focus on the urgent to the neglect of what really matters. Prayer protects you from the clenches of another’s crisis.
“I was ashamed to ask the king for soldiers and horsemen to protect us from enemies on the road, because we had told the king, “The gracious hand of our God is on everyone who looks to him, but his great anger is against all who forsake him.” So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer” (Ezra 8:22-23).
Is prayer the primary focus in your decision making process? Do you rest in the realization that He can be trusted to reveal the way you should go? Do you realize that His truth—though at times counterintuitive—saves you time in the long run? What the Lord is saying may not make sense now, but later as you look back it becomes clearer.
It is not a copout to first pray before you commit—indeed it is a wise filter for decision-making. Our Lord Jesus smiles when His children take the time to save time, by waiting on His understanding in prayer. The prayerless crazy cycle of overreacting in fear and anger only prolongs the pain, while patient prayer applies heaven’s healing process.
So the Lord’s wisdom reminds us: Are you considering a career transition? Then ask God, in what role in my work can I bring you the most glory? Are you facing a difficult financial decision? Then ask Christ, how should I manage Your resources as a wise steward? Are you estranged from a friend or relative? Pray, what can I do to love them in Jesus’ name? Time is a gift from God that requires prayerful use, not fleshly abuse. So, pray well.
“While I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice. He instructed me and said to me, “Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding” (Daniel 9:21-22).
Dear Lord, teach me to pray and trust you with the process, in Jesus’ name, amen.
How can I create a culture of prayer in my life, my family and my work?
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