Prayer SufferingQUESTION: Prayer Suffering - A Prayer for YouANSWER:
Prayer Suffering -- Insights from God’s Word
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that His life may be revealed in our mortal body. - 2 Corinthians 4:7-11Prayer Suffering -- Perfecting Us
Prayer: My King, at this moment and in this place, it is very easy for me to acknowledge my need to be consumed by Your love and Your perseverance. On my own I would surely trust only in my own abilities to overcome -- to "get through the dark night of my soul." Your response to my dilemma is to trust You -- and to "seek after righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" (Romans 14:17).
There is nothing this world can throw at me that cannot be turned to good for Your kingdom purposes. You have proven this over and over again to me. I am beginning to see that my struggles have become so commonplace -- that they are the only path on which I now feel comfortable. These days I realize I only seem to learn Your lessons in the process of my struggles -- which I think says a lot about my own stubbornness.
This morning I sense a new season dawning. I sense in some way that the training ground on which I have been walking is finally turning into freedom and release. I sense an empowerment coming from You -- not just with me -- but also with those for whom I pray.
It is easy to see through my studies that I am not alone in this. You have used this process many times -- in many men and women of God -- down through the ages. As with many of them I have learned that it was not the struggles that would have destroyed me -- it was my pride and arrogance at thinking I could handle these struggles on my own.
I praise You, Jesus, that You have taught me there is no shame to be found in struggling -- rather these struggles have proven to be my wilderness testing ground. I still wish it could have been a different path -- but the end result of becoming completely dependent on You has proven to be the key to my ability to persevere and to finally overcome.
O how I love You, my King. You have had my back for a very long time now -- and I can only send up a chorus of praise and thanksgiving to a God who is truly personal and truly "real". I am astonished to recognize, even as I pray, that You have truly set me free from complacency -- as You directed my path right into the center of Your divine will -- largely without my realizing what You were doing.
This morning I can see by laying down my life at the foot of Your cross -- You became my greatest treasure. As Your Word teaches, You have made it possible for Your surrendered ones to see Your greatness -- a greatness that only comes as we give it over to You -- so that Your nature can be seen in all of our comings and goings.
One of the golden nuggets that I pulled out of my journals this morning reminded me that even though I cannot see the perfect end product You have designed -- I am still experiencing a perfection of sorts every single day -- if I will just look for it. Your dictionary version of perfection -- and mine -- is very different, but I am finally learning to trust Yours -- and that is a very big step of faith for me.
So I pray, Jesus, that You will continue perfecting all of us according to Your purposes. It is after all Your right to turn us into people of love, grace and mercy -- so that the end result of our days on this earth -- will be stored treasures in heaven -- lasting throughout eternity. I pray also that anything in my life that does not bear lasting fruit, be stripped away so that my focus can remain on Your kingdom needs.
I also pray today that anyone who is praying this prayer will recognize for themselves that they also need to bow their knees in prayer -- as You will not force Yourself on us. We must learn to ask -- so You can work through us -- otherwise we are incomplete and in many cases left wounded and even dying on the battlegrounds all around us.
You have left us much work to do since You went to the Cross -- so for my part, I humble myself and pray -- seeking to pick up my cross today -- so You can be revealed through my life to all those who are lost and confused. To You be the glory!Prayer Suffering -- Making it Personal
Reflect: Many people are called by God in these times to dust their wounds off and get back in the game. You have probably experienced many struggles in recent times -- that have really been for a divine purpose. You may have not been able to understand it all, but I can confidently say that if you are learning to trust God at a different level of faith, you have succeeded. God does not want us to waste any more time in "fruitless" pursuits -- so He often teaches us through struggles. Like you I wish I didn't have to learn that way, but I am profoundly grateful that I have continued to persevere and continued to mature. The only things that will last -- are the things that come from being united with Jesus. It is not your standard of perfection that matters, it is His -- and it is different for each one of us. Fight against fear and manipulation -- tend to the soil of your faith -- and trust God to get you through as He teaches you to overcome and persevere.