#scriptures written out at end of devotion#
One day, I was praying through the house anointing the door posts with oil.
Lost in prayer that God would touch my loved ones and friends; I knew that I was alone and could pray without hindrance or interruption.
Prayer consumed me as I poured out my heart to my Lord. As I walked through the kitchen door, anointing the doorposts as I went, my kitty awoke from her nap and decided it was time to play.
Troublemaker (appropriately named–) jumped off the top of the refrigerator onto my shoulders! Oh. My. Mercy. Sakes. I screamed, I yelled, I danced flailing my arms and finally fell breathless onto a chair.
I’m always happy to feel God’s presence but; not EVERY feeling is from God. There’s a lot to be said for–discernment. Mercy. Sometimes, when I pray, God’s presence IS so real. At other times, it seems my prayers hit the ceiling and fall back to my feet. How can I make sure my prayers are effective, since ‘feeling’ is not a reliable reference?
One of the first things I do, before praying, is ask God’s forgiveness for my sins. We all have sin, if we think we don’t, we are lying to ourselves (I John 1:8). Through the blood of Jesus, we are brought back into relationship with God. (Romans 6:23)
If there is a damaged relationship, a fuss or fight with another person, Jesus said to take care of that before I pray (Mark 11:25). If there is a problem in my marriage, my prayers can be hindered (I Peter 3:7). It’s important that I come into God’s presence with a pure heart; without the hindrance of broken relationships.
One thing I must remember is that God is sovereign. He works through circumstances, relationships, conflict and experience to make us into the vessels He planned for us to be. Sometimes it is the hurts in our own life that make us sensitive to the needs of others (II Corinthians 1:3-5).
When my heart is pure through the blood of Christ, my prayers are answered. It doesn’t matter what my eyes see or how I feel, Hebrews 11:1 says faith is the evidence of what we know; that God is faithful.
Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
Prayer: Father God, I love you and I want my prayers to be effective. Help me to know through your Spirit and personal Bible study, the things that hinder my prayers. Forgive me my sins and teach me your ways. Amen.
1 John 1:8-10 (NIV) If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.
Romans 6:23 (NIV) For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in[a]Christ Jesus our Lord.
Mark 11:25 (NIV) And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.
I Peter 3:7 (NIV) Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.
II Corinthians 1:3-5 (NIV) Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.
Hebrews 11:1 (NIV) Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.