â€œMy sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.â€ John 10:27-30 (NIV)
1) For the most part God works from the top down. By that I mean, He does not seem to miraculously intervene in situations. And yet most times in the prayer â€“ on my knees â€“ the miracle of faith happens. The strength to endure, the faith to go on even when I can not see, the grace to extend my hand when I can not do it alone, and the joy to live each day in a fallen world â€“ all are miracles from God.
2) Like a parent watching as their child chooses destructive paths, so God watches with compassion and love as the world chooses to inflict pain and suffering.
â€œO Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!â€ Luke 13:34 (NIV, my emphasis)
3) Jesus knew the cost of divine restraint â€“ the personal cost of letting the world have its way. Redemption comes with pain not avoiding it. Jesus knew about Sunday morning but it seemed very remote on Friday afternoon!
Peter was sifted and appeared to be a cowering, denier of Christ. But in 1 Peter we see the redeemed encourager who testifies to the power from Jesus Christ that is available in the midst of trials.
4) Prayer is important. Jesus did it. He did it, I think, to show me how to do it! Whether it is in grief, joy, trials, suffering and pain, Jesus shows me that prayer is where I will find, if not answers, I will find peace and encouragement and wisdom. Paul, learned theologian, also encouraged prayer and crying out to God. He, too, found that God will not always stop the trials but God will always be there and never leave. Prayer. Jesus is still doing it…for me.
Therefore he [Jesus] is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Hebrews 7:25 (NIV)
If I take time to eat every day, sleep every day, exercise my brain and my muscles, how much more important it is to take time for my spiritual health. Let us take time today…to pray.