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PRAYING IS THE HARD WORK

PRAYING IS THE HARD WORK

Jessica Albritton, Family Connections Minister, LHBC

Ephesians 6:10-12
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 

There have been times in my life where things have not gone according to plan. The most recent example of that was a mission trip. For over a year we planned it down to the very last detail, but with all that planning nothing could have prepared us for what happened when we got there. We had a total of 3 teams and 3 sites. One we were to host a BKC, prayer walk and do some evangelism, another site was a painting job for an elderly woman, and the last was some minor repairs for a disabled lady. We packed the tools we thought we needed and set out but once we got there we were surprised to find obstacle after obstacle and a host of challenges. The BKC was a total bust as no kids came to the neighborhood park and the site we thought was just painting turned out to be a much bigger job than anticipated. Teams 2 and 3 wound up combining in order to take on the unanticipated project. On day 3 the first team decided to skip the un attended BKC and head to site 3 in order to help out the other team and get the job done. It seemed like every time we turned around we were hit with another unexpected challenge, including 2 trips to the hospital. At the end of the week we were all exhausted and mentally drained and too tired to even think. It was hands down the hardest trip I have ever taken and I am not ashamed to say once we finally got home and I was able to shower and climb into bed I had myself a nice long good cry about it. I just remember feeling so helpless with no control over anything. All I wanted to do was fix it but there was no fixing anything. The only thing we could do was pray, and let me tell you, we prayed constantly. On one of the nights while in the hospital watching a student as she slept I was praying over her and I told God, “I just want to DO something… praying feels inadequate, I just feel helpless and useless…” And then it hit me. I was doing something. You know, praying is hard work… It’s hard because we have to admit that we can’t do anything in our own strength and have to rely on a God who can! That’s easy to say when things in life are going smoothly but in the middle of chaos it’s a hard pill to swallow. 

1 Thessalonians 5:17 reminds believers to pray without ceasing. Philippians 4:6-7 tell believers to not be anxious but in every situation pray with thanksgiving to the God of peace. Praying is laborious and necessary. Scripture reminds us in Ephesians that as believers we are targets of principalities and powers and the only hope to combat them is prayer to the Father. When we are not in prayer we fall prey to the evil force of darkness, but when we pray to Jesus those principalities and powers have no choice but to fall at His feet. 

What about you? Are you in a season of unknown? Are you facing something too big? Friend, I have great news, it’s not too big for the God we serve! He is bigger and He is better! Take the fight out of your hands and place them into the hands of the God of peace! 

PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Heavenly Father, this world is too much for me without You! Lord, give me peace in the unknown and eyes to see You working in every situation! Lord, when we pray it is not in vain, help me to remember that! Help me to rest in You and Your strength and power and not in my own. In Jesus name, amen!

MEMORY VERSE FOR THE WEEK:
Ephesians 2:8-9:
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.