Transformational Truths

A WORD ABOUT PRAYER

Rahab, in Joshua 2, pleaded with the spies for protection. She was asking them to spare her life and her family.  She knew she was in danger and asked the spies to help because she knew they were the only ones who could help.  She demonstrated an allegiance to the spies by hiding them from the officials.  This kindness to the strangers was an active way to plead with them for mercy. She wanted the spies to spare her own life and the life of her family.  Everyone who came into her house, she wanted to be spared from destruction. 

Prayer is recognizing we need help and calling on the only one who can help. 

In the New Testament, Jesus told a parable of a Widow.  He told this story to teach the people to pray and not to give up.  Jesus wanted to show the importance of endurance in prayer.  The Widow’s story is found in Luke 18:1-8

The Widow continually came to the town’s Judge day after day, beating on his door, and asking for protection from her enemy.  Because the Judge was weary with her continual coming, he gave her what she asked.  Jesus concluded the parable saying, God is much kinder than the “unjust judge” in the story.  Therefore, God would hear and answer those who ask Him for help.

Rahab had never heard the story of the unjust judge, but she lingered with the spies and continued to ask them for deliverance from destruction.  She hid them to buy some time to plead more for her life and the life of her family. She knew God would be destroying the city in which she lived.  She had the only people who could do anything about it within range for them to hear. She didn’t want to miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to ask the only ones who could do anything about sparing her life when the city was destroyed.

We can learn much from the action of Rahab and the parable of the Widow. When we pray, we pray to God. God is ultimately the only one who can do anything about what we need. Sometimes when we pray, we do not know the outcome.  We do not know how it will turn out.  But pray to God always, don’t give up, and diligently ask for help from the only One who can do anything about your situation.

Hebrews 11:31 says “By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.” Rahab welcomed the spies and interacted with them for her own benefit and salvation, and that of her family. When we pray to God, we accept Him, give ourselves to Him, and interact with Him for our own benefit and salvation (or those for whom we pray). We keep praying as the persistent Widow. We know God hears and will answer us.

We can know that when we pray and don’t faint, God will hear and give us what only He is able to do. Jesus solidified this understanding with the following passage: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8

BOTTOM LINE ON A WORD ABOUT PRAYER
— KEEP PRAYING!

Written By: Anne Gurley

Transformational Truths

How To Know God Is With You

Dozens of times we read in the Bible that God said He would never leave or forsake “you” – the one to whom He was speaking.

BUT HOW ABOUT ME? HOW ABOUT YOU? HOW CAN WE KNOW GOD IS WITH US? HOW CAN WE KNOW GOD WILL NOT LEAVE US OR FORSAKE US?

Psalm 9:10 says ” Those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.”

To know that God is with you, you must ask yourself, “Do I seek the LORD?”

To seek something means to go after it. You desire what you are seeking. You diligently run after it to obtain it. The care with which you want God, look for Him, and follow after Him determines how much knowledge you have God is with you.

When you were young and played hide and seek with your friends, you would do some things to “seek” the person who was “hiding”. You would look and listen. You’d span the hiding area with your eyes. Then you’d listen for any stirrings, voices, or breathing that may lead you in the direction of the hiding friend.

Knowing God is with you and seeking Him are very similar. You span your field of view for evidence of God’s presence. You listen for His movement, voice, or wind of influence.

Jesus told the people who believed on Him, “If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed.” John 8:31 Another word for disciple is follower.

Jesus was telling them that as long as they kept listening to Him, they would be following Him. That is how they could know God was with them. We keep following. We keep looking and listening.

So maybe the real question is, “Am I with God?” If I’m with God, then God will be with me. God is the same and has not moved. If we don’t sense God is near, it may be that we have moved.

The more we go after God, the more God will be with us. The more we seek God, the more He will be found by us.

HOW DO WE SEEK GOD?

Jeremiah 29:13 says “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” The first step in seeking the Lord go after Him with all our heart. All our will. All our “wanter”. Let Him and His will be all we need, look for, and desire.

To practice seeking the Lord take these two steps daily:

Read God’s Word – If you do not have a regular habit of reading the Bible, start one today. Set aside a time and location daily where you will Look and Listen for God. You will span the pages of His Word and listen for what He has said to others and says to you today.

Pray Always – Prayer can be known as calling on the Name of the Lord. The name of someone represents their reputation. As you read the Bible, you will be more knowledgeable of the reputation of God. Then you can begin calling on God regularly for Him to bring His reputation and ways in your life and circumstances.

These don’t seem like a lot when it comes to knowing God is with you. One step in seeking for your friend in hide and seek didn’t seem like a lot, but you knew as you took one step, then another, eventually you would come upon the one you sought after. Therefore, the more often you take these individual steps of reading the Bible and praying, the more readily you will come upon the One you seek after. The One who you want to be with you. The One who wants to be with you.

Written By: Anne Gurley