Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014
Depression (Part 7)
Solutions: Persistent Prayer
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV) *
Pray without ceasing.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NKJV)
In two Parables, The Persistent Widow and The Friend at Midnight, Jesus illustrates the success of persistent prayer.** But why does God want us to ask more than once? If life is a test, perhaps He's testing our faith: Do we trust Him? Will we continue to believe?
Surely, He's testing our patience: Are we willing to wait? From His perspective, maybe things aren't ready. Maybe we have lessons to learn. Maybe the world has a lesson to learn from us. Because our Director sees the big picture, and He must set the stage.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: if you (or a loved one) suffer from depression, pray, pray and pray again. Ask, seek and knock.*** Pray alone, in groups, long distance, up close, but always with faith and heart. 'And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive' (Matthew 21:22). Notice the 'ing' on the end of believe, as in... continue. Ongoing faith is required.
God hears, and He longs to help you... at the perfect time. 'Will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly' (Luke 18:7-8).
Consider also: God allows suffering, but He also promises delivery. It's guaranteed. Your request is being processed. The package is on its way, and it will come.
Prayer is a like a walk to your mailbox through a thorny field. It's a walk of hope. The more you walk, the lower the thorns. In the meantime, you stay in shape, visit with neighbors, talk with your Postman, and receive important notices.
One day, you find the prize package sitting in your house. It came when you weren't looking. Your joy is evident. Your neighbors see it, and they're impressed. They begin posting their own letters, beating down their own thorns, and looking for special deliveries...
Blessings follow persistent prayer.
To Be Continued...
* Consider 'The Message' interpretation of Philippians 4:6-7. It is excellent! 'Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.'
** The Parable of The Persistent Widow: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=luke+18%3A1-8&version=NKJV
** The Parable of The Friend at Midnight: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=luke+11%3A5-8&version=NKJV
*** Short article on the importance of Jesus' directive to ask, seek and knock. http://www.gotquestions.org/ask-seek-knock.html
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Depression series.