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Friday, September 21, 2012

Be Steadfast in Prayer

We're talking this week about fighting worry. Once we make the decision to turn our worry over to God in prayer, guess what’s going to happen? You know it already! We are tempted to take back the worry! We look at the dark storm clouds of life, take our eyes off the rainbow of God's promises and things look bleak again! Didn’t I just turn that over to God? I truly meant it and I truly believed it! Why is it hounding me again? That is the nature of our minds. Like a puppy who is being trained to “stay!”, we waggle our tail of worry and scamper away from trusting God.
Well, there’s another part of prayer: staying power! We will most often need to pray and then keep praying because Satan wants us to change our focus back to worry and fretting. That’s why Isaiah 26:3 is so meaningful. Let’s look at that verse in several translations.
The steadfast of mind Thou wilt keep in perfect peace, Because he trusts in Thee.” (NASB)
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” (KJV)
He will keep in perfect peace all those who trust in him, whose thoughts turn often to the Lord!” (Living)
You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You and hopes confidently in You.” (Amplified Bible)
Notice these words: steadfast, stayed, commits, leans, hopes. Do you get the sense of those words? It’s an ongoing choice. It’s a grabbing hold of God and leaning all our weight into Him moment after moment.
Some time ago, I flipped through the doctor’s waiting room copy of National Geographic Magazine and idly read the letters to the editor column. Then one letter caught my eye. Shari Prange of Bonny Doon, California, wrote, “I enjoyed your article about spiders. One day my husband called me to remove a snake from the carport. ‘There’s no hurry,’ he said dryly. ‘It’s got a spider web growing on it.’ Sure enough. I found a motionless baby garter snake eerily coiled and upright like a cobra as the centerpiece of a spider web. But when I went to remove it, I found it was very much alive! It just couldn’t pull free from the web. I brushed it off and released it. I’ll bet that spider is still dreaming about the big one that got away.” (December 2001, Forum Column)
My first reaction was: why did her husband call her to remove the snake? Larry never would have called me! I’m afraid of snakes. But then I saw the spiritual application: our prayers are as powerful as that spider’s web. We can contain our worry through trusting God, by believing He is big enough and powerful enough to handle our problems and concerns.
How's your staying power? Don't be discouraged if you have to continue to turn the same worry over and over again to the Lord. That's the process of being steadfast!

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