I really love going to night church and last night especially. It was the second part of a two part sermon that John did and I missed the first one, so I was glad he did a review. It was on God's sufficient grace in trials and it was so uplifting. It was one of those messages where I feel like I just want to sit there forever and stay in that frame of mind. It's so easy to get up and get involved in a conversation with somebody that doesn't have anything to do with the message and then forget what you just heard. Anyway, we were reminded about how we are often driven to times of intense prayer when we are faced with a very difficult trial and, in a way, it's a sad commentary on our lives that it takes something like an extremely difficult trial to bring us to that point of such dependence on God.
This reminded me of something that I have been thinking and reading about recently. God tells us all throughout the Bible to pray to Him and to bring our requests before Him. To bring everything before Him. And He tells us that if we ask Him anything in His name (according to His will) He hears us and answers us.
Matthew 7:11 "If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!"
Luke 11:13 "...how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!"
Matthew 21:22 "And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith."
Mark 11:24 "Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."
John 14:13 "Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son."
John 15:16 "You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, He may give it to you."
John 16:24 "Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full."
Ephesians 3:20 "Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us..."
James 1:5-6 "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind."
1 John 5:14-15 "And this is the confidence that we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of Him."
Again, why do I not come more often to God in prayer?! He has given us who know Him every spiritual blessing. I find it extremely encouraging, for example, that it is God's will that people be saved. It's also His will that I tell others about Him. If I pray that He would give me boldness to evangelize for His name's sake, and I pray for wisdom in this area with no doubting, then He promises to answer! He hears us! If I am seeking to honor Him in my life, in regards to a job, and I pray that He lead me and guide me to do what He wants me to do...and I pray about this with faith, He will answer! It's so comforting to know this! And I hope that anyone reading this may be encouraged as well. God is faithful!