“How much do we truly love our friends?”

“A friend loves at all times…” – Proverbs 17:17 

Question for the day:  Do I trust God in all circumstances?

I once had a friend that told me she didn’t ask God for things to keep herself from being disappointed when He didn’t provide.  I love my friend, but I am saddened by her seemingly lack of faith.  The God I know is a loving Father that loves to grant the wishes of His precious children.

Does that mean I always get what I ask for?  Absolutely not.  Many times I have been disappointed, because my prayers were not answered in the way that I wanted them to be.  However, I have learned to trust God in the “no’s.”  I have accepted the fact that I don’t always understand His ways, but it doesn’t make me angry.  It actually strengthens my faith in some cases because I have to say, “Ok God, if not this, then what?”  And I have to trust that His answer is good.

So where does that leave me in terms of praying for others?  For me, it means that I should pray boldly.  Asking God, and then asking again, and again for those things needed by my friends and family.  It means for me, not letting up until I see God move.  And maybe He doesn’t move in the direction I wish.  But I can still be an advocate and a witness for others in all circumstances – both with the desired outcomes and the undesired.  It means loving people enough to pray for the best things for them, and not just those things that make them happier.

In his book, “Crazy Love,”  Francis Chan speaks about a radical shift in his own prayer life.  Chan tells us that for years that he prayed, both for himself and others, for things like protection, healing, blessing, reconciliation – all the good things we pray for.  And then one day, God spoke to him and revealed to him that the main thing he should be praying consistently for (in all situations) was for that person to be drawn closer to God in the experience.  Don’t be necessarily focused on eliminating the temporary circumstance, but instead pray for our eternal relationship to be strengthened through it.  In the big picture, isn’t that the most important thing for all of us?

I challenge each of you to an experiment for the remainder of the month.  Choose a person that you know has a need, someone that you are concerned about.  Commit to earnestly praying for that person every day during this series.  Boldly ask God for whatever you feel: a new job, reconciliation, salvation – whatever He puts on your heart.  And at the same time, remember to pray for that person’s relationship with God too.  I would be most interested in hearing how God moves and what He reveals to you during this time.  Because I believe, that not only with God work with that person during this time, but I also trust that He will bless you with amazing insights as well.

Gracious God,

You have always promised to listen when I call.  I stand on that promise in faith.  I pray that we learn to intercede on behalf of those we care for.  Teach us to pray boldly with confidence that You are listening and that You are working for our good.  Take away any obstacles that would keep us away from Your throne of grace.  And replace our skepticism with belief.

In the name of Jesus I pray,

Amen

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