Thursday, May 05, 2016

May 5, 2016: The Marathon of Prayer !!!

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2016 - Day 126  

Devotional Song:  … GO TO THIS LINK …   Please take the time to take in a You Tube video of David Archuleta and Nathan Pacheco singing The Prayer, declaring how we commune with the living God … through prayer.

Highlight Passage:  Lamentation 5:16-18 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK 
… Paul’s specific exhortation for Christians to find their joy in an attitude of communal prayer with a heart of thanksgiving [see verse 17].
Highlight Context – 1st Thessalonians 5:16-28 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK 
… Paul’s admonition for living like Christ with an attitude of thankful prayer.

Reference Passage #1 - Romans 12: 12 [NKJV] …  
12 [CHRISTIAN] … rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; … 
… Paul … again on behaving like a Christian

Reference Passage #2 - Colossians 4:2 [NKJV] …   
 2 Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving; … 
… AGAIN … Paul exhorts fellow Christians to be in a continual attitude of prayer.

My Journal for Today:  Our Daily Bread author, Poh Fang Chia, posed some challenging questions in his ODB teaching today. He wrote: Do you struggle to maintain a consistent prayer life? Many of us do. We know that prayer is important, but it can also be downright difficult. We have moments of deep communion with God and then we have times when it feels like we’re just going through the motions. Why do we struggle so in our prayers? ... The life of faith is a marathon. The ups, the downs, and the plateaus in our prayer life are a reflection of this race. And just as in a marathon we need to keep running, so we keep praying. The point is: … Don’t give up! 

As many preachers say when they make a strong point, … ”Can I get a witness?” And I am certainly one that finds my prayer life waxing strongly at times and then waining poorly at others. It’s like being in a marathon (tho I’ve never run one), … sometimes we feel good when the course goes downhill; but then when we hit a long uphill grade, we can often run out of wind and our prayer life gets a bit puny. Or maybe we even want to quit the race (as maybe some do!).

For sure I’m convicted in taking in today’s song and the Pauline exhortations above, seeing that my prayer life reflects my faith life; and so, when our faith is strong, it’s so much easier to pray, isn’t it? But there are those times in the race of life when we hit a big uphill stretch; and we run out of wind in our prayer life. Common, … can I get a witness?

So, above, we read the Apostle Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, calling on Christians over and over again to pray with a continual attitude of thankfulness and hopefulness [i.e., joy] … no matter when … no matter what.

I’ll leave it to you to deal with your own level of conviction. Right now I’m gasping for air.

My Prayer Today:  O, Heavenly Father, … Lord, I’m here; … praying with a heart of gratitude; but I’m on a downhill grade today in this marathon of life. Help me to hold to this attitude and pray ALWAYS as the song, linked above, sings for me this morning.         Amen  

Blogger Note:  Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread, distributed online via email by RBC Ministries.  If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

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