DEVOTION TO PRAYER WITH PERSEVERANCE

                              THE IMPORTANCE OF PRAYER
                           prayer with candle 

                   1 Thessalonians 5:17 translations:

Pray continually.                                                      1599 Geneva Bible

Continually be prayerful.                                      International Standard Version
. . . pray constantly. . .                                            Revised Standard Version
Be unceasing in prayer.                                         Amplified Bible
[praying perseveringly]
Pray without ceasing.                                            American Standard Version
. . . and never stop praying.                                Contemporary English Version
. . .pray at all times. . .                                           Good News Translation
Pray without ceasing.                                       King James Version
. . .pray all the time . . .                                         The Message
. . . without ceasing pray ye; . . .                       1382 Wycliffe Bible
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The message across time and translations remains the same: constant, continual, unceasing prayer. One version included this addition in brackets: “ praying perseveringly.” To “persevere” means the following: “persist, continue, carry on, go on, keep on, keep going, struggle on, hammer away, be persistent, be determined, see/follow something through, keep at it, press on/ahead, be tenacious, stand one’s ground, stand fast/firm, hold on, go the distance, stay the course, plod on, stop at nothing, leave no stone unturned, hang on, plug away, stick it out, hang in there” (google.com).

                                                         TO PERSEVERE MEANS TO ACT.

Prayer changes lives, events, attitudes, history. What could be different if we each prayed with unceasing perseverance? How would our lives be changed? In what ways would the world be altered? How could the Father of Lies ever confront, intercept, or halt such a barrage of unceasing prayer?

“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” ( Mark 11:24). This means WE are responsible. Our personal prayer lives matter; our church family prayers matter. Our belief is crucial. The world we live in desperately needs our intervention. The means to do this is through “praying perseveringly” to God who can—and will—respond. “And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him” (1 John 5:15).      

                                                         WE MUST PRAY WITHOUT CEASING.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 02/22/15)

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“I have called you by your name; You are Mine”

He heard my cry

 (1) O Lord, You have searched me and known me. (2) You know my sitting down and my rising up;  You understand my thought afar off. (3) You comprehend my path and my lying down, Any you are acquainted with all my ways.(4) For there is not a word on my tongue,But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether. (5) You have hedged me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me.(6) Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it. (Psalm 139:1-6)

 “Did you know me?” A question, from the one who has just

passed from this life, directed to those left behind.

Having been present at two funerals in the past five days, I found myself listening to history from the lives of these 92-year-olds that I did not know. A decorated World War II Army Air Corps Veteran, humbly living in our midst; a career woman, holding many positions of responsibility and authority as early as the 1940s and continuing through the 1970s. Did I really know them? One was my aunt; another a neighbor. The answer to the question: “No, I did not truly know you.”

We, oftentimes, find out more about people after their death than when we knew them in life. These times of discovery may be from an obituary, at the funeral presentation of one’s life from the minister, memories shared by family or friends, the inheritances bequeathed and to whom, the remaining possessions and home life of one’s daily existence. And, yet, even then, the answer to the question is still, “No, I did not truly know you.”

Only One has this depth of personal knowledge about a person—“O Lord, You have searched me and known me” (Psalm 139:1). David speaks these words to God, the One that his faith tells him does truly know him. Likewise, God also knows each andevery one of us—everything about us from the very beginning: “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13). He knows us throughout every moment of this life: our paths, our words, our actions, our thoughts. “You have hedged me behind and before” (Psalm 139:5). There is nowhere we can go where He does not know us: “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?” (Psalm 139:7).

There is great comfort in this awareness that God does know and understand us. It is this comfort that many seek—but do not find, looking in the wrong places. “Do you know me?”—a cry, a plea, a hope. God answers it, if only we let Him into our hearts and listen to His voice:

“ (1) I have called you by your name; You are Mine. (2)When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. (3)For I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior . . .” (Isaiah 43: 1-3).

(Sharon G. Tate blog 02/15/15)