Praying with Perseverance

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” is to:  “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).

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! Amen and Amen!

(Sharon G. Tate blog 09/23/18) teacherforjesus.com   Meditations on God’s Word

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Onward to the Goal for Christ


18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

G–Go

O–Out

A–And

L–Love

The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. (I Timothy 1:5)

Love was made known to us through Christ when He gave His life for us while we were sinners, knowing we would sin yet and continually need His saving love.

THE GOAL

— Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. (Hebrews 13:1-2)

–Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will repay him for his deed. (Proverbs 19:17)

–Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. (James 1:27)

–Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. (Ephesians 4:25)

–Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. (Ephesians 4:29)

–“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for Me.’ (Matthew 25:40)

–Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8)

PERSEVERANCE

–But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.      (II Chronicles 15:7)

–So now finish doing it as well, so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have. For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have. (II Corinthians 8:11-12)

–Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)

THE WAY

–I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)

–But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)

WHEREVER WE GO, WE WILL FIND THOSE WHO ARE IN NEED OF WHAT WE CAN GIVE THROUGH LOVE IN CHRIST. DO WE HAVE THE GOAL? THE PERSEVERANCE?

THE WAY IS THERE FOR US.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 10/29/17) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word

Surviving the Storms of Life

When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.

(Isaiah 43:2)

THE WATERS

17 For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth. 18 The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. 19 They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. 20 The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than fifteen cubits. 21 Every living thing that moved on land perished—birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind. 22 Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. 23 Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; people and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark. (Isaiah 43:17-23)

SURVIVAL

9Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God. 10 Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth.11 Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. 12 God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways . . . 17 “I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. 18 But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you. 19 You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you.”   .  .  . 22 Noah did everything just as God commanded him.                        (Isaiah 43: 9-12, 17-19, 22)

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THE FLAMES

10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. (2 Peter 3:10)

SURVIVAL

11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. (2 Peter 3:11-13)

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Do we wait until the hurricanes, the tornadoes, the forest fires, the outside storms threaten before we seek refuge and safety in God? Do we only become desperate for safe harbor with Him when the winds assail, the waters rise, and the flames roar –endangering our very existence?

The storms are not just perils from the elements. We face our internal storms daily, hourly, every minute and every second of our lives in this world. The refuge is only found in God. The safe harbor is walking as God commands, so we can meet Him one day in the promise of “a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 09/10/17)  teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

Praying Heart Whispers: Can We Hear Them?

        Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.                                                                    (Galatians 6:2)

Somewhere beneath the laughter

If we listen loud enough,

We can hear the heart-sounds whisper:

“I am hurting; I am sad.

Can you help me? Do you hear me?

I am struggling; it is hard.”

Whispers speak above the laughter-

When we listen loud enough.

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. (Romans 12:15)

We are commanded to help each other and share the burdens and sorrows of our brothers and sisters in Christ. Can we hear their heart-sounds whispering to us? Do we listen loud enough?

Do we each read the list of names and the prayer requests in our weekly prayer insert in the bulletin? Do heart-sounds begin whispering to us? Can we hear the hurts, the sorrows, the disappointments, the regrets, the frustrations, the struggles, the pains, the burdens, the loneliness, the concerns, the fears, the losses, the needs, the wants, the hopes. . .

Do we pray the whispers?

How often do we pass each other and hear only the laughter? There are whispers from the heart being spoken all around us. Sometimes, they are written down for public prayer; sometimes, they are shared quietly with those we feel closest to; sometimes, they are not spoken at all—yet God still hears.  “. . . Would not God have discovered it, since he knows the secrets of the heart?” (Psalm 44:21)

God will always hear the whispers of our hearts, but for us to hear what is unspoken, we need Jesus in our own heart to help us listen to the murmurs. Let us know each other more deeply–beyond the surface, beneath the laughter—and listen with our hearts, more like Jesus.  “. . .The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (I Samuel 16:7) In order to “carry each other’s burdens,” we must also look at the hearts of our brothers and sisters—and listen loud enough.

(Sharon G. Tate 07/30/17 blog)  teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

BROKENNESS Made Whole Through Christ

 

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.         

(Psalm 34:18)

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BROKEN. Shattered pieces surrounding him. The boy looked down in despair. Where would he start? How could he make it whole again? Dropping to his knees to pick up the bigger pieces first, he began the attempt to form the outer shape. It was like a jigsaw puzzle but with uneven, jagged edges. He sloppily glued the pieces together the best he could until, gradually, piece by piece, a vase was somewhat identifiable. It was his great-grandmother’s vase, a family heirloom. How could he present it to his mother, who cherished the vase? The pieces did not fit as they should. The breaks were visible everywhere.

The boy waited in anxious anticipation, fear, and shame for his mother to come home. When he finally heard the key turn in the lock, he carefully lifted the makeshift object, sighed loudly, and brought it to his mother. Head drooped, he held it out to her. The mother looked intently at her son, reached for the poorly glued shape, carefully inspected it, and then walked over to the stand where the vase had always been, placing it on her mother’s beautiful handmade doily. The boy watched this scene with confusion and fear, still expecting repercussions from his careless act of playing too rough near the vase.

But the mother came to him, held him close, and led him over to the vase. She said the vase was more beautiful with the scars. “It is brokenness,” she said, “that unites us all, from great-grandma to grandma, to me, and now to you. The pieces of our lives may shatter around us, but we get on our knees, try to glue the broken edges back together to continue on in this life, and realize, although the scars still show, that we can be whole through the One who had scars in His hands, feet, side, and body. His brokenness allows us all to be whole inside while carrying with us the scars of life.”

The boy knew his mother was speaking of Jesus. She had taken him to Bible class every Sunday. BROKEN with SCARS. He now realized everyone in Bible class and worship was this way. And the jagged edges and visible breaks were there to remind us that we could never be the Potter who makes the clay into the vessel of a perfect, seamless creation.

Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, You are the potter;

we are all the work of Your hand. (Isaiah 64:8)

BROKEN. Scarred. Humble in spirit before the Lord, our Creator and our Redeemer. This is our sacrifice to Him who was broken for us.

 My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart
You, God, will not despise. (Psalm 51:17)

 (Sharon G. Tate 06/04/17) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word

In the Presence of the Lord: Approaching God in Prayer

“…by this time you ought to be teachers; you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!” Hebrews 5:12

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The language of a 16-month-old:

Talking at the speed of movement,

Chatter that sounds like nonsense,

Earnest sounds directed to an object,

Unrecognizable noise in motion,

Conversation with a stuffed animal,

Requests in his own sign language,

Whimpering whines with pleas,

Loud cries for instant attention,

Laughter, chatter, whines, cries.

The babble of baby speech.

In the presence of our God, we may believe that our communion with Him in prayer is at a level of maturity. But what if the Lord only hears hurried talking and chattering that appear as nonsense, lacking significance? What if He mostly hears whimpering whines and loud cries from us? Will He even hear a few recognizable words–worthy enough to be spoken– before our language again regresses into chatter, whines, pleas, cries, and babble?

13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.  (Hebrews 5: 13-14)

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In the presence of our Lord, are we still in the developmental stages of language and expression? How should we speak to our God:

Matthew 6:7 –And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words

Proverbs 10:14 –Wise men store up knowledge, But with the mouth of the foolish, ruin is at hand.

2 Timothy 2:16 –But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness…

Matthew 6:7-8(7)And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. (8) So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.

How should we approach our Lord and our God:

Jeremiah 29:13 — You will seek Me and find Me, when you seek Me with all your heart.

Hebrews 4:16 — Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Psalm 100:4 –Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise! Give thanks to Him; bless His name!

God has granted us the privilege of approaching Him in prayer. We can speak with the Almighty Creator of the universe. We can talk, one-on-one, with the Most High. Let Him hear in our words that we are seeking to know Him. Let Him hear in our language that we are in awe of His presence. Let Him hear in our expression that we are thankful for His love and grace. Let Him hear through the tone of our communication that we love Him. Although we are His children, our conversations with God should reflect our growth in Him, beyond childish “me” talk and “empty chatter.”

(Sharon G. Tate 03/26/17 blog) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word

PRAY WITHOUT CEASING . . .

THE IMPORTANCE OF PRAYER
               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
*******************************************************************************

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 03/06/17) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word

Knowing God in Silence

Be still and know I am Lord 

“Be still and know that I am God.”(Psalm 46:1)

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Clashes, bangs, bleeps, ringtones, sirens, horns, chatter, revved motors, doorbells, motorcycles, store speakers, televisions, radios, videos, kids playing, adults playing, clocks- sounding- the- hour, outdoor chimes, you tube, mowers running, workmen pounding, noise echoing, noise resounding, noise reverberating, noise ascending, more and more NOISE! We live in a world of sound.  It goes before us, encircles around us, and follows behind us. Where can we find the silence we need to more personally know God?

Although we can hear and know God through nature and in the sounds of this life—a thunderclap, geese heading south in formation, a baby’s first words —and appreciate with awe the beauty of His creation, there also needs to be a location where we have God-time in silence.

Enter a Quiet Zone: That place where we can be still and know God without the interference of distracting noise. But where is such a place?

**But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. (King James, Matt. 6:6)

**But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. (International Standard Version, Matthew 6:-6)

**Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace. (The Message, Matthew 6:6)

Whether we go into our closet, our room, or another location, it should be a “quiet, secluded place.” When alone with God in this spot, we can just remain in silent awe and respectful thanks of His mercy and grace. We can silently converse with Him in our thoughts, pray to Him in our hearts, and love Him with all our being. There will be no phone signaling us away from this communion with God. The background noise will be muted sound, so we only hear His voice within.

 But the LORD is in His holy temple; let all the earth be silent before Him.” (Habakkuk 2:20)

When can this happen with all the sound around us? It may be early morning or late at night when others in the house are asleep. It may be a time when the children are at school. It may happen on a walk through the woods or on a fishing boat where no one else is around. Wherever your “closet” is, God will be there too, a silent voice inside each one of us:  “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:1)

(Sharon G. Tate blog 07/31/16) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word