We are weaponless and vulnerable without prayer. Being in prayer mode throughout the day strengthens our resolve and our relationship with Our Lord.
~ Lisa Blair
Prayer is needed at all times. It catalyzes, activates, everything that happens in life. It empowers us to persevere in difficulty, exude hope in all situations, and reside in a state of patience despite the prevailing circumstances.
It causes us to supplant blaming God, and reviling others for our current conditions with peace. It provides hope (in eternal life), enduring faith, and rest in knowing God is with us and will see us through this walk, called life.
It is crucial that we develop (our) practice of continual, persistent prayer. This means throughout the day, in good moments and uncomfortable times. Prayer can be as simple as calling on Christ, a single sentence or a long(er) dialogue. You can do it standing, sitting, on your knees, or prone on the floor. Your eyes can be open or closed. Your hands can be 🙏🏽 pressed together, or open.
Our God is good and receives us as we are in the moment, pleased that we invited Him into our heart.
We are called to rejoice in the Lord. And , have hope which is founded on faith, and faith on the Divinity of God.
For many years I felt the Lord was a punishing God. Words such as sorrow suggested that we were a hurt people. The truth is we are a hurt people, we are a sinful people who must come to a place where our sins are no longer acceptable as our guiding truth. Satan uses sin to capture and control us, to lead us to a hellish death. When we become remorseful and recognize the sorrow we have weighed down upon ourselves, and the God who loves and protects us, we enter into a state of Godly sorrow.
Godly Sorrow is only Mentioned Once in the Bible
Godly sorrow is only mentioned once in the Bible, in 2 Corinthians 7:10-11. Paul uses this term to explain to the Corinthians that they once lived a sinful life that would lead to worldly death, hell, upon departing this earth but had successfully turned away in earnestness to overcome their sin and repent.
Godly Sorrow is an Acute Sense of Sadness
Godly sorrow is an acute sense of sadness we experience when we sin. We feel sadness because we know we have committed sins. We know we have saddened the Lord, just as the Corinthians knew after Paul taught them that God is the Way and the Light. Palm chastised the Corinthians for their dissentions against the church. He intended to cause them to think and having accomplished this task caused them to repent. Paul knew they were remorseful and regretful for their actions of falling back into disbelief, but he also knew that neither would lead to salvation without true repentance and restitution. Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation.
Godly Sorrow is a Kind of Wretchedness
“Godly sorrow is a kind of wretchedness that can bring the repentant sinner to tears of grief. Godly sorrow results from a heartfelt conviction that we have offended God by our sin.” Our spirit grieves, and when Godly sorrow has its way, we resolve to stop repeating the sins, turn away from our carnal nature and pick up the cross and do good. We cleanse ourselves through prayer.
Results of Godly Sorrow
Doing good, is the result of Godly sorrow. It is through Godly sorrow that we can release the guilt and shame for our sin nature and actions, and repent asking for forgiveness and vowing to never return to them. Repentance is not an emotion, it is our decision to change. We have to make the decision to turn around and change our lives to truly repent. We repent and believe through faith. Faith comes after repenting and surrendering our life to the Lord. It is through God’s grace that we are forgiven and given new life to move forward. It is through God’s grace that we receive salvation.
God Sorrow, Repentance, and Salvation are Ours
Not all of 1 Corinthians 7 is intended for us. Some of it is intended for the Corinthians. However, repentance and salvation are for everyone who calls out to God to save them from their sins and believes that Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead to join God in heaven. God restored the discipline of the church of Corinth and sin, and He restores us. We sin through our (own) actions and complicitous approval of those sinning in our scope of influence. The church was complicit by not addressing incestuous behavior. We are complicit when we do not speak out against sin and do not address the offender.
Sorrow Cannot Merely Be Guilt through Discovery
“We must be very careful that our sorrow for sin is not merely sorrow that has been found out, but sorrow which, seeing the evil of the sinful thing is determined never to do it again and has dedicated the rest of its life to atone, by God’s grace, for what was done.” (Barclay)
Godly Sorrow, Apology and the Holy Spirit, Intercession on Our Behalf
When we pray, the Holy Spirit intercedes and helps us apologize to God and repent. This is accomplished through confessing our sins, not by denying them or defending them because neither is true confession.
Godly Sorrow is the Lining of Our Repentance
While Godly sorrow is only mentioned once in scripture, it is the lining of our repentance. Repentance separates godly sorrow from worldly sorrow. Godly sorrow produces true repentance. Worldly sorrow is not really sorrow, it is the only resentment that has been found out (William Barclay). If we do not feel Godly sorrow for our sinful actions, we are not able to truly repent and turn away from them with God’s help. Without godly sorrow, we would repeat the offense, given a chance to do it again. Godly sorrow not only hates the act, but it also hates the nature of the act itself. Without godly sorrow, we are bound by our sin nature and remain in the camp of the evil one.
God Separates Us From Our Sin Through Our Decision to Change
Like the Church at Corinth, we are growing (maturing) when we repent and turn away from sin. God can separate us from our sins and place them as far away as the east is from the west, but He is only able to do so when we are cleansed and convicted to the point of wholehearted confession and repentance. It is through God’s grace that we are saved.
Images – YouVersion/Bible.com; Google Images-Knowing Jesus.com
References – What is Godly sorrow? Gotquestions.org; Studylight.org: 2 Corinthians 7:10-11, Commentaries – Charles Barclay, Albert Barnes, Coffman, John Gill; Nelson’s Quick Reference by Warren Wiersbe; Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary by W.E. Vine; KJV Word Study; Youtube:2Corinthians_BrettVarner; 2 Corinthians_JasonJack
God is our Creator and our Father. Our Heavenly Father should always hold center stage. With Him, all things are possible. Without Him, we are left to wander in the dark.
~ LISA BLAIR
Psalms 47:1 tells us to shout to God with joyful praise. Why? God is our creator and Father. He is God Almighty. Our God is faithful. The God who sees. The Lord of Peace. He is our provider, a strong tower in times of trouble, and our healer. God loves us.
We should always be filled with great and good thoughts of God (biblestudytools.com). As Christians, we should want to put God first in all that you do. It is vital to recognize Him each morning and thank Him for a new day’s journey. We should go to Him if you need direction throughout the day to avoid unneeded pitfalls. We should praise Him for all He does. And, acknowledge Him for whoHe is and what He has done for us. Believe it or not, there is a miracle in every step we take, and every thought that comes to mind. God left nothing to chance when He created us.
God, our Father in Heaven should always be up front and first in our lives. He sacrificed His son for us, gives us new beginnings, Salvation, and Eternal Life. There is none other like Him.
If you look for the Father through Jesus Christ you will find Him. Seeking God is His commandment to let us know He is all around us. He hears our prayers and is waiting for us and challenging us to interact with Him in conversation. He is calling us to enter into a relationship with Him. His grace and mercy are in abundance for the giving.
I view knocking at the door as a metaphor requesting entrance into His home. Knocking also takes the form of praying. We seek Him through our Heart. The Holy Spirit invites us into His dwelling.
Under the Holy Spirits guidance and influence, we are taken out of captivity and are no longer wanderers. In our wandering, the evil one led us astray and away from our Father. The greatness of our Lord invites us home just as we are. All He asks is that we establish genuine intimacy with Him through integrity, honesty, sincerity, and faith.
The idea of seeking God is expressed throughout the Bible. Adam and Eve may be the only people who did not have to seek Him. He was present in the Garden of Eden. God loves us, so He does not leave us alone seeking Him. In Jeremiah 24:7 He said, “ I will give them a heart to know that I am the Lord, and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole hearts”, much like the Prodigal Son returned home after his wanderings.
Throughout the Bible we are urged to seek Him, to let Him know we are searching for Him and want an ongoing relationship with Him. We have been invited to seek God through Jesus who left the Holy Spirit to live in us during His absence. As believers, we are vessels of the Holy Spirit, and our access is through our heart and love for God.
The scriptures below are taken from the NASB Bible.
“Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will bring you back from exile.’”
“The earth is the LORD’S, and all it contains The world, and those who dwell in it. For He has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers. Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? And who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood and has not sworn deceitfully. He shall receive a blessing from the LORD and righteousness from the God of his salvation.”
“When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You, “Your face, O LORD, I shall seek.””
“O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, In a dry and weary land where there is no water. Thus I have seen You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory. Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips will praise You.”
“Truly, You are a God who hides Himself, O God of Israel, Savior!”
“At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. All things have been handed over to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.”
Seek, knock, and you will find our Lord.
Related Post: Ask. Seek. Find. Receive. https://wp.me/p98Coa-rd.
September 19, 2018
Hearts, not lips. How many of us are Christians but feel forced to hold daily communication with our Lord. You know what I mean, praying becomes mechanical and routine. You don’t open up to Him, you hold back in shame, and choose to put on your professional Christian attitude when praying, much like we do among people. We have a public face and a private face. We have a heartfelt spirit we share with our Lord, and we have a mechanical spirit when we simply recite prayers in a mono fashion. We do not operate from our heart. We do not allow our inner spirit to live in victory. Our communication with the Lord suffers, as does our outward man who operates in fear of being judged.
Our Lord cries, why do my people say they honor me with their lips, but their practices are not heart driven? Why do they treat me with anguish? Why is our relationship so impersonal? The fact is, we are God’s children (wayward or not), or we are not God’s children. We either have a strong relationship with Him, or we do not. The way we treat God, the way we treat others, the way that we exhibit His love determines who we are in Christ. If we fail to show our love in practice and live a heartfelt life, then we are giving lip service to all that we do, including communion with our Lord and Savior.
Our life begins with our relationship with our Lord. It encompasses all that we are and all that we do. Is this an easy process, not necessarily. Often, we, I, stay in communication only to become comfortable and then complacent. My daily time becomes a coffee break, rushed through and checked off. Does this sound familiar?
God never fails. He sees our tears, our anguish, our anxiety. He also sees our compassion, love, empathy, kindness, trustworthiness, patience, and self-control whether we display it to Him or the outside world. He is our witness to all that we do. He is the recipient of all that we hold in or share with Him. He is our Father. He created us and delivered a divine plan nestled deep in our heart. He is our promise keeper.
It is time to free ourselves, from our banality, our public selves, and go deeper. It is time to risk opening our hearts. It is time to strip off the façade and welcome our God-self into the world, and most importantly in our cherished moments with our Lord and Savior in prayer. Our God-self is the Holy Spirit who projects light through our being into the world. Our relationship rests in part on our prayers being aligned with our lips. Our heart and our lips must project the same things, they cannot work effectively (if at all) if they are not in sync with the Word, and our relationship with the Lord.
No parent should cry, why do my children’s hearts and lips seem disjointed, disconnected, and artificial? Why do they fail to honor our relationship, why are they so far from me?
Jesus wants us to come home. He wants our hearts to be full. He wants us to commit or re-commit our relationship to Him with honest heartfelt prayer, praise, and worship.
December is the month that focuses on Christ’s birth. Our gift to Him is our heart and our love. Speak to God through our hearts, express it with our lips. It is time to open our hearts and not just our lips.
Our God is amazing. He commands us to live a Godly life and be free. He has given us the ability to free ourselves from our sinful ways. He asks us to fight our flesh that desires: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, jealousy, quarreling, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, envy, drunkenness, and wild parties.
His command is for us to fear Him and be obedient, as Ecclesiastes states:
“Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: fear God and keep his commandments, this is the duty of all mankind.” Eccl. 12:13
Fear, in this case, means being respectful, obedient, and followers of His Word. Live a holy life, meaning, employing the Fruit of the Spirit in all that we do. What is the fruit? Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
And, since we live by the Spirit let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envious of each other. When we live like this, we will not gratify the desires of our flesh but will be obedient and fulfilled by God’s Word.
At the end of life, God will bring every deed to judgment, including those proclivities we think we so cleverly hid, whether good or evil. When we are obedient, we think before we act. It causes us to question our next step, our next word, and our next deed. The question is, do our actions align with His Word, do they direct our path?
Obedience leads to freedom. Solomon, the author of the Book of Ecclesiastes, wrote, (paraphrased) Stand firm, do not let yourselves be controlled by the slavery of sin and wrongdoing.
Do not allow your sinful cravings to keep you in chains. Christ died on the Cross for us. Our sins were nailed to the Cross, and we are now free. Our charge is to believe and live in our freedom.
I am a Christian, a retired teacher, a mother and a grandmother. I love to read and I love the Lord Jesus Christ! Unless otherwise specified ,all visual illustrations are from the YOU VERSION APP of the Bible.