Saturday, September 29, 2012

Don't stop praying too early...

A dear friend of mine is near the end of getting out of some serious financial trouble.  Her debt is going down, quickly, but those last little bits are getting to her.  She's mostly out of money and having to hold the line with her kids and it's hard.  God has done amazing things to get her here, but today--so close to the finish line--she was overwhelmed with a lack of peace about it that she couldn't explain.

As we talked through it, it was clear that at the pace God has been working, she would be free by the end of next week but she's got several things she needs to do and needs to do now.  As we prayed and talked together, this is what popped out of my mouth:

"God doesn't answer our presumption.  He answers our prayers."

She has been walking in trust and gratitude.  God has been steadily providing.  We both know He will provide eventually, but the lack of peace in her spirit is an evidence that God is not satisfied with meeting her need in a "run of the mill," "due course of time" way.  There must be something else going on.  God loves to provide in a spectacular way that leads to His Glory.  I fully expect God will wipe the debt out today as she prays. 

Too many Christians ask God once and assume that it's enough.  We are in a dynamic relationship with God.  Jesus encouraged us to perservere in prayer until we get an answer from Him.  That doesn't always mean we see the result, but it does mean that we perservere until He gives us the witness of the Holy Spirit's peace that He has provided all that He desires to provide.  At that point, there is no more need to pray, but until that point, there is danger in stopping.  Remember the time that Elisha told the King to strike the ground as a witness of how he will go out and strike his enemies:

18 Then he said, “Now pick up the other arrows and strike them against the ground.” So the king picked them up and struck the ground three times. 19 But the man of God was angry with him. “You should have struck the ground five or six times!” he exclaimed. “Then you would have beaten Aram until it was entirely destroyed. Now you will be victorious only three times.”--II Kings 13:18-19

I get the feeling from the way Elisha responded that the King should have known better but wasn't paying attention.  If God has more for us, then it's important to keep asking until we have gotten to where He wants our heart and not a step shy of that.  He loves us too much to let us be at peace until we are there.  Don't ignore that. 

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