Thursday, March 30, 2006

40 Days of Prayer (day 16)

Note: I wish I had started posting this at the beginning of Lent, but I didn't realize how it would grow, or be used in my journey, so I'm entering a day, or a few days' worth each day (depending on length) until I get caught up to the present day.

Day 16
March 20, 2006

In reading “The Possibilities of Prayer” by E.M. Bounds, he speaks of the “boldness” of prayer; of expecting answers to specific prayers. I’ve always struggled with this. While I pray with expectation, am always “looking for” answers to prayer, and pray (I think) with faith, I am still wary that perhaps the prayer might not be answered, that it might not be “God’s will” to be answered, and thus would not be.

I am mindful, also, of praying “in the Will of God” and in “Jesus’ name”. Therefore I hold tightly to Romans 8: 26-28 in asking the Spirit to lift my prayers to God in the way that the Father would want them lifted, and conversely to have the Spirit bring into my heart the Will of the Father, so that, my prayers may be in His will…

But I guess my question, therefore, becomes “How Bold?” How bold should we be when we bow at the throne of grace? While I absolutely hate what I’ve come to call “Generic Jesus is Wonderful” sermons, I still pray the generic prayer of “lead, guide, and direct us, Oh Lord, in all that we say and do…” Do I ever stop to thank Him for answers to that prayer? Isn’t it obvious that He answers that prayer? But if He didn’t, how would we know… It is a “safe” prayer - one that doesn’t require an answer so that the “world” sees.
“How bold?” and so I pray this morning…

Father, I pray for a solid answer to the question of the direction my business needs to take. (some private specific needs here, then...)

I don’t know whether to pray for an employee for the framing side, or to be able to complete more of the work myself. Glenda was an answer to a prayer unprayed. She was, in and of herself, a delight to work with - just the perfect person for me. If she had not been so “perfect” in the situation, I may not have ever hired an employee - and what a loss that would have been in the long run, as well as in that time and place.

Perhaps the “growth direction” and “income producing arena” of the business will come from supplies sales, or book writing, or website growth, or even all three. Maybe, even from hiring another caner - who knows? God knows! Perhaps the growth will even come from my becoming more focused and disciplined in my own production time.

But, for me to become more “hands-on” in the studio, I must become more “hands-off” of my computer, and books, and studies, and writing… (Or find a way to be more disciplined with my time management.)

Therefore, I am coming boldly to the throne and asking for “something” to direct my path. If I am to write devotionals and studies, then that “necessitates” time out of the shop. And too, devotionals and studies aren’t creating any income. Should it? Will it? Is that an answer to the prayer? I don’t know, Lord. I just place this at the throne of grace and ask for a definite answer…

Then Lord, I pray in boldness for my children (son, son, and daughter-in-law as they are all my children now) that You would show them “the place” where they are to minister. You said (Psalms 37:4) “Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.” God, my desire is that my children would serve You. I pray, Father, for an answer for this prayer so that I may sing of Your Name, and relate, time and again, of Your Faithfulness in answer to prayer.

I also pray with that same boldness for Joe that he would find “fulfillment”; that he would find a “place” of service, as well… He is reaching an age Lord where he questions himself deeply - “Have I done what I should have?” Have I accomplished anything that will “live after me” for the Glory of the Lord?” Father, I pray for a “place” of service for him that he will take delight in.

We have “served”, Lord, all our lives in our church, but he can’t see the fruit of that service. I pray that he may be able to “do” and find a great “delight” in it; a great comfort in it.

And in all that we do, may we serve You.

In Jesus' name - Amen.


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