Luke 18: 1

Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not become discouraged.

This is a good passage of scripture and an important one. Jesus was teaching his disciples about prayer. There is the appearance of two ideas in this verse: prayer and discouragement. I would like to unify those two ideas today and I believe Jesus will agree with this take on his teachings. Clearly one idea is that we ought to pray. The second admonition is, do not become discouraged. I would like to suggest the two are related.

Many of you know that I am the administrator of a prayer team. Our pray-ers are the most tremendous group of people and I am so proud to be associated with them. They move mountains and I do not say that lightly. We have, however, lost a few people for whom we prayed. I am not saying God didn’t answer our prayer. That is a whole other topic, but how can we know if the person chose to move to heaven. Regardless, it is certainly a challenge carrying prayer requests to God because, in truth, you carry them for a moment. We have gotten emotionally involved with the people represented by those requests. No one ever knows how concerned this group of dedicated people is about the people on the prayer list. They truly care. Can you imagine carrying so many intense problems? It would break us if not for the care of the Lord.

One of the prayer warriors communicated to me how the prayer we send up for others sustains us. It is not as if our glass becomes half empty and the Lord refills it. Every time we pray, He is overflowing our cup. I do not wish to convey that praying for others is burdensome. Instead, I wish to tell you that prayer is a revitalizing tonic. And, not only intercessory prayer like this. I believe that prayer, itself, is healing for the soul, and rejuvenation for the body. We are told time and again to pray, even to pray unceasingly. I believe the reason we should pray, the reason we are encouraged over and over to pray is because there is life and healing in prayer. But then, of course there is. When we talk with God, we connect with Him. Those lines of communication always carry life and light in them. Jesus is the light and the life so when we connect our spirits to his through prayer, his substance travels across those lines.

Here is what I am trying to say, prayer keeps you from being discouraged. There is encouragement is the substance of time spent in prayer. It is good for your soul when you pray, even if you are praying for someone else, perhaps even more so. I, like Paul, want you to pray frequently because I know you will feel better. Spiritual and emotional energy will be restored to you. I want you to pray because it is good for you and I believe that is part of what Jesus wished for you to glean from this passage. When you read the parable which follows, I think you will see how praying keeps you built up and confident. It helps you to keep believing. It will help your body, your mind, and your spirit. Pray because it is good for you and makes you feel good. Pray and be encouraged.

And by the way, send your prayer requests to Ivey Ministries Prayer Requests by clicking here.

Advance Team

Deuteronomy 31: 8

“The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

To what can you apply this verse in your life? You know we all have areas of our lives where we don’t stand quite as firmly. When we find them, though, we can throw this verse at them and be renewed in our faith.

Every word of this verse is wonderful, but I love the idea that the Lord, our God, is going before us to prepare the way. By the time we get to the situation, He has already been there and fixed it. Man, we’ve got to get a revelation of this. What do you dread? Is there a situation that challenges you like an upcoming physics test or doctor’s appointment? Or, is there a person who is a source of discomfort? Maybe you’ve got an ugly project at work that you keep putting off.

One recent example of that for me that was getting the tax information pulled together to give to the accountant. The accountant is doing the hard work, what was I dreading? Well, it is a laborious process and it takes time. I would rather work on a project where I can throw physical energy at it and accomplish it. None the less, it had to be done. Well, Father goes ahead of you to work out details, to line-up the proper people for you and to lay at your feet all the resources you need. Yahoo! It works! I did need some resources and they were there, the people I needed were available and all of the information is at the accountant’s office. Yea! I needed to yield myself to the Father’s presence, then all was well.

No matter what the situation or project, Dad promises that He will not abandon you. He is going to be with you all the way. Better yet, He is even going to get there before you do. While you are still worrying about it and procrastinating, He has already gone before you to prepare the way. You’ve gotta love that.

The part we all need to hear the loudest is that He will never leave us nor will He ever forsake us. Even when you feel alone, He is there. Whether or not you can feel His presence, you can know He is with you. He will not fail you, ever!

Most of all, do not fear! Do not be dismayed! The Lord is with you. What have you to fear? Does anything have you in its grip right now? Relinquish it to your God and lean into His presence.