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Prayer Power!
Christian Devotional by Pastor Cecil Thompson

Pastor Cecil Thompson
Cecil Thompson

1 Thessalonians 5:16-24

"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not put out the Spirit's fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil. May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The One who calls you is faithful and He will do it."

How many times have you had this happen to you? Someone you know comes up to you and thanks you for praying for them. It is only then that you remember that you promised to pray for them for a situation they were going through. In my conversations with different people across the years, I have heard this sad story repeated many times. It is a vivid reminder that we need to devote ourselves to be faithful in our prayers.

Paul gave these final instructions in his first letter to the church at Thessalonica. I find it of deep interest that he says to "pray continually" but tucks it neatly between being "joyful always" and "giving thanks in every circumstance."

Prayer is not just a shopping list of all of the things that we demand the Lord to do for us. Ooops! Did I say demand? Well that is what some would lead us to believe. I think it is shallow to only go to the Lord when we have emergencies. The prayer that Jesus taught His disciples to pray, which we have come to call The Lord's Prayer, is literally filled with praise and confession. It is a beautiful pattern for us to use. Try reading Matthew 5:9-15. (No, it is not the "Now I lay me down to sleep" prayer).

In the Old Testament book of Daniel we have a wonderful example of a man who prayed daily. I will not be able to properly cover all of the fantastic things that occurred in the life of this remarkable servant of God. Daniel was used of God and elevated to positions of authority under various pagan rulers. In chapter eleven we are introduced to a new ruler named Darius. Over the governors he assigned three administrators. One was Daniel. Daniel was an old man at this time, but he was still being used mightily of God. Daniel distinguished himself in such a significant way that the other officials were jealous and wanted to get him out of the way.

Without intending to do so, the conspirators testified to Daniel’s faithfulness. They said the only way they could find a fault with his conduct was if it had something to do with the law of his God. They slipped a decree past Darius saying that anyone who prays to any god or man for thirty days, other than to king Darius, is to be thrown into the lion's den. They knew that Daniel prayed to His God three times a day. This was not simply returning thanks for the food! He prayed in earnest and worshipped his God in prayer.

Sure enough, Daniel prayed three times a day just as he always did—with his windows open toward Jerusalem. It resulted in his one night stand in the lion's den. He and the big kitty cats had a nice sleep. His God protected him and delivered him. King Darius was a little ticked-off by the trick the others had played on him. After Daniel was pulled up, unharmed, the accusers of Daniel and their families were sent in as replacements. It says that they never even made it to the floor before they were killed. PRAYER—DAILY PRAYER—WORKS MIGHTY MIRACLES!

One way we can pray is by praising God for everything in our life. If you find an inspirational passage of Scripture in your daily Bible reading, pray that Scripture back to the Lord. There is no law that says you must keep your eyes closed when you pray. Read your study notes to the Lord. These can include your plans, hurts, anxieties, joys, sorrows, ups and downs. Be real! The Lord is your closest friend and He loves for you to spend time talking intimately with Him.

When was the last time you really prayed? I urge you to make prayer a vital part of each and every day. If you are busy to the nth degree, you might try praying in the shower (Clean in body and spirit!). Keep your prayer line open to the Lord. Spend time with God in prayer!

Blessings dear hearts. Draw near to God today, trust Him completely and be a blessing!

- - - Pastor Cecil


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