Today we continue our series entitled, “The Benefits of Prayer and Fasting,” with an emphasis on “The Power of Prayer.” I am led to close out this series this week. I trust it has been a blessing to you. In our last message we looked at the impact the love of God has on your prayer life. We will continue to flow in this vein today. If you ever get to the point when you question God’s love for you, your prayers will be void of any power.
The Apostle Paul is a great example of someone who was convinced of God’s love. He wrote half the New Testament, went on several missionary journeys, mentored pastors everywhere he went, ministered to the lost, and left a mark in this world that is still being felt today. But make no mistake, Paul suffered many hardships for the cause of Christ. They key is that he never gave up, because he never lost faith in God’s love for him.
I believe Paul was able to remain convinced of God’s love because he understood his assignment. Paul was called to preach the gospel at a time where preaching would bring persecution and imprisonment. Without whining and complaining and without running from his assignment, Paul was willing to endure hardship in order to fulfill his purpose (2 Tim 1:3); all the while receiving supernatural strength from the love of God in his heart. Paul said, “I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.” (2 Tim 1:11, 12 NKJV). Paul’s confidence was in God and in God’s love towards him.
Paul was not shy about sharing all he faced for the cause of Christ. He said, “Five times the Jews have given me their punishment of 39 lashes with a whip. Three different times I was beaten with rods. One time I was almost killed with rocks. Three times I was in ships that were wrecked, and one of those times I spent the night and the next day in the sea. In my constant traveling I have been in danger from rivers, from thieves, from my own people, and from people who are not Jews. I have been in danger in cities, in places where no one lives, and on the sea. And I have been in danger from people who pretend to be believers but are not. I have done hard and tiring work, and many times I did not sleep. I have been hungry and thirsty. Many times I have been without food. I have been cold and without clothes.” (2 Cor 11:24-27 ERV).
Your assignment may not require the suffering that Paul’s did. Preachers of the gospel today, in most free countries, are not thrown into prison or beaten. But we all have our share of difficulties. We all suffer loss. We all endure occasional hardships. We all have situations that end differently than the way we wanted. We all deal with the trouble associated with this world. But whatever your difficulties are, whatever obstacles you face, and whatever hardships you may be up against right now (this morning), you can overcome them all with the inner confidence that comes from knowing that God loves you and that He will never turn His back on you (Heb 13:5). God loves you so much that every hair on your head is counted (Matthew 10:30). He thought through the smallest details of your life. You are special to God.
So what does this mean to you today? A few things.
- God never promised your journey was going to be easy. But He did promise to give you the grace to face, and overcome, all you face. You have the grace for it!
- When you are convinced that God loves you and that He will never turn His back on you, you find inner strength in the times of trouble. It is a supernatural strength that enables you to keep going.
- Being fully persuaded of God’s love empowers you to face every day with Godly assurance, supernatural peace and great expectations. Living this way you pray prayers that are full of Godly hope.
- When you pray from a position of love, without allowing trials or challenges to cause you doubt God’s love for you, your prayers are prayed with fearless confidence (faith). Because at that point, your confidence is not based in you or your performance. Your confidence is rooted in God’s unending love for you and His tireless commitment to you.
- When you know God loves you, you pray with full expectation that God will hear you and answer your prayers. This type of attitude not only helps your prayer life, but it helps you make the most of every day of your life.
Father, this is a season of expectation for me. I am confident that You love me. As a matter of fact, I am convinced of it. I refuse to allow the challenges I face to cause me to question Your love. Your unconditional and everlasting love for me propels me over every obstacle! I have an assurance that I will overcome every hindrance, rise above every challenge, triumph over every attack, and experience world-overcoming victory, because I pray from a position of love. My prayers are heard and responded to. I can do all things through Christ and I will as I walk in love with You and all men. I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!