1 John 5:14-15 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.
Joshua prayed with confidence because he knew that God would hear his prayers. God had told him earlier that He was on Joshua’s side. The apostle John also knew the value of approaching God in prayer with confidence.
If we know that He hears us, we know He’ll grant us all that we ask accordingly with His will. To pray according to His will though, we must be daily in His Word, seeking Him. When we’re in close communion with our heavenly Father, we’ll know what we can ask for and expect to be heard. With that, we can ask with confidence.
Knowing that our Father loves us and cares for us makes a world of difference as we approach Him. Thankful hearts, knowing that He hears us, make it all the more likely that we’ll ask according to His will.
———- What are you asking God for right now?
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
No matter where you find yourself, you’re not too far away for God to find you. No matter what your circumstances, He can walk you through. He is good, and you can trust Him in good times and bad times.
As followers of Christ, we would benefit from following the example of Paul, learning how to be content in all situations. A heart that’s truly fixed on God will not let events determine faith. Focus on the nature of God and know that no matter what, no matter how good or how bad, you can trust Him.
You can do all things through Him who strengthens you. Pray in all things and rely on Him to provide. He is more than able to be your everything.
———- Where are you trying to find your strength? Is it in God or in the things of this world that don’t live up to their promises?
Philippians 4:6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Central to Paul’s thoughts on prayer given to the Philippians is the aspect of thanksgiving and praise. Want to be free from your burdens? Rejoice in the Lord! Are you bringing your requests to God? Do it while giving thanks for what He’s already done!
Pray knowing that God hears the cries of His people. Bring all things to Him, cast them all before Him. Know that God is faithful and just. Trust, knowing what He has already been faithful in, that He will continue to provide your every need and hear the desires of your heart. Give Him thanks!
Echo the thoughts of Paul: Rejoice in the Lord always! This attitude in prayer will lead to peace, no matter what burdens you carry. The Lord is good and He will lighten your load.
———- What’s your biggest worry? Cast it before God and have the faith to let it go.
Philippians 1:6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
The foundation for our spiritual growth is our recognition that our Creator, who began a good work in us through salvation, will bring that work to completion through sanctification. We need to look back at what He’s already done so that we can remember how good He’s been and keep in mind that He’s faithful and will remain active in our lives. We can have confidence that God will never let us go.
Sometimes we need to act on what we know to be true instead of what feels true at any given moment. Feelings are a big part of who we are since we’re spiritual beings, but they can often be misleading. When it feels like God isn’t living up to His promises, but we know that He’s faithful and won’t let us go, we need to rely less on feeling and more on what we know to be true.
One way we know that we can rely on God is though His Word. Story after story is documented of His faithfulness to His people. This, along with the evidence in our own stories, gives us hope that He will indeed complete the work that He began.
———- Reflect on where you were spiritually 5 years ago, 2 years ago, one year ago. Think about how much God has done to develop you into the person He created you to be.
Psalm 91:9-10 Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place— the Most High, who is my refuge— no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent.
God’s people can be assured that our Lord will provide us with protection from evil. There is literally no reason to be fearful if you belong to God in Christ Jesus. Nothing in this world, or in any world, can stand against Him (Romans 8:37-39). No evil can come near us if we’re under His protection.
The Lord will provide His angels to guard us (Psalm 91:11), at His discretion. Nothing can befall us with His knowledge. No plague, no tribulation, no struggle gets by Him without His knowledge.
Our God is mighty and able to protect us from all things. He is our strength and our shield. It’s no wonder the words “Fear not” appear so many times in His Word. If we make Him our dwelling place, we’re safe in His shadow.
———- What are you afraid of?
Psalm 91:2 I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
Just as we seek satisfaction and pleasure in meaningless things in this life, we also seek security in equally meaningless things. We have a tendency to think that having enough money will keep us safe from disaster or unhappiness, that enough respect will keep us free from loneliness, that enough power will keep us secure from threats.
But the day comes for everyone when that stuff isn’t enough. The economy tanks, a mistake is made that ruins a hard-earned reputation, the job that seemed stable is lost. These things, for all they promise, can’t provide security. Only he who puts his trust in the Lord will find true refuge.
God is able to be our shelter from life’s hurts, our fortress from attack, our deliverer from danger. Only He is enough. Only He can live up to the promise of security. Dwell in Him and He will prove faithful.
———- Think of one thing that you’ve put your trust in, only to have it fail to live up to its promises. Now compare that to God’s faithfulness shown in Scripture.
Psalm 90:14 Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Where do you find pleasure? There are so many places in this world to look for fulfillment, but only one satisfies. The things of this world are vain, fleeting, finite, and altogether incapable of filling the void in our lives. They are limited and we’re just left wanting more, which leads us to continually search for that “one thing”.
The Psalmist knew the key to true joy that satisfies. The Lord’s love endures forever, it doesn’t fade, it doesn’t rust or wear out, it won’t leave us. We can be glad all our days if the place we look for fulfillment is in the Lord. In fact, this joy does not have to be sought. It’s a byproduct of seeking God first in our lives (Matthew 6:33).
When we prioritize God first, He adds to us blessings beyond what we can imagine (Ephesians 3:20) and the things this world has to offer seem like nothing in comparison.
———- Where are you seeking pleasure?
Psalm 90:12 So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.
This life on earth is like a breath. Before we can know what happened, it’s come to an end. No matter how much effort we put into gaining things for ourselves – possessions, wealth, prestige, pleasure – we leave everything behind in the end. As the saying goes, “You can’t take it with you.”
As followers of Christ, we should be seeking to prioritize our time in this short existence to use our time in the way God wants us to. Our prayer should mimic the Psalm, asking God to teach us to number our days, that we may know Him more fully and bring about His will. Our desire should be for a heart of wisdom.
Two practical applications for learning to number your days: seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit and store up God’s Word in your heart (Psalm 119:11). Make the most of what God’s given you.
———- What changes can you make to the way you use your time in order to make the most of it?
I Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
Many and varied are the ways that man tries to get closer to God. New religions spring up all the time, each seeking to find the right way to become whole. Hundreds of self-help books are shelved at each book store, none quite adequately fulfilling our quest. None quite bringing us into that place where we stand in right relationship with our Creator.
It’s sad that we spend so much time searching when the answer our souls seek has already been given. We don’t attain enlightenment by searching within ourselves. We don’t achieve entrance into heaven through doing enough good deeds. There is one way to God and He is Christ Jesus. He is our Savior, our King, our friend. From Him and through Him and to Him are all things (Romans 11:36) and not one thing was created that was not created by Him (John 1:3). He is the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15) and only He qualifies to mediate between God and man (John 14:6).We can try to fix ourselves, try to gain knowledge, or try to work our way to righteousness, but in the end it’s all in vain. Only Christ can save us. Only He can set us free (John 8:32).