Monday, July 6, 2009

Growing Pains

I've noticed a lot of friends posting about their 4th of July festivities so I'm feeling a little left out since Jon and I spent our 4th of July asleep because we worked the night before and the night of. I just realized that I haven't had a 4th of July or a New Years Eve off since I started working at Maryhurst. Ugh.

Anyway, things are going really well with me. There have been a lot of big changes going on in the lives of people around me: pregnancies, new jobs, new houses etc. Although it has been easy to feel discontent, today especially the Lord has given my heart a feeling of joy. After finishing up the book Tortured for Christ I was convicted on how easily I lose my joy when my brothers and sisters in Christ are overflowing with joy in the midst of horrendous persecution. As that conviction settled I was questioning why my joy is so often fleeting (I believe I blogged about this a while ago). It's easy for someone to say, "You just need to focus on God. You need to have an eternal perspective." But I was struggling and still do struggle with the idea of living that out. As I tried to figure this out it hit me...why not pray for this? I'm pretty sure that God has showed me this little tidbit of truth before but I'm forgetful. Praise God for his patience with us! So as of right now I'm learning once again how to pray daily for that joy and peace that can only be found when living your life in Christ.

As I was working through those questions our pastor preached a wonderful sermon on prayer this morning and it left me feeling convicted yet incredibly encouraged. It's funny how God orchestrates the timing of what he desires to teach us.

"Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison - that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak."
- Colossians 4:2-4

Here are a few points and poignant questions that stuck with me:
- "Continue steadfastly in prayer" - to be consistently, persistently devoted to prayer

Could this be said of my current practice of prayer?

- Adjust your perspective (I Thess. 5:18) Prayer is not limited to the folding of hands and closing of eyes.

- Start where you are. Jesus will work with what you have.

- Is it my habit to pray for opportunities for the Gospel to go out through me?

Good stuff huh?!? Today as the sermon ended I wrote down a few things that by God's grace I desire to grow in:
- more time devoted to prayer (learned how to be in constant prayer)
- unwavering joy
- conviction and courage to share the Gospel
- growth in faith

No comments: