Friday, January 13, 2006

Keep Asking

"I have not stopped...remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better" (Ephesians 1:16-17).

How often do I pray for a person or a situation for about a week, and then get bored and discouraged because I don't see any answers?

Paul says he will keep asking God to give the Ephesians increased knowledge of Himself. Ever since Paul heard about the saints at Ephesus (v. 15), he had not stopped remembering them in his prayers.

What makes me stop praying? Do I believe that my sense of urgency or timing is wiser than God's? Do I think that I want this good, God-glorifying thing more than He does? Do I secretly doubt (though I'd never say it this way) that He's able to accomplish what I ask?

Maybe there were days when Paul grew a little weary of praying for the same thing. If the Ephesians were anything like you and me (and I'd guess in some ways they were), they struggled with the same sins over and over. They sometimes had wrong ideas about God, or got their priorities out of whack, or failed to love. But Paul kept on remembering them in his prayers. He kept asking God to give them His Spirit, to give them wisdom and revelation.

I think what kept Paul at it was the memory of the words that the Holy Spirit had already inspired him to write to Thessalonica: "The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it" (1 Thessalonians 5:24). Paul placed all his hope in that truth. He knew he was powerless to bring about what he prayed for. He knew his best efforts alone couldn't produce this kind of growth in the Ephesians. But with all his heart, he trusted that God could--and would.

Lord, give me the grace to persevere in prayer. When I become weary or start to doubt, increase my faith and strengthen my trust in You. I believe that you are faithful and that you will do it!

1 comment:

rebekah said...

amy -- so sorry, will contact you soon, promise. things have been busy -- i actually might be in nashville tomorrow -- i realize that might be short notice, but maybe m'boro sometime this week???
miss ya!