Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Devotional 260509

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. Praise God for a wonderful retreat that we had at Nevada City with brothers and sisters from CIBC Oakland. The weather and environment were so beautiful. I had a relaxing and enjoyable time to have fellowship with one another in Christ. Our last session at the retreat was to talk about 4 spiritual disciplines that are essential for abundant living. To Apostle Paul, these spiritual disciplines are fundamental exercises that we need to practice daily, “Always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else. Be joyful always; pray unceasingly; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's Will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:15b-18). The Lord has spoken through Paul. And it is our choice to put them into practice both individually and as a Body, so that we find assurance to live in the Will of God each day. Amen? It so happened that Oswald Chambers also shared on one of these verses today. Let’s hear what our Lord had spoken to him…

"Pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17). We think rightly or wrongly about prayer according to the conception we have in our minds of prayer. If we think of prayer as the breath in our lungs and the blood from our hearts, we think rightly. The blood flows ceaselessly, and breathing continues ceaselessly; we are not conscious of it, but it is always going on. We are not always conscious of Jesus keeping us in perfect joint with God, but if we are obeying Him, He always is. Prayer is not an exercise, it is the life. Beware of anything that stops reflective prayer. "Pray without ceasing," keep the childlike habit of reflective or contemplative prayer in your heart to God all the time.

Jesus never mentioned unanswered prayer; He had the boundless certainty that prayer is always answered. Have we by the Spirit the unspeakable certainty that Jesus had about prayer, or do we think of the times when God does not seem to have answered prayer? "Every one that asks receives." We say - "But . . . , but . . ." God answers prayer in the best way, not sometimes, but every time, although the immediate manifestation of the answer in the domain in which we want it may not always follow. Do we expect God to answer prayer?

The danger with us is that we want to water down the things that Jesus says and make them mean something in accordance with common sense; if it were only common sense, it was not worth while for Him to say it. The things Jesus says about prayer are supernatural revelations.

To our Lord Jesus, prayer is a life line of communication between Him and God the Father. Unless He constantly focused on the work of His Father, Jesus would not be able to say, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these” (John 5:19-20). There are so many things try to distract our attention from God’s work in our lives. The challenge for us is to stay focus on Him through unceasing prayer or unceasing communication with God.

It may sound like a myth or too ideal to make it a reality, but it is doable to many saints throughout church history. It takes commitment and desire to build a habit of prayer with our ears and eyes, besides our mouth. Prayer is not to seek God’s help when we are in desperation only. Prayer is not to seek God’s guidance or provision when we are in needs. I totally agree that prayer is like breathe. We need to train the nature of our soul to desire communication with God through prayer just as the nature of our lung desires breathing fresh air. The ultimate goal is to let our Holy Spirit to be the CEO of our whole being, and train different departments of our body to submit under His command. You will be amazed how God may turn your life around when you stay focus on Him whenever and wherever you go. Let’s pray for one another on this spiritual discipline.

Love you in Christ,

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