Posted by: mikenicholsblog | June 30, 2016

simply pray

Our lives follow a pattern of ebbs and flows. We can all look back and clearly see the blessings and trials that made up each day. If we are not careful, however, the trials which seem to linger will weigh us down. Sure, we are thankful for the blessings. But they seem to fade into the distance while our trials grow clearer by the moment. It seems that nearly every day, I talk to people who are “trial-centered” at that moment. They may be experiencing one of those days on which Vance Havner proclaimed, “God marks across some of our days ‘will explain later.’” We cannot explain every trial we encounter.  And even for those we believe we can … it’s possible we understand or will explain them wrong.  Yet, they come to us all.  We all need perspective in our trials.  We all need each other.  We all need God’s Spirit to endure and understand.

Reading the phrase, “so that we despaired even of life,” would get anyone’s attention. Obviously, a situation so dire that would cause a person to mouth such words is worth examining. Paul, in describing the hardships he endured in the province of Asia, wrote those words to the church at Corinth. He also used the words, “…under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure” (2 Cor. 1:8b)  to describe a bleak situation. We may not have experienced the depth of Paul’s difficulties, but we all have had our own “under great pressure” moments. And, quite frankly, there have been times where we all wondered, “can I get through this?”

Paul’s perspective on his hardships has great meaning and is wrought with wisdom. “…But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves, but on God, who raises the dead” (2 Cor. 1:9). Isn’t that what we should be doing all the time anyway? After all, don’t we all live from one trial to another?  Only in truly relying on our Lord will there be sufficient energy to endure well. Don’t forget, He raises the dead! A full reading of the first chapter of 2 Corinthians relays a confidence that can be ours. Paul had no doubt that God, who had delivered them from deadly peril, would continue to do so. How is your confidence about your trials and your tomorrows?

There is more to our trial story. Namely, that we need each other. No one would debate that point, but how do we need each other? Look at what Paul told the Corinthians. “…On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers” (2 Cor. 1:10b, 11a). Paul wanted the believers in Corinth to know their prayers would play a part in deliverance. I don’t know about you, but the words in bold have escaped my attention when reading this passage (maybe a hundred times). Paul made it crystal clear that he needed their help, in the form of their prayers. Dear Christ-follower, as you see others walking through trials, they need your help … your prayer help. Paul looked for the supernatural provision of God to come through prayer. So should we!

We may not feel like our prayer time will have that much effect on another’s situation. But we need to leave the results to God, and simply pray. Others need us…in prayer. Just this afternoon, my daughter Lindsay made a prayer statement that stopped me in my tracks. It was tied to the fact that she trusts my prayer life for her situation.  She needs my help through prayer… just like someone needs your prayer time today.

Paul was beset by trials. You may encounter someone today who is weighted down. Trials are a fact of life.  It is equally a fact of life that the prayers of the righteous are effective. Who in your life needs your prayer today? You know who they are and what to do for them – Pray right now!

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Responses

  1. Boy did this one hit a bell today…. Mike you amaze me and are always popping up when I need you the most !!! 💞💞💞💞💞💞

  2. Mike I have to echo Nancy’s comment. Thanks brother!


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