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Pray Without Ceasing

“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 16-18, NIV

Throughout the long year of trying to figure out how I could joint venture with Saving Grace Enterprises I’ve just known it would eventually happen -all in God’s time of course. The past few weeks have been especially trying for both Dee (the owner of Saving Grace Enterprises) and myself. We’ve felt and had an onslaught of attack coming from the enemy’s ranks to try and thwart our mission. Throughout it all, God has shown and directed both of us to pray without ceasing.

When we get busy in our daily lives, it’s easy to think “I’ll pray later when I am more relaxed” or “less busy” or “not so tired”. That “later” usually doesn’t happen. If you’re feeling the need to pray right NOW and don’t, it is really a direct rejection of the Holy Spirit leading you into prayer. He’s here to counsel and teach us and if we don’t heed His direction, we’re not taking full advantage of the privilege we have in prayer because of our Savior’s finished work at the Cross and subsequent resurrection.

Prayer isn’t only a privilege, it’s the power we have in the Holy Spirit. Prayer is direct communication with Omnipotent God. Almighty God! Wow, now think about that. He’s listening and He wants to hear from us. God, our God, our huge God Who is so wide, so deep and unfathomable in our finite being! I often think that would be like me desiring a conversation with an ant, lol. It’s a good thing God doesn’t think like that huh?

God wants to be in contact with us at all times. Paul said to pray ceaselessly. Doesn’t that mean pray all the time? Constantly? What God has been teaching me (Dee also because we talk together a LOT), is that He wants constant contact, constant fellowship with us. In my devotional commentary Devotions for a Deeper Life by Oswald Chambers today there was this message to me from God (yep He does talk to us in all sorts of different ways): And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth (Mark 4:5)

“…….This kind of self-sympathy, arising from the cares of this life, is carnal. It will kill the Spirit of God within you. Jesus said, ‘If you look at your problems instead of Me, the Word will be choked in your heart.’ Satan will try his best to have you look at the difficulties of your life. He knows that if he can get your eyes off of Jesus and onto these, he will be able to choke your spiritual life. Have you ever noticed how many times Scripture warns us not to be anxious, not to worry? He tells us to cast our cares upon Him, to trust Him, to wait on Him, and to fret not. May God help us to keep the thorns from growing up in our hearts and choking the Word of God in us!”

One way to always keep our eyes on Him is to be in constant prayer. If we’re always praying to God about every single thing in our lives, our eyes won’t waiver, nor will our hearts. One thing I’m certain of, this joyous amazing adventure Dee and I are on, while at times unsettling, it’s a blast when you just give the reins entirely over to God, keep in constant communication with Him and just enjoy the ride! Pray without ceasing brethren and watch how God responds! Once Saved, Always Saved?

I used to think that once saved, I would always be saved. This in part because of the scripture in Romans 8:38 Where Paul makes the statement: (“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord”).

I believed that by Paul making these statements, he was saying I would always be loved AND saved. What changed my mind?

On October 25, 2002, I gave birth to a stillborn child at full term. During the following months (during my grieving period) after spending several hours in non-stop prayer about the situation, The Lord took me back (in my mind) to the day I was in the hospital holding the lifeless child in my arms. He revealed to me: The way I felt for this lifeless child, was the same way He felt for us (his children).

During this prayer, (I call it a prayer, but it was more like: I was flat on my face sobbing to the point I couldn’t speak) So in my spirit I poured my heart out to God and told him:

“God, when I whispered in the baby’s ears, she couldn’t hear me. When I spoke the words “I love you”, she never turned her head to acknowledge me. She never opened her eyes to see me. I have accumulated everything a baby needs to survive- food, clothes, shelter, toys, etc., but this means nothing right now because I will not be able to take her home with me.

The Lord in his wisdom answered me: He made me understand He also has children that he calls out to; however, they close up their ears so they cannot hear him. They shut their eyes so they cannot see him. He provides everything for them, but they do not acknowledge Him~ they are dead in their sins. He cannot take them home with him in heaven because they are dead.

This brings me back to the original scripture, I am convinced that neither life nor death or anything can separate us….” The Love God has, will never change, it will always be there, even in death, it is just that some people have chosen to remain dead in their sins. God is a just God that never changes and in his word, he says that the wages of sin is death!

Maybe at one time they did listen to him. They did hear His words and He grafted them into the vine, of which we are the branches. Now, if they have closed up their eyes and ears, and have returned to unbelief, He can cut them out of the vine. He cannot take them to heaven-they are dead. The good news is God is a forgiving God. In His Word He says that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.



       



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