Tag Archives: failure

The Most Powerful Prayer

prayerEveryone wants to pray well, and pray powerfully, but what if I told you the most powerful prayers have never been heard by your ears.  Maybe you don’t believe that, but it is true.

Luke 22:31 says, “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat.  But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail.”

Focus on that word, ‘fail.’   Don’t you just hate that word?  I bet you can think in a moment of some of the words fails you ever had.  It’s not hard to do because failure seems haunt us.  Maybe you’ve failed, but have you failed like Peter?  I mean, its hard to beat a guy who pledges his life to Jesus, whom he said was the Messiah, and that he will die with Him, but within a matter of hours after Jesus is arrested, Peter has denied him three times, the rooster has crowed, and Jesus has looked him dead in the eyes across the courtyard.  Now……that’s failure of Biblical proportions.  I’ve often tried to empathize with Peter’s humiliation, and I can’t imagine the shame and guilt he felt at that moment.  I’m sure when he heard Jesus had died on the cross, believing he would never be able to redeem himself to this man he love, Peter probably wanted to go into hiding and never be found.

Peter could’ve let that be the end of him as a disciple but there was something which preserved him.  We never read how Peter prayed for himself to be bold and courageous, but we do know someone prayed for Peter, and it was Jesus.  Jesus had prayed for him knowing the sifting was coming.  Why is Peter even present with Jesus and the other disciples in John 21?  Is it because of Peter’s prayers?  Not at all, but it is because Jesus prayed for him.

Romans 8 speaks some important reminders for believers.  In so many words it says my present sufferings do not compare to the future glory to be revealed in me.  It mentions there is a hope in me for what I do not have but the Spirit helps me in my weaknesses.  It reminds me how God is working in all things for me because I love Him, and He’s not only called me but justified me.  I see here how there can be no one against me because God is for me, and I am more than a conqueror in Him.  All this is made possible because of what verse 34 mentions, “Christ is at God’s right hand interceding for me.”  Jesus didn’t just pray for Peter, He is praying for you and me continually.

Can you relate to how I’ve failed Him because you’ve done it too?  I’ve said words I should’ve never said because I couldn’t control my tongue.  I’ve thought the worst about others when I should’ve given them the benefit of the doubt.  I’ve been bitter against those who’ve hurt me when I was supposed to forgive.

But there is hope for me because Jesus was praying for me.

I’ve trusted in myself rather than Him and even put my faith in myself or other people rather than Him.  I’ve been puffed up with pride when humility would have been the right decision.  I’ve desired and even given payback instead of grace.

But, you know what?  Jesus was praying for me.

I know that He is still praying for me, and I’m thankful for the prayers I’ve never heard from the lips of Jesus yet have a profound impact on  my life.

Apart from repenting of my sins, I’ve never been able to change myself, and I’m sure you’ve found out this truth too!  I focus on loving Him, and He corrects my living.

If you’re wondering what you can pray to overcome your failings, you may be missing the most powerful truths about prayer that I have been comforted by most……

My ability to push through the difficulties in life, to overcome the flesh, temptation, and even the enemy is not so dependent on the power of my prayers, but on His.

What’s My Excuse this time?

no excusesHave you ever noticed the only time a person makes excuses when their behavior hasn’t measured up to their own expectations or even the expectations of those they respect.  Otherwise, we don’t have to make any excuses when we are operating at our peak and everyone around appears satisfied with us.  Excuses are made when there’s the need to try and remove blame from yourself.  To seek an excuse is to admit, as humans, we are not perfect, and we will not always do as needed or expected.

It’s easier to make an excuse than to come to resolution.  Sometimes people would rather have their behavior excused and overlooked by others rather than resolve what is causing the issue.  Resolve the issue, change behavior, and there is no longer a need to make excuses.

I’ll assume most who are reading this blog are Believers, Christians….Children of God.  So, are you living as His Word directs you to, and if not, why not?  What’s your excuse?

No, I’m not trying to be condemning or sarcastic but realistic….if you’re not being what He’s called you to be then what do you claim is the reason to excuse yourself from living as you should?  I doubt I’m alone on this, but I’d rather heal what’s broken, so I don’t have to be confined a crutch the rest of my life.

Let’s consider that Jesus came to release us from the excuses which keep us from living optimally for Him.  When the woman with adultery was brought before Jesus (John 8), it would be easy for her to justify her life.  There was nothing else she could do as she became a product of what others thought she was.  Maybe she could have excused her behavior saying everyone had faults and this just happened to be hers.  She could have even excused herself saying she didn’t have the opportunities others had, and she was doing the best she could with what was dealt to her.

Let’s not be so easily diluted because Jesus died and rose again, so we would no longer need to make excuses because He was all-sufficient to change us.  Jesus said He came so that ‘they may have life, and have it to the full.’ (John 10:10b)  So much for our excuses.  When I focus on Him, I become a product of His redemptive work in my life and not what others think.  When He is my goal, it matters little what others do because I desire to be like Him.  When I understand He is in control of my life, I praise Him for the opportunities He brings, and I won’t desire what He doesn’t present to me.  There is nothing lost if He has chosen to withhold it from me.

Be encouraged today how you, as a Child of God, don’t need to be stuck in the rut of making excuses.  Jesus has made a way for us to live for Him and because of Him, each of us is overcomers (Romans 8:28).  I may not be perfect, but He is perfecting me.  I may still fail, but I don’t have to be a failure.  I may sin, but I no longer have to be bound to it and can find freedom from it in Jesus.  Part of Jesus’ victory on the cross reminds me I can accept who I am, without excuses, as He is making me into who I am.  That’s good news!