11. The Power of Joy In The Prison Of Pain in Phil. (part10)



ENCUMBERED          And this

What are our prayer burdens?  What keeps coming up in our heart as an encumbrance and inconvenience that we go to God?  The challenge of prayer is waiting and grappling with those things we view as problems.  We’re pushing for a solution and wondering  what steps we should take for a resolution.  This is the “and this” of our prayer journal as we lift it daily to our King in dependence and wonder.

EXPRESSION             I pray,

For years I’ve studied the topic of prayer and grappled with the phenomenon of talking to an invisible God.  Why does He make these tests for us?  He is our Lord, who promises that everything is in His control.

He nudges me with His mysterious ways.  I always come back to the realization that I just need to keep lifting everything up to His ear and trust with a hopeful waiting on Him.

So all the things I look to prod, stir and jolt me to a solution brings me to the same reclusive recognition that “I pray.”

I bring out my journal of names and requests, as the only reasonable expression that eases my emotion and centers my being on this singular act of obedience.

ENHANCEMENT       that you’re Love.

Improvement inside, somehow there’s an upgrade and enhancement of my behavior for those who have touched me and for those I care for.  How do I love with alert and watchful care for those I want to touch, to hold close?  I think that I was much more active when I imagined I was involved in a cure.  Now I wonder just how effective was I?  Was it mere blundering?  Did I cause wounds in an attempt to be healing and restoring?  God’s Word is a journal full of prayer requests; things Christ’s Spirit appeals to us to ask Him for, for others.  I need; we all need – enhancing.  We strive that we might improve in our love; progress in our affections; and, that our desires would be to advance to an honorable behavior of becoming close in Jesus.

ENLARGEMENT       may abound

EXPANSION              yet more and more

We may feel inadequate in some way, maybe even injured in our emotions or body.  But that doesn’t impede this area of our life and fruit bearing possibility.  We can pray for our heart and the hearts of others to enlarge and expand in an abounding of more and more love.

Praying is another word for petitioning, pleading, lobbying to see a change.  Often at the market where I shop someone will have a clipboard and will ask me to sign this petition to see some improvement in a social arena.  This is to raise names of voters who can impact an issue in those of government.

What a concept if we could carry clipboards of our most pressing issues about ourselves and those we love and enlist people to sign up to petition the throne of grace boldly with us.

So we keep articulating to the Lord, appealing, pleading and imploring “this I pray that our love may grow”

Abound is a word that means “an exceeding measure, something above the ordinary” Our love is to be lavish, overflowing, superfluous and exceeding in measure to be above the ordinary.

Love can be so misinterpreted by others as we seek to know how to express it, but love through prayer is always in season.


COMPREHENSION    in knowledge

CAPACITY                    and in all judgment;

I’ve done my share of dumb things but one of the things that was really stupid was back when I was 24.  I was extremely idealistic and had just come back from an overseas missionary exposure with Turkish immigrants in Germany.

I was attending a pilot program of ministry training in the San Francisco bay area to intern into the ministry.  It was 1974 the plane landed me in New York everything I owned was in a backpack and I walked to a highway and hitch hiked to the West Coast.

It was an intensive course of lecture, personal study and assigned practical work centered on a large local Bible Church.  I got very verbal about the lack of prayer in the Church with one of the pastoral trainers who in the past was in the marine corps and a highly seasoned individual.

What a mistake, I even had the brass to say they needed to employ all night prayer meetings.  He said that my vision was great and set me up with six couples to train in the rigors of prayer with the goal of training them to be disciplined prayer warriors for Jesus.  I had 12 weeks to boot camp them into an all night session for the needs of the world.

I lacked knowledge and judgment among a ton of other personal deprivations.  Learning our deficits and discrepancies is a path into the depths of the Grand Canyon.

“Why art thou cast down, O my soul.” (Psalm 43:5.)

George Mueller writes: “IS there ever any ground to be cast down? There are two reasons, but only two. If we are as yet unconverted, we have ground to be cast down; or if we have been converted and live in sin, then we are rightly cast down.

But except for these two things there is no ground to be cast down, for all else may be brought before God in prayer with supplication and thanksgiving. And regarding all our necessities, all our difficulties, all our trials, we may exercise faith in the power of God, and in the love of God.

“Hope thou in God.” Oh, remember this: There is never a time when we may not hope in God. Whatever our necessities, however great our difficulties, and though to all appearance help is impossible, yet our business is to hope in God, and it will be found that it is not in vain. In the Lord’s own time help will come.

Oh, the hundreds, yea, the thousands of times that I have found it thus within the past seventy years and four months!

When it seemed impossible that help could come, help did come; for God has His own resources. He is not confined. In ten thousand different ways, and at ten thousand different times God may help us.

Our business is to spread our cases before the Lord, in childlike simplicity to pour out all our heart before God, saying, “I do not deserve that You should hear me and answer my requests, but for the sake of my precious Lord Jesus; for His sake answer my prayer, and give me grace quietly to wait till it please Thee to answer my prayer. For I believe Thou wilt do it in Your own time and way.”

“For I shall yet praise him.” More prayer, more exercise of faith, more patient waiting, and the result will be blessing, abundant blessing. Thus I have found it many hundreds of times, and therefore I continually say to myself, “Hope thou in God.”—George Mueller.

11. The Power of Joy In The Prison Of Pain in Phil. (part10)



ENCUMBERED          And this

EXPRESSION             I pray,

ENHANCEMENT       that you’re Love.

ENLARGEMENT       may abound

EXPANSION          yet more and more


COMPREHENSION    in knowledge

CAPACITY               and in all judgment;


APPROVAL             That ye may approve

ADVISABILITY         things that are excellent;


SINCERE                  that ye may be sincere

SENSITIVE               and without offence till the day of Christ


CONTROLLED          Being filled with the fruits of righteousness

CHRIST-LIKE           which are by Jesus Christ,

COMMENDABLE     unto the glory and praise of God.

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