What’s one of your very favorite things?
Mine’s a toss-up between dark, strong coffee and chocolate (milk or dark)…and no, I’m not a fan of them being combined. I’ll eat them together, but I like my coffee black, very black. No sugar. No cream. Just black.
Another is seeing God’s Word become Vibrantly Relevant in my life or in someone else’s life.
- To witness Him in action as He makes His promises come true.
- To watch their faith explode.
- To see them fall in love with their Savior all over again.
It floods my heart with joy! There’s nothing like it!
And this past week-and-a-half, that person was me.
God hears us when we pray.
God HEARS us when we pray.
God hears us WHEN WE PRAY.
How many times have I written on this? How many times have I posted here and on social media to keep praying. To trust that God hears us when we pray? To keep knocking on the door until it opens? (Matthew 7:7-11)
I’ve lost count.
When I write about this, I’m preaching to myself. Reminding myself, God hears us when we pray.
Do you believe this?
Do you believe, God hears us when we pray?
And I do.
But I also routinely ask Him to help me in my unbelief. (Mark 9:24)
This past week-and-a-half God’s taken 1 John 5:13-15 out of His Word and put it under my feet. Made it my reality. Revealed it’s validity.
Let’s break these verses down a little and then I’ll share my story.
First, John’s letter is written to Christian believers. Those who already believe in and follow Jesus.
His purpose was
- To encourage them
- To strengthen their faith
- To ensure their joy is complete
- To help them avoid sin
- To instill confidence in their salvation and gift of their eternal life
When we follow Jesus, we submit to Him and His will. We invite Him to direct our lives and reveal His purpose for us.
And the more we submit, the more He unveils His plan—How exciting is that?!
And the more He reveals His plan, the more we claim His will as our own.
And the more we claim His will as our own, the more His desires become our desires.
And the more His desires become our desires, the more we pray IN ACCORDANCE TO HIS WILL.
And the more we pray in accordance to His will, the MORE HE HEARS US WHEN WE PRAY!
“And if we know that He hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of Him.” (NIV)
This is reminiscent to Jesus’s words recorded in John’s gospel:
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. (John 15:5-8)
Here’s what I’m understanding (in a nutshell)
- We must be actively following Jesus and digging into His Word to understand what His will is in the first place.
- Once we understand His will and pray according to it, HE HEARS US!
- Because we know He hears us, He will give us what we ask for—He will make it happen.
So now on to my story.
Since God has called me to write (and I submitted to that call), I have been trying to understand all that He wants me to do with it. One area I’ve submitted to, and He’s developed a desire and excitement for is publishing in-depth Bible studies
- To help people see the Vibrant Relevance of God’s Word in their daily lives.
- To fight against Biblical illiteracy.
- To encourage those who’ve chosen to follow Him grow in by teaching them how to study His word so they can in-turn teach others. (Make disciples)
However, in order to do this, there are many things that need to take place. One of which is subscribers to this blog/website. The industry minimum is 1000 subscribers—which is A LOT! (I am no where near that yet.) And this is my only missing piece according to Harvest House Publishers. As many of you know, I’ve tried to fill that piece by adhering to what so many great experts say to do—and it just wasn’t me. It didn’t feel right. At. All. I felt gross. So I brought it to God in prayer and let Him take it.
As I waited for God to do His thing with growing the Vibrant Relevance Community, I started to talk to Him about others things I wanted. Things of great importance to me. Things that are vital to the launch and sustainability of this ministry. A ministry He is continuously revealing more and more details about by-the-way.
The most important of these is, I wanted needed the support of my home church.
Up until recently I felt as though I didn’t have anything to invite them to get behind so I didn’t say much of anything. But in the last few months, I felt as though God was changing that. I had the urge to pray about it frequently—asking God to help me figure out how to best present my request. I had no idea what their support would look like. I had no illusions or expectations. But I knew, at minimum, having their prayer support and encouragement behind me is going to be critical to the vitality of this ministry.
This was all going hand-in-hand with me trying to find my niche in our church. As I stated in Unmasked and Unmasked my 10 mistakes 1-5, and 6-10, I’m no longer working with our youth ministry and need to find my hands-on ministry outlet. I needed to find a place where my gifts and talents would be best used. Writing. Teaching. Discipleship. Mentoring. Encouraging others in their faith and helping them grow and fall in love with Jesus.
And after a short break from volunteerig, I knew it was time.
So I reached out.
Less than two weeks ago, I had a meeting with a wonderful young woman who is the new director of discipleship at church. The best part is we served in the youth ministry together for a few years and already knew each other! We just got to know each other a little better and have some fun doing it.
Long-story-short she gave me an invitation from our senior pastor to write an in-depth Bible Study for our church’s small groups and individuals on the life of David to correlate with his message series this fall. This is an 8 week study with 5 days of homework each week. (I will own the content, so I can publish this study later.)
They in turn will
- Come around me, and bathe me in prayer
- Share my website and invite people to subscribe and hang out here via their social media platforms and stage
- (we are going to have a meeting soon to see what this looks like)
And when all goes well with this study, I can “test run” all future studies through the church. Plus, there’s a potential to write more small group in-depth curriculum in the future!
Friend, I DIDN’T EVEN HAVE TO ASK FOR ANY OF THIS!
This was God. 100% God. 200% God!
God heard each and every prayer. Every whisper. Every groan. Every plea. While I was on my knees, He was already setting things in motion. While I was feeling frustrated and unsure, He was paving the way and opening doors. While I was praying about how to present my request, He already had it taken care of…and then some!
Beloved, GOD HEARS US WHEN WE PRAY!
In this whole thing, He has answered prayers I’ve been praying for weeks, months, and years! And He is bringing them together in His timing.
He will for you too.
Keep praying. Keep seeking. Keep knocking.
Stay in the Word and on your knees. Continue to pursue His heart and will.
He hears you. He does. And He will bring it all together when His time is right.
What this means for me this summer:
I will be posting only once a week with Follow Fridays as I will be neck deep in this project. Be prepared to hear a lot about David and those around him. Ha!
I would also appreciate your prayers for me and our senior pastor as we prepare our messages
- That God will stretch my time
- My time line is very short!
- But this is God’s project and He will help me do it
- Eliminate distractions, use time very wisely
- He will give me His words and reveal what to highlight
- That I will communicate well what He has for me to teach
- That He will be glorified
- Lives will be changed
- That an insatiable hunger for his Word will develop in our church and community
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