Waiting & Promises (Part 2)

“But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31 ESV

The promise: refreshing, strength, and endurance.

Wait.  Yesterday I said a lot about waiting and what to do while waiting.

I thought I should get further into a very important thing we should be doing. Praying.
Prayer is our opportunity to speak with the Creator, Himself, and develop a personal, interactive relationship with Him. If you struggle with prayer, keep reading and I hope you’ll be encouraged in the Lord – He see you and knows about that struggle and wants to help you pray. And if you already pray… keep reading because this post is for you! I will address the struggle first – but there is a gem in here for everyone, I promise!

I say it all the time but it is worth repeating:
If you are married, and you woke up in the morning and did not say anything to your spouse, then went about your day and never spoke to, called, texted, messages or otherwise communicated with your spouse, and if you ended your day, went to sleep, and still never even acknowledged your spouse – how long will your marriage last?  What if your spouse, desperate to communicate with you and have a relationship with you, wrote you letters – ones reminding you of all the things s/he does for you, and promises s/he has fulfilled, and how much s/he loves you (and even long letters asking for intimacy) – and you don’t even read those?! So your spouse, still desperate to reach you send his son in, to you, to talk with you, and you do not even speak to or acknowledge the son.
How can you even say you are in a relationship? Haven’t you then cut off the relationship and just enjoy the tax breaks and the blessings of someone else doing some of the things that need to be done?  How long must your spouse extend grace to you??? How long will it last? Might you even forget that you are married and wander off?

Open our eyes to see and our ears to hear; please open the understanding of our hearts Lord!

Prayer.

It is critical. It is life changing. And we who confess to believe in Christ do not have the luxury any longer to make excuses. We have no excuse – we must pray.

In Matthew 6, Jesus said not to pray all fancy and showing off like the hypocrites. So you do not need to know how to pray like other people, nor should you – just be you when you talk with God. I could, and many have, wrote books on how to pray based on scriptures. And again, maybe we just like to make things much more complicated than they need to be.  The Bible describes people as the brides and Christ as the bride-groom, therefore, shouldn’t we just speak to Him as we do to our spouse??
I may not be married – but it doesn’t take a genius to realize how key communication is in relationships. And it only takes listening to a child pray a simple prayer to realize it is our heart and intention that counts. 

What was the strongest most powerful prayer you have ever prayed? For me, it was when I was deep in the bondage of sin and hurt and broken and at wits end and I cried, “I know you are real, but if you are real please help.” Instantly I was comforted and transformed. It took a good 6 months, of sins falling off me and God working, before anyone else could see the signs of the transformation. It happened deep within and moved outward.  (If you are praying for a prodigal, like I was, have hope if you do not see the signs. It is happening deep within.)

And we wait. Yep, everything these days is waiting.  You even had to wait an extra day for this second part of the waiting post.  Just to read “pray”. And some of you are on the prayer team and are prayer warriors with war-rooms, and have read every book and every Bible verse on prayer – and you are thinking what can be said that hasn’t been said before. Meh, maybe nothing. Maybe we just need to be reminded to pray in agreement with others, regardless of anything.

Today is special!!! Today is the 31st day of the month of May in the year 2020. The day of Pentecost has arrived. This is the 1,987th anniversary of the birth of the church. The church was born out of prayer while they waited. Are you seeing the connection?

Pray While Waiting

“And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Acts 1:4-5 ESV

Jesus – in the risen flesh – the same flesh where Thomas was able to put his fingers into the holes in His wrists – says to His disciples and followers: wait.

Don’t leave. Don’t do anything. Just lock yourselves in side. Sounds a lot like us lately. Inside. Waiting. Not leaving. Yes, I know things are opening and this message seems a little late – but spiritually we are still in the “wait”. So listen carefully.
“it will surely come; it will not delay.” Habakkuk 2:3 ESV
It will not be delayed much longer! And what is “it” in relation to then, in relation to now, and in relation to the future? As we know, God is outside of our understanding and time constraints. And “it” represents each and ever promise of God – all of the together as well as each one individually. (Sorry for being a little abstract – I pray that you understand, though – as this is so necessary.)

“When the day of Pentecost arrived” – That was then. That is right now – TODAY! Both.

“When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Acts 2:1-4 ESV

While we wait, we cannot gather in one place.  Some places in our nation are now having parking lot services. Some can even assemble in a building together, in more open States. I am in New York State and the rules are still – no more than 10 people WITH social distancing AND masks, which are only required when not able to social distance (and apparently when social distancing in groups of ten, but not). (Its ok if you are confused by the rules, we all are as well.)

Even with social distancing – we can agree in the spirit.  Even if we pray with a prerecorded prayer on the internet and agree, then in the spirit we are there and in one accord.  Remember the spirit world (and God himself) is outside of time. He doesn’t have the same restrictions.  So today, on Pentecost, if we are alone in our house, or in a church parking lot, or inside a church – if we are in the year 2020 or in the year 33 (the year Jesus died, rose again, and the events of the book of Acts chapter 2 happened), then we can still be in agreement and pray together while we wait.  You read that correctly – you can pray in agreement with our brothers and sisters in Christ who were at the birth of the church.  The same wind sound can come to you. The same divided tongues of fire can sit on you. The same Holy Spirit can fill you in the same way!
And just as “they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance” – the same can be with you! Why not? The Lord is the same yesterday, today and forever. It can all be as it was and as it will be.

The Lords promises are for some people and not for others – we are all His creation and He loves us all equally. His promises are ALL gifts for us. There is no place in the Bible that says otherwise. So regardless of what people say and churches say – look at what the Bible says. It is the definitive decision on it. It says it. I believe it. I have experienced it. That settles it. (As a Pastor I grew up under used to say: A man with an experience is NEVER at the mercy of a man with an argument.)

While they waited – they prayed. While we wait – pray.

“When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” Acts 4:13 NIV

The Holy Spirt bring boldness and confidence. The Holy Spirit is needed to complete your transformation and equip you for the path ahead. When the time of waiting is finished – you will need ‘the comforter’. 
When the priests, the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees saw this boldness they contributed it to the fact that Jesus taught them.  But look how Peter and John behaved when they were with Jesus. They were zealous and ambitious followers, who clumsily fell on their faces and tripped all over themselves learning the lessons. they never behaved like well educated men, wise and empowered by their educations. And then look at how they are changed, empowered, and well-spoken after they are baptized with the Holy Spirit!

The promise: when we pray and wait we are filled with the Holy Spirit! Along with it comes boldness and empowerment!

Confession: Today, I will pray, in agreement with my brothers and sisters in Christ who are praying today, as well as those throughout history – praying for the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives and in our nations. Come Holy Spirit, on the sound of a rushing wind! Fill us! And for those of us who are filled; please refresh us, refill us and empower us!

Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

~Grace be with you ~
~Thank you for reading ~ Be healthy and blessed ~
~ Watch and Pray ~