Editor’s Note: The AMI Quiet Times for February 28 and March 1 are provided by Mei Lan Thallman of GCC.
Devotional Thoughts for Today
Isaiah 55:8-13: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.  “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.  As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.  You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the Lord’s renown, for an everlasting sign that will endure forever.”
As a first generation Christian in my family, I have been praying for the salvation of my family members for a long time. And I am so grateful to experience firsthand how God has used the intercessory prayers of the body of Christ to bring salvation to my beloved mother. When she passed away unexpectedly three years ago, my greatest comfort was the assurance of knowing that she was with Jesus. But the process of praying for her salvation took more than 10 years.
Recently, I was feeling discouraged by the lack of visible breakthroughs in the ongoing 18 plus years of interceding for my siblings’ salvation and the heart wrenching circumstances that they are in. A thought of, “What’s the use, you might as well give up praying for them,” came to my mind. Just then, I felt the tugging of the Holy Spirit, reminding me of several prayers that were prayed over me: The first prayer was a prophetic word from a pastor that God has called me to be a spiritual pillar for my family. The second prayer was that God was teaching me a new way to see, to respond, and to pray for my dysfunctional family through His perspective and not my own.
The above Isaiah passage reminds me that part of praying is yielding my thoughts and understanding to God’s thoughts and understanding. My focus must to be on God, His character, His ongoing eternal redemptive plan, and not on the lack of results and the circumstances. On this side of heaven, 10 and 18 years seem like a long time, but from the perspective of eternity, they are like a blink of an eye or a drop in the bucket.
When I realign my thoughts and prayers according to the lordship and anointing of the Holy Spirit, God not only hears all my prayers, but He is faithful and able to accomplish His redemptive plan for the people He has laid on my heart to pray for; that is, in His timing and ways. My job is to keep on praying in cooperating with the Holy Spirit without ceasing.
For whom and what have you been burdened to intercede for lately? Please don’t give up and never lose hope. Your prayers are making all the difference in people’s eternal destinies and in God’s kingdom. God can use our prayers to equip us to co-labor with the Holy Spirit and empower us to make an eternal difference in people’s lives. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him (through intercession), so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 15:13).
Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 66