August 20, Sunday

Today’s AMI QT Devotional is provided Jasmin Izumikawa. Jasmin, a member of the Church of Southland, is currently a high school teacher.

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS FOR TODAY

Perseverance in Prayer

John 17:1
“He lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you . . .’”

On a recent flight, I watched a movie on the plane that began with a scene of a reporter asking “Miss Elliot, aren’t you scared? Given the history, given the dangers?” Elliot replied, “Of course. I’m scared that I might let the mission down in some way. . .. Courage is fear that has said its prayers.” Her answer caused me to think about the conflicts and fears that I had been holding onto rather than lifting up to the LORD in prayer.  This of course seems like a normal reaction by most of us who “fix our eyes . . . on what is seen, [not] on what is unseen” (1 Cor. 4:18).

How did our Lord Jesus handle his mission when one wrong move (think the temptation of Jesus by the devil) could have destroyed everything, thereby ensuring that humans would be forever lost in their sins?  Jesus, as he was about to offer his last prayer before the crucifixion, “lifted up His eyes to heaven”; instead of allowing the suffering and death which lay before his sight to turn him away from obeying God’s will (Mt. 26:39), he fixated His eyes on the unseen: that is, the Father and His will which he came to fulfill.

What a beautiful stance to take—taking a position of humility, hope, and faith towards the LORD, in spite of the reality of such sorrow. It takes a deep and loving relationship with the Father for us to pour out our prayers even in the greatest difficulties.

So, do we pray to acknowledge God’s will above our own requests and conflicts in life? Do we pray with tenacity, especially when difficulty lies ahead? Perhaps there is something you have stopped praying about after long periods of wholehearted effort, or maybe you have grown weary of praying over the same problems after all this time. Take heart and lift your prayers again and again to the LORD, because we must commit to prayer rather than neglect our conversations with the Lord.

Remember, it takes perseverance in prayer to be effective and victorious, as evidenced by the parable of the persistent widow (Lk. 18:1-8) which begins with these words of Jesus: “They should always pray and not give up.”  Let us take the stance of a believer who has truly received the gift of eternal life by our loving Father, and lift up our voices in deep and steadfast prayer.

Prayer: LORD, thank you for the gift of eternal life. Thank you for being my loving Father and for hearing my prayers. Cover me with your grace and love so that I may be a channel of mercy and blessing to my spouse, family, co-workers, and neighbors. Fill me with kindness so that I may bring Your words to those around me with gentleness and humility. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 8

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