WEDNESDAY — YOUR WORKPLACE
Each day I have been adding some ideas for ways to enhance your prayer life. Every aspect I am covering each day will eventually all go together. It has been challenging to try to only pull one piece out at a time, but I hope you are starting to put all the different pieces together and are feeling some momentum.
We started our week talking about fasting, and those of you who are already participating in that aspect are likely starting to feel a shift today on day four. If you gave up something that takes a lot of your time, you are probably realizing just how much time you spent and are likely realizing you might need to re-prioritize some things at the end of this week.
If you gave up food, you are probably at a place where you flesh has become weaker than your spirit and you are shifting from works to grace. It is so much easier in this state to give control to God and allow him to show you things that normally you might miss. It is in our weakness that his strength is made perfect.
Yesterday, we talked about fellowship with the Lord being an important part of prayer. We need to spend time with the Lord as we long to spend time with those we love the most and as we cultivate our relationship with him, our prayer life will flourish as a result of that fellowship.
We talked about the ABCs of prayer and focused on the “A” and abiding. Today I want to move on to the “B” which stands for “Believe”. Jesus is our supreme example and I love to study the Gospels and see how He responded in different situations. He is our mentor and He had much to say about belief and unbelief.
In Matthew 9:27-30 NASU we read:
27 As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” 28 When He entered the house, the blind men came up to Him, and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.” 29 Then He touched their eyes, saying, “It shall be done to you according to your faith.”
Another amazing story is found in the fifth chapter of Mark. A man named Jairus, came to Jesus, and fell at His feet asking Him to come to where his little daughter was because she was dying. He knew that if He prayed for her she would get well and live. While on the journey, a woman who desperately needed healing reached through the crowd and touched Jesus. He stopped because he felt healing virtue leave His body when she touched the hem of His garment. During this delay, someone told Jairus to leave Jesus alone because his daughter had died, however, Jesus overheard it and He said, “Do not be afraid any longer, only believe” (Mark 5:36).
I love this story because Jesus addresses both belief and unbelief. He tells this father who has just learned that his child has died to not be afraid, but only believe. Can you imagine? Put yourself in the shoes of this daddy who has just learned his little girl is dead, yet Jesus is saying turn your fear into faith! When they reached the house, what Jesus did next, further demonstrated the power of unbelief.
The Bible tells us that when they arrived at the house, there was a commotion and people were weeping and wailing, but Jesus asked them why they were acting this way because the child was only sleeping. They began to laugh at Jesus. Do you know how He responded? He had them all leave and only let the parents and His companions stay. I personally think He wanted to remove any unbelief from the room. Then he took the little girl by the hand and told her to get up, and she did! (Mark 5: 37-41)
In another passage we read:
Mark 11:21-25 NASU
Peter said to Him, “Rabbi, look, the fig tree which You cursed has withered.” 22 And Jesus answered saying to them, “Have faith in God. 23 “Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him. 24 “Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.
With that thought of faith that moves a mountain in mind, I want to share something that recently happened to me. I typically spend some time entering into worship by listening to music most days during my daily devotional time. A few weeks ago when the Lord was really dealing with me about the focus for this year being “No Precedent”, I had a suggestion to listen to a new song.
When I clicked on the link, the man was sharing a testimony before the song. Apparently, someone in his church leadership had a very sick child who was fighting for his life. He shared that one night he got a text from the father and they were unsure if the child was going to live through the night. Then he said something that really resonated with me. He said, “As soon as I heard and I read the message, it was like this giant of unbelief stood in front of me!” That giant of unbelief was that this boy is going to die tonight and we are not going to see the miracle.”
When I heard him say this, I immediately thought about every time I found myself in situations like this where I felt like I was facing a giant of unbelief or maybe we could even call it a mountain of unbelief. That moment when we question if we will really see the miracle.
Today our topic is “BELIEVE”! If you are faced with a mountain of unbelief, speak to it to move. I want to close our time of teaching with one last passage. It is a bit lengthy, but I want you to read this before we introduce today’s pray focus and Scriptures.
Mark 9:17-29 NLT
17 One of the men in the crowd spoke up and said, “Teacher, I brought my son so you could heal him. He is possessed by an evil spirit that won’t let him talk. 18 And whenever this spirit seizes him, it throws him violently to the ground. Then he foams at the mouth and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast out the evil spirit, but they couldn’t do it.”19 Jesus said to them, “You faithless people! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.” 20 So they brought the boy. But when the evil spirit saw Jesus, it threw the child into a violent convulsion, and he fell to the ground, writhing and foaming at the mouth. 21 “How long has this been happening?” Jesus asked the boy’s father. He replied, “Since he was a little boy. 22 The spirit often throws him into the fire or into water, trying to kill him. Have mercy on us and help us, if you can.” 23 “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.” 24 The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” 25 When Jesus saw that the crowd of onlookers was growing, he rebuked the evil spirit. “Listen, you spirit that makes this boy unable to hear and speak,” he said. “I command you to come out of this child and never enter him again!” 26 Then the spirit screamed and threw the boy into another violent convulsion and left him. The boy appeared to be dead. A murmur ran through the crowd as people said, “He’s dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and helped him to his feet, and he stood up. 28 Afterward, when Jesus was alone in the house with his disciples, they asked him, “Why couldn’t we cast out that evil spirit?” 29 Jesus replied, “This kind can be cast out only by prayer.”
Why did I include this whole story? Because I want to begin your prayer time today with these powerful thoughts:
- Believe again!
- If you are struggling with unbelief, do as this father did and ask God to help you with your unbelief!
- Lastly, Jesus said “This kind can be cast out only by prayer” that should reinforce to you the power of prayer.
Pray and believe today!
- Pray for your co-workers and your employer.
- Pray that you would be a light to those who do not know Christ.
- Pray that you would be a godly example.
Colossians 3:23-24 NLT: “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. 24 Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.”
Matthew 5:14-16 NASU: “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
1 Peter 2:9-10 NLT: “But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you had no identity as a people; now you are God’s people. Once you received no mercy; now you have received God’s mercy.”
Psalm 71:7-8 NLT: “My life is an example to many, because you have been my strength and protection. 8 That is why I can never stop praising you; I declare your glory all day long.
2 Timothy 1:8a;9 NLT: 8 So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord…9 For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus.”
Ephesians 5:8-9 NLT: “For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! 9 For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.”
1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 NLT: “Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before. 12 Then people who are not Christians will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others.”