Inspired, empowered, connected to pray. How many people do you know wake up in the morning inspired, empowered, connected to pray? Most of you will have to really think about who you know is inspired, empowered, connected to pray. Why? Probably, because you might know someone who is inspired to pray. Perhaps, you may even know a person who is empowered by the Holy Spirit to pray. Or, you may know someone who connects with others at a small group class to pray. But, how many of you know someone who does all three?
When you are inspired, empowered, and connected to God you should desire to do all three. The word of God teaches us that we should pray without ceasing. Despite, what some may think, that is not the only thing the word of God teaches us. Moreover, the Bible also instructs us to be joyful at all times. To give thanks in all circumstances because it is the will of God. It is God’s will that we pray at all times. It is God’s will that we rejoice at all times. It is God’s will that we give thanks in all circumstances. But what does it mean to pray without ceasing? Well, the word of God says “that Jesus taught the disciples that they should pray without giving up”. How many people do you know pray without giving up?
Back in December before the pandemic was in full swing I had a bad fall, and injured my shoulder. It was just before all the slew of announcements came out about the virus. I did not go to the hospital because I did not want to be subjected to the risk of running into someone that was sick, so I waited. However, over a period of months the shoulder progressively got worse and the pain was so severe that I could not move my shoulder at all.
Finally, I made the appointment. Throughout this entire time I was believing God for my healing. Praying without giving up. I knew God as my healer. But there was a moment after praying for so long where I thought God, I am in pain. In fact, the pain was so bad it consumed me. Consequently, I would wake up in the morning with pain and go to sleep at night with pain. I could have stopped praying. I could have given up. But instead I was joyful in the Lord. I recall getting up one morning and feeling an overwhelming joy, even while in pain, I recall telling the devil there was no way he was going to win the battle. I thanked God even for the pain because it made my faith stronger. That pain was not going to stop me from praying. That pain was not going to stop me from lifting my hands in prayer. That pain was not going to stop me from encouraging someone else who was in pain. That pain was not going to stop me from raising my hands in worship to God. That pain was not going to stop me from raising a flag in worship to my Father in heaven. Whenever anyone would ask me how I was I would respond by saying I am well I believe God is going to heal me.
This went on for a few more months. After the initial appointment I was referred to an orthopedic doctor who gave me a cortisone injection and referred me for physical therapy. Every morning despite my pain when my alarm went off I would get on a 5:30 am prayer call to pray with other believers for the needs of others. On Tuesdays, I would go to discipleship classes which is the equivalent of a small group. On Wednesdays and Sundays I I serve as a translator at church. I was inspired to pray, I was empowered to pray, I was connected to pray.
Although the first cortisone shot did not work. I was still in pain, but I travailed on not giving up. I believed God for my healing. After the second cortisone shot I was still in pain but I did not give up and continued to pray. Today I can say that God answered my prayer. I have full motion in my shoulder and very little pain. That is what praying without ceasing looks like. It is the hope to believe God and the faith to know that even when you see nothing happening you can still give thanks, and feel joyful because you know that you have that intimacy with God to know that he answers.
When you have a desire and are inspired to pray it is because you have a hunger to be in relationship with your heavenly father. To be in His presence. To have a conversation with him about everything and anything. In my case I was going through a situation but I also talk with God about everything else in my life. When you are empowered to pray you know that you know that God has given you the power to do what Jesus did to speak to situations and circumstances with the authority God has given you to push through and not give up. When you are connected with others in prayer they lift you up when you are too weak to pray and vice versa. So today, be inspired to pray, know that you have been empowered to pray, find a small group and pray. If there isn’t a small group then you start one. But be inspired, empowered, and connected to pray at all times without ceasing because it is God’s will.
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