Tag Archives: prayer

Unwavering faith that brings results

Experience faith, live in faith, and rejoice in the results of faith. God is the source and giver of faith that permeates our lives and brings results that only God can do.

We cannot create faith. Through God, we can experience it.

‘Believe and receive’ is not ‘name it and claim it.’

“Truly I tell you, whoever says to this mountain, Be lifted up and thrown into the sea! and does not doubt at all in his heart but believes that what he says will take place, it will be done for him.

For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to you, and you will [get it].

And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him and let it drop (leave it, let it go), in order that your Father Who is in heaven may also forgive you your [own] failings and shortcomings and let them drop” {Mark 11:23-25, Amplified Bible).

Just believe and you have it? Name it and claim it? No, that is not what this Scripture teaches. The type of faith Christ is talking about was taught in the Old Testament also, long before Christ taught it in the New Testament. Of course Christ, through the Holy Spirit who inspired the Old as well as the New Testaments, is the Author of the the following passage from Proverbs as also.

“Trust GOD from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track” (Proverbs 3:5-6, The MSG).

From Proverbs 3, we get a hint of the source of this faith: God is the author. We cannot muster it up. We cannot earn it. It is a gift from God as we “listen for God’s voice in everything…everywhere.” We cannot create faith. We can only experience it.

Struggling with doubt

So how can I get God to give me this faith that receives answers to its need? One man did it very simply. He just asked for it with a yearning heart, and set the example for us all:

“And it has often thrown him both into fire and into water, intending to kill him. But if You can do anything, do have pity on us and help us.

And Jesus said, [You say to Me], If You can do anything? [Why,] all things can be (are possible) to him who believes!

At once the father of the boy gave [an eager, piercing, inarticulate] cry with tears, and he said, Lord, I believe! [Constantly] help my weakness of faith!” (Mark 9:22-24).

We simply ask God with an “eager, piercing” even an “inarticulate” cry. In other words, we ask him sincerely. We recognize our own inability to believe with this kind of faith (“help my weakness of faith”). We may not even be able to express our need (inarticulate), but God knows our heart.

God responds to the truth in our hearts, not to the words we on our lips. We ask God to give us this faith constantly, as the father in the above Scripture did, and to teach us to live in a way to receive it constantly.

Mark 11:23-25 (first passage in this study) also teaches that we cannot believe with sincere faith if we harbor un-forgiveness. “Let it go” the Bible teaches. When we “leave it, let it go” Christ promises that he will “forgive you your own failings and shortcomings and let them drop.” So the basis of this type of faith is being right with our fellow-man, and right with God — the first two Commandments found in Exodus 20, to love God supremely and to love others as ourselves. Jesus said, “On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:40).

How can we find faith like this?

This leads us straight to the Source, the Author, the Giver of faith that takes over our lives and brings the results that only God can do: “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17 NKJV)

Yes, faith comes by reading God’s Word. Do you read the Bible, God’s Word, daily? We must live according to God’s principles to experience this unwavering faith. Yet, how can we know God’s principles if we are not reading his Word?

Living by faith

Paul said to the Colossian Christians: “My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you’ve been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him. You’re deeply rooted in him. You’re well constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you’ve been taught. School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving” (Colossians 2:6-7 Amplified Bible).

We cannot have this unwavering faith unless we first have an unwavering life. We cannot believe and receive unless we first commit all situations of our life to the Lord Jesus Christ. So now it is time to go forth and experience faith, live in faith, and rejoice in faith. We can trust God, not because we muster up the faith to believe, but because our God has proven himself faithful!

Live in God’s Word today,
Lois

06. Does God give words of knowledge? The Bible is full of them!

If it is a word from God, it will be based on God’s Word. Any promise God gives will generate peace, not turmoil. If you are struggling or fearful that it may not happen, re-evaluate.

Every promise in God’s Word is a word of knowledge.

God’s words of knowledge

People often ask me if I believe God gives personal promises or a word of knowledge to an individual. I believe he has given a Book full of personal promises to us. Every promise in his Word is a word of knowledge for me. But, yes, I do believe he makes those promises personal in a very real way sometimes. God does occasionally give a word of knowledge, but I think we need to be very careful with this.

I have worked with women, for example, whose husbands had left them. They clung to a “word of knowledge” that God had shown them that their marriage would be reunited. However they struggled continuously as they watched their estranged husband drift farther and farther away. They had no peace in their “word of knowledge.”

Greater than a word of knowledge

I have heard all the teaching of claiming certain things in prayer, being specific, having faith they will happen, etc. There are some things we can claim in prayer. God says he will never leave us and will be with us through every circumstance. We can claim that. God says where two or three of us gather in his name he is in our midst. We can claim that. But one thing is greater than a word of knowledge. That is faith that offers the following prayer:

Lord, I am not going to tell you how to answer this. You know I want my marriage restored. You know I want to be healed. You know I need a job. You know the things I need and want. I come to you with these needs. But I do not ask you to meet these needs in any specific way. I simply lay them at the foot of your cross and trust you to work according to your very best plan for me.

Your way is always best. The thing I fear most is being outside your will and your best plan for me. So I ask you to work, not as I would tell you, but according to the way you know is best.

I am relieved of the need to worry about this because I know the outcome will be far greater than I could ever imagine, though at present I cannot comprehend how it is possible that you could bring something better than saving my marriage, or healing, or financial help, or meeting other needs. I can’t see it but I know you, God, and I trust you for whatever answer you bring forth.

That is the prayer that is always answered exactly as it is prayed. That is the prayer that I have learned to pray and I have seen God truly give me more in every way than I could ever have if I dictated to God how to answer my prayer.

Getting our motives right

The prayer that tells God how to answer, no matter how noble our request, even saving our marriages, is (in my humble opinion) still a prayer with wrong motives. You see, we want our marriages saved for us ultimately. Our marriages fulfill a need that we have. Our motive should be serving God and living according to his plan. That is a higher motive even than saving our marriages. Definitely, God is interested saving our marriage. But his greatest concern is restoring the partners in that marriage. Here is what God says about asking with the wrong motive:

“When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures” (James 4:3).

This is heavy stuff, but Job learned this lesson. He said: “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face. Indeed, this will turn out for my deliverance!” (Job 13:15-16).

God’s personal promise brings peace

God can and does sometimes reveal things to us, or give us a word of knowledge. But we must be very careful with assuming we have gotten a word from God if it is not based on a promise he has already given us in his Word. There is only one thing we can be absolutely sure of. That is the Word of God, the Book he has already given to us.

There have been times when I have just known that God was working in a certain way. I had peace and could feel his presence so real. It was not a doubtful, up and down experience, but rather a calm knowing. But even those times came because I have a practice of immersing myself in his Word. When those times have occurred, I have seen the thing I knew come to pass. But those times almost always stemmed, if not from a specific promise, from the knowledge of the principles of God’s Word.

But if your word of knowledge is not coupled with peace — if you are continually struggling to make it happen or fearful that it may not happen — then you need to re-evaluate. Any word from God will generate peace for you, not turmoil. It is easy to want something so badly that we believe that surely it must be his will for it to happen. We assume that since it is his will, it is a word from God. Yet God is not held in a box at the mercy of our own desires and ideas of what is in accordance with his will.

Delight in the Lord, not your desires

I speak from experience here. There have been times that I have trusted that something surely must be God’s will and it did not come to pass. I believe to the utmost in holding onto God’s promises of hope and peace and joy and abundance. I believe we can expect specific results in accordance with specific promises. But are we willing to trust God when it seems he is not accomplishing the things we just knew he would accomplish if we turned to him?

It is easy to follow him with the assurance that he will do thus-and-so. But when thus-and-so doesn’t happen over a period of time, we easily become discouraged. I find it much easier to follow him knowing that he is always at work to accomplish the very best with my present circumstances. I trust his judgment, not what I see as the best thing to do.

Some will say that is a cop-out, that it is easy to trust when you don’t have anything specific to trust in. But I have very specific things to trust in. For example I do not trust that God will force any individual to do what is right. But I do trust that God will give them every opportunity as I pray for the person and commit my heart to being what God says to be in the situation.

Psalm 37:4 says “Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Lots of people have used this to say that we can have whatever we want if we “delight in the Lord.” They are not wrong. But the problem is they misinterpret what it means to delight in the Lord.

Delighting in the Lord means we delight in his will, not ours. We delight in him more than our husbands. Yes, we are to enjoy our husbands. But they are not to be our major fulfillment. God is. As long as we delight in God, we can lose everything else and still have the greatest desire of our heart, for our desire will be the treasures we receive from God – treasures of peace and joy and the knowledge that we have a God who can see us through anything.

Application

Should we give up hope for our marriage, then? No. God can do anything. Pray and trust God. Believe him. Base your life on the promises in God’s Word. We may fail our husbands and they may fail us, but God will never fail!

Financial problems? Faith and finances is next.

Scripture taken from New International Version unless otherwise noted

16. Faith for the battle: Listening in God’s presence

Joshua found faith for the battle by listening in God’s presence, meditating upon God’s deliverance, and rehearsing God’s words. God told Moses, “Make sure that Joshua hears it.”

“Write this…to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it” (Exodus 7:14).

Joshua Rehearsed God’s Words

In chapter 15, we saw that Joshua remembered God’s deliverance and God’s banner. Joshua also rehearsed God’s words.

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven” (Exodus 17:14).

“Make sure that Joshua hears it.” God gave Moses the words to write to describe what happened, and God told him to read and discuss this especially with Joshua. God was nurturing Joshua’s faith. “Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). God was preparing Joshua to be a man of faith.

God is challenging us today to study his Word that we might become God’s faithful women. We must accept the challenge. Only by faith can we pull our children from the edge of the sword.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

–Ephesians 6:10-18

We go to battle for our children against the armies of Satan himself. Our sword is the Word of God, and our shield is faith in God’s faithfulness. The victory is ours as long as we hold God’s banner high.

Joshua Spent Time Listening God’s Presence

Not only did Joshua remember God’s deliverance, God’s banner, and God’s Word, but Joshua also remembered his personal encounters with God as Moses’ aide. Wherever Moses went, Joshua went to assist and minister to Moses. Whenever Moses encountered God, Joshua encountered God also.

Then Moses set out with Joshua his aide, and Moses went up on the mountain of God. He said to the elders, “Wait here for us until we come back to you. Aaron and Hur are with you, and anyone involved in a dispute can go to them.”

When Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the LORD settled on Mount Sinai. For six days the cloud covered the mountain, and on the seventh day the LORD called to Moses from within the cloud. To the Israelites the glory of the LORD looked like a consuming fire on top of the mountain. Then Moses entered the cloud as he went on up the mountain. And he stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights.

–Exodus 24:13-18

When Moses received the instructions for the tabernacle and the ten commandments written on two tables of stone with the finger of God, Joshua was near. Joshua and Moses went together up into the mount of God. For six days, Joshua and Moses fellowshiped in the light of God’s glory. On the seventh day, Moses went farther, into the midst of the cloud, and he stayed there forty days and forty nights.

Joshua probably could not go all the way with Moses. But Joshua remained in the warmth of God’s presence. For forty days and nights, God spoke with Moses. God ministered to Joshua during this time as well. Joshua probably could not hear God audibly, but this was a time of refreshing for Joshua. Joshua basked in the glow from magnificent splendor of the glory of God. He meditated upon the ways God had delivered them. Surely Joshua rehearsed again and again the words of God that Moses had already shared with him. He experienced the calming atmosphere of the presence of God. And he waited in anticipation to see what Word God would give them through Moses.

When Moses and Joshua came down from the mount, Moses brought with him God’s instructions for building the tabernacle. But before the actual tabernacle was constructed, God would talk with Moses inside the makeshift “tent of meeting.” When God met with Moses in this makeshift tabernacle, Joshua was there:

Now Moses used to take a tent and pitch it outside the camp some distance away, calling it the “tent of meeting.” Anyone inquiring of the LORD would go to the tent of meeting outside the camp. And whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people rose and stood at the entrances to their tents, watching Moses until he entered the tent.

As Moses went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance, while the LORD spoke with Moses. Whenever the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance to the tent, they all stood and worshiped, each at the entrance to his tent.

The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.

— Exodus 33:7-11

Application

Joshua delighted in the presence of God. Just being in God’s presence while God spoke with Moses gave Joshua strength. It was during these times of refreshing that Joshua found the faith to go back into the battle.

Joshua remembered God’s deliverance. Joshua fought under God’s banner. Joshua rehearsed God’s Word. Joshua spent time in God’s presence. These things made a difference for Joshua, and these are the things that will make a difference for us!

I wrote earlier about Joshua meditating on God but, when I proofread what I had typed, I discovered that instead of typing “meditated,” I accidentally typed “medicated.” This may be the best rendering of all: “Joshua medicated on God.” As we medicate on God, our spirits are healed!

Thought to Remember

Like Joshua, we can win this battle if we remember our past encounters with God, and spend time in his presence through Bible study, prayer, meditation, and medication on our faithful God.

Question for Discussion

  • How can I have the kind of faith that gets results? (part 2)

Next

Scripture taken from New International Version unless otherwise noted

13. Campaign of prayer: Media advocates

Satan has launched an aggressive media campaign against our children. We are media advocates agreeing in prayer: powerful and effective, right with God.

“The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16).

Satan’s Campaign

Satan has launched an aggressive campaign against our children. He attacks them relentlessly through our media system, our political system, our school system, and sometimes even our family system. Our kids are bombarded with his lies and propaganda almost constantly.

We cannot imagine the temptation and pressure to yield that our children endure daily. How will they escape Satan’s snare? Christian workers in the media, political arena, schools and families face almost insurmountable odds.

Our Campaign

But God is still able. He has called us to prayer. His way is not the flashy, clamoring method of the world. It is the “powerful and effective” prayer of one right with God.

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

“I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven” (James 5:16, Matthew 18:19-20).

As we come into the presence of our God and present our children to him in prayer, God hears, and he promises to respond. The Bible teaches that our prayers have the power to bind Satan’s attack against our children.

God instructs us to pray one for another, and to agree in prayer. God makes special promises to respond to the united power we manifest as we blend our hearts in prayer.

Many mothers have led heroic campaigns for their handicapped children, their missing children, or in honor of their deceased children. But to combat Satan’s campaign against our children, our campaign must be a campaign of prayer.

If our children are wayward, this is especially important, because if they are not “meshing” with other Christians, they can easily be forgotten by the Christian community. We are prone to remember and pray for those people whose need is brought to our attention.

As mothers, we must be a “prayer advocate” for our children. We must keep the passion burning in the hearts of other Christians for the needs of our children, especially our wayward children. We cannot allow them to be forgotten.

Challenged Campaign

We’ve seen that whenever a parent came to Jesus in the Bible, sincerely seeking help for their child, God met the child’s need. However, those parents had to place their faith in God, and to be in right relationship with him. The Bible says:

If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.

When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his ommands and do what pleases him.

–Psalm 66:18, James 4:3, 1 John 3:21-22.

What does it mean to “had cherished sin in my heart?” It is to know there are certain areas in my life where I am not going in the way God would have me go, and to be unwilling to allow God to help me change these areas.

Satan challenges our commitment. God’s promises are only for those who give him control. When we defend certain territory in our lives, we find that those areas we defend do not provide the fulfillment we seek. When we are willing to trust God with control in every area, even those areas we cherish, we will find what we really want.

We cannot even know what we want on our own. God cannot work things out for best for us as long as we take control and work them out our way.

A good illustration of this is the prayer of this mother for her sons:

Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him.

“What is it you want?” he asked.

She said, “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.”

“You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said to them. “Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?”

“We can,” they answered.

Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father.”

When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers. Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave– just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

–Matthew 20:20-28

This mother and her sons came worshiping Jesus. So what was wrong? She was not in right relationship with God. She sought her will for her sons, not God’s will, and this is sin.

She was not acting in faith either. She was attempting to deceive Christ into making a commitment off guard so that when he announced his kingdom it would be too late to renege. She did not understand that the kingdom is heavenly and that it is ruled by love.

We must be in right relationship to God if we would get our prayers answered. If we are not walking in the way God would have us go, our prayers are simply words. Our first prayer must be for God to cleanse us.

We must come as Hannah did when she said, in essence, “I accept whatever God brings forth with my child” (See Session 4). God’s goal for our children is that they live for him. He has instilled that same goal in us as Christian parents. As our prayers blend with God’s will for our children, we can know God will do what is right for them.

This leads us to the second requirement for answered prayer. We must come in faith. Satan will challenge us here too. We must stand firm. We must believe that God will do what he says.

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us–whatever we ask–we know that we have what we asked of him.

–Mark 11:24, 1 John 5:14-15.

Victorious Campaign

We can “know that we have what we asked of him.” God may not do what he has promised in the way we think he should. He may not do it at the time we think he should. But these things are sure: God will do it as we wait on him. He will do it in a manner which far exceeds our plans or imaginations. He will do it at the most appropriate time. And when he does it, we will marvel at the perfect wisdom of his way and his time.

Application

God is always faithful to answer. But we are not always faithful to pray. God, forgive us.

We renew our commitment to fight for our children in prayer. Strengthen us for the battle. We will not let our children go. We will bind the power of Satan through prayer as long as there is breath in us. We will fight for our children, and we will win. For our God is able!

Thought to Remember

Satan is playing tug-of-war with our children, but with him it is not a game. It is a demonic attack. Our part is to pray. God’s part is to answer. Satan attacks this plan, not on God’s side but on ours. He knows the only way to thwart God’s answer is to halt our prayers.

Questions for Discussion

  1. What important campaign should we lead for our wayward children?
  2. Why involve others in prayer for our children?
  3. What are the two conditions we must meet for our prayers to be effective?
  4. Can something so easy really work?
  5. Can something so difficult be worth the effort?

Next

Scripture taken from New International Version unless otherwise noted

11. Anticipate the harvest: Sowing, claiming, reaping

We sow God’s precepts in our children’s lives, and dare to claim God’s promise. He guarantees a harvest, and we hold him to his Word. We will not leave God’s throne until we reap!

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence (Hebrews 14:6).

Crying

The Bible tells the story of a mother who was completely helpless to do anything for her child’s emergent need. Here’s her story:

A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.”

Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”

He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”

The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.

He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.”

“Yes, Lord,” she said, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”

Then Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

–Matthew 15:22-28

Praying

This woman’s daughter was demon-possessed. The mother was helpless against the demons. Circumstances were also against her, for she was a gentile, not of the chosen race.

But she had the faith to believe if she would ask Jesus he would heal her daughter Spiritually. She had the persistence to refuse to leave until she had the answer for which she came to him.

God loves for us to hold him to his Word in prayer. The Bible says: “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 14:6). We cling to his Word. We have no greater weapon than prayer. We will not leave until God gives us victory in our children’s lives!

Sowing

The Bible says:

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

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.

–Isaiah 55:10-11; Galatians 6:7-9

Our part is to sow the right seeds in our children’s lives. God’s part is to provide the harvest. Just as the rain and snow water the earth to produce a bountiful harvest, so will his Word accomplish all that he sends it to do. If we are sowing God’s Word in our children’s lives at every opportunity, we have his guarantee that the harvest will come!

Reaping

When others sow seeds of evil in our children’s lives, how does that affect God’s promise? That does not in any way change God’s promise to us.

There are no conditions to this promise. The floods of evil influence may wash the small seeds away. The weeds of peer pressure may choke the young seedlings that remain. The locusts of lust may eat the few plants that do survive.

Yet if we are faithful to sow, we will have a harvest. God guarantees we will reap what we sow. “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6). God will perform a miracle and create a harvest, if necessary, in order to keep his word to us!

Application

Mothers, let us never tire of going to whatever extreme we must to sow God’s precepts into our children’s lives. And let us dare to hold God to His Word. For the harvest is guaranteed!

We never have our children raised. However, there comes a time when our children must make their own decisions. We can offer Godly support and advice when appropriate, but sometimes we can only trust them to God.

What a comfort to know that God will never cease to perform in their lives that we allow him to start through us. What a promise, that God will continue to work in their lives even after we have gone home to be with the Lord. What a joy to anticipate that which God will do in them, above all we ask or think.

What a God! What a promise! What a victory!

Mothers, let us persist in the strength of our magnificent God. We have his Word!

Thought to Remember

What a comfort to know that God will never cease to perform in their lives that we allow him to start through us.

Question for Discussion

  1. What if we find ourselves in a situation where there is nothing we can do on our child’s behalf?
  2. When others sow seeds of evil in our children’s lives, how does that affect God’s promise?

Next

Scripture taken from New International Version unless otherwise noted

05. The God of Circumstances: Left behind, a mother’s faith

Her son left behind in a far-away land, Samuel’s mother trusted God. Hannah rejoiced in God’s faithfulness with a prayer of praise in sorrow and dark circumstances.

“My heart rejoices in the Lord” (1 Samuel 2:1).

Hannah’s Prayer of Praise

After Hannah left her son at Shiloh, she said, “My heart rejoices in the Lord.” Read her prayer of praise here:

Then Hannah prayed and said:
“My heart rejoices in the LORD;
in the LORD my horn is lifted high.
My mouth boasts over my enemies,
for I delight in your deliverance.

“There is no one holy like the LORD;
there is no one besides you;
there is no Rock like our God.

“Do not keep talking so proudly
or let your mouth speak such arrogance,
for the LORD is a God who knows,
and by him deeds are weighed.

“The bows of the warriors are broken,
but those who stumbled are armed with strength.

Those who were full hire themselves out for food,
but those who were hungry hunger no more.
She who was barren has borne seven children,
but she who has had many sons pines away.

“The LORD brings death and makes alive;
he brings down to the grave and raises up.

The LORD sends poverty and wealth;
he humbles and he exalts.

He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
he seats them with princes
and has them inherit a throne of honor.

“For the foundations of the earth are the LORD’s;
upon them he has set the world.

He will guard the feet of his saints,
but the wicked will be silenced in darkness.

“It is not by strength that one prevails;

those who oppose the LORD will be shattered.
He will thunder against them from heaven;
the LORD will judge the ends of the earth.
“He will give strength to his king
and exalt the horn of his anointed.”

–1 Samuel 2:1-10

Hannah’s Peace in Parting

After Hannah left her son at Shiloh, she said, “My heart rejoices in the Lord.”

How can a mother rejoice when her son is being left behind, far away from her? How can a mother in our day rejoice when her son has chosen a wrong path and she must send him off for rehabilitation with people she has never met to a place she has never seen? How can a mother experience great joy and peace on what would seem to be one of the darkest days of her life?

This is peace that passes understanding. This is unexplainable.

But when a mother knows that she has steadfastly adhered to God’s directions in raising her son; when a mother knows she has planted God’s Word in her son’s heart; when a mother knows she is following God’s leadership now in the placement of her son — In short, when a mother knows God is leading and she is obeying, she also knows that God is honor-bound to keep his word to her.

The fulfillment of the promise now rests on the Lord. What relief! What peace! What anticipation! What joy!

Hannah was able to express a beautiful prayer of joy unto the Lord, because the goal of her life was that she and her child would live for the Lord. Samuel was the child Hannah had longed for, the child she prayed for, the child God gave in answer to her prayers. Next to her husband, Samuel was the fulfillment of her heart’s greatest desire, save one.

Hannah’s Paramount Passion

Save one — Hannah’s #1 supreme desire was to serve God. Samuel was not #1 in her life. Neither was her husband. The #1 position in her life was reserved for her God. We can only produce children that will honor the Lord as we put God in his rightful position in our own lives.

Hannah’s Pleasure in God’s Provision

In the blockquote above, Hannah proclaimed that “It is not by strength that one prevails.” Hannah uses several other paradoxical statements in these verses to proclaim that what we see is not always what we get.

She may have been thinking back to the mocking she had experienced from Peninnah when Peninnah had children and Hannah had none (See Session 4). Hannah probably did not understand the fullness and prophecy of all God said through her in these verses.

But one thing is certain: God is always working behind the scenes in our children’s behalf to accomplish the fruition of the Godly training we have planted in their lives. We may not always see the fulfillment of God’s work in their lives with our own eyes, but we can trust God that the strength of wickedness will not prevail against his completion of what he begins in them through us!

“But,” you may say, “Samuel was at the house of God. Her child was in a Godly environment, so it was easy for her to trust.”

Ah, but read this:

Then Elkanah went home to Ramah, but the boy ministered before the LORD under Eli the priest.

Eli’s sons were wicked men; they had no regard for the LORD

1 Samuel 2:11-12.

Samuel was thrust into an environment, “young as he was,” with older role models who “had no regard for the Lord.” Yet, in spite of this, Samuel grew to be a man that God could use to minister in his own day, as well as to record part of the Word of God that still speaks to men and women today!

Application

We must allow God to control the circumstances of our children’s lives. We must trust him when we don’t understand the circumstances. We must trust him even when the circumstances seem to be a hindrance to their developing into men and women of God.

We cannot blame environment, role models, or circumstances. We have the same God today that Hannah had. Let us share him with our children then trust them to him!

Thought to Remember

We must trust God when we don’t understand the circumstances. We must trust him even when the circumstances seem to be a hindrance to our children’s developing into men and women of God.

Questions for Discussion

  1. How can we rejoice in the hard times?
  2. What if God seems to allow the wrong circumstances or the wrong role models in our children’s lives?

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Scripture taken from New International Version unless otherwise noted

00. Called to be a mother: Introduction

Between the battlefield of prayer and God’s promise of hope, I found faith to know that God was working in my children’s lives in ways I couldn’t see just yet.

Don’t give up. God hears your cry!

Author’s Preface

These sessions were written in the mid 1990’s, between the battlefield of prayer and God’s promise of hope. My last child was a teenager then, and we were going through some rugged times. I went to God’s Word for help, and this Bible study is the result. From the beginning, I wrote it in a format to share, because the things God was showing me were too wonderful to keep to myself. As I’ve moved them to our new site in March of 2009, I’ve added sub-headings and made minor editorial changes for clarity.

Chapters 1-19 were written while my son was home. He moved out a few days before he turned 18, and chapters 20 and 21 were written about three years later as I continued to wait for God’s answers. It was not until my son was in his early-to-mid-twenties that I first saw God’s transformations in his life. But, all along, I knew he was working in a way that I couldn’t see just yet.

My son will be thirty this year. He is a committed Christian, a great father, and a productive citizen. He is married to a former missionary from Turkey, and they are serving the Lord together.

My oldest, a daughter, is also serving the Lord. Her work as a CNA gives her many opportunities to show God’s love to the patients she cares for. She is a mother, and we have done this “Called to Be a Mother” Bible study together with local friends several times.

Don’t give up. God hears your cry.
Lois

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