HOPE IN PRAYER
Both man and bird and beast
He prayeth best who loveth best
All things both great and small;
For the dear God, who loveth us,
He made and loveth all
By: S. T. Coleridge
Lets learn from the Lord's Prayer: "Our Father in heaven," We are to acknowledge that God is our Father and he is in heaven.
(Ro. 8:16) "hallowed be your name."We acknowledge that God and his name are to be honored and not used in vain.
(Ex. 20:7) "Your kingdom come,"
We want the Holy Spirit to come continually and keep us filled so we can have God's kingdom in us continuously.
(Lk.17:21; Eph. 5:18)"Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven."God's will is being done in heaven: we want his will on earth also. We know his ways are not our ways and his ways are better than ours. If you don't believe that, look around you: we sure have made a mess of our earth.
God has built certain principles into the universe and we blunder because we do not know what they are or think we know better than God. We need to study our Bible, learn how to walk in the Spirit and listen to God's small still voice.
(Phil 3:18-20) "Give us today our daily bread."We are to take one day at a time and not worry about tomorrow. Planning is OK: worry is not.
(Phil. 4:19) "Forgive us our debts, As we also have forgiven our debtors."Forgive as we forgive. If we forgive people, God will forgive us. If we don't forgive, God will not forgive us. But what is a debt? A debt is something owed whether it is money, a wrong done to you or an apology. Anything that harms a person or makes them feel bad counts as a debt.
(Matt. 6:14,15) "And lead us not into temptation,"God knows we have plenty of temptation on earth; but, the Bible also says there is no temptation except what is common to man. Our own human nature leads us into temptation.
(Ja. 1:13-15; 1 Cor. 10: 1-13) "but deliver us from the evil one."
The Bible says God will always provide an escape for us when temptation comes. The question is: do we want an escape? The Lord's prayer shows us the attitude we should have when we pray. We should acknowledge him as our Father and honor Him and His name. Since we are His name bearers, we should do nothing that would dishonor Him. We are to stay filled with the Holy Spirit and do God's will on earth. We are to live one day at a time and not worry about tomorrow. We are to forgive others so we can be forgiven. If we fall into temptation, we are to realize it is not God tempting us: only our human characteristics that are common to man. Even though our own desires tempt us, God always provides a way out: we simply have to look for and use it.
We find hope in the Scriptures:
"Have faith in God," Jesus answered. "I tell you the truth, if anyone says to
this mountain, `Go, throw yourself into the sea, `and does not doubt in his
heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I
tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it,
and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything
against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive
you your sins." (Mark 11:22-25)
We see two things here. Make sure we have forgiven everyone else first, and do not doubt. Doubt hinders our prayers; therefore, we must believe in what we are asking for or have faith in it. The assurance comes from the Holy Spirit in the form of peace. If we pray for something that is against God's will such as, asking for another woman's husband, the Holy Spirit will not give us assurance because God's word says we should not commit adultery. In fact, the Holy Spirit probably would lift peace from us as a first step in discipline. Hopefully, that would be enough to change our minds.
How then can we be sure that our request will be granted? In Romans 10:17, we find that faith comes from hearing God's Word. We need to do a little research to find what God approves and disapproves. Anything not disapproved can be asked for if the motive is honorable and it doesn't hurt someone else. It is best to search for a special promise that applies to our request. Now if we relate this to our husband, we first find:
I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving
be made for everyone - for kings and all those in authority, that we may
live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good,
and pleases God our Savior (1 Timothy 2:1-4)
In this scripture, we understand that God wants all to be saved. All will not be saved; but God wishes all men would be saved. We do have a choice in the matter about whether we accept the gift of salvation. Next in:
To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is
not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her.
And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to
live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband
has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been
sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be
unclean, but as it is, they are holy. But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so.
A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called
us to live in peace. How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife? (1 Corinthians 1:12-16)
Here we find that Paul is talking to mates who probably accepted Jesus after they married. He also says, "I, not the Lord." This does fall in the context of Scripture where Paul says we are to remain in the circumstance we find ourselves when we accept Jesus. (In the whole context, he says it is God's will.) Since God forgives and forgets our sin when we repent, He forgets that the mistake was ours and puts us in the same category. (Is. 38:17) Since God does not contradict Himself, we, also, must realize that God has a plan or He wouldn't want us to stay unequally yoked. Otherwise, we would have two opposing commands.
Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any
of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words
by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence
of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment,
such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes.
Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a
gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. For this is
the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to
make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands,
like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are
her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.
(1 Peter 3:1-6)
Now, we've found the promise with the requirements. Here we find the practical how-to and the promise that a wife may win her husband by her behavior - without talking. Hallelujah! We can pray for help in every step and know absolutely that it is God's will. No more doubt - praying bold prayers of faith with assurance of the outcome.
The only part left is motive. Question: do you sincerely want your husband saved so he will go to heaven; or, would you prefer him in hell? Do we want our husbands saved so life will be easier for us? We should be concerned for our husband's soul and not for our comfort. The Holy Spirit is our comforter and He will comfort us no matter what goes on around us if we are in God's will.
Our husbands will spend one thousand, plus, years in hell. Then, they will suffer a second death when God throws them into the lake of fire if they do not receive the faith needed to accept Jesus.
Have you ever thought about what it is like in hell? According to the Bible, hell is an individual chamber with no light in it - absolute darkness. There is total loneliness - separation from God and other men. Your only company is demons that torment you. You are in chains and your tongue is on fire. Somewhat like waking up in a coffin and discovering you are buried alive. Your only companion is someone similar to Freddie from the "Nightmare on Elm Street" horror movie. I would never wish such a fate on my worst enemy: We should not want our husbands to go there. They will if we do not listen to God's Word. We must follow His plan so our husbands can receive the faith they need to accept Jesus and escape hell.