Prayer Points Devotional #10

Matthew 11:28-30 – Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.┬áTake my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

All of us go through periods in life where we feel overburdened. Every person’s experience is different, but at times, we feel like we are laboring, attempting to carry a heavy load and struggling under the weight of it. That heavy load isn’t physical, but emotional, which can often be the hardest thing to bear. Our load is often an assortment of many things creating stress, anxiety & fear. Common things include the welfare of our family, our financial footing, health issues, people issues, job issues, uncontrollable circumstances and questions about the future. Sometimes those burdens are also the result of wrong or sinful choices that have brought consequences difficult to handle. Regardless of where they come from, we feel within our hearts like we are laboring strenuously to carry a heavy load that will crush us.

Thankfully, the Lord is not turning a blind eye to our burdens. Instead, He desires to “yoke up” with us. He desires to help us carry the load as His shoulders can make the burdens lighter. His peace can override the stress we feel inside. His presence can bring security to the soul. His power can help us overcome the struggles we face. The key to finding some relief is simple, “Come unto me….” We’ll find rest for our weary souls when we humbly come before the Lord and ask for His help carrying the load. Hebrews 4:16 states, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” We don’t need to shy away, but come humbly for help! Are you carrying some burdens right now? Have you poured out your heart to God, laying those burdens out to Him? Maybe you have, but decided to pick them back up again? Life and all the cares that can be associated with it requires we take advantage of our Lord’s offer. Will we do so today?

Prayer Points Devotional #9

I Timothy 2:1-2

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;

For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

The Apostle Paul wrote two letters of encouragement and instruction to his apprentice, Timothy. Timothy had traveled and ministered with Paul for years. They had a close knit relationship as Paul calls him in I Timothy 1:2, “my own son in the faith.” Timothy is to believed to have taken on the pastoral role in Ephesus at the time of the writing of this epistle. With that in mind, I believe Paul desired that Timothy “mightest war a good warfare” (I Timothy 1:18) or in other words, that he would be an effective minister of the Gospel in that position. In our text, Paul emphasizes immediately the necessity of prayer for Timothy. Paul states, “I exhort…first of all” or in other words, “I strongly encourage you to make prayer a top priority in your life.” So often, we as Christians make prayer “last of all” but to be an effective minister for Christ, whether you are “in full time ministry” or not, we must make prayer a top priority. Effective ministry begins in the prayer closet, not a packed schedule full of ministry work. Our effectiveness is directly linked to our prayer life.

As Christians, we want to see people “moved” towards God. We want people to respond to the Gospel. We can be very diligent in giving the Gospel out, but if there is no power behind the message, the message falls flat. Paul encouraged Timothy to be praying for “all men.” Its through prayer, we call upon God to make conditions right for a person to respond to the Gospel. Its God who can open the blinded eyes, illuminate understanding, remove distractions, tenderize a heart, & convert a soul. Timothy’s ministry would be worthless without prayer as he could not do those things on his own. He also had to work within the context of his setting, at that time, it was within the Roman Empire. Paul encouraged Timothy to pray for the leaders of the empire, so that God’s Word could have free course and that they could live out their faith openly. Many lessons exist in this passage, but these are the critical ones: #1 Make Prayer Top priority daily #2 Pray for people so the Gospel can take root for their conversion #3 Pray for our leaders – their decisions affect our ability to live out our faith and share the Gospel of Christ. Our prayers affect more than we’ll ever know.