This resolution of Daily United Prayer is based on An Humble Attempt, originally put forward by Jonathan Edwards in 1748. Its design is to encourage God's people in the duty of united extraordinary prayer; setting aside some time every day to pray for the revival of His church and the advancement of Christ's kingdom in our homes, in our churches, in our nation, and in the world.
This encouraging note came in from Nicole:
I would like to share with you the "opportunity" my daughter Sarah and I had at the grocery store. I knew we were going and so I prayed for an "opportunity" as I stuck a tract in my pocket. When we were checking out, I realized that the bagger was the man whom I have befriended on previous visits and haven't seen in a while. (This gentleman is a bit different and a bit awkward socially but I've always showed him kindness and tried to make him feel like he matters) Today I asked him how he was. He responded that he wasn't sure how long he'd be around (he typically gives strange answers). I asked if he meant at work? He said at work and on the planet earth. I told him he was not alone as none of us know when we will die. I said what's important is that we know where we are going when we die. I said, "Do you know where you are going?" He had a strange response about two options and hoping for one and not the other. I gave him a tract from Chapel Library titled "Be Sure" and asked him if he would read it when he got home and he said he would. As we were leaving, he patted his pocket that the tract was in and said again that he'd read it and that he has a bible and doesn't read it as much as he should. I told him I would pray for him. As we were walking away, he was saying thanks for coming in, you really made my day.
This was such a blessing to me. When I prayed for an opportunity, I never thought it would be with someone I've talked to a dozen or so times in the past in casual conversation. Sarah said, as we were driving home, "Wow Mom, that is the second opportunity in 2 days", and I told her that I now pray Col.4:3 every time I am leaving the house. Praise God for answered prayers and boldness and courage and the right words to say. It's getting easier the more I do it.
Let us thank God for every opportunity that is opened to us. The verse in Colossians 4:3 is a very good prayer to pray, "Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ." May God give to each of us that "door of utterance" where we will have opportunity to speak a word for Christ. However, it should be noted that praying that God will open to us a door of opportunity doesn't mean that we should be passive, doing nothing. Even in the situation with Nicole, you'll notice that she first had to initiate the conversation with the bagger and ask how he was doing. Then the door opened. In Joshua 3:13, we read that, "as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of Jordan, that the waters of Jordan shall be cut off from the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand upon an heap." In other words, it was only when the priests took that STEP OF FAITH in obedience that the waters opened before them. Too often, we want to see the waters open up BEFORE we're willing to take a step. That's not faith then, is it? That's sight. Anybody can do that and it doesn't bring glory to God. We can be so "failure-averse" that we actually become paralyzed with fear. Fear of failure. Fear of what others will think. Fear of "making God look bad." Ultimately, these are all subtle forms of pride. And we must die to it. I want to encourage us all to be willing to take steps of faith in whatever context and situation God has placed us in. Let us learn to walk by faith and glorify God by so doing.
One final thought. This truth can also be applied to our times of prayer. We are praying because we have been commanded to call upon Him. "Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not." Jer 33:3. You see that? We call. He answers. We must first call upon Him. THEN He will answer us and show us great and mighty things. Our problem is that we too often want the answer without the asking. We want God to work before we're willing to work. Prayer is the first step and it takes effort. Remember in Zechariah 10:1 it states, "Ask ye of the LORD rain in the time of the latter rain; so the LORD shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field." Ask ye of the Lord, rain. That's our responsibility. That's the first step of faith. May the Lord indeed answer us with "showers of rain" from those bright clouds.
The following sermon clip was a tremendous blessing to me and it ties in exactly with this sentiment. To put it in context, Tim Conway is a Calvinist so he is not criticizing Calvinism per se (as it may sound). I would encourage you to give it a listen:
We invite you to join our dedicated and earnest group of praying participants of all ages from around the world that meet every day over Zoom to pray. At the start of each prayer call, a different individual will bring a brief Scriptural meditation. Here's the most recent:
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