A Thorn (2)

So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited.  Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me.  But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.  2 Cor 12:7-10

We had a great conversation yesterday regarding this text.  Today, we continue with the highlighted portion above.

How often or how many times do you pray about some challenge in your life?  I’ve heard some say one prays about something and then trusts God to act.  Therefore, that’s the only time they pray about that particular “problem.”  The first time one hears that, it sounds really spiritual – almost as if that person has monumental faith.  But after some life experiences, some experiences through prayer, and general growth, I’ve come to understand that’s not true.  In fact, it’s the opposite.

In Luke 18, we’re given the parable of “The Persistent Widow.”  Verse 1 reads, “And he told them a parable to effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart” (ESV).  The parable speaks about the widow and injustice towards her.  She pleaded her case to a judge more than once and finally got an ear.  Although the judge was unrighteous, he was used as a teaching lesson for followers of Christ.  Jesus said God wants to hear from us that way.  He’s about restoration, redemption, and peace.  And hearing from us makes his heart sing.  I love what verse 7 says: “And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them?”  In other words, continue to pray by faith!

Our text says Paul prayed three times.  But maybe we get caught up in the details.  Maybe he’s speaking about praying again and again and again and…  You get the idea.  There are times when God wants to see us display faith by how we pray.  Sometimes He answers right away with a “yes” or a “no.”  And sometimes he says “wait.”  Time doesn’t contain God.  I need to write that again.  TIME DOESN’T CONTAIN GOD.  But praying continually about something shows what we believe about his providence.

What have you prayed about – for weeks?  for months?  for years?  Maybe it’s a relative that needs to come to Christ.  Perhaps it’s a relationship restored.  Maybe it’s about health, finances, or other struggles.  Whatever it is, keep praying.  Never give up!  Be blessed.

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4 Responses to “A Thorn (2)”

  1. Sometimes I feel like I have no one to talk to about my serious problems – not the petty “airing out” type of problems, but those that I fear people will judge me for… and sometimes I find myself searching out for someone to talk to about such things. Why? Maybe because I need confirmation or validation, or both about how I am feeling.

    You mentioned the persistent widow and how we ought to pray and not lose heart.

    God is teaching me that when I search for other’s validations on my problems, I am losing heart. I am confiding more in what they think than what God is telling me through this problem.

    I think of my mom and her pleading about my brother and his addiction. She died never seeing God’s answered prayer. But I see that answered prayer now and it’s unbelievable! and she will too when we are all reunited with Christ; the point is – God answered the prayer in HIS TIME.

    Like you said (twice – that made me smile because God was speaking to me when I had to read it twice) – TIME DOESN’T CONTAIN GOD.
    Amazing. What a promise.

    … Oh, how I hurt God – but I believe in your wisdom.

    • God is there for us Maria. And He wants to hear from us (1 Pet 5:7). But He also wants us to be in community – relationships where we can share our serious problems with one another. I’m praying for that relationship for you.

  2. Diane Chilson Says:

    TIME DOESN’T CONTAIN GOD jumped out at me too! Some of us have believed that praying over and over about the same thing would show a lack of faith. “maybe I am praying so much, God thinks that I don’t fully believe in his power to change my circumstances” “Shouldn’t I have enough faith to know I only need to pray once”? Some of these things have went through my head. I read over your post and visited 2 Cor 12:7-10, WOW! Relationship! When we are praying continually, God is continually communicating to us, We have more opportunity to listen, he wants to hear from us. It is us that puts time limits on things. I don’t think God wants to just pat our heard or put a band-aid on our wounds and send us off. Thanks you so much for posting this! And these words to remember… TIME DOESN’T CONTAIN GOD

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