Worth Its “Wait” in Gold

pot pieDear brothers, is your life full of difficulties and temptations? Then be happy, for when the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow. So let it grow, and don’t try to squirm out of your problems. For when your patience is finally in full bloom, then you will be ready for anything, strong in character, full and complete.  (James 1:2-4 TLB)

One of my favorite treats as a kid was a pot pie.  Mom didn’t buy them very often, but I thought they were among the most wonderful things in the world.  These weren’t the microwave, done-in-60- seconds hockey pucks in today’s grocery freezer section…and, back then they still came standard with a bottom crust, too.  Lots of things were of higher quality before companies decided that they could make more money by giving you less.  The wait was sweet agony.

Now that I’m well into my adult years, I make my own everything; so I can’t tell you how the 21st Century pot pie is prepared.  Back then, you took a rock solid frozen single-serving pie, punched a few vent holes in the top, put it on a pizza tin, and popped into the oven for probably 45 minutes or so.  In my case the 45 minutes probably stretched out to nearer an hour, because I would keep opening the oven door to see how far along the baking had progressed.

Pot pies had a double-indemnity wait clause.  First, you had to wait for them to bake all the way through; and then you had to wait again, that much longer, for them to cool off just to be able to eat them.  Those of us who had patience for neither would wind up with soggy pie and a burned tongue.  Yes, I burned my tongue almost every single time Mom made them.

We are so conditioned, in every aspect of life, to disdain the wait.  A letter is an antiquated thing now that we have instant messaging.  We order some worthless gadget on the shopping channel, we pay extra so that we don’t have to WAIT.  We go into ridiculous debt for things we can’t afford, because laying something away until it’s paid for, why, we’re too good for that!  Gotta have it all right now.

Waiting is an art in the spiritual realm, as well; and one that, if you’re like me, is an ongoing process to develop. There is relationship built with God as we wait.  There is maturity and strength gained in the struggle that we won’t acquire if we have a microwave mentality.  In the pause before the answer to prayer comes to pass, we get to study and observe His process.  As we obediently step away from the controls, we come to appreciate His meticulous knack for do exceeding abundantly above all we can ask or think.  Quality is yet another reward for learning to wait…because there’s no such thing as rushed perfection.

I once had a coworker who could find a good meal in the most surprising places.  His advice to me was this:  when you go into a new town, talk to the locals.  Ask them where the best place to eat is, and when they offer the usual “tourist dives,” you tell them, “No, not where you send the tourists.  Where do YOU go when you want a good meal?”  Sometimes those secret gathering places were little hole-in-the-wall basement establishments.  Routinely, he would go in, sit down, and instead of taking a menu, asked the cook to surprise him.  There’s something about asking a chef to do what he or she does best—create!  It’s a welcome, refreshing, thrilling opportunity: to receive a request without restrictions, without picky substitutions, or conditions about how the customer wants the finished product to appear.  Because he considered dining to be an event rather than a means to an end, he didn’t care to wait a little longer.  The meals, according to him, were almost always something off-the-grid, because he dared trust the one doing the cooking to his or her best judgment.

What huge thing are you asking God to do today, if at all?  If you’re not asking for something big, I challenge you to ask Him for what “can’t be done.”  Ask Him to change the very person whom everyone around you says cannot or will not ever change.  Ask Him for something that brings Him glory, and surrender the how, when, and where to HIM.  Give Him an opportunity to roll up His sleeves and reveal what He is REALLY capable of.  Ask Him to do great exploits, and don’t set up conditions or a deadline for Him to have to adhere to.  We’re so shallow in our asking…we order straight off the menu, asking for the small things which require little if any faith.  God wants His children to boldly approach His throne, to ask Him to accomplish what HE wants in the earth.  After the asking, He wants us to wait.  Oh, He hasn’t lost our request in the shuffle.  He hasn’t forgotten or disregarded our prayers as unimportant.  He’s just waiting for the time He knows is best to bring it all to pass.

Make your petitions known to your caring Father today.  Don’t settle for a watery, freeze-dried, or second-rate blessing just so you can have it sooner.  Don’t get burned by trying to take what He’s promised before it has had time to cool down to the perfect moment.  There is blessing in the wait.  If you can allow Him to bring you His best in His time, it will be so worth the discipline.  Right place, right time?  Better than the best pot pie you ever ate!

A Grateful Giver

helping handsMy children, our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action.  (1 John 3:18 GNT)

Cats are peculiar critters.  As I was unloading and packing groceries from my car this morning, I nearly stepped on a dead, disemboweled mouse right in my walking path.  It was a “gift” from one of the cats we feed and care for who live on our property.

Those of you who own cats know that this is a pretty typical thing!  I’m regularly encountering little presents like this.  Some are good presents; getting rid of rodents and creepy crawlers is always a welcome offering.  Others, not so much!  Occasionally my kitties will nab a bird or a ground squirrel in their zealous guard duties, unfortunate casualties of the war on pest control.

We’re not so unlike these four-legged creatures, you know.   When we enter into a true, healthy relationship with our Master, we seek to do things which please Him.  Perhaps they are things we would have been doing anyway, like being generous, or using a talent, but our motivation changes to a godly one.  Even those times when we get it wrong, our Master’s grace envelops us as He sees the pureness in heart.  He may scold us over a wrong choice, but He will lovingly teach us how to conform to His image.

Cats are hunters by instinct; catching prey is their nature.  However, instead of just doing whatever they wish with their conquests, my cats choose to lay out their trophies for me.  They want ME to share in their accomplishments. They want to remind me that, although I haul those huge bags of cat food up the hill to keep their bellies full, they are grateful and wanting to reciprocate.

One aspect which sets Christianity apart from all others is that we are saved by grace.  Many feel that it ends there, and excludes any opportunities for works.  While it’s true that we cannot achieve salvation through our giving, that change of heart when we accept Jesus also motivates us to do good works.  Or, at the very least, to do what we may have already been doing, but with a higher purpose!  Our gratitude to our Lord spills over into wanting Him to be blessed as well.

You don’t have to perform great exploits today, or seek achievements beyond your reach.  Just do what seems second nature to you, but with a holy motivation!  Gatherer by instinct, giver by faithful love.  Find something in your day which you can deposit on the walking path of your Master!  He loves a cheerful giver!

Prayer: The Science of Moving Impossible Loads

Lever_(PSF)“Give me a place to stand, and I shall move the Earth with it.” — Archimedes, 3rd Century BC, while discussing the mathematical principles of a lever, and how it can simplify a near-impossible task.

A lever is simply a movable bar that pivots on a fulcrum attached to a fixed point. The lever operates by applying forces at different distances from the fulcrum, or a pivot. The Egyptians are thought to have moved the huge stone obelisks for their monuments by the use of levers.

Did you know that you have a spiritual lever?  It’s called prayer!  Prayer has the ability to move things too heavy to shift in the natural realm.  The Apostle Paul tells us to pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests (Eph 6:18).  “All kinds of prayers” is similar to the various placements of the fulcrum (pivoting point) of a lever.  Your prayer is the lever.  You, the willing servant of God, are the fulcrum.  God is the effort, and the enemy is the resistance.

Depending on its pivoting point placement, prayer can accomplish various types of moving that otherwise could not be done.  Think of a crowbar trying to pry something loose that’s stuck.  That’s a lever with a fulcrum in the middle, and the effort and resistance on opposite sides.  Sometimes in prayer, God will put you right in the middle.  As you intercede, you may feel pressure on both sides.

A nutcracker is a lever that breaks a shell off by having resistance in the middle, effort on one side, and the fulcrum on the other side.  God may get on one side of a situation, have you on the other side, and the two of you put the “squeeze” on a stronghold that needs broken off someone’s life.  In times like this, you may not be able to see God because the enemy has your view obstructed, but keep praying.  God can apply whatever pressure is needed on the enemy because He has you positioned to be a stable object to push against!

A pair of tweezers is a lever that has the effort in the middle, and the resistance and the fulcrum on opposite sides.  There are times when God gets in the middle, with you and the evil one on opposite sides.  The grasping motion of the tweezer helps it to pluck up deeply embedded things.  In this alignment, you can see God even when you can’t see the enemy…but that’s good!  God’s in the middle and because of the right placement, He can use your prayer lever to get a grip on what needs pulled out.

Have I lost you yet?  We can narrow it down like this: knowing how to pray the Word accurately can bring alignment on earth with God’s will in heaven. 

Through prayer, you team up with God.  You willingly become a support for His will to be done.  Through prayer, you can pry something loose in the spirit realm.  You can break off strongholds.  You can pluck something painful out of a life, or even pluck some ONE out of a dangerous situation, all through prayer.  If we pray according to God’s Word, God can even use the “resistance” to work to His advantage!

As you go into this day, ask God to make you a willing “fulcrum” to accomplish His will on earth.  You may not always understand the method behind His placement of you in a particular situation, but that’s ok.  Remain fixed.  If you’re obedient, you can stand still and see the salvation of the Lord!

 

Scientific Fact Source:  Wikipedia.com

 

Velcro Devotion in a Teflon World

Velcro

“But if your servant says to you, “I do not want to leave you,” because he loves you and your family and is well off with you, then take an awl and push it through his ear lobe into the door, and he will become your servant for life.”  Deut. 15:16-17 NIV

In these last days, it seems harder than ever to find people who will serve in any capacity—much less ministry–with lasting devotion.  In the era of contractual service, we seek an “out clause” in almost everything we say ‘yes’ to.  Marriages dissolve once the honeymoon is over; parents abandon their post and leave their children to be raised by the grandparents (an alarming trend); and, few places of employment are left where someone can hope to work clear up until retirement. We all tend to want to milk the best out of something and then discard it once it no longer profitable or fulfilling to us.  It makes me think of the Winans song, “Bring Back the Days of Yea and Nay.”

The above Scripture related to someone who had sold himself (or herself) into servant hood.   It was an understood law that in the seventh year, that person would be set free from the master, at which time the master awarded a blessing for the service before releasing the servant.  Now, I’m aware that sometimes it’s entirely fitting for someone to operate in a season, or an agreed time of service, and then be released from it.  I don’t wish to condemn anyone if that has been your chosen path; on the contrary, I respect and am grateful for all these days who sign on for any level of service, even the temporary!  Laborers in the field are often hard to come by!  What I do want to encourage in this writing, however, is for a special remnant of people to catch the vision of becoming a servant for LIFE.  Can we say to the Lord, “I will faithfully tend this patch of Your field, in good times and in bad, in season, out of season, when I’m praised for it and when I’m an unsung hero too.  I’ll be so predictable and so constant, You and my leaders won’t have to wonder if I’ll show up to serve…it’ll be a given!”

In terms of commitment in our service to the Lord, Who has so abundantly blessed us all, I would just challenge you today to examine yourself. Do you consider His work and His priorities something that you do ala carte, or is it an integral part of who you are?  You may never be called upon to sell completely out and go full-time into ministry, but if He were to ask, would you be willing?  What material possessions, hobbies, or other preoccupations would you find hard to push aside in favor of going to a higher level in your commitment to the Lord and His work?  Do you ever bow up and feel offense rising within your spirit whenever the pastor or a leader asks you to give up some of your closely guarded leisure time for a worthwhile investment in kingdom work?

Most of us who serve in the ministry do so on a purely volunteer basis; but may we, from this day forward, never look at it as a “favor” that we do for God.  Whether the time we invest in ministry is a few minutes a month or several hours each week, may we treat our offering of ourselves in this way as a holy thing unto the Lord.  May we not look at our service as something which we can do with less than excellence, or with less faithfulness than someone who is, for instance, a pastor.  May we not feel as if we are exempt from accountability just because we do what we do on a volunteer basis. The truth is, all of us are “paid” by the Lord.  As you are sowing your service into the work of the Master, He is returning blessing upon your life and upon your family’s lives in ways money can and cannot buy…and He has an excellent memory when it comes to keeping record of your faithfulness!

Those servants released at the end of the period of service walked away with their masters’ blessing—and reward–with no questions asked.  God will not withhold blessing from you for going no farther than what you may have originally pledged in His service. And He also knows that there are times in your life when you’ll be able to give less of yourself—He knows babies will be born, times of sickness may temporarily slow your pace, aging parents will need cared for.  He is not a tyrant Master! That said, in whatever capacity you choose to give yourself to kingdom work, I pray that, beginning today, you will do so with joy and with excellence, and with a renewed sense of zeal for His purposes.

Just know that you are a set-apart, unique, and treasured member of His household—bearing the mark of His awl, if you should choose to say, “Use me Lord, however You wish, for the rest of my life!” What a testimony of the goodness of our Master, when we declare to Him in the presence of a mixed-up and ambiguous, fickle world, “It’s unthinkable that I should ever be separated from my submission and service to You!’

My prayer today:

Heavenly Father, thank You for bringing us into Your family, both as sons/daughters and as Your servants.  I pray today that all of us will be consumed with zeal for Your house; may the plight of the lost and the destitute move us like it moves You.  I pray that we will always have a godly, meek attitude with regard to our giving of time, talent, and treasure—and that we will never look at what You ask of us as encroachment upon “our” territory.  Father, we love You, and we love being a part of Your family and Your work.  Whether our involvement is to serve in ministry in the church, or to be salt and light out in the secular world, we pledge to You that we will let our light so shine among men, and that we will take Your kingdom wherever we are planted.  We may not always be asked to serve in the same areas we start out in, and that’s ok–we realize the importance of times and seasons—but we yield ourselves in undying devotion to Your will, knowing that You’ll find ways to make us fruitful in every stage of our lives. You will never ask more of us than we are able to perform; Jesus assured us that His burden is easy and His yoke is light!  Bottom line, we make ourselves permanently available to You, to do with as You will.  With our ear against the door, willing to be pierced in covenant, we say to You, “Yours, unconditionally.”  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Basking in the Light

IMG_0154“…walk in the light, as He is in the light…” (1 John 1:7)

This chilly morning as I sat here, enjoying my first cup of coffee, I observed my big fluffy black cat, Sheba, stretched out contentedly in the living room floor.  Her favorite way to lie is flat on her back, oddly, which I’ve read signifies that an animal completely trusts its surroundings.  I see her that way daily, and yet this morning I noticed something a little different…it was her location.  She had picked a spot in the floor where a small ray of sunshine found its way through our venetian blind, and was enjoying the warmth of that light.

How many times, especially as of late, with so many bad news segments on television and in the papers, do we walk around in a thick fog of negativity?  Honestly, sometimes I have to disconnect completely from the news, the Internet, from all those sources that remind me what a dark, desperate world in which we live.  It’s a place out there where Jesus said that, in the last days, the love of many would grow cold.  If we dwell on that for very long, we find ourselves downright discouraged and depressed!

BUT!  Just like my kitty, Sheba, I’ve found a ray of sunshine in the middle of the chilly darkness.  My hope is in the Lord.  It can be utter chaos all around me; and yet, in that ray of the warmth of God’s goodness and enduring mercy, I find solace.  David sang in Psalm 23 that the Lord prepared a table for him in the presence of his enemies.  He spoke of various dangers all around him, and how he didn’t have to fear because God was with him.  And although at times I’m described as being unrealistic and wearing “rose-colored glasses,” it doesn’t deter my faith in that ray of light.  When I get into the presence of God, it is warm.  It is safe.  It is illuminated.  And, there is peace.  Then, whenever I must walk through the dark places, I don’t have to succumb to despair.  The light waits for me at the edge of that darkness.

You may have been in the shadows for so long that the light hurts your eyes.  That’s ok…squint if you have to…but come to the warm light of God.  Your eyes will adjust!  This is a place where you can receive a garment of praise in exchange for the spirit of heaviness.  It’s a place where, although you can see things falling apart all around you, you are safe.  You can stretch out, find rest; and like Miss Sheba, expose your vulnerabilities to the Father of lights.  He will not betray your trust.  He will not snuff out your smouldering wick if you feel burned out and faltering.

Find your Source of hope today…in the presence of the Lord.  It’s awfully nice in here…and there’s room for whosoever will!

Something Outta Nothing

cauldron1If you’ve never heard a variation of this old fable, I’m going to treat you to the “Lisa” version of it.

A stranger wandered into town one afternoon, tired, hungry, and needing to rest before he continued on his journey.  His inquiries about food and lodging were met with inhospitable responses from the townspeople.  “I have no food for you,” he heard over and over again.

“That’s ok, and thank you,” he replied.  “Since none of you have any food to share, I’m just going to make homemade soup.  Enough to feed us all…and all I need is (reaching into his pocket) this old nail!”

“Hogwash!” said someone; and to prove him wrong, the skeptic dragged a big kettle to the town square.  “Let’s see you do it!

The stranger quietly filled the pot with water from the community well, gathered some sticks, and built a fire.  A faint “klink” was heard as the nail came to rest in the bottom of the kettle.  As the water began to boil, he leaned in to sniff an imaginary aroma.  Curious onlookers began to move in closer, their inquisitiveness overriding their cynicism over the man’s outrageous claim.  He blew on a spoonful of the broth before tasting.  “It’s fine just like it is, but a little salt and pepper would be divine!”

“I have no food for you,” spoke a woman from the crowd, “but I do have some salt and pepper in my pantry.”  With that, she disappears from the crowd, reappearing with the seasonings.  The stranger thanks her, tosses some salt and pepper into the pot, and continues stirring.

“Last time I made this, I decided to experiment a little.  I threw in some onions and potatoes, and you know, it was actually pretty good,” he said calmly, almost as if he were talking to himself.

“I don’t have any food to give you,” a man spoke out, “but I may be able to wrangle up some old onions and potatoes in my cellar.”  And with that, he produced his contribution.  After stirring the onions and potatoes into the mix, suddenly an appetizing smell began to waft into the crowd.

“I wonder if carrots and celery would make it better?” said another lady.  “I might have some put back for a rainy day.”  Suddenly, it was a domino effect.  An ear of corn here, a handful of peas there. A cabbage.   And lo and behold, one ornery old cuss even brought a soup bone.  After all, they had to prove this crazy stranger wrong!

Before long, town square smelled heavenly; and folks disappeared long enough to return with bowls and spoons.  And they all shared a hearty feast together that evening…laughing and talking and singing the praises of the man who made this magnificent concoction “out of just one old nail!”

____

In the spiritual sense, how many times have we come to God with our needs, only to have Him require something on our part first?  He isn’t trying to insult our intelligence; He’s trying to expand our understanding to a heavenly principle that defies our earthly paradigms.  We can look at Elijah’s audacious request to a widow who was preparing one final meal for her young son and herself, and say, “Man, you have absolutely lost your mind!  You foolish, selfish thing…leave that woman alone in her need, and go find your own food!”  However, desperate times often spark some pretty radical faith!  This woman was just ripe for a boom-or-bust miracle; and so, she responded to Elijah’s claim of continual provision if she were to make the first move.  Sure enough, God honored the prophet’s declaration, and the woman and her son never again had to fear hunger…even in the middle of a famine!

This outrageous God we serve has a track record for “something outta nothing.”  We’re not even going to rewind back to the times of Creation when entire galaxies were formed at His command.  We’re just going to go forward to a huge crowd of hungry people, too far out of town to grab a bite in the drive-thru.  Here they have followed Jesus, not paying attention to the time or the distance, or to their lack of preparation for a journey.  Surveying the problem, all the disciples are able to come up with is a little tike whose momma had thrown together a child’s portion bread-and-fish lunch.  Tuna fish and crackers for us, if you will, only the Happy Meal version.  They didn’t have to pry it out of his hands.  With a child’s faith, I’m guessing he probably thought, “If it’s Jesus I’m giving it to, it’ll be alright.”  We adults would probably be tempted to hide our little stash!  Or, we’d reason that our contribution was just a drop in the bucket; justifiable alibi for not revealing that we had it.  Survival of the fittest, you know.  Interesting.  That child’s drop in the bucket, blessed and broken by the Master, had 12 baskets of leftovers afterwards.

And if that weren’t enough to perplex our carnal minds, enter a man with what the Bible describes as a “withered hand.”  He could’ve crushed it while working in the field or managing his livestock.  He could’ve had a stroke.  He may have been born with a body part that failed to fully develop.  We don’t know that part, but we can reason that he was tired of walking around with a dead hand that didn’t work.  And how does Jesus respond to the man’s request for healing?  He asks the man to stretch that hand toward Him!  Nowadays, people would be threatening to sue for discrimination against the disabled. I wonder how many spectators in the crowd were whispering among themselves, “Jesus, get a clue!  If he could stretch it out, he wouldn’t be asking You to heal it!”  How we, in all our “intelligence,” miss the point!  The man didn’t miss the point, however.  I don’t know how much effort it took to get that hand aimed toward Jesus, but he had nothing to lose.  It may have been a little humiliating, even, putting the object of his shame right there in the open for everyone to gawk at.  Nevertheless, the man gives his best effort to reach the useless hand toward the Savior.  Only…by the time the hand reaches Jesus, the fingers are long and limber.  The grip is strong.  There is movement, flexibility, and feeling!  Something outta nothing, yes.  Faith trumps reason!  Always!

As you stand before God today with your own list of needs, don’t be surprised if He requires you to produce your nothingness as a gift to Him.  Don’t be insulted.  He already knows what you have and what you don’t have.  He will ask you to produce the very source of your pain, your shame, your deficiency.  Don’t hide it behind your back and pretend it doesn’t exist!  With the faith of that widow, that boy, and that man, present to Him what you have…even if it’s an empty bowl, a drained bank account, a ruined reputation, a used-up body.  We are all just empty containers.  We all are lacking in some area.  Give God your container—YOU—and He will fill you to overflowing with His goodness.  If you perceive yourself to be too old, wasted, uneducated, tainted, broken, or useless, know that He’s just looking for your willingness to give Him your pitiful little offering!  He’s not going to laugh at you and say, “WHAT?  You expect Me to make something good out of YOU???!”  No, He will work with what you give Him.  He may even toss your inadequacy into His kettle with other people’s inadequacies…and produce something of quality that blesses everyone around you, emitting a pleasing savor as it simmers to perfection.

Impossible, you say?  Nope.  It’s as easy as making soup with just one old nail.

Moving Forward, Mingo County

forwardRegardless of the recent negative news coverage about Mingo County, I am still proud of the efforts of our law enforcement recently to clean up drugs in our county.  Progress is progress!  I am still proud of the good things accomplished when people have come together to help one another.  Think of how our citizens rally around one another in times of hardship, disaster, or tragedy. Let’s not lose faith in our ability to make a difference, or in the goodness that lies in the heart of these mountains.

And let’s pray for our leaders, past and present! There have been many good things accomplished by our county officials, so let’s not allow negative news reports to eclipse the good things that they may have accomplished during their tenures.

I’m proud to live here, and I plan on treating even our former public servants with the same measure of respect as I did before—human being to human being. Mingo County is still their home, too…they are neighbors, friends, and in some cases, perhaps family to some of you. Their children attend our schools and some of these men/women and their families attend our churches. Please don’t mistreat them, embarrass them, or shun them…they’re very much a vital part of our communities and they still have a place among us. We have no idea what very private agony some may be going through.  I have no doubt in my mind that all of them love Mingo County and the people who live here.

Yesterday is gone. What can we do to make tomorrow better? The extent to which Mingo County heals, I believe, will be in part proportional to the extent that we help these individuals and families heal and recover.  You can love and be good to people without condoning bad decisions they may or may not have made!  Sometimes even good people make regrettable choices.  Often what we hear isn’t true.  And hardly ever do we know the whole story.  Who of us doesn’t wish we could hit the rewind button on some of our own decisions? Love to you all…let’s keep working together so that Mingo County stays blessed of God. I’m not shaken by what I see on TV. This is a good place, and we have good people.

LOVE ONE ANOTHER…

No Such Thing as a Lost Cause

helping handDana was watching a history show today on TV about a man named Hugh Glass, a frontiersman in early 1800’s South Dakota. I was in the next room, but the story caught my attention and I found myself listening in. Apparently, this man was attacked by a bear and mauled so badly that his traveling companions thought he couldn’t possibly have survived. They dug a shallow, open “grave” and just placed him inside, sure he was either dead or soon to die. Being pioneers who didn’t waste anything, they stripped him of his tools and personal effects and left him in that ditch. A couple of months later, people in a fort some distance away were shocked when a severely wounded and emaciated man crawled into their midst, claiming to be Hugh Glass. Many didn’t believe he was who he said he was. Others thought he was a dead man come back to life and it terrified them. The unpleasant details of how he managed to survive make up a story that is nothing short of miraculous.

How many of our loved ones are in such bad shape that we finally just give up on them? Physically, perhaps they’re very sick and we have lost any expectation of their recovery…or spiritually, perhaps they’ve been so mean, so addicted, so rebellious, or so detached from our families that we’ve written them off as hopeless cases?  Or marriages in which we become just too tired to do the work of making them last?  I’m writing this to urge you, if you’re tempted to give up on someone, DON’T! The Bible is full of lost causes! Jairus’ daughter. The demoniac of Gadara. Lazarus. Gomer, the estranged wife of the prophet Hosea.  Peter, in prison. If you will persist in prayer, that person may be the next “dead man” to stagger into your midst, alive and set free from the clutches of Satan!

Who prayed for you? Now, for whom will you pray WITHOUT GIVING UP? “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9 ESV)

Lord, raise up an army of lost causes, and may their testimonies of deliverance shake open the doors where others are held captive!