When listing the things that give you joy or that you do with joy or that you just can’t wait to do, does prayer make the list? If we can learn to pray with joy, the days of being begged or guilted into praying will be over. So, the question of the day is this: How do I find joy in praying? Paul, a man who found joy in prayer, answers that question.
Abraham taught his servant to bathe every action in prayer. There is no doubt that fervent supplication for divine leadership marked each step of his journey. He probably began each day with prayer and ended each day with prayer. As he prayed, however, he kept traveling. He did not use prayer as an excuse for idleness. He prayed and worked at the same time. Prayer does not make work unnecessary, but prayer is essential if one’s work is to be effective. What was this servant’s work? He searched for the right woman who would be a wife to Abraham’s son, Isaac. Which girl would be Isaac’s girl, and why? The answer awaits.
Fame may sometimes come instantly; wealth on rare occasions comes instantly, but real success is not instant. Those who rise upon waves of instant success can fall just as suddenly upon dismal sands of failure. Proverbs 28:19 can put you in a position to achieve long-term success, from getting out of the starting blocks to grasping the possibilities of a new and exciting tomorrow.
A famous Canadian preacher wrote: Words fail when we try to articulate in theology and worship our deepest feelings about the awesome, transcendent majesty of Almighty God. Is it possible that a God like that could have been in Bethlehem’s manger? In stark reality, are we to believe that God was there in that ancient place in some special and unique way? Shockingly, Jesus came into His own world in complete obscurity, in fact, with such obscurity that we are compelled to ask: Where does God fit in, and does it really make sense to fit such an obscure figure into our own lives?
The celebration of the first noel and the anticipation of the last noel are closely connected. Both events teach the same truth — and what is that truth? God has his hand on human history and your place in it. Both the first and last noels teach us that God has not abandoned us, that God is not ignoring us, that God has a plan and a purpose and that He’s inviting us to get plugged into that plan and purpose. You may not know what tomorrow will bring, but you don’t have to be afraid. You may have no idea how things are going to turn out, but you don’t have to be afraid. You may be headed into unknown territory but you don’t have to be afraid.
The blessing of God calls for being in “the place of ‘His’ choosing.” Have you ever considered that idea in your life? Does anyone consider that idea when they accept a new job, or when they move to a new city, or when they make a huge purchase, or when it comes to who they marry, or when they decide which school to attend? I’m not saying it’s always easy to know, but isn’t that the best place to be? Isn’t that the place of greatest blessing and usefulness? Then for crying out loud, get there and stay there.