Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Prayer Has Side Effects

Daily Gratitude Year 5-Day 32: Today, I am grateful for the side effects of prayer.

Are you as amused as I am at the drug commercials? The list of side effects is often scarier than the infirmity the medication would be prescribed to treat. (I often wonder why they are trying to sell us things that only a doctor can prescribe.) Drugs have side effects. 

Prayer has side effects, too.  

Priscilla Evans Shirer is a beautiful, gracious and magnetic woman of God. She really does light up a room... as I have experienced seeing her speak several years ago. She is full of love, light and life. 

Priscilla's book, Fervent, is on prayer and there is a Bible study I have not completed. It inspired the movie "War Room" and if you have not seen it, it is time. Miss Clara is a character, but she just might inspire you to rethink and investigate the power of real prayer. 

A sincere prayer... offered in a relationship with a very real God... it changes everything. If prayer feels more of a shopping list or a requirement than an intimate chat with a best friend... there is so much more. Look at this verse:

Always be joyful.  Never stop praying.  Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. Do not stifle the Holy Spirit.
-1 Thessalonian 5:16-19

Now, I think that if you "never stop praying" - a constant conversation with God - and "choose gratitude in all circumstance"... joy is a side effect. God didn't place us here to be defeated and miserable.  He exhaled... we inhaled... and our soul breaths gave us life. No wonder we long for him. He longs to know us and grow us... and to have us choose him back. 

He wants us to be fearless because he said, "I am with you." 
He came, "Immanuel" means "God with us." and he walked our soil.
He died... instead of us... that we might have eternal life.
His Holy Spirit came,remains and fills every dark and scary place in our lives. 
The story isn't finished. Keep watch. Be in prayer. It is unfolding. 

Prayer is how we grow in relationship, trust, patience, love, wisdom and courage. Even when we do not understand his ways... we can wholly trust his Holy Heart. Always. 

The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one. Master of the Universe, the Lamb who took our place and paid our sin debt and the Holy Spirit who fills those who seek and ask. Look at this Old Testament scripture: 

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might -Deuteronomy 6:4-5

Prayer has side effects. Not one of them is bad. No. Not. One.

Today, I am grateful for the side effects of prayer.

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