Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Take it to the Lord in prayer. (What a Friend We Have in Jesus.)

 Do you remember that old hymn? I'm going to share the lyrics below, in case you need refreshing.

What a friend we have in Jesus
All our sins and grieves to bear
What a priveledge it is to carry
Everything to God in prayer
Have we trials and temptations
Is there trouble anywhere
Our precious Savior
He is still our refuge
Take it to the Lord in prayer
Some things we have not
Because we ask not
When we have a friend who's there
When we're weak and heavy laden
Cumbered with a load of care
We should never be discouraged
When we take it to the Lord in prayer
Some things we have not
Because we ask not
When we have a friend who cares
Oh what peace we often forfeit
Oh what needless pain we bear
Oh what peace we often forfeit
Oh what needless we bear
Oh what peace we often forfeit
Oh what needless pain
Oh what needless pain
Oh what needless pain we bear
We should never be discouraged when we
Take it to the Lord in prayer

I love reading the words to old songs and hymns, particularly hymns. They were packed with meaning and written during very troubling times, usually. This particular one is so rich with meaning and has truth in it that we can use today. I suppose that's what got me to thinking on this post—a prayer I prayed on Sunday. I thought I'd share it with you today.

We all have struggles. Maybe it's because my top spiritual gift is faith, maybe not, but I like to live a very open and transparent life. I am a mess most days of my life with bits of really good times sprinkled in between the bad. I don't deny that and I don't claim to be perfect. None of us are, in fact—the only perfect One to have ever walked on this earth was Jesus. My friend and I talk about this all the time and we both agree on this: we live pretty transparently. I know that one reason why I live like this is because of James 5:16.

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect.

There is power in prayer, friends. I believe with every fiber of my being and I have experienced that power too many times to even count. One reason I live transparently is so that I can share my struggles with those that I'm closest with. None of us are without issues and lead perfectly tidy lives; I believe that when we share our lives with others it helps to encourage those around us. Without even meaning to, people watch when a believer goes through a trying itme. 

I think of people like Lysa Terkeurst whose marriage fell apart a few years ago and her husband packed up and left her, then I look at her now and am blown away by the power of the Holy Spirit as they worked to restore the damage that occurred within their marital covenant. Even as recently as this weekend, she shared something about this on Instagram to encourage someone else who might be walking through that same situation.

I don't know about you, but I take comfort in knowing that Jesus faced His own share of struggles while He walked on this earth. He knew what it was like to have a friend betray Him, He faced the enemy and temptation that he brought while Jesus was fasting, He knew what it was like to not want to have to face a situation that He knew would be painful and would result in His death. (He didn't stay dead, though; three days later He came back to life and walked the earth for short while once again before ascending to heaven to sit down at the right hand of God the Father.) Jesus knew what it was like to be sad too, because when His friend Lazarus died, we're told by Luke that He wept.

He knows what it's like to struggle—far more so than we do. That's why it's so important to surrender things to Him in prayer. He wants to bear our burdens, because He cares for us. If this resonates with you, don't wait to surrender your needs to Jesus and to share your life with others; the enemy thrives when we go through times of being discouraged and he likes for us to think we are alone and without friends. If you have friends around you that care for you, thank God for them, because it's rare these days. And if you're struggling and keeping it inside, reach out to someone. Reach out to a trusted friend and ask them to pray for you. It is so very good to share it with someone when you struggle—sometimes even just talking through it with someone helps.

I pray you're encouraged by this, friend. Thanks for reading my blog; love to all. 

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