For you this week:
- Reflection for Saturday: Why important prayers take so long to be answered
- Inside the Ministry: Join me in the 2023 Prayer Challenge
- Footsteps to Heaven podcast: The 1 John 5:14 Prayer Challenge
This week’s Trivia Challenge: Finish the phrase: “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, _____.” (Check your answer at the end of this newsletter.)
Saturday January 7, 2023
1 John 5:14-21
Psalm 149:1-6, 9
Beloved, we have this confidence in God that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And we know that if he hears us in regard to whatever we ask, then of course what we have asked for is ours. (From Saturday’s first reading)
Reflection for Saturday:
Why important prayers take so long to be answered
When I looked at this Saturday’s first reading to pray about what to write, the very first verse shocked me.
“We have this confidence in God that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And we know that if he hears us in regard to whatever we ask, then of course what we have asked for is ours.”
Do I still believe it? The year that I’ve just had (2022) was the worst year of my life. So I said, “Lord, I need to understand this verse better.”
That’s the challenge: To understand it better requires experience. When we read scripture and someone teaches it to us, we can hear it again and again but it doesn’t sink in to our heart unless we experience it. We don’t understand until it becomes real to us.
The problem is, we’re living in a time when it’s harder for us to experience the answers to our prayers because the world has gotten (to be frank) much more demonic over the past few years. The true followers of Christ are under attack. We’ve been enduring so much, repeatedly bombarded by Satan’s attempts to put us down and to convince us that God doesn’t care — all part of his plan to take over the world.
In this environment, we need to understand that the dynamics of lifting up our prayer requests to God are different now. God still responds immediately. As a matter of fact, when we ask for anything that’s within God’s will, he’s already got a plan. He’s waiting for us to join him in this plan through our participation in it. As soon as we start to pray, if it’s a heartfelt prayer, we open ourselves to the plan of God. And then, when the time is right, the Holy Spirit energizes us into action with an opportunity to make a difference.
The dynamics of what’s been happening in today’s world have significantly affected this process. Notice how similar dynamics affected the Israelites in the Old Testament. When they broke their covenant with God, disaster happened. They were captured and enslaved by their enemies. But did every individual Israelite break away from God? No. Yet they suffered along with the rest of the nation.
We all suffer when the community (our world around us) has broken covenant with God. That doesn’t mean that God has abandoned you or me. It just means that the answers to our prayers get manifested differently. For many of us, the answers to our prayers get manifested much more slowly.
God’s answers to our prayers are being fought against by the multiplication of demonic influences. But remember, they’re not winning the battle. It just means that the dynamics of how the battle is won are different. God always has the victory!
A year ago, what were some of your prayer requests? Write them down. Which ones have been answered? Take time to thank God again and again for those victories.
Which prayer requests are you still waiting on? Reflect on the following questions for each situation:
1. How has God been helping you through this?
2. How has he been preparing your victory?
3. How have you been growing?
4. What blessings have come from it so far? (Even the smallest benefits are victories.)
This is the kind of world we’re in today. We need to focus on the victories — especially those that are hidden in the darkness of our miseries. And keep this in mind: When the Israelites, as a community, finally turned back to God, it was WOW. So too will it be in our world. And we will have helped that “wow”.
This topic is explained further in the new Footsteps to Heaven episode (see below).
If you continue to find it difficult to be sure that God the Father really and truly does care about your long-time prayer requests, be healed by reading my book 30 Days to the Father’s Heart @ 30daystothefathersheart.com.
Inside the Ministry:
Join me in the 2023 Prayer Challenge
I’m inviting you to join me in a prayer challenge that will help you experience the manifestation of the answers to your prayers in this crazy, horrible world. Today, at the start of the new year, choose one special prayer request. What yearning of your heart will bring you joy when God fulfills it so much that it becomes stable in your life? Post it in the comments or email it to me. If you don’t want it to be public, just make it a more generic. Post it as a commitment to this prayer challenge.
I will keep a list of everybody’s comments and I will include them in my morning prayer offerings through the year.
Let me know when, for this particular prayer request, you can answer any of the four questions that I posed in the previous article. We will celebrate together!
The 1 John 5:14 Prayer Challenge (new episode)
Take the prayer challenge and get more from it by listening to the full 23-minute podcast. At the end of this episode, I pray for you.
Listen to this podcast @ gnm.org/footsteps96.
Or watch the video @ gnm-media.org/take-the-1-john-514-prayer-challenge. Or if you prefer to read it, download the transcript at this link.
Sign up for early access to podcasts. New episodes of the podcast show Footsteps to Heaven are published before this newsletter goes out. You can be notified as soon as new ones are published! Subscribe at gnm-media.org for the podcast videos or at footstepstoheaven.com for the audio-only version.
Answer to this week’s Trivia Challenge:
“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (See Hebrews 11:1)
God bless you!
Every morning, I lift up in prayer everyone who helps Good News Ministries in any way (donors, volunteers, prayer supporters, etc.) and all the prayer requests posted on our site. What can I cover in prayer for you? Post your prayer request.
How else can the team and I serve you today? Visit our homepage.
Thank you for reading this newsletter.
Your servant in Christ,
Terry Modica, Executive Director
Good News Ministries
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