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Persistently Expanding for More Answers

By: Dr. Skip Myers
web posted June 6, 2006
Edgefielddaily.com columnist

There are only two parts of our body that continue to grow throughout our lifetime. Can you guess which ones? Give up? No, it’s not your waistline although mine seems to be ignoring the fact it didn’t make the list. It’s your ears and your nose. Unfortunately, this fact doesn’t help us hear better or smell better as we get older. These two parts of our bodies persistently grow throughout our lifetime.

Now keep that in mind while I tell about a guy who pursued a girl throughout high school. Each week this guy would approach this young lady and ask her out for a date. His line went something like this, “Hey baby, how about you giving yourself a real treat and going out with me tonight.” I know, with a line like that it was a miracle that she could resist his charm all through high school but somehow she did.

You have to give him credit for his persistence. Every Friday, he said the same thing to the same girl and got the same reply. Are you beginning to understand the difference between persistence and stupidity? If you continue to do the same thing the same way and you don’t get the desired results then you aren’t being persistence, you are being less than intelligent. Please, don’t hear me being accusatory or harsh. What I want us to discover is that what we may call spiritual persistence, especially in prayer, may simply be our stubborn resistance to God’s efforts to change us.

There have been times in my life when I have continually asked God for the same thing in the same way and when the desired answer didn’t come I became frustrated with the Lord. I thought I had persisted in prayer and God would honor my persistence by giving me the desire of my heart. I failed to realize that while I was praying God was working to change me so I could receive the answer He knew was best for me.

I had become so zeroed in on one answer that I failed to recognize what God was doing. Instead of allowing what He was doing in my life to change the way I was praying, I persisted in asking the same way and for the same thing. God was trying to grow my life to the point that I could understand and experience what He was doing. My resistance to His attempts to change me left His answer beyond what I could experience.

When we pray and there seems to be no answer, look for ways God is trying to grow your life. If you stay focused on one persistent prayer, you may not grow enough to see how He is already answering that prayer. Prayer is designed for us to experience God not just for us to get what we want from God.

We are told to “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (I Thessalonians 5:16-18) How can we give thanks for everything and see how everything can be used of God for our benefit? We never stop growing. Just like the ears and the nose. We continually grow in our understanding of the nature of God and how He loves us. As we grow, we will begin to see more answers to the prayers we are praying. Our growth will give us a new vision to see the wonderful possibilities of God and how He answers prayers with what is best for us. I thank God He hasn’t always answered my prayers just like I prayed them. I tend to put God in a box when He is actually the Lord of the Universe. I have to let prayer change me so that I can experience what God wants to give me.

Take a moment and read Ephesians 3:14-21. It is one of the most beautiful prayers in all of the Bible. It ends with this verse: “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us.”  If we persist in asking for something less that what He wants for us are being persistent or are we being less than intelligent. Change the way you pray and let Him be God. It will change you forever.





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