“Is it Friday yet?”
“6 days down, 174 to go!”
Ah, the greetings weary teachers give one another in passing. Meant to encourage, we often make reference to upcoming breaks, holidays, or (in the most desperate of situations) even just to the end of the school day! We roll our eyes, sigh, and half-heartedly laugh with a look that shows clearly that we’re completely serious.
If I could just finish this math lesson and make it to the end of the day, I can go home and take a nap… God, give me the strength to just get through this! What teacher hasn’t prayed a prayer like that? We might even congratulate ourselves for remembering to pray about it and for relying on God’s strength and not our own… when in fact, we are settling for so much less than God wants to give us.
We've all read how Jesus implored us: "I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name... Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full." (John 16:23-24). But most of us are still left scratching our heads, confused about how to have victory in our prayer lives. Just what are we supposed to be asking for? After all, who can tell the will of God? What if we’re asking for something that He doesn’t want to give us? It can be terribly disappointing and disillusioning to ask God confidently for something and then have Him give us a different outcome.
Confessing God’s word to Him in prayer is a powerful tool for helping us ask for things that are in His will without getting sidetracked with our own desires. ‘Confess’ means ‘to acknowledge by way of revelation (disclosure); to own or admit as true”. When we bring our thoughts and words into line with the truths that the Lord has spoken, we’re filling our prayers with power!
When you confess God's word, the begging will stop. You'll no longer plead with God, “Please please please, give me the energy to get through today!”, because you'll be proclaiming His promises to Him in prayer: “You tell us in Your word that when we ask You in faith, it blesses us AND it brings You glory! You WANT us to ask! Father, I want to produce the good fruit that comes from following You and walking in Your ways, and I’m asking now in faith for You to fill me with love and energy EVERY day that I enter this classroom so that I can bring glory to Your name and fulfill Your call on my life.” (John 14:13-14)
When you confess God's word, you will no longer feel like God has stopped working in a situation. You can tell Him in gladness, “I am confident that since You began a good work in me, You will work to complete it- thank you for not giving up on me and continuing to help me to become more like You”. (Phil 1:4-6)
There's nothing in the Bible about just enduring a day that God has blessed us with. Ask the Lord to bring your heart's desires into line with His, and confess His word in prayer, and He will show you how to have fullness of joy each and every day. A joyful life is what Christ died to give us, and this is His true desire for our lives (John 16:23-24), so why would we settle for anything less?
... Remain in My love... I have told you this so My joy may remain in you and that your joy may be complete. (John 15:10-11).
-Prayers for Joy (a free online resource from The National Association for Christian Recovery)
-Joyce Meyer has a wealth of books, teaching tapes/CDs, and free downloadable teachings and podcasts that focus on enjoying everyday life. Her series on "Enjoying Where You Are On The Way To Where You Are Going" and "Be Bold!" are especially powerful for people who want to increase the power and victory they have in daily struggles by approaching the throne of God with faith and confidence.
-These two powerful books by John Piper completely revolutionized the way I view my life, and taught me that joy is the most powerful weapon we have against the enemy and discouragement. Joy not an option for a Christian- it's what being a Christian is all about! They're very deep books that illuminate the heart of God in a way that very few authors have done. (Yes, the subtitle on the second cover IS "Meditations of a Christian Hedonist", and the two terms are not mutually exclusive, they were intended by God to be one and the same!). Click on the cover pictures to read excerpts and for purchasing information.