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August 6, 2022 — Refilling the Coffee Cup (Week of August 1, 2022)

Stan’s main takeaway for each day this past week.

The full version of each posting can be found at www.waiting4thetrain.com

Note: Feel free to forward this to friends, family, etc. as a way to introduce them to Stan,  S. Tory Teller, and the conversations about faith, discipleship, and what it means to be a Christian. 

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Monday, August 1 (Speaking up rather than being silent) — Speaking the truth can change an eternal destination as well as a life on this side of eternity. Why don’t we do it more often?

Tuesday, August 2 (Time to move on?) — Coming to faith is just the beginning of a new life. Are you stuck on conversion? Is it time to move on to transformation?

Wednesday, August 3 (Being foolish or seeking to understand?) — It seems pretty clear that not seeking to understand God’s will is foolish. Where are we with that?

Thursday, August 4 (Are you in training?) — It takes discipline and training to do anything well, including a closer walk with God. Each of us has to ask, “For what are we training?”

Friday, August 5 (Why am I not like Matthew?) — Jesus said to Matthew, “Follow Me” and he did so. Why am I so reluctant to respond in the same way?

August 5, 2022 — Why am I not like Matthew?

“You know,” Stan commented one morning, “every time I read the Bible, even though I may have read a particular part many times, it seems there is always something new for me to consider, or something for me to focus on more deeply.”

“You have something particular in mind?” I asked.

“Sure do,” he replied. “I was reading in Matthew’s gospel earlier this morning and what I saw made me focus again on wondering why I didn’t respond like Matthew did.”

“Respond to what?” I asked.

“Jesus,” Stan said. “It’s recorded that when Jesus and Matthew ran into one another, Jesus said one thing to Matthew. He said, ‘Follow Me,’ and Matthew immediately dropped everything he was doing and obeyed by following Jesus. This made me wonder.”

“About what?”

“Me,” was Stan’s one-word answer. “Before I finally came to faith, Jesus had said the same thing to me many times without any positive response from me. Why did it take me so long? Similarly, even now, I often hear Jesus say, ‘Follow Me,’ and I’m reluctant to do that. I wonder why?”

“Any answers to your wondering?” I asked.

“Same answer I see all the time,” Stan replied. “Me. Self. Preferring what I want to do apart from God rather than purposefully choosing to surrender to be who and what He intends.”

“Who and what?” I repeated. “How so?”

“The ‘Who’ part is being a Christian,” Stan said. “The ‘What’ part is being a disciple.”

“For me,” he continued, “there was a time when my self-centered ears were finally unplugged and I truly heard and responded to the ‘Follow Me’ all the way to heaven when it’s time. After that eternal question was settled, there’s the daily ‘Follow Me’ of being a disciple by knowing Him on this side of eternity.”

“But,” I commented, “that doesn’t answer the question of why it took and takes so long for that to happen.”

“You’re right,” Stan replied. “I don’t know why it took and takes me so long, and I can’t answer for anyone else. All I know is that I thank God every day that He keeps asking me to follow Him and that He helps me when I’m willing to step forward to follow Him.”

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Bible verses to consider:

And as Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man, called Matthew, sitting in the tax office; and He said to him, “Follow Me!” And he rose, and followed Him.  Matthew 9:9.

And as He passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alpheus sitting in the tax office, and He said to him, “Follow Me!” And he rose and followed Him. Mark 2:14.

And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.” Luke 9:23-24.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, for your provision of the cross of Christ so I could accept your free and gracious provision and follow you all the way to heaven when my time here is completed. Thank you, too, that I can follow you on this side of eternity. I confess that too often I do not choose to follow you because I choose to follow something or someone else, including myself. Please forgive the foolishness of trying to live the life you have given me without truly following you. And please help me to follow every step of your lead wherever, however, and whenever you want. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of the One you want me to follow. Amen.

Think on this: Have you made the decision to follow Jesus all the way to heaven when your time here is completed? If no, why? What’s in the way of accepting God’s free and gracious gift of life with Him eternally when it’s time? If you are a Christian with the assurance of salvation and redemption, how are you doing with following Jesus on this side of eternity? If you sense changes may be in order in how you follow Him, how are those changes going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?

August 4, 2022 — Are you in Training?

“You know,” Stan commented one morning, “we’ve talked quite a bit about the power of personal testimony.”

“You’re right,” I replied. “It’s pretty essential for each Christian to have a personal testimony that can be shared at any time to help another person see the truth of how a person’s eternal destination and life on this side of eternity can be changed.”

“Exactly,” Stan said. “And I observed another instance of that last night when I was talking with a neighbor.”

“How so?”

“He was talking about how he used to get up in the early dark every morning to train for running marathons. He said he would run for at least a couple of hours every morning. Sometimes more.”

“Good for him,” I replied. “That’s a great testimony for physical discipline to be prepared.”

“That was the jumping-off point for him,” Stan said. “My neighbor was talking about the difference that happened after he came to faith.”

“The jumping-off point?” I asked. “If what way?”

“He said that after he came to faith he continued getting up early every morning to run, but at one point he clearly heard the Holy Spirit say something like, ‘What are you training for?’ And it was that voice that caused him to reflect on what’s important and what’s not.”

I didn’t say anything, so Stan continued. “My neighbor said that he began to focus on what the apostle Paul wrote about concerning perishable and imperishable prizes.”

“Perishable and imperishable prizes,” I repeated. “What’s that mean?”

“The apostle Paul wrote about that in his first letter to the church in Corinth,” Stan replied. “Paul wrote about how the world will train to receive an award that is perishable, but that we as Christians are to train for the imperishable prize that comes from God.”

“So your neighbor changed because of what Paul wrote?” I asked.

“That’s his testimony,” Stan replied. “He said that he was convicted to realize that even if he won a marathon or some other race, the trophy he would get wouldn’t last; but if he trained to be and to do whatever God had for him, that would be the imperishable trophy.”

“Then what?”

“My neighbor said he still gets up in the early dark each morning,” Stan replied. “And he’s still training, but he spends his time reading and studying God’s word, along with praying to be prepared.”

“Prepared for what?”

“Whatever it is God has for him to be and to do.” Stan replied.

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Bible verses to consider:  

And everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 1 Corinthians 9:25.

Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. I Timothy 4:7-8.

Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6.

But the fruit of the Spirit is . . . self-control. Galatians 5:22-23.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, that you have provided the way for me to have the “prize” of life eternally with you when it’s time. Thank you, too, for how you want me to train on this side of eternity to work out the salvation you have worked in through the finished work of Jesus’ cross. I confess that too often I don’t train to be who you can and will use for your kingdom purposes. Please forgive that foolishness. And please, Father, help me in following every step of your lead so I do train by spending with you the time to see and to hear all you have for me to be and to do for as long as you keep me on this side of eternity. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Think on this: Do you have the “prize” of life eternally with God when your time here is competed? If no, why? What’s in the way of accepting His free and gracious provision? If you are a Christian, how are you doing with training on this side of eternity for whatever God has for you to be and to do? What does that sort of training look like to you? If you sense the need for change in how you train for God, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?

August 3, 2022 — Being Foolish or Seeking to Understand?

“As I’ve said to you more than once,” Stan commented one morning, “I think the apostle Paul was uniquely gifted by God to say a whole lot in just a few words.”

“Saying a lot in a few words,” I replied. “That’s better than saying nothing in a whole bunch of words!”

“You’re right,” Stan said, “and what I saw earlier this morning when I was looking at Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus is another example of one of his zingers I think was aimed right at me.”

“Right at you? What’d he have to say?”

“Don’t be foolish, but understand the will of God.”

“Don’t be foolish, but understand the will of God,” I repeated. “That sounds like it could cover a lot of ground!”

“Sure does,” Stan replied. “Especially with me.”

“You?” I said. “How’s it apply to you?”

“Every time I go off on my own, doing what I want to do apart from God without even seeking to understand His will for me, I’m being foolish.”

“I can see,” I replied, “how that might apply to just about everyone.”

“Might apply?” Stan asked with a smile. “I know for a fact that it does apply to me, and I also know the solution is to do what Jesus said in being a disciple.”

“What’s that?”

“Deny what I want to do in being foolish,” Stan replied, “then take up what He has for me to take up in understanding His will for me, then comes the third step of following Him.”

“Wherever, however, and whenever,” I said. “Is that it?”

“That’s it,” Stan replied, “and remember the ‘whenever’ is always!”

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Bible verses to consider:

So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Ephesians 5:17.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2.

And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23.

Prayer: Thank you, Father, for convicting me by the truth of your word. You say clearly that you want me to stop being foolish and to seek to understand your will for me. I confess that too often I don’t do that because I want to do what I want to do apart from you. That is foolishness, and I ask you to forgive me. Please help me in not being foolish and in following every step of your lead into your perfect will for me in all things, all of the time. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

Think on this: Have you stopped being foolish in rejecting God’s provision for you to spend eternity in His presence when it’s time? If no, why? What’s keeping you being foolish in that way? If you are a Christian, how are you doing in not being foolish by truly seeking God’s will for every aspect of your life? If you can see that you are foolish in that way and want to change, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?

August 2, 2022 — Time to Move On?

“You ever wonder why some Christians mature in their faith,” Stan asked one morning, “while others don’t?”

“I’m not sure,” I responded. “I suppose it might have something to do with discipleship. What do you think?”

“What I think,” Stan said, “is that your supposition is correct except that it’s more than ‘might.’ I think it has everything to do with discipleship  Actually, with the lack of discipleship.”

“Everything?”

“Yeah,” Stan replied. “Coming to faith is, of course, a fabulous thing, but it’s only the beginning.”

“Beginning of what?”

“Being a Christian.” Stan said. “Seems to me that becoming a Christian is really no different than becoming a human being. When we are born, that’s the beginning of a life of growing. Same thing when we are born again as a Christian. That’s the beginning of a new life that’s to consist of continual growth.”

“For how long?”

“Until our time here is completed,” Stan replied. “Until we get on the train.”

“So,” I said, “it’s supposed to be a train full of disciples. Is that it?”

“Well,” Stan said, “it seems to me that’s what God would like most, that every Christian would be a disciple, but that’s not the way it is. The train will be full of Christians and some of them will be disciples.”

“Some, but not all? Why?”

“That question takes us right back to the beginning,” Stan said with a smile. “Not all because too many are stuck on conversion, they haven’t done anything with their Christianity. They haven’t moved beyond conversion.”

“Moved on beyond conversion,” I repeated. “You mean like they haven’t moved on to transformation? If that’s what you mean, that seems like a huge subject.”

“Huge indeed,” Stan said. “‘Huge’ as in a whole lifetime of pursuing discipleship.”

“If it’s to be a whole lifetime for every Christian,” I commented, “it looks like there might be a lot of people who probably should get a move on!”

“‘Looks like’ and ‘probably’?” Stan replied. “I think it’s more certain than that!”

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Bible verses to consider:

So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Philippians 2:12-13.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.  Romans 12:2.

And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, for your provision of life eternally with you when my time here is completed. Thank you, too, that you want me to be a Christian on this side of eternity before then. I confess that too often I do not surrender all of me to what you have for me, I do not take up what you have for me to take up, and I do not follow as you intend. I do that because I choose to not be a daily disciple. Please forgive that foolishness. And please, Father, help me in following every step of your lead in working out the salvation that you have worked in through the cross of Christ so you can and will make a difference in and through me for you and your kingdom. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Think on this: Have you accepted God’s free and gracious gift of life with Him eternally when your time here is completed? If no, why? What’s in the way? If you are a Christian, how are you doing with working out the salvation that was worked in by the cross? If you sense you are too often “stuck on conversion” and there is a need for change, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?

August 1, 2022 — Speaking Up Rather than being Silent

“You ever think about silence?” Stan asked while we waited for breakfast.

“Think about silence?” I replied. “What’s there to think about?”

“Lots of things,” he said. “Just the other day, for example, I was thinking about some of the common expressions about silence, and how at least one of them is not true in one very important context.”

“What kind of expressions?” I asked.

“Well,” he replied, “how about the one that ‘children should be seen and not heard’?”

“Probably first spoken by some curmudgeon,” I commented.

“Could be,” Stan said, “but how about the expression, ’Silence is golden’?”

“Silence is golden,” I repeated. “I suppose there are times when it’s better not to say anything. In fact, I remember my mom telling me more than once that if I didn’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything.”

“That kind of silence certainly could be golden,” Stan said, “and there’s a lot of people who probably should practice that.”

“Along this line,” he continued, “the other day I was reading in the apostle Paul’s letter to the church in Rome and was reminded of the importance of not being silent when I’m supposed to speak up.”

“The importance of not being silent?” I replied. “How so?”

“You may remember,” Stan said, “that the apostle Paul pointed out that faith comes from hearing and hearing by the word of Christ.”

“So?”

“In order for people to hear, other people have to speak, not be silent. Had no one ever spoken  to me the truth of God’s provision of salvation, how would I have heard about it and been able to accept it?”

“I can see that,” I replied. “Same thing with me. Someone broke the silence and spoke the truth. I heard it, accepted it, and I’ve never looked back.”

Continuing, I added, “Maybe that’s why the Christian population is not as great as it should be.  Maybe too many Christians are being silent when they should speak up.”

“And,” Stan added, “maybe that’s why the world is the way it is. Why don’t we try speaking up, rather than being silent, and see if we can make a difference?!”

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Bible verses to consider:

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. Romans 10:17.

Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. How then shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring glad tidings of good things!” Romans 10:13-15.

This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? Galatians 3:2.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, for the truth of your provision of life eternally with you when my time here is done. Thank you, too, for the truth of what you have for me to be and to do as I walk ever more closely with you on this side of eternity. Thank you for those who brought me to the truth and the truth to me. I confess that too often I am silent and I do not speak the truth of your provision to others so they have the opportunity to accept it. Please forgive that foolishness. Help me follow every step of your lead so I do not stay silent, but speak the truth to others, so it can and will make a difference in their eternal destination and in their lives on this side of eternity. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

Think on this: Have you heard and accepted the truth so you know you will spend eternity in God’s presence when it’s time? If so, it’s because someone presented the truth to you, probably by speaking. If you’ve heard the truth and have not accepted it, why? What’s holding you back? If you are a Christian, how are you doing with not being silent about speaking the truth so others can hear it, accept it, and have their lives and eternal destination changed? If you sense the need to not be silent, but to speak up, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?

July 30, 2022 — Refilling the Coffee Cup (Week of July 25, 2022)

Stan’s main takeaway for each day this past week.

The full version of each posting can be found at www.waiting4thetrain.com

Note: Feel free to forward this to friends, family, etc. as a way to introduce them to Stan,  S. Tory Teller, and the conversations about faith, discipleship, and what it means to be a Christian. 

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Monday, July 25 (A spousal prayer) — How to help our relationships by praying to be who and what others need and want us to be.

Tuesday, July 26 (God’s will on earth. Let it begin with me) — What a difference it would make if each one of us was committed to God’s will being done in and through us here as it is in heaven.

Wednesday, July 27 (Praying without believing?) — The early church did it. We do it. Why do we sometimes pray without really believing God will answer?

Thursday, July 28 (Just because you call it “urgent,” does that make it important?) — There are a lot of things we call “urgent” that we allow to take precedence over what God considers important. Why?

Friday, July 29 (Hoping for a very small one!) — Camels going through eyes of needles. We are to give all to God (including self as a disciple) for His purposes. Easy? Not so much!

July 29, 2022 — Hoping for a very Small One!

“You remember what Jesus said about the camel and the eye of the needle?” Stan asked me one morning.

“Kind of,” I replied. “Didn’t He say something about it being easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to get into God’s kingdom?”

“He did,” Stan said. “And it seems there’s been a lot of discussion about what Jesus meant, whether it was an actual needle, a gate in Jerusalem called the ‘Eye of the Needle,’ or something else.”

“In any event,” he continued, “last night I was talking to one of my neighbors who seems to be quite wealthy and he said something about this that I found quite amusing.”

“What’s that?”

“He said that he hopes Jesus was talking about a special breed of camel that is really tiny, so small that one could easily pass through the eye of a literal needle!”

“I don’t think that’s what Jesus was talking about,” I replied.

“Me neither,” Stan said, “but it does raise the point of how difficult it is for a rich person to surrender all for the sake of God and His kingdom.”

“Kind of like the guy referred to as ‘the rich young ruler’,” I replied.

“That’s right,” Stan said. “When Jesus told him what he needed to do in order to inherit eternal life, to sell everything, give to the poor, and follow Jesus, he couldn’t bring himself to do it. He thought he was too rich, not realizing that Jesus could have taken care of everything if the rich young guy would have chosen to be a disciple who followed Jesus.”

“The Bible seems to have a lot to say about money, wealth, riches, and the like,” I commented. “Didn’t the apostle Paul write something about money being evil?”

“He wrote about money and evil, but I think he had it right when he said it’s the love of money that is the root of all sorts of evil.”

“The love of it, rather than the actual money?”

“That’s it,” Stan replied.  “Even people who don’t have any money can love it and do whatever they need to do to get it. That love can certainly lead to all sorts of evil.”

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Bible verses to consider:

And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. Matthew 19:24.

Jesus said to him, “if you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieved; for he was one who owned much property. Matthew 19:21-22.

For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith, and pierced themselves with many a pang. 1 Timothy 6:10.

Prayer: Thank you, Father, for all you have provided for me: life eternally with you when it’s time, the eternal life of knowing you and Jesus on this side of eternity, and all of the material possessions you allow me to enjoy and want me to share with others. I confess that too often I do not use what you have provided the way you intend. Please forgive that foolish self-centeredness. And please, Father, help me in following every step of your lead so I use your resources only as you intend. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Think on this: Have you accepted God’s provision for spending eternity in His presence when it’s time? If no, why? It’s the greatest and richest blessing you could ever hope for! If you are a Christian, how are you doing with the treasures that have been given to you on this side of eternity? Are you laying up treasure in heaven rather than hoarding earthly treasure here? If you sense the need for change in how you view and utilize what God provides, how is that change going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?

July 28, 2022 — Just Because you call it “Urgent,” does that make it Important?

“I’m not sure I ever mentioned this to you before,” Stan said, “but I want to thank you for being ready to focus on what we have to talk about each time we get together.”

“You’re certainly welcome, Stan,” I replied, “but I’m not sure why you say that?”

“The fact you leave your cell phone turned off during our time together,” he responded.

Continuing, he added, “This came vividly to mind the other day when I was meeting with someone else who had said he wanted to get together to talk about his faith walk, but he was constantly looking at his phone. He said he was waiting for an urgent email, text message, or something like that.”

“That certainly can be distracting,” I commented.

‘You got that right,” Stan said. “Distracting and downright annoying! After the fellow did that several times, I told him to either look at the phone or talk with me, but he couldn’t do both.”

“How’d he take that?” I asked.

“He objected,” Stan replied, “but I was firm and told him I considered our time together to be important, but that if he thought that what he called an urgent email, text, or whatever should take priority, then that was his choice and that he could go do that somewhere else.”

“That was kind of tough wasn’t it?” I replied.

“Maybe,” Stan said, “but it’s in essence the same thing the Holy Spirit says to me all of the time.”

“How so?”

“When I’m confronted with the choice between what I think is urgent and what God thinks is important, I have to make a choice.”

“And,” he continued, “the Holy Spirit often shows me that what I call urgent is just another way of avoiding the first step of discipleship.”

“The first step of discipleship?” I asked. “You mean denying self?”

“That’s it,” Stan replied. “It’s like I exalt rather than deny self when I don’t consider what the Holy Spirit has for me to be always more important than something apart from Him that I call urgent. What I want apart from God, regardless of how urgent I call it, is to never outweigh what God has and wants for me.”

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Bible verses to consider:

If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it. Matthew 16:24-25.

And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, for your provision of life eternally with you when my time here is completed. Thank you, too, for all you have for me while you keep me on this side of eternity. I confess that too often I consider what I want to do apart from you to be more important than what you have for me to be and to do for you and your kingdom. Please forgive that foolishness. And please, Father, help me to follow every step of your lead so I always consider what you have for me to be of more importantance than anything I want to do apart from you. Lead me and help me to follow. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Think on this: Have you made the decision to spend eternity in God’s presence when your time here is completed? If no, why? Do you not see it as urgent? Do not be deceived; it is urgent because you never know when your time here will be completed and it’s time to step into eternity. If you are a Christian, do you agree that there is nothing more important than being who and doing what God intends for you? Why or why not? If you sense the need for change in what you consider important or urgent apart from God, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?

July 27, 2022 — Praying Without Believing?

One morning while we waited for Ricky to bring our breakfast, Stan said, “I was reading in the Book of Acts the other day and had a good laugh!”

“A good laugh?” I responded. “About what?”

“Being amazed when God answers prayers, rather than expecting His answers,” he replied.

“Being amazed at answers rather than expecting them? Why did that make you laugh?”

“Well,” Stan said, “there’s a story about people in the early church who were praying for the apostle Peter, and when God answered their prayers they responded just like I do sometimes, and it made me laugh to think I’m no different. I pray without really believing that God is going to answer.”

“Pray without believing that God is going to answer your prayers?” I said. “You do that?”

“Sorry to have to admit that,” Stan replied, “but, yeah, sometimes I do.”

I didn’t respond, so he continued. “Peter had been locked up in jail and it looked like he might be executed. Some people in the church were praying for him. When, by nothing other than God’s movement in answer to their prayers, Peter showed up and knocked on their door, the people were amazed.”

“So they didn’t really expect God to answer their prayers,” I commented. “Is that it?”

“Maybe some of them did,” Stan said, “I don’t know. But what I do know is that when the people in their amazement finally realized that God had answered their prayers, it probably changed forever their perspective on praying. And it’s to be the same for me.”

“How so?”

“Pray in accordance with God’s will and expect that He will answer,” Stan replied. “Not pray halfheartedly and then be amazed when He answers.”

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Bible verses to consider:

(The full story of Peter’s release from jail is in Acts of the Apostles 12:1-15.)

But Peter continued knocking and when they had opened the door, they saw him and were amazed. Matthew 12:16.

And Jesus said to him, “If You can! All things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father cried out and began saying, “I believe; help my unbelief.” Mark 9:23-24.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, that you do answer prayer. I confess that too often I pray to you without really believing you will answer. Please forgive that foolish way of coming to you in prayer. Please help me in praying only in accordance with your will with the absolute expectation that you will answer. Please, Father, help my unbelief. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Think on this:  Have you ever prayed without any real expectation that God would answer? If so, what was that all about? If that’s how you prayed and God answered your prayer, what was your response? Were you amazed? Did it change how you pray? Would you like to pray with the absolute expectation that God is going to answer? If so, how is that going to happen?