Things will work out

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28, ESV

 

On the surface, Romans 8:28 seems a simple verse to understand. Love God, and things will work out well for you. However, this is not the case as “good” does not translate to our human and earthly understanding of the word. When we think “good” we understand it as going well or comfortable. The following verse, Romans 8:29, elaborates “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son.”

 

“Good” here means that we will draw closer to parity with the image of Jesus the more we love God and obey him. Our takeaway is that love and obedience to God may not materialise goodness in the way we imagine, but instead draw us ever closer to him.

God’s will in our lives

 

“In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will.” Ephesians 1:11 ESV.

 

Sometimes, we can feel very overwhelmed by our responsibilities and forget that our sovereign and loving God and has a plan in store for us. Paul tells us here that our inheritance is predestined to us, in accordance with his will.

 

We should take comfort in this plan, especially in turbulent times such as these. Take heart, for though uncertainty and chaos may seem to surround us, our God will bring order in his own time.

 

Stay safe, be patient and remember that the Lord our God is our strength and shield.

Pray for all

 

1 Timothy 2:1 ESV: “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people.”

 

Paul’s instruction here is simple, pray for everyone, everywhere. Not forgetting about our neighbours as we draw close to God in our prayers.

 

The verse is followed soon after with 1 Timothy 2:3-4 which states “This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.“.

 

Do you have any blind spots in your prayers? It can be difficult to identify things we are missing when we pray alone, and finding a partner to pray with can be helpful in finding our blind spots.

 

Paul calls us to pray for all. Today can think of something or someone you haven’t prayed for in a while and bring it to God.

 

 

Pray in accordance to His will

 

1 John 5:14 “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.”

To “pray according to his will” simply means to pray following the plans that God has laid out for us in his word. Ephesians 5:15-17 “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”

As long as we do so, God will hear our prayer. Think back to your prayers this last week, have you prayed in accordance to His will? If not, what changes will you make to the way you pray?

Humble prayer

 

 

Similar to today Christian communities today, prayer was commonplace in Jewish society. At the time of prayer, Jews would stop what they were doing and pray, some discreetly, but others with pretentious display. Jesus was not condemning all public prayer, as indicated by his own prayers in public. He was warning against having impure or hypocritical objectives when conducting public prayer. Private prayer is simply between an individual and God, and will not be susceptible to temptation which exist when praying publicly.

In the following verses, Jesus gives some tips on humble prayer; Matthew 5:7-8 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”

“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.”

 

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