Tuesday, September 7

Continuing-and Failing-in Prayer

Today, we are back to our series in Romans. I hope you are enjoying the different flavors that all my sweet cyber-friends have added to the wonderful broth of these scriptures.

Today’s verse is Romans 12:12c…“continuing steadfastly in prayer.” (NKJV) Or as The Message states it, “Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder.” This one is written by K. M. (Katie) Weiland. If you enjoy Katie’s contribution, hop on over to her site Wordplay.

Continuing—and Failing—in Prayer

Romans 12:12c encourages us to continue steadfastly in prayer, but “steadfast” is something we most decidedly are not. We pray when we feel like it, we pray when we want something, we pray when we’re in trouble.

The rest of the time, we’re lucky if we remember to give the Lord a nod and wink as we rise from our beds to face another morning. What we often fail to realize is that in neglecting prayer, we not only neglect our Lord, we also turn our backs on the blessings He wants to share with us.

I don’t like winter. The Midwestern cold gets in my bones and the gray days weigh down my spirits. So, I wait with longing for the cold months to end and the spring sun to warm my body and soul. Every morning in March and April, I sit in bed, my Bible in my lap, and listen for the golden voice of the first meadowlark, that sure harbinger of a Nebraska spring.

This year, the meadowlark was a harbinger of more than just warm weather; it was a reminder of the blessings of steadfast prayer. One morning, I was sitting in bed, mumbling my way around a prayer. The day before, I had fallen into an old pit of sin, one I’d repented of and sworn off many times before. That morning, I felt full of shame as I faced the realization of my failure.

I couldn’t go on like this. Willfully sinning, repenting, sinning. How could God forgive me—again? Would He blot out my sin, even though I had rebelliously thrown it in His face once again? Or would He now cast me aside? Would He bring the thunder and lightning and the punishment I so rightly deserved? All the little blessings I didn’t deserve—not to mention the larger ones—would the God of justice not take them from me now?

As I pondered my weakness—my complete lack of steadfastness—my prayer grew. Forgive me. Cleanse me. Make me steadfast in prayer that I might be steadfast in life.

I didn’t expect an answer. I was content to know that He had heard me and that He would work His will in my life, even if that will meant the punishments I undoubtedly deserved. But then, I heard it.

Outside my window, for the first time that spring, a meadowlark trilled.

Was not this one of those little blessings I craved but couldn’t deserve because of my lack of steadfastness? Was not this the voice of the God of mercy, assuring me of His love and His grace and forgiveness? I’m unworthy of even one song from a meadowlark. But, in His infinite love, God gives me not only that, but life and life again. And again. And again. And again.

He tells us to be steadfast, but He knows we’ll falter. And every time we stray, every time our faith weakens, and our prayers trickle into flippancy and impatience, He brings us back to a solid foothold in His mercy and His forgiveness.

And every time He does, He gives us the opportunity to grow in Him and to take one more step up the ladder in learning how to address Him in the kind of steadfast prayer He deserves from us.

21 Responses
  1. MTJ Says:

    Hi Lynn,

    For some reason, your last two posts are displaying in the right column of your web page. It looks like your template was modified and the posts are now displaying in the wrong position. I've gone to your blog using different PCs and I get the same results. I'm not sure if anyone else is having the same problem but I wanted to give you an FYI.

    Blessings and peace.


  2. MTJ Says:

    Hi Lynn,

    Thanks for allowing us IE folks to view Heading home too. I forget about the popularity of Firefox and Safari as web browsers.

    Blessings and peace.


  3. K.M. Weiland Says:

    Thanks for having me today, Lynne!

  4. lindayezak Says:

    Loved the post, Katie. Isn't it amazing how forgiving He is?!

    Lynn, thanks for a wonderful series!

  5. lynnmosher Says:

    Thanks so much, MTJ, for alerting me to this. I think it's fixed now. Blessings to you!

  6. lynnmosher Says:

    Hey, sweet Katie! I'm so glad you agreed to take part in the series. Thank you so much!

  7. lynnmosher Says:

    Thanks, Linda! I'm so glad you were a part of the series also.

  8. K.M. Weiland Says:

    Thanks for reading, Linda. And, yes, He's endlessly amazing!

  9. Great post, Katie. Thank goodness for God's mercy and grace.

  10. K.M. Weiland Says:

    Amen to that!

  11. Whoo-hoo, Katie! You're playing, too. Great post. I had a message from a meadowlark in the past, too. :)

  12. K.M. Weiland Says:

    I love meadowlarks. Good thing they're Nebraska's state bird, because they're my favorite!

  13. Sharon Kirby Says:

    What a pleasure to discover you as I was out wandering around Blogland. This post was so encouraging to me.

    My prayers are all too often those "quick" help me, fix this, blah, blah, blah...
    So, your post was a comfort - just to know that I'm not alone in my prayer struggles.

    I especially liked this line:
    What we often fail to realize is that in neglecting prayer, we not only neglect our Lord, we also turn our backs on the blessings He wants to share with us.

    I don't know why He's so good to us...but I'm so grateful for His blessings!


  14. K.M. Weiland Says:

    It's almost ridiculous how difficult we sometimes let prayer become. What could be easier than an effortless (sometimes even wordless) communication of the soul? And yet we let ourselves get in the way far too often. Thank God He's patient and forgiving!

  15. I'm with you in not liking those winters, Lynn. It's much nicer here in North Carolina. Evidence of God's beauty and grace are abundant here throughout the year, and I'm so thankful for that great blessing! Thank you for your beautifully encouraging post!

  16. lynnmosher Says:

    Lorna and Sandra, It is always a pleasure to have you both stop by for a visit. You always brighten my day! Thanks for supporting sweet Katie-kins! Blessings!

  17. lynnmosher Says:

    Sharon, So great to have you as a new guest. It makes my heart happy to new visitors leave a comment. Thank you so much for supporting Katie. I hope you'll come back and visit again. Or better yet, sign up for the emails! (hee-hee) Be blessed!

  18. lynnmosher Says:

    Hey, Connie! Thanks for always being such a sweet follower. I know Katie deeply appreciates your taking time to read her post. Blessings to you, dear one!

  19. K.M. Weiland Says:

    @Connie: Maybe I should movie to North Carolina then!

  20. This post really spoke to my heart as well. Nice meeting you Katie :). I especially liked the part,"we also turn our backs on the blessings He wants to share with us."

    I never looked at it quite that way. I kind of dread the winter months because of having lost loved ones when the weather turns harsh.Good time to change the focus and pray for the blessings he wants to share with me. Thanks; excellent post.

  21. K.M. Weiland Says:

    Both my grandparents died last winter, and I'm coming up on the first of the anniversaries of their deaths. You're right: it is definitely a good reminder to be in prayer!