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A Praying Life, Chapter 19

Chapter 19: "Watching a Story Unfold" | Week of July 15, 2018

"Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them." – Psalm 139:16


Chapter 19 of A Praying Life tells a number of stories of God's slow, steady work in Paul Miller's heart and the lives of his family. His big take-home idea? "Most of us isolate prayer from the rest of what God is doing in our lives, but God doesn't work that way." (Page 150)

As the author prays for his family, a number of things happen. God changes his heart. God changes their hearts. God provides for their needs. God increases their faith. All of the examples start small, but God grows them into beautiful stories of His love and care.

On Sunday, Pastor Sean preached on the parable of the mustard seed. God's kingdom doesn't often work on our timing. It often doesn't seem to be grand or flashy. And yet God accomplishes His purposes in our lives and in the world. We are called to pray, and wait, and trust.


In his diagram on page 152, Miller suggests that the focus of "good asking" in prayer is on God so that "I live in His presence with my disappointment. I begin with my own need to change." Are there things that seem to continually disappoint you about the way the world works, or the expectations you hold about family or career? This might be an opportunity to shift your focus toward God and trust Him with the disappointments.

The book of Hebrews calls Jesus our great high priest. He serves us well in that role by being God the Father's choice for us (Heb. 5:5), holy and unstained by sin (Heb. 7:26), and seated in authority at God the Father's right hand (Heb. 8:1). Perhaps most significant, though, “we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15).


If Jesus is both knows all our days (as Psalm 139:16 says) and sympathizes with our weaknesses, we ought to run to him with our disappointments! Spend time today praying to God about the disappointments you have, and the areas where you feel you cannot see His kingdom. Ask Him to change you as He works His power and purpose in the rest of creation.


Please be in prayer this week for Pastor Walt, Bill and Amanda, who will be serving teens on the island of Tinian. Pray for safe travel, wisdom to share Christ's love well, and flexibility to adapt in an island culture so laid-back that it makes Oahu seem uptight!


Talk to your kids about God's kingdom being like a mustard seed. Like Pastor Sean shared, sometimes God works slower than we would like. Ask them if there are things they wish happened faster, and then pray together that God would grow all of your trust in Him as you learn to wait for His kingdom to come.

Tags : prayer, devotional