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A Praying Life, Chapter 34


Chapters 34 – "Unfinished Stories"  | Week of September 30, 2018


“Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.” – 1 John 3:2


REFLECT:

The final chapter of A Praying Life focuses on the stories we never receive answers to in our present life. These are hard things, heavy things, heart-breaking things. The Bible is full of faithful people who waited expectantly for God yet never saw in their lifetimes how he finished his story. And, in fact, we still await his finished story today, and we may not get our answers until the day we see him face to face. "Each of us will die with unfinished stories. We can never forget that God is God. Ultimately it's his story, not ours." (Page 269)

The book of Hebrews, in telling us the many ways the Old Testament pointed to Jesus, contains an amazing list in chapter 11 of the many people who lived faithfully for God. The chapter begins with a definition: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1). After walking through a tremendous cloud of witnesses to God's glory and goodness, the chapter ends with these words: “And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect” (Heb. 11:39–40).

The heroes of the faith didn't see their stories resolved before their deaths in order that Jesus could resolve both their stories and ours through his life, death, and resurrection. And we now, with them, await the story's ultimate conclusion as we anticipate the return of Jesus to set things right for all eternity. Because of this truth, the author of Hebrews calls us to follow Jesus faithfully where he leads, even if the road leads through suffering: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb. 12:1–2).

RESPOND:

We finished our journey through A Praying Life! How have you been impacted by this book? Has your prayer life grown? Has your faith been strengthened? The elders of Daybreak hope that you feel encouraged by this resource and we hope that Daybreak continues to grow as a praying, trusting church in the days, months and years to come.

PRAY NOW:

Pray for your prayer life. Specifically, in thinking about how your faith and practice of prayer have been impacted by this book, ask God to continue his work in your heart, mind and spirit. Pray that by his grace the Holy Spirit will make you faithful and fruitful.

PRAY LATER:

Our fall season is underway. Please be praying for our ministries, Gospel Communities, and the leadership that oversees them as we seek to serve our church ohana as well as the community of Kailua as ambassadors and witnesses of the kingdom of Christ Jesus.      

PRAY AS A FAMILY:

Talk to your kids about being regular in your habit of prayer. By now, hopefully, you developed some routine for talking as a family and praying together. Pray with your kids for their trust in Jesus to grow and mature as you continue your praying life together as a family.

Tags : prayer, devotional