I was really challenged by part of a Bible study I'm working on. I have been really discouraged lately with the imperfections of the church. I wasn't sure if it was genuine flaws I was seeing, or just unrealistic expectations on my part, but I was really stewing over it. I have felt very angry lately at just about everything.
Last night I read a quote from George Muller that said: "It is not enough to begin to pray, nor to pray aright; nor is it enough to continue for a time to pray; but we must patiently, believingly continue in prayer, until we obtain an answer; and further, we have not only to continue in prayer unto the end, but we have also to believe that God does hear us and will answer our prayers. Most frequently we fail in not continuing in prayer until the blessing is obtained, and in not expecting the blessing." . . . Guilty! This is exactly why I am discouraged. I'm not really telling the Lord what I need. When I do, I am not expecting Him to really care about and take over that need. And I am going ninety to nothing trying to fix my own problems only to face futility.
A verse that really convicted me was Psalm 81:7,14 "You cried to me in trouble, and I saved you; I answered out of the thundercloud. I tested your faith at Meribah, when you complained that there was no water. . . . For it was I, the LORD your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it with good things."
"LORD, there's no water here. I'm tired and hot, and I want good things! When are you going to meet my needs? Lord, nobody's listening! Lord . . . !" I haven't done well on the test.
"OK, I'm ready to just open my mouth."
This morning, without even a reminder call on my part, a friend showed up on my doorstep to fix my lawnmower. OK, Lord, I get it.