Tag Archives: prayer

The Finished Work

Back in the early 70’s I worked for my brother-in-law in aluminum siding. A local company paid us for applying the siding to older homes, hopefully making them look like new. This company wouldn’t release our compensation until the job was completed. On the bigger houses this could take a month or more. As a job was nearing completion, I’d tell my wife, ‘I think we’ll get paid today.’ But invariably we’d finish the day with more work to do. Job not done = no pay.

I relate that story to illustrate this point: our Lord Jesus came to earth with a job to do. The consequences of sin had to be dealt with, once and for all. And the Word of God joyfully reveals that Jesus finished His assignment. Through His death, burial, time in hell and resurrection, Jesus completed the plan of redemption.  The work has been done with nothing more to do. The check is signed in His blood.

What does this mean to you and me? We’re not waiting on God. Prayer isn’t attempting to get God to do something He’s otherwise reluctant to do. We aren’t required to “eek out” a victory over the devil. No good works are necessary to receive answers in prayer. All requests for God’s promises have received a resounding answer: Yes!  The work’s already done. For those who have accepted Jesus’ Lordship, righteousness is ours, health is ours, peace is ours, deliverance is ours, and an abundant life is ours.

Why aren’t we experiencing more of what is already ours? The Bible declares four times, “The just shall live by faith.” We are responsible to believe! And not merely intellectually. We’re to believe in our hearts. Heart belief is at the core of everything we receive in life – good or bad. If we don’t like what we’re receiving, we must check our heart.

But for right now, focus on the finished work. Mankind owed a huge debt that we could never have paid. As Jesus entered heaven and sat on His throne at God’s right hand, He, in effect, handed over a receipt of our bill marked PAID IN FULL!

Never Alone

I’ve been blessed with wonderful parents. My dad went on home to a heaven a few years ago. My mom resides in an assisted living facility in Pennsylvania. I don’t get down to see her often enough, but I try to call her every week. She’s one of those rare people who can make your day, even in a short phone conversation.

Just today mom and I chatted for a short while. She keeps me abreast of my relatives in Pennsylvania and news from the home front. She’s a strong Christian, so we get to pray together and share what God has been doing in our lives. Mom expressed how one day not long after dad had died she mumbled a question something like, “Did you see that?” Suddenly she realized that she was alone. Having been in a good marriage for over sixty years, she was used to having someone there for conversation. But there was no reply, only silence.

What mom shared next was beautiful. I say that because many people tend to open the door to depression and loneliness when they find themselves where mom was. But mom went the other direction. She realized that she was NOT alone. She remembered a scripture where God promised that He would be a husband to the husbandless. [Isaiah 54:5] She became suddenly aware of His presence in a profound way. God was always there, but now mom was actually experiencing the reality of it.

One of my instructors at RHEMA taught us that you can be lonely in a crowd and be comfortable when all alone. It’s not about how many people surround you; it’s about knowing (and experiencing) a God Who will never leave you. To know that is to know great peace.

In Hebrews 13:5 we’re told “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’” The Amplified Bible reads this way:  “I will never [under any circumstances] desert you [nor give you up nor leave you without support, nor will I in any degree leave you helpless], nor will I forsake or let you down or relax My hold on you [assuredly not]!” Add to that part of the Apostle Paul’s statement in Romans that nothing can separate us from the love of God and we have reason to live with a sense of great peace. Of course, we must believe what the Bible says, or it won’t help us at all.

When we know and believe that God is always there, other bits of scripture come alive. In I Thessalonians chapter 5 we’re instructed to “pray without ceasing.” If we think of God as being far off, prayer becomes a laborious chore. We attempt to “pray hard” or “pray through” in order to get His attention. When we know that we know that God is right there, plus we recognize that prayer is a lot more than a list of the things we need, we can pray without ceasing. We can talk to God as we go through our day because HE’S RIGHT THERE!

So, don’t give in to loneliness. The One who loves you more than anyone in the universe is close at hand. In fact, if you’re born again, He lives inside you as the Holy Spirit.

Enjoy His presence today!