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Panic Prayer

Sometimes when I get into a situation that doesn’t look like anything like what God promised, I panic. I then pray and remind God what He told me. “God, you said that if I did this, then you would do that. So why am I in this situation? Where are you? Why aren’t you being true to your promise?” Have you ever prayed a panic prayer like that? You heard God, did what He said, and the results weren’t what you expected.

When that happens, we trend to freak out a bit. We hear God and then our imagination creates what the outcome should look like. When it doesn’t turn out that way, we ask God why He isn’t holding up His end of the bargain. We think our obedience should be rewarded. We even think our act of faith should be broadcast to all of creation, but we end up in a situation that requires more faith.

Jacob was in this same boat in Genesis 32. God told him to return to the land of his father Isaac. On the way, he sent servants to his brother, whom he had double crossed, to tell him that he was coming. The servants came back with the news that his brother was coming and that he had 400 men with him. Jacob’s mind went to work. He thought of the worst possible scenario. In verses 11 and 12 he prayed, “Save me, please, from the violence of my brother, my angry brother! I’m afraid he’ll come and attack us all, me, the mothers and the children. You yourself said, ‘I will treat you well; I’ll make your descendants like the sands of the sea, far too many to count’” (MSG).

He didn’t know if his brother was still angry 20 years later. He didn’t know if his brother was coming to kill all of them. He saw a small piece of the puzzle, made assumptions, panicked, and prayed. He’s not that different than we are. He saw a situation snd thought of the worst outcome. He didn’t trust God, so he reminded God of what He had said. I wonder how that makes God feel. I wonder if He does a face palm with some of our panic prayers and says, “Will you just trust me?”

It’s one thing to pray a promise of God so you can build your faith and another to use it to remind God in case He forgot. Jacobs situation wasn’t anything like what he had imagined. In fact, his brother was coming to bless him. The same is true of our situations. If God has promised you something, and you’ve acted in faith, don’t look at the circumstances. Trust God to do what He said He will do. There’s no need to panic pray. God keeps His promises and is true to His word.

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Your Piece of The Puzzle

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I prayed something this morning that I’ve never prayed before. I prayed for someone I don’t know to do what only they can do. I’m a big believer that others are waiting on the other side of your obedience. When God asks you to do something, no matter how small, large, crazy, odd or illogical, it’s not necessarily just for you. It’s to line things up for someone else to be able to do what God has asked them to do. So this morning, I not only prayed for courage to step out in faith to do my part in obedience to help someone else, I prayed for the person I’m waiting on.

When we’re in that moment of waiting on God to move to show us a sign of what’s next, it’s dependent on someone else’s obedience. We keep asking God to show us or to move on our behalf, but today, I decided to pray for the person who needs to do their part so that my part will line up. When my part lines up and I step out in faith, it will release the next person who is waiting on me. Our steps of faith are never just for our own benefit.

I work on secret projects at work all the time. Because it’s a highly competitive industry, I don’t get all the information. I get just enough to do my part. I’m not allowed to reach out and ask others if they’re working on the same project or what their part is. The people higher up know what each piece of the puzzle looks like and assigns different people to work on different pieces. Once each of us completes our work and submits it, the higher ups put it all together and then I can see how it all fits together and makes sense.

Stepping out in faith and obedience is just like that. Each of us have a piece to a puzzle that is much larger than ourselves. Our responsibility isn’t to complete someone else’s part. It’s to do what God asked us to do. It doesn’t matter how small you may feel your piece is. In a puzzle, every piece is important. In faith, each of our parts is important. It doesn’t matter if you have a corner piece or a center piece, what you do in faith today matters to the whole of what God is doing.

If you aren’t happy with how small you feel your piece is, remember Matthew 25:23. Jesus used a parable to teach us that if we were faithful in the small things, He would make us ruler over many. When you show God you’re willing and able to do the things that seem small in your eyes, He will know He can trust you with the things that seem larger in your eyes. Our faithfulness activates God’s trust in us and allows Him to give us more than we have now.

What has God asked you to do in faith, but you’ve been holding out on doing because it seems menial? What have you been asking God to do in your life that you haven’t seen any movement on? Pray for those who need to do their part in faith that will put you in position to receive from God what you’ve been waiting for. Do what you’ve been asked of God to do so that those who are waiting on your piece can do what God asked of them. Your piece, no matter how small, is important to God’s plan as a whole.

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