Tag Archives: pressure

Pressure, Prayer and Praise


One day I was walking and deep in thought. I wasn’t paying attention to what was in front of me until I stepped on a ketchup packet. When I did, ketchup shot out of the package and went all over the glass of a shop. While wiping it off, I began to think how when pressure is applied to something, what’s inside comes out. I began to wonder what would come out of my mouth and actions, from the inside of me, if serious pressure was applied. 

In Acts 16, Paul and Silas were beaten and thrown into prison because they were preaching the Gospel and had delivered a girl from demon possession. Verse 16 says, “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them” (NLT). When pressure was applied, prayer and raise is what came out of them. The goal for each of us is to be so full of God that when pressure is applied, prayer and praise would come out of us.

Here are some verses on prayer and praise. 

1. Proclaim with me the Lord ‘s greatness; let us praise his name together! I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me; he freed me from all my fears.
Psalm 34:3-4 GNT

2. In my distress I prayed to the Lord, and the Lord answered me and set me free. The Lord is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?
Psalms 118:5-6 NLT

3. In this you rejoice greatly, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, which is much more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested and purified by fire, may be found to result in [your] praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
1 PETER 1:6-7 AMP

4. There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!
Romans 5:3-5 MSG

5. Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
Philippians 4:6-7 MSG

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Turbulence Is Good

 

 On a recent flight, the pilot said there was turbulence ahead and that he was going to try a different altitude. We lowered several thousand feet and hit turbulence there. He lowered some more and we hit turbulence there too. He went up some and we started hitting turbulence there. On our whole flight, he was readjusting trying to miss the turbulence, but he was unsuccessful. No matter what we did, we kept hitting these bumps in our path. He finally came over the intercom and said, “As you can see, we are not going to have a smooth flight today. I’ve tried everything and we’re still finding these pockets. We won’t be able to go as fast as we wanted.”

The pilot, like many of us, tried to avoid disturbances in our path. He tried different things to get around them and couldn’t. Our first instinct when there’s a disturbance or turbulence in our path is to try to find a way around it, but is that really God’s desire for us? Are we to avoid problems and things that slow us down? I don’t think so. I dislike them as much as anyone, but I’ve learned they serve a purpose. I may not always see the purpose right away, but I’ve found that God uses them to shape who we are and to change our course. The path God has for us isn’t an easy one.

Jesus was preaching in Matthew 7:14 when He was talking about the path you and I should be on. He said, “But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it. (NLT)” The Amplified version said it is “contracted by pressure”. That doesn’t sound like we are going to be able to avoid the bumps and have a smooth ride into Heaven. In John 16:33, Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble.” Jesus was pretty open to us about what life will bring as Christians. He said we would struggle, suffer and have tribulation, and also that He would not leave us in those times.

My nephew likes to say, “No pressure, no diamond.” He’s learning at an early age that pressure can be a good thing. It’s what brings out the best in us. God uses pressure pockets in our life to develop qualities that won’t develop any other way. He uses it to have us change altitude and course so we can be put into the path of someone who needs our help. There is a purpose and a plan for the turbulence in your life. To avoid it is to avoid what God wants to do in you and through you.

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Spiritual Apnea

One of the things you may not know about me is that I have sleep apnea. What happens is that when my body is at rest, the air pressure outside my body is greater than on the inside causing me to not only snore, but also can deprive my brain of oxygen. To fix the problem, I sleep with a CPAP machine and mask that pushes air into me. The machine creates a positive air pressure in me so that the pressure inside is greater than the pressure outside.

You and I walk in a world that is constantly trying to force us and to shape us into its mold. We are pressured from every side to compromise, to give in or up and to conform to its ways. Romans 12:2 tells us, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” It’s a clear command that we are to resist the pressures that are on the outside.

Sometimes the outside pressure is stronger than our inside pressure to resist. When we give in to those pressures, our spirit is deprived of the things it needs to stay strong and healthy. We start to exhibit the side effects of spiritual apnea. We fall asleep spiritually, our prayers cease to have the power they once had, our faith begins to wane. We eventually allow this to be the norm for our spiritual life. There is no growth only maintenance.

The good news is that God has given each of us His Holy Spirit to create a positive pressure in us to combat the external pressures of this world. Acts 1:8 says, “But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.” God has given us the power, ability, efficiency and might to combat the pressures that come against us. Just like I have that CPAP machine, if I don’t use it, it’s wont help me create a positive pressure inside. We can be guilty of having the Holy Spirit and not using the power He has given us to have a positive pressure.

II Corinthians 4:7-8 tells us, “This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side, but we are not crushed.” The power and pressure God has given us will not allow us to be crushed by this world. His desire is not to just equalize the pressure between our inside and the world, but to create a greater power and pressure in us that extends into the world. We are not to maintain, but to advance. We are to conquer.

Romans 8 says that we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. God wants you to walk in victory today. We were not made to be defeated. Quit living like you’ve been defeated today because that’s not who you are in Christ. Change your mindset, access the power of the Holy Spirit that is dwelling in you and go create positive change today in your world. You have the power and ability according to what we read. Now walk in faith believing in the victory God has given you.

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