Cultivating a Steady Heart through Prayer
As time winds down to the moment of Jesus' return, we can rest assured that the One who taught us how to pray is fully prepared for the days before His return.

Cultivating a Steady Heart through Prayer

by Fia Curley
11/1/16 Christian Living

It’s a strange paradox.

We enjoy the way tension and obstacles heighten the stakes and advance the plot in our movies and books, but we don’t really appreciate those things in our own lives. Instead of feeling excited, we feel panicked and actively try to avoid them.

But some things are unavoidable.

Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul wrote,

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. (2 Timothy 3:1–5)

So it’s not surprising that, when talking about the climate of the end times, Jesus tells His disciples:

“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.” (Matthew 24:9–12)

During these times, it will become critical to have a solid foundation in prayer. It will be imperative to dialogue with the One who sees the beginning from the end and calls Himself our shield, our helper, and our strength (Psalm 115:11).

By definition, teachers instruct in order to make us ready. They prepare us for tests and the rigors that await us in life. Our teachers set a foundation on which we can build solid understanding.

In the the Gospels, we see the disciples turn to Jesus and request that He teach them how to pray. Known for retreating to solitary places to have times of quiet with His Father, Jesus patiently taught His disciples the way in which they could engage in dialogue with the Heavenly Father.

“Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power
And the glory forever. Amen.” (Matthew 6:9–13)

Prayer is powerful and Jesus taught them the way of prayer knowing all that would come to pass in the future. Our good Teacher has promised to never leave us nor forsake us, and we can trust Him to stay committed to that promise, regardless of how things look.

With each news report, things around us begin to resemble what has been prophesied in the Bible. In the midst of wars and rumors of wars, famine, disease, and the rise of people advancing their desires regardless of the cost to others, it’s apparent that Jesus’ words are being proven true.

As important as it is to be aware of what’s going on around us, what’s more important to note is that when Jesus ascended back to Heaven, He spoke to His disciples and prepared them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth . . . I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew. 28:18, 20)

Although we’re in the last days, we can be at peace, knowing Jesus has kept His word and our Savior is committed to His Church. Emmanuel is still with us today. With faith in our hearts, we can lift our words to God with confidence, knowing that He hears, He knows, and He responds. Even when we feel weak or tired, we can come to the One who never grows weak or weary, knowing He has the answer to all situations—even the things that will give many concern in the end times.

When things arise that may threaten our lives we can remember that the Word tells us, “Men ought to pray always and never lose heart” (Luke 18:1).

And, that our prayers are not in vain, because our Heavenly Father is One who acts on behalf of those who wait.

Even then, when things look irreversible, we can pray with faith, just as Jesus taught His disciples to pray.

Heavenly Father,
You alone take care of us,
You are holy in all of Your ways,
every decision You make is right.
Would You establish Your perfect rule and reign on this earth?
Would You provide for us and sustain us in this hour?
Help us forgive others who have harmed us
the way Jesus has so lavishly forgiven us.
Father, lead us in Your good, pleasing, and perfect will,
far from wickedness and evil schemes
that seek to destroy and distract us.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power
and the glory forever. Amen.
(based on Matthew 6:9–13)

In the middle of winter, we often check the temperature before leaving the house; we want to be prepared. But as a rule of thumb, in certain parts of the country, whether the day’s high is 32 degrees or a shocking 12 below, it’s going to be cold. So we grab the coat, hat, and gloves we need to keep us warm—items we bought before the brunt of winter arrived—with the goal of making it through the freezing temperatures unharmed.

We know, as followers of Christ, that because He has come to be our atoning sacrifice for once and all and has now returned to sit at the right hand of the Father, that we are living in the last days. Whether we’re hearing about the wars or the rumors of wars, or things seem to be okay, we’re living in the last days. But we’re not without hope, nor are we without help.

As time winds down to the moment of Jesus’ return, we can rest assured that the One who taught us how to pray, the One who has committed Himself to us, the One who hears all and knows all, is fully prepared for the days before His return.

Although we don’t know the day or hour of His appearing, we know that He is ready for what will come. He is our hope and our strength, and as we pray to Him, we are strengthened and prepared to pray with faith and live each day for His glory.

What do you do to be prepared for the times ahead? Which Bible verses does the Lord use to steady your heart in the midst of the craziness of life?

Fia Curley

position

Fia Curley serves on the NightWatch at IHOPKC, participating in prayer, worship, and intercession from midnight to 6am. She enjoys blending her passion for prayer, worship, and journalism as she labors with the Lord to see His goodness revealed to families, government leaders, and immigrants from non-Christian nations.

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