Pray Righteously

Dear Christian Sisters and Brothers,

Sometimes, we are in difficult situations, trying to love others while disagreeing wholeheartedly.

You may have this situation in online discussions over abortion.

You may have this situation in your home, disagreeing with your spouse over how to raise your children.

So what is the first thing you do?

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. (James 5:16b)

Yes, we need to pray. But before we ask God to give us a hand, we need to pursue a righteous relationship with Him.

Righteousness is not something to strive for. Righteousness is something to surrender to.

Surrender—now there’s a word people don’t like! No one wants to surrender because that means they lose the battle.

But why would you want to be in battle with God?

  • He reverently and wonderfully knit you together in your mother’s womb because He loves you (Ps 139:13-14).
  • He has a plan and a purpose for your life, which is designed for you to enjoy  (Jer 29:11-12).
  • He wants to give you everything to finish your race well (Heb 13:20-21).
  • He works everything together for your good (Rom 8:28).

So, the first step to getting everyone moving in the same direction is to start with ourselves.

That’s what I had to do.

Many years ago, I wanted my husband to change. We were in disagreement about just about everything. I didn’t like his attitude. We didn’t enjoy spending time together.

I thought the only way God was going to change my husband was if I fasted while praying for him. I was certain that God would listen to me then.

But just hours into the fast, someone at church said, “Often we are focused on our husbands when we should be focused on ourselves.”

As my teenager would say—that felt targeted. There was a big bullseye on my heart, and that statement hit right in the center.

I had to work on me, so I filled myself with the Holy Spirit through Bible study, through giving up my self-righteousness, and through prayer for myself.

That same someone at church taught me that I can ask for more of the Holy Spirit, as Luke 11:13 tells us.

Verse 13 is at the end of the “ask, seek, knock” teaching by Jesus, but we usually read the story in the book of Matthew.

In Luke’s telling, Jesus ends his parable by saying:

“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11:13)

As believers, we have the Holy Spirit—but if you’re living life as a grumpy Christian, then certainly you know that you could use more of the Spirit.

When we have more of the Spirit, we have more fruit of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

Do you feel
⇒ loving
⇒ joyful
⇒ at peace (that means not worrying!)
⇒ patient (even when your food order doesn’t arrive right away!)
⇒ kind (even to your barista!)
⇒ good
⇒ faithful (never substituting lattes for God!)
⇒ gentle (always saying things God’s way!)
⇒ self-controlled (even around chips, chocolate, and chai lattes!)
24×7 ?

Yeah, I didn’t think so. Now would be a good time to ask God for more of the Holy Spirit, don’t you think?

This is just one thing that we’re learning and praying for in the MybodyMyworship Group on Facebook as we worship to end abortion. Will you join us?

In Christ,

cropped-cheryl-blog-icon.jpg

Walking Dead—the Natural Result of Abortion

Dear Christian Sisters & Brothers,

This is the last post in The Spiritual Consequences of Abortion Series, which includes:

To review, here’s what happens when we murder and have sex outside of marriage:

  • When we keep silent about our sin, our bodies waste away (Psalm 32:3).
  • The Lord’s hand is heavy upon us (Psalm 32:4).
  • Our vitality is drained away (Psalm 32:4).
  • We yearn to hear joy and gladness again (Psalm 51:8).
  • We can’t wait for our broken bones to rejoice (Psalm 51:8).
  • We want to be renewed with a steadfast spirit (Psalm 51:10).
  • We want to feel the Holy Spirit within us (Psalm 51:11).
  • We want to be restored with the joy of salvation (Psalm 51:12).

After studying Psalms 32 and 51, I understood what happened to me after I aborted my daughter: My vitality was drained away. That’s why I described myself as the walking dead.

My joy was sucked away. I wanted to feel the joy of my salvation, but I couldn’t until I took responsibility for my sins then confessed and forgave.

Saving Mothers, Too

Abortion not only murders our unborn, it kills women’s souls.

Speaking from experience, sin of this magnitude increases the gulf between us and God.

Reconciling with God becomes a much more difficult thing to do. There’s a big difference between reconciling with God after using His name in vain than after murdering His child.

Therefore, we don’t lose just one of God’s children to abortion but two—the woman and her baby.

And if the father of the baby (1st among influencers over a woman’s choice)—or the grandmother (3rd among influencers) or grandfather (10th among influencers)—supports, pressures, or coerces the woman to have an abortion, then we lose even more.

I say all of this to ask you to compassionately reach the abortion-minded—all those who support abortion as a choice—for Christ so that we not only save the babies but also their mothers, fathers, and grandparents.

Christ came for the tax collectors and the prostitutes, and we are to do the same for all sinners, even those who make us angry.

In Christ,

Cheryl

Author of ReTested: The Story of a Post-Abortive Woman Called to Change the Conversation, finalist for the Author Academy Awards

Citation:
Care Net. 2016, July. “Study of Women Who Have Had an Abortion & Their Views on Church.” Go to: https://resources.care-net.org/free-resources/#lp-pom-text-318