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Prayer and Perseverance
by Shell Vera
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I have been reflecting often on prayer and perseverance lately. I have been through a lot in my life. I have overcome things many say make me quite resilient. However, I look at my life as a collection of experiences that led me to become the woman I am today. I have also been thinking about comments from friends over the years that “selling out to Jesus” makes a person miss life. I disagree. I think since I have committed myself more to prayer, faith, and believing that life will be okay, I have become a happier, healthier individual who is optimistic, energetic, and full of life.

Biblical View of Prayer and Perseverance

Part of my reflection has been reviewing what the Bible says about perseverance and prayer. Here are a few scriptures:

• Isaiah 50:7 “Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore, I have set my face like a stone determined to do his will. And I know that I will not be put to shame.”
• Job 22:27 “You will pray to him, and he will hear you, and you will fulfill your vows to him.”
• Psalm 17:5 “My steps have stayed on your path; I have not wavered from following you.”
• Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
• Psalm 50:15 “Then call on me when you are in trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory.”
• Proverbs 16:3 “Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.”
• Isaiah 65:24 “I will answer them before they even cal to me While they are still talking about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers.”
• Matthew 11:24 “Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them and they will be granted you.”
• Romans 2:7 “He will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers.”
• 1 Corinthians 15:58 “So my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.”
• Galatians 6:9 “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”
• Ephesians 6:18 “Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayer for all believers everywhere.”
• 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”
• 2 Thessalonians 3:5 “May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ.”
• 1 Timothy 2:1 “I urge you, first of all to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.
• James 1: 6-8, “But he must asking faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”
• James 4:3 “You do not have because you do not ask.”
• I John 5:14 “This is the confidence we have before Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.”

When I read these scriptures and think about what they mean to me, I realize that if I seek after the Lord and surrender to His guidance, then I will have everything I desire because my desires will be His desires. If I am fully surrendered to the Lord, I will ask what He wants me to ask because my heart will be His heart. I will think like Him, feel like Him, and hear like Him. I will not be pleased by the things of the world. I will slowly become more and more like Him, feeling that restoration that we have been promised at salvation. By surrendering to Him, people think we mean that we will be giving up a full life, but I believe the opposite.

Personal View of Perseverance and Faith

The second part of my reflection leads me to review my choices, my thoughts, and my life. Each day, I look at my circumstances and think of how I can make them better. How can I become more committed to Christ? How can I live a life that provides a great example for my children? How can I be the best person I am capable of being? To answer these questions, I pray, read my Bible, read books from others whose lives I admire, visit websites of people who I believe have accomplished what I would like to accomplish, and talk with others going through similar thought processes. To be the best me I can be, I want to be a great parent, a good friend, an excellent employee or boss. I want to live my dreams and pursue happiness and rich living daily. I want to be wealthy not by the money in my pocket but by the influence I have on those around me. I do not want to spend my life judging others but inspiring them to better individuals. I want to encourage others to share their uniqueness with the world. When I think of persevering in my faith, I think of continuing to ensure that I am doing my best daily to be the best me I can be.

Your View of Perseverance and Faith

What about you? What do you think of when you reflect on perseverance and faith? How can you be the best you that you are capable of being?

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