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Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honourable, so that when they speak against you as evil doers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation. – 1 Peter 2:12
People might ask, “How do I keep my conduct in such a way that others will see my good deeds and glorify God?”I believe it starts with prayer. No matter what problem we can encounter, we need to learn to handle it with prayer. Every problem we can face needs to be brought before and turned over to God – not as our last chance, but as our first choice.
We see an example of this in Acts 4, where we read when Peter and John were arrested and put on trial for preaching the Good News. They were threatened by the same crowd that crucified Jesus, so it would be nothing for the crowd to put Peter and John to death either. They we very sternly warned not to preach in the name of Jesus and let go.
In light of the threats against them, they prayed! They gathered together with other believers and prayed these words, “And now, Lord, look upon their hearts and grant to your servants to continue to speak your Word with all boldness.” (4:29) They did not panic or run in fear or waiver, instead they immediately handed over their problems to the Lord. They did not even pray for safety or protection against the threats that were thrown at them. They trusted completely in God and because of that, they were able to present an impossible situation to God and talk to God about the threats against them and say to God, “We trust you to help us.”Are you ready to take your hands off the problems that are heaviest on our heart and hand them over to God?
We see men in the New Testament like, Epaphras, Aristarchus, Onesimus, Mark and Luke who all ran into various problems but were able to trust God with the outcome and God blessed their lives. I believe that they were able to continue on because they were men of prayer, who refused to give up. They learned to pray persistently. They prayed about things that would change slowly in their lives. They continued to pray without giving up. If you are knocking on the doors of heaven now, in anticipation of God answering a real request in your life, be assured that He hears you. God knows your need and He cares. The answer to our heartfelt prayers is slow in coming, we must persevere. Persistent prayer means praying without doubt, praying through our fears, and refusing to give up.
We often pray for certain things to happen, when God has a better plan in mind for us. So, we keep knocking until we receive the direction that God has for our lives. The Word of God states that He will reward in heaven those who are faithful to pray here on earth, because it is these devoted prayers that have the greatest eternal impact. Praying believers change the destinies of men and women and even the histories of nations. When we get to heaven, we will see countless rewards given to people who never preached from a platform, they were never recognized as great leaders, but who prayed faithfully, without fail.
Never give up on a prayer request because we have an awesome God who is patient, long-suffering and knows all things. We just need to trust Him today with a long-term prayer request. Commit to praying persistently until you hear from God.
Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving. – Colossians 4:2
Do you want your reputation to be honorable among those around you? Then be a man or woman of persistent prayer.