Often and Always

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NIV).

From the smallest concern to the biggest problem in our lives, God cares. If it is big enough to concern you, it is big enough to concern Him.

Author, speaker, Holocaust survivor, Corrie Ten Boom, told of her remarkable experience at the horrific Nazi Ravensbruck prison camp.

Together we entered the terrifying building. At a table were women who took away all our possessions. Everyone had to undress completely and then go to a room where her hair was checked. 

I asked a woman who was busy checking the new arrivals if I might use the bathroom. She pointed to a door, and I discovered that the convenience was nothing more than a hole in the shower room floor. Betsie stayed close beside me all the time. Suddenly I had an inspiration. “Quick, take off your woolen underwear,” I whispered to her. I rolled it up with mine and laid the bundle in a corner with my Bible. The spot was alive with cockroaches, but I didn’t worry about that. I felt wonderfully relieved and happy. “The Lord is busy answering our prayers, Betsie,” I whispered. “We shall not have to make the sacrifice of all our clothes.” 

We hurried back to the row of women waiting to be undressed.  A little later, after we had our showers and put on our shirts and shabby dresses, I hid the roll of underwear and my Bible under my dress. It bulged out obviously through my dress; but I prayed, “Lord, cause now Your angels to surround me; and let them not be transparent today, for the guards must not see me.” I felt perfect peace.

Calmly I passed the guards. Everyone was checked, from the front, the sides, and the back. Not a bulge escaped the eye of the guard. The woman just in front of me had hidden a woolen vest under her dress; it was taken from her. They let me pass, for they did not see me. Betsie, right behind me, was searched. 

But outside awaited another danger. On each side of the door were women who looked everyone over for a second time. They felt over the body of each one who passed. I knew they would not see me, for the angels were still surrounding me.  I was not even surprised when they passed me by; but within me rose the victorious cry, “O Lord, if You answer such prayer, I can face even Ravensbruck unafraid.”

God answers prayer. Sometimes He uses His angels to do so, but I believe the most important thing about prayer is that we pray!

Sometimes I feel guilty asking for "anything" when I am so blessed.  Life is going great!  I don’t have flooding, hurricanes, mass shooting, nothing tragic touching me.  I have more blessings than I could need or every ask for.  However, Jesus longs for times of heart conversation with His children, dream sessions where we pour out all that we are and hope to be to the One who can make those dreams a reality.

Every problem, every concern is important to God.  He is always waiting, ready to turn His heart toward the voice of His child as surely as a mother hears her baby’s cry above all others. 

Heavenly Father,  Be with us – send Angels to us.  Help us – even remind us to pray and ask -- often and always.

Jill Maclay

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