Friday, February 25, 2011

Pray with expectations -- Today's Devotion from Mike MacIntosh


This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
1 John 1:5-7

I have yet to meet anyone who does not want to be happy. Children love to laugh. Their entire beings overflow with delight. As a grandfather, I notice that my younger grandkids thoroughly enjoy it when I tickle them, make funny faces, or engage in silly antics. The older ones now want me to talk with them in a "more mature fashion," so I tell them corny jokes or give them riddles to solve. But regardless of age, they all like to be full of joy. I am full of joy when I see them happy, joyful, and laughing together as a group. It's kind of difficult to laugh when there isn't someone to laugh with. This is where fellowship comes into play.

The apostle John was an eyewitness to the ministry of Jesus. He heard the words of Jesus and saw His miracles. John tells us that the purpose of his letters was to bring us more into fellowship with the Lord Jesus. And through the years, I continue to be amazed at the kind of close relationship we can have with the Creator of the universe when we simply communicate with Him in prayer. Things change around us, and more importantly, things change in us.

The byproducts of prayer are happiness and joy. When we pray, we receive a deep-down kind of joy that is far beyond the kind of joy we feel when buying a new luxury car or a five-bedroom house on ten acres of land. The joy from prayer is rich and everlasting. You see, it's all about expectations. If you pray expecting to get "stuff," you'll be disappointed, and you won't benefit from prayer. If, however, you pray expecting God to bring joy, contentment, and fellowship with God and other believers, then you can count on a huge payoff.

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