January 5 Day 5
How Then Shall We Live?
Devotions on Living a Deeper Christian Life
“It is the Glory of God to conceal a thing…” – Proverbs 25:2
When You Struggle in Prayer
A story is told in the Pateric, an authentic book of Christian tradition, about a young monk who was very pious, but weak in temptations. Whenever he prayed, he was like an angel. But soon after finishing his prayer, he fell again into sin, after which, deeply burdened by remorse, he returned to the church and didn’t cease praying, until he felt God’s forgiveness. And immediately he fell again into sin.
Then he prayed again… and so on. In this way his life was a constant zig zag between prayer and sin. One day he committed a “bigger” sin than usual. Horrified at his deed he went again to the church, and prostate in front of the altar, begged for forgiveness. At that moment, he saw the doors of heaven open and Jesus Himself appear to him.
Immediately Satan appeared also, saying to the Savior, “You cannot possibly forgive this man now!”
“Who are you to stop Me?” Jesus asked.
”Is not all power in earth and in heaven mine?” Satan insisted, “How can You possibly forgive this one who runs to sin immediately after his prayer? He constantly goes from me to You, from You to me.”
“Not at all!” replied Jesus. “He turns from you and comes to Me, from you to Me. After all, whenever he goes from prayer to sin, you receive him! So why shouldn’t I receive him even this time? And from now on, not only will I receive him, but I will also give him the power against sin.” Indeed, from that on, the monk became a model of piety and holiness.
Feel yourself zig zaging in your prayer life today? Jesus lived in this flesh and knows our struggles and it is He who saves His people from their sin.
Words to Think About…
“God doesn’t answer prayer, He answers DESPERATE prayer.” ~ Leonard Ravenhill (Christian Evangelist, Preacher 1907-1994
“In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart.” – John Bunyan (English Writer Preacher 1832-1905)
“All God’s giants have been weak men, who did great things for God because they believed that God would be with them.“ – Hudson Taylor (Missionary to China 1832-1905)