DO THE BEST FIRST

When was the last time you prayed? I know it’s a personal question equaled to “How much do you weigh?” But people are more apt to tell you how much they weigh then to tell you when they last prayed. The bible tells us that we should pray without ceasing, pray continually, never stop praying (1 Thessalonians 5:17). But why is it that we look at praying as our last resort instead of the first action step we take toward life? Why do we save the best for last and do the least first? Shouldn’t we do the best first?

All my life I was told to pray like everything depended on God and work like everything depended on me. This was ingrained in me from a small child. It helped me understand that if I prayed first and then did everything I could then God would answer my prayer. It also helped me understand that no matter how much I did, if I didn’t continually pray about the circumstances in my life, my life wouldn’t make sense. And it’s true life doesn’t make sense when we are constantly saving the best for last and doing our little part, the least first.

Pray without ceasing!

Pray without ceasing!

I’ve heard many times from different people in my life “Let’s try this first, if it doesn’t work out, then we’ll pray.” Or the one statement that really gets under my skin…”I’ve tried everything else, I guess a prayer couldn’t hurt!” Prayer is the key to my day and the lock at night. Many times growing up I always thought I needed to go through bad times so that I prayed more, because let’s face it when we’re going through rough days or trials we spend more time in prayer then when times are good. But praying without ceasing means that we should be praying just as much in the good times as well as the bad.

When my sons were little we used to pray together all the time. One day while we were walking to the summer enrichment summer school, it started to rain really hard. So as we walked we prayed and asked God to either make it stop raining until we got to school, or provide us with a way to stay dry. We had just finished our prayer when we all looked at the sidewalk a couple of feet ahead of us and there was a large umbrella laying in our path. My sons and I looked up and praised and thanked God for answering our prayer.

Don’t save prayer as the last resort. Yes, God knows what’s going on in your life, He sees everything, He knows everything, He even sees what’s in your heart. We can’t hide anything from God. So pray, thank Him for all the blessings in your life. Ask Him for help with your health, your job, your family. Pray for protection, pray for strength.

Life will always give us something to pray about.

Do the best first, pray

 

 

 

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CLEAN OUT MODE

I’ve been on “clean out” mode for the past few weeks because I want to prove to my husband that I can fit my club chair in my office. So I’ve been going through files and book shelves in hopes that I could get rid of some of them. That’s when I found my favorite story of  The Teacup and The Potter. As I read it I thought it should be unearthed for others to read. So sit back and enjoy.

THE TEACUP AND THE POTTER

There was a couple who took a trip to England to shop in a beautiful antique store to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. They both liked antiques and pottery, and especially teacups. Spotting an exceptional cup, they asked “May we see that? We’ve never seen a cup quite so beautiful.”

As the lady handed it to them, suddenly the teacup spoke, “You don’t understand. I have not always been a teacup. There was a time when I was just a lump of red clay. My master took me and rolled me, pounded and patted me over and over, and I yelled out, “Don’t do that.I don’t lie it! Let me alone.’ But he only smiled, and gently said; ‘Not yet!'” “Then, WHAM! I was placed on a spinning wheel and suddenly I was spun around and around and around. ‘Stop it! I’m getting so dizzy! I’m going to be sick,’ I screamed. But the master only nodded and said, quietly; ‘Not yet.’

“He spun me and poked and prodded and bent me out of shape to suit himself and then… Then he put me in the oven. I never felt such heat. I yelled and knocked and pounded at the door. Help! Get me out of here! I could see him through the opening and I could read his lips as he shook his head from side to side, ‘Not yet’.”

“When I thought I couldn’t bear it another minute, the door opened. He carefully took me our and put me on the shelf, and I began to cool. Oh, that felt so good! Ah, this is much better, I thought. But after I cooled he picked me up and he brushed and painted me all over. The fumes were horrible. I thought I would gag. ‘Oh, please; Stop it, Stop it!’ I cried. He only shook his head and said, ‘Not yet!’.”

Then suddenly he put me back into the oven. Only it was no like the first one. This was twice as hot and I just knew I would suffocate. I begged. I pleaded. I screamed. I cried. I was convinced I would never make it. I was ready to give up. Just then the door opened and he took me our and again placed me on the shelf, where I cooled and waited—-and waited, wondering “What’s he going to do to me next? An hour later he handed me a mirror and said ‘Look at yourself.'” “And I did. I said, ‘That’s not me; that couldn’t be me. It’s beautiful. I’m beautiful!’

Quietly he spoke: ‘I want you to remember, then,’ he said, ‘I know it hurt to be rolled and pounded and patted, but had I just left you alone, you’d have dried up. I know it made you dizzy to spin around on the wheel, but if I had stopped, you would have crumbled. I know it hurt and it was hot and disagreeable in the oven, but if I hadn’t put you there, you would have cracked. I know the fumes were bad when I brushed and painted you all over, but if I hadn’t done that, you never would have hardened. You would not have had any color in your life. If I hadn’t put you back in the second oven, you wouldn’t have survived for long because the hardness would not have held. Now you are a finished product. Now you are what I had in mind when I first began with you.”

The moral of this story is this: God knows what He’s doing for each of us. He is the potter, and we are Hid Clay. He will mold us and make us, and expose us to just enough pressures of just the right kinds that we may be made into a flawless piece of work to fulfill His good, pleasing and perfect will.

So when life seems hard, and you are being pounded and patted and pushed almost beyond endurance; when your world seems to be spinning out of control; when you fell like you are in a fiery furnace of trials; when life seems to “stick”, try this…brew a cup of your favorite tea in your prettiest teacup, sit down and think on this story and the, have a little talk with the Potter.

—Author Unknown