Sunday, September 22, 2013

Seven Ways to Pray: 7. Diligence

If you want to catch up, read the introductory post for Seven Ways to Pray for Your Heart, which contains links to all the other posts in the series. Also, you can find Jon Bloom's original post here.

The final word that we focused on was diligence. Diligence was a great way to end our series as it speaks of perseverance, consistency and an intentional attitude. It was the easiest thing to pray for, perhaps because it is the hardest thing to do. When we focused on delight seven weeks ago, it helped to set the tone for delighting in God in all things. This final week, diligence is the perfect summation. As my prayers focused on diligence this week, I found myself praying for diligence in delighting in the Lord, diligently desiring God, diligently realizing my dependence on Him, diligently seeking the Holy Spirit for discernment, being diligently desperate, and perhaps most of all, being diligently disciplined.

Every week, I've done a bible keyword search for the word of the week, and I pulled up a passage from Ecclesiastes 11 on the value of diligence this week. Verse 6 really stuck out to me, so I made it this week's graphic. Sometimes we work diligently, feeling as if our work in in vain. This verse reminded me that our job in diligently seeking and serving the Lord, is the sowing of the seed, not whether it brings a harvest or not. In fact, Paul reminds us of this in 1 Corinthians 3:7; we may plant the seeds, but it is God who brings the growth. Our diligence is for God's glory.

In addition, in our walk with God, we should walk diligently, act diligently, love diligently, because whatever we consistently and earnestly seek, we will find (Prov 11:27, Jeremiah 29:13). Even though it seems as if no one ever notices, God is faithful to us, and will not forget the work we have done, nor the love we have shown (Heb 6:10-12). In addition, our diligence will help us to be guarded and strong against the things of the world that try to draw us away from God. If we make a practice of doing the will of God, and of reading the Word, and of refraining from careless speech, and of showing love to our neighbours, it is harder for us to slip and slide into sin, because we do not give evil a space in which it can enter our lives and prevail.

Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, making the most of the time, because the days are evil.
Ephesians 5:15-16

Be blessed and shine diligently!

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A person finds joy in giving an apt reply—
and how good is a timely word! -Prov 15:23