28 July 2019


By John Ollis

My readers know I am convinced that it is utterly essential that we must prepare our hearts when we come to the Lord in prayer, because of the words of the Psalmist in Psalm 66:18 NLT If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. Of course God hears everything all the time, but here the Psalmist says if I have unconfessed sin in my heart, I could pray until I am blue in the face, and nothing is accomplished. We must begin our praying with genuine Repentance and Confession, so God can wash our hearts clean 1 John 1:9 AMP. N.T. For If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].

Then the Believer has an “open heaven” to bring his petitions to the Lord.

I am coming to see more and more that there is another reason why we must prepare our hearts when we come to the Lord in prayer. We know BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE. Life is full of tests and trials and pressures, and because we have a mind and emotions these things cannot help but impact us and at times really stress us out. Some Christians start “binding the devil” and blaming him for all their problems. we need to remind ourselves of Romans 8:28 AMP N.T. We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose. The PASSION Translation So we are convinced that every detail of our lives is continually woven together to fit into God’s perfect plan of bringing good into our lives, for we are his lovers who have been called to fulfill his designed purpose.

We need to sit in God’s presence and RE-AFFIRM HE IS SOVEREIGN, and that NOTHING can touch my (our) life unless it has God’s PERMISSION, and He wants to use it to bring about His divine purposes in our lives.

I am reminded of a great old hymn of the church that is sung to the beautiful tune Finlandia BE STILL MY SOUL.

Be still, my soul,
The Lord is on your side.
Bear patiently, the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to your God, to order and provide.
In every change He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul,
Your best your heavenly friend,
Through thorny waves leads to a joyful end.
Be still, my soul,
Your God will undertake
To guide the future as he has the past.
Your hope, your confidence let nothing shake.
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul,
The waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while he lived below.
Be still, my soul,
Be still, my soul,
Be still.

May I encourage you to meditate on these beautiful words, and get them into your heart, even have a copy of the words in your Bible, and when you are stressed and troubled, and you know there is no unconfessed sin in your life, sit quietly, and meditate on the Goodness and Grace of God, I am also reminded that like a father God often needs to discipline us , the writer of the Book of Hebrews says in chapter 12:6-11 NKJV My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,
Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
For whom the Lord loves He chastens,
And scourges every son whom He receives.”
If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Why does God put us through these stressful painful times , so that we can be PARTAKERS OF HIS HOLINESS v.10, and experience the PEACABLE FRUIT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS v.11

Jesus disciplines us because HE LOVES US.

God loves us with an EVERLASTING LOVE Jer. 31:3 NKJV “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you”.

I am so glad our God is UNCHANGING Hebrews 13:8 NKJV reminds us afresh Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

So next time you go through a challenging difficult time, remember God has permitted it because He loves us, and wants to make use the situation to makes us MORE LIKE JESUS, amen.