A Prayer to See Spiritual Progress
By Laura Bailey
"For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come." – 1 Timothy 4:8 NIV
I once read that forming a new habit takes roughly 2-3 months. Conversely, I've also read that most people give up on their goals within a few weeks of starting them. We are impatient and live in an instant gratification world; we desire fast results with minimal effort.
- Have you ever quit something before you started because you didn't see results fast enough?
- You've been watching your diet and exercising daily, but the scale doesn't move.
- You've made a point to speak kindly to that difficult co-worker, but your relationship still remains tense.
- You're dedicated to putting a few extra dollars aside each month, but the debt pile barely moves.
I've experienced all the above, but where I tend to get most discouraged is in my Christian walk. I become impatient with God, irritated that His timetable isn't mine, and want to throw in the faith towel too often. But just as eating one good meal won't move the needle on the scale, neither will a lackadaisical commitment to growing our faith.
Paul understood the commitment it takes to grow our faith. In a letter of encouragement to Timothy, a new pastor charged with growing a church, Paul urges Timothy to give the same, if not more, attention to his spiritual training much like he would his physical training ( 1 Timothy 4:7). While it is necessary to take care of our health and give attention to our physical health, Scripture exhorts us to provide more focus to living a godly life.
One day our bodies will fail us, and our brief time on this earth will end, but our souls will last forever. As Paul instructs us, let’s spend more time investing in the spiritual over physical heart work. However, we shouldn't be so consumed by our eternal future that we ignore our current reality. We, and others around us, have genuine physical needs that must be met daily. We can glean from Paul's words that the person pursuing a godly life will naturally develop an eternal prospect that translates to a well-lived earthly life.
Friend, don't give up on your spiritual growth. Even when progress is slow, know that the Lord is doing a good work in those whom He loves and that He is faithful to complete it! Continue to be obedient in the small things, not neglecting to meet with Lord in Bible study and prayer and gathering with a local body of believers. Be encouraged by these words from Galatians 6:9, " Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."
Let us Pray:
Heavenly Father, thank you for all that you've done for us. You've known us before the beginning of time, so you know the human struggle to persevere in our faith. Lord, we want to serve you faithfully, but sometimes we question, doubt, and wonder if it makes a difference. Help us in our unbelief; let us experience an unshakeable faith, a confidence in Christ that guides us to lean farther into You and Your will for our lives.
Lord, we ask for steadfastness as we navigate the ups and downs of our life. May our lives testify to your faithfulness, goodness, and all circumstances. We pray for those who don't know you as Lord and Savior and humbly submit ourselves to your will. Keep us from growing weary; give us strength and peace that only comes from you as we pursue godliness. We love you, Lord. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
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