“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.”Matthew 5:14 KJV
I presented to a group of youth on the topic of prayer at some point this month, and I segued into an explanation of the physical and spiritual man and reiterated to them how important it is to pray before making a decision. While it’s very important for kids to take a moment to consider the consequences of their actions and hopefully go to God about the choices they need to make, it’s also true for adults. We’re never too old or too young to call on or need God. So, I decided to take some of my points from that speech and the poem that I wrote and use it for this month’s blog post to hopefully encourage anyone else out there that may be wrestling with making certain choices or remaining steadfast on the path they’re taking. Whatever it is, you can go to God about it.
“The video below addresses what the theme of this month is: prayer. It highlighted the different things that’s already been talked about concerning prayer, such as when to pray and why you should pray. You’ve also been taught how to pray and what prayer is, but I implore you to take a moment and consider how important prayer is. I’m sure you’ve heard that there is power in prayer. There are numerous testimonies about how God has answered prayers. You could look in the Bible or just hear from those around you about what God has done for them. It’s been said at some point this month that we can pray about anything and everything. That includes family, friends, enemies, strangers, schoolwork, but you can also pray about what decisions you should make in life. Although we’re saved, we’re not exempt from hardships, trials, tribulations, or simply put ‘life’s tests.’ We all may encounter some issue to wrestle with no matter how old or young we are. When I was in middle school and even high school, things like peer pressure, bullying, stress, being ostracized, talked about, and all the other stuff that’s still common today were problems that youth either dealt with or witnessed. When dealing with some of those things, I had to make a choice—just as we all do daily.
Consider this scripture: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12
Within us are two things that wrestle against each other: the physical man and the spirit man. The flesh would have us to adhere to temptations, instant gratification, or worldly desires, whereas the spiritual man seeks to follow the Holy Spirit or God’s direction. The one we feed more is the one that we’re likely to follow. The physical man thrives on physical nourishment while the spiritual man requires sustainment in the word of God, fasting, and—our theme for this month—prayer. Therefore, prayer is powerful to petition God to provide strength to do right and give guidance in our decisions.
For instance, say you’re in class taking a test and the teacher steps out for a moment. You didn’t study as much as you should have and know exactly where the notes are in your notebook to find the answers. When you glance up, you catch a classmate quickly looking at his notes and marking the correct answers. Then another student does the same thing. Despite knowing that cheating is wrong, you know that if you do well on this test, your teacher will be happy, your parents will be happy, and your grade in the class may even go up. And if that’s not enough to sell you on doing wrong, everyone else seems to be doing it! Take a moment to consult God about what to do. Take a moment to pray before acting on the burning temptation to cheat.
Doing the right thing may not always be easy, but it’s worth it. In choosing not to cheat, you continue on with a clear conscience, you learn to be better prepared for the next test, and you feel good from doing the right thing. If you decide to cheat and acquire all those things that seemed good like your parents’ and the teacher’s praise, you’ll have to live with the guilt of knowing you didn’t really earn that good grade, and you also hurt yourself by not really learning what you should have.
And if that’s not enough to convince you to do the right thing, let me just inform you on what the word says about it. Galatians 6:9 reads “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Making the right decisions will not be in vain; you will reap the rewards in due time. However, I know it may not be the most popular option all the time. I know it may seem pointless sometimes. And I personally know that doing right may leave you by yourself sometimes, but you should do it. God will be with you through it all, and you can pray for God to give you what you need to continue the path that He has set for you. Prayer is so important. Not only is it communication with God but it can make a difference for you and someone else when you do pray. Pray on every decision. Pray on what to say, do, think. There is power in prayer.
Let Your Light Shine
‘Everyone’s doing it, so why can’t I?’ is a common question many people contemplate in life.
You’ll quickly realize the answer as you navigate through life,
But here’s my quick summary guide:
We’ve got to wrestle against the flesh—a temptation to sin;
We’re trying to make sure that our spiritual man wins.
Just like every fighter, he too needs weapons to win—a sustaining strength that’ll give him an edge in this.
The flesh thrives on carnal things: food, sleep, subjection to its whims,
But the spiritual side needs the spiritual practices to survive:
Such as reading God’s word, fasting, and praying.
See, let me just stay right there on this word called prayer because I want you to understand
That it’s a direct line to the Creator and can be used for every circumstance.
Just like in this moment, where you have to choose whether to blend in or be different.
Do you really want to follow the crowd?
To gain instant gratification, temporary satisfaction, a moment to fit in,
But what if God’s called you to go against it?
Would you stand firm on His word or do what society says is in?
Sometimes doing the right thing will set you on a plane by yourself.
You may find yourself feeling lonely, but
God’s word decrees that I’m not on my own.
So, I have to ask you: what do you really want?
To hear ‘well done thy good and faithful servant?’
Or would you rather get encouragement from someone who doesn’t even know your purpose?
Is it worth it to engage in the sin just to fit in
Or would it be better to walk away with a clear conscience?
Before you answer this, consider a fundamental practice of God’s children.
Before you answer this, think for a moment.
Before you answer this, contemplate what the Word says.
I want you to answer this after you pray.
There is power in your prayers.
The carnal and spirit man will collide,
But you’ve got the power to follow what’s right.
Do not be weary in well-doing; your reward will come.
And know that God sees and knows all that you’ve done.
I’m not here to berate you, judge you, or bring you down.
I’m just trying to let you know that you can make a difference in your life starting right now.
Let your light shine in a dark world.
Be the one to finally stand out from the crowd even if it means being by yourself.
Because trust me, someone is watching you—looking up to you to see what you do.
Instead of being a follower, be the one that others follow.
You just never know how your stand will be the guiding light for someone else.
If nothing else, I want you to remember to be true to the Holy Spirit that resides inside of you.
Do as God would want you to do.
I pray that these words resonate with you.
“No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light.” Luke 11:33
Will you let your light shine?”