(Romans 12:12) ”Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;”
According to Strong’s Concordance, “continuing instant” means “to persevere, be constantly diligent.” It is in the present tense – something I should be doing right now. As each second on the clock ticks I am to keep doing it. I am to keep praying. Why? What am I supposed to be praying for? The answer is really easy and I see it in most of the chapter: I am to keep praying for you!
God gives me a renewed mind, not for my own benefit, but for the benefit of the Body of Christ. My life is transformed and I am part of an organism designed to serve. Each statement in this verse is an appeal for me to personally serve someone else. As a result, the love of Christ working in me drives my thoughts to the needs of the Body. So to be “continuing instant in prayer” really means:
- I am burdened more for your needs more than my own needs.
- I carry around a constant hunger for your benefit and profit.
- I find the only solution and source for satisfying your need at the throne of God.
- I freely give up my right to think about myself.
- I am willing to go through your trials and tribulations with you.
- I will stand in the gap when you are too weak to continue in the battle.
- I am willing to take my place as a member of the Body of Christ because I am motivated by love for you.
As you rejoice knowing there is a better tomorrow and patiently wait for the answer during the tribulation of someone else, stay on your knees.
Renewed Thought – “And it is through conflict that God induces the believer to seek and to grasp total triumph in Christ.” – Watchman Nee
(Philippians 4:7) “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
It is no coincidence this verse comes directly after the verse where we are told:
(Philippians 4:6) “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
So many times we pray looking at the answer to our request as the only result. We don’t realize that prayer is designed to do something else in us while we are waiting for the result.
Prayer produces the peace of God in us. Regardless of the circumstances or the answer, the act of trusting the Lord with the burdens of our heart allows Him to carry the weight for us. We have to come to the end of ourselves to admit the end result really isn’t in our control. We need Him and Him alone to determine the outcome. This is tough for those of us who are “Type A” personalities! We not only want to pray for the result, we want to control the result. When we can’t control the outcome, we worry and anxiety builds up in our soul. This distraction draws us away from trust in God to trust in self. The peace of God gives the ability to stand back and see that He is in control of the big picture.
The peace of God defies the situation. “Passeth” means to super-abundantly go beyond. It is peace when everything most precious to us is at stake. It is peace when life itself is on the line. It is a supernatural peace that defies the wisdom of this world and the expectations of the intellect. The peace of God surpasses our normal ability to function and elevates our senses and purpose to a new level which serves God. It is a peace that demonstrates Christ. The normal reaction might be frantic chaos but God rises up in our circumstances. Our peace with God equips us to have the peace of God. When we have the peace of God, the situation no longer dictates our reaction. It is God Who determines our response.
Prayer produces protection in us. The word “keep” means “to guard.” When we are under the most stressful trials and tribulations, our devotion to God and our thought-life are put to the test. We need a guardian against discouragement and self-pity. We need a wall to keep out the depression. We need a defense against the conventional wisdom of the world. As we focus on the Lord in prayer and keep Him in our thoughts, look to Him as our purpose, focus on His life rather than ours, our minds are occupied with spiritual life. Even when everyone around us loses hope, we never lose hope as long as our mind is on Him. The end result may remain uncertain but we have the promise that the peace of God will be with us and in us during our journey to it.
Renewed Thought – It is the peace of God alone that gives me the ability to say “It is well with my soul.”