Listen to this devotional:
Luke 19:10 – For the Son of Man came to find and restore the lost. (MSG)
Having things we love in this world can bring us great comfort and also great pain, for example, our cat — an inside cat that somehow got outside. He had been sick just a month before, so this added to our concern. He was also just a young cat — only two years old. I had gotten him as a kitten at just six weeks, and just after I got him, I myself had to learn how to let go of things from my past. This little kitten, at the time, got me through some very tough days. Now he was lost, I thought, and I was not ready to let him go. After all, he was only two. I searched and searched for him; I kept getting up through the night and going to the door to check for him. My prayer life and work were coming to a standstill; all my prayers were for the cat.
After two days, I felt the Lord speak to me. He impressed upon me that I had to release the cat back to Him. I knew the cat had been a gift from the Lord two years previously, and I knew what the Lord was asking of me. I prayed and gave the cat back to the Lord, and the most amazing events then took place.
I felt such a peace, and I was able to work and focus for the rest of that day. I was sad, but no longer was I stressing myself out, as I felt such peace. Then that night as I went to bed, the Lord put a burden on me to pray for the lost: lost children, lost parents, the lost from the Lord. I entered into a time of prayer such as I had not experienced before. It was like I had to release the cat to the Lord before He could give His burden for the lost to me to pray on His behalf. This went on for the next two nights, and then on the evening of the third day, we received the phone call we had been waiting for. The cat had been found, only two houses away, locked in a garage. The cat was none the worse for wear, but I had been transformed in my prayer life for the lost of this world.
My cat was what I was holding onto; others might be holding onto something different. Is there something in our lives that we are holding onto that the Lord is asking us to release? He wants us to surrender all to Him, not for punishment but for our growth and trust in Him. In the future, my prayers and service will be for the lost of this world.
Psalm 141:2 – Let my prayer be set before You as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. (NKJV)
Prayer: Dear Jesus, we are sorry for the times when we focus our prayers on what we think and feel is important. We want to have a prayer life that honours You. Please show us the areas of our lives that we need to release, so that we may experience more of what You want us to have. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.