You're in limited preview mode.

Login or signup for free to unlock more content.

Prayer Changes Me

Prayer Acceptance God's Will

Source: Bruce Almighty

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Glenn Newton | Date Posted: 2017-06-03

Scripture: Matthew 26:37 ; Matthew 26:46

Author: Glenn Newton
6

ILLUSTRATION

In the 2003 movie Bruce Almighty, Jim Carrey portrays a television reporter named Bruce Nolan. Bruce is a man who constantly complains about God. At one point he complains that, “God is a mean kid sitting on an anthill with a magnifying glass, and I'm the ant. He could fix my life in five minutes if He wanted to, but He'd rather burn off my feelers and watch me squirm.”

God (played by Morgan Freeman) confronts Bruce and says, “You've been doing a lot of complaining about me, Bruce. Quite frankly, I'm tired of it.” To prove to Bruce that He knows what He’s doing, God offers to let Bruce try to run the world in His place. Feeling confident he is up to the task, Bruce excitedly accepts. He soon realizes, however, the enormity and complexity of God’s work, particularly in answering prayers. In one scene, Bruce is so overwhelmed at the amount of prayers he has to answer, that he has them all put into a database and answers “Yes” to every one. As a result, over 400,000 people get the winning lottery numbers, but they only win $17.00 each. 

APPLICATION

Intellectually we all understand that God cannot say yes to every request we bring before Him, but I imagine many of us have wondered why he doesn’t say yes more often. We have difficulty understanding why some people seem to have their prayers answered, but when we pray for the same thing, heaven seems silent. We wonder, “Does prayer really change things?” Yes, it most certainly does! But it might not always bring the change we are expecting.

In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." Jesus' initial request was not granted but the ultimate desire of His heart was. God's will was done. And His own heart was prepared for what would follow because He submitting Himself to God's will ahead of time. He went from "deeply sorrowful" to accepting of His circumstances. God cannot say yes to every request, but desiring His will before our own changes the most important thing ... us!

Teen Orphan Finds A Home

Adoption Acceptance Love (Uncondtional)

Source: “Finally, a Happy Ending for the Teen Who Begged Somebody to Adopt Him” by Rachel Bertsche, posted Yahoo! Parenting, April 13, 2015

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-04-16

Scripture: Ephesians 1:5 ; Galatians 4:5

Author: Illustration Exchange
8

ILLUSTRATION

In 2013, the world, in tears, watched the viral video of Davion Only, an orphaned teenager, who stood at the front of a church and pleaded for someone—anyone—to adopt him. Dressed in his best suit, he stood at the podium saying that he wasn’t picky. They could be “black or white, old or young, mom or dad.” He just wanted someone to love him “until I die.”

He said he was growing impatient, but he wouldn’t lose hope. “I know God hasn’t given up on me, so I’m not giving up either.”  

In response to his plea, his foster agency received thousands of inquiries from people interested in giving Davion a home. He even went to live with a prospective adoptive family, only to be returned to foster care over conflict with his adoptive siblings. Over the next year, he lived in a succession of four more temporary placements.

Throughout his journey to find a “forever” home, Davion leaned heavily on his caseworker, Connie Going, repeatedly asking her if she would be his mother. Connie, who had two biological daughters, as well as a son whom she had already adopted out of foster care, was continually resistant to his pleas, holding out hope that there was a great home waiting somewhere out there for him.

But all that changed with Davion's latest plea. “In adoption there is a ‘claiming moment,’ when you know someone is your child. When he called me to ask, in that moment, I just knew. … When he asked me, my heart felt this ache and I just knew he was my son.”

Ms. Going followed the prompting of her heart and entered her application for his adoption. It will become final April 22, 2015.

As his caseworker for more than 10 years (and already the mom of another adopted foster child), Going is all too familiar with the challenges which lie ahead. She knows that Davion has a temper, that he struggles with interpersonal relationship with his peers, that he struggles with depression and self-esteem issues. But she is undaunted.

“I want him to know he is unconditionally loved for who he is, the way he is,” she says. “The changes he chooses to make in his life, and the choices, are his to make. As a family we will be there through it all, the good and the bad for our lifetime. He is home.”

Click here for a 2013 interview of Davion and his caseworker Connie Going.

APPLICATION

Have you searched for unconditional love and acceptance from the world, only to be turned away time and time again? Are you still searching for the moment when you will be "claimed" by someone who promises to love you no matter what? 

In our hearts, all of us (even those from loving, nurturing families) long for a “forever” home—a place where we can be unconditionally loved and accepted without any fear of rejection or abandonment, not just until we die, as Davion hoped, but truly for “forever.” That kind of security can come from God alone.

His offer of adoption is for every single soul who longs for that kind of acceptance.

As Going suggested, “In every adoption there is a ‘claiming’ moment.” In the case of the seeker, that's the moment when we turn our search for perfect love and acceptance to the only one who could fulfill it; to the one who was almost too obvious; to the one who has been there all along. It is in that moment, when we call upon God to become our adoptive parent, that the heart that has ached for us, claims us as His own.

The moment we do that, we are home!

“God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure” (Ephesians 1:5, NLT). “God sent Jesus to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, ‘Abba, Father’” (Galatians 4:5-6, NLT).

A Place of Rest

Acceptance Grace Humility

Source: N/A

Contributed By: VERNON HAMMETT | Date Posted: 2015-02-28

Scripture: Matthew 11:27

Author: VERNON HAMMETT
2

ILLUSTRATION

At 11:00 one cold December night after a date with my wife we approached the back door of our home in the inner city of Saint Louis, MO and as I fumbled for my house key, I stepped on something on my doormat. It wasn’t something, it was someone! As my mind raced to remember my Army training, a small voice said “It’s me Mr. Carey, Stinky!”

Stinky was one of the kids from our neighborhood tutoring program who had been dubbed “Stinky” by his own family. He was in fact stinky. He was not accustomed to proper hygiene and he was often embroiled in some form of trouble with his family or his friends. He had assumed the identity of his nickname, Stinky. This night he had been involved in a particularly bad brawl in his own home and was looking for a safe place to crash, so he decided to try the youth leaders’ home.

Stinky had been in close relationship with my family for several years and so he was welcome to stay over, after I made a call to his mother. Stinky was allowed inside because he needed love. He needed hope. He needed help. He had no merit to make him a worthy guest. He only had relationship with the master of the house to recommend him.

APPLICATION

Many times in our lives we are stinky. We have no merit to make us a worthy guest, we have no hope in our own performance or ability, beyond the fact that we have a relationship with the Master of the house. But just like with Stinky, that relationship is enough to grant entry into a warm place of rest for our weary souls.

"All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light" (Matthew 11:27-30).

Georgia Students Fight for Integrated Dance

Prejudice Acceptance Justice

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-12-22

Scripture: Galatians 3:28 ; 1 Corinthians 12:13

Author: Illustration Exchange
3

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

What Did Jesus Do?

Acceptance Evangelism Jesus, Savior

Contributed By: Joon Tavarez | Date Posted: 2013-02-02

Scripture: Romans 15:7

Author: Joon Tavarez
4

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

Go Ahead And Smile

Love (Divine) Acceptance Sin Nature

Contributed By: Barnett Gushin | Date Posted: 2012-12-15

Scripture: Romans 5:8

Author: Barnett Gushin
3

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

Carving Out Peace

Acceptance Peace War

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-12-08

Scripture: Ephesians 2:14

Author: Illustration Exchange
3

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

Belonging

Acceptance Self-image Cynicism

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-10-27

Scripture: Romans 15:7

Author: Dr. Paul Brand
6

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

The Church Under the Bridge

Church/Body of Christ Outreach Acceptance

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-07-26

Scripture: Mark 2:17 ; Luke 5:32

Author: Illustration Exchange
5

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or

Vicks VapoRub Cubs

Prejudice God's Love Acceptance

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-07-16

Scripture: James 2:8 ; 1 John 4:12

Author: Editors, READER'S DIGEST
22

This is Premium Content.

To see the full illustration, please Sign Up or