A Period or A Comma

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“Now Martha said to Jesus, ‘Lord, if You had been there, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give you.”  John 11:21-22

Mark Batterson says he remembers hearing a sermon where the preacher stated; “Never put a comma where God puts a period, and never put a period where God puts a comma.”

As you read God’s Word, notice His use of periods and commas. Sometimes what we perceive as a period is really just a comma. Mark calls it a “providential pause.”

“Praying through is the conjunction that allows God to not just finish the sentence but to make a statement.”

Martha stated: “Lord,…if you had been here, my brother would not have died.  But I know that even now God will give You whatever you ask.”

You see Martha could have ended with her first statement but with a believing heart; in faith, she managed a But.  Powerful conjunction right at the beginning of her statement.  Her brother Lazarus had already been dead four days.

Martha managed to hold out hope.  Why?  Because she knew her Lord.  She knew His powers and strength to perform miracles.  She did not know if He would but she had faith to believe He could.  Mark Batterson calls this, second degree faith.

First degree faith is preventative faith.  We pray a hedge of protection around our children.  We pray safety over traveling family and friends.  Nothing wrong with that.  However; there is another dimension of faith that believes God can undo what has already been done.  Second degree faith is resurrection faith. Martha said, But I know, even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

You see Martha refused to put a period where God put a comma.

It’s the impossible things that brings about the greatest possibilities through prayer.  

It’s only through trials and tribulations that we learn to pray “effective, fervent prayers that avail much.”

Can you allow what you perceived to be God’s period in your life, to become a comma….believe that it’s just a providential pause? You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.  Trust God and wait upon Him with great expectations.  Rejoice that your hope is in the Lord.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord, may I trust You with all the periods and the commas in my life.  I trust You to show me the difference.  Please do not allow me to place periods in any place where there needs to be a comma. I want to be ready for what comes after the pause.  In Jesus Name.  Amen


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Libby Williams

1 Comment

  1. Rene' Collins on January 8, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    Thank you for this Libby. Will you pray along with me that what has looked like a period for over 2 years now in my family’s life is indeed a comma? I am hopefully looking for the comma and believing that HE alone knows the outcome of all that concerns us! Love you sweet friend!

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