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Prayer lets us see God’s “eternal stockpile of glory”

February 5, 2022

Daily Scripture

2 Corinthians 1:10-11; 2 Corinthians 4:8-9, 16-18

2 Corinthians 1:10-11;

10 God rescued us from a terrible death, and he will rescue us. We have set our hope on him that he will rescue us again, 11 since you are helping with your prayer for us. Then many people can thank God on our behalf for the gift that was given to us through the prayers of many people.

2 Corinthians 4:8-9, 16-18

8 We are experiencing all kinds of trouble, but we aren’t crushed. We are confused, but we aren’t depressed. 9 We are harassed, but we aren’t abandoned. We are knocked down, but we aren’t knocked out.

16 So we aren’t depressed. But even if our bodies are breaking down on the outside, the person that we are on the inside is being renewed every day. 17 Our temporary minor problems are producing an eternal stockpile of glory for us that is beyond all comparison. 18 We don’t focus on the things that can be seen but on the things that can’t be seen. The things that can be seen don’t last, but the things that can’t be seen are eternal.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

The apostle Paul knew firsthand about physical challenges and pain (cf. 2 Corinthians 11:23-28; 12:7-10). The toll of the hardships he’d been through likely gave a very personal meaning to “Even if our bodies are breaking down on the outside, the person that we are on the inside is being renewed every day.” It is not an idle cliché to say that he (and the other apostles) prayed his way through life—there are over 30 references to prayer in the book of Acts. That allowed Paul to believe, as Pastor Hamilton often says (adapting Frederick Buechner’s words) that “the worst thing is never the last thing.” In Christ, he could (and we can) look beyond even the worst to the “eternal stockpile of glory” Jesus opened to all of us. Jesus moved steadfastly through the worst that hatred and evil could do, reached the triumph of his resurrection, and will walk that road with every faithful follower.

  • Do you think the apostle Paul was a success or a failure? What standards do you use to define whether you are a “success” or not? Does Paul’s perspective in any way challenge you to rethink your goals and standards of measurement? Paul said he focused on the things we can’t see, yet which are more enduring than what we can see. What hopes do you hold that remain out of sight right now? What steps do you take to anchor your hope in God’s goodness, and to live with patience and trust? How much daily focus do you give to keeping your physical self well and strong? How much to keeping your relationship with God strong? How can prayer open your heart and mind to let God renew the person you are on the inside every day?

Dear Jesus, you weren’t shortsighted. You looked beyond the obvious and visible. Give me your eyes to see, however dimly, the glory of eternity, and to live in that light. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of Matt Bisel

Matt Bisel

Matt Bisel is a Pastor, Adult Discipleship Lead Director, and Worship Leader, Song Writer, and Liturgist in the COR Worship Collective.

If you are like me, you find that being around water is incredibly therapeutic, and for this very reason our city landscapes are dotted with fountains and pools. There’s just something about the water that draws us in. Now…if you will, take a moment to imagine that you are at a fountain. Use your mind’s eye to see the water, how it reflects the sky in ripples. Now listen, hear the water break the surface of the pool as it cascades down the sides. Do you feel just a bit more relaxed imagining it? Water draws us in, into a calm state of mind, away from the anxieties and busyness of life. But just like the babbling streams in nature that they mimic, all fountains rely on a source of water. Some fountains are fed by a pool at the base, others from a source below the surface. But what happens when the waters run dry?

I see prayer like a fountain, an outpouring of our deepest desires, but sometimes those waters come to a stop. Sometimes we just don’t know where to begin, fumbling for the right words and unsure how to start the conversation. Other times we find ourselves in the depths of grief, doubt, fear or shame and words fail to capture just how we feel. Sometimes catastrophe strikes and we are dumbstruck-–speechless. Other times we find ourselves in seasons of drought and we’ve run out of things to say. We’ve shed our tears from the deepest well and we’ve run dry. So what do we do when the waters stop, when we’ve run out of words to pray?

We go to Scripture. Time and time again I find myself tapping into this source-– Psalms and stories briming with the longings, the praisings, the achings, the rejoicings-–an “eternal stockpile of glory” bubbling up out of the human experience. These words become our words. We allow them to fill us up and cascade down like lamentations, like ripples of gratitude across the surface of our lives. Scripture is a living source that never runs dry.

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Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.