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October 2016 Newsletter

An ongoing series of informational entries

When it seems as though God is up to nothing

by Laurie Nichols

October 1, 2016

I was up again last night at 3 a.m. I’ve heard that, for many, this is an hour of quiet time with God. So last night, while everyone in my house slept, I immersed myself in the 24-7 Prayer Vision Poem. Each line is like a stab to the heart, but last night this is the one that caused me pause: “With blood and sweat and many tears, with sleepless nights and fruitless days, they pray as if it all depends on God and live as if it all depends on them.”

It’s been a quiet month. Not in the world, but in my telling-others-about-Jesus life. It’s been one of those months when I wonder if I am really making any difference in the world—not for lack of effort, but for lack of seemingly lasting results. Have I borne any fruit? Have I been faithful to seize the opportunities God has given to me? What haven’t I been doing that I need to be doing? These questions race through my head.

As I read the Vision Poem last night, God spoke to my heart: “Are you praying as if it all depends on Me?” You see, I, along with countless others, have a tendency to live in my own strength and desire to bear fruit from my own actions. Donald Miller once said, “If you position yourself as the hero of the story you will lose.” Jesus is always the center of both our story and of The Story that we seek to share. At 3 a.m. last night I was again reminded that neither the silence of the night nor the silence of God at work mirror the underlying activity of our God always moving and speaking and wooing in our world.

When Jesus says in John 5:17 that, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working,” it is an eternal truth. When we have the awesome privilege of seeing people come to faith, He is working. When we have opportunity to plant seeds of faith, He is working. When we see little happening, He is working. When we bow our heads before the Father, pleading for those who don’t yet know Him, He is working.

He is always working. Even when we can’t see the work ourselves.

Stay the course, friends. Your work is not in vain (Heb. 6:10). Keep working as though it all depends on you (Col. 3:23), and keeping praying as though it all depends on God (Eph. 6:18).


Laurie Nichols is New Name's very own writer. She writes the beautiful monthly devotionals. The Lord has truly gifted Laurie and we are so grateful that she shares her talent for New Name. Thank you Laurie!