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If you pray more, what will happen?"
January 14, 2014

January 14, 2014 Issue #094

How do you feel about the new year?

Hello again, single friends. The holidays are behind us (thank heaven!), and a big, new year lies ahead.

Does that fill you with hope or dread? Judging from emails I received in December and early January, many of you are having a hard time of it right now.

Loneliness is always a problem for us. Depression often goes along with it. Some singles are bottling up anger and frustration at life's unfairness. Many are confused, wondering what to do next when nothing seems to work.

I think we all need to take a deep breath, relax, think about where we are and what we want to achieve in life. Your first reaction may be "I want to be married, you dummy!"

Sure, that's a worthwhile goal, but I believe we all need to concentrate on something else first. A wise objective would be cultivating the ability to handle whatever situation life throws at us, positive or negative. Life is too short to spend most of your time in a state of agitation. I lived that way constantly for many years. Don't do what I did.

No, what we singles need more than anything is confidence, assurance, and the skills to sail through the daily storms without getting swamped. That's a tall order, as we say here in the States.

If you think that kind of poise is beyond you, let's take a look at how you might achieve it, one small step at a time. In 2014, let's see how all of us can learn to pray moreā€¦

He is there

Doubts sometimes attack me,
like mosquitoes around my ears.
No sooner do I put one down
than another one appears.

Does God really care for me?
Is He listening to this prayer?
Does He know how much I'm hurting?
Is He even there?

Then I take an old love letter,
that is yellowed now with age.
I open it and read again
and pause at every page.

It speaks to me of faithfulness,
a kind and tender heart.
It tells about a longing for me
when we are apart.

It calls me sweet and precious,
and tears form in my eyes.
To know that someone loves me so
still fills me with surprise.

Then I close my Bible's cover
as silence fills the air.
God is with me always.
I know that He is there.

~ Jack Zavada, 2014 ~

January Quote of the Month

For January's Quotation of the Month, we turn to Oswald Chambers, a Scottish evangelist, teacher, and writer, best known for his devotional book, My Utmost for His Highest:

There is no need to get to a place of prayer; pray wherever you are.
~ Oswald Chambers (1874-1917) ~

Chambers hit on something crucial here. We don't always have the time or opportunity to get off by ourselves, in quiet, to get down on our knees. While there's value in that, we singles are in a daily battle, and some of the best prayers are whispered in the midst of the battlefield, out of fear and desperation.

We do better to take the formality out of prayer. Our goal should be to feel comfortable talking with God. We should feel eager to go to him at any moment. He is a loving, kind Father. Jesus addressed his as "Abba," an intimate Aramaic word similar to our word "Daddy."

Keep shooting prayers to heaven throughout your day and night. Act as though God hears every one, because he does. Tell God about everything that concerns you, and pray wherever you are.

Will more $$ solve your problems?

Most people are surprised that Jesus talked about money more than almost any other subject. Why?

I think it's because money poses the real risk of turning into a false god for many of us. We imagine that if we had more money, or a lot of money, that we'd finally be happy. But that's where the war comes in.

Life is a war between the things of God and the things of the world. God wants us to put him first. The world wants us to put money, prestige, power, status, and possessions first. Every minute of every day you have to fight to focus on God's values instead.

How to Master Your Money is a short, easy-to-follow ebook that helps you get the right perspective on money. Once you understand the simple principles in this ebook, they will serve you well the rest of your life.

How to Master Your Money is NOT about boring facts and figures and charts. It's about attitude, one of the keys to a happy life.

This 40-page PDF electronic book is only $4.97, less than the price of a combo meal at a fast-food restaurant. Check out this ebook and the bonus four f'ree special reports: How to Master Your Money

Oh yeah? So what about unanswered prayer?

Ouch! Now there's a touchy subject with singles.

Our logic goes something like this (at least mine did):

a) God is a good God. b) Marriage is a good thing, established by God himself. c) God, being good, should grant me this good thing, marriage. Shouldn't he?

Wow. Pretty hard to argue with that logic, actually. But we all know from personal experience that it just doesn't work that way. It just doesn't, and that's what's so frustrating about the single life.

My pastor says God doesn't always make sense, especially from our limited perspective. That rings true with me. And no amount of pleading, begging, demanding, and pouting is going to make God go against his nature. I ought to know, because I tried all that for over 30 years.

So what's the deal with our unanswered prayers, then? Here are some thoughts on what may be going on with unanswered prayer.

The single life is NOT about smiley faces

I always write this newsletter and all articles on with the belief that I'm writing to mature, intelligent adults. I have received some profound emails from some of you, which confirms that belief.

While I feel it's vital to keep a positive attitude, you won't find any shallow, Joel Osteen-type platitudes here. The thing that has saved my life and guides me daily is the gospel of Jesus Christ. His name is offensive to many of you. Some will tune out because they think I'm a religious fanatic.

My duty, as I see it, is to tell you the truth about what works and what doesn't in the single life, what truly matters and what doesn't. Okay, that's my mini-rant for January!

If the Christian tack of this newsletter offends you, please use our contact form to tell me. If you find the newsletter encouraging, email me through that contact form as well. I will read and personally respond to all emails, positive or negative.

In 2014, we'll be exploring how to develop a spiritual maturity that can bounce back from discouragement, but always with God's help. This single life is too hard to live well without him.

So there's the January Inspire-O-Gram, fellow singleton. It's a new year with new challenges and opportunities. Let's try to make the most of them!

Until February,

Jack Zavada
401 Indiana Ave
Streator, IL 61364 USA

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