40 Days of Prayer: Day 40
40 Days of Prayer: Day 39
Don't Stop Now
40 days of prayer is over, but its just the beginning. The heading in my bible from the following verses says; “The Goal of Life”. How fitting to remember.
Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
40 Days of Prayer: Day 38
Security in the One we Praise
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!” For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper And from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His pinions, And under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.
Gods word added to our prayer brings great power!
Where do you seek shelter? Or in what do you seek shelter? Do you seek the companionship of another person? Do you find security in your husband, wife, children, mom, dad or grand parents? Maybe you have a great roof over your head? Or your dream car or truck? Insurance policy? What happens if any of those get taken away? What then?
40 Days of Prayer: Day 37
Spiritual warfare part 2
Gods word added to our prayer brings great power!
As we were reminded yesterday, we are in a spiritual battle. But we fight from victory because of what Jesus did for us on the cross. We cannot allow ourselves to get complacent in our daily walk with the Lord. Thinking that we just successfully battled through a spiritual attack and now we have it easy. The attacks are on going and at times we become weary. Its in these weary times we must first remember what Paul said in Galatians:
Galatians 6:9 Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.
The NKJV says; “don't become weary”… thats hard! If we really think about warfare, its unrelenting. No matter what war you look at, people lost their lives battling what they perceived as evil, to bring justice and peace to people or situations. In earlier wars there was more hand to hand combat, being in the trenches, going nose to nose or toes to toes with another human being. As the Apostle Paul wrote this, he used the imagery of a soldier of his time, a Roman soldier. But then he makes the spiritual connection, how the battles we face as believers really are spiritual, not physical. We really should memorize this passage and get up everyday with this passage in mind, getting ourselves ready for war. The armor of God really is about us understanding who we are in Christ.
40 Days of Prayer: Day 36
There is a battle raging around us that we cannot see. But we can feel the effects of it daily, sometimes hourly or minute by minute. Sometimes though, we forget that the battle is raging. the attacks we face are not always fierce and confrontational. Sometimes they are quite and subtle, he simply needs to distract us from God and His will for our lives. Satan wants to steal, kill and destroy.
1 Peter 5:8-9
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.
40 Days f Prayer: Day 35
Sacrifice of Praise
Through Him then, let uscontinually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.
Sacrifice: an act of slaughtering an animal or person or surrendering a possession as an offering to God or to a divine or supernatural figure.
Praise: to glorify God especially by the attribution of perfections.
If we think of sacrificing something, we think of it costing us something. But to praise, well, that seems joyful, something we do when we have a grateful heart. But as we look at Gods word we see that Praise and Sacrifice are indeed connected. If we praise someone or something it does not cost us anything, other than breath. Think about it, when our kids do something well, we praise them. When our dog responds to commands, “Good girl”, praise. Praise should be a natural response when something benefits us, and the funny thing is we feel generous because we praise someone. We tend to praise God the same way. Its easy to praise Him when, he has blessed us, protected us and provided for us, and we feel, so generous when we do that. Sunday mornings we sing to him, worshipping and talking about how good God is, which is awesome and worth it. But did it cost you anything? Was it a sacrifice?
40 Days of Prayer: Day 34
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
When we stop and truly pray, can we quiet our minds? Can we think about pure things? We may start out well intentioned, but the longer we pray, we tend to lose focus. Why? There are 7 1/4 Billion cellphones active on planet earth, with 300 million currently active in the USA. 120 million personal computers were sold in 2017, 19 million MACS. 1.4 Billion homes have at least 1 TV in them. In 2014 840 million people accessed a Tablet of some sort. Social media? 100 Million instagram users and 2.27 Billion Facebook users. Every where we go, you will find someone with their head down and focused on their phone, walk into a restaurant or into someones home and you will find a television on. We are constantly engaging in technology. There are some great uses for technology and it can be a powerful tool for ministry, as I am typing this blog on my MAC laptop. But, we need to shut it down and actually have conversations with people and quiet our minds so we can actually pray. In my uneducated psychological opinion, I feel that part of the rise in ADD and ADHD is due to technology. Our brains become over stimulated. We get instant answers via technology and require God to answer our prayers the same way. wrong…
40 Days of Prayer: Day 33
Praying for Our Leaders
We see that the Apostle Paul is addressing the young pastor Timothy… calling him to pray.
1 Timothy 2:1-4
First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
`The very concept of praying for our leaders is NOT something that started with civilized nations, nor did it start with The National Day Of Prayer in the United States… the Bible gives us direction to pray for our leaders, at ALL levels. World, nation, both secular and religious...
40 Days of Prayer: Day 31
Confidence in Prayer
The apostle Paul was relying on the Holy Spirit for “EVERYTHING”. Knowing that his human understanding could only take him so far. He knew Gods word to be true and that God had amazing things planed for his creation, namely us. He quoted Isaiah with this in mind.
1 Corinthians 2:9
but just as it is written, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, And which have not entered the heart of man, All that God has prepared for those who love Him.”
40 Days of Prayer: Day 30
1 Corinthians 13:11
When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.
I heard a message years ago and the pastor was doing a series on maturity, when he got to the message to men, he literally yelled at them at one point: “Men, you need to grow up! You need to act like a man”! Now, I don’t agree with the tactics of that pastor, but I will always remember it. He had a great point. We have a society that tends to live in the glory days of the past, we have reality shows that encourage drama from High school or college reunions. Then there is Big Brother, Survivor and the goofiness of The Bachelor and Bachelor-et (sp) shows. The pastor who was yelling at the men, was pointing out that Spiritually they were being immature which impacted the rest of their lives physically and that they were making poor decisions because of their poor spiritual growth. When he addressed the women, he handled it gently and His wife did a portion of the teaching pointing to Titus 2 women and Proverbs 31 as model.
As Christians, we are to be follower of Christs teachings and actions.
40 Day of Prayer: Day 29
Worth in Gods eyes
Have you ever lost anything and gone into search mode? Wedding ring, cellphone, dog? How about one of your kids while your at the store or an amusement park? You panic and go into search mode, nothing else matters. You investigate and examine, asking questions to any and everyone and you don't stop until you have found what you lost. And how did you feel once you found it? The reason we panic or go on search mode is because we ascribe value to what we have lost. God values you, Jesus even used a lost sheep as an example of our individual value.
4 “What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?
5 When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
40 Days of Prayer: Day 28
Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you;
1 Corinthians 10:31
Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
We live in the most amazing country in the world. We have access to food, water, exercise, doctors and hospitals. We are truly blessed, or are we? How are your eating and exercise habits? Gluttony is our most tolerated and in all honesty the most abused sin in America. Have you ever noticed that on ingredients listed on a food product it says “suggested” servings. How many of us really pay attention to that?
40 Days of Prayer: Day 27
Praying the promises of Gods word
Keying in on Sunday’s messages for our blog today. Sunday morning we looked at promises that Jesus made to the disciples that carry over to us as followers of Christ. Then Sunday night we looked at what it means to pray scripture to God.
John 14:2 Jesus, promised to prepare a place for us when He returns.
John 14:12 Jesus promised that we would do even greater works than He had done.
John 14:16 Jesus promised to send the "Holy Spirit”, to comfort and counsel them, The Holy Spirit is our helper.
In John 14:19-26 we see 4 more promises, the promise of a supernatural life, supernatural knowledge, supernatural presence, and supernatural revelation. Some say there are as many as 7,487 promises in the Bible that God made to us.
We read a great reminder that Gods promises do not fail from Joshua...
Joshua 23:14 “Now behold, today I am going the way of all the earth, and you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one word of all the good words which the Lord your God spoke concerning you has failed; all have been fulfilled for you, not one of them has failed.
40 Days of Prayer: Day 26
Sins of Omission and Commission
Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.
The Hebrew meanings of the word sin are trespass and transgression. Trespass- meaning sin done out of rebellion and Transgression- meaning to go astray. The Greek says sin the act or state of missing the mark, failure or error. We all know what it means to commit a sin (commission), it means that we made a willful choice to do something against what Gods word and will is for us. But, we often fail to recognize or think about sins of omission. Sins of omission are a failure to perform and action that God has put before us in His word. The Apostle Paul shows us the battle between both types of sin.
40 Days of Prayer: Day 25
Morality vs Immorality
The Righteous and the Wicked Contrasted.
1 How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night.
3 He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.
4 The wicked are not so, But they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
6 For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the wicked will perish.
Obviously your world view is going to is going to determine how you view morality and immorality. It is the lens in which you see actions that you and others take. A philosophy of life or how you see the world around you. Obviously I am writing from a Christian, Biblical world view. The word Morality is not actually in the Bible, but morals and values are in it from front to back. The words wickedness and righteousness are used consistently throughout the Bible.
40 Days of Prayer: Day 24
Pressing in on behalf of our nation
2 Chronicles 7:11-14
God’s Promise and Warning
11 Thus Solomon finished the house of the Lord and the king’s palace, and successfully completed all that he had planned on doing in the house of the Lord and in his palace.
12 Then the Lord appeared to Solomon at night and said to him, “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice.
13 If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people,
14 and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
40 Days of Prayer: Day 23
We have been talking about prayer for 24 days. The question is, how are you doing? Is your prayer life getting better? Are you being more intentional? We pray and teach on prayer and talk about prayer… but what about answers to prayer? I think back over the years of all of the prayers that I have prayed or that have been prayed over me. Answers… sometimes we tend to forget the answers. As a child I was healed from a lung infection, diagnosed in Nebraska, they wanted me at children’s hospital ASAP. I remember praying with my aunt as we were actually watching a TV preacher. We packed up the car and headed to Denver. I got to Children’s with x-rays in hand and they admitted me. Checked me out, took new x-rays and said they didn't know what happened, but my lungs were clear. I know what happened, God heard our prayer and I was healed. I also know my Great grandmother, grandma and mom all prayed for me, that I would surrender to the Lord and be used by Him (that was 30 years of prayer). But none the less, answered.
40 Days of Prayer: Day 22
Power and confidence in praying scripture
Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms.
Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.
And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months.
And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.
We know that Gods word is true and that we can count on it and the promises that God has given us. Scripture has amazing truth and if we would just take time to memorize it and use it in our prayer time. Jesus quoted scripture as the devil tempted him. There is something reassuring about praying the very words of God back to him that keeps our minds focused and reassured. It helps us know God will be pleased.
I saw a great meme on FaceBook yesterday. It said; "I can do ALL things when I take scripture out of context…” So if we are to pray scripture, make sure you study the context of that scripture and its true application.
40 Days of Prayer: Day 21
Time is short
We have been talking about praying according to Gods will and dialing in on praying for what is important. As a kid I was taught to pray in a grocery list fashion. Lord, please help Gpa Mac feel better, help Johnnys mom find a new job, and please help my dog Pete stop barking while I'm watching Star Trek… etc. etc… God wants us to bring ALL of our requests to Him, He desires to have conversation with His creation. But, if time is short (maybe it feels short because I'm getting older?) shouldn’t we think about what to pray for a little more before we add it to the list?
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.”
Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.
Fasting and prayer
Have you ever fasted and if so, how was it connected to prayer?
The definition of “Fast”; to abstain from all or some kinds of food or drink, especially as a religious observance. We already know the the definition of prayer, simply stated, talking to and with God. Prayer and fasting being connected is not explained in scripture, but we see them intertwined through out the Bible. In the Old Testament, we see prayer and fasting when there is a need, or when the situation seems hopeless. We see prayer and fasting at times of mourning, repentance or deep, deep spiritual need.
When you look at the book of Nehemiah, you see him fasting and praying because he is broken in hearing the news of Jerusalem being destroyed. He spent days, tearfully fasting and confessing the sins of his people. Pleading for mercy. Daniel had a similar response.
So I gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes.