Time Well Spent

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9  “This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
10  your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
11  Give us today our daily bread.
12  And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.​  
 — Matt. 6:9-13 NIV

The most often used excuse (not a reason) that we hear from Christians when questioned about prayer and Bible study is “I just don’t have the time”. God foresaw this and gave us a prayer that can be spoken in less than 20 seconds. It includes 3 things that every prayer should include.  It starts with adoration and acknowledging to whom we are speaking.  God is our Father and we agree that He is holy (hallowed) and that we are waiting for Him to come back and establish His kingdom here on earth..  That is adoration and we always let Him know that we love and adore Him.  It includes confession; “forgive us our debts”,  we acknowledge that we have sinned and ask for His forgiveness.  It includes supplication or asking God to provide something for us   Our daily bread is not just physical food but it includes everything that we need to live a godly life today.  We ask for direction as we start our day. “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil”.  Twenty seconds for that prayer leaves you ten seconds to offer up thanksgiving for all that God has done for you up until this very second.


34  Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. — 1 Chronicles 16:34 NIV
 
Less than 30 seconds and you have covered all the bases.

A – Adoration
C – Confession
T – Thanksgiving
S – Supplication or asking

The other 30 seconds?  Listen for that whisper!  It’s God’s turn to speak and He doesn’t need time to think about it, He already has the answer.
If you make a habit of doing this every morning, you will be surprised at how quickly you will want to pray longer and stronger.
Time spent with Jesus is never wasted.
This is a beginning.  My prayer is that it will lead you into a deeper, closer walk with God.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 09-05-2018

Practice Perpetual* Praying and Praising

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2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. 4 Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.  — Colossians 4:2-4 NIV
 
Here, Paul tells us to devote ourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. In 1 Thessalonians 5: 17, he instructs us to pray continually, always giving thanks. . How do we apply these instructions in our daily life?  Does Paul really expect us to be in our prayer closets all day interceding for ourselves and others?  Of course not.  So, how do we keep up with our busy lives and at the same time, follow these instructions?  Prayer isn’t about our body posture or whether our eyes are closed or not.  Prayer is about the posture of our heart and mind. So, truthfully, we can pray almost all of the time. While we are doing our daily chores or while we are having a conversation with someone, we can be praying.  But, just as we want the undivided attention of others, so does God want our undivided attention for a portion of each day.  We need to have a place we can be alone with God for a time each day, to truly communicate with Him and not just talk to Him. We can take some advice from Martin Luther who said:
“Work, work, work — from early till late. In fact I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.“

If we start each day with some time alone with God, asking Him to lead us and prepare the way for us, the events of the day will go much smoother. Will they be completely trouble-free?  Of course not, but they will be peaceful and we will find that we have plenty of time to accomplish everything that God wanted us to accomplish. Either before or after we have presented our petitions to God, we need to take time to add adoration, praise and thanksgiving for all that God has done, is doing and will continue to do for us.

*perpetual – occurring repeatedly; so frequent as to seem endless and uninterrupted.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 07-07-2018

Praise! Pray! Rejoice! Rejoice! Rejoice!

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Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  – Phil. 4:5​ NIV

Rejoice!

Some of the things that Paul wrote are hard for us to understand. “rejoice in the Lord always” and “pray without ceasing” come to mind. In our busy society how does one spend 15 minutes a day rejoicing and praying, much less continually, and still get everything accomplished. I believe that what seems impossible is the key to how we accomplish Paul’s admonitions. Happiness is caused by externals and is temporary. We sometimes confuse that with joy, which is internal and eternal because it is given to us by God. “The joy of the Lord is my strength.”  What God gives to us cannot be taken away from us. We can lose our focus on the joy but it is still there all the time. Praying is a gift from God as well as an attitude, not a body position. we can mentally pray while doing anything else. Verse 8 is the key to being prayerful and joyful all the time. We need to change our thought patterns so that they focus on the goodness and mercies of God instead of the sin in the world around us.  Then we can enjoy the joy and thank God for it.


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 03-27-2018

Everyone, Everywhere, Every-time

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1 I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. — 1 Timothy 2:1 NLT

Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Paul instructs and encourages us to pray for all people continuously. We should intercede for family, friends, neighbors, and enemies that God would draw them to Himself through the Holy Spirit that they may be saved. We should especially pray for those in authority over us. Not just governmental authorities, but we should also pray for those in authority over us in our family, church, and workplace. Because it is God’s desire for everyone to be saved, it should also be our desire and our prayer. Jesus is the only Mediator between us and God because He loved us enough to be obedient, even to death on the Cross.This plan was put into place before the foundations of the world were laid. God was never surprised at the evil of humanity and knew even when He created us that He would have to give His only Son for our redemption. How magnificent and awesome is the love of God toward us! Our lips should be a source of constant praise for His goodness and mercy!

Psalm 63:1-5 NLT


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 03-27-2017

Prayer, Praise, Thanksgiving

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27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. — Romans 8:27 NLT

Living out the love of God in our lives effectively requires us to spend time in prayer. There are times when we know that we need to pray but we just don’t quite know how to approach God about it. Just start a simple prayer and we find that suddenly we are praying about someone or something that we had not planned. There are times when we may be so compassionate about something that we just run out of words to pray. Just remain quietly in the attitude of prayer and God’s Holy Spirit will search your heart and communicate the words to God. While all this is going on, remember that we have an advocate (Jesus) with the Father who is also praying for us. Our simple prayers become effective prayers because the Trinity is praying with us and for us, separately and in unity. This should cause us to pray believing that God will answer us in his own time.  Because we believe He will answer we should always include praise and thanksgiving in our prayers. We can never thank him enough or too often for sending His Son Jesus to redeem us from our sins

Luke 1:68-70 NLT


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 12-22-2016

Gotta Tell Somebody!

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13  I will lift up the cup of salvation    and praise the Lord’s name for saving me.
 — Psalm 116:13 NLT
If God never did another thing for us after giving us the gift of salvation, it would be more than sufficient reason for us to praise Him forever.  Yet, He just keeps on giving and giving.  Every breath is a gift. “Every good and every perfect gift is from above”.  Those gifts come from the Father in whom there is no variation.  He has always been a giver, He is a giver now and He has no plans to change.  He is the Solid Rock, whatever good there is comes from Him and that will not change.  Every day is a day that He has made just for us.  He doesn’t need day and night, they are a gift for frail humans whose minds are too small to grasp an eternity with no seams. He gives us “a time for all things”.   He is never more than a thought away from us.  He is our constant companion so that we are never alone.  If we were in heaven with Jesus, we would be praising Him constantly.  Yet, here on earth we live every day in His presence and spend little or no time praising Him and offering up thanks for all that He does.  We should praise the Lord daily for saving us and tell the world about our salvation.  Our tongues should be like the “pen of a ready writer” and tell the story over and over.  “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
Post 08-21-2016

Upward and Outward

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13 And I will also give you what you did not ask for—riches and fame! No other king in all the world will be compared to you for the rest of your life! — 1 Kings 3:13 NLT
When we go before the Lord to pray, do we jump right into our lists of things that we “need” and/or want or do we first acknowledge who God is? Do we allow Him to influence our prayers in any way?  Do we truly pray that His will be done in our lives or are we more concerned that God should answer our prayers the way we want them to be answered and when we want them to be answered?  Do we ever consider what God might want us to ask Him to give us?  Do we often pray prayers that actually grieve the Holy Spirit because we don’t allow Him to help us pray?  It might be helpful right after we have prayed to think back through what we have just asked God to do for us.  Do we pray prayers that have eternal consequences for all of God’s Kingdom or are our prayers just about us and our present situation?  We should bring our specific requests before God at all times, but our prayers should not always be limited to “we four and no more”. God says no to our requests when we “ask amiss”.  When we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us in our prayer times, we can be sure that God will be pleased with our prayers as well.  When He is pleased with our requests, He answers “Yes” to those requests and adds bonuses that we did not even consider or imagine.  When we pray, our focus needs to be upward and outward as well as inward.