“Who Did Not Ignore My Prayer”

20 Praise God, who did not ignore my prayer or withdraw his unfailing love from me.— Psalm 66:20 NLT

Psalm 66:16-20 NLT

God wants to bless us all the time. He gave us His Son, so why would He withhold any good thing from us? For this to happen, we must stay “prayed up”, instantly repenting for any sin that we do, whether it be intentionally or unintentionally. When God’s Spirit brings conviction, we must agree with God that we have committed a sin and ask His forgiveness. He is always faithful to forgive us. Then we must thank Him and praise Him for that forgiveness. God inhabits the praises of His people. He is within us, with us, surrounding us. He will never leave us nor forsake us. His mercies are new every morning. Let your first words every morning be praise and thanksgiving. Your attitude will be sweeter and your day will go more smoothly.

Romans 8:32-34 NLT

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

Post 08-17-2019

“By The Way They Act”

16 You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?– Matt. 7:16 NLT

Matt. 7:15-20 NLT

We need to remember that everyone, regardless of their lifestyle, bears fruit. Wrong thoughts, motives and actions produce the bad fruits. Right thoughts, motives and actions produce fruits for the Kingdom. When people observe our lifestyle, what kind of fruit do they see? If we are to produce the kind of fruit that Jesus wants us to produce, we must get our sustenance from the True Vine. Stay connected to Jesus by daily prayer, Bible reading, meditation, and singing praises. Then, we can be sure that we will produce good fruit and our actions will draw people to Jesus Christ.

John 15:5-8 NLT

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

Post 08-02-2019

Intercessory Prayer

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

1 Timothy 2:1-6 NLT

Jesus willingly gave His life for each of us. He gave it for those who cursed and persecuted Him as well as for those who followed Him. He did it because of His great love for humanity of all religions and nationalities. It is His desire that everyone be saved. Will everyone accept Jesus as their Savior and Lord? No, but that does not change what Jesus did for us. Once any person accepts Jesus as their Savior and Lord, should they decide to do that, the Holy Spirit indwells that person. As we progress in following the example of Jesus there is a change in our hearts’ desires and our actions. We are to attempt to live at peace with everyone around us, even with those who curse and persecute us. Is this possible? Yes, or Jesus would not have asked us to do it. When we are mistreated for the sake of Jesus Christ and His Kingdom, our response is to love and pray for those that commit the acts. Praying for our persecutors pleases God because we are following the example that Jesus set for us. How they respond to that love and our prayers for them is not in our control. It is ultimately between them and God. If revenge of any sort is necessary, God says that is His responsibility, not ours. So pray for everyone, family, friends, neighbors, cults, religious people, anyone in authority over you in any situation. You can be assured that your flesh is not going to want to pray for some of these people, but God’s Holy Spirit will draw you, teach you, and even do the praying for you if you choose to be obedient.

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

Post 07-20-2019

“I Will Praise You”

4 I will praise you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer. — Psalm 63:4 NLT

Psalm 63:1-8 NLT

God made each of us a little different from everyone else.  These differences are not just physical, they continue through every part of us.  Each of us has a different learning capacity and we react to things and situations differently.  Some of us are much more vocal and enthusiastic in expressing our joy and excitement.  Some of us see great things happen and we are awestruck and quiet in our observations while others may scream loudly or talk unceasingly trying to describe or explain what is happening.  Praising God is necessary for Christians whether we do it quietly or with loud exclamations of joy and praise.  We can become so overpowered by the presence of God that we fall to our knees and just weep.  God understands it all and accepts it graciously.  He made us different so that our praise to Him would be like listening to an orchestra play a great masterpiece.  While that may be just noise to some people, others are thrilled and uplifted.  So, however we choose to do it,  let’s just praise God continually for all of His love, goodness, mercy and grace. 

Psalm 150 NKJV

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

Post 05-05-2019

Pray for Others Daily

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

1 Kings 3:5-14 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.

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

Post 04-15-2019

“Prayer That Pleases Him”

14 And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. 15 And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.  — 1 John 5:14, 15 NLT

I believe God has obligated Himself to answer every prayer that a Christian prays.  I also believe that He does answer every prayer in one of four ways: Yes, No, Wait or gives a completely different answer than we expected and we don’t recognize the event(s) as the answer.  It would be foolish to think that God would give a positive answer to any request that required Him to violate His own Word or to give us something that would not be the best for us.  Just as parents, we realize that our kids often ask for things that aren’t good for them and we have to say “no”,  how much better does our heavenly Father understand and know what is best for us.  His great love for us requires Him to only give us His best.  The words we use or the format of the prayer are not the important things.  What is important is whether or not we have un-confessed sin in our lives.  Sin separates us from God and moves us from His umbrella of protection.  How much faith is required?  I believe that if we have enough faith to ask God for something, that is enough faith.  God has made precious promises to His children and He has never failed in doing exactly what He said He would do.  The fulfillment of those promises is based on His faithfulness, not ours.

32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?  — Romans 8:32 NIV

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

Post 03-08-2019

Pray With A Purpose

4 May he grant your heart’s desires  and make all your plans succeed. — Psalm 20:1 NLT

Psalm 20 NLT

When we  read verses like the one above  and others throughout the Bible, what thoughts go through our minds?  Does this mean that we can ask God for anything and expect to get it?  Is there any requirements for prayers to be of a certain form or prayed in a certain way?  Is God like a huge dispensing machine where we deposit a prayer and out comes everything we asked for?  Is/are there some particular thing(s) we must do before this is true?  Suppose a non-Christian reads the Bible, reads these verses and prays?  What answer could that person expect?  Is God obligated to answer every prayer?  if so, why? if not, why not?  
There are two categories of people that pray; the unsaved and the saved.  I believe it could easily be proven that the only prayer from an unsaved person that God is obligated to answer is a prayer of repentance.  None of God’s promises besides salvation apply to the lost or unsaved.  Those of us who have prayed the “sinner’s” prayer and are now the redeemed are in a different place entirely.  Tomorrow a deeper look at some of these questions.

“The closer I get to the end of my life, it seems the only question that matters, Is the life I am living pleasing to God?” – Ken Gire In “Sacred”

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

Post 03-07-2019

“We Belong To Jesus”

29 But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.   — Acts 5:29 NKJV

Acts 5:22-32 NKJV

In Romans and other Scriptures we are taught to obey the laws of the land.  We are also taught to respect the officials and to pray for those who rule over us.  In today’s military, we are taught to obey all orders that are legal and moral. There are times when we, as Christians, have to make decisions about how far we can go in obeying others.  Peter and the apostles did not need time to think about or pray about their decision.  They had already decided that they should obey God rather than man.  With this in mind, we should have already made a predetermined decision that when laws conflict with the Holy Scriptures, we will obey God and His word.  From a temporary, worldly viewpoint, this can be a costly decision.  We have brothers and sisters who are being persecuted, imprisoned, beaten and murdered because they refuse to deny Jesus as their Savior and Lord.  There are youths of all ages that are beaten by their own parents and kicked out of their homes because they have converted to Christianity and refuse to turn back.  Let us pray for them on a daily basis.  The mantra of the persecuted Christians is “It is harder to live for Christ than it is to die for Him”‘   As our society grows more evil and violent, we must come to that same conclusion now before the pressure is really on.  From an eternal, spiritual viewpoint, it is an easy decision to decide for the Lord.

7 For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. 8 For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.   
— Romans 14:7, 8 NKJV

“The closer I get to the end of my life, it seems the only question that matters, Is the life I am living pleasing to God?” – Ken Gire In “Sacred”

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

Post 02-13-2019

Real Not Ritual

8 So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. — Matthew 6:8 NASB

Matthew 6:5-14 NLT

Jesus starts this discussion by telling us how we should not pray.  We are not to pray just to be seen and heard by others.  If that is our motivation then the only reward we will get is the praise of those who see and hear us. Whether our prayers are realistic or ritualistic is not determined by where we pray or the words that we say.  It isn’t the length of the prayer but the strength of the faith behind the prayer.   One of the most real and shortest prayers is the cry of Peter when he was sinking in the sea of Galilee.  His cry was “Save me, Lord”.  Jesus immediately reached out His hand and brought Peter to safety. After He tells us how not to pray, He tells how we should pray.  It is a short, powerful, beautiful prayer that covers everything from God’s holiness to our dependence on God for our daily bread.  It covers forgiveness and God’s desire that His will would be done on earth even as it is in heaven.  It shows us that we need the leadership of the Holy Spirit so that we will not be led into temptation but that we will be delivered from evil.  We could pray this prayer continually and whether it becomes ritualistic instead of real would be determined by our attitude.  God has given many examples of prayer in the Psalms where David cries out with all of his heart and might.  He has also given us prayers of thanksgiving for His many blessings and benefits. When we reach the point that we have no words to express our desires, He has given us the Holy Spirit to pray through us, with us and for us.  

Romans 8:26, 27 NLT

It isn’t our words or our bodily position that determines whether our prayers are real or rituals, it is the attitude of the heart toward God and toward our fellow man that makes the difference.  It is our faith that God can and will do these things for us and that we are willing to do these things for those around us.

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

Post 01-13-2019

Practice Perpetual* Praying and Praising

even-smaller-bug-light1

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