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

Rejoice! Pray! Praise! Repeat!

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11 Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.12 Greet one another with a holy kiss. 13 All God’s people here send their greetings. 14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. — 2 Cor. 13:11-14 NIV

Rejoice!  Isn’t it amazing that after all Paul has gone through and was still going through at this time, that he could say rejoice?  Through all the persecutions, beatings, attempts on his life and bearing the burden of wayward people in the churches he had established, Paul was still rejoicing and encouraging others to continue in faithfulness. One of our highest priorities as Christians should be to pray for and encourage others. Compared to what Paul went through and what our brothers and sisters in other countries are going through today, anything we have to suffer through is certainly “a light affliction”. Yet, some of us are so focused on our own problems that we walk around like Eeyore in Winnie the Pooh thinking “Woe is me.”.  All of us need more encouragement and more reminding of who we are in Christ Jesus. We need to “zoom out” on our lives and look at the whole panorama that God has given us. The more time we spend focused on Jesus and others, the less time we will have to focus on our own issues. When we take time to fellowship with the Holy Spirit, we find that our spirits are lifted and we can truly rejoice.

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.– Phil. 4:4-7

 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 06-25-2018

Holy Intercession for Us

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3b. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven. – Hebrew 1:3b NLT
 
Jesus provided purification for our sins when He hung on a cross.  From that cross, He announced that “it is finished”. His work here on earth was completed. God gloriously raised Jesus from the dead and He ascended into heaven. He is there now, at the right hand of the Father, interceding for us.

34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. — Romans 8:34 NIV

There are times in our lives when we become so frustrated or burdened that we do not how or what to pray. Those can be the times that our prayers are the most fervent and the most effective. God, in His great mercy and love for us, has made a way for us to pray at any time in any situation. When we reach the place where we are at a loss as to what to say or pray. the Holy Spirit prays through us and for us.

 

26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. — Romans 8:26,27 NIV

When we are praying and we literally run out of words to say, we should stop and consider this fact:  The complete Trinity is involved in every prayer we pray. The Holy Spirit takes our stumbling, bumbling mutterings and groans. He cleans them up and presents them to the Father as Jesus watches and intercedes on our behalf. A simple prayer is sufficient since God already knows what we need. Peter’s prayer “Lord, save Me!” moved Jesus to save him from the angry waves and those three words are still enough to bring salvation.

 

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

Post 05-03-2018

“Be Faithful In Prayer”

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12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.—Romans 12:12 NIV

Too often, we confuse pleasure and happiness with joy. Pleasure and happiness are temporary. They are based on feelings, external situations and how others treat us. Joy is internal and is a fruit of the Spirit. It is a gift from God and once we have received His joy, no one can take it from us. We can fail to access it, but it is always there. In those times of affliction, it strengthens us to carry on.
 

When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.—Psalm 94:19  NIV

We must be faithful in prayer.  As Paul says, “pray without ceasing”.  We are able to do that because prayer is dependent on our thought patterns and our attitude. We can pray all the time, in any situation. A prayer can be a thought that goes through your mind, It does not have to be spoken.


10 “I the Lord search the heart  and examine the mind,to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.—Jeremiah 17:10 NIV

A prayerful attitude keeps us focused on God and not on our problems or our situation. When we are focused on God, we are filled with joy because of the hope we have in Him.

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

Post 03-18-2018

Sent From God to Us for Us!

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for I have passed on to them the message you gave me. They accepted it and know that I came from you, and they believe you sent me. – John 17:8 NLT
 


From verse one of this chapter, Jesus has been talking to the Father. He has been rehearsing to the Father all that He had done in obedience to the Father. Of course, God already knew all of this. But Jesus was specifically pointing out to His Father that the disciples had now accepted the truth of His words and the truth of who He really was. Jesus was leading up to His intercessory prayer for not only His disciples but for every person that would believe in Him from then until the end of this world. Starting tomorrow, we will be looking at THE most beautiful, powerful intercessory prayer that has ever been spoken by a human. And what makes it even more meaningful is the fact that it is only an example to show us what Jesus is doing in heaven right now.

24 But because Jesus lives forever, his priesthood lasts forever. 25 Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.—Hebrews 7:24, 25 (NLT)
Just think about that for a minute, Jesus, Himself, is praying for us right now!
The eternal God is your refuge, and his everlasting arms are under you. He drives out the enemy before you; he cries out, ‘Destroy them!’ —Deuteronomy 33:27 (NLT)


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

Post 11-22-2017

The Desires of Our Heart

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17 Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years! ​ – James 5:17 NLT

James 5:13- 18 NLT


Of course, we know that God already knows our needs and our situation, but He has instructed 
us to ask and keep on asking. Jesus told the story of the persistent woman and the unjust judge. She kept pestering the judge until he gave her what she was requesting. God does not always give us what we ask, because sometimes we ask for things that we don’t need. Psalm 37:4 tells us that if we delight ourselves in the Lord, He will give us the desires of our hearts. Have you ever noticed that sometimes, when you pray fervently that what you end up asking from God is not what you were thinking about when you first started praying? That is when you can know that “the desires of your heart” have aligned with God’s Word and His will. Then the answer is always yes. But, if our desires don’t line up, then we often get a “no” or “wait”. Some people say that it is a cop out to pray “nevertheless not my will, but Yours be done”. But that is what Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. So, if He set the example, it is a good pattern to follow.


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

Post 06-11-2017

Grow Up, Move Out, and Take the Land!

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14 Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.   — Hebrews 5:14


When it comes to the Scriptures, I am learning not to say “I have learned” but rather that “I am learning”. Every time I think I have “learned” something, the Holy Spirit opens up more of the Scripture. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever get out of kindergarten. But we all have an innate knowledge of right and wrong. That is a good start, but we have to build from there. The basics of God’s Word is the plan of salvation. Paul is saying there is more to our relationship with Jesus than that. After we have accepted Jesus and our salvation is secure, it is time to start to study Scripture and develop habits that will help us to mature in our walk with Jesus. Meditating on God’s Word, prayer and time alone with God is how we grow. The world is our classroom and the Holy Spirit is our instructor. We can take the short route to the Promised Land by studying and being obedient or we can be like the children of Israel and spend 40 years making an 11 day trip
​.  And, remember, of all of those that spent 40 years making the trip, only two actually got to enter into

​ the Promised Land. Let us choose to be like Joshua and Caleb.  God has prepared us to take the land and it is time to move out.
 
30 But Caleb tried to quiet the people as they stood before Moses. “Let’s go at once to take the land,” he said. “We can certainly conquer it!” ​ — Numbers 13:30


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

Post 4-29-2017