God loves to answer prayer

Silver Cover-KINDLE-thumbnailThe scripture for today, June 12 (6/12), is Luke 6:12 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“One of those days, Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.”

How in the world did Jesus think of enough things to say that he could pray all night? Most of us, on a good day, only manage a 5-minute prayer. The next verse says that the next morning he selected his twelve apostles. Aha! He had a list. He had probably spent at least half an hour each praying about them by name, as well as about others he was considering. Jesus knew what his apostles would be facing someday. Which ones would be loyal enough, stubborn enough, strong-willed enough to someday in the future endure persecution, torture (skinned alive, beaten to death, burned), and martyrdom for him?

Who do you pray for by name? Do you have a prayer list? How about opening the newspaper and praying for all those people in the news ~ perpetrators, victims, causes, governments, situations? Or everyone you work with? Or everyone your children go to school with? Or all their teachers and administrators? Or the clerks in the stores you go to regularly? Or members of an organization you belong to? Or every member of your congregation? What about countries where people become Christians at risk of their freedom and even their lives?

There are always people in need of prayer. And one of the joys of such a prayer life is now and then telling people whom you know that they are in your prayers, or writing a note to someone who is a stranger to you telling them that you pray for them.

Some people have never heard their names in prayer. Some people have never even been told that someone prays for them.

God loves to answer prayer. Do you love prayer?

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You will be astounded

Silver Cover-KINDLE-thumbnailThe scripture for today, April 12 (4/12), is Colossians 4:12 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“He is always wrestling in prayer for you.”

Do you have fast-food prayers? Drive in, ask for something for yourself, and drive out two minutes later?

How about trying gourmet prayers ~ where you gather many ingredients, not just one? They take longer but are very special and rewarding.

Your menu is your prayer list. People on your list don’t even have to be people you know personally. They can be from the newspaper, teachers at a local school, government officials, your neighbors, your congregation. List people by name. Pray for them by name.

Then tell these people you are praying for them. You may think you’ll get some strange looks, but mostly, even from the unreligious, you will get a smile and a whispered thank you. Some will actually reply, “No one has ever told me they were praying for me.” After a while, you will begin receiving word from people you are paying for, “Guess what? Your prayer worked.”

Prayer is powerful and wonderful. God loves to answer prayer. It is most wonderful when it centers, not on what you want for yourself, but on struggling in prayer for other people.

One by one, you will begin seeing amazing answers in the lives of those you pray for. Don’t believe it? Give it a try. You will be astounded.

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Silver Cover-KINDLE-thumbnail365 SILVER-WINGED PRAYERS: YOUR SPIRIT TO GOD’S.  This third book in the trilogy, Touching God, is suggested prayers to end your time of devotion.  Pray a little bit for yourself and a whole lot for others. Pray through your congregation’s membership directory, a nearby school’s lists of teachers, administrators, and maintenance staff, stories from your local newspaper, lists of state and federal officials, lists of missionaries, names of your neighbors, etc. To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this:  https://bit.ly/2AeBR4I   

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God’s Mosaic

The scripture for today, February 21 (2/21), is Daniel 2:21 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

10-Daniel-KindleMedium“He [God] changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.”

It seems there is always some amount of restlessness within each nation regarding who is ruling. Some people like the ruler, some do not. Or people may start out liking the ruler, but later dislike him. Some rulers are okay, a few are considered outstanding, and a few others are outright evil.

But God sets up the rulers of nations and deposes them. Many places among the prophets of the Old Testament, God explains that he may raise up a cruel leader just because he is strong enough to get rid of other cruel people. After that, God deposes the cruel leader.

In the midst of all this, innocent people are always hurt. That is why it is important for us not to complain, but to bear up under a hard government with patience and courage. It is in hardship that the true heart of a Christian is revealed. And it is in hardship that many people turn to God who might never have done so.

God knows what he is doing, even if we do not understand ~ at least, on this side of eternity. Remember Romans 8:28 ~ “All things work together for good to those who love the Lord.” Life is a mosaic of many colors ~ sometimes bright and sometimes dark ~ but in the end, it will be beautiful.

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Thursday 5/24 ~ Will your nation roll on like a river?

The scripture for today, May 24 (5/24), is Amos 5:24 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-Mefiboset-KINDLE Thumbnail“Let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream.”

When individuals of a nation begin taking advantage of each other, the nation loses its standard of justice. Eventually, nations fall because of it ~ maybe not right away, but eventually.

Although acting justly may decrease someone’s income or status or power, it will increase their nation’s power and that nation will roll on and on like a river.

Injustice is not impersonal. Injustice begins with you. One person at a time, then eventually an entire nation falls. On the other hand, justice also begins with you. One person at a time and the nation rolls on and on like a river.

What are you doing for your nation?

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Thursday 4/5 ~ It cannot control your heart, your spirit, your soul

The scripture for today, April 5 (4/5), is Micah 4:5 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

00-LUKE-KINDLE Cover-Thumbnail“All the nations may walk in the name of their gods; we will walk in the name of the Lord our God forever and ever.”

Nations rise and fall. Nations come and go. Nations are founded upon terror and aggression, or peace and democracy. Some nations follow religions which declare that peasants are peasants as punishment for previous lives, so must remain peasants. Some nations follow religions chosen by their national governments and which must be followed upon pain of death. Some nations deny religion completely and destroy anyone who believes anyway.

What kind of nation do you live in? As strong as your nation is, it cannot control your heart, your spirit, your soul. As strong as your nation seems to be, as much power as your government uses to control its citizens, it will not and cannot last forever.

Always remember, there is a forever nation ~ the nation of God, the kingdom of God. No matter what nation you live in, you can have “dual citizenship”. And by being a citizen of God’s forever kingdom, you will walk in it forever and ever and…

Wednesday 2/21 ~ Sometimes bright, sometimes dark

The scripture for today, February 21 (2/21), is Daniel 2:21 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-Bk3-HeartsAfire-COVER-Kindle.thumbnail-new“He [God] changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.”

It seems there is always some amount of restlessness within each nation regarding who is ruling. Some people like the ruler, some do not. Or people may start out liking the ruler, but later dislike him. Some rulers are okay, a few are considered outstanding, and a few others are outright evil.

But God sets up the rulers of nations and deposes them. Many places among the prophets of the Old Testament, God explains that he may raise up a cruel leader just because he is strong enough to get rid of other cruel people. After that, God deposes the cruel leader.

In the midst of all this, innocent people are always hurt. That is why it is important for us not to complain, but to bear up under a hard government with patience and courage. It is in hardship that the true heart of a Christian is revealed. And it is in hardship that many people turn to God who might never have done so.

God knows what he is doing, even if we do not understand ~ at least, on this side of eternity. Remember Romans 8:28 ~ “All things work together for good to those who love the Lord.” Do not run away from your country during the bad times. What will happen to your country if all the Christians leave?

Life is a mosaic of many colors ~ sometimes bright and sometimes dark ~ but in the end, it can be beautiful.

Scripture for Thursday 12/14 ~ IF

The scripture for today, December 14 (12/14), is 1st Samuel 12:14 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

changes-in-worship-cover-medium“IF you fear the Lord and serve and obey him and do not rebel against his commands, and IF both you and the king who reigns over you follow the Lord your God ~ good!”

The Jews had just insisted on having a king rule over them instead of a supreme judge. Samuel replied and said IF. IF they serve and obey the Lord, and IF they both (people and king) follow the Lord, then it is good.

Today as then, some people live in a nation where the king/government does not follow the Lord. What to do? Galatians 5:22 tells us to be loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled, for “against such things there is no law”.

Is it hard to do this when crooked officials are getting all the advantages and you are being cheated? Indeed it is. It may seem they are on top of things. In reality, they are at the bottom. Never ever let others drag you down to their level. It is not worth it.  Keep your eyes on God!

Hold fast!

       Stand firm!

                Do the right thing!

In the end, they will lose. You and God will win. That is good!

Scripture for Saturday, November 18 (11/17) ~ Governments

The scripture for today, November 18 (11/18), is Deuteronomy 11:18f as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

changes-in-worship-cover-medium“Then the Lord’s anger will burn against you, and he will shut the heavens so that it will not rain and the ground will yield no produce, and you will soon perish from the good land the Lord is giving you. Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.”

Sometimes the country we live in goes through very bad times. We pray for the bad times to end, but they do not. What is going on? The above warning was to the Israelites just before they entered their promised land. God had just said through Moses, don’t worship idols.

Perhaps your country is going through bad times because of idol worship. Probably not like the hand-made idols of ancient times, but idols of money and power and immorality. There have been times in the Bible when a good man prayed, “God, I am the only one left who worships you.” God would reply that there were a few others. But he did not reply that he was going to stop the punishing. The nation hadn’t turned back to God yet.

Therefore, when we are suffering unjustly for what a majority of our countrymen have been doing, we must do it bravely. And while we “wait it out”, let us continually remind ourselves, our families, our neighbors, our countrymen of the righteous ways they should be acting.

In bad times, this is our assignment. Let us be brave and spread the news. Let us keep reminding and be as patient with them as God is with us. Perhaps someday they will listen.

 

Scripture for Wednesday, November 15 (11/15)

The Scripture for today, November 15 (11/15), is Revelation 11:15 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-Heroes-Alone-COVER-KINDLE“The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven which said: ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign forever and ever!’ “

 Each of us belongs to a kingdom/nation within our world. It is not perfect. Its leaders can sometimes do very bad things. And we wonder how we can stand some of the terrible things that sometimes happen within a government.

But our worldly kingdom/nation is not the only one we can live in. Colossians 1:13 says Jesus “has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

Rescued! Brought us! Past tense! The kingdom isn’t something in the future. It is here now. And it goes by yet another name. Verse 18 says, “And he [Jesus] is the head of the body, the church.”

So, when we become discouraged about the kingdom/nation in our world that we live in, take hope. We can have dual citizenship! For there is another kingdom here, a spiritual one. The king of that kingdom will actually love us. Forever and ever.

 

Scripture for Friday, September 8 (9/8)

The scripture for today, September 8 (9/8), is Daniel 9:8 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-Mefiboset-KINDLE Medium“O Lord, we and our kings, our princes, and our fathers are covered with shame because we have sinned against you.”

Daniel is praying for his countrymen. Have you prayed for your countrymen and government lately?  I Timothy 2:1 & 2 says “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made for everyone ~ for kings and all those in authority.” At the time Paul wrote this, Nero Caesar, who led the persecution of tens of thousands of Christians, torturing many to death, was the king over the Roman Empire. Paul prayed for him.

All your life, have you done nothing but complain about your government? Isn’t it time to stop complaining and start praying? It is hard to pray for someone and they stay your enemy.

Then, pray for your countrymen. Pray for forgiveness for what your country is doing wrong. Pray with thanksgiving for what your country is doing right. All countries—regardless of how great or small—have both. Humbly ask on behalf of your countrymen for forgiveness of whatever shames them, comfort for whatever losses they feel, and gratitude for everything that is right.  Be proud of whatever country you live in.  Do not leave. Stay and help it be even better. Be patriotic.