July 31st ~ Prayer Challenge for America


pray for America2 Chronicles 7:14

“If 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 and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

 

Father God,

We come to You today and lift up this nation. Scripture promises that if your people will humble themselves, and seek You, that You will hear and answer our prayers, and heal our land. God, this country desperately needs your great healing. We are your people, but so many of us have lost our way. Open the eyes of Your people to recognize the harm we have done to this nation, and forgives us our great national sins. Touch us all to repent and turn back to You. We call upon You to help us change our ways so You will want to heal and bless America. Lord, shed your grace on us.

Amen.

Thank you for praying for our nation this past month. Never underestimate the power of prayer!

Blessings to you all!

July 28th ~ Prayer Challenge for America


pray for America

 Peter 2:13

“Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme.”

 

 

Heavenly Father,

It is You who has placed men and women in leadership roles, and You desire for us to not rebel against authority, because that is rebelling against You. Help us to accept Your decisions because You alone are wise and want the best for Your children. Help us to be obedient without grumbling or complaining. Give us the wisdom and discernment we need to recognize when worldly authorities are in disagreement with Your laws so we can use the processes in place to present our disagreements in a loving, kind, Christian manner. It is by our actions that others will see Jesus Christ, your wonderful Son. Strengthen You people, Your church, and this nation.

Amen.

 

 

Image: Google images

Scripture: English Standard Version

July 19th ~ Prayer Challenge for America


pray for America

Proverbs 29:4

By justice a king builds up the land, but he who exacts gifts tears it down.

Holy God,

We lift up our leaders again and pray they act justly in every circumstance. Guide their policies and interactions with other leaders so they may rule wisely, and with honesty and integrity. Help them put policies in place that will build up this nation and her people. Give our leaders the vision of what this nation can become if we follow You. Touch our leaders to not put too high of a financial burden on the people, but only what is necessary for the common good.

Amen.

 

Image:  Google Images

Scripture: English Standard Version

July 18th ~ Prayer Challenge for America


pray for America

Hebrews 13:17

Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.

Most Precious Heavenly Father,

We are a people who want to do our own thing and forget those around us. Help us remember to be thoughtful and compassionate to others, considering their needs before ours. Remind us to be obedient and work diligently for all those in authority over us. Help us to be joyful in our service to the leaders you have given us, and remind us to not to complain about our circumstances for you are ultimately in control. Grant great wisdom to those in authority over us so they lead in a godly manner.

Amen.

 

 

Image: Google images

Scripture:  English Standard Version

July 10th ~ Prayer Challenge for America


pray for America

Titus 3:1

“Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.”

Father God,

We are Your hands and feet here on earth. Help us to act justly and honorably, and be prepared to perform the good works You have prepared for us. Sweeten our speech so that we only speak words that are kind, compassionate, and forgiving. Help us to not quarrel with anyone, rather help us be kind and gentle, and look for our common interests and goals. We lift up our leaders and all those in authority over us and pray You give them wisdom in all matters. Help us to be obedient citizens and show submission and humility to our leaders and neighbors in all we do.

Amen.

 

Image: Google Images

Scripture: English Standard Version

The Idols of Me, Myself, and I


pride

Romans 12:3

“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.”

Recently, God has been talking to me about the idols in my life (see previous posts). A few days ago I was convicted again. A Christian radio program[i] discussed how we often put too much emphasis on ourselves – with ourselves becoming an idol in our own life. (I don’t remember the exact words, I was driving.) I felt an immediate conviction.  My life has often been about my three best friends: me, myself, and I.

Exodus 20:3

“You shall have no other gods before (or besides) me.”

It seems like a simple, straight forward command. Why then is it so difficult to put God first and love God purely? I think the answer comes down to pride. Pride is the first sin – Lucifer fell due to his pride (Isaiah 14:13).

Pride is subtle and it permeates so many areas of our lives. Pride means we are focused on ourselves. This can take on many forms. Pride can be arrogance, and thinking too highly of yourself or that you are better than others. It’s easy to recognize that attitude as pride. There are many other areas in which we a prideful but we may not be aware of those prideful thoughts. Self-pity for example; we are still focused on ourselves and not God. How about not being thankful, or forgiving? What about always needing to be the center of attention? What about being unwilling to learn (because you think you know it all)? Refusing to admit when you are wrong? Being disrespectful, or even sarcastic? Being impatient? What about jealousy? Seems to me that I am prideful in many areas of my life.

Proverbs 16:5

The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.

So how do we get past pride?

The first step many view God as God. We are not God. We know that intellectually, but we must not know it in our heart because we act in prideful ways. Remember that God’s ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). He is the creator (Job 38:4). He’s done so much that we cannot do.

The second step may be to remember that God is the provider of everything we have. We would not have what we have if God did not create us with our unique talents and personality (Psalm 139:13).

1 Corinthians 4:7

For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?

Being thankful, truly thankful for everything you have (1 Thessalonians 5:18) might be the third step. Next, admit to God how prideful we are. In prayer, ask The Lord to humble our spirit. God cannot use us if we are prideful, but a God can use a humble person.

Matthew 23:11

The greatest among you will be your servant.

I am praying also for a servant’s heart, and to accept the correction and discipline of God. I’m praying for God to lead me to humility.

Proverbs 12:1

Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid.

I’m praying for God to help me conquer the pride in my life.

 

Blessings on your day.

 

Scripture: Biblegateway.com

Image: Google Images

 

[i] Charles Stanley, InTouch

What Does It Mean to be Truly Thankful?


Bible-thankfulness-gratitude

It’s November and bloggers are writing posts about being thankful. Many are wonderful blogs and well worth reading. It is good to be thankful. The Psalms and many other places in the Bible command us to be thankful. Colossians 3:15b (ESV) states, “And be thankful.” But what does it mean to be truly thankful?

A few years ago I posted 101 Things to be Thankful For (November 24, 2016). I’ve been questioning myself to determine if I am truly thankful or is it that things are going well for me so I have nothing to complain about.

I thought I would start by making sure I understand the word. Dictionary.com explains that being thankful is a feeling, or expression of gratitude and it is being appreciative. Merriam-Webster.com tells us that being thankful is being conscious of a benefit received, it is expressive, and it also means well pleased. I turned to a Bible Dictionary and learned that Thanksgiving is an act of worship.[i] So, thankfulness is a state of mind; a matter of the heart. I also think it means to have the proper perspective in life.

It’s easy to feel thankful when surrounded by friends, and food and things are generally going well in life. But are we thankful in the difficult circumstances of life? Some people are struggling with health issues, or the mourning the loss of a loved one. Others are finding it difficult to pay bills, especially at this expensive time of year. Perhaps there are difficult, even toxic, people in our life. There can be many circumstances in life that cause you to feel anxious instead of thankful.

So what can we do to be truly thankful? I think there are several steps.

  • First, deliberately thank God for sending Jesus Christ as your Savior. Thank him for the people in your life and your material blessings. Also thank God for the trials in your life and his protection in the midst of them. Those trials develop your character and mold you into the wonderful person you are.
  • Second, count your blessings. A gratitude journal is one way to do this. I kept a gratitude journal years ago during a difficult season of life. While my circumstances didn’t change, keeping that journal changed me. I was more at peace and accepting of what was happening in my life. And I felt God’s presence daily.
  • Third, accept where you are in life. It takes spiritual maturity to stop thinking about yourself, and be thankful for all the blessings God has given you. God has control of your situation. You are where you are because of his sovereignty. Thank God for his constant presence and protection.
  • Forth, be generous. There are so many people who are less fortunate that we are. Realizing this and sharing helps rise above our circumstances and gain a godly perspective.
  • Finally, recognize that being unthankful is a sin. Romans 1:21 states, “For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” Instead, remember to worship the giver of all good things.

May your hearts be filled with Thanksgiving.

Blessings on your day.

 

Sources:

Scripture: OpenBible.info

Image: Google Images

[i] Holman Concise Bible Dictionary