Posts Tagged ‘Prayer’

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Ain’t Nobody Ain’t Got Time for This – Luke 11:2–4

February 27, 2020

“And he said to them, “When you pray, say,
“Father, may your name be treated as holy.
May your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And do not lead us into temptation.””

Do you pray? I don’t pray like I want…like I should.

Pray without ceasing implies something preceding.  Praying without an end, no amen, necessitates a prayer with a ‘Good morning Father, it’s me again’.

Yet, sometimes we cannot find the time to begin again.  

Really?  How do we not have time to pray the prayer that we have been taught to pray?

The frequency of pray is not reflective of the faithfulness of the hearer but rather the faithfulness of the pray-er.

If you don’t know what to pray, then pray the prayer we have been given.  The best way to pray without ceasing is to begin and then begin again.  Let your prayer life have more introduction then conclusions and you’ll be well on your way to the best of run-on prayers.

We all have got time for that!

https://ref.ly/Lk11.2-4 via the Logos Bible Android app.

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QUOTE (Joseph E. Murray)

April 1, 2016
Joseph_Murray“One truth is revealed truth, the other is scientific truth. If you really believe that creation is good, there can be no harm in studying science. The more we learn about creation — the way it emerged — it just adds to the glory of God. Personally, I’ve never seen a conflict.”

“We’re just working with the tools God gave us. There is no reason that science and religion have to operate in an adversarial relationship. Both come from the same source, the only source of truth — the Creator.”

“I think the important thing to realize is how little we know about anything — how flowers unfold, how butterflies migrate. We have to avoid the arrogance of persons on either side of the science-religion divide who feel that they have all the answers. We have to try to use our intellect with humility.”


“Work is a prayer, and I start off every morning dedicating it to our Creator. Every day is a prayer — I feel that, and I feel that very strongly.”

In honor of Dr. Joseph Murray, a Noble Prize winning transplant surgeon, who was born on this day in 1919.

Resources:

Today in History
Nobel Scientists and God

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WOVEN BY FAITH – Dec. 23

December 23, 2015

“By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God., so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.”  Hebrews 11:3

MainTheater_Back-panoIn my opinion, a “good” movie requires a nice, tidy, conclusion.  I want to know how the story ends.  It is a relatively low standard for Hollywood to meet my expectation by providing a proper resolution.  I don’t need to pay money for an inconclusive tale.

I have life for that.  

Life is a series of inconclusive tales.  It seems that we are continually living a sequel as the story of our existence plays on.  We rarely get nice, tidy, conclusions before the sun rises and we are into the next scene.

I don’t know how the story of my life will play out.  I don’t know how the stories of my family members will play out.  By faith, I know how the grand story ends, but I don’t know how all the minor parts, my parts, will be played.

Many are accustomed to resorting to living by faith through the big storylines of our lives.
Yet few, myself included, seem to consistently live by faith through the minor parts; the parts that we think we can handle; the daily parts that just happen.

Every storyline of our lives are being woven together into a tapestry that will tell our tale.  The majority of that tapestry will come from the daily fabric of these minor parts.

Honors_Tapestry_Fortuna

As Christians, we are called to live by faith.  Our tapestry should carry a theme of faith through every thread of fabric.  How can we weave together a tapestry of faith if the minor parts, the majority of the fabric, doesn’t carry that theme?

Great faith resides in our response to the daily fabric of our lives.  The minor parts are played out in the trivial aspects of today.  The grand resolution resides in tomorrow.  I believe it will arrive but I don’t know when.  The minor parts will happen today and cause me to demonstrate whether I am a person of faith or intellectual adhering to a belief system.

For me, prayer is the most practical method of weaving faith into the daily fabric of my life.

Daily prayers for the seemingly trivial are the calisthenics by which my faith is strengthened and woven into my existence.

However, just like physical calisthenics, I am prone to abandon my spiritual calisthenics.  I prayer journal because of my tendency to live by self through my daily life.  A prayer journal reminds me that God is in control of all things and alive and active in the daily aspects of my life.  My prayer journal applies at least a couple stitches of faith into every day.

I have been using an app for my prayer journaling called Mobile Knee.  This app has helped me to double the amount of faith stitches from my prayer life.  There is really nothing new with this app; it just revealed a deficiency in my prayer life.

The first stitch is the act of entering and praying for a request.  This is the active act of acknowledging that God is sovereign over everything and has the power to change anything, even the trivial.  Therefore, I put down all the mundane concerns that are troubling my mind as an act of faith.  Each entry is a stitch of faith; each prayer weaves faith through my day and my life.

The second stitch is what I was not consistently and consciously acknowledging.  The app forces me to do something with the prayer requests that I have entered.  I can’t just turn the page.  I must either mark the request answered, archive it, or delete it.

Here is the problem; I don’t know what the resolution of most of my prayers are.  My intellectual mind argues that I can’t mark a request answered if I don’t know.   How can I mark a request answered when it clearly wasn’t?

By Faith! 

That is how I mark by prayer request answered.  It is an act of faith.  When I review a request, I acknowledge that God heard me, that He is my Father and is for me, that He answered that request in His sovereign knowledge and plan, and I press “answered” by faith.  A stitch of faith comes with each entry watermarked with the word “answered”; every prayer acknowledged as answered weaves faith through my day and my life.

Our lives are continually being  woven together.  My prayer is that the weaving will be a tapestry themed by faith.

PRAYER: Lord, thank you for hearing my prayers.   Thank you for answering my prayers.  Lord, give me a heart that desires to pray; pray fervently, with importunity, and by faith.  Weave faith into the very fabric of my life.  Help be to walk not by sight but by faith so that faith will be the tapestry of my life.  Thank you for the gift of faith.  Father, help me in my unbelief.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen

My life is but a weaving
Between my God and me.
I cannot choose the colors
He weaveth steadily.

Oft’ times He weaveth sorrow;
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I the underside.

Not ’til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Will God unroll the canvas
And reveal the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful
In the weaver’s skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned

He knows, He loves, He cares;
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives the very best to those
Who leave the choice to Him.
~ Benjamin Malachi Franklin, The Weaver

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nearly FREE EBOOK FRIDAY (E.M. Bounds)

December 18, 2015

Bounds Quote (1)

 

I made a goal at the beginning of 2015 to make prayer a more consistent part of my life (Training Plans).  I don’t feel like I have made much progress in that area.  Although, I did read the very insightful and challenging book on prayer, The Necessity of Prayer by E.M. Bounds as a result of my desire to improvement my prayer life.

Bounds Quote (3)

I enjoyed The Necessity of Prayer so much that I am currently reading Power through Prayer by E.M. Bounds.  I am more convinced than ever that the Church doesn’t need better methods; it needs better men.  The Church needs men, distinguished by Bible-reading and prayer, possessing the soldier element, to live the Christian life in love and kindness.

Bounds Quote (2)

I highly recommend E.M. Bounds.  You can get The Complete Works of E.M. Bounds for $0.99.  It is not free but fairly close.  I hope you enjoy his writing as much as I have.

 

 

 

 

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QUOTE (Walt Disney) – Dec. 5

December 5, 2015
(Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

(Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

“Every person has his own ideas of the act of praying for God’s guidance, tolerance, and mercy to fulfill his duties and responsibilities. My own concept of prayer is not as a plea for special favors nor as a quick palliation for wrongs knowingly committed. A prayer, it seems to me, implies a promise as well as a request; at the highest level, prayer not only is a supplication for strength and guidance, but also becomes an affirmation of life and thus a reverent praise of God.”
~ Walt Disney

“I believe firmly in the efficacy of religion, in its powerful influence on a person’s whole life. It helps immeasurably to meet the storms and stress of life and keep you attuned to the Divine inspiration. Without inspiration, we would perish.”
~ Walt Disney

In honor of Walt Disney, a cartoonist, animator, and co-founder of the Walt Disney Company, who was born on this day in 1901.

Resources:
Famous Birthdays on this Day in History – December 5th
Notable Quotes > Walt Disney Quotes

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QUOTE (Eric Liddell) – July 11

July 11, 2014

English: Eric Liddell in Paris Olympic Games M...

Victory over all the circumstances of life comes not by might, nor by power, but by a practical confidence in God and by allowing His Spirit to dwell in our hearts and control our actions and emotions. Learn in the days of ease and comfort, to think in terms of the prayer that follows, so that when the days of hardship come you will be fully prepared and equipped to meet them. Father, I pray that no circumstance however bitter or however long drawn out, may cause me to break Thy law, the Law of Love to Thee and to my neighbor. That may not become resentful, have hurt feelings, hate, or become embittered by life’s experiences, but that in and through all I may see Thy guiding hand and have a heart full of gratitude for Thy daily mercy, daily love, daily power, and daily presence. Help me in the day when I need it most to remember that:

  • All things work together for good to them that love the Lord.
  • I can do all things through Him that strengthened me.
  • My grace is sufficient for thee, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.

‘Now unto Him who is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever, Amen.’
~ Eric Liddell

In honor of Eric Liddell, Scottish Olympic champion runner portrayed in the film “Chariots of Fire” and missionary to China, who won the Olympic 400 meter race on this day in 1924.

Resources:
Today in Christian History
More Quotes from the Biography on Eric Liddell

 

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QUOTE (John Calvin) – May 27

May 27, 2014

English: John Calvin Deutsch: Maße: 41 x 29,5 ...

“Our prayer must not be self-centered. It must arise not only because we feel our own need as a burden we must lay upon God, but also because we are so bound up in love for our fellow men that we feel their need as acutely as our own. To make intercession for men is the most powerful and practical way in which we can express our love for them. ”
~ John Calvin

“I was always exceedingly delighted with that saying of Chrysostom, “The foundation of our philosophy is humility”; and yet more pleased with that of Augustine: “As the orator, when asked, What is the first precept in eloquence? answered, Delivery: What is the second? Delivery: What is the third? Delivery: so if you ask me concerning the precepts of the Christian religion, I will answer, first, second, and third, Humility.”
~John Calvin

In honor of John Calvin, French theologian and pastor, who died on this day 1564.

Resources:
This Day in History for 27th May
John Calvin > Quotes

 

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EASTER CHANGES EVERYTHING – April 20

April 20, 2014

“And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.” 1 Corinthians 15:17-18

 Easter changes everything.

 If Christ had not been raised then…

… Church wastes a Sunday.
… prayer is merely meditation.
… the Bible is a best-selling self-help book.
cross… charity is a utopian ideal.
… faith is a crutch.
… self-denial is a waste of effort.
… happiness is fleeting.
… everlasting joy is a myth.
… peace is impossible.
… God is unknown.
… sin remains.
… God does not love us.
… suffering is without meaning.
… this is as good as it gets.
…our future is a grave.
… we are fools.

Easter changes everything.

Because Christ has risen, we know …

… He is the messiah.
… the prophesies have been fulfilled.
… the penalty of sin has been paid.
… the curse of sin is removed.
… death has been defeated.
… the kingdom of God will be established.
… all things are possible.
… eternal life awaits beyond the grave.
… glory will be revealed to us.
… suffering has purpose.
… we are loved by God.
… our faith is not in vain.
… we are not fools.
… we are children of God.
… we are heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ.

empty-tombEaster changes everything.

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord,
knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

(1 Corinthians 15:58)

PRAYER: Father, thank you for Easter.  Thank you for raising your Son from the grave.  Thank you for keeping all of your promises.  Thank you for redeeming me.  Thank you for giving hope and eternal life.  I praise your name on this glorious day for what you have done.    I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen

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THE LURKING BEAST OF A WEIGHED-DOWN HEART – April 19

April 19, 2014

“But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:34-36

 

20 on explore on Sunday, July 1, 2007There is a beast that roams my small acreage.

I have never seen its shape for it comes out only after I yield to sleep. Yet, the evidence of its presence confronts me at sunrise every morning. I walk into my field and shutter at the thought of an unwanted presence having recently crossed the very path of my footsteps.

I know what it hunts. I see the numerous holes it has dug in pursuit of its prey – gophers. I do not object to that pursuit. However, I wish that it would get its own. This beast has found that it is easier to steal from me. It has discovered that at the bottom of the fluttering location flags is a gopher trap that often, by the time of darkness, contains a dead gopher. It then absconds with the gopher and my trap. I have lost two traps to this beast.

I can tolerate the presence of this beast lurking in the darkness since we have a common nemesis – gophers. However, I know there is a danger that goes beyond the thief of traps and the annoyance of hole digging (this beast does not have the common courtesy of backfilling its holes).

English: Badger hole This large hole was in th...My concern is for my chickens. I know that it is just a matter of time before this beast finds that a roosting chicken is about as easy to catch as a trapped gopher – and much more satisfying. Therefore, this beast has become my enemy before I lose something I value more than a dead gopher.

I am not sure of my success. Therefore, I must stay vigilant to the unseen dangers.

IMAG0018There is a danger to our souls that lurks in the darkness. Our danger is that the day of judgment will come upon us unaware, when we do not expect it, and when we are not prepared for it. The danger is that we are called to meet our Lord, and He is the furthest thing from our hearts and low on the list of that which we love.

We are most vulnerable to this danger when we are unconscious to its presence. That is why we are encouraged to stay awake. We are to stay vigilant against the beast of a heart that is weighted down. We are to watch ourselves from becoming satiated with an inordinate pursuit of the good things of this world and an over-indulgence of the appetites of the body.

Many of us live in an amicable truce with the cares of the world. We fall asleep and allow the beast of our cravings to roam free because we consider them a normal course of our existence. We live with competing loves because it does not appear that they are having an effect upon our spiritual lives beyond an occasional thief of joy and the annoyance of our disrupted façade.

I believe that the danger of a weighed-down heart is far greater than we realize. A weighed-down heart is evidence of misplaced love. Misplaced loves have to be killed before they can burden our hearts, steal our fruitfulness, and even cause us to give up.

From my experience, I rarely get a clean shot at my misplaced loves. They grow in the hidden crevasses of the normal course of my life. I can become so accustomed to these cares, that I fall asleep to their danger.

I have to go to their lair and smoke them out.

There is only one way to smoke out misplaced love. It is by the work of the Spirit in our lives that affections are set upon God and God alone and misplaced love is killed. We have to come to the Spirit in pray and ask the Lord to examine our hearts for anything that we love more than Him. When we feel weighed down by the cares of this world, we must yield all to the Lord and set our eyes upon the things of the Spirit.

We mustn’t fall asleep to the danger. We must not accept a beast prowling in the darkness of our hearts as normal. The danger of a weighed-down heart is nothing to ignore.

PRAYER: Father, I do not want my love to be misplaced.  I do not want to love anything more than you.  Lord, examine my heart.  Show me where I am being weighed down by the cares of this world.  Show me the good things that I pursue more than you.  Show me where my appetites are out of control.  Help me give to you those loves that I have allowed to become too elevated.  Help me keep my eyes on you.  Help me stay awake to that which I am setting my mind upon.  Keep me in your steadfast love.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen

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JOY IN SALVATION – Mar. 19

March 19, 2014

“Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven – for she loved much.  But he who is forgiven little loves little.”  Luke 7:47

We have all seen reactions of the unexpected.

RMHK-Michael / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

The joy of the one who expected to stay seated when the awarder calls their name;

The exhilaration when an unachievable goal is achieved;

The shocked speechlessness at the generosity of a gift;

The tearful gratitude when the defenseless is defended.

The daily grind of my days may have ephemeral hints of these diffused emotions, but not as frequent as I think that it should.

More often, my days begin and end in the structure of muted routine.

The morning of another day commences with the structure of a Bible reading plan – a little Old Testament, a little New, bashed with some Psalms and garnished with contemplation.

The day is lived managing the cares and troubles allotted.

Evening ushers the day to closure with some reading and prayer – mostly focused upon the day previous and the one to come.

FredBaby13 / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

The faithful practice of the Christian faith can lead us into an attitude of the entitlement and wonderless-ness.  We can become accustomed to our salvation.  We expect our name to be called.  We can be so familiar with the bridge that spans the unachievable gap that we bounce and play on it.  Our words run on with academic “isms” in abstruse explanations of the marvelous gift freely given.  We walk confidently in the obligated defense of covenant.

I wonder whose attitude my daily existence most often reflects?

Simon the Pharisee – who did not wash Christ’s feet, never gave Him a kiss, and neglected to anoint his head.

The sinful woman of the city – who washed Christ’s feet with tears of gratitude, soiled her hair to dry His feet, and willingly gave expensive oil to anoint His head.

The reality of this comparison is displeasing .

I have a need that is greater than a desire for fresh revelation.
I require nutrition of something greater than a fresh telling of old truths.
I have a want that comes from a well deeper than spiritual discipline.
I have an essential necessity for remembrance.

Followers of Christ need to remember.  We should frequently remind ourselves of who we were.  We must regularly preach the gospel to our own soul.  We must daily acknowledge the unsanctified reality of our hearts.  We must practice marveling at the perfection of Christ in contrast to our imperfection.  We are not good.  We are not worthy.  All that we have to offer are filthy rags.

We need to live in the joy of our salvation so that we will live in the gratitude of the sinful woman of the city.

Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice.  Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.  Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.  Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.  Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.  Psalm 51:8-12

May we be a people who remember what has been done for us and take ecstatic joy in His salvation of our souls.

PRAYER: Father, restore to me the joy of your salvation.  Uphold me with a willing spirit.  Open my eyes to the wonder of what you have given me.  Forgive me for living ungratefully and entitled.  Renew a right spirit within me.  Help me to remember the beauty of the gospel.  Revive my dry attitude that has come with familiarity.  You have been so good to me.  You have blessed me with so much.  I was lost in my sin, worthy of your condemnation, and yet you saved me while I was still in rebellion against you.  Your love to me is abounding.  Your mercy is without boundaries.  Your grace is beyond comprehension.  Thank you – with all my heart and soul.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen

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