Prayer for Today

Set back - come back

January 26, 2016

Father, as I press towards the mark of the higher calling in You (Philippians 13:12 – 14) and I seek after the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33), I find my inner voices reminding me of my past failures. Failed marriages, failed businesses, failed projects and failed relationships all come flooding back to me as I work to set plans to fulfill my God given purpose.

The feelings of disappointment that each failure caused begins to sweep over me like a storm driven wave. I end up thinking, “how can the God of all possibly use me to accomplish greater?” I find my steps slowing, my optimistic outlook weaning and my spiritual esteem faltering.

Then Lord, I consider the life of David. He was an adultery, a cold-hearted murderer and less than a stellar parent, yet You Father God, gave him the title of “a man after my own heart.” (Acts  13:22 – 23) Then I know there’s hope for me!

You Father God are not a respecter of person (Acts 10:34). If You allowed David to be the beginning of the greatest dynasty in history and showed him favor despite his failures, You will do the same for me if I do everything You want me to do.

So I press towards the greatness that has been deposited in me! In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Scripture references:

Matthew 6:33

Acts 10:34 – 35

Acts 13:22 – 23

Philippians 3:12 – 14

Living Above Mediocrity

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Prayer for Today

12.Faith-without-Works

January 25, 2016

Father God, speaking “greater is coming” but not acting like I believe that it’s true is a waste of time.

I know acting like I believe it means that I change my words and my actions. Father God, help me to change my action so, by the power that You have invested in me, I can bring about the greater that I keep saying is coming.

My actions must show that I’ve moved from doubt and fear to belief and faith. My actions should show that I’ve left past failure in the past and am moving forward to greater triumphant.

Father, if I really believe that greater is coming, I must set aside time to spend with You one-on-one because it is through You; Your word and Your spirit, that my faith will be built up to believe that greater is here, in me and even more greater works will I do.

Father, help me to set aside unnecessary stuff so I can get in Your face, which is the face of greater. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Scripture references:

Proverbs 29:25

Mark 4:40

Romans 15:13

II Thessalonians 1:11

James 2:14 – 16

 

Prayer for Today

 

Stop and Go

January 11, 2016

Father God, this year I want to walk in Your greatness. I want You to manifest Your full power and authority over everything in my life. There are things in my life that want to hold me back from completing the assignments You purposed and planned for me; but I decree and declare that You are greater than any obstacle that may raise up against me or from within me.

Lord, I declare that You are greater than my heartaches, failures, depression, hurt feelings, pain of the past and my haters. You are greater than my anger, disappointments, doubt, shame and my shames. Yes Lord God! You surpass them all!

In 2016 I want You to manifest Your extensive power and authority over everything that would hold me back from fulfilling Your truth in my life.

I believe I walk in greatness and even greater is coming to me. Praise the name of the Lord Most High! I have expectations of greatness manifesting in my life this year. In Jesus name. Amen.

Scripture references:

I Chronicles 29:11                          Romans 5:3 – 5

Isaiah 61:7                                          Ephesians 3:20

Jeremiah 10:6                                   I Peter 5:7

Micah 7:8

Luke 1:49

 

Living Above Mediocrity

 

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Prayer for Today

peace rock

Bible reading challenge:

Read all the scriptures referenced at the bottom of each pray. Today, fill in the lines below with your prayer requests.

September 28, 2015

Father You are my peace. More than just my peace, You are my Shalom. You are the reason I am complete; nothing missing out of my life, nothing out of place. You are the fulfillment of everything I need, when the need arises.

When everything seems to be going to hell in a handbasket, You lift up a standard again the enemy. Not just my enemies in the world, or my immortal enemy, but you lift up a standard against my enemies that rage in me.

You lift up a standard against the fear, doubt, anger, envy and jealousy that war in me. You lift up a standard against low self-esteem, low self-worth and my feeling guilty and ashamed of things I have done. Your love for me lifts me above the fray of the world and my shortcomings. When nothing else can help, Your love lifts me and gives me peace.

Lord, no matter what goes on today, help me to rest in Your peace. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Scripture references:

Psalm 34:4 – 5                                  Romans 5:1

Psalm 103:11 – 14                             Romans 8:1 – 4

Isaiah 59:19                                       Philippians 4:7 – 9

Isaiah 61:7                                          I Peter 5:7

John 16:33

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Prayer for Today

Two faced woman

September 2, 2015

Father God, forgive us for being multiple faced. Too often when we, Your children, are with one group of people, who believe something this is against Your word, we say we agree with them. Then, when we’re with another group, we say we agree with them. Yet when we’re at our houses of worship, we say we agree with Your word even though none of the groups are saying the same thing.

Sometimes we get to the point we feel almost spiritually schizophrenic because we refuse to stand on the truth of Your word. We operate with the weight of lies on our tongues and with deceit in our hearts but still say we are Your children; a royal priesthood selected by You for Your service. Forgive us!

Lord, forgive us for being double minded. We say one thing with our mouths but believe something else in our hearts. We say You are the author of our faith and then we turn around and come up with our own plan without consulting You and waiting for You to answer.

Father, forgive us for quoting Your word but then being too fearful to follow Your word. Your word says the power of life and death is in our tongues. We keep speaking death over our lives and then we can’t figure out why we are spiritually, mentally, emotionally, financially and physically dying.

Our Lord and our God, we need a spiritual refreshing; a heart revival. Please Lord, revive us again!  Lord we need You! In Jesus name we pray. Amen!

Scripture references:

Psalm 62:8

Proverb 18:21

Proverb 23:7

Jeremiah 24:7

Matthew 12:34 – 35

Matthew 15:18 – 19

James 1:6 – 8

I Peter 2:9

 

Be Careful

No evil trio

 

Luke 6:45

A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”

When I was a child there was a song that our children’s choir sang that said, “Be careful little eyes what you see. Be careful little eyes what you see. For the Father up above is looking down with love. So be careful little eyes what you see.” The song went on to warn ears to be careful what they hear and little tongues to be careful what they say. I don’t know if children choirs still sing this song in most churches today, but I think they should because this song is correct in its warnings.

What we take in through our eye and ear gates is going to be what we put into our hearts and what comes out through our mouths!

If you know someone with a nasty attitude or a sour disposition and you HATE talking to them because you know they are going to be negative, nasty or uncooperative, it is because they have taken in nasty, negative uncooperative things. Jesus said it best in the above quoted scripture. We act, respond and deal with other people and things based on what’s in our hearts.

We take in so much without really thinking about it. We watch all types of TV shows, “The Have and Have Nots”, “Devious Maids, “Scandal”, “Modern Family”, “Blacklist” “Empire” and the list goes on and on. Do we ever stop and think about what we’re really taking into our hearts and minds? Do we really stop and think about the type of lifestyles we’re cheering for while we watch our favorite shows?

We read and watch all types of videos and stories on-line. We watch and read stories of people fighting each other in the street, bullies mistreating other people at school, teachers being hit and beat while they are trying to teach their classes, near pornographic dance moves and again, the list goes on and on. And we sit there looking and listening, in taking without thinking that these images and words are going to manifest themselves in us at one time or another.

I know I’m guilty of leaving of eye and ear gates open to feeding my heart ungodliness. So how about you? What are you taking in through your eye and ear gates?

“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

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The Same but Different

cropped-julians-pix-6691.jpg

James 1:13 – 15

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.  Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”

I have a dozen roses in my front yard. I basically care for each of them the same way; I feed and water them at the same time, clip them when they need it and make sure the soil nutrient levels are correct. I care for them equally.

My Double Delight rose, which is pictured above, is right at my front door because it’s beautiful and has a strong honey sweet aroma. When you walk up to my door and Double Delight is in bloom, the last thing you smell before you come into my house is the sweet fragrance of the rose. YUMMY!

The problem with the Double Delight is it is susceptible to black spots and yellow leaves. It is so susceptible to the disease that I have to pay special attention to the rose all summer because if I allow the disease a little room it will destroy every leaf on the Double Delight and defoliate the rose completely.

Right next to the Double Delight I have the John F. Kennedy rose; which is beautiful too but in a very different way than the Double Delight. The John F. Kennedy rose is not susceptible to black spots or yellow leaves but, Japanese Beatles LOVE the John F. Kennedy but they don’t really care for the Double Delight. So, even though the two roses are sitting right next to each other in the garden, they have too different challenges that I have to content with in order to keep them alive and healthy.

It is the same way for us in the Body of Christ. We have been engrafted into the Body of Christ by His redemptive blood and His finished work on the cross. We have been made spiritual siblings and yet, we are all tempted and drawn away from God by our own temptations.

What tempts you to turn away from your relationship with Christ may not bother me at all and what tempts me may not cause you to think about it twice. You see, just like my roses, we are individuals with different challenges, needs and desires. Coming to Christ doesn’t make us clones, it makes us saved. We are still the people we were before our salvation.

Our struggles are the same, our issues are the same, our aptitudes are the same, and the things we are susceptible to are the same. The difference is how we handle the struggles and the issues. The difference is how we handle the temptations. We are all the same; we all have struggles, issues and temptations but we are all different in how we handle them. None of us have any room to throw stones at someone else.

This is why we can’t judge someone else’s walk in Christ. We can’t judge how God is using them, or not, when or how. We don’t know all the particulars in that person life. Only God knows that and He is the one that directs the steps of us all.

One reason I love gardening is because flowers don’t have the ability to look over at another flower and try to compare themselves, whether for better or for worse. They don’t have the ability to see what I’m doing to one plant that I may not be doing to or for them. There is no envy or jealousy between plants like there often is between people.

While we are all the same in Christ because God is not a respecter of person, we are all very different and He treats us different according to His call on our lives.

 

“But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor.” Galatians 6:4

 

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It’s A Virus and It Spreads – Part II (Revised)

Computer virus spider

It’s A Virus and It Spreads – Part II

From the book: It’s Still Relative (The Word of God for Today’s World)

I John 3:4 – 6

Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.  But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.”

The virus on my computer started turning my computer off when it wanted to and making decisions about which programs would function, when and for how long. It was as if my computer had a mind of its own even though it belonged to me. My computer was doing what it wanted to do without my permission. Even though the computer belonged to me; I bought the computer with my families funds, it was operating independent of me.

It is the same with Christians and sin. God bought us with the life of his Son. God did not purchase us with the blood of His son so we could still operate independent of Him. We are no longer our own. We have been bought with a price. Operating with sin in our lives is just like my computer trying to operate with a virus; we are trying to operate independent of the person who has purchased us.

How do we know if an activity/behavior we want to engage in is a sin? We should ask the following questions BEFORE we start the activity/behavior:

  1. Did I pray about this activity/behavior and then WAIT until I received an answer from God?
  2. Does the activity/behavior convey God’s character?
  3. Does the activity/behavior glorify God?
  4. Does the activity/behavior show the love of Christ?

If we answer “No” to any of these questions, we are operating in sin.

When we operate independent of God, we are operating by the pride of life, the lust of the eye or being able to boast about what we have or what we’ve done. We are bringing glory to ourselves and not to God.

This type of behavior doesn’t come from God. It comes from our flesh wanting to get what it wants, just like my computer was running amuck because of the virus, our flesh will run amuck if we don’t rein it in with God’s Word.

We should strive to reflect the character of God in everything we do. Showing the love of God through our lives is what brings God glory and it is what draws the spiritually lost to us so we can tell them about Christ.

Just like I had to get the virus off my computer before it would run correctly, Christians have to get sin out of our lives so we can run for God correctly.

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;…” I Corinthians 6:19

 

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Hold On – Part II (Revised)

Ice age squirrel holding on

Joshua 1:5

“No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

God has told us that He will never leave us; He will always be with us. This is why we don’t have to seek after the things of the world system. We don’t have to love money, fortune or fame. We don’t have to give up our morals nor ethics in order to fit in with the world. We don’t have to go along to get along with everyone else because God, the Father of all things, has made us a promise; ‘I will never leave your; never will I forsake you.’

This means as children of God we can stand and fight just like the Israelites fought at Jericho; in an unorthodox non-world system method. The children of Israel marched around a fortified wall, singing and playing trumpets in order to bring down the wall of Jericho. Who does that? Those who trust in the Lord our God.

Our methods of warfare will be unorthodox by the world’s standards. Who shows love, kindness and compassion to people who are trying to take their jobs, their home or their car? Who still smiles and speaks to people who are rejecting you, mistreating you and saying all manner of evil against you? Those who trust in God because we know, God is with us!

Trusting in God will lead us to unorthodox methods of warfare because we know God has already promised us victory. “No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you…” These words weren’t just for Joshua, they are for us too!

We can hold on when it looks like all is lost because we have confidence that our God is not only with us, but He’s for us! We can be strong and courageous, unswerving and stout hearted because we know that no matter what happens God is standing beside us to care for us.

Even in the most desperate or difficult times we can keep our lives free from the love of worldly things  and be content with what God has given us because we know that God will provide for all our needs according to His riches in glory through His son, Jesus Christ (Philippians 4:19).

Proverbs 19:23 says it like this: “The fear (respect) of the Lord leads to life: Then one rests content, untouched by trouble.” If we respect this truth and promise of God; that He is with us at all times, then we can rest untouched by trouble!

DO NOT GIVE UP NOW! God has been and will continue to be with you.  He sees what you’re going through and He’s right beside you to help you through it. This is not the time or place to give up!  Just keep your eyes fixed on Jesus because He is walking right in front of you; The Holy Spirit is leading, guiding and directing you down the correct path for you. Remember Gods’ hook, “Hold on, I’m here!”

“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have because God has said, ‘Never will I leave your; never will I forsake you.’ So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”’ Hebrews13:5 – 6

 

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Dying on the Vine

 

Tomator rotting on vine

I Corinthians 12:4-6

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in men.”

For the first time in my life I decided to grow a vegetable this year. I was talking to the farmer where I purchased my flowers and told her what I wanted to do and she suggested a table top tomato plant. She said they were easy to grow, easy to maintain and I could put them someplace where I would see them every day so they wouldn’t die on the vine.

She was correct on all points: the table top tomatoes are easy to care for and maintain, plus they sit on my deck so I see them every day and I can watch them as they flower, fruit and mature right before my eyes. If only our spiritual gifts were as easy to grow, maintain and watch. Maybe then so many Christians wouldn’t allow their gifts to die on their spiritual vines.

There have been several times I almost gave up writing Daily Prayers and Words for Today. I often thought “no one reads them any way” or “what I’m doing isn’t helping anyone” or, and here’s the best excuse I had for giving up this portion of my ministry, “who am I to try to help people live a fuller life in Christ. I struggle with stuff every day, how can I help them?”

During these times of defeat I’d still write the Daily Prayers and the Words for Today but I wouldn’t send them out. Then, I’d get an email from someone saying, “hey, where’s the daily reading?” Sometimes I’d know the person but often times I didn’t. I realized that what God had me doing in this portion of my ministry was important and helpful to people other than just me. And, if I continued to be selfish with what God was giving me, then the fruit that other people needed would die on the vine in my spiritual garden.

We all have spiritual fruit which grows out of our gifts. EVERYONE has at least one gift, according to I Corinthians 12:11, given to us by the Holy Spirit and, the Holy Spirit made the determination of who got which gift.

Sometimes we allow our fruit to die on the vine because we don’t value the gift we’ve been given. Selah!

“All these are the works of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.”

I Corinthians 12:11

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