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

© Copy written material

Prayer For Today

God can restore - Isaiah scripture

Bible reading challenge:

Read all the scriptures referenced at the bottom of each pray.

September 15, 2015

Father, I want to thank You this morning for Your protection from dangers seen and unseen. You have been protecting me all my life, sometimes it didn’t feel like You were there, but even then You were protecting me from things and people that could have changed the course of my life for the worse or even taken my life.

Father sometimes Your protection is in the form of rejection, which is never a pleasant experience. Rejection makes my heart sink, causes me to feel inferior and makes me want to hide away because my feelings are hurt but, the reality is this: You use rejection as a tool to keep me safe from people, situations and circumstances that You know are not a part of Your call and plan for my life. Help me to see rejection as a gift from You.

Father, sometimes You use financial difficulty, illness or even the loss of a loved one to keep me safe and protect me from the schemes and plans of the enemy.

Lord, I declare that starting today I will not fight against Your protection of me. I will not grow angry, resentful or envious of others when You are at work covering, keeping and protecting me. Thank You for loving me so much You are willing to do whatever it takes to protect me from any and every one, or thing, that would harm me. You even protect me from me! Thank you Father!

In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Scripture references:

Jeremiah 24

Malachi 3:17

Ephesians 6:10 – 18

I Peter 5:8

© Copy written material

Marigold or Rose?

 

     Vanilla Marigolds  cropped-good-as-gold.jpg  

  

Psalm 73:1 – 3

“Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold.  For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

 

I planted a new flower bed in my backyard this spring. I worked on the flower bed for days because I wanted to plant 6 new roses, which I did, but along with the roses I planted some marigolds. Five of the roses I planted died and the one that is still alive is struggling but the marigolds are thriving and blooming like nobody’s business.

I’m sure if my one struggling rose could talk it would be angry, envious and jealous of the marigolds. If that one rose had eyes, it would be sick of seeing vanilla colored marigolds blooming and taking over the space that was meant for the rose.

Here’s the deal; marigolds are perennials, they die after their blooming season. They do not have longevity of live. They are here, blooming and looking beautiful one season and in the trash the before the next season is over. On the other hand, roses are annuals; they live and bloom for years. I have some roses that are almost 20 years old. As long as I can keep my one surviving rose alive during the winter season, it will live and bloom next season and for years to come plus, the rose will get stronger as it lives through the winter seasons.

My marigolds are like the rich wicked people in this life; oh, they are living well now, they are wealthy, rich, attractive and carefree…today, but how about long-term? Those of us who are in Christ are like the rose; we may be struggling, but we have been promised abundant life in this age and eternal life in the one to come. The wicked don’t have those promises to lean and depend on.

It is easy to see the arrogant wicked people and feel the pang of jealousy or envy but we can’t allow what we see in them to cause us to lose our hope in God. We can’t allow their seemingly carefree life to cause us to think our goal of keeping our hearts pure before the Lord is in vain (Ps. 73:12 – 14).

We must remember that there is more to live than just money, fame and fortune. There is love, peace, joy, contentment, integrity, honesty, hope and truth, all found in our relationship with God through Christ Jesus.

You and I may cry out, “Lord, why can’t I have just a little of their money?” But, they may be crying out, “Why can’t I have peace of mind?” See, we only see the outside of the situation; we only see what the camera shows us, we can’t see their hearts but it’s not about what we see, it’s about a relationship with God and believing, even when we’re struggling, that long-term God will always be true to His promises to us.

“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.” II Corinthians 1:20

© Copy written material

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

 

© Copy written material

They’re Baaack!!!

 

Ephesians 6 12

Romans 6:6 – 7

For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.”

It’s easy for me to get discouraged when I’m doing something new and old problems, issues and even some old people seem to pop up in the midst of my new stuff. It’s just like weeds popping up in my yard in the same places that I’ve evicted them no too long ago. The truth is I evicted them but I couldn’t eradicate them.

I worked hard to get rid of the weeds and grass from my new rose bed. I dug, pulled and trenched around the new bed so I could remove the unwanted stuff and keep it out. Unfortunately, after a heavy rain, the weeds are back and the grass is trying to return to where it used to live.

I looked out the window of my home office and saw weeds and grass growing and all I could think was, “they’re baaack!!!”

I was feeling sad, frustrated, let down and discouraged. All my heard work down the drain, then, I resigned myself to the truth; this is going to be an ongoing battle, not a one time effort. So, I went out, grabbed my garden tools and headed to the yard. This means war!!!

The same scenario is true when we start obeying God and begin to live our lives according to His will. We dig up doubt, fear, concerns about money, unforgiveness, past pains and disappointments. We dig up the pain of hurt feelings, envy and jealousy, guilt and shame. We pull them out, remove and evict them from the soil of our hearts with fasting, prayer, reading and studying God’s Word. We think we’re good, and then one day something or someone sends rain on our lives. Before we know it, we are battling the same weeds we removed from our lives because we evicted them but did not eradicate them.

We must resign ourselves to this truth: This is a never-ending battle! We will continue to contend with fear, doubt, guilt, shame, etc. as long as we live in these bodies. The good news is we have already won the war through our relationship with Jesus Christ.

So grab your spiritual gardening tools; your Bible, your favorite Christian authors’ books and Bible studies. Turn down your plate or, turn off the television or your computer and get to work clearing out those weeds. This means war!!!

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12

© Copy Written Material