Monday, March 20, 2017

The Power of Prayer

"More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of." Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Before I had my conversion experience, I doubted the power of prayer. Because I was taught that God was all powerful, I thought that He was going to do what He was going to do regardless of the prayers of people. But I learned that although God knows what will happen in the future, in some strange way our prayers can affect that future.
  Jesus Himself prayed and taught us how to pray. He gave us The Lord's Prayer, the Our Father, as an example of how we should pray. Jesus prayed in the Temple during the Jewish prayer services and often went off by Himself to pray (see Mark 1:35, Matthew 14:23, Luke 6:12).
  Regarding the power of prayer Jesus said:
Ask, and you will receive. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and it will be opened to you. For the one who asks, receives. The one who seeks, finds. The one who knocks, enters."

  There are many, many passages in Scripture showing us the power of prayer. In Acts 12:5 it says: Peter was thus detained in prison, while the church prayed fervently to God on his behalf."  In response to that prayer, God sent and angel to set Peter free. In Acts 8:15-17, Peter and John prayed over people to receive the Holy Spirit and they did. In Acts 28:8-9, Paul prays for healing for many people and they all are healed.
  In Luke 11:5-13 and 18:1-8 Jesus uses parables to illustrate the need for persistence in prayer.
  There are several passages telling us that all prayers are answered.
...whatever you ask in my name (Jesus) I will do, if you love me and obey the commands I give you,... John 14:13-15.
  I (Jesus) give you my assurance, whatever you ask the Father, He will give you in My name....Ask and you shall receive, that your joy may be full. John 16:23-24.
  If you live in Me (Jesus), and My Words stay part of you, you may ask what you will--it will be done for you. John 15:7.
  One of the most powerful ways to pray is to pray the Words of Scripture for a particular person or intention. I keep a list of Scripture passages that I pray or send to people on their birthdays. One of my favorites is:

May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, grant you a spirit of wisdom and insight to know Him clearly. May He enlighten your innermost vision that you may know the great hope to which He has called you, the wealth of His glorious heritage to be distributed among the members of the church, and the immeasurable scope of His power in us who believe. Ephesians 1:17-19.
  Another way to pray Scripture is to pray specific passages that address whatever you are praying for such as fear, anxiety, love, hope, healing. For this you will need a concordance to look up Scripture passages on a particular subject. You can write the passage on index cards or in your phone or tablet and pray those passages during your prayer time. Or you can post them at your desk, in the bathroom or on the refrigerator and pray them each time you see them.
  The promises of God in His Word can be applied to us today. There are many passages in Scripture where God makes promises to His people. Even if the promises were made to the Israelites, they still apply to us as Christians since we are descendants of them through Jesus death and resurrection. In 2 Chronicles 7:14 God tells us that our prayers for our country can effect change:

…if my people, upon whom my name has been pronounced, humble themselves and pray, and seek my presence and turn from their evil ways, I will hear them from heaven and pardon their sins and revive their land.

  These are only a few of the many other Scripture passages on the power of prayer.  You can easily find more by researching "prayer" or "praying" in your concordance. There is power in prayer. Lets tap into that power every day.

The fervent petition of a holy man is powerful indeed. James 5:16b

Tuesday, March 14, 2017


Adolescence is like setting out on a long voyage on an often turbulent and stormy sea—for both the teenager and the parents.  It’s kind of like a long labor.
  Keep your eye on Jesus and on the vision of the strong, self-confident man or woman that will emerge at the end of this voyage—for if you do that, they will.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Meditation on the Our Father

Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be Your name

“OUR Father”; not MY but OUR—God is our Father as well as Jesus father.
Father, Abba, Daddy.
No longer the idea of a remote thunderbolt-throwing deity.
We raise arms in an attitude of surrender.
Praise be to Your Holy Name.
  We will respect His name and who He is.

May Your Kingdom come

We want Your Kingdom to come on earth.
We represent You here on earth.
As we do so we begin to become part now of Your eternal Kingdom.

Your Will be done

May your perfect Will be done.
Your guidance is what we need.
We will spend time in silence, listening and looking.

On earth as it is in Heaven

The responsibility of seeing His will done falls on us. We carry it on our own shoulders. We have free will here to choose the path we take—to help others to choose, to show His way to others.
And we model this on our concept of Heaven—joy, peace, light, warmth, and above all, love.

Give us this day our daily bread

Please provide for all our needs—food, clothing, shelter.
His provision is there for all our needs; for health and healing too.

Forgive us the wrong we have done

Forgive us our sins and our faults.
Forgiveness—no longer to be earned but accepted—a gift from God, through His last and final sacrifice; the shedding of the innocent blood of His beloved Son.

As we forgive those who do us wrong

As we forgive the sins and faults of others.
Here is a new factor, totally unexpected.  The idea that we should forgive others, even our enemies, those who would hurt or destroy us or those we love.
This is what Jesus did.
Only as we forgive can we be forgiven.
Jesus, help us to forgive.

And subject us not to trials

Be with us when we are tempted.
He does not tempt us—He is exactly the opposite.
So we are saying “remind us of Your presence when we are tempted and give us the strength to turn from it.”

But deliver us from all evil.

We have no power to deliver ourselves.
It is His to deliver us from evil, not only in ourselves, but also from the evil one himself.
Satan cannot stand in Jesus’ presence.
We have free will.
We can live in bondage, or we can choose to live in the power of the Holy Spirit, in light, love and freedom.

So be it.

(based on Matthew 6:9-13; Luke 11:2-4 NAB

Who's Opinion Do You Respect

In society today, people who are older and more experienced are not valued or respected—youth and fame are.  It annoys me when magazines interview famous people or entertainers and ask their opinions on child-rearing or politics as if being famous makes a person an authority.  Being famous doesn’t make them any more knowledgeable than the person next door.
  Or when older employees are booted out the door in favor of the latest college graduate with his or her MBA.  The older employee’s years of experience on the job are far more valuable than someone fresh out of college, even with the best educational background.  Ask any college graduate in a new job—there are many, many things that college just doesn’t prepare you for.  Companies should value veteran employees as they can help train new employees and pass on to them the knowledge they have gained through experience.
  When you are looking for advice or help in any area, ignore the words of those pundits on the internet and in the media. Look for those who are respected, mature and wise; those with experience and good credentials.
For it is by wise guidance that you wage your war,
  and the victory is due to a wealth of counselors.  Proverbs 24:6