Archive for the ‘Prayer’ category

A Sinner’s Prayer

April 2, 2012

So often we’ve heard about the sinner’s prayer. Most often that refers to a prayer that many believe will bring salvation to the sinner. I am not convinced that any such prayer is possible, there are too many Scriptures that teach a series of things are necessary for the salvation of our souls.

However, I am not convinced that sinners should not pray. I am not persuaded that we ever reach a point in our lives that we are truly sinless. I do believe we can be in covenant relationship with the God of heaven and He cleanses us from all sin as we follow the savior who walks in the light (1 John 1:7-9). Never believe that the privilege of forgiveness is freedom to sin:

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? (Romans 6:1-2)

Today, I hope all of us will be humble enough to ask the Lord for forgiveness of our sins. I pray that all men will submit to the commands of the Lord necessary to enter His kingdom. It is then that we are assured of answers to our prayers (James 5:16). I am reminded of the beautiful old hymn that lays out the contrite heart of a sinner before God.

Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
Forgive our foolish ways;
Reclothe us in our rightful mind,
In purer lives Thy service find,
In deeper reverence, praise.

My prayer today is that God will forgive my failings, my stubbornness to change my heart to be like His. I ask Him for a clearer mind to serve Him better while I leave behind the mundane thoughts and deeds of worldliness. That He will help my sinfulness to become faithfulness to His service.

Joseph D. Chase

Advertisements

New Year New Blessings

January 4, 2011

2011 will bring blessings to all who put the Lord first in their lives (Matthew 6:33).  To enjoy those blessings to the fullest we need to open our eyes and hearts to them.  Too often we rush through life and forget to live life.  Living too quickly to enjoy the fruits of our labors, the joys of family, friends and the Lord will cause anyone to become weary, ungrateful and depressed.

Take stock of what God is doing in your life. Enjoy each and every gift granted to us.  Give thanks and share those blessing with others.

Lord,  Please help me to see every gift and blessing.  Help me to let the joy of your salvation motivate me and others to share my gifts and blessing.  In Jesus we ask.

Don’t Get Caught in Your Own Mouth Trap

November 4, 2010

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.
(Ephesians 4:31)

Isn’t it amazing how quickly people will resort to harsh, gossip, slander and evil epithets. Even best friends have fits of anger bringing angry words that sever friendships.

It is often our speech that betrays us. Jesus reminds us that evil speech reveals an evil heart (Matthew 15:19).

Hateful speech is bewildering, especially coming from Christian folk talking about other Christian folk. How can we speak hurtful gossip or slander about another child of God? The wicked one loves it when he can sidetrack the church by division. That division can always be traced back to wicked hearts speaking evil words.

Sadly, the destruction spewing from hurtful lips is doing as much damage to the soul of the speaker as it is to the hearer. Giving in to the sinful desire to gossip or slander leads the heart deeper into sins dreadful ways.

Fix your heart and tongue and you are well on your way to living as God wants you too. You will feel better when you uplift instead of cut down. You will draw closer as family when you talk about wholesome, encouraging subjects.

Father, please help me to use my speech to build up and not destroy, to encourage and not divide. I need your help desperately to control my heart and lips.

Please check out the Great Change Podcast. You can find us on

 

Thank You For Letting Us Grow…!

July 3, 2010

We had VBS last week.  At lunch time one of the little boys asked if he could say the prayer of thanks for our food.  I would never stand in the way of letting a child pray for me or for anyone else.  So he began his prayer much like most blessings for a meal.  Then the subject matter turned a little bit.  Cooper, asked God to help us to grow, thanked him for letting us grow some already and then asked that God would help our parents to see that we have grown.

This little boy was speaking some of the most important words for himself and now I realize for me too.  I cannot grow without God.  It is His Word that serves as food for the spirit through which we mature (1 Peter 2:2).  Daily growth should be something we all seek.   We should want it so badly that we even ask God to help us and thank Him for helping us to grow.  But, how can we really know that we are growing if others don’t see it?  Shouldn’t we long for others to see our progress in Christ?  Cooper’s prayer is my prayer now.  I pray that as I walk the Christian walk others will notice as I improve on serving, avoiding the devil or just plain growing up.

Lord, please help others to see my growth, let them see that I am more like you today than yesterday and even more tomorrow.  And dear Father, thank you for Cooper who in his child like prayer reminded us all of what is most important.

Do you have a sweet prayer story you would like to share please comment or send it to me by email.

Subscribe in a reader

So You Want to Pray Better?

May 12, 2010

Praying is just as much a skill as any communication. It doesn’t take a degree in speech to do it but there are certainly some skills we can hone to make our prayer life more beneficial and meaningful.  Every person is different and we all have varying abilities.  Praying comes very easy for some while it is a difficult practice for others.  One thing is for certain we can all get better at it.

Here are a few suggestions that might help you:

Location, Location, Location. There are so many distractions that steal our concentration, especially if we are trying to pray.  Choose a quiet place away from the noise of the world.  Turn off the TV, radio, telephone ringer and anything else that could disturb your conversation with God.  Jesus even suggested your closet.  Not a bad idea for many reasons.  Praying in seclusion will keep the performer from public displays of faux piety.  It also helps us avoid common obstacles to attention.

It is Now Time For All Good Men To Pray.  Schedule specific times to pray.  Yes, unless you budget time you will lose the opportunity to pray.  It is never a bad idea to schedule a recurring time.  Good habits can be made when we practice them regularly.

Make it a time when you are fresh and awake.  Mornings are not that time for me.  I do mundane things early in the day because my best brain function comes only after a few hours of activity.  Late night isn’t real good for me either, for I often drift off to sleep before I can finish everything I need to speak to God about.

Lunch time and shortly thereafter work best for me.  I look at as an opportunity to feed the mind and spirit.  I am wide awake, have all my mental acuteness ready to focus on my prayer.

I am certainly not saying that you need to pray just once per day.  We can have short conversations with God anytime and all the time.  But the dedicated conversation time where I can go over my prayer list is a definite appointment in my day planner.

Lists and A Journal. I have a several lists that I pray over regularly.  Some are people, some are events, some are personal pleas for spiritual growth and forgiveness.  Often I will rotate my lists so that I don’t pray on auto pilot.

I have one list of Church needs, this includes the sick, the leaders, the teachers, my vision for the family, intercessory prayer for the weak.  I keep the list in list form so I can be fresh as I pray through.

I also have a list for family,our health, spiritual growth, opportunities for further service in the Kingdom, forgiveness, blessings for parents, siblings and offspring, special needs that always arise.  This list helps me stay on task and include everyone I need to be praying for.

I also have a list that deals primarily with thankfulness.  I try to list specific things, people, blessings and opportunities given me by the Lord.  It helps me to see just how much God is working in my life.  As I go through the list there will be other blessings that come to mind that I put into a journal.

I have a friend who writes out almost word for word the prayers she prays.  She collects them in a book and reviews them periodically.  It is a log of the spiritual blessings and growth in her life.  She is able to pray with deeper appreciation for all the ways God has answered her prayers.

My lists serve much of the same purpose.  I use a stenographer’s pad and record the prayer in one column and as I see the answer  I record it in the second column.  It’s a good idea to save these notes for future reading.  I am so amazed at the joy I  experience seeing God’s work done in my life.

Lord willing I’ll give a few more ideas as time allows.  The best advice I’ve ever heard about prayer originates with Paul the apostle.  “Pray without ceasing.”  Pray often and then pray more often.

follow me on twitter

Click to Follow

The Power is in the Praying

May 3, 2010

With God all things are possible (Mark 10:27).  If you ask it will be given, seek and you will find, knock and it shall be opened to you (Matthew 7:7) .  Resist the devil and he will flee from you, draw near to God and He will draw near to you (James 4:8).  And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. (1 John 5:14).

Those powerful passages truly bolster our confidence when it comes to living spiritual lives.  However, there are few who ever really tap into the power afforded by a consistent and proper prayer life.  Far to often we seek God’s favor, blessing, strength or help only when we have failed to accomplish things by our own strength.  Even more often we fail to be thankful for the blessings given to us in prayer.

Developing a consistent, dedicated prayer life is your best way to accomplish all that God wills for your life.  You will find more strength to work, more joy for your efforts and less frustration due to failure.  Today is a good day to start praying regularly.  Now is a great time to dedicate yourself to open communication with the God of heaven.  You will see benefit immediately.

To view a video of this material please go to

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0_iMSRwyG0

Calls in the Night

April 5, 2010

Usually if the phone rings after 10 o’clock at night it brings a sense of dread for fear that something bad has happened.  It usually turns out not to be as bad as imagined but every ring of the phone Old Phoneshakes the heart a little bit.  It turns out that some of the greatest ministering takes place because of those late night phone calls.  If it is a death in a family, a domestic dispute, a run away child all of these horrible problems bring incredible opportunity to bring the Lord’s blessing into a chaotic situation.

I remember several years ago there was a man who would only call me when he had gone on a drinking binge.  Almost every time he called it was near three o’clock  in the morning.  This usually happened once every two or three months.  The man never told me his name or where he lived he just talked about how much he was hurting and how sad he was that his life was in such a mess.  Most of the time we would end up with a prayer asking God to strengthen his resolve to stop his alcohol abuse and to find a church home to help him get away from is drunken lifestyle.  The phone calls stopped for a long period of a few years and I began to wonder if this man had found his footing to get away from his addiction.  I wondered if he had fallen so deep into his bottle that he gave up looking for help.  Then out of the blue a call came.  It was the same voice on the phone but without the drunken stammer.  He told me of his new life as a student in a local community college.  He was getting a certification to help other people who were addicted to alcohol.  He spoke of his new family and his devotion to a baby boy born just a year or so earlier.

To this day I don’t know the man who called in the night.  But one thing I learned is that it is always best to answer the call.  It is always best to lend an ear, give Biblical counsel and pray for the person calling.  Somehow that act of listening and sharing God’s love can bloom and make a striking difference in someone’s life.  If a person is hurting enough to call they are in tremendous need of God’s grace.  We are His hands and His feet to bring His peace to a sin-sick, hurting world.