As FBC begins our celebration of the Christmas season (tomorrow is the first Sunday in Advent), I hope you will remember the story of Simeon. (Luke 2) An old man. He has waited for years for “the consolation of Israel”. Trusting a promise from God that he would not die before He saw the Christ, Simeon came into the temple just as Mary and Joseph did. Praising God, he spoke a clear prophesy and felt at peace, ready to die. Great story.
Day 9 –Will you pray for the Senior Adults in the FBC family?
Will you thank God for their service and example? Will you choose one and hold him/her before the Father? Ask for health and undiminished strength. Ask God to refute the secular idea that at some point all of us just “fade away”. “Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died, his eye was not dim, nor his vigor abated.” (Deuteronomy 34:7) Take time with this assignment. “The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man. . .(James 5:16)
RE Verse reading–Luke 5:12-26. I look forward to seeing you in the morning!
In Luke 11, the disciples ask Jesus to “teach them to pray”. I often wonder why. What was the real motivation for the question? What did they see? What did they hear? What did they observe? Was it His wisdom? Was it His patience? Was it His power? Was it His repetition? Was it the real and vibrant relationship with his Heavenly Father?
Day 8 – Will you ask God to help you be teachable and learn how to pray?
In the remaining 40 days, let’s ask God to make us people of prayer. Let’s train ourselves (practice) to be Godly in our praying. (1 Corinthians 9:25) What if our time in prayer each day caused us to change? What if others noticed Christ-like wisdom, patience, and strength in us? What if they noticed a real relationship with our Heavenly Father? “Practice doesn’t make perfect. It reduces the imperfection.”
Re: Verse reading–Luke 5:12-26.
Day 7 – The Prayer of Thanks
Today is Thanksgiving Day…a national holiday that dates back to the 17th century. The holiday was initiated to give thanks to God for the bountiful harvest He provided. Giving thanks to God is a prayer. Much of our modern day praying is made up of giving thanks to God and asking Him to provide something else for us. Our practice of prayer seems to be centered on us. Giving thanks to God is an important aspect of prayer. This Thanksgiving Day, let’s give thanks to God for some of the more difficult blessings we may have had…endurance to be sustained in a very difficult task, comfort in the loss of a loved one, patience to deal with a stressful situation, or lessons learned in a period of suffering. God is at work in every area of our lives…the ‘good’ blessings are just sometimes easier to recognize. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Focus your thanks on what God has done instead of what we have received.
Re: Verse reading–Luke 5:12-26.
Prayer is the first step toward coming to know that this is not looking to devour you. That’s the devil’s mission, the Bible says, not this good creation of God’s. Jesus told us the pagans run after things they believe are in short supply, because they see the universe as a chaotic, hostile realm. But Jesus knew better. That which God called good, we need not fear. When we pray, we come out of chaos and move toward this good God who hears and responds.
Day 6 – Will you ask this good God, who created this good universe, to reflect his goodness in you?
“Whatever is good,” think on it, Paul says. Goodness is alien to our sinfulness, but as we hunger for goodness through prayer, we will learn it again.
Re: Verse reading–Luke 5:12-26.
Do you have a pattern to your prayers? Jesus gave us the best possible scheme for talking to the Father through the Model Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13. Notice the first sentence carefully. “Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed by thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
Day 5 – As you pray will you acknowledge God’s greatness?
What do you notice? Before we intercede, petition, cry or say anything else we must first acknowledge the one to whom we speak. I find that no matter what state of mind I am in when I first verbalize how grateful I am that God is sovereign I feel a greater sense of propriety to my prayer. It is not about me, and even at my core when I am hurting and want comfort there must first be a word of gratitude to the Father. For over three years now when I begin my prayers in the morning I begin with a line from a poem by e.e. cummings: “I thank you God for most this amazing day”. Put your focus first on Him and be amazed at how your heart grows.
Re: Verse reading–Luke 5:12-26.
However you imagine the balance between sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man, whether Calvinist or Armenian, one thing is certain. Prayer is powerful with God, powerful in the salvation of those who separated from God and empty of eternal LIFE.
Day 4 – Will you pray for People to be saved?
“My heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation” says Paul in Romans 10:1. Jesus saw the same opportunity. “Beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.” (Matthew 9:38) Apparently, the prayers of the people of God have a huge effect on the “divine opportunities” that come our way. A prepared witness + an open heart = faith = salvation! So, will you? Will you TAKE 5 MINUTES to pray for people who do not “see” the spiritual realities of this universe? Linger here. Pray for the Lord to send you into the harvest. “What man among you, if he has 100 sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the 99 and go after the one which is lost? (Jesus – Luke 15:4) Will you pray?
Re: Verse reading – Luke 5:12-26. (First day, new series of studies in the book of Luke)
People who pray (thank you for being one of this number) must face sin. Must understand it. Must appreciate the non-negotiable position of a holy God toward it. Christianity is not soft. It does not allow spiritual avoidance.
Day 3 –Will you pray toward repentance and renewal?
Three times when the Lord was teaching us to pray He focused attention on sin. Forgive us. (the guilt of it) Lead us not into temptation. (the courage and daily choices required of us) Deliver us from Evil. (the power of it) Great promises are given to those who will walk this pure path. “If we confess OUR sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us.” (1 John 1:9) “Repent and return, so that YOUR sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” (Acts 3:19) Most people do not see this need. . .a holy God, quenched and silenced by our sin. Will you TAKE 5 MINUTES and ask Him to open your eyes and start your journey of repentance? “If my people. . .
Re: Verse reading – 2 Peter 1:16-3:18. Rain or shine, I will see you in church in a few hours!
We have begun a 40 day journey together. Hundreds of us. Focusing our prayers. Asking God with united voice. Welcome to these days. I believe God will bless us.
Day 2 – Will you pray for your Pastor(s)?
He has no small task. To speak God’s word. To guide God’s people. Leading a church, developing a staff, casting vision, teaching scripture, enlisting leaders, offering counsel. Pastor’s often find themselves asking Paul’s question, “Who is adequate for this task?” (2 Corinthians 2:16) The answer is obvious. God. Only God is adequate for this task. Unless the people of God pray for the Spirit of God to fill their leaders, failure is certain. So, today, will you? Will you TAKE 5 MINUTES and hold your Pastor(s) before the Lord? Be still and determined. Wait for the Spirit to lead your thoughts. “And pray on my behalf”, said Paul in Ephesians 6:19. God’s love is to send leaders. Our love is to pray for them.
Re: Verse reading – 2 Peter 1:16-3:18 Great study! Look forward to seeing you tomorrow (Sunday)
Normal Christian behavior! It is ignored by many, but still God’s plan for the church. “My house shall be called a house of prayer.” Will you join me? Starting this morning, and ending on New Year’s Day, hundreds of members and friends of FBC will unite our prayers. 40 days of “agreeing together”.
Day 1 – Will you pray for THE PRESIDENT?
Much repenting to do here. We pray for the President, not because we like him or because we don’t, but because we believe that He (in the operation of his office) is part of God’s plan for the world. No nation is closer to God by disrespecting those who are in authority. Even when our conscience demands “civil disobedience” it will be bathed in prayer. Read 1 Timothy 2:1-3. Then TAKE 5 MINUTES and hold the name Barack Obama before the throne of grace! Linger longer if the Spirit gives you encouragement. The real battle in this world in won in prayer. Send this blog to your children and friends! Invite them to join. Blog what the Lord teaches you in prayer. We want to hear from you. The next 40 days are going to be a blessing.
Re: Verse reading this week. . .2 Peter 1:16-3:18. I will look for you on Sunday!
Re: Verse reading–2 Peter 1:16-21; 2:1-3; 3:1-18 (day four)
How relevant is Scripture? As we read Peter, it is as if we are reading the daily news. 2:1 says, “False prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you.” We do not have to look very far to see the truth of this statement! Peter says they will secretly introduce their heresies…that means they are deceptive…catching us unaware (Satan is the father of lies.). We find false teachers in pulpits, on the radio, on the TV, writing popular books, and anywhere they can gain influence for profit. Peter exhorts us to remember the whole picture…to remember the truth we have been taught, to encourage one another to stand firm in truth. Scripture is our guide and discernment from the Holy Spirit is our tool. Verse 17 says, “be on your guard, lest you fall from your own steadfastness.” Hold fast to the truth of God’s Word!