Prayers

A Prayer after God’s Heart

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The other night at church, our pastor spoke about a prayer that we can say anywhere, anytime! He said this prayer was the antidote for everything we were suffering from: feelings of inferiority, lack and poverty, discouragement, anxiety, guilt, shame, resentment, bitterness and even fear. He said he had been praying it every morning before his feet hit the ground for the past 20 years and he could attest that it worked.

Well, as you can imagine I wanted that prayer! I determined to commit it to memory and say it every day. I knew then and there I was going to pray circles around some things with this prayer. I sat with pen and paper, ready to write as he began the prayer:

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen

Wow! I couldn’t believe it!! I already knew that prayer. I’d learned it as a child. Jesus had told us to pray like this in Matthew 6:9-13. And as the pastor explained, when we pray this prayer:

  1. We establish our identity – we are God’s children and that makes us pretty powerful;
  2. We accept God’s purpose for our lives and ask His will to be done;
  3. We ask for what we need and believe him to provide;
  4. We ask for forgiveness of sins and forgive those who have sinned against us;
  5. We let the enemy know we’re not falling for his schemes and;
  6. We invite God to protect us from all manner of evil including diseases, and lack.

What a powerful prayer!

I accepted my pastor’s challenge that night to pray The Our Father Prayer daily. Now, I want to invite you to make a pact with yourself. Commit to praying The Our Father Prayer before your feet hit the ground every morning and see the difference it makes in your life.

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Encouragement

Fear Factor

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Years ago, there was a popular reality game show called Fear Factor where participants would compete against each other by doing downright scary, gross and sometimes dangerous stunts for a grand prize. Contestants often had to face their fear of everything from heights to snakes to complete the stunts and win the big money.

Luckily many of us aren’t having to literally crawl through a pit full of snakes in order to successfully do what God’s calling us to do, but our fears are just as real, and just as intimidating. If left unchecked, those fears can stop us in our tracks.

What’s your Fear Factor?

Cindy hung up the phone and squealed in delight, unable to contain her excitement. Her boss had just offered her the opportunity of her career: leading their department’s annual major project. As project lead she would have final say on everything from the design and conception to roll-out. She would have to work directly with the company’s leadership, and various teams from different departments in the company, and she would also be the company representative for the external clients served by the project. It would bring her exposure on a company and public level. Her performance would be seen by many, judged by many. Her excitement quickly faded replaced by a sick feeling in the pit of her stomach.

Could she really do this? Did she have what it took to manage all the moving parts of the project and lead all those different people effectively? What would they say or think about her performance . . . and about her, personally? What if the project failed? Would she get the blame? Could see handle the magnitude of the project with the other work and personal responsibilities already on her plate? And what if she succeeded? Would she end up alienating the friends she worked with? She was trading her security for the unknown. Suddenly, Cindy wished that she hadn’t been so quick to say yes, and had asked for time to consider instead.

Face Your Fear with Faith!

A common acronym for Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real. Fear always presents itself logically, and sometimes, so subtly, that we don’t recognize the road blocks in our mind keeping us from acting on our opportunities is really just Fear.  But God says that He did not give us a spirit of timidity or fear, but a spirit of power, love, sound judgement, and personal discipline and abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control (2 Timothy 1:7).

We have a choice. We can focus on all the fear factors that arise when we think about stepping out, or we can focus on our faith instead, believing what God says and trusting that He will be with us every step of the way.

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Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. ~ Psalm 23:4

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” ~ Joshua 1:9

The next time you’re tempted to shrink back from a good opportunity, procrastinate on getting it done, or talk yourself out of doing it based on your ability, believe instead that God has gone before you and cleared the obstacles out of your path. Believe that He is taking hold of your hand and saying to you, “Do not fear; I will help you.” ~ Isaiah 41:13

Face your fear head on, feed your faith instead and say Yes!

Which of Cindy’s fear stops you from saying yes to your opportunities? Is it:

  • Fear of what others will say or think? Faith it instead:
    Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. ~ Deuteronomy 31:6

 

  • Fear of failure? Faith it instead:
    “Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated.” ~ Isaiah 54:4

 

  • Fear of being overextended? Faith it instead:
    “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me.” ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9

 

  • Fear of success alienating family and friends? Faith it instead:
    Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. ~ John 14:27

 

  • Fear of trading security for the unknown? Faith it instead:
    “For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

 

Do it on Faith instead!

 

Trending

Trending Now: National Day of Prayer 2017

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It’s May 4th 2017!

So? What’s so special about this day, you may ask?

Today is the National Day of Prayer!

See, every year on the first Thursday of May, the President of the United States makes a proclamation based on Public Law:

“the first Thursday in May shall be a National Day of Prayer on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals.”

With this proclamation, citizens, residents of the United States and believers of God answer the call – and embrace their spiritual responsibility –  to stand in the gap for our great country.

For those who believe in and understand the power of prayer, this is a big deal! Think about it: on what other day does the President of the United States ask us to prayer? And, on what other day do citizens, residents and believers actually heed this civic – and spiritual – call of duty?

Almost never, right?! Exactly!

Now you’re getting the picture.

In just about every city across the country today, people are engaged in National Day of Prayer activities that range from prayer breakfasts, public prayer ceremonies at city halls to evening prayer at churches.  And, more importantly, people are praying in one accord on one theme designated by the National Day of Prayer task force:

For Your Great Name’s Sake! Hear Us…Forgive Us…Heal Us!

This year’s theme is based on a prayer uttered by one of my favorite bible heroes, Daniel:

“O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and act! For your own sake, do not delay, O my God, for your people and your city bear your name”. ~ Daniel 9:19

What a powerful theme! What a powerful prayer!

So, what can we do to join the countless voices offering prayer today? It depends on what your schedule’s like. Got time? Check local city websites for a list of activities going on in your area today. Don’t have the time to physically attend an event, but still want to make a difference? Say a prayer. I think Daniel 9:19 is a great choice.

God promises us that He answers the fervent prayer of the righteous.  If anyone can heal our divided country, it’s God.  More than ever we need His intervention today.

What are you doing to participate in National Day of Prayer 2017?

Encouragement · Prayers · Uncategorized

Keep Pushing Forward.

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Are you pursuing  a goal or dream that seems to be taking forever to reach fruition?

It’s tempting to get discouraged, want to give up, or believe that your dream will never come to pass.

Choose to stand on God’s promise instead. Psalms 1:3 says “They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.”

Believe that you are that tree planted along God’s riverbank. Because you stand rooted in His promises everything you set your hand to will prosper. It’s just a matter of time. Don’t stop doing what you’re doing. Don’t slow your progress. Keep pushing forward. In due time, you will reap everything you’ve sown.

A Prayer

Heavenly Father, I give you thanks and praise for every gift and talent you have blessed me with. God, bless the work of my hands. Thank you that whatever I set my hands to prosper in the name of Jesus. Thank you for the victory that is mine because I rely on you in Jesus’s name. Amen.

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Prayers

Prayers for Healing

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The Holy Bible promises us healing because of what Jesus Christ did on the cross.

He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed. ~ 1 Peter 2:24

Jesus, who knew no sin, accepted responsibility for the sins of everyone (past, present and future) in the world. He received judgement for those sins and paid the price with His life. He was beaten, bruised, and wounded so that we can have everlasting life and healing from all sicknesses. Just as we receive salvation because of Jesus’s act on the cross, we are also entitled to complete healing and restoration.

Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. ~ James 5:16

Unconfessed sin blocks our prayers from being answered. It’s why we are instructed to confess our sins and ask God for forgiveness. We are made righteous by the blood of Jesus Christ and by his act on the cross. That righteousness is ours because of Jesus. When we sin, however, we block God’s blessings on our life. God does not like sin. We are encouraged to get rid of sin immediately through confession, so that we can receive God’s forgiveness, and so that our prayers (for healing and everything else) can be answered.

O Lord, if you heal me, I will be truly healed; if you save me, I will be truly saved. My praises are for you alone! ~ Jeremiah 17:14

We can trust God to be our healer. We can trust His promises on healing found in the Holy Bible. Men may lie and make promises they have no intention of keeping, but God is not a man. If God said He will do something, we can take Him at His word. He will do it. God promised us healing in 1 Peter 2:24, just as He promised us eternal life and salvation. We can believe it.

Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. ~ Psalm 103:2-4

Praise precedes the victory! While we are waiting for our healing to show up, we can and should praise God. Everyone can find something to praise God about. Holding onto the good things God has done for us keeps our hope alive and our faith strong. Not losing sight of God’s goodness is important for waiting in expectancy.

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Do you have a story of God’s healing in your life? Please share by commenting below, and encourage someone else!

Prayers

Praying for our Enemies

worry-distress.jpgI had an employee quit in a manner that was most unbecoming. She left a bad taste in my mouth and bitterness in my heart.

I happen to drive by her house regularly as I go about my business, and it wasn’t long before I realized that every time I went down her street, anger and hate would boil in the pit of my stomach. Details of the incident would run through my mind and I would feel my heart hardening towards her.

Forgiving has been a lesson in my walk with God that I have had to learn, and, up until that point, I thought I had learned it well. I knew enough to know that if left unchecked, the bitterness in my heart would only affect me and my life.

The only one my unforgiveness was hurting was myself.

One day, a few months after the incident, as I drove by her house with resentment rising in my heart, I noticed that her grass was knee-high, uncut and wild. An ivy vine grew up on one side of her house, over a window and into her roof. It was late afternoon, but there were no lights on in the house. In fact, the house looked abandoned, even though there were cars in her driveway.

I decided to pray for her.

I prayed that God would help me in my unforgiveness; that He would bless her financially; that He would liberally provide for all of her needs according to His riches and glory. I prayed for her young daughter, that God would bless her and comfort her and keep her as she went through her schooling. I prayed for her husband, that God would draw her husband onto Him and that she and her husband would develop an intimate relationship with Jesus as their savior, and God as their Father.

I said that prayer every time I drove by her house.

About two months later, I was driving by her house when I noticed a marked difference.  The grass had been cut and the ivy vine was gone. The house just looked better.

Incredulously, I exclaimed to God, “You’re blessing her?!”

God’s response was immediate, but gentle, “What did you think I would do when you prayed and asked me to bless her?”

Revelation filled my heart.

I burst out laughing as I realized that a part of me had hoped for heaps of burning coals, brimstone and fire on her head. But God! In His infinite wisdom, God had used this as an opportunity to check my heart.

Was I serious about letting it go and forgiving her?

Was I serious about blessing her?

God hadn’t judged the sincerity of my prayer. He had simply used it as a teaching lesson for me. That day as I drove by her house and saw the changes, a new heart-check revealed that the bitterness over the way she had quit was gone. The anger and hate I felt for her had been replaced by compassion. I had forgiven her.

God tells us to pray for our enemies:

“But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” ~ Matthew 5:44

The truth is, we are all God’s children. Even when we do bad things, or act in less than a Christ-like manner, we are still His, and He still cares for us. Praying for our enemies helps us fight the chains of unforgiveness. It gives us a heart of compassion. It moves God’s heart.

When our prayers line up with the will of God, the heart of God, our prayers work!

If you’re finding it hard to let go of a situation or forgive someone who’s hurt you, pray to God and ask for His help.

Dear God, help my unforgiveness! Let me not grow bitter over this situation and the people involved. Help me to forgive them father. Use this situation God. Let your will be done. In Jesus’s name! Amen

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Do you have a story of forgiveness to share? Do you have a story of answered prayer to share? Please comment below.

Prayers

The Power of Daily Prayer

Prayer is the divirhegan-post-coffee-biblene communication that God has ordained for us to connect with Him. 

Prayer is the medium through which we share our adoration for God.

Prayer is how we confess our short-comings and ask for His forgiveness.

Prayer is how we thank God for all He has done for us, and is in the process of doing for us.

Prayer is how we ask our Heavenly Father for what we need.

Prayer is talking to God and listening to Him too.

Old Testament Daniel was no stranger to Prayer:

Now when Daniel knew that the document was signed, he entered his house (now in his roof chamber he had windows open toward Jerusalem); and he continued kneeling on his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his God, as he had been doing previously. ~ Daniel 6:10

King David understood the power of prayer, too:

As for me, I call to God, and the Lord saves me. Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and He hears my voice. ~ Psalm 55:16-17

Making the decision to be in daily prayer and constant relationship with God, regardless of what’s going on in our lives, so that God can reveal His will for us, is one of the best things that we can do. Prayer is also one of the easiest ways that we can stay connected to God.

Constant prayer with God builds our relationship with Him.

Imagine if we were dating someone whom we never called, or spent any time in conversation with. How would we develop an intimate relationship with them? How would we know them inside out, personally?

Prayer gives us our own personal revelation of God.

If you want to develop a personal prayer relationship with God, I invite you to pray this prayer asking God to help you:

Dear God, I  give you thanks and praise for all that you’ve done for me. Thank you God that you loved me so much that you sent your son to die for me, so that I may have a personal relationship with you. God I want a daily prayer relationship with you. Please help me to make the time to meet with you daily. Please help me to develop a daily prayer habit.  Thank you Father that you hear my prayer. Thank you God that you are helping me to connect with you in daily prayer. I love you and praise you. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Start now. Set your alarm clock to go off a few minutes early each morning, and make an appointment with God!

If you would like support in developing a habit of daily prayer, join our free, early morning conference prayer line today.

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