Archive for the ‘Prayer’ Category

New Year’s Resolutions

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I apologize for not posting in a while. I’ve been busy making my New Year’s Resolutions and I got huge inspiration from Alan Caruba‘s post on Tea Party Nation. He’s encouraged me to add many of his ideas to my list.

1. I resolve to do everything in my power to help defeat Obama and the Democratic Party and ensure both houses of Congress will be Republican, the less progressive the better, and in a position to begin real change.
2. I resolve to do more to communicate, to whomever I can, that Islam is a real threat to our nation and the world. The Middle East lies in turmoil and there is a reason, it is called jihad. This threat has been at work in our country a long time and it’s time we stopped letting it gain power.
3. I resolve to find more ways to fight for less taxes and less spending and for a consumption tax vs. an income tax. Only 49% of Americans currently pay income taxes, and we wonder why our country is only going deeper in debt.
4. I resolve to fight harder to end Obamacare and help others to stand up and fight against the requirement that Americans have to purchase anything or be penalized by fine for not doing so.
5. I resolve to do what I can to ensure older Americans, who have paid into the system can obtain their benefits, and that younger citizens have the freedom and know-how to structure their own retirement and health plans.
6. I resolve to do what I can to fight for tax credits for oil companies and the removal of environmental obstacles that keep them from building refineries in this country. Our nation owns vast reserves of coal, natural gas and oil and all of them should be unobstructed by special interest groups.
7. I resolve to help identify and fund the repair of our nation’s aging infrastructure and will be calling on our representatives to do the same. We must hold their feet to the fire on this and all issues.
8. I resolve to fight for term limits for our senators and representatives. We have to be done with our permanent political class, now and forever.
9. I resolve to work hard to help downsize our federal government and will be fighting for the end of the Departments of Education, Labor, Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. The 10th Amendment is still part of our Constitution.
10. I resolve to do everything I can to fight for the expansion and upgrade of our military, which has been significantly reduced in size and structure and I will do all I can to fight for its clean up of gang members and thugs.
11. I resolve to do everything I can to communicate to my representatives the importance of rejecting and rescinding all legislation based on “global warming” or “climate change” as both have been proven to be either a hoax or meaningless because I am not arrogant enough to believe we have any power over God‘s creation.
12. I resolve to do everything in my power to battle the federal government’s continued acquisition of more of our nation’s landmass.
But, I also want to spend more time with my family and have a cleaner house, so please resolve to pray for me more this year? Thank you!

If You Are Waiting on an Answer to Prayer, Read this Now!

Moses Sees the Promised Land from Afar, as in ...
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The act of praying is a mystery to me.  Sometimes prayer pours out of me as natural as breath, sometimes I struggle with it, to the point of almost giving up. Occasionally, we get answers immediately and there are times, we wait and wait and…some of us are still waiting for an answer.

Unanswered prayers are discouraging at the very least, but did you also know that unanswered prayer is an effective tool of the enemy? Think about it, how many times have you been hesitant to pray about anything while you’ve waited on an answer to a past prayer? If you’ve waited a long time, has resentment crept into your heart and are you giving God the silent treatment because you’ve not received an answer? How wonderful for the enemy if he can use an unanswered prayer to drive a wedge between us and our most effective power against him.

Please don’t allow this to happen. If you are still waiting on an answer, there’s three important things for you to know:

1. The answer could be No.

In Deuteronomy 3:26, Moses states, “But the Lord was wroth with me for your sakes, and would not hear me and the Lord said unto me, Let it suffice thee; speak no more unto me of this matter.” It’s not that I’m saying the Lord is angry with you for anything, but it could just be that the Lord has said no, and He means it. And, it may not be important for us to know the reason. Or, the reason could be revealed in the future. This is where faith and trust will be paramount for you, in that you must trust God that He is working everything out for the best and you must place your faith solidly in His hands.

2. Your sin is blocking God’s work.

In Isaiah 59, the Bible tells us, “Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.” And, again, in Psalms 66, “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and has heard my prayer.”

If we are living in continual sin and not repenting and trying to clean up our lives, God isn’t going to mess with us. He has no choice but to separate Himself from sin and if we aren’t even trying and are just coming to Him with our shopping list, He’s going to close the store. That doesn’t mean you stop praying, just start refocusing your prayers on asking God to help clean you up, instead of on what you’ve asked Him about originally.

3. It’s Not About You

It could very well be that the reason your particular prayer hasn’t been answered is because God is letting things play out for your good (plans for a better future). Or, that your faith and patience requires growth. It’s at these times that we must remember our time is not the same as God’s time. However, more importantly, we have to recognize that we are not alone in the world. The waiting may not have anything to do with you at all. We tend to relate every event or circumstance to how it affects us, but sometimes it really isn’t about us at all. Our waiting could have everything to do with someone else. The reason we could still be waiting is because there is someone else’s well-being, possibly even their soul, at stake.

We are given everything that we need to know in the Lord’s book, the Bible. We have many promises from Him, and He has promised us that He will never leave us or forsake us. We should try to be satisfied with this gift, and leave the mysteries unknown.

First Aid for Your Prayers

Jesus in Pray

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Am I the only one that sometimes has difficulty praying? Or, are you sometimes just plain dissatisfied with your prayers?

As usual the Bible has the answer and these are just some of the ones I found when I did some research.

Proverbs 21:1 says, “The Lord can control a king’s mind as he controls a river; he can direct it as he pleases.” I wander everywhere sometimes when I’m trying to pray and focus. This verse tells me that maybe I’m suppose to, maybe the Lord wants to direct me somewhere I need to go.

Are you guilty, like me, of praying when it’s most convenient, just in church maybe? Matthew 6:5-6 might make your conscience hurt a little. “When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites. They love to stand in the synagogues and on the street corners and pray so people will see them. I tell you the truth, they already have their full reward. When you pray, you should go into your room and close the door and pray to your Father who cannot be seen. Your Father can see what is done in secret, and he will reward you.” I don’t think this means I need to stop praying in church or that I must never pray in public, but we definitely should be wary of just praying for appearances’ sake. We should be praying daily, earnestly and sincerely. This should be a special conversation with our Father, not just a show for other people.

Mark 1:35–Early the next morning, while it was still dark, Jesus woke and left the house. He went to a lonely place, where he prayed. Jesus put God first, and we should do no less. We must give him the best parts of our day. That may not be the morning for you, but it should be a time and a place with no distractions.

Luke 5:16–…but Jesus often slipped away to be alone so he could pray. Once again, we see an example of Jesus getting away to talk to His Father. Notice that this New Century Version translation says “slipped away”. The New King James Version translation words the verse this way: “…often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.” Slipped away” or ‘withdrew into the wilderness” aren’t the actions of someone who is waiting until He has more time. Ugh! I’m so guilty of this.

Isaiah 6:1–In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a very high throne. His long robe filled the Temple.

I often rush into and out of prayer, not spending any time getting still and picturing my Lord as He really is, a magnificent entity, the King of kings! We might be unsatisfied in our prayers because we are not taking time to truly engage the Lord and sincerely asking Him to meet with us.

Psalms 78:1–My people, listen to my teaching; listen to what I say.

I find that I am way more satisfied in my prayers if I have read my Bible first and have let God talk to me before I’ve prayed. That’s not to say God can’t speak to us while we are praying, but I think it helps us to focus on Him and to still the cacophony that is often in our heads before settling into a conversation with the Lord.

 Isaiah 64:8–But Lord, you are our father. We are like clay, and you are the potter; your hands made us all.

If you are like me, you are often guilty of bringing a wish list to the Lord, telling Him what it is that He needs to do for you. Instead of focusing on what we think we need, we need to practice letting God whisper it to us; letting Him be in charge of our desires. He truly is a Father who knows best.

Luke 22:42–“Father, if you are willing, take away this cup of suffering. But do what you want, not what I want.”

Oh! that I could focus on relinquishing every situation to Him! Why is prayer sometimes our last resort??! We should be giving Him all the details. He already knows us, and He wants to hear us tell Him what we are most concerned about. It is not only therapeutic for us, but believe it or not, He just loves to hear you talk! The more we talk to Him and listen, the more we are concerned about what He thinks and not what we want.

Psalms 77:11–I remember what the Lord did; I remember the miracles you did long ago.

I bet it would be amazing what we could learn if we kept a record of what God is doing in our lives! Let’s start writing our prayers, so we are able to look back and see what God has done in our lives and in the lives of those we’ve prayed for. Imagine the information we could share with others about what God has done for us and them!

Prayers for and Love to you! Have a beautiful weekend!

American Revival

prayer..

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Ps. 139:23-24 (KJV)

The root meaning, of the word ‘confess‘ is “to say the same as.” So when we confess our sins to God, we are essentially agreeing with God about our sin. God is far from clueless about our sin, so we are just taking responsibility and letting God know that we realize we are doing something wrong.

In 1 John 1:9 of God’s word, we are told, IF we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (NIV).

That’s a big IF. I don’t think it’s going ‘out on a limb’ to say that America is not very good at confessing sin. We Americans usually do everything we can to shirk responsibility. But now, more than any other time, it’s imperative that we are on our knees. We are in a position of needing God’s hand in our country, in our lives, in our leadership and in our future. If you agree that this country needs a revival and a turning of our faces to the Lord, it has to start with you.

Jesus said, “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” Matthew 7:3
(KJV)

The thing to remember is that we can pray for each other, but we cannot confess for each other. No other man or woman knows your heart, just as you do not know mine. We must all be responsible individually. However, that doesn’t mean that we can’t do this together. We must make sure to name our sins to God. For example:

“Lord, I have not put You first in my life, I have neglected Your Word and Your sovereignty.”

We must not make excuses, God doesn’t care for the reason, He knows we are humans. Proverbs 28:13 says, “He [or she] who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy” (NIV).

Mercy sounds good, doesn’t it?

I propose that we write our sins down. Then, when we are finished, we can rip them up and throw it away as a tangible reminder that we have a  promise from God in Psalm 103:12: “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”

Personal revival is where American Revival begins, so let’s get started on those things we may not give much thought to at the time they are
committed:

1. Matt. 6:12-15 Do you hold a grudge against anyone? Is there someone who you have not forgiven? Do you justify your bad attitude toward another because of their actions? Are you doing unto others BEFORE they do unto you?

2. Matt. 6:33 Are your decisions based on your own wisdom and desires, rather than God’s will? Does your ambition, your pleasure, your loved ones, your money or your plans interfere with your surrender and service to God?

3. Mark 16:15 Do you care that members of your family, some of your friends and those that you may not even know yet are going to hell? Do you even think about that when you are talking to them, do you ever witness to them with your mouth that Jesus loves them and wants them to accept Him as their Savior as you have done?

4. II Timothy 2:22 Are you engaging in activities that you know are unholy? Do you allow impure thoughts about the opposite sex to stay in your mind and do you read that which is impure and suggests unholy topics?

5. John 13:35 Are you happy about the bad fortune of another? Are you guilty of any instigation and contention? Do you argue and/or engage in heated discussions? Are you an active or inactive participant in division? Are you envious of another’s good fortune?

6. Philippians 2:14 Do you ever seek to hurt people? Do you gossip? Are you carrying prejudices against others because they are of some different group than yours, or because they do not see everything as you do?

7. Acts 20:35 Are you guilty of stealing from God? Any time we withhold our time, talents or money from God that is His due, we have failed to support His Kingdom work either by service, prayer or giving?

8. Ephesians 5:20 Have you neglected to thank God for all things? Have you been guilty of doubting His Word? Do you worry and is your spiritual mood based on feelings instead of the promise of God’s Word?

9. Colossians 3:9 Do you engage in unprofitable conversation? Lying, exaggeration, cheating or stealing?

10. I Corinthians 6:19, 20 Are you careless with your body? Do you fail to care for it as the temple of the Holy Spirit?

Don’t be discouraged and start beating yourself up. That’s not what this exercise is about. I am guilty of all the above, most of us are. The  point is to be aware of it, own up to it, confess it to God. He knew we were sinners way before He sent His Son to die for us.

Let’s get it all out there and start depending on God to forgive us and to lift us up to be better stewards for Him and lights in a very dark world. We can do this and we can then ask Him to turn our whole country back toward Him. God bless you and God bless America!

Jeremiah’s Hope and Change

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It’s something America already knows about God, but it won’t touch her soul until she comes to the end of herself. She will discover that at the very bottom, God is there! The farther down we go, the more of God there is to be discovered. The best place to discover and recognize God is in the shadows of grief and despair.

When Jeremiah hit the dark bottom, he bumped into God! This is what Jeremiah learned:

“God is a God of compassion…his compassions for me cannot fail…they are new every morning…great is his faithfulness…” (Lamentations 3:22-23). Jeremiah realized that great truth can only be realized by those who are falling down.

1. We are at a very low point; when troubles flow over my heart like water, I say, “I am cut off,” but God draws near and whispers, “Do not fear!” (Lamentations 3:54-57).

2. When God seems to have “covered himself with a cloud, so that my prayers could not pass through,” he will still see our troubles and will “judge my case” (Lamentations 3:44, 59).

3. If the Lord allows grief and sorrow, he will at the same time uphold us with abundant compassion and love (Lamentations 3:32).

4. God is not against us, trying to crush us under his foot when we are down (Lamentations 3:34).

5. God is not trying to sabotage any of our plans; he is not causing confusion; he is not working against us (Lamentations 3:35-36).

6. Even in despair and bitterness, when it’s hard to face a new day, his compassion does not fail. His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23).

7. Because God is always faithful, he will not cast us away. He will do right by us and save us (Lamentations 3:25-26).

8. Being down will leave us empty and humbled, so hopefully we will begin to depend on his mercies! (Lamentations 3:18, 20-22).

We are falling down America! We have enemies, and some are from within. Are you looking to God to save you and your family? He’s the only one with true hope and change that will save us. Join me on my knees for our country.

My Fathers’ Forgiveness

Forgiveness & Rememberance

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Forgiveness is the beginning of love. —Mother Teresa

In his 43 short years, my father was a walking example of forgiveness. He was part of my life for fourteen years and I cannot remember him every criticizing another person. Ever. I witnessed several examples of slights, disrespect and plain abuse of which my father was a victim. But, whether it was the product of an acquaintance, a supposed friend or a family member, he remained silent. Even upon questioning him regarding these instances, he defended the offender. A common reply was, “They don’t know no better, they’re just unhappy.”

My father was one of the happiest people that I would ever meet. I believe he was so happy because he was wise enough to know that most insults were not reflections of what someone thought about him, but rather what they thought about themselves.

Even though I had prayed to God, begging Him to let my dad live, he was taken to heaven on January 16, 1985. Being very close to my dad, this was a huge blow. Top that with being a relatively new Christian and with puberty, it was catastrophic to my new faith. I was so sure that God would come through for me and was unbelievably devastated that He had said no.

My strongest memory at my dad’s funeral were my family members telling me that it was okay to cry. I even tried to cry, but couldn’t. Looking back on it, I think there must have been some numbness and shock that factored in to this, but the primary emotion that I was feeling was deep, burning, seething anger. I was so angry with God that I denounced Him. I told Him that I no longer wanted anything to do with Him.

Needless to say, this lead to a very eventful time growing up as an angry, rebellious teenager and young adult, creating a severe cycle of self-loathing, acting out toward others, and then more self-loathing. But our Sweet Savior, being the happiest Father in the world, had no problem pursuing me and loving me no matter how I treated Him. Thank you Lord! Events in my life eventually brought me back to my knees, forgiving and more importantly, asking for forgiveness. It’s amazing what the forgiveness of God can do to change your attitude toward others and toward ourselves.

I’ve learned over and over again that it matters way more about what God thinks about us than what other people think. When you remember this, the insults and slights from others don’t matter very much. It results in sympathy toward their life and their view of it and allows you to remain largely unaffected by their abuse. Therefore, a much happier person.

Record numbers of people showed up at my father’s funeral. Everyone loved him and had wonderful stories and memories of him. Many people talked about how happy he always was. I know it was because he forgave, and more importantly, he was forgiven.

I’m Trying Really Hard to Hate My Life

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What does your worship schedule look like? If you are anything like me, no matter how ambitious you may start out to be, it will usually end up like this:

Sunday: early morning service, maybe some devotional reading in the afternoon

Monday-Saturday: read the Bible when I get time, try to finish praying before falling asleep

Webster’s dictionary defines worship as honoring a divine being or regarding with great respect, honor, or devotion. If we have compartmentalized our worship of God to one day a week, or worse, a couple of times per year, then what are we worshiping? When Jesus talked to the woman at the well, He said that God seeks true worshipers who worship in spirit and truth because God is spirit and truth. The truth is that only God is worthy enough to receive our worship and praise. God created us for relationship with Him, so we have to ask ourselves where we are spending our time and what priorities we are placing before Him.

“He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal” (John 12:25). Jesus also said: “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26).

It’s hard to believe that Jesus Christ would tell us to hate not only our own lives, but also our families, isn’t it? Because in the book of I John of God’s word it says, “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer…” (1 John 3:15). Life is a gift from God. We cannot hate people, because that is not true to the scriptures. So, I believe this means that we must learn to hate the way we live our lives and what we are spending our time preoccupied with, whether it  be our homes, our families, making or spending money, etc.

If we are happy with the way our lives are, and make no effort to change, we cannot grow. We must hate where we are before we can ever desire to get where we need to be. Of course, we cannot forsake our obligations to family and friends, but we can become so bound by our duties that we do not grow.

We must all ask God for help with what we have allowed ourselves to become. Lord, I hate my tendency to get so caught up in my job, that I’ve become irritable with my family. I hate that I find myself worrying about finances instead of being more emotionally available to You. I hate that I don’t set enough time aside in the evening for prayer and time with You. Please help me re-prioritize my life that You are always number one. I cannot do this without Your help. Thank You for Your mercy and grace. In Your precious Son’s name, amen!

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