Prayers for the Parched: Memo from God

Prayer Allows Us to Partner with God in Every Detail of Our Lives

Prayer Allows Us to Partner with God in Every Detail of Our Lives

Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!  Psalm 66:20

“I am God.  Today I will be handling all of your problems.  Please remember that I do not need your help.  If life happens to deliver a situation to you that you cannot handle, do not attempt to resolve it. Kindly put in the SFGTD (something for God to do) box.  It will be addressed in my time, not yours.  Once the matter is placed into the box, do not hold onto it or remove it.  Holding on or removal will delay the resolution of your problem.  If it is a situation that you think you are capable of handling, please consult me in prayers to be sure that it is the proper resolution.  Because I do not sleep nor do I slumber, there is no need for you to lose any sleep.  Rest my child.  If you need to contact me, I am only a prayer away.”

Unknown Author”Roll your burdens on to the Lord.  Trust also in Him and He worketh for you.”  Psalm 37:5


Let God’s Word be Spirit and Life

His presence is on His Word.  "Not one thing has failed that the Lord has spoken."

His presence is on His Word. “The Mind Set on the Spirit is Life and Peace.”

For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.”  Romans 8:6

We live with the gift of scripture available to us at all times.  Some of us try to conduct daily devotions.  Devotionals help.  Looking up the scripture and putting it in context takes it one step further.  Using Bibles with cross reference scriptures often takes me to other parts of the Bible and catch my attention even further.

At some point one of the scriptures jumps off the page and feels like a word just for me that day.  It comes alive.  Smith Wigglesworth describes it as scripture that is touched by the Spirit of God.  He adds, “In the right sense, it becomes Spirit and Life when it its touched by His hand alone.”

John 6:63 quotes Jesus saying, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.”  Jesus spoke the rhema word to people.  He only spoke what the Father said and did what the Father said to do.  When we read Jesus’ words, they have life on them because they ring true through the ages.  Isaiah says that the word of God lasts forever.

I encourage you to allow the verse that stays with you all day to be your whisper from the Lord for that day.  If it rings true, there must be a reason.  It may not even be a new word to you; but it probably is a now word.

If we choose to dwell on the truth God gives us, it becomes life and peace to our spirits and souls.  Romans 8:6 says, “For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.”

Lord, speak to me today through your word.  Highlight for me what you want me to know.  May your truth dwell deeply in my spirit and soul bringing life and peace to my mind, my will, my emotions and my body.  Thank you for giving us your living word.  Let it live in us at all times.

 

 

 

 


Prayers for the Parched: Getting Dressed

Let Us Put On the Full Armor of God Every Morning to be Ready for Whatever Comes Our Way

Let Us Put On the Full Armor of God Every Morning to be Ready for Whatever Comes Our Way

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  Ephesians 6:13

 

Oh Lord

I am putting on my spiritual battle clothes today

Let these protect from the fiery darts of the enemy

Let these serve your purposes today

 

I put on the helmet of salvation

I put on the breastplate of righteousness

I put on the belt of truth

I pick up the shield of faith

I take your word with me as a sword

I put on the shoes of peace

 

I’m ready for the day

Let’s go together


Revisiting Divorce Rate Statistics

Wedding Rings are symbols of two people being married.  Let the Quantum Entanglement begin

US Census Bureau statistics show that 72% of those who have ever been married, are still married to their first spouse.

Have you ever been surprised by the commonly quoted statistic that 50% of all marriages end in divorce?  Closer inspection shows otherwise For many of us, the statistics don’t line up with our experiential knowledge.  Shaunti Feldhahn disputes these statistics in her new book, The Good News About Marriage, with a forward by Andy Stanley.

Shaunti Feldhahn writes, “Perhaps most surprising, half of all marriages are not ending in divorce. According to the Census Bureau, 72% of those who have ever been married, are still married to their first spouse! And the 28% who aren’t, includes everyone who was married for many years, until a spouse died. No-one knows what the average first-marriage divorce rate actually is, but based on the rate of widowhood and other factors, we can estimate it is probably closer to 20-25%. For all marriages (including second marriages, and so on), it is in the 31-35% range, depending on the study.

“Now, expert demographers continue to project that 40-50% of couples will get divorced – but it is important to remember that those are projections. And I’m skeptical because the actual numbers have never come close, and divorce rates continue to drop, not rise! Even among the highest-risk age group –baby boomers—seven in ten are still married to their first spouse. Most of them have had 30 years’ worth of chances to get divorced…and they are still together.”

One of the other common statistics that we hear is that the divorce rate is the same for Christians as it is for non-Christians.  Feldhahn spoke directly with George Barna about this.  He said that the Barna Group studies were focusing specifically on the divorce rates of those with Christian and non-Christian belief systems. And didn’t take worship attendance into account. Their statistics actually show that if the person was in church last week, their divorce rate drops by 27%.  “Overall, regular church attendance lowers the divorce rate anywhere from 25-50%, depending on the study you look at.”

You can ready more by getting her new book from amazon.com

Lord, come help and heal our marriages.

 

 


Fresh, Flourishing, and Bearing Fruit in our Old Age

God Designed Us to Flourish in our Old Age

God Designed Us to Flourish in our Old Age

When do we get old?  At what age do we get categorized as old?  My pastor John Ortberg asked the congregation last week, “Who thinks they are old?  Please raise your hands.”  Some people raised their hands.  Then he asked “Who thinks they are young?”  More people raised their hands. What do we do if we are neither? Is there a category for this? Or at least I don’t feel “old” yet.

It didn’t help that latter that Sunday I went to get my nails done and a shy 6 year old girl was walking around the shop while her mother was getting her toes done.  She wanted to show me a photo of her “way older,” who is 16.  I asked her if she thought I was old.  She froze at the question at first, and then studied my face.  She looked at my eyes and pointed to where there are lines on the outer edges.  She started to nod slowly. Then she smiled and said it was okay.  I didn’t have very many lines.  I thought, “Wrinkle creams are worth every penny.”

The Bible has a few things to say about growing older. Consider Psalm 92: 12-15.

“The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree,
He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
Those who are planted in the house of the Lord
Shall flourish in the courts of our God.
They shall still bear fruit in old age;
They shall be fresh and flourishing,
To declare that the Lord is upright;
He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.”

I really like the verbs in here.

I’m starting to declare this out loud, “I will flourish in my old age.  I will bear fruit in my old age.  I will be fresh and green.  My youth will be continually renewed like the eagles.”  Amen.

 


Prayers for the Parched: Desiderata

The  Desiderata is Etched in Stone at St. Paul's Church in Baltimore Maryland, 1692

The Desiderata is Etched in Stone at St. Paul’s Church in Baltimore Maryland, 1692

But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”  1 Corinthians 12:7

 

Go placidly amid the noise & haste, remember what peace there may be in silence.  As far as possible without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.  Speak your truth quietly & clearly; and listen to others even the dull & ignorant; for they too have their story.  Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexations to the spirit.  If you compare yourself with others you may become vain & bitter; for always there will be greater & lesser persons than yourself.  Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.  Keep interested in your own career, however humble, it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.  Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.  But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.  Be yourself.  Especially do not feign affection.  Be neither cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass.  Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.  Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.  But do not distress yourself with imaginings.  Many fears are born of fatigue & loneliness.  Beyond a wholesome discipline be gentle with yourself.  You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees & the stars; you have a right to be here.  And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.  Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace with your soul.  With all its sham, drudgery & broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.  Be careful, strive to be happy.

 

St. Pauls’s Church, Etched in the stone, Baltimore 1692

 


Prayers for the Parched: The Harmony of Two

Starting Life Together in Prayer Adds God to Create a Threefold Cord that is Not Easily Broken

Starting Life Together in Prayer Adds God to Create a Threefold Cord that is Not Easily Broken

“Again, I tell you that if two or you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.”  Matthew 18:19

Father God,

I don’t know what Mary’s prayer for herself  is

But you do

I pray for the courage to pray it, especially on days when it’s tough to say the words and in seasons where it’s dry

I stand alongside my friend in prayer

We are two

We pray together in harmony

You promise that “it will be done”

Thank you

Lord,

We agree to believe this, no matter how long it takes will we see it

Thank you for the results we can recognize…

To 5 minutes of praying

To 7 days of praying

To 21 months of praying

To 40 years of praying

We will keep praying steadfastly

Even when thoughts and emotions try to tell us it’s foolish

We will continue to hold up the request

And hold fast to our confidence

You are at work on the issue

The victory is sure

Your love is relentless


It’s All About the Bragging Rights Part 2

God's Criteria for Bragging is about Understanding and Knowing God.  We start with Studying the Bible.

God’s Criteria for Bragging is about Understanding and Knowing God. We start with Studying the Bible.

In Part 1, we read Jeremiah 9:23-24 where the Lord tells us not to talk about everything the world usually places high esteem on:  intelligence, power and money.  Rather God suggests a new criteria.  “Thus says the Lord, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord.”

God’s new criteria is based on knowing and understanding the Lord God Almighty. How much do we understand God?  How much do we know God?  Now, that’s a challenge.  Do I understand and know God better than I did a year ago?  I hope so.  I work at dialoguing with God in prayer.  I take time to read His word every day.  But even doing this, I see new things in scripture that I thought I had read or memorized years ago, but the meaning didn’t penetrate my heart till a “now” moment.  It’s an ongoing process.  At some point, we will all have our Appointment with God.  For some, it might feel like a global SAT test for a class they never took.  We will be responsible for what God has brought across our path.  Maybe we should take more time to nurture God’s criteria points.  It begins with reading the Bible to learn about Him.  It continues with a dialogue in prayer.

 


Prayers for the Parched: Guard My Mouth

Lord, Set a guard over My Mouth Today

Lord, Set a guard over My Mouth Today

Guard My Mouth

Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth;  Keep watch over the door of my lips.  Psalm 141:3

Guard my mouth, O Lord

Let me not say anything against your purposes

Even in my frustration, let me not speak against you

Teach me how to work out my salvation and growth

While keeping my words in check

Let my words be blessings to all who hear them

 

Teach me how to love people with my words

Let me speak truth in love

Let my words be honoring of people

Whether they are present or not

 

Thank you for the privilege to praise you with our words

 


How to Deal with Sin – Part 1

Many people sweep sins under the rug, which is never quite big enough

Many people sweep sins under the rug, which is never quite big enough

Many people (and families) prefer to deal with sin by lifting the rug up, sweeping the incident under the rug, and never speaking about it again.  God insists on a different way.  The Bible talks about facing the truth.

The first step in dealing with sin is being honest about the sin before God.  David writes in Psalm 51, “For I acknowledge my transgressions…”  Confession is coming into agreement with God.  Confessing sin is to recognize what God calls sin and agree with Him regarding any actions in our lives is sin that He calls sin.  The Holy Spirit brings conviction, which is designed to bring us to God.  The enemy loves to heap condemnation on top of this.  Conviction brings a desire to get right before God.  Condemnation brings a desire to hide from God.  Many people have never been taught this distinction.  It is critical to bringing healing and spiritual cleansing.

Sometimes being honest with ourselves involves a process.  Once we admit one thing, then we can see the cover up as a sin, or we finally come to the root issue of sin in our lives.  Someone may say a mean thing to another person (and we realize we should not have said the words).  But the deeper issue is a jealous streak (this requires a deeper repentance and cleansing) and the deeper issue might further be a root of insecurity and inferiority – which usually leads to lie from the pit of hell about ourselves.  God did not make any mistakes in creating you.  Let’s bring the good creation in each of us to the surface so God can develop it and shine His glory on it, and it can fit into the community for which we are designed to operate in.

It takes courage to invite the Holy Spirit to give us an honest assessment about ourselves.  The goal is not to feel guilt.  The goal is to take it to the cross where we will find forgiveness for our sins and cleansing for all unrighteousness.  1 John 1:9.