Are You Sort of Scared
Is the news freaking you out? I’m not a worrier and I’m not easily alarmed. But when I heard that the National Guard was sending 20,000 troops to Washington D.C. to defend the Capitol due to threats of violence, I felt a strange sense of fear rising in me. Fear for our nation. Fear that people might do something that would cause the loss of life. I immediately began praying. A sense of urgency swelled in me that each of us must do our part to encourage calmness in the midst or rising emotions. We must do our part to bathe relationships in prayer. We must take the high road that follows Christ’s example of praying for our enemies rather than drawing a sword. We must believe that God’s got this. So, no, I’m not going to live in fear. I’m going to take my cues from a great Biblical example – Daniel. We find his story in Daniel 2. King Nebuchadnezzar had a troubling dream and demanded that it be interpreted or he would kill all the wise men. Daniel’s name was on the list of those to be executed. However when Daniel learned of the situation, he didn’t go into hiding. Rather, he gathered his friends and prayed. Daniel 2:18 states they requested, “compassion from the God of heavens” concerning the interpretation of the King’s dream. That night, God revealed the interpretation to Daniel. In Daniel 2:20, he praises Him. “Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, For wisdom and power belong to Him.” He continues in verse 23, “To You, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, For You have given me wisdom and power; Even now You have made known to me what we requested of You.” Do you believe God is powerful and that He can give you wisdom and power to know what to do in these troubling days? He can.
Heavenly Father, thank You for making Yourself available to us. Thank You that Your eyes are on Washington D.C. Thank You that in the midst of evil days, You are holy and exalted and always there for us. We look to You for wisdom and power. Guide our thoughts and steps so we are instruments of peace.
Is Lip Service a Big Deal to God
A person who is not a Christian once challenged me and asked why believers talk about God’s love but never His wrath. I thought about his question and realized that I’m guilty of that very thing. Think about all the wonderful ways we look at God’s love, gentleness, and favor. Today, however, the context in which God’s actions are described as WONDROUSLY MARVELOUS is a reference to His judgment on people who claim His name, but simply give lip service to Him. God uses the prophet Isaiah to call them out in Isaiah 29:13-14. “Then the Lord said, ‘Because this people draw near with their words and honor Me with their lip service, But they remove their hearts from Me, and their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote, therefore, I will once again deal marvelously with this people, WONDROUSLY MARVELOUS.'” He goes on to warn them of the consequences of their lip service and rote worship. We might want to relegate our Creator’s wrath to the Old Testament, but Revelation 16 speaks of God’s judgment being poured out in a future day. We may wonder, “Is mankind’s behavior and sincerity of worship a big deal to God?” The answer is, yes.
Lord, You alone are worthy of our praise. You extend mercy to those who call on Your name, but are WONDROUSLY MARVELOUS in Your discipline toward those who give You lip service and rote worship. Forgive us and prompt us daily to live by Your Spirit.
Get Prayers of My Heart and journal your prayers, repentance, and thanks to God for the best 2021!
Are You in Need of Wonder Working Power
Happy New Year!
Do you wish you could twitch your nose or snap your fingers and presto, what you long for would appear this year? The fact is, those techniques may work in movies, but not real life. However, God does work wonders. Sometimes those wonders take time. Other times, moments. Regardless of the timing, our Heavenly Father is the One on whom we are to set our hearts if we’re in need of wonder-working power. Moses is but one of many who needed a miracle and God stepped in. Listen to his words of praise in Exodus 15:11. “Who is like You among the gods, O Lord? Who is like You, majestic in holiness, Awesome in praises, working wonders?” If we’re in need of wonder-working power, we can go to God, be still in His presence, ask Him for help, and listen to what He quietly impresses on our hearts. Have your Bible, pen, and journal with you so you can turn to a Bible verse He directs you to look up and so you can write down what He prompts you to do. Imagine a year of God’s wonder working power in your life. It’s not a fairy tale. It’s real and it’s available for the person who seeks Christ and desires to glorify Him with their life.
Lord, You are the WORKER of WONDERS! We love and adore You. We look to You for the wonder working power only You can provide. We ask that You do in us what we cannot do, that You be in us what we cannot be, that You speak through us as only You can. May You be glorified in our lives this year.
GET: Prayers of My Heart journal so you can record what God impresses on your heart so you are sure to follow up and walk in His will.
JOIN: Prayers of My Heart Gathering on Facebook for encouragement/tips on journaling.
Do You Hear Him
Have you ever done a study on the voice of God? Isaiah 30:30 says, “And the Lord will cause His VOICE OF AUTHORITY to be heard.” The literal translation is “VOICE OF MAJESTY.” How does God speak to us? He speaks through His majestic creation that He is glorious and that He is a God of order and unlimited imagination. God’s voice speaks to us through the Bible, the wisest, and beautifully written work of all time. God speaks to us through Christ that He is sacrificial, loving, and forgiving. God’s voice speaks to us through our innermost thoughts warning us of the danger of sin and calling us to walk in His ways. God’s voice calls to us but the noise of the world often drowns Him out. However, if we willingly, purposefully choose to slip out of our beds in the mornings and quietly meet with Him – just the two of us – we hear Him. He speaks. His voice encourages our weary souls. His voice comforts us that although we’ve sinned, He forgives us. His voice encourages us that we can start again. His voice whispers, “Take this course of action…” If we take Him seriously, write down His counsel, and follow through on what He tells us, we discover He whispers even more to us. Are we listening?
Voice of Authority, Voice of Majesty, thank You for speaking to us. Tune our hearts and minds to recognize Your voice and rejoice in You.
Start 2021 journaling your prayers and praises and God’s words of direction to you in Prayers of My Heart.
Remember This On Dreary Days
Dreary days. Gray skies. They can make us feel gloomy. The death of loved ones, separation, or estrangement from family or friends weighs heavily on our hearts. On what can we focus in those times? Malachi 4:2 tells us. “…for you who fear My name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in its wings.” What does that mean? Theologian Charles Spurgeon explains: “Jesus, like the sun, is the center and soul of all things, the fullness of all good, the lamp that lights us, the fire that warms us, the magnet that guides and controls us; he is the source and fountain of all life, beauty, fruitfulness, and strength.” Jesus is called the Sun of Righteousness because on the most dreary of days, when we are gloomy and despairing, we can ask Him to fill us with His Spirit and shine in our hearts and minds. Call on Him now to rise in your heart and mind in the full strength of His glory.
We praise You, SUN of RIGHTEOUSNESS, and look to You to enlighten us.
When What You Want is Different from What God Wants
Lord Jesus, thank You for modeling being submissive to our Heavenly Father and trusting in His ultimate will.
“He went a little beyond them and fell on His face and prayed, saying, ‘My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.’” Matthew 26:39
Lost and Found
Have you ever been lost? Perhaps you took a wrong turn in the road and didn’t know how to get to your desired destination. As bad as that is, what’s worse is to be spiritually lost, which is how Jesus describes us prior to our salvation. We were so lost that there was no one who could help us except Jesus. In Luke 19:10, Jesus describes Himself as the Son of Man who came to seek and to save the lost – us and every human being. Jesus left heaven’s glory to come come and do what no one else could do. Through the virgin birth of Mary by the Holy Spirit, Jesus was born, the Son of Man, to seek and to save our lost souls so we could be reunited with our Heavenly Father. What good news. Is there someone we need to go looking for as Jesus did, someone with whom we can share the good news?
All praise to You, Lord Jesus, Son of God, SON of MAN. Thank You for seeking us and saving us. Rouse us to do as You did and seek out the lost in order to bring them to You.
“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:10
Just You Wait and See
Things aren’t always as they appear. Just you wait and see. For instance, Jesus had no earthly possessions, wasn’t married, and when arrested, His friends abandoned Him. He was lied about, mocked, and beaten almost to death. Mark 14:61 records the high priest questioning Him prior to crucifying Him, “‘Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?’” How incongruous. Blessed? Yet, Jesus was and is the Son of the Blessed One. So, when we think about our lives or circumstances, they may not seem to add up to our being the “blessed child of God.” But that is who we are. Things aren’t always as they seem. Just you wait and see.
Heavenly Father, we praise You for Christ, SON of the BLESSED ONE, and for the blessings, You’ve promised us.
Have you recently heard the word “fear” in relation to the pandemic, elections, fires, and even drinking water? Yes. The news, “Brain-eating amoeba in city’s water supply kills 6-year-old,” may have caught your attention when Texas Governor Abbott issued a disaster declaration in Brazoria County on September 27 after an amoeba that can cause a rare and deadly infection of the brain was discovered in the local water supply system. What more could happen in 2020, we may ask. Few would disagree with author/speaker Jonathan Chan’s statement that 2020 has been a year of America being shaken. Is our being shaken a bad thing? Or, might it be a wake up call? While some today discount the value of fear and associate it with not trusting God, the Bible explains the value of fear that is rightly placed. Is ours? For more on the kinds of fear and to consider which fear you have, read my column, “Are Christians to Fear or Not Fear?“
You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD; He is their help and their shield. Psalm 115:11
Heavenly Father, our nation has been shaken. Shaken by fires, lawlessness, the murders of innocent ones, disease, floods, and more. We are looking to You, our Lord and Savior. Teach us how to walk through our days so that we point others to You.
When You’re Devastated by the Separation, Take His Hand
Have you ever been separated from someone and you desperately wanted to be with them? Whether the separation is due to death, divorce, disease, or distance, the pain of not being able to be with or even get in touch with a loved one is indescribable. “Indescribable.” That’s the word people often use when attempting to explain their loss, suffering, and sadness. Jesus understands such depth of emotion. He loves us and created us to live in union with Him. Indescribable love drove Him to leave heaven’s glory and come to earth to seek and to save us. Jesus, separated from sinners, crossed the chasm between heaven’s glory and earth. He offers His outstretched hand to save us for eternity and to save us daily. How tightly are we holding to Him?
Lord, we praise You. You, who are SEPARATED from SINNERS, who came to earth to save us. May we cling tightly to You every moment of our day and night.
“it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens;” Hebrews 7:26.