Tag Archives: pray

Don’t Be Like Your Dog

Don’t Be Like Your Dog

“A little lad of six was invited out to lunch in a neighbor’s home. As soon as all were seated at the table the food was served. The little boy was puzzled, and, with a child’s frankness, asked, “Don’t you say a prayer before you eat?” The host was uncomfortable, and mumbled, “No, we don’t take time for that.” The lad thought silently for a while, and said, “You’re just like my dog! You start right in.””

Don’t be like your dog on Thanksgiving.  Remember to give thanks to the Lord.

One of my favorite things to do each holiday season is to watch Charlie Brown and his talented dog, Snoopy.  One of the best yearly reminders of God’s blessing to early America can be seen in Charles Schultz’ rendition of the Pilgrims coming over on the Mayflower, meeting Chief Massasoit and Squanto and sitting down to dinner and giving thanks to God for surviving the brutal and deadly winters they were unprepared for.  With little food, a majority of the settlers buried, and with great uncertainty facing the future, they stopped everything to praise and thank the Lord.

It has been said that being truly “thankful” involves “giving.”  After all, the word Thanksgiving is a compound word; and both “Thanks” and Giving” are words rich with meaning.  Grateful people are happy people.  Have you ever seen a complaining, grumbling person?  Sure.  Are they happy?  No.  We are most happy when we have thankful attitudes, grateful words, and gracious actions.  If you are consistently giving praise and thanks to the Lord, you will be less likely to be critical, self absorbed, and feeling negative about life.

We need to be like the Apostle Paul who said in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”  The early Christians living in the city of Thessalonica were challenged and encouraged to give thanks in everything in life.  Every life stage.  Every circumstance.  Every weather event.  Every electoral cycle.  Every season of life.  Every start to the week.  In.  Everything.  Give.  Thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving!  Thank-you for reading these devotionals.  I am grateful for each reader and pray that these postings will be a help to you.

 

 

 

 

 

(Snoopy rendition by Charles Schulz, from internet search)

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The Politics Do Not Matter

The Politics Do Not Matter

Kneeling during the Anthem, drinking Gatorade in the locker room during the unfurling of the flag, and protesting on team time is a growing trend among many American athletes today.

When it comes to the interaction of the citizen and the government leaders of a country, respect must be the underlying principle.  As our country becomes increasingly sinful, some have suggested that the Constitution is out of date or is no longer useful.  Quite the contrary; the Constitution is not broken, the people are.  Our nation, like every other nation in history is following a path to destruction because we have, as a whole, denied the truth.  Human nature is full of sin, rebellion, and selfishness.  The main reason things are the way they are is because we are… people.  Whenever a group of people no longer fear God, read the Bible, or have respect for Biblical values, there will be an increase in troubles.

Back to the flag, kneeling, and protesting on team (company) time.  The Bible says that Christians are to respect the government and governmental leaders.  Subjection, while unnatural to a man full of pride, should be the goal of the Christian filled with the Spirit of God.

Notice what the Apostle Paul wrote to the Roman Christians about their relationships towards their government:

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.  For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.  Romans 13:1-4

It is apparent that the Lord wants to save the lost leaders from their sin just as much as He saved the Christian from his sins.  The Lord can even use the believers response and attitude of respect to challenge, encourage, and convict a leader of his need for Jesus.

Our respecting of leaders is demanded and has nothing to do with policy.  Our submission has nothing to do with policies or political party.  Our attitude towards leaders is not to be impacted by the leader’s personality, brashness, or decisions.

Do you know the cultural and societal insanities that were being projected upon the people when Paul wrote to the Roman Christians?

  • Criminals were many times tortured to death in the coliseum.
  • Christians were fed to the lions.
  • Some Christians were burned alive for their faith.
  • The shedding of blood was a popular sport that people would flock to see in the coliseum.
  • Some Roman Emperors even demanded people to worship them as a deity.

No matter how bad some suggest living in America is – we are still living in the most just, least prejudiced, and most advantageous (to personal success) country in the world.  We still have a very relaxed legal system compared to most other countries today.  It is even harder for an American to enter and try to live in other countries of the world.  Proof of work and a verification that you are not taking jobs away from another countries citizen is a general requirement.  Things are relatively easy in America.

Those who complain about poverty are probably more-wealthy than most people in many places of the world.

Work ethic, respect for others, personal discipline, and a peaceful existence lends itself to a more productive life than protesting, walking around streets late at night, inciting riots, and sitting around complaining on the internet.

I encourage you to pray for our leaders. Respect those the Lord has placed over us.  Participate in government with a good attitude.  Work at loving your neighbor.

The political party nor the particular person does not diminish the Lord’s command to be subject to and show honor to our leaders.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prayer Changes Us

Prayer Changes Us

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.  John 15:7

“A fifth grade boy who had heard a sermon on persistence in prayer was praying by himself in his room one night. As his dad passed his door, he heard the boy praying over and over again, “Tokyo, Tokyo, Tokyo.” The next day, the dad asked his son what he was doing. The boy replied that he had given the wrong answer on a test for the capital of Mexico, and he was praying that Tokyo would become the capital of Mexico.”

Some people pray trying to “fix” a situation or change the way things are.  What if prayer changed us more than the situation?  It is very possible. Observe.

  1. When we pray the will or Word of God, we are “in tune” with God’s plan.
  2. When we pray for the will of God, we are asking for more than merely what we think is best.
  3. When we pray in the will of God, we are demonstrating faith and confidence that “His way is best.”
  4. When we pray the Word of God, we are allowing His presence in us to be more evident.
  5. When we pray in God’s will, we are able to rest, have peace, and totally rely on His working it out. All the while, the practice of prayer is also changing us.

While pray does “change things” – it can also change us!

 

 

 

 

 

Did You Think To Pray?

Did You Think To Pray?

Mine eye mourneth by reason of affliction: LORD, I have called daily upon thee, I have stretched out my hands unto thee.  Psalm 88:9

We pray when we are in trouble.  It is easy to turn our thoughts to Heaven when we have a big problem or a predicament that we are in.  For most people, the first time they fervently pray is when hey are in trouble.  Affliction drove the psalmist to pray every single day.  He actively sought the Lord lifting up “holy hands” to God, begging for His deliverance, guidance, and help.

What if we learned to pray before the big problem comes?  How would an active prayer life before the trouble arises help us navigate the storms of life?  It think it would make a big difference.  Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the “Prince of preachers” said “All the Christian virtues are locked up in the word prayer.”

The daily discipline of open communication with God, asking and receiving, better known as prayer, can change your life. There are several ways prayer affects not only the situation, but the one doing the praying.

Prayer calms the soul.  Prayer creates a connection with God. Prayer confirms our relationship with God the Father through His Son Jesus.  Make it a daily practice to spend time with God in prayer.

I leave you with the words of Mary Kidder in her hymn “Did You Think to Pray?”

  1. Ere you left your room this morning,
    Did you think to pray?
    In the name of Christ our Savior,
    Did you sue for loving favor,
    As a shield today?

Refrain:
Oh, how praying rests the weary!
Prayer will change the night to day;
So when life seems dark and dreary,
Don’t forget to pray.

  1. When you met with great temptation,
    Did you think to pray?
    By His dying love and merit,
    Did you claim the Holy Spirit
    As your guide and stay? [Refrain]
  2. When your heart was filled with anger,
    Did you think to pray?
    Did you plead for grace, my brother,
    That you might forgive another
    Who had crossed your way? [Refrain]
  3. When sore trials came upon you,
    Did you think to pray?
    When your soul was bowed in sorrow,
    Balm of Gilead did you borrow
    At the gates of day?

 

 

Selah

Selah

Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah. Psalm 24:10

Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah.  Psalm 39:5

Let the following story sink in and may it rearrange the priorities and worries of your mind today:

“A young and successful executive was traveling down a neighborhood street, going a bit too fast in his new Jaguar. He was watching for kids darting out from between parked cars and slowed down when he thought he saw something. As his car passed, no children appeared. Instead, a brick smashed into the Jag’s side door! He slammed on the brakes and backed the Jag back to the spot where the brick had been thrown. The angry driver then jumped out of the car, grabbed the nearest kid and pushed him up against a parked car shouting, “What was that all about and who are you? Just what are you doing? That’s a new car and that brick you threw is going to cost a lot of money. Why did you do it?”

The young boy was apologetic. “Please, mister, please, I’m sorry but I didn’t know what else to do,” he pleaded. “I threw the brick because no one else would stop” With tears dripping down his face and off his chin, the youth pointed to a spot just around a parked car. “It’s my brother,” he said. “He rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair and I can’t lift him up.” Now sobbing, the boy asked the stunned executive, “Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? He’s hurt and he’s too heavy for me.”

Moved beyond words, the driver tried to swallow the rapidly swelling lump in his throat. He hurriedly lifted the handicapped boy back into the wheelchair, then took out a linen handkerchief and dabbed at the fresh scrapes and cuts. A quick look told him everything was going to be okay. “Thank you and may God bless you,” the grateful child told the stranger. Too shook up for words, the man simply watched the boy push his wheelchair-bound brother down the sidewalk toward their home. It was a long, slow walk back to the Jaguar. The damage was very noticeable, but the driver never bothered to repair the dented side door. He kept the dent there to remind him of this message: Don’t go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to get your attention!”  (min127)

Don’t be so busy with life that you fail to let God have your attention.  The Bible term “Selah” means to “stop and think.”  We need to pause to pray.  We need to stop and read the Bible.  We need to slow down and sit with God a while.

We hustle through life to career and bank account destinations that do not matter.  We miss the joy of the journey to where God is taking us.  We don’t stop to offer help and encouragement like we should.  We may “do” much but are “being” very little in the eyes of the Lord.

May God help us live in such a way that a brick does not have to hit the car of our life so that the Lord could get our attention.  Give God your undivided attention today.  Stop running around after things that matter little and seek to arrange your life with Biblical priorities. It will change your life. Selah.

 

 

 

 

Making Time to Pray

Making Time to Pray

But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.                   1 Peter 4:7

When faced with a big decision or fraught with a new diagnosis, we can start to pray like we never prayed before.  But why wait to pray?  There is much to pray for every day.

Between work and play – we need to make time to pray.

In the verse above, the word “sober” has to do with clear thinking.  Then the word “watch” is used and says we are to “watch unto prayer.”  It means to abstain from wine.  Abstaining from alcohol helps keep the mind clear.  It is a word that when applied indicates having clear attention.  While alcohol clouds the mind, we must be clear headed to pay attention to prayer. The Lord wants us to have a clear mind and level-headed thinking so we can give time to praying.

Most American Christians are too distracted to make time to pray.  For example:

Recode.net says American spend 5 hours watching TV every day. In comparison:  Media and Methods reports the average American spends only five hours per year reading books.”

The A.C. Nielson Co says that “TV viewing began to rise in the 1960’s. It is approximately the same point in time that the Standard Achievement Test scores began to decline. This time frame is significant because the first generation to cut its teeth on TV began taking SATs in the early 1960’s.

Spin.com says Americans listen to 4 hours of music each day.

In many ways, we are “entertained out of our minds!”  Our minds are “clouded- full of entertainment.”  No wonder we do not take the time to pray like we should.  The stats above do not even factor small screen time (cellphones, tablets, etc).

Be sure to “Watch” unto prayer today.  Decisive action and a definite plan to pause and pray can be taken in your life today.

Make some time to pray – today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Prayer” in Psalms

“Prayer” in the Book of Psalms

31 times in the Book of Psalms is the word “Prayer” found.  That is enough times to read a new verse about “prayer” every day for a month! Sometimes it is found in the chapter heading.  At other times it is in the text of the psalm.  As you read through these words of Scripture today – take time to pray.  Let’s seek the God of the Bible in a personal way and bring the requests and desires of our hearts to Him.  The needs of this hour are great – and we have a great God Who can hear our calling to Him in prayer.

Blessings to you in these moments of prayer…

  • Psalm 4:1  <<To the chief Musician on Neginoth, A Psalm of David.>> Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.
  • 5:3 My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.
  • 6:9 The LORD hath heard my supplication; the LORD will receive my prayer.
  • 17:1  <<A Prayer of David.>> Hear the right, O LORD, attend unto my cry, give ear unto my prayer, that goeth not out of feigned lips.
  • 35:13 But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom.
  • 39:12 Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear unto my cry; hold not thy peace at my tears: for I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were.
  • 42:8 Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.
  • 54:2 Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth.
  • 55:1  <<To the chief Musician on Neginoth, Maschil, A Psalm of David.>> Give ear to my prayer, O God; and hide not thyself from my supplication.
  • 61:1  <<To the chief Musician upon Neginah, A Psalm of David.>> Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer.
  • 64:1  <<To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.>> Hear my voice, O God, in my prayer: preserve my life from fear of the enemy.
  • 65:2 O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come.
  • 66:19 But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer.
  • 66:20 Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.
  • 69:13  But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O LORD, in an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation.
  • 72:15 And he shall live, and to him shall be given of the gold of Sheba: prayer also shall be made for him continually; and daily shall he be praised.
  • 80:4 O LORD God of hosts, how long wilt thou be angry against the prayer of thy people?
  • 84:8  O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer: give ear, O God of Jacob. Selah.
  • 86:1  <<A Prayer of David.>> Bow down thine ear, O LORD, hear me: for I am poor and needy.
  • 86:6 Give ear, O LORD, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications.
  • 88:2 Let my prayer come before thee: incline thine ear unto my cry;
  • 88:13 But unto thee have I cried, O LORD; and in the morning shall my prayer prevent thee.
  • 90:1  <<A Prayer of Moses the man of God.>> Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.
  • 102:1 <<A Prayer of the afflicted, when he is overwhelmed, and poureth out his complaint before the LORD.>> Hear my prayer, O LORD, and let my cry come unto thee.
  • 102:17 He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer.
  • 109:4 For my love they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer.
  • 109:7 When he shall be judged, let him be condemned: and let his prayer become sin.
  • 141:2 Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.
  • 141:5  Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head: for yet my prayer also shall be in their calamities.
  • 142:1 <<Maschil of David; A Prayer when he was in the cave.>> I cried unto the LORD with my voice; with my voice unto the LORD did I make my supplication.
  • 143:1  <<A Psalm of David.>> Hear my prayer, O LORD, give ear to my supplications: in thy faithfulness answer me, and in thy righteousness.

Selah…