Tag Archives: prayer

Do you have a Christmas Heart?

1Peter heart of Christmas2

Advent Series: 1Peter 3 to 5 Do you have a Christmas Heart?

Are you busy untangling Christmas lights, shopping and wrapping gifts for others? There are only a few days left to prepare! Beyond that busyness are you taking time to read and meditate on the words of scripture that your heart might be prepared to celebrate the birth of the Christ-child?

We all get busy at this time of year and find that often our hearts are more “Grinch-like” than “Christ-like.” We find ourselves busy with lights, decorations, Christmas programs at church and more.

Take time each day to read selected portions of scripture that your hearts might be aligned with the Lord’s. Peter reminds us that it is our inner person of the heart that is precious in God’s sight.  Practically speaking we are to be harmonious, sympathetic, affectionate, compassionate, and humble and that comes with sitting with Jesus some time each day. Our hearts and prayers then are prepared. Remind yourself that the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous and his ears are open to their prayer.  Prepare to use this time of advent to set Christ apart as Lord in your heart so you are ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess and prepare to spend your time on earth concerned about the will of God and not human desires.

If God could look at your heart what would He see?


To Yahweh, I pray…

daniel 9 prayer2q

Daniel 9 The bronze man in Ezekiel 40 told him to “see with your eyes, hear with your ears and pay attention to all I am going to everything I show you…” Now place yourself with Daniel in the mode of prayer and your heart is heavy for the sins of your people and in a flash the man Gabriel approaches you in your state of weariness to say “I have come now to impart understanding to you.” Could it be that Daniel had prayed: help me, Father, to see with your eyes, hear with my ears and give me a heart to understand? Is this how we pray? And just like that, Gabriel says you are of great value in God’s sight.

Does God so treasure us that he says we are highly esteemed? Jesus told a parable about a nobleman who trusted three of his servants with his wealth while he was away on a journey. Upon his return he had each come to him and give an account. To two of them he said “well done, thou good servant but to the third, he said: you are wicked.

When we stand before God will we hear those same words: you are highly esteemed, you have been faithful or will we hear depart from me, I never knew you? Dare to be a Daniel today!  Pray for eyes to see, ears to hear and a heart to understand so you may be found faithful.

Let’s face it; some days are just the pits…

And when those days come around we have only way to handle them and it is in fasting and prayer. Enter Nehemiah and his diary to show us how.

neh 1 prayer2

Nehemiah 1 to 3 “A.C.T.S Prayer”

Nehemiah is a man whose soft heart becomes visible in his reaction to news and in his prayer life. He lived in Babylon serving the king–but his heart was in Jerusalem where his ancestors were buried. He knew the history of the city yet never lived there or even visited there. Had he read the scroll of Ezekiel? Perhaps he read how the false prophets had led the people astray and had not helped to repair the breaches in the wall. But that was then and this is now; 140 yrs. later. The temple is rebuilt but the city remains vulnerable because of these breached walls just as his brother reported to him upon his return from there. What he learned devastated his heart.

When you learn bad news what do you do? Nehemiah did four things: he sat down abruptly, cried and mourned for several days. Then he dried his tears and set about to do just as Paul did; telling God what was on his heart. [Phil 4:6] He praised God and asked that his ear be attentive and his eyes open to hear his prayer. Then he confessed the sins of his people and of himself. Lastly, he asked God to grant his request.  This is the “ACTS” picture of prayer: Adoration, Confession, Thankfulness, and Supplication.

Today you may have received news that breaks your heart. Take a page out of Nehemiah’s diary and do as he did; tell God the whole story, step out in faith and watch God work!


Something to Think About

What is your opinion on how we should pray? Should we kneel? Should we raise our hands? Is there only one way?

2Chronicles 7 From Genesis to Revelation the fire of God is used as a picture of the holiness and majesty of God. In Genesis, He consumes the cities of abomination. In Exodus He is in the burning bush and yet it was not consumed. In 1Kings He consumed the sacrifice of Elijah, licked up the water but spared the people. In 2Chronicles the sacrifices are consumed and His splendor is revealed. Ezekiel saw the vision of His holiness and majesty and he fell face down. Try to place yourself in each of these situations and ask yourself, how would I have responded?

Today, God doesn’t reveal his power in fire but what if He did?

When the people saw this manifestation of God they got on their knees to offer praise to God for His holiness and splendor. Have you ever wondered why we don’t do that much anymore? Have you ever wondered if that might change our perspective? Getting on our knees is one picture of submission but as Solomon showed, lifting our hands is another. And then there is Nehemiah who sat and prayed, worked and prayed.

It is not the outward expression but the expression of the heart that reveals to God how much His splendor impacts us.  

Will you share with us a time you reverently listened to His Word and then you were filled with such awesomeness at the picture of His holiness that you were overcome?

I Kings “8:28”

I Kings 8 “8:28”

1kings 8 28a

Many of us who study and memorize scripture are familiar with the “8:28” verse in Romans which is a promise that God has made: “that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose,” But there is another “8:28” verse hidden in the log of 1Kings that was prayed by King Solomon. “Answer the desperate prayer your servant is presenting to you today.”

In the NT Jesus told a story of a woman who was desperate and she pleaded for the Lord to have mercy and heal her demon-possessed daughter.  In another story, a ruler of the synagogue came before Jesus and pleaded to come and heal his child because she was near death. Or how about this story in Luke 18 about a woman who pleaded and persevered for justice? Jesus told all of these to teach the principle of “8:28.” If we are pleading desperately for a situation to change, for a wayward child, or for a broken marriage or whatever; know this truth: God hears and responds when we come before him in humility. He is in heaven but he hears the cry of his children.

Is there a situation in your life where you are pleading desperately for God to hear and respond favorably? May we pray with you that God hear and respond favorably? Claim this truth: And this is the confidence that we have before him: that whenever we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. [1John 5:14]







Moving and a Quiet Time

1Kings 8 to 10  Recently a friend moved and it was a chore—especially with little children who don’t really understand why they are moving from a familiar place to one that is unfamiliar! Can you relate? In these chapters, King Solomon is moving the Ark from its place in the countryside to the brand new Temple. It took many many people to make this move a success and to bring the precious cargo to its new home. But it didn’t just happen, there had to be advanced preparation, just like my friend, because Solomon as King had invited all of Israel’s elders, the leaders of the Israelite tribes and families! They would be coming to witness the transfer from Zion to Jerusalem. It only took place after Solomon had planned for many months to bring this about.

My friend had spent countless hours packing, repacking and gathering documents to move his family just like Solomon. It was after all of that Solomon stood before the altar and spread out his hands to the Lord in prayer. His prayer was long and God was pleased. In fact, God was so pleased that He appeared to Solomon and blessed him with these words “I have answered your prayer.” Imagine God doing that for each of us as we plan, prepare and then take time to talk to Him.

1kings 8 to 10 moving quiet time2a

It is our prayer that as you start your day you spend it in advance preparation for what you are going to read and meditate upon so that you will hear the same response as Solomon. Please let us know if we can assist you in any way. Also, we are open to suggestions from you our audience!

The Fear Factor

nicole-honeywill-gen 32Genesis 32-33 The writer of Proverbs wrote: the fear of man is a snare.  [Prov 29:25]It is the tool of our archenemy. He uses it as bait to catch us from trusting God. Jacob was caught in that snare because of his past history with Esau. Having left home and burned his bridges behind him after deceiving his father Isaac into getting the family blessing, he now obediently steps out to return to Canaan. He is facing his past with fear and trepidation. How will Esau respond to his overture? Perhaps you are in a similar situation. You left home under less than admirable circumstances or something similar. Your fear factor has risen to exorbitant heights and you feel helpless and as Jacob said, unworthy to even rekindle a relationship. Take a cue from Jacob.

Jacob’s fear was so great that he divided his family and spent a night alone in prayer. He reminded God of his promises, his obedience to return, and his fear. That’s what we have to do; be honest with God and spend time in prayer. You may feel helpless against the odds before you but if you turn to God for His help and His leading He is willing to hear, to see and He cares. Jacob laid his cards on the table before God. When we are overwhelmed, anxious, fearful, perplexed be assured that He is listening. “Pray to me when you are in trouble! I will deliver you, and you will honor me!” [Ps 50:15]


Psalm 132: A Gentle Reminder

Psalm 132 “O Lord…In Prayer I come …to remember the acts of service of others. “

Prayer is coming before God humbly seeking Him and Him only 

How often do we begin our prayers asking God to not forget a specific person? It seems like many, we often begin as the thief on the cross “Remember “me” when you come into your kingdom,” but we fail to ask God to remember a loved one or a friend’s acts of service BEFORE we plead for ourselves.

 When you have faced a strenuous effort, as David did, it would behoove us to ask God to not waste that effort. Solomon asked that his father’s work be held up as an example of steadfast endurance. He doesn’t want that hardship to have been wasted and so he begins by asking God to remember his father’s vow and how he earnestly sought to fulfill it. Not only did his father make a vow and seek to fulfill it,but he lost sleep over it and others heard of it as well. David made a start but Solomon would complete it. In the meantime, Solomon was bringing his petition to God for his father David’s sake reiterating the truth of Hebrews: “God,you are not unjust so as to forget his work…” [Heb 6:10  author’s thoughts]

As you go to prayer, stop and consider others acts of service and ask God to remember them before you seek your own petitions.  

Prayer and Gorilla Glue

family-prayer2a1 John 2  “Family Prayer is like Gorilla Glue—stuck for a Life Time”

[I just got a text from a friend. Heading out to be with family; can’t wait! We can pray together! Does that resonate with you? Does your family pray together? If not, then this blog is for you! I must admit I was a bit jealous; few of my family members pray together. So this is my heart speaking to you; please listen….]

So what does that conversation have to do with Gorilla Glue and Prayer? Stay tuned! Gorilla glue is a strong substance which, if used properly, bonds two surfaces and keeps them bonded. Prayer is like the family’s Gorilla Glue bonding each family member to one another.

The Apostle John wanted his flock to know the truth that “families that pray together stay together!”  It was true then and it is true now because prayer awakens our hearts to carry one another’s burdens and/or to rejoice with them. Unfortunately, today we are seeing more and more families that are dysfunctional or fractured; their glue has lost its “stick-to-i-tive-ness.” Some members remain aloof or protective behind their self-imposed cloak of privacy. Perhaps that is why John, like a father, uses this term of endearment, “my little children.” He is encouraging them to be a fully functional family because he is aware that they will face the adversary who roams about seeking whom he can devour.

If you are still reading, know this: Prayer is our “Gorilla Glue” protection against the adversary, Satan. Our Advocate, Jesus Christ the Righteous One, reminds us that prayer is our weapon, our “Gorilla Glue,” against him. Beloved, know this; the adversary knows that a family that practices righteous praying together is able to thwart his advances.

So let me ask you, are you praying together as a family? If not, why not start today?


Rise and Shine!

sunrise-ps-108aWhen do you spend time with God or do you even spend time alone with God? King David said, I will wake up at dawn. This was his willful, intentional decision. He made time to be alone with God in reading, prayer and praise. God was his priority no matter the kingdom or family issues before him. Is God your priority?

Ps 108 begins with this thought: my heart is fixed or steadfast, my heart is confident.

Here’s how “I” would use Psalm 108: Good Morning Lord! I woke up thinking about you and now here I am to learn from you. I am determined to accomplish this goal through your Illuminating Holy Spirit. I will sing, I will praise you with my whole heart. I will give you thanks for you are God. It is your faithfulness that I yearn to know more and more. So open my heart, eyes and ears to hear from you.  May your glory be seen all over the earth and let it start with me. I confess Lord that I need your deliverance this day from the ways of the enemy. Prepare me to see accomplishments in and over my life. It is by your power my enemies will be put to flight and it is because I trust in You and You alone.

Let your spirit roam through this psalm and pray it back to God. Why not make a date with God for your time alone with him  in the wee hours of the morning? Share how you would pray this psalm in your quiet time. Don’t wait, Start now! It’s time to Rise and Shine!