Friday, June 30, 2006

Watch and Pray

Ephesians 6:18-20
18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
19Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

Matthew 26:41
Jesus said, "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak."

My Dear King~
I confidently come to Your holy temple, to the heavenly throne to receive mercy and find comfort in my time of need. I come with reverence because You are my King. You hear my voice and answer. You are my wise Counselor and Best Friend. Forgive me for watering down my true feelings and not telling You the whole truth. You love when I share my heart openly, honestly and sincerely. When I cannot find the words to say, You hear my silence.

Like a loving Father, You know the weaknesses that lead me into temptation. I climb up into the high and holy fort where I watch for the enemy to sneak up on me. From my safe tower, I shoot a prayer heavenward. Boldly, I ask for more faith to believe, and more power to receive. Surrendered to Your authority, You defend me every time. In Your strength, I defeat the power of sin and temptation. The impossible is suddenly possible.

Triumphantly, I claim the peace prize to guard my heart and mind. With peace oozing from my heart, the words flowing from my mouth will naturally spread Good News of Your great love. By Your grace, I will be more joyful in the hope of my salvation, more patient in my affliction and more faithful in prayer. Then I will claim the final victory for Your name sake. Amen.

Prayer is a powerful weapon. Do you use it to fight the enemy of sin and temptation? Try it! Jesus commands it.

Add prayer to the tools God gives you to combat the enemy. It's useful for demolishing the stronghold of sin and temptation. Help make your thoughts obedient to Christ - PRAY. (2 Corinthians 10:5)

Next week I'll give you prayers for the remaining pieces of spiritual armor. I first wanted to focus on a few of the specific tools that will demolish the stronghold of sin and temptation, making our thoughts captive to Christ. God bless you!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Mighty Sword

Ephesians 6:17
Take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Matthew 4: 1 – 11
1Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. 2After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread."

4Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God."

5Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6"If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written: " 'He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone."

7Jesus answered him, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test."

8Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9"All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me."

10Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only."

11Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

My Jesus,
What an incredible and awesome teacher You are! Oh how I love Your principles. I meditate on Your laws all day long. Your lessons make me wiser than my enemies. When You write them on my heart, they are always with me. I have more insight than many influential, intelligent individuals because I carefully study Your Word. It has infiltrated my heart and mind. I have more understanding than highly regarded, respected, religious leaders because I listen to and obey Your holy Scriptures.

You sympathize with my weaknesses because You were tempted in every way, yet were without sin.

When I'm weak and hungry, longing to satisfy my deepest dreams and desires, you understand. Please give me patience to wait for You to feed me. Your Words are sweet to my taste. They are like rich, sweet chocolate to my mouth. They are the only thing that will satisfy my craving.

When I'm feeling insecure and inadequate, disillusioned and disheartened, you empathize. Please give me simple faith to believe that You are who You say You are, and can do everything You say You can do.

When possessions, power, and prestige are pursuing me, you commiserate with me. Please give me Holy Spirit power to resist worldly pleasures and worship You and You alone.

People will try to twist Your Words and take them out of context. Save me from lying lips and deceitful tongues. Give me more knowledge to recognize errors of interpretation and believe only the truth. By Your grace, I will try to memorize Scripture so that when I'm tempted, I can be like You in every way. Your Word will be the sharp sword I use to combat the enemy. With a complete understanding of Your principles for living, along with an obedient heart, I will walk on the pathway of righteousness. I long to be more like You, Jesus. It is through You I pray for power to triumph over temptation. Amen.

Are you prepared to be like Jesus and battle the enemy with the Word of God? If not, what will You do about it?

The sword of the Word is another tool God gives you to demolish the stronghold of sin and temptation and make your thoughts obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5)

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Guard Your Mind

Ephesians 6:17
Take the helmet of salvation.

Ps 27: 1-3
1 The LORD is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

2 When evil men advance against me
to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me,
they will stumble and fall.

3 Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then will I be confident.

O God my Savior~
Thank You for noticing and rescuing me when I was unhealthy, unattractive, and unpopular. Not only did You notice and rescue me; but You also adopted and accepted me into Your loving family. In Your home, You healed and sanctified me. You made me righteous and holy. I was near death, but now I am ALIVE! Thank you for the gracious gift of salvation! I will wear it as a helmet to protect my head.

I am surrounded by bullies who try to prevent me from advancing Your kingdom. They devour me with doubt and discouragement. They attack my abilities and adequacy. They make me feel unworthy and unacceptable. They preoccupy me, and then steal my time and treasure. Anxiety and fear besiege me.

When I trust in You and Your saving grace the brilliant, illuminating light transforms my mind. In the luminosity, my fearful thoughts are changed. You shine truth on deception and empower me to make right choices. As I spend time with You, I see things that are noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable. With my mind renewed, reeducated, and redirected I begin to think like Jesus. Wearing the helmet of salvation protects me from the brutal bullies. With complete confidence in Your strong power, one by one they stumble and fall.

Thank You for freeing me from their devastating power. Out of love and gratitude, I will set aside my fears, trust You, and go where You send me to serve others with love, kindness and gentleness. I will march forward victoriously, claiming new territory for Your kingdom, honor, and glory because of Jesus. Amen.

How will you put on the helmet of salvation, trusting God to protect your mind from the fearsome bullies?

Putting on the helmet of salvation is another way to demolish the stronghold of sin and temptation and make your thoughts obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5)

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Buckle Up to Truth

Eph. 6: 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around Your waist.

John 14: 6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

John 8: 42 Jesus said to them, "If God were Your Father, You would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me. 43Why is my language not clear to You? Because You are unable to hear what I say. 44You belong to Your father, the devil, and You want to carry out Your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45Yet because I tell the truth, You do not believe me! 46Can any of You prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don't You believe me? 47He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason You do not hear is that You do not belong to God."

Thank You for giving me direct access to Your Word, the Truth. What a blessing! When I seek You with all my heart and mind, You show me Your ways. You teach me and guide me. Your love and truth protect me. Thank You, Jesus!

Forgive me for not believing You! I recognize that Satan is the father of lies. There is no truth in him. Everywhere I go he is trying to deceive me. He entices me with lucrative language that sounds sumptuous. Please don’t let me give in to his lies, not even for one minute. He’ll subtly suck the life right out of me. Give me strength to cling to the fullness of life and Gospel of Truth. Please keep Your mighty hand on me. Help me to clearly understand and believe You. When I spend time with You, the Perfect Teacher, I’ll learn how You think and speak, and therefore how I should think and speak. You are the Perfect Example, showing me how to live. You give me the power to live like You. Thank You that the Truth is no longer etched on cold stone tablets, but carved on my heart through Your warm-blooded flesh as I spend time with You. What a blessing!

Please dear Lord, buckle the belt of truth around my waist so that I’m protected when Satan lures me with his counterfeits that look good. Surrounded by Your promises I’ll remain tightly fastened to You. Attached to You, I’ll believe that You are who You say You are: the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Amen.

Do you believe God? What He says is true! Buckle the belt of truth around your waist by spending time in His Word, then your mind will be prepared to battle the father of lies.

This is one way to demolish the stronghold of sin and temptation and make your thoughts obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5)

Monday, June 26, 2006

The Battle of the Mind

2 Corinthians 10:3-5
3For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

O God You are my God and I will always praise You! I will seek You in the morning. I will learn to walk in Your ways. Step by step You’ll lead me. I will follow You all of my days!

Lord, I am fighting impurity and unrighteousness in a hateful, hostile world! My mind is the battlefield where speculation, knowledge, and thoughts take place. It is a skirmish with sin in a corrupt culture. It is a dangerous place! The enemy is seeking me. I need You, Jesus, to lead and protect me.

By Your grace, I will earnestly seek You. I will claim the divinely powerful weapons You have given me to demolish the strongholds that fill my mind with faulty thinking. I will carefully read the map of Your Word and follow Your instructions. You are my Commander-in-Chief. I will submit my thoughts to Your control. As a loyal soldier in Your Army, I will be dedicated to the battle of the mind. When I am led me into combat, I will use the sword of Your Word and pray in the power of the Holy Spirit to be victorious over sin.

As I seek You, please hide Your Word in my heart. Give me an open mind and Holy Spirit power to overcome the mental block that prevents me from memorizing Scripture. Teach me Lord, as I study and meditate on Your principles so that I am prepared for the battle. I want to know my Commander. I want to believe Him! I want to trust Him! Above all, I want to obey Him and live triumphantly in His blessing! Let Your Words flow fluently from my lips in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Did you ever think that your mind is a battlefield? There’s constantly mixed messages waging war for your thoughts! What one thing can you do today to demolish a strong temptation? What can you do today to make your mind obedient to Christ?

Today I will focus on and accept God’s love for me in order to demolish the temptation to seek approval from man. I will make my mind obedient to Christ by memorizing and believing Ephesians 1: 3-8 In love, I am blessed, chosen, adopted, accepted, redeemed, and forgiven (paraphrased).

Friday, June 23, 2006

A Warm Comforter

John 14:16
Jesus said, "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may be with you for ever." ASV

2 Corinthians 1:3-4
3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

God of All Comfort!
I praise and adore You for covering me with the warm blanket of Your love. Under Your soft quilt, there is peace for my mixed-up mind and quiet for my qualms and quandaries. When suffering makes my heart heavy Your Word encourages me with strength to endure. Under the mantle of Your love there is mercy and grace. My sins are forgiven and my spirit enlivened. Wounded, weary and weak, I rest under Your soft feathers. There I find hope, healing and everlasting happiness.

After I’m rested, renewed and refreshed, I will get up and share my warm Comforter with someone else. Because I’ve experienced the blessing of Your consolation I’ll be able to soothe sad souls surrounding me. Please show me someone who needs the warm blanket of Your love today. I’ll gratefully share my encouraging bundle of blessing with them for Your namesake. Amen.

If you are overwhelmed by confusion, doubts, and distress allow the Comforter of the Holy Spirit to cover You with His love. If you’ve been blessed by the Blanket of His love, share it with someone else for the glory of His marvelous name.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Gift of Peace

Isaiah 26:3
You will keep in perfect peace
him whose mind is steadfast,
because he trusts in you.

John 14:27
Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

Jesus, My Redeemer, Sent from the heart of God,
Thank You for the precious gift of peace. It’s mine when I choose to walk hand-in-hand, day-by-day, minute-by-minute trusting You. This world gives me trouble, confusion, and conflict, but You leave me with the present of peace to guard my heart and mind. I unwrap it by:

  • Receiving it from You, my heavenly Father, who lovingly adopted and accepted me into the royal family of God, bestowing me with many blessings.
  • Trusting the power of the Holy Spirit, the endless cord that securely ties the package of peace to my heart and mind.
  • Believing the Truth of Your Word, sincerely written by a devoted Father to his beloved child as a beautiful gift card.
  • Accepting You, God’s own dear Son, sent directly to me from the heart of my Father to pay the ultimate price for it.

Dear Lord, the only thing I desire today is blessed quiet and holy peace to protect me from the storms of strife surrounding me. Supported by Your love, secured to the endless power source, I just want to focus on You, trust Your promises, and enjoy the priceless gift of peace purchased specifically for me by You, Jesus, God’s own Son. Amen.

Unwrap the gift of peace: Receive it from the Father, trust in the Holy Spirit, believe the Words He’s written to You, and be thankful that Jesus paid the price for it.

Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

God Speaks

John 14:26
Jesus said, "The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you."

John 16:13-14
Jesus said, "When he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you."

Holy Spirit,
You are an incredibly intellectual instructor who meets me in the classroom of my heart. When I earnestly seek You as a devoted student, I’m imparted with wisdom, knowledge and understanding of Your good, pleasing and perfect will. Please give me patience to sit still and pay attention to Your teaching. I have so much to learn and am eager to discover all the things You want me to know. The more time I spend under Your instruction, the brighter I become. Speak to me, Holy Spirit, in the name of Jesus. Speak to me and teach me all things.

When I’m informed of important things, send me into the learning lab of life. Give me opportunities to test my skills through situations and circumstances surroundings me. Confident of the knowledge I’ve comprehended in Your classroom, I’ll trust You to remind me of everything I need to serve sick and sad souls. The more hands on experience I get, the brighter I become. Guide me, Holy Spirit, in the name of Jesus. Guide me every step of the way.

Knowing that You will only tell me what You hear from the Father, I will faithfully rely on Your textbook, the Holy Bible, to be my sole resource and reference manual. Whenever I’m uncertain of what to do next, I’ll silently sit and studiously search it. I’ll constantly communicate with You through prayer, watching and waiting until You clearly make known to me the way I should go. As I serve wherever I’m sent, may others will see the brightness of Jesus illuminated in me. Be glorified, Holy Spirit, in the name of Jesus. Be glorified in me. Amen.

If you have trouble hearing God speak, this is your wake up call! You can’t understand the truth of God unless You sit still and pay attention to His instruction in the classroom of your heart. Will you meet Him there today? He’s waiting for His students to show up and eager to teach them all things. I encourage you to take your Bible and go quickly. There’s so much to learn, and so little time.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Doing Great Things

John 14:12
Jesus said, "12I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing."

Matthew 9:35-36
35Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

Jesus, You are the King of Compassion!
If I follow You, I can easily see what You have doing. The problem is I’m prone to wandering! I’m distracted by my own agenda. With my mind focused on finishing my mission, I’m oblivious to the crowd surrounding me. Forgive me for my lack of compassion! Open my eyes to the lost souls entangled in the rush of life. Give me a sensitive soul to stop and set them free. You’re not asking me to sell church. You’re asking me to:

  • Teach them by the example of my peaceful lifestyle what it means to know the Shepherd and be sheltered in the safety of His arms.
  • Preach the God News by telling them the story of how You rescued me from Satan’s snare and brought me to the safety of the sheepfold.
  • Nurse their wounds caused by the disease of despair and sickness of sin.

Please give me a heart like Yours to teach, preach, and heal. Please fill me with fresh faith and Holy Spirit power to notice the harassed and helpless hordes crying for release. I will follow You and do the things I see You doing to bring glory and honor to Your name. Amen.

Ask God to put the name of one lost sheep on your heart and in your mind today. Begin to pray specifically for their release.

Monday, June 19, 2006

3 Easy Steps to Bring Lost Souls to Jesus

John 14:12-18
Jesus said, "12I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

15"If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— 17the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you."

Truthful King~
I can hardly believe my ears! You promise that I will do even greater things than You did! That’s an overwhelming oath. I will go places Your feet never went. I will claim new territory for Your kingdom, captivating people for You. I will witness unbelievable miracles. How can that be? I am merely human. You are God and You are everywhere!
I’m thankful that You lay out the plan for me:

  1. Believe what You say is true
  2. Ask in Your name
  3. Obey

Working in Your power, with the Counselor, Comforter, and Helper living in my heart, I will have the strength to captivate my community, country, and world.
First, I must claim Your promise that I will do what You’ve been doing by saving lost souls. Then I must believe You when You say whatever I ask for in Your name You will do. And, finally, I need to believe that the Holy Spirit power lives in me, will never leave me, and will enable me to carry out the plan.

This sounds like a simple strategy. My Spirit is willing, but my flesh is weak. Please dear Lord, give me more faith to believe and claim Your precious promises. I want nothing more than to be fully committed to You and the work of Your kingdom. I want to accomplish great things for You, but first I need faith to believe in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.

Are you willing to follow God’s 3-step plan to bring lost and lonely people to His kingdom? Do you believe God? Do you love him enough to obey?

Friday, June 16, 2006

Acceptable Sacrifices

Psalm 40: 6-8
6 Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but my ears you have pierced;
burnt offerings and sin offerings
you did not require.

7 Then I said, "Here I am, I have come—
it is written about me in the scroll.

8 I desire to do your will, O my God;
your law is within my heart."

Holy & Righteous God,
Thank You for piercing my ears with the bold truth. Finally, I’m beginning to understand. Offering You my time without heartfelt devotion is inadequate. Presenting You my talent without wholehearted dedication is insufficient. Halfheartedly giving You my treasure out of obligation is inappropriate. You don’t want religious ceremonies and showy performances. All that You desire is a relationship with all of me.

It will please You when, by faith, I come to the foot of the cross admitting my faults and failures allowing the bond of Your blood to fix and fortify me. Realizing the high price you paid to correct my flaws will give me a deeper desire to walk and work with You. I’ll willingly sacrifice family, friends and freedom in order to spend time getting to know You. The more I know You, the more readily I’ll give up my possessions and plans in order to experience Your almighty power. Forfeiting my comfortable conditions and prominent position to endure difficulties will perfect my faith, make me shine purer and brighter, and draw others to You.

Please dear Lord, write Your commands on my heart so that I’ll remember to obey them. I desire nothing more than to walk and work with You so that my gifts will be adequate, sufficient, and appropriate for my Most Holy King. Amen.

God doesn’t want your rituals and routines. He wants your whole heart devoted to Him. What are you willing to sacrifice in order to please Him? Will you give up watching television, browsing the Internet, or chatting with friends in order to spend time with Him? Will you get up earlier to be with Him? Will you eliminate several activities from your busy in order to make time with Him?

Thursday, June 15, 2006

God Hears

Psalm 40: 1-4
1 I waited patiently for the LORD;

he turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,

out of the mud and mire;

he set my feet on a rock

and gave me a firm place to stand.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,

a hymn of praise to our God.

Many will see and fear

and put their trust in the LORD.
4 Blessed is the man

who makes the LORD his trust.

Faithful God,
I praise and adore Your Holy Word. If I would just slow down and talk to You through prayer, You would faithfully listen to me! If I would just turn around and face You, perusing my Bible, You would speak to me! The problem is I’m too busy wallowing in the ditch of despair. Up to my neck in mud and muck, I’m constantly trying to pull myself out of sticky situations. Unfortunately, the harder I try, the deeper I sink.

I need You, Jesus, to come to my rescue! Come, pull me out of the hopeless pit! Set my feet on solid ground. Wash away the slime of sin. Cleanse me from the miserable mire of my mistakes. Rinse away the froth of fear. Breathe new life into me. Put a joyful song in my heart. Steadily and securely, I’ll walk in Your ways, singing praises to the One who sought, found and saved me from severe destruction.

Please dear Lord, pay attention to my plea! Pick me up while I wait. Bless me with joy and peace to go where You send me in Your name, proclaiming the Way, the Truth and the Life. Amen.

Are you despondent in the ditch of despair, exhausted trying to dig your way out? Stop digging and wait for Him. Peruse your Bible and pray, asking for His help. Then, He will:

  1. Pay attention to your plea
  2. Pull you from the pit
  3. Plant your feet on solid ground
  4. Protect your steps
  5. Put a joyful song in your mouth
Waiting on the Lord will pick you up from your despair, causing you to praise Him. It will make you shine like the Son, lighting the way out of the pit for others who are up to their necks in muck. In your current situation, are you grumbling or glistening for Him?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Chasing the World

Psalm 62:1-4, 10-12
1 I wait quietly before God,
for my salvation comes from him.

2 He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress where I will never be shaken.

3 So many enemies against one man--
all of them trying to kill me.
To them I'm just a broken-down wall
or a tottering fence.

4 They plan to topple me from my high position.
They delight in telling lies about me.
They are friendly to my face,
but they curse me in their hearts.

10 Don't try to get rich
by extortion or robbery.
And if your wealth increases,
don't make it the center of your life.

11 God has spoken plainly,
and I have heard it many times:
Power, O God, belongs to you;
12 unfailing love, O Lord, is yours.
Surely you judge all people
according to what they have done. NLT

Almighty God-
My soul silently waits for You. My rest is in You alone. I run to You for shelter and protection. There, I calmly, quietly, patiently wait for the wicked world to pass.

The world is pursuing me, tempting me to join in the pursuit for power, prestige, possessions, and pleasure. Everywhere I turn, there is another demand for my time, talent, and treasure. The Prince of Darkness fully intends to topple me from my lofty and safe haven with You. All around me, people delight in his lies. They try to lure me by speaking persuasive words that sound good and pleasing, yet in their hearts, they are deceitful. Before getting too excited about new attractive ideas, I will carefully examine the things I hear against Your Word. Please fill me with more knowledge and wisdom so that I can determine if I am hearing the Truth.

The temptation to abandon You can sneak up on me as a whisper of doubt. I’ll overcome the whisper of temptation by pouring out my heart to You. You’ll help me as I pray and diligently study Your Word. I’ll be deeply devoted to You because You are strong, loving and dependable. Confidently, I’ll follow You, trusting that You’re leading me through the dry, dirty desert to the Promised Land. Fearfully, I’ll obey You believing You when You say, "The Son of Man is going to come in His Father’s glory with His angels, and then He will reward each person according to what he has done." *

Instead of chasing the world, I am choosing to pursue You, Jesus, the One and Only. Amen.

Are you waiting for the Lord or chasing the world? I encourage you to follow Him and find the fortune He promises.

*Matthew 16:27

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Soaring Through Storms

Isaiah 40:31
Those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Everlasting God~
You are the Creator of everything. Because You have unlimited power, You never grow tired or weary. You are always available to re-energize me and refresh my strength during the seemingly hopeless storms of life. Like an eagle, in the midst of the storm, I’ll spread my wings of faith to embrace the wind. Placing my dependency on You and You alone, I’ll experience quiet wonders:

  • Your bliss will balance my burdens
  • Your power will pick up my problems
  • Your peace will pacify my pain
  • Your tenderness will touch my troubled heart

Soaring will become an adventure of discovering just how faithful You are. It will be an exhilarating experience to fly above the worrisome world! Free to fly, I’ll trust You to carry me through chaos and confusion.

Please use the turbulence in my life:

  • To take me higher in my relationship with You
  • To fall deeper in love with You
  • To grow stronger my faith in You
  • To walk more vigorously with You
  • To bear more fruit for You

Use the wicked winds of doubt to grow my wings of faith. Just as strong gales make it possible for the eagles to soar, so sin, suffering and sorrow make it possible for me to rise above troublesome storms. Please dear Lord, just give me more confidence to wait through the mourning with renewed strength, and not grow weary. As I fly, I will focus on my final destination, Paradise, where I’ll live happily ever after because of Jesus. Amen.

What storm are you facing? Are you soaring through it with Holy Spirit power?

Monday, June 12, 2006

Waiting on God's Wonderful Name

Psalm 52:9
I will praise you forever for what you have done;
in your name I will hope, for your name is good.

O My Sweet Savior~
I love the sound of Your wonderful name! It tells of amazing grace, remarkable compassion, and incredible love! When my heart was broken by sin, You found me. In loving kindness, You painstakingly stooped to pick up each shattered piece of my soul. Meticulously, You fixed me with the bond of Your priceless blood and flushed away all the dirt from my past. You made me holy and pure, filling the hollow of my heart with a joyful song of Your all-sufficient name.

  • In awe of majestic mountains, roaring rivers, flamboyant flowers and spectacular sunsets, I’ll sing praises to Elohim, the Creator of everything.
  • Frightened by mighty men, I’ll remember that You are El Elyon, God Most High, Mighty King, Ruler of everything. All authority submits to You.
  • Feeling mistreated and cheated, knowing El Roi, my God Who Sees will comfort me.
    In suffering and stress, El Shaddai, my All-Sufficient God will supply me with enough strength to endure any situation.
  • When I have nagging needs, I’ll call on Jehovah-jireh, trusting the Lord Who Provides.
    Physically, mentally, or emotionally ill, I’ll cry out to Jehovah-rapha, believing the Lord Who Heals will hear me.
  • I’ll be content in the place where you’ve put me, when I realize You are Jehovah-raah, the Lord My Shepherd who leads and guides, protects and provides for me.
  • Through scary storms, when the wind is whipping and the waves are walloping me, I’ll cry out to Jehovah-shalom, and the Lord of Peace will speak calm to the surge in my soul.
  • When I’ve messed up and made mistakes, I can praise Jehovah-tsidkenu, believing the Lord My Righteousness will forgive and redeem my hopeless circumstances.
  • Sin is no longer my master, Adonai, Jesus, My Lord, is!

Please give me a deeper understanding of who You are so that when I’m wandering in the wilderness, I’ll want to wait on Your wonderful name. O how I love You because of Your Almighty, All-Powerful, Everlasting name! Amen.

Names in the Bible have great significance - especially the name of God. The names of God stand for His character, who He is, what He is and what He will do. They represent His promises. When we wait on (or hope in) God’s name, we’re remembering His character and promises.

Which name of God do you need right now? Call out to Him and He will hear from heaven and answer for the glory of His name.

His Name is Wonderful
His name is wonderful, His name is wonderful
His name is wonderful, Jesus my Lord.
He is the Mighty King, Master of everything,
His name is wonderful, Jesus my Lord.

He’s the Great Shepherd, the Rock of all ages,
Almighty God is He,
Bow down before Him, love and adore Him,
His name is wonderful, Jesus my Lord.

Copyright Public Domain

Friday, June 09, 2006

Whining in the Wilderness

Psalm 106:13-15
But it wasn't long before they forgot the whole thing,
wouldn't wait to be told what to do.
They only cared about pleasing themselves in that desert,
provoked God with their insistent demands.
He gave them exactly what they asked for—
but along with it they got an empty heart. MSG

O Dear God!
It makes me sick to think how much I’m like the Israelites! I have seen Your mighty works! I too was a slave. Addictions, attractions and afflictions owned me. I was held captive by power, prestige, and possessions. The excruciating work was unending. I was hopeless and helpless until You came along and graciously purchased me with Your priceless blood. Setting me free, You promised me a bigger, better and brighter future. Enthusiastically, I set out to pursue a new life with You, anticipating a gloriously beautiful home in heaven, and a fortune beyond my imagination.

Sadly, I’ve lost focus and forgotten all that You’ve done for me. Wandering in the wilderness, I can no longer see heaven on the horizon. The hope I had for a great fortune is gone. I’ve lost sight of You and am unhappy. I don’t like the uncomfortable living conditions. It’s not what I expected. Sin, suffering and sorrow scorch me. Problems and pain parch me. Kicking and screaming like a spoiled child, I want to go home! I crave the pleasures and treasures left behind. I can’t wait for You! I’m going to do it my way!

O God, have mercy on me for my little faith! I don’t want to be like the contentious Israelites! I see what happened to them. You gave them exactly what they asked for – but along with it they got an empty heart! Please don’t let my heart be empty! Fill it with to overflowing with Your love and power. Then, in the midst of my misery, I’ll rejoice and give thanks to You for accomplishing Your will in my life. I’ll be able to sing sweet songs of salvation in my sadness, and powerfully plead for patience during pain. Full of You, I’ll smile when I feel like crying and keep walking vigorously toward the heavenly home You promised because of Jesus. Amen.

Are you like me, unable to wait while wandering in the wilderness? I encourage to you to make a list of all the miracles God has done for you. Carry it with you as you walk with Him and remember His promises! He didn’t promise it would be easy. He did promise to supply you with sufficient strength to endure all situations. Will you believe Him?

A few of the miracles God has given me:
He set me free from my sins. He adopted me and gave me a new life, despite my deficiencies. He allows me to represent His kingdom on earth. He entrusts me with His Word. He walked with me slowly through the valley of death, allowing me to pick a beautiful bouquet of blessings as we went. He has called a faithful prayer team to protect my family and me. He has been so good to me! I hope I’ll always remember!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Satisfaction, Security & Significance

Phil 4: 11-13, 19
11I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13I can do everything through him who gives me strength. 19And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

Jehovah Jireh,
My Sufficient Supplier,

Thank You for showing me the secret to a satisfying life: Relying on your promises, looking for Your provision, and depending on Your power.

Satan tries to seduce me with human solutions to satisfaction, security and significance. Cleverly, he convinces me that I can’t be happy without certain possessions. Subtly, he persuades me that I’m insignificant without a prominent position. He masterfully manipulates me to look for respect and approval from powerful people. He cunningly confuses me, complicating my problems by making them seem bigger than really are. Discontent with who I am, where I’m going, and what I have, it’s tempting to reach into his bag of tricks for an instant, momentary solution.

The more I know You, the less likely I’ll be to buy into his smooth sales pitch. Full of Your wisdom, I’ll be wary of his gimmicks. Relying on Your promises, I’ll have a clear perspective. I’ll realize that trinkets and treasures can’t buy eternal pleasure, only Your precious blood can. Prominent positions aren’t as prestigious as they appear when I understand that all authority belongs to You. Suddenly, people I perceived to be strong will appear weak and unimportant. Abruptly, the dimension of my difficulties will diminish when I realize that they’re part of Your plan to purify and perfect me for a greater purpose.

I need to hang out with You more frequently reading Your Word, praying ceaselessly, and socializing with other believers. Then, I’ll be able to rest on Your promises. Knowing who You are will supply me with the satisfaction, security and significance I’m seeking. I’ll be content when I believe that I am who You say I am: Your beloved child, an heir to an unimaginable inheritance. I’ll be satisfied knowing where You’re taking me: heaven, my glorious, eternally beautiful home. And, while I wait, I’ll be happy with what You’ve given me: peace, provision and a quiet place for my soul to patiently rest.

Please help me to be joyful and thankful in all circumstances believing that You’ll generously supply all my needs in the name of Jesus, Your Son. Amen.

What are you relying on today for your source of satisfaction, security and significance?

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Seeking God

Lamentations 3:25-26
25 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
26 it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.

Merciful Lord,
I’m thankful for Your on-going instruction on how to wait for You. When I feel lost, I shouldn’t grumble, complain or make a lot of noise. Rather, I should be silent expecting You to help me find the good fortune I’m seeking.

You’ll open up the sacred Treasure Chest of Scripture when it's quiet and we’re alone together. Diligently, I’ll dig through it perusing each costly command and precious promise. While I wait, I’ll ponder them, prayerfully asking You, the Owner, perplexing questions. In response, You’ll give me a complete understanding of Your amazing grace and incredible love. I’ll discover that there is nothing more valuable than Your priceless blood that purchased my pardon. Accepting it will prosper me with glorious power to endure problems and pressures peacefully. Carrying the bright and beautiful jewels of power, peace and patience in my heart will illuminate the Way through the darkness of difficulty to heaven where I anticipate living happily ever after with You.

Jesus, You are the Good Fortune that I seek. In You, are all the riches of heaven that will satisfy the deepest desires of my heart. Please give me more patience to seek You while I wait for the glory of Your name. Amen.

What are you seeking while you wait for a diagnosis or cure? What do you hope to find while you wait for the perfect job or promotion? What are you looking for while you wait for your trial to end?

I encourage you to peruse your Bible for God’s commands and promises while you wait. Ponder them and pray. When you find them, you’ll also find Him and the Good Fortune you’ve always been seeking.

Jeremiah 29: 13-14
"You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the Lord.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

What To Do While Waiting

Psalm 37:1-9
1 Do not fret because of evil men
or be envious of those who do wrong;
2 for like the grass they will soon wither,
like green plants they will soon die away.
3 Trust in the LORD and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
4 Delight yourself in the LORD
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him and he will do this:
6 He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.
7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when men succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.
8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret—it leads only to evil.
9 For evil men will be cut off,
but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land.

Patient Teacher,
I’m overwhelmed by the secrets You share with me when I open my Bible and my heart. Your Word corrects my wayward thinking. All these years I’ve been waiting for passing pleasures. Fame and fortune will fade. Good health will eventually wilt and wither. Beauty will flee like a dying flower. The hustle and bustle will come to a screeching halt when I appear before Your holy throne. In the meantime, I’m waiting in the outer courts to see You. In the classroom of my heart You tell me precisely how to be productive while I wait. This is a difficult lesson for my stubborn soul. Please help me to practice until I can perform it beautifully for You.

While I wait, I should:
  1. Believe that You’ll be faithful to Your promises (v3)
  2. Do good deeds (v3)
  3. Remain in the place where You put me without wandering off or wishing for greener pastures (v3)
  4. Enjoy Your provision and protection (v3)
  5. Hang out with You, enjoying your friendship as I read Your Word and pray (v4)
  6. Hand over everything to You – my life, my family, my job, and my possessions – with confident expectation that You will care for them better than I can (v5)
  7. Be calm and quiet in the waiting room – no grumbling and complaining about the long wait! (v7)
  8. Never be envious, angry, or anxious (v1, 7, 8)

For practicing patience, You promise to give me the desires of my heart – a deeper, more intimate relationship with You. You are the only Way to peace and everlasting happiness! While I wait, You promise to sustain me and keep me safe. You’ll make me glow with the purity and warmth of the Son. Please help me practice relying on Your loving kindness and sovereignty. I’ll perform beautifully, for You my King, by trusting in Your power, protection and provision day by day. Waiting won’t be a waste of time, but a worthwhile investment in the kingdom of heaven. Amen.

What will you do while you wait?

Wow! God taught me several lessons today that will require a lot of extra practice to perform!

  1. It’s easy to desire someone else’s fame, fortune, health or lifestyle. I need to learn to be content where I am, with the things I have.
  2. Caught in the hustle and bustle of the world, I realized that my irritation and anxiety while waiting in traffic, doctor offices, and airports is a waste of energy. While I’m huffing and puffing about the situation, I could practice praying!
  3. Often, I pursue passing pleasures, without even pondering God’s promises!
Minutes after I wrote this, I went to the post office to buy some stamps. I walked in and noticed that the guy in front of me had six huge boxes to ship! With a big sigh and roll of my eyes, I huffed out the door to the self-service stamp machine. I was not happy! It didn't take me forget the lessons!

Two hours later, I found myself in a line at the grocery store with a seemingly incompetent cashier. Again, I found myself irritated and annoyed wishing my loot wouldn't be on the belt so I could move to self-serve! Aware of my attitude, I began to pray for her. Thank you God, for reminding me!

This is going to be difficult journey!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Learning to Wait

As I waited in the long line to go through airport security, growing increasingly impatient and irritated, the Holy Spirit tapped me on the shoulder and said, "You need to learn to wait patiently, my child!" There in that endless line, I began pondering what it means to wait on the Lord. Slowly the tension eased when I changed my focus from the crowd to Christ.

Psalm 130:5-6
5 I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
6 My soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.

I admit I’m a most impatient child! Even though You promise special blessings for those who quietly wait, it’s a very difficult assignment for me! I’m living in a fast-paced world where we drive fast cars through fast food restaurants, gobbling the grub as we speed down the freeway. Instant cash at ATM’s and instant information on the internet provide for instant gratification. And I wonder why waiting is hard!

Please dear Lord, slow me down! I want off this race track! Rather than speeding to keep up with everyone else, worrying about my security, career and relationships, I want to deliberately depend on Your provision and protection. Instead of pursuing power, prestige, and possessions for pleasure, I want to down shift, allowing You to take me to everlasting happiness. Zooming through life I miss out on opportunities to serve You; consequently, also losing the rich rewards You pay Your workers.

At break-neck speed my perception is poor and my vision distorted as in the darkness of night. I simply can’t see clearly! Going at a slower, safer speed I’ll begin to see You for who You really are: loving, kind and reliable. I’ll come to depend on You for power, provision and protection. I’ll learn to trust Your principles, promises and purposes. Concentrating on Your goodness, I’ll find peace and hope in Your Word, the Bible.

Please fill me with patience to endure the long, silent night of my soul, eagerly expecting the definitive morning when the Son will rise and warm my heart with heavenly hope for Your namesake. Amen.

Most of us are waiting for something – a promotion or pay increase, a diagnosis or cure, the death of a loved one, a trial and verdict, a wayward child to come home, to overcome an addiction or bad habit, to win the lottery or lose a few pounds, for a voice at Verizon to pick up the phone or a computer to respond …

What are you waiting for? Are you impatient, like me, trying to devise your own schemes and plans to get ahead? I encourage you to slow down and go with God. In His Word you will find the only Way to peace and everlasting happiness.

Friday, June 02, 2006

The River of God

The cabin God provided me during the writer’s conference was situated on the very edge of the Big Thompson River. The melting snow from the majestic mountains raced down the river, splashing frigid water on my bare feet. My heart and mind were flooded by the image of the River of God flowing down from the untouchable, unreachable splendor of His throne in heaven. There by the river shore, He invited me to "Come, drink and live."

The angel showed me a pure river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. The Spirit and the bride say, "Come." Let each one who hears them say, "Come." Let the thirsty ones come—anyone who wants to. Let them come and drink the water of life without charge. Rev. 22: 1, 17 NLT

Holy, Holy is my God Almighty
Holy is His Name Alone
Glorious River of Life,
There’s perfect peace in Your pristine presence. You are a steady stream of Living Water, gaily flowing down from above into my heart. You meander through the fearfully dark valleys of despair and blistering deserts of discouragement. Sometimes You’re a rushing torrent, other times a quiet trickle.

Thank You for the life saving invitation to come, drink and live. Seared by sin and suffering, parched by problems and pressure, and dehydrated by difficult dilemmas, I’m dying of thirst. Graciously, I come. Freely, I drink from the endless Glorious River of Life, Your Word, the Bible. As I spend time reading, reflecting and responding to it, let the Spirit of Truth fill me. With each sip of sacred Scripture, strengthen, sustain, and satisfy me. Open my eyes to see people who are dying of thirst, desperate for drink. Saturated with Your love and joy, I’ll eagerly invite them to come, drink and live at the Glorious River of Life. Amen.

Did you hear the Spirit of God say, "Come and drink the water of life?" He is expecting you! Go sip the sweetness of His Word. After you’ve been strengthened, sustained, and satisfied, go invite another sin scorched soul to come, drink and live. It’s an open invitation!

I will invite ___________________________________ to the Glorious River of Life today.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

God's Faithfulness and Unfailing Love

Psalm 89:15-17, 24
15 Happy are those who hear the joyful call to worship,
for they will walk in the light of your presence, LORD.

16 They rejoice all day long in your wonderful reputation.
They exult in your righteousness.

17 You are their glorious strength.
Our power is based on your favor.

24 My faithfulness and unfailing love will be with him,
and he will rise to power because of me. NLT

O Lord God Almighty!
There is none like You!
You are my glorious strength!
I love to tell the story of Your unfailing love and faithfulness!

I was weak and unworthy of even the simplest spiritual assignment when You called me and gave me the extreme challenge. You mandated that I tell the whole world the life changing story of Your loving kindness.

An ordinary person with no extraordinary talent or training, I was inadequate and unqualified for the job. Nevertheless, You persistently pursued me, promising to empower me. When I finally agreed with You and stopped arguing, You sent the Holy Spirit to train me. Using the Bible, You taught, tested and equipped me. I learned to trust Your wisdom and seek Your advice. My empty mind was filled with knowledge and my hollow heart was filled with Your faithful love. Your vivacious energy gave me courage and confidence.

Before I knew it, I was doing the impossible. Surprisingly, my accomplishments were exceeding my expectations! Knowing who You are and what You can do was the secret to my success. Apart from You I am incompetent, but with You I can achieve unbelievable things. All that I am and have I owe to You, my Teacher, Father and King. Blessed be Your glorious name! Amen.

God calls us to perform tasks we can’t do with our own brains or abilities to prove his unfailing love and faithfulness. What extreme challenge has He given you? Has He asked you to take the test of sickness and suffering? Or are you experiencing a job loss and financial challenges? Maybe you’re assignment involves legal matters that are complex and beyond your comprehension. Perhaps He’s asking you to move to a new job, state, or country. Whatever the assignment, don't argue, agree to the task. admit your weakness, and ask Him to teach, test and equip you. As you learn to trust His wisdom and seek His advice, you too will accomplish unbelievable things!

I have seen God’s amazing love and faithfulness. Surprisingly, He’s called me to write His story for the whole world. For a few months I argued with Him, "Who would want to read my ramblings? They’re just words on paper. I was required to take remedial English in college! I can’t even write! Why me?"

Relentlessly, He pursued me. Finally, after affirmation from several professional writers, I agreed with God and accepted the assignment. To my astonishment, He taught, tested and equipped me. Even more amazing, without any advertising, He sent Prayer Pal into the world—Africa, Australia, Russia and beyond. If that wasn’t enough He sent it into the prison too. Is that not amazing? Not by my brains or abilities, but by His power and strength! Blessed be His glorious name!

Wait, there’s more! He made all the arrangements for me to attend the Christian Writer’s Conference in the Rocky Mountains. The only thing I had to do was go tell my story of His loving kindness. For that He connected me with two publishers and a literary agent. Only by His mercy and providence, will The Prayer Pal be published as devotional gift books. If that never happens, I will still be completely shocked that He could use someone with no talent or training to write His story for the world! Only through the power of God!

I’m looking for the following strategic partners to donate their time, talent, and treasure to further expand Prayer Pal Ministries. Perhaps this is your call to participate in taking His story into the world.
  • An attorney or business partner who can help me with contract negotiations, trademarks and copyrights
  • Someone to develop a web site for Prayer Pal Ministries
  • Someone to promote PP to Prison Fellowship and help obtain an endorsement that will fan the flame throughout prisons in North America.
  • Someone to promote PP to a reputable hospital chaplaincy organization and help obtain an endorsement to spread the Word to the sick and suffering.

To offer yourself to God for His use for Prayer Pal Ministries, please email .