Posts tagged with 'Prayer'

Pray For Your Leaders

  • Posted on June 11, 2021 at 4:51 pm

There is power in prayer and the way Christians can turn the world’s attention toward God is by praying for the decisions our leaders make. … By lifting them up to God, praying about the influences on them, and asking God to give them wisdom and discernment, we influence our own quality of life.  ~Carolyn Larsen

Some may disagree with this assessment, but the overall sentiment is true. Paul told Timothy:

Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.  ~1 Timothy 2:1-2

I confess that I have a hard time giving thanks for our country’s leaders at times, but I do pray often that God will guide them, overriding any plans that are not of Him, and drawing them to Himself. Sometimes I ask that He direct them even if they don’t know why they are making the decisions that they are. This may seem silly to some, but I believe that God is able to do even that.

I used to think of corruption in politics as a recent phenomenon in an era where people are waxing worse and worse. However, in reading books of presidents from days gone by, I wonder if there was ever an election that was cut and dry. It seems like the recent election was not the first to be contested and accused of foul play. Back as far as Thomas Jefferson, there were scandals and possible debates over whether or not he won the election fair and square, but life went on, and here we are today.

It’s easy to complain about masks, lack of masks, rising gas prices, etc. but, for the most part, there’s not a lot we can do about these things. But we can pray.

I don’t know what life is going to look like 5, 10, 30 years down the road. I listened to Bill and Gloria Gaither talking again recently about why they wrote Because He Lives. Even 50 years ago, people wondered if they were stupid to bring children into a declining world. So the Gaithers wrote the words:

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone

That is just as true today as it was then. God is still alive. He still sees. He still cares. He may allow us to experience chaos and unrest for a time, but He will continue to care for His children, and if we say goodbye to loved ones or if we ourselves die from COVID, we will know firsthand that “to live is Christ, but to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).

Brothers and Sisters, let’s stop fighting each other. Let’s not look at the government as our savior. But let’s repent of our sins, turn from our wicked ways, pray for our leaders, and ask God to heal our land.


Photo by Gabriella Clare Marino on Unsplash
Quote at the beginning taken from the One-Minute Devotional for Women.

God Still Answers Prayer

  • Posted on May 26, 2021 at 7:22 pm

I never doubt that God hears me when I pray, but I too often marvel at how quickly He answers my prayers. I have two examples of this that happened just this week.

After a couple busy weeks of traveling and activities, celebrating my birthday with various family members, things finally slowed down so that I was able to get back into a regular routine. On Monday, as I was thinking over my schedule and the things I needed to be working on, I decided to ask the Lord for more editing work. I don’t have another conference until October so it seemed like the perfect time to make my petition. Shortly after I opened my computer, I received a message from a friend letting me know that she was passing my contact information on to a friend of hers who was looking for an editor. Then the next morning, another friend emailed to let me know about a ministry that is looking for a part-time copy editor. Keep in mind that this is not something I posted on Facebook. I had just asked the Lord if He would provide this for me and, although I don’t know if these will come through immediately, it was the perfect way for Him to let me know that He heard my prayer.

As if that wasn’t enough, the next morning I was walking and crying, overwhelmed by the needs of several family members, feeling like I’m letting people down and yet reminding myself that I can only be one place at a time, and I’m where I believe God wants me at present. In the middle of this, I received a text from a friend to let me know that she was praying for me for “rest and provision, a joyful and pain-free day.” Talk about timing! I can’t say that I cheered up right away but God answered her prayers, and I have had a much better day today. I don’t think I even had pain last night which is a rare occurrence.

I don’t write this to brag as if I am someone special or super spiritual. Definitely not. I do, however, want to remind you that often we do not have because we do not ask. I can go months talking about how I would like more work or how my family needs help, but talk is cheap if not accompanied by prayer. Sure, God knows our thoughts, but He desires us to come to Him and make our requests known.

I can hear someone now sputtering, “That’s great that God does that for you but He doesn’t do that for me.” God is not a genie in a bottle who is waiting with a wand to grant every whim. There are many prayers that God has not yet answered in the way I would like Him to. But I keep praying until He makes it clear that it is not His will. When I am tempted to become frustrated with unanswered prayers, I quote Matthew 6:33: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” If my greatest desire is to serve Him, He will give me everything that I need. And if I’m honest, I admit that He also grants many of my wishes as well. Come to think of it, I feel spoiled. But I know that the love He has for me, He has for you as well. Luke 12:32 tells us, “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” He has also promised in Matthew 6:30: “Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

I was filling out an application today for a part-time job with a ministry, and one of the questions had to do with areas that I’ve grown in since walking with the Lord. I believe that one of those areas is trust. Only time will tell if I have mastered it, but the older I get and the more I look back at instances where God hadn’t left me even when it felt like He had, the more I can attest to His faithfulness.

This week, I encourage you to think about the situation that you’ve been complaining about, the person who has hurt you, your friend who needs a healing touch from the Lord. Then turn those concerns over to the Lord. Pray specifically for those needs and know that He hears you. If God has recently answered your prayers, I would love to hear about it in the comments. God bless you as you seek to draw closer to Him.

Pray Precisely

  • Posted on September 15, 2020 at 5:43 pm

And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.“ Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.” (Matthew 6:7-8)

For a long time, I have tried to understand how this verse reconciles with the story of the unjust judge where the widow pled day and night for justice and finally received her answer. I have also heard people interpret Matthew 6:33 to mean keep praying, seeking, or knocking.” So, what do the above verses mean?

I have come to the conclusion that Jesus is not telling us to refrain from praying about the same thing repeatedly. He wants us to pray fervently about important matters, and that may sometimes mean asking for something on a daily basis. I think he is rather addressing those who use pious words or who say the same phrases or prayers over and over. My mom used to tell us to “use precise words,” and I expect that is partly what Jesus is getting at here. Since the Lord knows what we need before we ask, the only reason to use a lot of big, lofty words is to be seen of men. (We covered that in the last post.)

As you pray this week, make sure that you are praying from the heart in accordance with the heart of God. That is when you will begin to see results.


Pray Discreetly

  • Posted on September 3, 2020 at 8:26 am

“And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. ~Matthew 6:5-6

I believe I mentioned in the past that my sisters laugh at me when I say, “We need to pray.” I guess that is my answer for everything as I am continually aware of this vast necessity and hold to the belief that the majority of people do not pray nearly enough. But I suspect that part of the problem is that people don’t really know how to pray. Even Jesus’ closest friends needed to be taught.

As I was reading through Matthew recently, I felt prompted to write a small series on prayer. I am in no way, shape, or form the “prayer expert,” so I am studying and learning along with you. With so much sickness, fear, and depression this year, not to mention an election coming up, our friends, our communities, our country, and we ourselves need God like some may not have experienced Him in a long time.

In the verses I quoted above, Jesus told the people not to pray to be seen of men. It would be easy to misunderstand what He is saying and think He doesn’t want anyone to know that we pray, but there is a difference in saying, “Don’t tell anyone that you talk to Me” versus “Don’t pray in order to be noticed by others.”

As I’ve attended prayer meetings through the years, it is usually easy to spot those who are praying in order to impress others. This person tends to wax overly eloquent, use big words that no one but God understands, and sometimes talks in a voice that he only uses when he prays. The purpose in praying with others is to join in agreement with other Brothers and Sisters for certain things that you all want to ask for (Matthew 18:19-20). True unified prayer should be humble as if you were making a petition before a powerful person who has the authority to give you whatever you ask for. If you found yourself in the Oval Office and were able to ask the President for anything in the world, I doubt you would stand there pompously, saying, “Oh, wonderful, majestic President, I beseech thee that you would grant this, my humble request.” Maybe you would but I expect that you would have a sense of awe as you graciously stated, “Mr. President, thank you for your willingness to see me. Would you be willing to _______________?”

I’m not saying we should be timid in prayer (Hebrews 4:16 tells us to come boldly to the throne of grace), but neither should we be arrogant or confusing with our many words. I will talk more about this in my next post.

Stand in the Gap

  • Posted on August 2, 2020 at 8:04 pm

And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none. Therefore have I poured out my indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord GOD.  ~Ezekiel 22:30-31

I wonder at times if there is anyone willing to stand in the gap for America. Am I willing to do what it takes, to humble myself and ask God for a revival that begins with me? If we ever needed the Lord before, we sure do need Him now.

I’m concerned about our country. Slowly but surely, our freedom is being taken away. And I’m not just referring to masks. Churches are being not just advised, but ordered to stop meeting. The government is talking of tracking us in order to know who we’ve been around in case we get COVID, but where will this end?

I know that I am not the only one who feels this way but, unfortunately, many are losing sight of who or what we are really fighting. Our enemies are not those who have a different view than we do. It’s not even the government that we are at war with. As God’s people, we need to repent for the lukewarm lives we’ve been living. We need to cry out for God’s mercy on our country … and on the world.

I used to hear a lot about praying mothers and grandmothers. Have others risen up to take their place, or has that become a bygone era as well? Brothers and Sisters, you are never too young or too old to become a prayer warrior. This nation needs you. Your friends and family need you. A lost and dying world needs you. Will you do it? Will you stand in the gap? Will you intercede as God leads before it’s too late?

I hope you will commit with me to watch less TV, to focus less on the news or pop culture or whatever else takes up your time, and to spend more time in prayer and Bible reading, longing to learn more about the God who sent His Son to save a wretch like me. I don’t believe that it’s too late, but I implore the Church to become once again a people of prayer and intercession.