Prayer, Plain and Simple

Prayer, Plain and Simple

I Want to Want to Not Want What I Want

posted by Mark and Jill

May he give us the desire to do his will in everything and to obey all the commands… And may these words that I have prayed in the presence of the Lord be before him constantly, day and night… 1 Kings 8:58,59

Solomon was at one point in his life the wisest man that ever lived, and this Scripture was his prayer. Let’s make it ours today.

My Father,

My desires don’t always line up with your Word. Sometimes my flesh takes over and I want what I want when I want it. Please forgive me. Transform me. Give me a new heart. Give me the desire to do your will in everything I do, every moment of every day. Help me to recall your words, especially the commands that fit the situations and temptations I will inevitably face today. Grant me a willing heart to walk in your ways, for I know (many times I’ve learned the hard way), that your way – your way alone – is the path to a blessed life, a life of joy that has enough to give away to other hurting souls.

In Jesus’ Name I ask this. Amen.

Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.  Psalm 37:4  

 

 

How To Prepare for a Crisis

posted by Mark and Jill

“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.” Matthew 7:24-27

I’ve noticed a lot of stores and websites selling food and provisions for emergencies. It’s good to be prepared. Jesus gave us a prescription for disaster readiness. It doesn’t involve merely going to church; it involves following His teachings. At first glance it looks like Jesus is talking about people who are not familiar with Him or His precepts. On the contrary, Jesus is talking about people who are indeed familiar with the Bible and what it has to say: church-going Christians. It is possible to be well aware of the teachings of Jesus and even have them memorized and still get completely ruined by life’s storms. It’s the folks that not only listen but FOLLOW. What are His teachings? He distilled them down to this:  Love the Lord with all your heart and love people as much as you love yourself.

Make no mistake: storms are on the way. Jesus prescribed the only way to prepare for them:  follow His teaching.

1. Read them.

2. Pray about them.

3. Repent where you’ve missed it.

4. Believe the Good News that He has redeemed you.

5. Do exactly as He says no matter what. No one loves and cares about you more than He.

My Father,

Help me to ready myself for the storms that are headed my way. Give me an undivided heart to not just hear Jesus’s teachings but to hear Jesus’s teaching and apply them to myself, to transform the way I live so that I will be one who reflects the love of Jesus moment by moment.

In His Name, Amen.

Need a Miracle of Provision Today? Sow!

posted by Mark and Jill

And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. As the Scriptures say,

“They share freely and give generously to the poor.
Their good deeds will be remembered forever.”

2 Corinthians 9:8-9

Sow what?! Whatever you need. If you need money, sow money. If you need encouragement, sow encouragement. If you need carrots, sow carrot seeds. If you need your debt forgiven, forgive someone’s debt. Paul instructs the Corinthians, “Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure.”

If I’m lacking in friendship, it’s because I haven’t invested enough in my friends. If I’m lacking in money to pay my bills, it’s because I haven’t given to others. This is the law of seedtime and harvest. It works in Mark’s garden, and it works with our money.

So whatever your need is today, give it away, and it will come back to you. Jesus said in Luke 6:38, “Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”

Father,

You know my deadline today. I’m lacking because I’ve been a slacker in following your principle of giving and receiving. Please forgive me. I repent, do a 180 about-face, and I choose to be a giver today. I will sow a seed, small though it may be, and expect the Lord of the harvest to make it grow to meet my needs and beyond so that I can help meet the needs of others. 

In Jesus’ Name, Amen

The Body Language of Jesus

posted by Mark and Jill

“I don’t speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it.  And I know his commands lead to eternal life; so I say whatever the Father tells me to say.” ~Jesus (John 12:49-50)

Jesus was so attuned to the Father that He didn’t speak one word unless his Father gave him permission. And when he didn’t know what to say, he took time to doodle in the sand until he heard His message. He kept everyone waiting as he waited on God. And not only did he speak the words God gave him, he spoke them in the tone and with the body language and gestures that God gave him.

Experts tell us that about 70% of the message we hear is communicated through body language. Words make up only about 30% of communication.

Moses spoke God’s words once with a few minor adjustments and with the wrong body language, and it cost him entrance into the Promised Land. If we will learn to speak rightly, we will find our way to the land of promise. That joyful, abundant life is waiting for us at the other side of obedience. Jesus was smart. He knew that following God’s words would lead to “eternal life”, the God kind of life that He desires all people to discover.

Father,

God of all wisdom, grant me some! I so often spout off with my mouth; I repent and choose to listen and follow you intently, not only what to say but how to say it. Frame up every word I speak and give me an ability to speak the truth in love to every person I meet today. 

Amen

Does anyone want to live a life
that is long and prosperous?
Then keep your tongue from speaking evil
and your lips from telling lies! Psalm 34:12,13

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