Prayer, Plain and Simple

Prayer, Plain and Simple

Sometimes Jesus Just Doesn’t Seem To Make Sense

posted by Mark and Jill

Jesus said to Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.”

“Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.”

And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear!

Luke 5:4-6

Jesus was a Rabbi, not a professional fisherman. But a professional fisherman named Simon took his advise, counter-intuitive as it was, and caught the catch of a lifetime. It’s time to start listening to Jesus! He knows how to run your business, your life, your family, your finances, and your time! Your little kingdom needs the King. Open up his word and open up your heart; gain some knowledge, and apply it today. Let’s pray!

Jesus, I open my mind, my eyes, and my spiritual ears to your voice. Speak to me and guide me. And give me the heart to respond like Simon:  “If you say so!” I will obey! Take me deeper, Jesus. Amen

If you want to hear more about this passage, here is a link to a Beliefnet audio blog that we recorded several months ago. This is what we love to do together in the morning; and in this audio blog we let you in on our morning chats:

http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/thesupernaturallife/2013/02/11/fishers/#post

The Day We Forget To Remember Is A Sad Day for God

posted by Mark and Jill

“Oh how they grieved his heart in that dry wasteland. They did not remember his power…they did not remember his miraculous signs…” Psalm 78:40,42,43

I’m forgetful. The other day my friend asked me how my weekend was, and I couldn’t even remember what had taken place two days before. But what of the miracles and graces and provision of God? How often do I forget what He has done for me, the miracles He has accomplished, the prayers He has answered? Let us pray for a good memory!

My Father,

Forgive me for grieving your heart by not remembering and contemplating the blessings you have given me. True, I am still waiting on answers to specific prayers, but while I’m waiting I can remember the truth of what you have already done for me. It’s so easy to pull up the negative stuff, the offenses, the pain, the trauma and then to forget the positive, the healing, the miracles, the forgiveness. Help my mind to stay on you, dearest Father, and on your Son, Jesus my Messiah, who has redeemed every wrongful and wicked act in my life through the gift of His life, death, and resurrection. With the help of your Holy Spirit, I will keep Jesus at the front and center of my thoughts and meditations today. It’s in His name I pray and ask these things. Amen

I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
Therefore my heart is glad and my glory [my inner self] rejoices; my body too shall rest and confidently dwell in safety.
Psalm 16:8,9 (Amplified)

The Art of Comparison

posted by Mark and Jill

“The people are taller and more powerful than we are.” Deut. 1:28

At the edge of the Promised Land, poised to enter and equipped by God to thrive, the Israelites met the challenge — for there were battles to win — with fear. They compared themselves with the task they were facing and quaked in their boots. Demoralized, immobilized they shrank themselves smaller still, threw up their hands and gave up, thinking it far better to go back to slavery than face the fact that they themselves were small, ill-equipped, and barely out of bondage. They were forgetting Who went with them. Forgetting Who fought for them. Forgetting Who loved them.

When Paul, on the other hand, met a challenge, doomed by the expert sailors to a certain death in the eye of a hurricane on the Mediterranean Sea, all he had to say to the crew was this:  “Take courage! For I believe God. It will be just as he said.” (Acts 27:25) The whole ship was miraculously saved and Paul went on to his destination in Rome just as God had said he would.

What are you facing today? Financial crisis? Trials with your children? A doomed marriage? Crumbling health? Pending loss? Hear these words and take them, receiving them as God’s words to you:

“Don’t be afraid! Don’t be discouraged! Don’t be shocked or afraid! The Lord your God is going ahead of you. He will fight for you, just as you saw him do…just as a father cares for his child…Trust the Lord your God, who goes before you…guiding you…” (Deut. 1:21,29,32,33)

Do you believe God, my friend? For if you do, nothing will be impossible for you. Believe Him today. Don’t compare yourself with the challenge you are facing. The art of comparison is this:  compare your challenge with the immense greatness of God! There is no comparison! The all-powerful Creator of the universe will fight your battles for you. You don’t have to face them alone.

“For nothing is impossible with God.” Luke 1:27

God Don’t Got No Grandkids

posted by Mark and Jill

“Each generation should set its hope anew on God.” Psalm 78:7

Sometimes I think growing up in a Christian home was a detriment to discipleship. I mean, I heard it all since I was two and never missed a Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night, Thursday night Girl’s Missionary Guild  (in case you were wondering, this is Jill writing this :), or youth group event. I truly loved God; absolutely I did. But some familiarity really did breed a ho-hum, lazy approach to my faith. Really important themes in Scripture, like “don’t be angry” and “forgive anyone who offends you” are ideas I often brushed over. It took years for me to see that I can’t ride on my parents’ coattails. Not one bit. This is my journey. And I have one chance to get it right. There are no second-generation believers.

Father – You are MY Father. Not just A Father or my parents’ Father or someone else’s Father. My Father, I ask you to make Yourself real to me today. I choose to follow Your Son and Your ways, Your Word and Your love. I choose you again today. Please make Your precepts new to me. Forgive me for falling asleep in church, thinking I already know this stuff. I haven’t even begun to know it much less experience it, not to mention LIVE it! I’m Yours, Lord. Every bit of me. I choose to be your child, not your grandbaby. Sign me up for true discipleship. Amen.

We might think about saying this to the young people in our lives:  “If you could find a better way to live, Jesus would be the first one to tell you to take it.” ~Dallas Willard

 

 

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