Tag Archives: prayer

Who Has Your Heart?

What is IN the spiritual heart is manifest in what you OUTWARDLY do. Religion cannot fix a heart problem.

Our Lord Jesus put it this way. Jesus chastised the religious Pharisees of his day – because they twisted the Word of God to make allowance for their sinful practices. Their are many in our world who do that today – you might be one of them! Jesus told the Pharisees:

Matthew 15:7-9 (ESV) You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: 8 “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; 9 in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”

Preach: Jesus said of the Pharisees, “their heart is far from Me”. God gave us His Word, the Holy Bible, to show us His Standard and His Savior. We are to follow His Savior Jesus Christ with all our hearts. We are to love God with all our hearts. Jesus came to this earth not just to heal our physical bodies, but to fix our heart problem. He said:

Matthew 15:10-11, 17-20 (ESV) … “Hear and understand: 11 it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.” … 17 Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? 18 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. 20 These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.”

When we look around our America today, around our homes, in our schools, what do we see? Certainly there are good things out there. Certainly there are good people. But I’ll guarantee you, there were a lot of “good” people who stopped traffic to pick up and, yes, steal money that was not their own. They did not earn that money. They had a heart problem.

Jesus came, not to be a Hero, a conquering King,
but to be a Healer of our hearts…. Continue reading

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A Couple Of “F” Words You Need To Know

Salvation is a FREE GIFT from God. I agree with this statement. It is supported by the Scripture. The words “FREE GIFT” are only found together in these texts:

Romans 5:14-18 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. 15 But not as the offense, so also is the free gift. For if through the offense of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. 16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offenses unto justification. 17 For if by one man’s offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) 18 Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

Salvation is a FREE GIFT from God. It is purchased by Jesus, delivered by the Holy Spirit, and planned by God the Father. However, we need to be careful that we are defining the word “FREE” as GOD DEFINES “FREE”, and NOT as SATAN DEFINES “FREE”.

When Satan says something is “FREE”, he means,
“absolutely without consequence”

Illustrate: Yet Satan’s “FREE” is often a lie. The other day, I was leaving a discount market and heard that there was a large box of FREE items at the front door. I, like everyone else, loves FREE stuff. So I went out front and, accompanied by a mother and her daughter, went through that box. I found what I expected – junk! But I picked up a few things. I picked up a set of coasters with my “preferred pronouns” on it…. Continue reading

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The Joy Of The Lord Is Your Strength

When Ezra came from Babylon, King Artaxerxes allowed him to come with a large expedition. Why? Because “the hand of the Lord his God upon him”. Ezra sought God’s will in all that he did. As a result, God supplied Ezra with all the people and craftsmen needed to get the job done. The “Nethinims” were servants that assisted the “Levites” and “priests” in the services of the sanctuary. Why did God bless Ezra in his endeavor? Because

Ezra 7:10 For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.

Ezra did not seek our his own will, nor did he allow his heart to harden. In America we have hardened our hearts against God. In our Churches they are “OUR” Churches and not God’s. We have allowed our hearts to harden against God’s direction. … Continue reading

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Working For God

Please turn with me in your Bibles to Nehemiah chapter 2. 1&2 Samuel, 1&2 Kings, 1&2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah. Nehemiah is the Cup Bearer or the Butler of the King Artaxerxes (a Persian King and conqueror of Judah). God has moved on the heart of Ezra and Zerubbabel to lead Jewish exiles back to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple. Some 12 years later some of these exiles return to King Artaxerxes palace and tell Nehemiah that the walls of Jerusalem are destroyed, and the gates burned with fire.

When the walls of the nation are fallen and the gates burned, the criminal element rule the nation. The walls must be rebuilt if righteousness will return!

Nehemiah seeks first God’s permission to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls. Receiving permission from God, Nehemiah asks King Artaxerxes for help – who willingly gives it! Nehemiah travels to Jerusalem, surveys the damage done, then gathers the refugees in exile to present the facts to them. We read:… Continue reading

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Being A Good Soldier Of Christ

Unless believers pass on Bible truths to the next generation, the Gospel light cannot continue to burn. The Books of Timothy were written by the Apostle Paul to pass on Biblical truths in a world covered with darkness.

Paul met Timothy (or his Roman name, Timotheus) in Acts 16 during his second missionary journey. We read:

Acts 16:1-3 Then came {Paul} to Derbe and Lystra: {located in Southern Asia Minor & Turkey} and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, {or Timothy} the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, {Eunice} and believed; but his father was a Greek: 2 Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium. 3 Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek.

Timothy gave his life to the Lord, and committed to following the Apostle Paul as he moved to start new churches. Though Timothy’s mother Eunice and grandmother Lois were believing Jews (see 2 Timothy 1:5), Timothy’s father was a Gentile. Because of this Timothy had never been circumcised. Though the Apostle believed that:

Colossians 3:11 … there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.

Circumcision is not necessary for salvation. Nonetheless, Paul asked Timothy to be circumcised since he had a Jewish mother, so that his lack of circumcision would not hinder his ministry among the Jews. Many of the Pharisees would not even listen to an uncircumcised person. There’s a principle in this that we need to understand. … Continue reading

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A Prayer Against The Bully

To “bully” someone is, according to “Oxford Languages”, is “to seek to harm, intimidate, or coerce (someone perceived as vulnerable)”. The “bully” seeks out someone he or she perceives is weaker to push around in order to build up his or her self esteem or ego. Anyone can be bullied. Though David is the King of Israel, he was being bullied by others. We don’t know exactly WHO was bullying David – maybe a member of his cabinet, or perhaps it was his son Absalom who was rebelling against his throne. We don’t know, but we can say for sure:

Your position or place in life does not protect you from the bullies. Bullies target perceived weaknesses in those
around them in order to make themselves feel more worthy or valuable.

We live in a day where bullying is king – particularly on social media. Bullies hide behind electronic walls, attacking those they disagree with. Sadly today people no longer have civil discussions over weighty matters. We are “feeling” driven as a people.

When someone does not agree with my “feeling”, the acceptable practice is to bully until your opponent is shamed into agreeing with you.

Children are bullied in schools. I grew up being bullied, up until the age of 17 when I met the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior. Jesus taught me that I was cherished, and that I was to stand up against the bullies. When I did, the bullies quickly backed down and sought easier prey. But bullies still abound. A scholarly article in the Journal of Adolescent Health called “Bullying and Suicide: A Public Health Approach” notes: “Several recent studies have found an association between bullying and depression or bullying and… Continue reading

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The Apostle’s Prayer

What can we learn from this prayer?
1. A prayer does not have to be LONG to be effective – but it must glorify God. There are many short prayers in Scripture that God answered. There is the Prayer of Peter, when he was walking on water and started sinking:

“Lord, save me!” (Matthew 14:30)

Jesus answered that prayer, for He reached out His hand to catch and keep Peter from drowning. There is the Prayer of Blind Bartimaeus, who asked Jesus,
“Lord, let me receive my sight.” (Mark 10:51)

Or the Prayer of the Ten Lepers,

“Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” (Luke 17:13)

Jesus Christ is LORD. He is MASTER. The Bible says:

Philippians 2:8-10 And being found in fashion as a man, {Jesus} humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted… Continue reading

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Prayer Makes Us Like God’s Own Heart

As this is Wednesday night and our focus is “Prayer Meeting”, I have taken to giving a devotional that focuses on Biblical Prayers. Tonight we are looking at a prayer of David found in Psalm 16. God said of David:

Acts 13:22 (ESV) … I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.

Why did God call David “a man after my heart”? Was it because David was flawless? No, for David as King allowed sin to entice him into evil. Everyone knows of David’s murdering of Uriah, the husband of Bathsheba (2 Samuel 12:9-10), so that he could take Bathsheba to be his wife. David already had a wife, King Saul’s younger daughter Michal (1 Samuel 18:20-27), when he pursued Bathsheba. While David was a fugitive, running from King Saul, he married Abigail (1 Samuel 25:39-41), the widow of a surly shepherd named Nabal. David also “took Ahinoam of Jezreel” (1 Samuel 25:43) to be his wife. David also married “Maacah, the daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur, the mother of Absalom” as well as “Haggith”, the mother of Adonijah (1 Chronicles 3:2). To say that David had a “complicated” family life is an understatement!

David was flawed, but David pursued God in prayer. God was the true Love of His life. … Continue reading

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My God Enlarges Me

Turn with me in your Bibles to Psalm 4 – one of the wonderful prayers of a Prayer Warrior and King named simply “David”.

Psalm 4 Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer. 2 O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? Selah. 3 But know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the Lord will hear when I call unto him. 4 Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah. 5 Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the Lord. 6 There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us. 7 Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased. 8 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.

One of the greatest weapons that a Christian has is the weapon of prayer. One of the great prayer warriors of yesteryear, E.M. Bounds said:

“God shapes the world by prayer. Prayers are deathless. They outlive the lives of those who uttered them. … Prayer honors God, acknowledges His being, exalts His power, adores His providence, secures His aid … Prayer is a trade to be learned. We must be apprentices and serve our time at it. Painstaking care, much thought, practice and labor are required to be a skillful tradesman in praying. Practice in this, as well as in all other… Continue reading

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Jesus’ Prayer From Calvary

Turn with me in your Bibles to Psalm 22.

The disciples watched everything Jesus did. Watching Him pray:

Luke 11:1 … as {Jesus} was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, one of His disciples said unto Him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.

One of His disciples came to Jesus one day and said, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples”. That was when Jesus taught them what we call the Lord’s Prayer. The Lord’s Prayer we know best in is Matthew 6:9-13, but the Lord’s Prayer is also recorded in:

Luke 11:2-4 And {Jesus} said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. 3 Give us day by day our daily bread. 4 And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.

This, I’m sure, is a different “Lord’s Prayer” than the one most of you have memorized; but Luke’s account has all the same elements as does Matthew 6:9-13. Continue reading

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