Tag Archives: prayer

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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Exodus Texts: Face To Face Prayer With God (Sermons For Mid-Week Prayer Service)

What does this mean, that “the Lord spake unto Moses face to face”? Does it mean that Moses saw God’s face? No, because just a few verses later God tells Moses:

Exodus 33:20 And {God} said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.

The Bible tells us that “God is Spirit” (John 4:24). As “Spirit”, God has no face as we do. I can look on your face and live, but God’s face is part of His immensity. God is everywhere, infinite. He told the Prophet Jeremiah (23:23-24), “Am I a God at hand, declares the Lord, and not a God far away? Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the Lord.” (ESV). King Solomon, purportedly the wisest man who ever lived, said “Will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built!” (1 Kings 8:27, ESV). God is everywhere. God is fully present everywhere. God is fully powerful everywhere. God is not like us. No, HE IS GOD!

The text tells us that “the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend”. This means that

Moses and God were intimate friends,
just as Abraham and God were friends.

Isaiah 41:8 But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend. (see also 2 Chronicles 20:7 & James 2:23)…. Continue reading

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The Firsts Of Prayer: A Message For Mid-Week Prayer Service

If I were to ask you where the first prayer in the Bible was, you would probably guess in the Book of Genesis. If I asked you where that first prayer was at, you would probably say “the Garden of Eden”.

You would be wrong.

The first recorded words man spoke are in the Garden of Eden. When God gave Adam his Eve, Adam said:

Genesis 2:23-24 … This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Adam cherished his wife, but please note Adam did not thank God for the marvelous gift he had been given. Adam did not praise the Lord, nor glorify our God. He acknowledged the gift. Can I tell you this, dear ones?

The devil watches us.

Prayerlessness Was The Primary Reason
For Adam’s Fall From Eden

The devil cannot read minds, but he watches our behavior pattern. Adam adored his wife, and spoke of her in covenant language. But Adam never praised the Lord for what he had. Adam never thanked God for the splendors of Eden, nor for the gift of his wife. As Adam never “called upon the name of the Lord” upon receiving Eve, it should come as no surprise that the Serpent (Satan – see Revelation 12:9) saw this as an opportunity. When Satan attacked, he addressed his temptation to Adam’s wife, subtly accusing God of withholding good from our first parents.

The prayerlessness of Adam intrigued the devil, who asked Eve “Has God really said you shall not eat of every tree of this Garden?”

A prayerless life leads to trouble. Oswald Chambers wrote:

“Prayer does not fit us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work”.

Industrialist Henry Ford said,

“Those who walk with God, always reach their destination”…. Continue reading

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Praying The Priorities

Turn with me in your Bibles to Colossians chapter 1. As it is “Prayer Meeting” night, I thought, for a devotional, we’d look at a prayer of the Apostle Paul. Let’s start at:

Colossians 1:3-5 We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 4 Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, 5 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;

The Apostle was praying for the Church (praying always for you) because he had heard of their faith in Christ, and saw that their faith was evidently genuine.

The test of true faith is that it instills LOVE in the recipient. The Holy Spirit came to represent Jesus: “He SHALL testify of Me” (John 15:26). Christ commands we LOVE: “A New Commandment I give to you – love one another as I have loved you” (John 13:34). The Spirit indwells the believer (Romans 8:9). Thus LOVE manifested outward proves an inward genuine faith in Christ.

Paul tells the Church that he has heard of “the love which ye have to all the saints”. This is because they are outwardly loving to… Continue reading

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What’s Your Power Source, Part 3

Please turn with me in your Bibles to Acts chapter four.

I have a workshop outside my home, one that I love to go and tinker in. I love woodworking. I love taking raw wood, and turning it into attractive and useful things. There’s a pleasure in working with your hands and your mind. Anyway, I have three basic types of tools in my shop.

• I have tools that require no external power source, things like chisels, hammers, screwdrivers, hand crank drills, hand saws, etc. These tools are ME powered. It takes MY energy to drive them, and they stop working when I myself get tired.
• I have tools that are battery operated. I love these things, because they have no power cord to get in my way. They run off of lithium batteries, which store a charge for a long time, and are able to deliver a lot of power to my tools. When the battery dies, that is, runs out of charge, it stops quickly. When this happens I have to put in another battery that is charged, or let this battery charge before I can continue my work.
• I have tools that are power cord operated. Though the cord limits my freedom of movement, the tool will keep on running as long as I have it plugged into the wall AND pay my electric bill.

What does any of this have to do with the Christian way of life? Our God has given us resources to enable us to live in this world, but empowered by His Kingdom. Sometimes we want to live out our lives in our own power. We use our strength, just as I use hand tools in my shop. Sometimes this is effective – but after a while we just run out of energy. The Lord said:… Continue reading

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Elijah and Prayer

I came across the works of a Puritan Preacher named John Bunyan. One of his most famous works was a book called Pilgrim’s Progress. What impressed me most about Bunyan is that, when God called him to preach, he was warned not to preach because his preaching was not authorized by the state. Wikipedia notes:

“Bunyan was arrested under the Conventicle Act of 1593, which made it an offense to attend a religious gathering other than at the parish church with more than five people outside their family. The offense was punishable by 3 months imprisonment followed by banishment or execution if the person then failed to promise not to re-offend.”

Imprisoned for 3 months, Bunyan refused to stop preaching the Gospel, and eventually ended up imprisoned for 12 years. Though his imprisonment caused a great hardship to his family, Bunyan continued to share the Gospel, and wrote 60 titles until his death 31 August 1688 at the age of 59. Bunyan said of prayer:

“Prayer is a sincere, sensible, affectionate pouring out of the heart or soul to God, through Christ, in the strength and assistance of the Holy Spirit, for such things as God has promised, or according to the Word of God, for the good of the Church, with submission in faith to the will of God.”… Continue reading

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