A Prayer

Lord, God Almighty, King and Sovereign of my heart. King and Sovereign over all men. Lord, Creator of all things. To You and to You alone I give all honor, glory and praise.

You sit on Your throne with Your Son at Your right hand. Your Spirit reigns in the hearts of Your creations. Forgive us Father for finding ways to dampen Your Spirit, rather than basking in the Light You give.

We have much to be grateful for, yet we seek more. Many have little and You have assured us that they will be given much. You have declared the least will be greatest, the last will be first. Oh, Father we pray for those with little. Teach us to share our much.

We pray for those who do not have shelter. We pray for those who do not have food. We pray that You will straighten our paths and lead us to be a part of making those who are the least to be the greatest. Show us where the need is and do not let us look away from it, but charge to that place. Lead us to want to help move the last into the first. Show us what service is and then do not let us forsake what You have shown us.

You alone are real. You are love. In Your Grand Plan You will reconcile Your creation to Yourself. You have shown us that is not reason to sit on our laurels and await the fulfillment of Your Plan. Our race is not yet finished. Show each of us our role in Your Work. Show us where the need is that You want each of us to serve. Then, we ask Father for Your strength to carry out the task You have given each.

You alone are real. You are merciful and patient. Give us the strength and the zeal to be as forgiving as You are forgiving. Let us see in Christ Jesus the example of forgiveness and then bless us with Your strength to be as forgiving has He is; as You are. Show us ways to set aside anger and bitter envy. Give us the determination to love as completely as You love us. Draw us near to You so that others will be drawn to You, too.

You alone are real. You are Truth. Many people from many lands have tried to explain You. Traditions have replaced Your Truth. We kneel and humble ourselves before You seeking only Your wisdom. When we know a spiritual thing let us shout it out for all to here. When our traditions push us to demand adherence remind us that only You are Truth. Do not let us spread fear when love covers all.

We have much to pray for Father. People in every corner of the world are sick and hurting. They need a Deliverer. They need Your grace upon grace. They need, we all need, Your mercy.

We know, Father, a time will come when You will restore all things. You will be recognized as All In All.

Bless the messengers Lord.
Bless the hearers more.
Bless the doers of Your Word.
Bless the lost more.

Let the sheep hear
Their Master’s voice.
Lead Your people
To rejoice.

We pray in His Name seeking His intercession. Please hear this prayer. Amen.

Thoughts On Psalms: Asking for God’s Judgment

Psalm 7:6-9

Arise, O Lord, in your anger; rise up against the rage of my enemies. Awake, my God; decree justice.

Let the assembled peoples gather around you. Rule over them from on high; let the Lord judge the peoples.

Judge me, O Lord according to my righteousness, according to my integrity, O Most High, O righteous God, who searches minds and hearts, bring to an end the violence of the wicked and make the righteous secure.

David is being falsely accused and here he is calling out to God to convene Court. David is asking the Lord to sit in judgment over a trial in which there are many people gathered to watch the proceedings. “Judge us all,” says David. “From Your throne, Lord. ‘Judge the peoples.’”

Then David lays his case before the Judge. David isn’t declaring himself to be righteous in all things. “Judge me according to my righteousness.” David’s point is that he is innocent of the charges laid out by his accusers. David knows God reads the hearts and minds of all men.

David’s plea, “End the hatred directed at me. Protect the innocent.”

Many of us, if not all of us, have been unfairly accused of horrible things for which we are not guilty. However if we are honest we have probably committed other sins that are equally heinous. Perhaps we will be exonerated from the current charge. We still have to face the consequences for the charges not leveled on us.

We have a benefit of life after our conversion from worldly humans being to Christ-like humans doing. David did not get to enjoy a life after the advent of his Messiah. Yet he knew to seek God’s judgment. He was wise to ask God to condemn and to punish. It would have fool hearty to mete condemnation and punishment to his enemies by his power.

We believe Jesus. Because we have heard and responded affirmatively to the Gospel of Christ we are already made righteous in God’s sight. Our sins have been erased to be remembered by God no longer. We have the Holy Spirit inspired words of the Apostle who said:

We do not know what we ought to pray, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.

Forgive those who have caused you harm, today. Be a blessing and pray for them. Call out to God and ask for Holy Justice.

Be blessed.

Thoughts On Psalms: Refuge In The Lord

Psalm 7:1,2

O Lord my God, I take refuge in You; save and deliver me from all who pursue me, or they will tear me like a lion and rip me to pieces with no one to rescue me.

This particular Psalm is to be a loud and wandering song. It is directed to God concerning Cush. Cush is a Lieutenant in David’s army. Cush is also seeking to unseat David. It appears Cush is unnerving David. David has many other enemies attacking him aside from Cush. He wants rest from the persecution and their pursuit of him.

David has great confidence in the Lord. He knows the only place of refuge is in God’s care.

We all have a Cush-like nemesis; someone we know bent on taking us down. If not a person our Cush-like pursuer is a hidden, secret sin. The world and the ways of the flesh are always attacking. The enemy knows our various and many weaknesses. It is through those that he seeks to destroy.

David appeals to God. He declares safety and security in God’s embrace. David’s confidence in God’s protection is strong. There is no other that can save David.

There is no other that can save us! Seek God today and ask Him to protect you from “Cush.” Seek God’s wing and move under it and know you are protected from any attacker. Pray God will rescue you.

If your nemesis is another person pray to our Father. Ask Him to bless that person. Forgive, love and pray. If your attacker is sin pray to our Father. Confess, repent and pray.

Be a blessing today and be blessed.

Psalm 7:3-5

O Lord my God, if I have done this and there is guilt on my hands – if I have done evil to him who is at peace with me or without cause have robbed my foe – then let my enemy pursue and overtake me; let him trample my life to the ground and make me sleep in the dust.

Cush, a Lieutenant in Saul’s Army, seems to have made a list of strong allegations against David. Saul was predisposed to distrust David and Saul was easily convinced David was making attempts at usurping the throne. David was accused of crimes including attempts on Saul’s life. He was alleged to have attacked Saul’s supply lines and depots. But, it wasn’t true.

David appeals to God that he is falsely accused. The charges made against him are wrongly assigned to him. David insists, “I didn’t do it!” In fact, David throws himself on the mercy of God. “Father, if I have done these things I am accused of then let him catch me. Let him destroy me.”

There are days in our lives when we are falsely accused. Someone we love accuses us of an unspeakable thing. How do we handle the accusation? Do we stop and take it to God and ask Him for the way out? Or, do we confront our accuser?

This is a good day to go to God and ask, “Father, what is my role in this discord with my friend? Help me see my part, Lord. Lead me; lead us to reconciliation.”

What if we inadvertently cause harm to another. Perhaps we said something we should not have said. Maybe we are guilty, but not consciously aware of our sin. Today is a good day to ask the Lord to help us see where we have harmed others unintentionally. It is a good day to make amends.

Be a blessing today. Be blessed.

Tearful, Sorrowful Prayers

Psalm 6:6,7 I am worn out from groaning; all night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears. My eyes grow weak with sorrow; they fail because of all my foes.

My friends, David is reaching the depths of despair. He moans and groans in his misery. His condition, perhaps an emotional exhaustion, is taking from him any semblance of joy. He has no peace. His sorrows are so great that he is burdened to the degree he has become weak.

Have you ever cried to the degree David does? I have. At the time I really believed death would be better than what I was living. Like David my pillow was drenched in tears.

Have you cried with wrenching pain? Has the sorrow been so deep that your pillow was soaked in tears? Have you been so despondent that getting out of bed or off the chair was a challenge too great?

David’s sorrow is likely the result of the rebellious acts of Absalom, his son. David’s family was torn to many pieces because of Absalom’s sin. Recall Absalom’s sister. Tamar, was raped by their half-brother, Amnon. Absalom cautioned Tamar to keep quiet about the rape, but inwardly Absalom seethed with anger. Two years later Absalom exacted revenge upon Amnon by having him killed during shearing season. (2 Samuel 13).

David was not blind to the ways of his sons. He knew Amnon had done this terrible thing, yet he did nothing to Amnon. Now the consequences of that act were laid at his feet. His family was tearing apart before his eyes.

David’s vision is failing. His eyes are sunken. There is so much going on in his life; enemies chasing him into the hills, his king wanting him dead, no place to rest, a debilitating sickness. He is overwhelmed!

Are we different than David? Have we allowed the world and the devil the opening to attack us and to overwhelm us? We know folks, perhaps some of us in this group, who are drenching their pillows at night. It would be my blessing from God to pray with you about those things that are troubling you.

Let’s all be a blessing today. Pray for those you know who are so troubled. Lift them up to God.

Psalm 6:8-10 Away from me, all you who do evil, for the Lord has heard my weeping. The Lord has heard my cry for mercy; the Lord accepts my prayer. May all my enemies be ashamed and dismayed; may they turn back in sudden disgrace.

Think about what has transpired here. In the previous verses David was in such agony that he screamed out to God for mercy. His despair was so overwhelming he “drenched” his bed with tears. But, now the Lord has heard his prayer!

David demands his enemies depart from him immediately. Why? “The Lord has heard the voice of my weeping.”

Scripture teaches the Holy Spirit knows our hearts; He knows what we should pray for and how. The Spirit takes our innermost, heartfelt desires to God. The Spirit shares those with God.

My sorrowful, weeping prayers have been answered in this same way. David received an assurance that God heard him and that He would act. I have received the same kind of assurance from God. He heard my prayers and He gave me assurance that all would be well.

God knows the hearts of evil men, too.

David is encouraged by God’s answer and orders his enemies to disengage; to disperse! David realizes that God’s hand will cause them shame and confusion. God will disgrace them in battle. The Victory is surely His.

Don’t we spend a great deal of time wallowing in our defeats and sicknesses? Isn’t there a better answer than to pity ourselves? There is!

Praise be to God. Honor Him with your prayers of thanksgiving. Bless Him with your supplication. Pray for those who hate you. May they be “ashamed and dismayed” and turn to God in repentance. Do not harbor resentment. Give an offering to God that He will find fragrant and pleasing. Be conscious of your place in Heaven where treasures are already stored. (Ephesians 1)

Be a blessing to someone today. Pray for them.

Thoughts On Psalms: Persevering Prayer

Psalm 6:4,5
Turn, O Lord, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love.
No one remembers you when he is dead. Who praises you from the grave?

We need first to understand God is unequivocally sovereign in all things. In these verses the Psalmist may be feeling as if God is indifferent to his pleas. The sickness that has overtaken him has challenged his confidence in the Lord. He is not receiving the healing that he expects from our Lord.

The Psalmist continues to recognize, however, that his deliverance from sickness and death can only come from God.

Then he takes a unique approach to God; “What good am to you if I am dead, O Lord. No one will remember you. After all what kinds of praise can I give from death; from within the grave.” The Psalmist’s argument with God is this; “If I am absent from my body, then my soul cannot praise You!”

As reverent as the Psalmist could be he did not have the full advantage of the revelation of Christ Jesus. Paul wrote, “If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to be depart and be with Christ, which is better by far…” (Philippians 1:22,23). And there is this; to be absent from the body is to be at home with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8).

We know from Whom our spiritual inner strength comes. Let’s endeavor to call on Him. Some of us are ill. We are all dying. Some of us are suffering great pain in our sickness. Some are not. In all of our fleshly trials call on Him to carry you through.

See His glory. Be a blessing today. Pray for your friends. Ask God to carry them through.

Thoughts On Psalms: How Long Oh Lord

Psalm 6:1-3

O Lord, do not rebuke me in Your anger or discipline me in Your wrath. Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am faint; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are in agony. My soul is in anguish. How long, O Lord, how Long?

The Psalmist became ill. Perhaps he felt as if he was dying. He certainly believed that his God was behind the sickness maybe causing it. He seeks the LORD’s favor and begs the condition be removed from him.

We can do that to ourselves; bring on sickness. We might attribute our sickness to God. It might be. Perhaps there is a sin that is not addressed. One in which we fail to humble ourselves and seek forgiveness. Scripture teaches that some of us drink from the cup of the Lord and eat at His table yet fail to recognize Him.

1 Corinthians 11:27-30
27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30 That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.

It is important to confess all our sins. God knows our innermost secrets.

David agonized. It seems the Lord was moving slowly. “How long, O Lord, how long?”

As long as it takes. God teaches we are to count trials and tribulations as joy. For in the end He gives persistence and patience to the believer.

We all know someone who is very sick; perhaps one of us. Be a blessing today. Pray for them and with them to clear the slate with God.

Thank you Father for this day. Lead us to do Your will. In the Name of our Savior, Jesus. Amen.

Thoughts On: A Human Being Vs. A Christian Doing

Proverbs 12:11
He who works his land will have abundant food, but he who chases fantasies lacks judgment.

Visions for a spirit filled future are blessings from the LORD. He chooses each of us for specific tasks in this life. He gives training, strength and courage to fulfill the ministries He ordains.

A spirit filled vision may be as basic as service to people. Feeding the hungry, bringing water to the thirsty, or giving counsel to the lost.

The inspired vision to serve is a gift. However, the gift is useless if we do not take the necessary steps to move from worldly pursuit to heavenly wisdom. Seeing a hungry man, but not feeding him is to be a human being. Seeing a thirsty man and not giving him water is to be a human being. Sharing sorrows with loved ones, but failing to pray for them with them is to be a human being.

Heavenly wisdom moves His child from being only a human being to being a Christian doing.

The Father plants in us a desire to serve His creation; even those who hate us. He does not give us the desire to leave it fallow in our hearts. He has an expectation that we will nurture His gift. He has an expectation that we will act on His gift.

A farmer’s crops do not grow because the farmer wishes they will. The Father gives the land, the seed and the rain. The farmer uses all of these to bring from the land crops ripe for harvest.

Matthew 21:28-32
28“What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ 29 And he answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he changed his mind and went. 30 And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you. 32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him.

In this parable Jesus gave praise to the son who was the Doer. He goes on to say that people of low reputation understood the Gospel and they believed. The elite did not see and rejected the Truth.

I pray you have big plans. It is my hope you have grand expectations. More importantly I pray you will make the LORD the preeminent Adviser in your plans.

Is the LORD your High Counselor?

James 4:13-17
13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— 14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

Be blessed today in this knowledge; the Father knows your heart. He knows your weakness. He gives you the power to overcome. Make your plans with His leading. Follow His growth chart. Act on His gift and strive to please Him.

(Adapted from “Walk With God: One Year Devotional.” Tyndale House; 2004)

Thoughts On Psalms: A Reason To Be Thankful

Psalm 2:7-12
I will proclaim the decree of the Lord: He said to me, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father.

Ask of me and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. You will rule them with an iron scepter; you will dash them to pieces like pottery.

Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment.

Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

Let’s be thankful. The words of this Psalm are spoken about Jesus. These verses come regarding our Savior. These verses declare the intent of our Father to make Him, the Christ. He will be ruler over “the ends of the earth.” Jesus is the Son of God from all eternity past and forever more. Jesus has universal dominion over our lives.

Let’s be thankful. We have nothing to fear in this world and everything to hope for in eternity. Jesus will rule with a righteous purpose. His authority will be an “iron scepter.” Those who trample on others and those who think themselves higher than God will be judged, justly convicted and sentenced.

Let’s be thankful this is not our fate.

Let’s be thankful. We have the blessing of His Holy Word. His Word is clear; “love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your mind, all your body and all your soul.”

Let’s be thankful. Because we believe and follow The Way we will not taste His wrath.

Be blessed today. Bless God with thankfulness.

Thoughts On Psalms: He Sees All…

Psalm 2:4-6
He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall hold them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, and distress them in His deep displeasure: “Yet I have set My king on My holy hill of Zion.”

We need to gain perspective on who we are. Better yet we would be wise to gain perspective on Who God is!

Jesus sits on the Throne at the right hand of the Father. He looks down upon us and watches everything we do. Never are His eyes off us. He sees it all, even those “secret” things.

He is especially moved at our insolence. We stand with clenched fists thinking we have some kind of control. We march against the issue of the day. We band together to change the world. All without God; without Him at the helm. And, He mocks us.

Let’s stop thinking we have a measure of control. Let’s start acting as Jesus is our Lord. We know He has saved us. We should also know He rules us. Let’s behave accordingly.

One day the Lord will speak from His throne against all His enemies. When He does it will be with such power and force that our puny voices and petty problems will no longer matter. When He decides to speak and to close the book His decision will be final.

There is good news in this. There is still time to reach out to folks you know and tell them about the grace that saved you. There is still time to speak to a friend about angry words spoken in haste. There is still time to revere the Lord.

Be a blessing today.

Thoughts On Psalms: Vanity

Psalm 2:1-3
Why to the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing?

The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, “Let us break their bonds in pieces and cast away their cords from us.”

Nations grow further and further apart from the ways of God. The people making up nations lean to their own understanding. The chasm between God and lawlessness grows wider with each passing day.

Governments make decisions that are frankly anti-God! In our own country we codify rights to destroy life and even worse our leaders pass legislation to attempt to stifle our faith, if that is possible. Too few of us shout down the injustice of it.

Rulers of nations enter into alliances every day. Treaties and agreements are arranged in secret away from public scrutiny. They are not secrets kept from God. Nations, Gentile and Jew, plot to separate themselves from “the Lord and His Anointed.”

Today is a good day to pray to our Father that He will change the minds of those He has chosen to lead us. Today is a good day to pray to our Father that He will bestow on them “heavenly wisdom.”

Be a blessing to our Father today.