Thursday, January 28, 2016

Prayer - Day 28

KJV -  Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the day time, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.

NLT -  But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me,
    and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life.

My Prayer to the God of My Life

SIDENOTE:  So, perhaps you see yesterday's verse is missing. Umm...yeah. Life got in the way, and due to extreme busyness, a post wasn't written. Seriously, my day began earlier than I care to share, and ended late, late, late. The verse was  Matthew 21:22 if you'd like to go study it for yourself. I love how God works in my life, and keeps reminding me how much I need Him. This verse from Psalms today soothes my spirit.

It's easy to praise God when everything in life seems to fall into place. You're so happy because all your planets are aligned, ducks are in a row, and even the birds are chirping a joyful tune outside your window. Who wouldn't want to praise God for days like that? 

Well, what about when you are overwhelmed? Forget aligned planets. Those ducks have quacked themselves so far out of their rows, there's no chance of returning them to order any time soon. And the birds? What is that noisy cackle?!? How do we turn THAT kind of mess into praise? 

It begins with grounding ourselves in prayer.

The author of this Psalm well understood the importance of turning it all back over to God, and we should, too. God, in His supreme benevolence, keeps pouring out His love on us. Day and night, His love and grace flows over and around us. 

If your life is messy, God is waiting with a mop to sop up the spills of your heart. Flood the floors of your spirit and give Him the opportunity to wipe away your tears. He will then begin to fill up your heart tank, so it may again overflow with the song of love to share with others. 

When all is right in your world, praise Him. Let the laughter of your heart reach His ears. Whoop it up with a joyful noise. That praise is contagious. People around you will desire that joyful contentment you exude. You'll be given the perfect opportunity to tell them WHO has made your heart full of joy. 

Just for today, try it:  RELY on GOD. 

  • Lean into Him to help you through the rough spots.
  • Raise hands to Him to praise Him for all the good. 

Good day or better day, 
make today your best day by giving it over to Him.
He is waiting.

What does this verse speak to you?

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Prayer - Day 26

KJV -  For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,

NLT -  For I know that as you pray for me and the Spirit of Jesus Christ helps me, this will lead to my deliverance.

Your Prayer and The Supply of Jesus Christ

How often do you receive prayer requests? Weekly, when you meet at church? Daily, through social media? People are in need. They need prayer. They need your prayers. This verse is telling us why it is important to lift one another in prayer, and through Whom those prayers are going to be delivered. 


epichorēgeō   is the Greek word for supply. It's etymology is rooted in two words which mean 'to furnish abundantly' and to 'take with one' or 'to guide.'  

We can rely on God to hear our prayers 
through the guidance of Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

From the commentary of David Guzik:
Paul knew that the Lord was in control of all events, even though his imprisonment and impending trial before Caesar Nero made the situation look pretty dark.
Through your prayer: Paul was so confident because he knew that the Philippians prayed for him. His deliverance in the present situation was connected to the prayer of the Philippians.
i. We can hypothetically say that if the Philippians didn't pray for Paul, then God's deliverance for Paul would be hindered. It certainly seems that Paul thought this way, and it shows what a serious matter prayer is.
Through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ: However, it was not the prayer of the Philippians in and of itself that would meet Paul's need. It was the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ that came to Paul through the prayer of the Philippians. Paul's needs were met by the Spirit of God, but that provision to Paul was brought about by the prayers of the Philippians.

Prayer is important. 
It is both an honor and blessing to lift in prayer someone in need.
Know that you will be heard.
He is waiting. 

What does this verse speak to you?

Monday, January 25, 2016

Prayer - Day 25

KJV -   I called upon the Lord in distress: 
         the Lord answered me, and set me in a large place.

NLT -  In my distress I prayed to the Lord,
             and the Lord answered me and set me free.

Set in a Large Place

SIDENOTE:  A little Bible trivia for you. Today's verse is very close to the center verses of the Bible. Is God speaking to the Type-A's (myself included), who need to understand order amidst the chaos, when He planned for those verses? Even if not, they are inspired words by which to live. Go take a look:  Psalm 118:8-9

Have you ever been in that place of desperate, when you feel the world closing in around you? Your chest feels the weight of the world bearing down. Perhaps you feel you are the prey of human predators, waiting to devour you for mistakes or bad decisions made. You are confined, and you don't know where to turn. In that desperation, you cry out, hoping someone will hear your pleas. 

He hears your cries.

I've been there, often so, when I read this verse, tears sprang to my eyes. Not from remember the desperation, but from the second phrase: 

He answered and set me in a large place. 

"Set me in a large place" made little sense to me when I first read it; but then I remembered that closed-in feeling of desperation, and I understand what the Psalmist wrote. The walls are no longer collapsing, the weight of the world is no longer sitting atop my chest, I am no longer being preyed upon. I am set free from those burdens. My world has opened up again, and I am in the midst of His peace, in that large expanse of His love.

When we cry out to Him, 
we allow Him to work in our lives 
to bring us the peace we desire. 

We let go. We let God.

(The Psalms) ...teaches us how to be honest before God. If you have a problem, tell God about it. Don't hide it. Don't cover it up. Especially, don't get pious and sanctimonious and try to smooth it over. If you are angry with God, say so. If you are upset about something he has done, tell him so. If you are resentful, bring it out. If you are happy and glad, express that. That is what worship is---a heart's honesty. As Jesus said to the woman at the well in Samaria, "The true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth." (John 4:23) God is looking for that kind of worshiper. And as you worship in Spirit and truth, you will discover a new source of strength. If you can be honest before God, even about those troublesome problems of wrong moods and attitudes, you will find grace answering your needs.
What does this verse speak to you?

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Prayer - Day 24

KJV -   Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

NLT -  And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.

The Holy Spirit Intercedes

In big capital letters in the margins at the top of the page of Romans chapter 8 of my Bible, I have a note written:


When life slams us with the full force of the world, dropping us into the desperate place where we can not even find words to plead for His help, the cries of our hearts are still heard. God the Spirit takes over for us, and turns those groans into soulful prayers, messengered up through God the Son Who given us access to God the Father to hear us.

It's the perfect union of the Holy Trinity at work to bring His good & glory to fruition. 

God is concerned about the trials of His people. When He was ministering on earth, Jesus groaned when He saw what sin was doing to mankind (Mark 7:34John 11:3338).
Today the Holy Spirit groans with us and feels the burdens of our weaknesses and suffering. But the Spirit does more than groan. He prays for us in His groaning so that we might be led into the will of God.
We do not always know God’s will. We do not always know how to pray, but the Spirit intercedes so that we might live in the will of God in spite of suffering. The Spirit “shares the burden.”
If today you feel you cannot fight the battle going on in your life alone, you have someone to share the burden. Let go, cry out. You don't even need words. Share your heart with Him, and allow the Holy Spirit the opportunity to make those soulfully deep, inarticulate sounds for you to carry your prayers to Father God. 

He is waiting.

What does this verse speak to you?

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Prayer - Day 23

KJV -  I cried unto him with my mouth, and he was extolled with my tongue.

NLT -  For I cried out to Him for help, praising Him as I spoke.

Cried Out...Praising

We've got a handle on crying out to God in prayer, yes? If not, you can look back to these verses:  Day 12, and Day 15. Even when our mouths cannot articulate our needs, the Holy Spirit will intervene our desperate cries us to allow our souls to commune with Father God. When our spirits are wrung out, and we are renewed, I think it is a natural next step to praise Him.

Matthew Henry's commentary:
...we were enabled by faith and hope to give glory to him when we were seeking for mercy and grace from him, and to praise him for mercy in prospect though not yet in possession
...this is a great thing which he has done for our souls, that he has been pleased so far to unite interests with us that, in seeking our own welfare, we seek his glory. 
When prayers are in our mouths praises must be in our hearts.

Praise is an important step in our faith walk. We need to praise Him, not only in our private, quiet time, but also in public. We should readily want to tell others when God has done a great thing in our lives. 

God doesn't only want to work in you.
He wants to work through you, pointing others to Him.

I know it can be unnerving to share Him with strangers, and even friends and family; but I've got a secret for you:  The more we praise Him to others, the easier it gets. 

What has God done for you lately? How can you share that experience and Him with someone today? Leave me a comment or tweet me your answer. I'd love to hear how He is working in your life. 

What does this verse speak to you?

Friday, January 22, 2016

Prayer - Day 22

KJV -  Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.

NLT -  You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it.

Because You Don't Ask

SIDENOTE:  The book of James ranks as one of my very favorites of all the books of the Bible. I relate to it, because James minces no words. He is quite blunt in his writing, and gets right to the point; which tends to bruise my heart and convict my spirit. I honestly glean something new each and every time I read the verses in James. And I have such a long way to go in dying-to-self and putting His will first and foremost. Sigh. 

We need to understand to whom James was writing so as not to misinterpret its meaning. James was writing to the earliest Christians who are sometimes referred to as 'Jewish Christians.'  On the surface, James is talking about discord amongst the believers; yet, in essence, he is pointing us to faith in this verse. 

Christians are not perfect. We are saved.

We can have strong personalities and strong opinions. Sometimes, this leads to a bitter battle within our flock. James is addressing these issues and getting to the root of the problem: carnal desires.  Sounds like a bad title to an off-putting movie, but in the simplest of terms:  we are selfish. We put ourselves first, instead of looking to serve others' needs before our own. 

James uses strong words...lust, kill, fight, grab our attention and turn our focus to where it should be...on God. So, how does this relate to prayer?

The reason these destructive desires exist among Christians is because they are not seeking God for their needs (you do not ask). Or, when they do ask, they ask God with purely selfish motivation (you ask amiss).
We must remember that the purpose of prayer is not to persuade a reluctant God to do our bidding. The purpose of prayer is to align our will with His, and in partnership with Him, to ask Him to accomplish His will on this earth.

What does this verse speak to you?

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Prayer - Day 21

KJV -  And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

NLT -  You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father.

Ask in My Name...Bring Glory to the Father

When we bring our petitions to God the Father, asking Jesus to intercede those prayers to Him, Jesus will do exactly that God, our Father, may be glorified through Him. Seems like a self-explanatory verse, yes? We ask in Jesus' name, our prayer is answered. 

Umm, wait a minute. That's not what this verse is saying. Remember, God is not a genie waiting to grant our wishes. Let's dig in and study it a bit more. 

This does not guarantee that God will do whatever we ask if only we add to our prayer the words “in Christ’s name.” To pray in Christ’s name is to identify with the purpose of Christ to the extent that our will has become identified with the will of God (1 John 5:14). Those who do not obtain what they specifically request are often surprised by a different but better answer—and “no” is sometimes the best answer. 

We must pray in Christ’s name (vv. 13-14). This is not a “magic formula” that we automatically attach to our prayer requests, guaranteeing that God will answer. To ask anything of the Father, in the name of Jesus, means that we ask what Jesus would ask, what would please Him, and what would bring Him glory by furthering His work. When a friend says to you, “You may use my name!” he is handing you a great privilege as well as a tremendous responsibility.
The “whatsoever” in John 14:13 is qualified by all that God has revealed in His Word about prayer; likewise, the “anything” inJohn 14:14. God is not giving us carte blanche; “in My name” is the controlling element. To know God’s name means to know His nature, what He is, and what He wants to do. God answers prayer in order to honor His name; therefore, prayer must be in His will (1 John 5:14-15). The first request in “the Lord’s Prayer” is, “Hallowed be thy name” (Matt. 6:9). Any request that does not glorify God’s name should not be asked in His name

Father God,
Thank you for another day here on this earth.  Whoever I encounter today, friends or family, the likeable and seemingly unlovable; may my actions and words point them to You. May today be for Your glory. 
In Jesus' name, I pray. ~ AMEN

What does this verse speak to you?

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Prayer - Day 20

KJV -  But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

NLT - The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers.

Watch Unto Prayer

This is one of those verses that cuts to the chase, and simply lays it all out there with no room for misinterpretation...and we Christians in the modern world tend to shy away from speaking about end times with those who are not like-minded; mainly I think, because we don't want to be grouped with the whackadoodle on the corner holding the homemade sign and shouting as we pass by. Let's meet this verse head-on and try to understand what God is saying to us today. 

The 'end of all things' or the 'end of the world' is now. Everything after Christ's Resurrection and before His Second Coming is considered the end times. If you were born after Christ died and subsequently arose from the dead, you are living in the last days. The last days are nothing to fear, though we must prepare for His return. That's what this verse is telling us.


The word 'sober' is from the Greek sōphrōn  which translates to curbing one's desires and impulses, self-controlled.  If we search the roots of this word, we'll find the original context is to save or keep safe and sound, the mind.  


The word 'watch' is from the Greek nēphō  which translates to be calm and collected in spirit. There are no other roots found for this word. 

Now that we understand the original context, let's wrap our heads around this verse. To me, I interpret its meaning as :  While we are living in the end times, awaiting Jesus' return, we are to curb our worldly impulses and maintain self-control, so we can have a calm and collected spirit in order to commune with God through prayer. 

What does this verse speak to you?