Joy Comes Through Prayer

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. -1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NRSV

These verses teach me about the interconnectedness of joy to prayer and the giving of thanks. The words 'always', 'without ceasing' and 'all' point me to an integrated life - lived from within. In reality no one can live these out 24x7. Yet the heart of these verses seem more about an inner attitude than an outer performance. And a life connected to God.

Jesus put it this way: "Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water." The promise of the new heart is the promise of connection to God - the source of joy. This joy flows like a river from our heart as we connect with God through prayer and the giving thanks. In a sense prayer and thanksgiving are the gateways to these springs of joy. Always.

Open our eyes Lord to the joy that is ours when we pray and give thanks.

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"If you abide in My Word, you are my disciples indeed.
 And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free"
(John 8:31)

If we desire powerful prayer lives, we must be abiding in Him and His Word. Through the power of the Word, the Holy Scriptures, we can know the truth. And His Word tells us that the truth will set us free! If we want freedom, if we want power, we must dwell on the Word of God. Our prayer lives are only going to be as effective and as mighty as the effort we put into them. May we long for a time of communion with our God and may we purpose to strive for consistent time spent in His presence. Then we will see Him begin to work in our lives and the lives of those we pray for. His Word is truth.


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Dealing with Change

Change can be difficult to deal with, especially change that we perceive to be for the worse. But life is nothing but continual change, and we need to be willing to face it.


Help to accept and deal with change. Help us not to be overwhelmed when something we thought was strong and permanent changes. Help us to trust in You, even when our world is rocked by circumstances. Help us to see new opportunities opening up and not just old fixtures in our life passing away.

In Jesus' Name,

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Dear Lord, sometimes I don't have words to say, but I know if my heart is  right with you, you will take my thoughts and turn them into words and take them to the Father on my behalf.

Today I hold up the Olson family as they grieve the loss of a mother, a wife, and a grandma.  We morn the loss of a dear friend who lived out her 90 years faithfully loving You, and her family and her church.  Be with all the family and friends as now we celebrate her life and her entrance into heaven and your presence.  In Jesus name we pray and for His sake.  Amen.


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What’s not to like about Heaven?

1 Corinthians 2:9 (NLT)
      “ …..No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”

Father, can anyone imagine how glorious heaven must be? I wonder what’s not to like about heaven.  But Father, may I mention one thing, not having the ones I love there. It is inconceivable to think of heaven without my family and friends. So I pray for any and all of them who are yet to trust in you, that they will soon come to faith in Christ who said: “…. “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 (NLT)

And Father I recall your concern for people as revealed in the Scripture: “This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:3-4 (ESV)

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9 (NIV)

Thank you Father, that through your love, you have made the way possible for our sins to be forgiven and for us to have the assurance of heaven.

Here’s what I know: God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.” 1 John 4:9-10 (NLT)

Thank you Father.


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Grace upon Grace

O that we may all receive of Christ’s fullness, grace upon grace;
grace to pardon our sins, and subdue our iniquities;
to justify our persons and to sanctify our souls;
and to complete that holy change, that renewal of our hearts,
whereby we may be transformed
into that blessed image wherein thou didst create us.

-a prayer of John Wesley

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Incessant prayer

We will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the Word.
Acts 6:4

E. M. Bounds says,

Prayer must be incessant and should not lack desire, spirit or action. The knees may not always be bent, but the spirit is always in the act and communication of prayer.

Father, may our spirits always be bent to You in prayer, even when I am not on my knees...


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Through the Motions


Father, help us not to just go through the motions of worshiping You. Help us approach You with sincerity. Help us not just push You into a corner of our life and only go to You when we have an emergency. Help us to spend all our life seeking continuous and honest communion with You.

In Jesus' Name,

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I Samuel 3:8-10  The Lord called Samuel a third time, and Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, "Here I am, you called me."  Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy.  So Eli told Samuel, "Go and lie down, and if he calls you say, 'Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening'".  So Samuel went and lay down in his place.  The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, "Samuel, Samuel."  And Samuel said ~ "Speak, for your servant is listening."

Dear Lord ~ when you speak to me I often fail to listen, and when I hear, I don't understand, and when I do understand I often fail to obey.  The clamorous world around me obscures Your voice.  Lord I pray for the wisdom of Eli who knew it was Your voice calling.  Oh Lord, help me when I hear your voice calling me, I will answer like Samuel ~  "Speak for your servant is listening."  I love You.  Amen.

Speak, Lord, in the stillness
While I wait on Thee;
Hushed my heart to listen
In expectancy

Speak, O blessed Master
In this quiet hour;
Let me see Thy face, Lord
Feel Thy touch of power.
~May E. Grimes (1920-)

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Christian Suffering

2 Timothy 4:5 (NLT)
     “….. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord….”

1 Peter 4:16 (NLT)
     “But it is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being called by his name!”

Father, perhaps as followers of Christ, we need to consider again the theology of Christian suffering.

Jesus said: “… the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult….” Matthew 7:14 (NLT)

He also challenged the crowds that were following him: “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.Luke 9:23 (NLT)

Father help us to understand the power and influence Christian suffering has and it’s transforming affect even on those hostile to the gospel like Saul of Tarsus. And may we learn as he did that your grace is sufficient for every situation.
Somehow Father we may emulate Paul’s response to his suffering for Christ: “I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NLT)

Therein Father is the glory of the cross, the power of the gospel and the joy of Christian Suffering.


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