Anyone who is having troubles should pray. ... When a believing person prays, great things happen. -James 5:13,16 NCV

only through prayer...

This past Wednesday night our small town of Oak Grove,  La. suffered a devastating tragedy when a church van was in a terrible accident. The van belonged to a sister church that used the van in ministry to pick up those who might not be able to attend church otherwise. After church Wednesday night as the van was taking those same people home, the van left the road and hit a concrete culvert spinning around and causing total damage to the van and taking the lives of 5 out of the 11 occupants. Our town has never suffered a tragedy on that scale before and it rocked our community like never before.

But God has carried us through this past week as we made it through many hospital visits in 3 different cities, funeral visitations,  prayer services and 2 of the funerals. The only thing that got the families and friends and community through this ordeal was prayer. There is no doubt in my mind that prayer gave us the strength and presence of mind to be able to minister to the hurting families. When nothing else will... prayer does. When nothing else can... prayer is the answer. God is faithful and God is abundant in His love for us. Prayer works.

"And call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver
thee, and thou shalt glorify me"
(Psalm 50:15)
~~~~~~~~~

""For thou art my hope, O Lord GOD;
thou art my trust from my youth"
(Psalm 71:5)
~~~~~~~~~

"In my distress I cried unto the LORD,
and He heard me"
(Psalm 120:1)
~~~~~~~~~~~

Praise you, Lord, that you are our help. Anytime we call upon your name, you are there. You hear us, you respond to us, and you care about what happens to us. We give you all praise and all glory and all honor that is due you. Thank you for being our deliverer. In the mighty, matchless, saving and delivering name of Jesus,
Amen

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Prayer is the Voice of Faith.

This morning I thought that I would share a few quotes about prayer:
“To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.”
[Martin Luther King, Jr.]

“Prayer is as natural an expression of faith as breathing is of life” [Jonathan Edwards]

“Prayer is the voice of faith.” [William Van Horne]
These quotes speak to me of how normal and natural it is to pray. So with that, let us give voice to our faith and pray:

Our hearts are filled with your presence Lord and we cannot help to pray. Your love consumes us and your compassion fills us. You have given us everything we need. We are thankful and ask you today for help to lead lives worthy of your calling. When we struggle help us to remember that you are there. When our lives seem easy open our eyes to see those who need us. We offer ourselves to you and ask for your kingdom to come and your will to be done in us. To you be all glory and honor.

Amen

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The Gift of Prayer


Thank you for the privilege of prayer, Father.  Throughout Your Word You challenge us to pray, to ask, to seek, to call upon You, expressing, both our needs and our desires.  Again, and again You have promised to answer us, responding to our requests as a kindhearted Father responds to a little child.  As we grow in our faith, teach us to want what You want, Lord, so that or prayers will be more fruitful.  And eventually, may our most heartfelt prayer echo the words of Jesus:  "Not my will but yours be done."  We love You.  Amen.

"...If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us...."  I John 5:14b

(Taken from the Worship Bible)


Amen

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Heavenly Father

Heavenly Father, as you know, many are facing major health problems in their life. I ask that you grant them the energy and determination to seek out and find the right physicians, treatments and programs; the courage and grace to follow them; and your peace and serenity to rest and restore their body, mind and spirit.

In Jesus' name amen.  ~beliefnet.com


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Summertime

Dear Lord God,
I thank you for this day, a day of good byes to small children who have been left in my care for the past year. Three of them won't return next school year and I pray that You would be with them each day, that You would bless them and draw their tender hearts toward You. Summer is upon us, a time of joy and adventure. Guide us in our travels and open my eyes to see the blessing of Your love in the world around me. May I take the light of Your love with me wherever I may go. And thank you, Lord, for little surprises that show up in photographs, a little bit of beauty that I otherwise might have missed.
Amen
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A prayer of ministering

"I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined
unto me, and heard my cry"
Psalm 40:1

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Precious Father, there are so many people in this world that are hurting physically and emotionally. So  many that are hurting spiritually. There are people who are lost and confused. Looking for answers and coming up short. There are people trying to find the right path and aren't sure which direction to go. My prayer is that you will minister to each person and each need today. Reach down from your heavenly Throne of Grace and wrap them up in your sweet embrace. Speak gently to their spirits. Soothe their wounded hearts with the balm of your healing hand. Draw them to your side and reveal the Truth of who you are to their souls. Oh, sweet Father, dispense your generous grace and lavish love to them in such a way that they know they have received a touch from You today. Thank you, Lord, for being our Strength and our Shield. Our Refuge and our Protector. Thank you for being our Comforter. We give you all praise and all honor and all glory that is so due your Name. In the mighty, saving and delivering name of Jesus,

Amen

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A Prayer for Fathers

Dear Lord, as we honor our father's today, we ask that you will look down kindly and bless all those men who have taken the responsibility of being a father.  May your Word be their source of lifestyle, and your HolySpirit their constant guide.   Lord be with all  those who have not had good earthly fathers.  Let them find you to be a Heavenly Father.  For those of us who had good  father's we thank you today.  Amen.

Amen

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Making Pain Your Servant, Not Your Master

There are three possible ways to pray when you are hurting. First, you can pray that God will give you an escape from the pain. That's normal--in fact, that's how drug stores stay in business! Second, you can pray that God will give you the strength to endure the pain. And that, too, is a natural response. If we can't escape the pain, we can pray to endure the pain. The third way we can pray is to ask God to enlist the pain in our lives for our good and His glory.

If we pray to escape our pain, then we see pain as our enemy. If we pray to endure our pain, then pain is seen as a master. But if we pray to enlist our pain, we see it as our servant. We are able to find God's grace to glory in our infirmities, that the power of God may be manifest in our lives. ~Adrian Rogers



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Psalm 23 prayer

Thank you, LORD, for being our Shepherd and for supplying our every need.

Praise you, LORD, for the opportunity to lie in the lush meadows and drink from the still waters that flow from your Throne.

You restore our souls daily and you always lead us down the right path according to the truth of your Word.

Even when that path is through the valley of the shadow of death, we have no need to fear as you are always with us and your rod and your staff comfort us and fill us with security.

You have prepared a feast for us even in the presence of our enemies. You revive us and you fill our cups to overflowing to the point that we are drinking out of our saucers!

Your amazing goodness and your sweet mercy follow us each day of our lives and we will dwell in your house with you forever and ever.

Amen

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The New Zealand Prayer Book

The New Zealand Prayer Book was picked up by my dearest at our local thrift shop.  It's in excellent shape and full of interesting prayer, and Responsive Readings.  The following is a prayer I read today, and wanted to share.  The above picture of New Zealand is from googleimages.com.

"Dear God, thank you for all that is good, for our creation and our humanity, for the stewardship you have given us of this planet earth.  For the gifts of life and of one another.  For your love which is unbounded and eternal.

When we have wounded your love ~~O God heal us.
When we stumble in the darkness ~ Light of the World transfigure us.
When we forget that we are your home ~ Spirit of God dwell in us.

Living flame ~ burn into us.
Cleansing wind ~ blow through us.
Fountain of water ~ well up within us,
that we may love and praise in deed and truth.

Amen

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God Never Changes


While our world is shaking and crumbling, we need to realize that one thing will never change, and that is God. He is the same today as he was ten million years ago, and will be the same ten million years from today. My prayer today is that we will feel the loving arms of God wrapped around us, and will know in our hearts that He will never forsake us as we trust in Him. ~Billy Graham


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prayer of renewal

The prayer today comes from 'Always True' by James MacDonald

Father, for all of us who daily need to renew our confidence and faith in You, help us now to lay hold of Your promise that You will never leave us nor forsake us. Help us to speak and live fearlessly because we are aware we are in Your presence.

Lord, You are with me. You are praying for me. I am not alone. Is there any greater assurance that I should not fear? Your promise stands, spoken over and over again in Your Word and satisfying Your followers throughout thousands of years - You are with me. I commit this truth to my heart right now. May the realization that this is our challenge, our trial and our burden strengthen and sustain me today.

In the power of Your Name,

Amen

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A Prayer in Spring

Today's prayer, by Robert Frost, comes with thanks to Bob Hostetler.

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

For this is love and nothing else is love,
To which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends he will,
But which it only needs that we fulfill.

Amen

(by Robert Frost, from A Boy's Will)


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PRAYER IN THE SECRET PLACE

Do you have a Secret Place, where you can steal away and get lost in communication with the Lord.  He so desires that from us.  I have found some of my most precious times in prayer were in the "Secret Place".  The following is from the "Worship Bible" and gives us a picture of what the Lords desires of us.

"My Beloved ~ Have you ever doubled My heart for you?  Is that why you find it hard to ask for My help when you are in such great need?  Have faith in your heavenly Father.  Know that My promises are true.

If you ask of Me you will receive.  Not on your terms, but on Mine.  If you seek Me you will find Me; I will come to you.  If you knock, I will open the door for you.  I have spoken; I have promised; I have invited you to come to Me.  Now I am awaiting your response.

I long to spend time alone with you.  My beloved.  Sometimes it is hard for you to be transparent with Me when other are around.  So get away somewhere private, in your room or in a quiet garden.  And when you come to Me in secret, I will demonstrate My goodness to you before many.  They will know of My love for you.

If you wonder whether I desire to bless you, think about this:  Even evil people know how to give good gifts to their children.  So just imagine how much more I not only want to do, but also can do for you, if you will just ask Me.  I am your heavenly Father, the Lord who delights in those who put their hope in My unfailing love.

(Ps 147:11, Mt.6:6,7:7-11, Jn.16:23, I Jn.5:14,15)


Amen

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Keeping the Faith

Luke 18:8 - “…Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?”

I believe with all my heart that the call needs to go out today more clearly than ever before for Christians to keep the faith. William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, said, “The chief danger of the 20th century will be religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, and Heaven without Hell.” We are but one generation away from paganism. If this generation doesn’t keep the faith and pass it to the next, there will be no faith.
~Adrian Rogers

Are you passing the faith to the next generation? Here is your commission from the Lord: “Therefore shall ye lay up these My words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates.”
Deuteronomy 11:18-20


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Dear Lord,

I don't know where the weeks have gone. Somehow Fridays come and go before I have a chance to realize they are upon me. It isn't that I have nothing to pray for, in fact, I am overwhelmed with what should be brought before You.

Our country, our world, is in turmoil. Each week brings a new disaster and more heartache; earthquakes, flooding, tornadoes, and war. We are in desperate need but fail to realize that our own sin and rejection of You is at the heart of the problem. You are calling, pleading for our return, and we are deaf, blind, and headstrong.

In the midst of disaster You are still merciful, still loving. I pray we would repent before we are at the point of no return.

Forgive me, Lord.

Amen
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why pray?

I fear that, too often, we get the wrong idea about prayer and what it's all about. Some people even ask, "Why pray at all?" and yet others think the basic purpose of prayer is about obtaining things from God. George MacDonald offered this rationale for prayer in "Our Daily Bread" and I thought it was good enough to share:

What if God knows prayer to be the thing we need first 
and most? What if the main object in God's idea of
prayer is a supplying of our great, our endless need - the
the need of Himself?... Communion with God is the one 
need of the soul beyond all other need. Prayer is the
beginning of that communion, of talking with God, a coming-to-one
with Him, which is the sole end of prayer, yea of
existence itself.

I love the truth that God wants us to Himself. He desires communion with us! In fact, His Word tells us that He delights in us! His purpose in prayer is not about what it does for us in terms of receiving. It's about what it does for us in terms of giving. Giving Him praise and honor and all glory. He wants us to know Him in a sweet and intimate way. Prayer is the method He uses to accomplish that. Prayer is more than just about the hand of God granting us favor or mercy. Prayer is about that precious Hand of God period. 

Sweet Father, give us eyes to see the majesty of who you are. Give us the ears to hear your voice speak and the desire to commune with you in prayer for nothing more than just to sit in your presence. Help us to see that prayer is not about us at all. It's all about you. 

"But we will give ourselves continually to prayer,
and to the ministry of the Word"
(Acts 6:4)



Amen

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