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

Turn to Him

What is something you can release to God today? Don't let the chaos of stressing about something or someone make you forget to turn to the only One who holds every answer.

Dear Father, 

Thank You,  that we have Your word to turn to and Your promises to rely upon. You promised never to leave us. Your Spirit is in us who believe interceding when we don't know how to pray, to lift us up, to give peace in times of anxiety or discouragement. We rejoice and celebrate Your love and goodness to us. In distress, we can call to You and You fill us with Your hope and courage and strength to keep going. Just take one more step. And one more step.

Your Spirit guides us into all truth. Lead us in the way we should go. We seem to try to get ahead of ourselves and You. Help us when we do that - lead us. We need Your wisdom for the days ahead in the decisions we make, and draw upon You for each new day. 

In Jesus name we pray, Amen

"The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV

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The Mad Theologian's Final Prayer Post

Lord,

May you receive Mike into your arms based on your Son's sacrifice in Love. May you comfort those Mike left behind, particularly his wife Sonia. May Sonia be ministered to by you in a special way now and in the coming years. Lord we thank you for your brilliant servant Mike and all the things he has taught us about living and dying well serving you.

In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Amen

****

This week, Wednesday, July 19th, 2017, just a little after noon, the Mad Theologian's faith became sight. 

Mike Erich passed away at home after a long battle with cancer with his wife at his side. Mike was a brilliant man that will truly be missed at home, at church, and by all those who knew him. Mike was man of deep conviction about the things of the Lord and particularly God's Word which he diligently studied and wrote about. For Mike it has always been about the love of God shown to us in Christ's death on the cross and resurrection where we can find salvation. This is salvation offered freely. The Grace of God in Christ says come give me your sins and I will give you my righteousness. It has never been about what we can do to please God, but rather what God has done to save us. Mike's deepest desire for all people would be that they find salvation in Christ.

Now Mike is with the Lord and I think he would want us to be of good courage. In fact, if he could, he would probably tell us about his move from earth to heaven with A Touch of Humor. I know he would definitely want us to "see" the Bible to understand his absence. Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:6-10 "6 So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil."

Since becoming a believer in Christ Mike has had it as his highest value to follow and please Christ. And he has done well. Mike is now with the Lord, -and that is a good thing. If you are a follower of Christ then be of good courage, the absence is painful and yet short. Soon we all will get a chance to join Mike and please the Lord. Yesterday Mike's faith became sight.

Finally, if you are not a believer in Christ, Mike would tell you "Come." Come and follow Christ today.

Mike, we love and miss you and look forward to our reunion with you in heaven standing in the Grace of Christ.

Jared Jenkins


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He loves us....

Father, It is so humbling that You love us and that You care about our joy! May we fully appreciate that You love us in this way. Help us to understand just how much You love us so that when others see us, they see You! Help us to live in such a way that they see Your love in us and through us. Help us to guard our joy and not allow others to steal the joy that Jesus died to give us. Thank you for showing us the Father's love!

"For the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and believed that I came from God" (John 16:27)

Amen

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that the dignity of all may be restored

God of the lowly and outcasts,
your Son chose to be with the rejected,
the unclean and the despised.

May your foolishness,
which is wiser than human wisdom,
confront us with truths unseen,
puncture our overinflated pride
and sharpen our our distorted vision,

that the dignity of all may be restored
and your face be seen
in those the world considers to be of little worth;
through Jesus Christ.

Amen
...a prayer of Ian Black    

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PRAYER CHANGES THINGS


Philippians 4:6 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."

Oh Lord, we live in a world that is constantly moving.  Being still almost feels wasteful.  But I know that downtime is exactly what You want from us.  But You say, be still, pray, listen instead of jumping into action and hoping things will work out.  Spend time with Me and let me direct your next move.  Lord, let this be my daily prayer.  I love You.  Amen.


Amen

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Christ Loves the Church


Ephesians 5:25-27 (NLT)
     25 For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her 26 to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. 27 He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault.

Father today I just want to thank you for the Church. The people who have responded to your call to trust in your Son to be their Savior. Those who believe in him, love him, and serve him. As the Church we know that we are a work in progress, a faith that is growing and lives that are becoming more like Christ. Father it is your grace, mercy, wisdom and power that makes this possible, for which we are eternally grateful.

Father I also want to thank you for the triune love of God, (Father, Son, Holy Spirit). And that your love has been so gloriously revealed in the sacrificing, serving and sanctifying love of Christ who suffered, died and rose again for us. And I pray with the Apostle Paul that: “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. 21 Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21 (NLT)



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Our Good Shepherd





Dear Father, How thankful I am that You are my Shepherd. You take care of me and satisfy all my needs. You make me lie down in green pastures and give me rest. You lead me beside still and calm waters where I can drink from the springs of living water. Even though I walk through the hard places, the valley of the shadow of death, I will not be afraid because I know You are with me. Your rod and Your staff they comfort me. You have prepared a table of the very best for me in the midst of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil. My cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. In Jesus' name, Amen


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Transformed

Father, help us to seek deep transformation in our hearts today. May our actions speak boldly of You and Your never-ending and unconditional love for us. Help us to be patient with those who do not know You. Help us to recognize throughout our day that You abide in us, and we abide in You. Help us to comprehend this amazing relationship with You and to put it into action in our relationship with others. Help us to seek Your face in all we do.

"And you will seek Me and find Me 
when you search for Me with all of your heart " (Jeremiah 29:13)


Amen

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Peace

Father,

Give Your people peace. Even in the chaotic place our world has become, help us trust in You. In the midst of our struggles and difficulties, lead us to peace. Help us not to look at circumstances but to look beyond them to You.

In Jesus' Name,
Amen

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Prayer for the Struggling

Father, bless this struggle in their faith. Strengthen those who have a hard time praying because they aren't sure you hear them. Be with those who are hanging on to you by their fingers and hold on to them. Give them the courage to tell you how they feel, as the Psalmist did. Turn their faith from what they want or expect you to do to yourself. Let them know, in the midst of their pain and questioning that you are their loving Father and they are your beloved children. Build their trust in you through their doubts and fears. Prove yourself faithful even if they feel they have lost faith. Amen

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PRAYER OF CHOICES


Image result for max lucado

 Max Lucado has a small devotional book called Grace for the Moment. It has changed my attitude as I have made the "choice" to live out the Fruit of the Spirit.  I hope these few choices will encourage you as much as they have me.  PRAY these choices every morning..and see how different your day goes.

I CHOOSE LOVE ~~
No occasion justifies hatred:  no injustice warrants bitterness.  I choose love.  Today I will love God and what God loves.

I CHOOSE JOY ~~
I will invite my God to be the God of circumstance.  I will refuse the temptation to be cynical ...the tool of the lazy thinker.  I will refuse to see people as anything less than human beings, created by God.  I will refuse to see any problem as anything less than an opportunity to see God.

I CHOOSE PEACE ~~
I will live forgiven.  I will forgive so that I may live.

I CHOOSE PATIENCE ~~
I will overlook the inconveniences of the world.  Instead of cursing the one who takes my place, I'll invite him to do so.  Rather complain that the wait was too long, I will thank God for a moment to pray.  Instead of clinching my fists at new assignments, I will face them with joy and courage.

I CHOOSE KINDNESS ~~
I will be kind to the poor, for they are alone.  Kind to the rich, for they are afraid.  And kind to the unkind, for such is how God has treated me.

I CHOOSE GOODNESS~~
I will go without a dollar before I take a dishonest one.  I will be overlooked before I will boast.  I will confess before I will accuse.  I choose goodness.

I CHOOSE FAITHFULNESS~~
Today I will keep my promises.  My debtors will not regret their trust.  My associates will not question my word.  My wife will not question my love.  And my children will never fear that their father will not come home.

I  CHOOSE GENTLENESS ~~
Nothing is won by force.  I choose to be gentle.  If I raise my voice may it be only in praise.
If I clench my fist, may it be only in prayer.
If I make a demand, may it be only of myself.

I CHOOSE SELF-CONTROL~~
I am a spiritual being....
After this body is dead, my spirit will soar.  I refuse to let what will rot, rule the eternal.  I choose self-control.  I will be drunk only by joy.  I will be impassioned only by faith.  I will be influenced only by God.  I will be taught only by Christ.  I choose self-control.

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
To these I commit my day.  If I succeed, I will give thanks.  If I fail, I will seek his grace.  And then, when this day is done, I will place my head on my pillow and rest.
                       ~~Max Lucado

Dear Lord, I know I can do none of this in my own strength.  Only you, through the Holy Spirit, can make this a reality in my life.  I will make this my prayer every day!!! I love You.  Amen.


Amen

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A Glorious Truth




Psalm 19:1-4 (NLT)
    The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship.  2 Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. 3 They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard. 4 Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world.

Father, what a great witness the silent night sky reveals. In the heavens we behold your glory, craftsmanship, knowledge, power and wisdom.  And though the stars of innumerable galaxies are so distant from us You are not. Your presence is with us and through faith in Your Son You live in us.

Father, we behold Your witness, not only in the heavens but also in the Scripture where You tell us: Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10 (NLT)

Father, thank you, not only for the wonder of your creation, but especially the wonder of Your presence with and in us. You are truly Immanuel.

We praise You in the Name of Your beloved Son and our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Amen

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His work in us

Abba Father, sometimes I may feel discouraged to have reached this place in life and wonder that I haven't arrived to greater maturity and faith. Sometimes I feel I should be farther along in my walk with You than I am. When I think this way, You always encourage me to remember that You are the One who is working in me for Your pleasure and good will. It is You who began this work in me and You will continue this work until Jesus returns or I go to be with you. Until that day, my prayer is that I grow in love and the knowledge and understanding of Your love. Help me and strengthen me to walk in what I know, as I trust Your grace and mercy to see me to completion. Amen. 

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Stressed Out Prayer

Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you;
He will never allow the righteous to be shaken. [Psalm 55:22]

So often this verse, and the New Testament version of it in 1Peter 5:7, is used in an almost cliché-like manner. I sometimes nod my head in a religious-like manner when I read it and totally miss that it is an invitation to prayer.

With that in mind I invite you to pray with me.

I am so burdened Lord. I feel shaken to my core. Little things seem to throw me into stress. The traumas of my life have worn on me. It is difficult for me to trust you in these difficult times even though I know that I should. My life seems so full of small crises and so out of control. Even so, I invite you into my stress Lord. Help me Lord to:
  • know how to let go and cast my burdens on you;
  • remember past times of peace and comfort;
  • know that you are ruling over my trials;
  • put difficult circumstances in perspective;
  • respond in trust and faith instead of in fear.
There is no one like you Lord. I release control and commit myself to your grace again.

Amen


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Patriotism

Father,

I pray that you might give Your people the right kind of patriotism. Give us the kind that loves our country, but can still see its faults. Give us the desire not to think our country perfect, but to work to make it better. Let us look to You to understand what is true and right. And let us work for those principles. But let us not work as those who are hostile, but as those who are helping something we love. So that we might make this country a better place to live for all the people in it.

In Jesus' Name, 
Amen

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 Image result for freedom 4th of july

 Dear Father ~ On this 4th of July weekend, we celebrate our freedom as a Nation, but far greater today, I want to celebrate my personal freedom, when I accepted the gift of salvation, forgiveness and the freedom from the penalty of my sin.  Thank you for freedom in it's many forms.  Let us never forget that freedom always comes at a cost.  Thank you for paying the price for me.   I love You.  Amen


Amen

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FREEDOM

Leviticus 25:10 (NLT)

“…..proclaim freedom throughout the land for all who live there…..”

Father as citizens of this great nation, the United States of America, we are privileged to have many freedoms guaranteed to us by our constitution.  We have been exceptionally blessed by your grace, protected by your providence and guided by your wisdom. We are not without fault, failure or frustration. But, thankfully, we remain free. Free to pursue to life, liberty and happiness.

Father, help us to use our precious freedom for your greater glory, the good of our fellow citizens, and the benefit of those who seek refuge in the words of Emma Lazarus: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…..”

And Father, may we ever be mindful that the greatest, most joyous and priceless freedom of all is that spoken of by Jesus: “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin. 35 A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free. John 8:34-36 (NLT)

Therefore Father, in the words of the Apostle Paul: “…we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. 7 He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. Ephesians 1:6-7 (NLT)

Thank you Father in Jesus name.

Amen

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