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Where is the POWER in PRAYER?


image used by permission from  Des Pain
 "Much is said and many complaints are made about the feebleness of the church to fulfill her calling, to exercise an influence over her members, to deliver them from the power of the world, and to bring them a life of holy consecration to God. Much is also spoken about her indifference to the millions of heathen whom Christ entrusted to her that she might make known to them His love and salvation. What is the reason that many thousands of Christian workers in the world do not have a greater influence? Nothing except this - the prayerlessness of their service. In the midst of all their zeal in the study and in the work of the church, of all their faithfulness in preaching and conversation with the people, they lack that ceaseless prayer that has attached to it, the sure promise of the Spirit and the "power from on high" (quote from The Prayer Life by Andrew Murray)

What was the "promise of the Spirit" that would bring us "power from on high?"


"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." Acts 1:8

Jesus promised that when the Holy Spirit comes to us (at the point of salvation), He will give us the power to be His witnesses. The power to influence people to turn to Christ. The power to pray with authority for the healing of those around us. The power to change the world is at our disposal, yet we fail to tap into that power because of our weak prayer lives.

How do we tap into the power of the Holy Spirit?

"In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God." Romans 8:26-27
If you want your life to be a powerful witness for Christ,  the answer is found in prayer, much prayer, accessing the Holy Spirit's ability to show us how to pray, what to pray and giving us the POWER to do the will of God.

Do you experience the ability - the power, to do the things God asks you to do? If not, then I ask you - How's your prayer life?
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When People are Rude and Hurtful


 I saw this post on Facebook from one of my friends...


"I'm trying not to be upset/offended by how rude some people can be. I am about at the point of just not talking to some people anymore. Period. Pray for me in this. I don't want to be rude either but I don't want certain people to think it's OK to be rude at the same time. What to do, what to do. Any advice ?"

Never one to pass up the invitation to give advice, here's what I came up with...

It's hard when people are rude and hurtful, so what does the Bible say about how we are to handle a situation like this?

I have two go-to passages of scripture that I lean on when things like this happen.

First - Proverbs 19:11 "A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense."   - So, I try to overlook the offense. I often say that a person would have to go a long way to offend me, because I refuse to be easily offended. Being offended is a choice. A person can be a jerk, but we don't have to let their actions or words offend us to the point that we lose our peace.

Second - if someone commits an offense that it is actually a sin, I do what it says in Matthew 15:17-18 - “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector."   - How does the Bible say we treat a pagan or a tax collector? We are to love them in spite of who they are.


Another person responded to the post with this...


I have problems with confronting some people... It comes down to confront them or forgive and forget them. Sometimes the latter is easier for me.


I agree it can be hard to confront some people because we pretty know their reaction will be bad. I don't really like the word "confront" because it carries the image of harsh face-to-face argument. The Bible, however, teaches us to go to one another in a spirit of love, approach them at the right time (not when you're angry), in the right way (with soft words and willingness to hear their side with understanding), and with a forgiving spirit,( even if the issue is not resolved). When done like this, a relationship may be salvaged, mended and made stronger than ever.

Hope this is helpful to you.

What about you - how do you handle a situation like this?

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Help - My Faith is Fading!

Have you ever felt like your faith is fading? Like the tighter you try to hold on to God, the more his presence seems to slip away? You know he's there, but you can't quite connect with him like you used to. Sound familiar?

First let me say, that this is common. It doesn't necessarily mean you have "lost your faith."  What it does mean is that something has interfered. It could be sin, busyness, troubles, heartbreak, unforgiveness, etc...or it could be the most common cause of all - neglect.

All relationships suffer when we neglect to nurture them. Friends drift apart when they don't talk very often. Spouses lose intimacy when they get too busy to spend time together. It doesn't mean you don't still care about one another, it just causes a feeling of distance between you.

So what's the cure? Simple - carve out some time to spend alone with God daily. Shut out the world, turn off your cell phone, close Facebook and simply sit with God. Read his word and allow him to speak to you from it. Share your heart with him in prayer. Write down impressions, verses or answers that come to you in those intimate moments.

You'll find your awareness of God refreshed and enjoy moment-by-moment fellowship with Him throughout your day.


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Do You Have Royal Blood? Your Last Name May Tell You.


While browsing through Facebook this morning I came across an ad from a genealogy web site. They asked, "Do You Have Royal Blood?" They said that your last name may be an indicator of royal ancestry.

I didn't need to click the image of a queen that accompanied the post. I didn't need to go to their web site or take a quiz, because I already know without a doubt that royalty runs in my blood, because I am a child of the Living God and the blood of Jesus Christ, King above all kings flows through my veins.

Does that puff me all up and make me call myself a Queen? A Princess? A Duchess? Nope, because I know that the greatest King of all times deemed Himself a servant of all.

"For even the Son of Man did not come to be served,
 but to serve, and to give his life
as a ransom for many." 
Mark 10:45


Doesn't seem very glamourous, does it?  Maybe not, but it's the most noble calling a daughter of the reigning King can have.

Whom will you serve today?

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It works - it really works!


"Start children off on the way
they should go,  
and even when they are old 
they will not turn from it." 
Proverbs 22:6 (NIV)


Ever since my grandsons were little boys, I made sure that I talked to them about having a relationship with God, about thinking of others and about being a blessing to those around them.

When I picked them up from school, I didn't ask questions like, how was your day.  I asked questions like, "Who did you bless today?"  "Who did you encourage today?"  "How did God help you today?"

Their answers were always so cute. "I shared my red crayon with Fernando." or "I held the door open for a girl."  Of course, as they got older, the answers changed and sometimes I just got, "I don't know." from them. (mostly through the preteen years)  Sometimes I even got the old eye roll, which let me I was really being uncool.

Today, I picked up the 16 year old. He got in the car and as we pulled away from the school, he said, "So, Grandma, how did God use you today?" 

My grandma heart nearly burst with joy and pride. Of course, I acted all cool, like he asks those kind of questions every day.  That question led to a great conversation between us. Talk about a blessing from God!

Grandparents - you are a vital part of building into the lives of your grandchildren. Parents can't do it all on their own. It takes a family to raise a child, and that includes extended family.  Start when they are young, build a great relationship with them, support their parents, encourage them to respect and honor others (most especially their parents). Pray for them continually and speak into their spiritual lives. Pick moments when they are most open. Give them age-appropriate suggestions about how to implement God's word into their lives.

One day, God will give you that special moment when you know that you were getting through to them.  What a day that will be!  Let the rejoicing begin!


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Prayer - Conversation or Communion?


I've heard prayer defined as an ongoing conversation with God, and on the surface, that sounds like a good definition, but it's a far too simplistic. Conversations are often just "mind dumps" on another person without taking the time to truly listen to them to see what's on their minds - on their hearts. We exchange information without really connecting with one another.  

image courtesy xymonau, rgbstock.com
Prayer is so much more than conversation with God. Prayer is communion with God.

com·mun·ion -kəˈmyo͞onyən  noun
  1. the sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings, especially when the exchange is on a mental or spiritual level.

    synonyms:
    affinity, fellowship, kinship, friendship, fellow feeling, togetherness, closeness, harmony, understanding, rapport, connection, communication, empathy, accord, unity
Prayer is intimate. Prayer is meeting with the Creator of the universe, the Creator of human life - your human life. Prayer is connecting with the One who loves you beyond all reason - so much so, that He gave His only Son to redeem a broken relationship with you and tear down that barrier of sin that kept you isolated from communion with the Father.

Prayer is not one-sided. It's a sharing - an exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings - yours AND God's. You speak, He listens and nods in complete understanding. He speaks and you listen, in complete agreement - whether you understand all He is saying or not, because, well...He is Lord. You listen with a heart bent toward immediate obedience.

Prayer is experienced on a mental, emotional and spiritual level. We open ourselves up and pour it all out to the only one who fully "gets us," knowing that only He can bring about what is best for us. Only He knows whether our circumstances need to change or whether it's US who need to change.

So, with this deeper understanding of prayer, the next time you close yourself in with God, take a few minutes to remind yourself just who you are talking with. Reach for that richer, more fulfilling communion experience, rather than a surface conversation.

Reach for affinity, fellowship, kinship, friendship, fellow feeling, togetherness, closeness, harmony, understanding, rapport, connection, communication, empathy, accord and unity with God, your Father.

I pray that your prayer time will be a whole new experience for you.

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Glow in the Dark Christians

Image courtesy of suphakit73 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

You are the
 of the world.
Matthew 5:14
 

As a follower of Christ, a Believer, who has surrendered your life to Him, you have 
divine purpose.

God has proclaimed you a light in the darkness, 
bringing hope into hopeless situations
encouragement to the discouraged
love to the unloveable by
 pointing the way to the One who is 

THE WAY
THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD
THE SAVIOR
JESUS CHRIST. 

Be a glow-in-the-dark Christian
and let your little light shine! 


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