How do you handle stress? My workplace is about to close and it is the only place in town. That means almost everyone in this community will be affected; families, businesses, churches, employers and employees, After 15 years and not too far from retirement, we will have to sell our house, find a new job and move. My Dad is getting old and beginning to struggle with his health and mind. We are going to have to leave our friends behind and find a new church…once we find out where we will be living. There was a time when I would have been devastated by this news, but I feel at peace. Don’t get me wrong, I do feel stressed and some days more so than other days, but I also know God is in control; He has gotten me through tough situations before and I know that He will again. I have heard before somewhere that God sometimes calms the storm we are in, but other times He just helps us through it. I do not know what the future will bring, but we will be alright one way or another. All I can do is pray and leave it in God’s hands, search for jobs, wait and listen for God’s voice. We have our part to do; we can’t just sit back and expect God to hand us everything on a silver platter, but we can’t get wound up and stressed out or try to do everything on our own either. That is something I need to keep reminding myself. How do you handle stress? Continue reading “Anxious for Nothing”
So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.
God wants us to be intercessors. To stand in the gap. A city fortified by a wall has a sense of security and protection. But, if there is a breach, a gap, it becomes vulnerable. We too have vulnerabilities. The devil looks for these gaps to attack us. It may be a weakness, a relationship (a bad one, tension within one, heartache), struggles at work, home, church, health, finances, decisions, feeling guilty or pride, lack of confidence, being complacent or rebellious, sin in your life, and the list goes on. Do not be afraid to share that vulnerability with someone. You don’t have to go through it alone. Also, seek those who are struggling and pray for them.
One thing I notice lacking in churches is togetherness and prayer. Sure, there may be some fellowship, “meet and greet” time, potlucks and things like that, but do we get together and really get to know each other? Do we get together and pray? Do we pray for each other? Do we know each other enough to know what to pray for? Not just the superficial stuff like health and “travel mercies,” but also the intimate stuff, the spiritual needs, the struggles, the battles we go through in life. I’ve always been an advocate of small groups, where we can gather together in homes and get to know one another, studying God’s word and praying for one another. It is also a time to seek and give godly advice and encouraging one another. We as a church need to be more than just a gathering on Sundays (or Saturdays), but we need to be more like a family, with unity, really, truly caring for one another and loving one another and not just one or two days a week but throughout the week. We as a church need to intercede for those outside of the church, that they would receive knowledge of Jesus Christ and believe the truth. We need to pray for the leaders and people of this country, especially with all the division, hatred, name pointing, biased accusations and covering up truth and all that we see and hear. We need to gather and pray. Together. Continue reading “Praying Together”
In our last discussion we talked about how Paul encouraged others in his prayer for them. He also never ceased to give God praise for all that He has done. This is something we all should remember in our prayers. As we talk to God, we should acknowledge how great a God He is, how good He is to us and all the things He has done for us. There are so many scriptures to choose from that have prayers of praise, particularly from the Psalms, but also many in both the Old and New Testaments. Many scriptures acknowledge God’s greatness and may not actually be part of a prayer, but I think by reading these and perhaps using some of them in our prayer will honor God. As the authors do, let us not only acknowledge Him in our prayers but share it with all those around us. Continue reading “Praise Prayers”
Pauls’ epistles, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians are some of my favorite books in the Bible. There is so much here to learn from, about life and about Jesus Christ our Lord. Within them, he shares His love for the church and other believers, as we all ought to. He encourages them by telling them the that He prays for them and what He prays for. I try to pray for my family and my church for these as well, though not as often as I should. Of course, I try to stay away from ‘recited’ prayer, but I think using scripture within your prayer is good. As believers, we need to be intercessors for others. That is what Paul is doing in His letters. These intercessory prayers encourage and guide us in our prayer life and in our life. When I read them, I also feel He was praying these prayers for all of us.