November 22, 2018 Give Thanks

1 Timothy 4-4_5

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1 Timothy 2:1 Prayer & Thanksgiving For All People

 

Praying hands

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people 1 Timothy 2:1

Prayer is one thing that most believers know they should be doing more of. There are volumes of books written on how a person should pray or what they should pray. One thing that is common is specifically worded prayers. The Lord’s Prayer is one that can be heard all over. People pray it without even thinking about it or what it says.

Many people do pray, but they pray when times are tough. They will also pray that God will strike their enemies and get rid of their enemies. Believers will pray that certain people will be removed from official positions or that a certain person will be placed into position. While all of these prayers are good, there is more to be done in prayer.

Along with praying about someone else, people need to give thanks for all people. Right now, many people will rise up and rebel against this. They don’t see a reason to give God thanks for a person in position who is not living or working for God directly. They do not want to give thanks for the person who is making their life tough. Yet, this is what God wants.

Every person is placed on this earth where they are by God’s power. Those in government positions are there because God has a purpose for them to be there, regardless of how good or bad the person is.

Many rise up in rebellion against a president, yet, forget that God put him there. Believers are to thank God for that person, rather than fight him or curse him. God will use even the ungodly to fulfill His purpose in the lives of people and nations. This includes not only a president, but also every other person on this earth.

Take time each day to pray for all people around you and around this world. Every person needs Jesus. Every person has a purpose in God’s plan. Pray that they will know God’s will for their lives. And then give thanks for that person or group of people.

It does not matter if the person is a common no-name person or the leader of a nation, prayer and give thanks for every one. In this way God’s plan will be fulfilled on this earth.

I pray today that you will know God’s love for all people; that you will see God’s hand in the lives of every person; that you will pray God’s will for every person; that you will thank God for every person in your life; and that you will be His witness to every one.

Acts 16:25 What To Do In Dark Times

Worship In The Dark

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and other prisoners were listening to them. Acts 16:25

Paul and Silas had been preaching the gospel in a city they were approached by a girl who had been demon possessed. They cast the demon of the girl and the people of the city were angry with them. Paul and Silas were then put into prison. During the night they sat there praying and praising God, instead of complaining. As they were praying and worshipping God, God caused an earthquake to free them.

There are times in the life of every person that are dark. Things do not go the way they should have. A person is mistreated wrongly.

Most people will sit and complain about the situation and seek ways to get revenge. They will tell every one about the situation in a complaining way. The world says that what has happened is not right and the person has a right to strike back. The person will have no joy in the situation.

Instead of complaining, Paul and Silas had prayed to God and worshipped Him. They did not see the situation as dark, like the world sees it.

Believers have a reason to rejoice at all times, in all situations. God has given them forgiveness and life through Jesus Christ. God is with every believer and will always be with them, despite how dark it may appear to be. Jesus is light and brings that light into the life of a believer.

Where there is light, there is a reason to worship God. There is no depression or fear. His perfect love and light drives out the darkness and fear, giving one the ability to praise and worship Him in the darkest of nights.

You may be going through a dark time right now. It may appear as though the whole world is against you and you have lost the battle. You may feel as though you are in a prison with no chance for release.

Look up to God, pray and worship Him, despite how dark it is. It may be midnight, but God can bring light to your night. He can bring release to your chains and the bars that hold you in.

This will be a witness to the world of God’s love and power.

Are you worshipping or complaining?

I pray today that you will know God’s presence in your life; that you will seek God in dark times; that you will worship God and not complain; and that you will bring God’s light to this dark world.

Acts 4:29 A Different Prayer

Locked Up Prayer

Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Acts 4:29

Peter and John had already been put in prison for preaching about Jesus. They had been released and all the believers gathered together to pray. Persecution against believers was increasing tremendously. As they prayed, they prayed for boldness to speak the gospel message.

Ever since the fall of Adam and Eve, the world has been against those who believe in God. During the Old Testament times, many different nations tried to destroy the nation of Israel, until Israel destroyed itself in rejecting God. They had fallen into the pressure of the world to not follow God.

Later when Jesus came, it was no longer the idea of going against Israel, but against those who follow Jesus. Since the time of Jesus, the persecution against believers has changed in small areas. For a time one nation may persecute Christians strongly, and then later back off some, or it is usually the other way around.

In America it is appearing that persecution of believers is rising higher and higher. Many believers who are in situations of being harassed about their beliefs are praying that God would remove the problem. They want the persecution to stop and that is what their prayers are about.

Looking at the book of Acts, the disciples did not pray for the persecution to stop, but that they would be that much more bold in proclaiming God’s word.

Jesus promised that there would be persecution, so it does not do any good to attempt to pray for it to be removed. Believers are not on this earth for comfort or self. They are there to do God’s word–proclaim the Gospel message to every person. This is to be done regardless of the persecution.

It takes boldness to stand up and proclaim Jesus when under persecution. God will give that boldness, because that is what He wants a believer to do.

As you are going through tough situations and persecutions in life, pray a different prayer. Do not pray to get out of the situation, but that God would give you His boldness to be His witness and proclaim His message to this lost world.

It is in that boldness that people will hear the gospel message and lives will be changed.

What is your prayer about today?

I pray today that God will give you His boldness to be a witness; that God will give you strength to speak His words to this world; that God will remove all fear of persecution; and that God will touch many lives through your life.

Acts 1:14 Join In Prayer Together

Group Prayer.jpg

They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers. Acts 1:14

As Jesus was getting ready to leave the earth, He told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem until God the Father sends the coming Holy Spirit. The disciples did wait in Jerusalem. As they waited, they also prayed together constantly.

When a disaster strikes people, many will start living in fear. They do not know what is going to happen or always know what to do next. Many people will panic and do something crazy out of the fear that has gripped a hold of their hearts and lives.

For a short time, many will even turn to God and prayer, as had occurred in America after 9/11. However, many will only do the prayer for a very short time, then go back to living as they did before.

The disciples knew what Jesus had told them to do. They knew that He knew what was best, because He had just defeated death, the greatest enemy of all mankind. They waited and they prayed together.

They did not pray alone, individually, but as a group. Praying together builds and strengthens each other up. It allows the group as a whole to go to battle against the spiritual forces at work against them.

Even though it has been nearly 2,000 years, the practice of praying as a group needs to still happen. Corporate prayer shows God humble hearts of the people as a whole. It strengthen and encourages each other during a difficult time. It calls on the heart of God and for God to lead them.

This prayer time is not to be a one time affair, but a constant, regular practice. Every believer needs God and each other for strength. Along with that, each believer needs God’s Holy Spirit for strength and guidance in their lives and ministry to God and others.

Take time each day to pray in your own prayer closet. Then take time on a regular basis to pray with others. This can be with one other person or at times with a whole group. As a group you can life up the needs of each other and for the needs of the group as a whole.

Do not give up praying as a group to build each other up and strengthen each other for ministry.

I pray today that you will pray on your own each day to God; that you will take time to pray with others to God; that God will guide and strengthen you in His work in this world; and that you will be filled with God’s Holy Spirit each day.