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.

Advertisements

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.

Luke 6:12 How To Make A Decision

pexels-photo-267559.jpeg

One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. Luke 6:12

Jesus had started to pray about something. In the end He had prayed all night long. The very next morning, Jesus chose twelve men to disciple. These were to become the men who would take up His ministry and move it forward once He left.

Everyday people are having to make all kinds of decisions. Most of the decisions are easy to make and take very little thought or major concern.

However, there are days when a major decision has to be made. These types of decisions can have a major impact on one’s life, family life, career, finances, health, or some other area of their life. Or it may even, as is often the case, have a major impact in multiple areas of his life.

It is common for people to call friends to ask advice on how to make that decision. Others will search on the internet on what the best choice would be. In the church, people will seek the advice of elderly friends or leaders in the church. People will look back on their own personal lives to try and seek out a path that they should choose for their future.

While none of these methods are necessarily bad, they are not the best choice for seeking advice. Each of these are seeking advice from people. People who are fallible and do not see everything clearly.

Jesus went into prayer to His Father all night in order to make the right choice as to who to choose to be a disciple. There were hundreds of people available, but only twelve were to be chosen. There were hundreds available, but only a few would be the right ones to do the job.

There will come a day when you have to make some major decision in your life. You need to look to God for helping you make that decision. Before you choose, take time to read God’s word and see what it may have to say about the choice to be made.

Then take even more time to pray about it. Find out what God wants you to do. God is there to help you make every decision in your life that you have to make. He wants you to make the right choice.

I pray today that you will seek God for all decisions; that you will hear God’s answer to you; that you will follow God’s answer for you; and that you will do great things for God each day.

Mark 14:36 Not My Will

Give God Control.jpg

“Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” Mark 14:36

After predicting His death, Jesus took some of the disciples and went to a place to pray alone. He was in great sorrow knowing what was about to happen. Jesus knew that with God anything was possible, so He asked if it would be possible to change what He had to do. However, He finished His prayer with saying it was up to God to do what He wanted to do.

In the workplace there should always be one person who is the head boss at all times. This is the person who has the final say in what happens in the workplace. All the workers under that person are supposed to follow all of his orders.

Many times some of the other workers do not like what the boss or manager says and try to do their own thing, without permission. When this happens, often there is chaos or mistakes are made. Managers will often give a few warnings and then fire a person from the job, who does not want to follow the commands.

People often put God in a box and do not allow Him to be in complete control. They will look at a few verses in the Bible and then demand that God must do something a certain way. They think that they know what is best for their lives and that God must work that way. If He doesn’t work that way, they get upset.

God always sees the bigger picture. He knows what is best for you and for everyone else in this world, all at the same time. As a human being, you only see the here and now. Your vision is very limited. What you ask for may look good for you and others involved, but God may see something that shows it is not the best.

If God would have chosen to remove the crucifixion from Jesus, then there would be no salvation available for you or anyone else today. God chose that path with you in mind and knew it was the best way for Jesus to love everyone in this world.

As you pray today, ask God to do what He thinks is best–His will. Do not force Him to do your will.

I pray today that you will know what God’s will is; that you will allow God to do what He desires; that you will trust God’s will for your life; and that you will not fear what God brings in your path.

 

Mark 11:22 Have Faith In God

Waterfall.jpg

“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. Mark 11:22

Jesus and the disciples had been walking along one day and He saw a fig tree that was not producing fruit. Jesus cursed the tree saying it will never bud again. The following day, they saw the tree all withered up and dead and the disciples were amazed at it. Jesus told them that they needed to have faith in God and the power of prayer.

A lot of people claim to believe in God. They do believe that He does exist and is out there somewhere. However, many of those same people do not believe that God is really concerned with them or even that He is the only God. They do not believe that everything the Bible says is true for them.

People wonder why God would be concerned with them or even care for them at all. They look at their own lives and see it as insignificant or that they do not need God in their lives.

Often when people pray, they do not really believe God will answer them. It is believed that God is busy or does not really care about them. Or they remember past sins and think that God is holding those sins against them.

Throughout the Bible there are many promises of God to people. God promised that He would never leave or forsake a believer. He promised that He would meet all your needs. He promised that He would forgive you of all your sins. God promised that He would hear your prayers. He promised that He would answer all of your prayers. These promises can be claimed by everyone who has faith in Him today.

Jesus goes on in this passage to talk about being able to have a mountain moved out of the way if one has faith in God.

This faith is knowing that God’s promises are true and that God is faithful and will do what He promised.

You may have mountains in your pathway that need to be removed. You may have things that hinder your growth and need to be removed. Have faith in God and believe that what He says is true. Then obey Him and watch Him do miracles in your life and meet all of your needs.

Have the same faith that Jesus did. God will work through you if you have faith in Him.

I pray today that you will know the promises of God; that you will have faith in God; that God will show Himself faithful to you; and that you will obey God in every area of your life.

Matthew 10:1 You Are Given Authority

Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. Matthew 10:1

Jesus had started His ministry and chosen some men to follow Him. He had taken some time to train them and allow them to see Him in action. Now He was sending them out to do the same ministry He was doing. Jesus gave them authority to cast out spirits and heal those who are sick.

Demonic presence in the lives of people is a very real thing. In today’s society many do not believe in demonic spirits, this is especially true in America. In some countries, it is a very common belief. Yet, demonic spirits are a real part of life.

Often people allow demonic spirits in by accepting false beliefs or actions. Their actions are explained away by the way they grew up, society’s influence, drugs, illnesses or some other event in their life. Very rarely is it looked at as demonic spirits, as was seen often in the Bible.

Sickness, however, was common in the Bible and is still common today. Everyone has had it or seen sickness. Everyone accepts that it is real today.

Jesus gave all His believers/followers the authority to cast out any demonic spirits and to heal all forms of sickness. Reading the Bible, one never sees that Jesus prayed for a healing or a release of impure spirits and it did not occur. That same authority has been given to every believer today.

One of the reasons why Jesus could always heal people, was that He only did what the Father told Him to do. He also had faith in His Father to do what He asked, because He followed Him so closely.

You also have that same ability if you choose to follow Jesus and the Father with all of your heart, soul and mind. Keeping your eyes on the Father will allow you to know what He wants and when He wants it.

Jesus gave you all the authority you need to command spirits out of a person or place and to heal all types of sickness. Sickness and spirits have no control over you and have to obey you, if you are in God’s will.

As you pray for these types of needs, pray knowing God has given you the authority. Take command over sickness and spirits.

I pray today that you will know the power Jesus has given you; that you will keep your eyes on God; that you will only do and say what God tells you to do and say; and that God will work miracles for His kingdom through you.

Choices And Resolutions

 

New Year ResolutionsEvery January, as the new year begins, many people start to make some resolutions. They think about what they want to accomplish in the new year. The resolutions that people come up with are as varied as the number of people on the planet.

Most resolutions are about health and relationships, although there may be others about finances, housing, jobs, schooling or other things.

The older people get, the more people realize the importance of good health and good healthy habits. People choose to lose weight, work out more, or eat healthier food. All of these are focused on being a better person or living longer.

Healthy Habits.jpg

While all of these resolutions can be good, they are only temporary fixes. Regardless how healthy a person eats or works out, there will come a day when he will die. Since the fall of Adam and Eve in the garden and sin entering the world, people die.

I am not saying that eating correctly or working out is bad. Over the years I have learned to try to eat a little bit more healthy. I still continue to struggle at working out to keep in good physical shape. Probably half the reason I am in as good of shape as I am now, is because I spent a number of years in the Army where I had to work out physically everyday. It started me out on the right path, though I when I got out, I was not one to go to a gym and work out at all, though I have tried at times.

While the physical eating and working out is good, there is something that is more important. My spiritual health is more important than my physical health. I have to work out and grow more spiritually to have true life and one that will last for eternity, regardless if I die or not on this earth a physical death.

In order to be spiritually fit, I must work my spirit in the right way. It begins with knowing God’s word. I must take time daily to read God’s word. Not only must I read it, I must take time to understand it and apply it to my life. If I read the Bible all the way through and can explain all of it very well, but do not apply it to my life, it is worthless. If I do not live by God’s Word, it is no good to me. My spiritual health will decline.

reading the bible.jpg

One of my resolutions this year is to get into God’s word more and apply it to my life more. This means reading it, memorizing it, and applying it to my life daily.

Another part of being spiritually fit, is to spend time with God. This is taking time to talk to Him and listen to Him. Prayer.

Many people find prayer very boring and seemingly worthless. They pray, but do not see immediate results, so they give up. Some feel as though God is not listening or does not care about them. Others feel as though they are praying the same boring prayers all the time and never getting anywhere.

This can happen in communication with anyone. Couples who have lived together for 20 years grow apart because the communication is broken down between the two. For one or the other it gets boring and worthless.

God hears yours and my every prayer. He wants to spend time with me to help me get to know Him better. Paul said that we should pray without ceasing. I need to always have a prayer on my lips or in my mind. Open, continued communication with God at all times.

1-thessalonians-5-16-18.jpg

My second resolution is to make more time for talking and listening to God. He is there to guide my every step. I won’t know that step if I am not talking and listening to Him.

The other thing that God wants for His people is for each one to be His witness. He called every believer to be a witness of the gospel of Jesus. His whole purpose in sending Jesus to the cross was to save the entire world.

Mark 16_15.png

I have been given the greatest gift a person can every receive–forgiveness and eternal life. This is not a gift that is for me alone. It is also a gift that the more I give it away, the more I have.

If I have such a great gift I must not hoard it to myself, but be willing to share it.

Along with being a great gift, it is also a warning to the people. The world is on a track heading for death, unless they switch tracks. They do not see the warning signs that there is only death ahead. I need to love them enough to warn them of the coming death.

My last resolution is to be a witness to as many people as possible. This starts with my own family, leading them to Christ Jesus, then it works out to my co-workers and people I know. Finally it reaches out to the world, those I don’t know, but come into contact with.

I want to be spiritually fit for God and others in this world. So my resolutions are:

  1. Reading and applying God’s word more
  2. Talking and listening to God more–prayer
  3. Being a better witness in this world

As I do these three things, everything else will fall into place better. God will guide me in what to do to be in better physical shape.

As you make resolutions this year, what do you want? What is your desire in this life?

I pray that God will guide you in the resolutions that you make and will help you to achieve each one. I also pray that God will draw you to Him more and make you more like Jesus in this new year.