What Do You Pray For?

Everyone has a list that they are praying for.  As a general rule, I find that most peoples lists are excellent.  Pressing needs like healing or employment, unsaved friends, and loved ones are often on such lists.

But I would like to share with you what I pray about.  No, this isn't a complete list, but I think you might find it helpful in your own prayer life.

I pray for wisdom. (James 1:5) Of course, I must pursue His knowledge if He is going to inspire me with wisdom.  Therefore, I read His Word every day.

I pray for God's authority. (Matt. 28:18)  I know that Jesus has all authority, and I know that all authority comes from God.  (Romans)  I cannot lead without His leadership in my life.

I pray for unsaved. (Acts 26:18)  I pray that the Holy Spirit will convict them of their sins and that someone will show them the Good News about Jesus in a way that they will accept it.  I pray that if I am that person that the Holy Spirit will help me.

I pray for my wife and daughter. God created marriage and family.  It is important to Him.  (Ex 20:12)  I pray for their day, their health, their needs, that they will grow and become everything God created them to be.

I pray for faith. (Lk 17:5) The disciples asked Jesus for more faith, and Jesus said that it was good that they asked.

I pray for His favor. (Ps 90:17) Over the years, this has shifted from what I have wanted to what He wants.  But I do ask for Him to bless what I put my hand to.

I pray for provision. (Phil. 4:19) For this to work, I know that I have to do a few things.  I acknowledge that God provides for my every need, not me.  I recognize that I must be a good steward of what He has given me.  I also know that I must tithe and give from what He has blessed me with.

I pray for hope. (Jer 29:11) God has a plan for my life.  I ask Him to give me hope for my day and my future.

I pray for against Satan's schemes devised against me, my family, and my church.  (Eph 6:12) Satan is a liar who is bent on destroying God.  Therefore, he is bent on destroying me and anything about my life that glorifies Him.  Jesus already won the war; here is where I let Him fight my battles.

What do you pray for?

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, help me to pray with greater wisdom and hope today.  AMEN

Rejection Hurts

I was listening to a podcast this morning that said, "Rejection hurts your ego! Be nicer to people, and they will not reject you." Umm, ok - but that doesn't work. 

We know that the world we live in isn't fair.  Expecting them to treat you fairly just because you welcome them like a dog when it's owner comes home doesn't improve anything.  

Jesus said in Matthew 10:22, and you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

If you are a follower of Jesus, you will be rejected.  Across this world, some people are being threatened and even eliminated because of their faith in Christ.  You have to choose whose praise you would rather have, theirs or Christ's? 

Who you are isn't found in the opinion of others.  If you live to please people a) you will never and b) you'll go crazy trying.  Your purpose, the reason for being, is found in God.  He created you to worship Him, have a loving relationship with him, to enjoy His presence in your life that is empowered to change your world.  

Do not wear rejection as a badge of honor.  Some people go around offending others with their faith.  Jesus never did that; why should we?  He spoke the truth, in love. They choose to be offended, but he didn't give them a reason to be, nor did he revel in their offense.  

Don't take rejection personally.  Jesus Matthew 5:43–44  43 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,  Rejection is an opportunity to show people what your real purpose is, to love them.  

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, help me to love others today.  AMEN  

What Is Your Vision?

Vision is your current understanding of God's preferred future for you, your family, your church, your business - you get the picture.  

Habakkuk 2:2 And the Lord answered me: "Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.

First of all, there is a vision.  God will share with you the big picture or the right direction you should be going in. 

Secondly, make it understandable - write it down.  Most people agree that God has given them a vision, and they know it.  But when challenged to write it down, things tend to get muddled.  Pray and ask God for clarity.  

Thirdly, run with it.  The vision that God gives you is more significant than you and should outlast you.  It needs to be known by all and repeated after your gone.  

I knew a family whose vision was to have fun.  When mom and dad weren't working, they were at the pool, the beach, on a trip, a cruise - whatever.   The dad passed away, and at his funeral, everyone talked about how much fun he was to be around.  

I knew another family whose vision was to give.  They served others with love.  They went on missions trips, helped out their neighbors, supported those who couldn't help themselves.  Mom passed away, and at her funeral, her children gathered around her casket and said, "I am such a better person because my mom taught me that it was better to give than receive."  

What will people say about you after your gone? Don't like it?  Then change your vision.  

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, help me to live my life the way You want me to live it every day.  AMEN  

Dig Deeper

I'm from Arkansas, and when you live in the hills, there are a few things that you need to survive.  One is water.  Because there were no county utilities in the area, you had to dig your well.  That was a bit tricky.

First of all, you had to dig hundreds of feet.  Then you would hit the water.  A lot of prayers went into it because you didn't want to strike a sulfur vein.  Think about drinking rotten eggs.  Yuch!  But wait it could get worse.  What if you hit a hot spring?  Couple that with sulfur and now you have hot rotten eggs.

As a general rule, the deeper you dug, the more water you would get.  If you wanted to have hot water, a good shower, and enough to run the washer machine, you needed a reliable well.

So the person digging the well would hit water.  But you would have to dig a little deeper.  "We're getting more water," they would say!  Dig a little deeper.  Then you would hit a lot of water!!  Ok - Stop there!

Isa 12:3 With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

Most people ask Jesus into their hearts and think, "That's good enough!"  But they need to dig a little deeper.

Some people go to church and think, "That's good enough!"  But they need to dig a little deeper.

Others pour their heart into worshipping and honor Christ with their lives.  They say, "I know the joy of the Lord as my strength."

Dig deep enough into your relationship with Christ so that it satisfies the needs of your soul.

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, teach me to dig deeper.  AMEN

Lord Have Mercy

I have on more than one occasion said, "I don't understand how I get out of bed in the morning and not hurt myself." It is a sarcastic comment designed to lead to this thought.  Without Jesus, I would get out of bed in the morning and injure myself.

Humanity is so desperate to understand and solve everything.  But this same humanity says that everything isn't understandable or solvable.  We throw ourselves into a way of thinking that is flawed and unfilling.  But humanity insists on elevating itself to the level of a god.  As it turns out, we need mercy

One writer defines mercy as a love that responds to human need in an unexpected or unmerited way.  And that at its core, mercy is forgiveness.  http://theconversation.com/what-is-the-true-meaning-of-mercy-72461

We need God to respond to our needs every day.  We need His mercy to forgive us of our sins.  We need Him to keep His promises to us.  Without mercy, what hope would we have?  None.

Now someone might ask, "Why would God have mercy on a sorry lot like us?" Because He loves us.  No, I cannot explain it entirely either.  But I do know that it is true.  God loves me, and He loves you too.

But let's take it a step farther.  We will show mercy to others when we choose to love them first.  Sure there are plenty of reasons why we shouldn't love people.  But if we want to be loved, then we need to love others.  If we're going to be shown mercy, then we should show mercy to others.

As Jesus said, Luke 6:38 Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back." (NLT)

PRAY: Dear Jesus, help me to love others and show them mercy too.  AMEN

Who is Praying For You?

1 Timothy 2:1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people,

Who prayed for you today?  Is there anyone in your life that is talking to Jesus about you? 

As a culture, we see asking for help as a sign of weakness.  So the thought that someone is praying for you leads one to believe that something must be wrong.  After all, the only time you pray for someone is when they are in some trouble.  Well, that's not true.  It isn't to say that in times of crisis, one doesn't want someone bending God's ear about their need.  But why do you need someone praying for you when all seems to be going well? 

Temptation is coming.  It isn't a matter of when.  You need people praying that you will resist every temptation that Satan throws your way.  

Rain is coming.  Jesus said that trouble wouldn't discriminate against His followers and others.  Life isn't fair, and when that happens.  You want people who have been praying for you to be prepared for it.  

Wisdom is always needed.  Wisdom isn't something you need for BIG decisions; you need it for everyday ones too.  You need people praying for you every day.  

You need hope like you need air to breathe.  Hope doesn't come from your circumstances.  It comes from Jesus.  People praying for you that you will be filled with His hope is one of the greatest things anyone can do for you.  

Ask Christ to help you find people who will pray for you.  Approach them and ask if they will.  You might even want to mention a few specific things that they can pray about.  Then if you're going to make this even better - ask how you can pray for them. 

PRAY: Dear Jesus, help me to build a prayer team around me and my life.  AMEN