Today’s gospel passage makes it seem so simple! Ask God for what you want and you’ll get it; look for what you want and you’ll find it; just knock and doors will be opened to you. However, Jesus reminds us that God is a good father and will not give us what is wrong for us! When you were young, did you ever ask your parents for something that was just not right for you? Perhaps your children have done the same to you. You don’t give a baby a steak, nor do you give a toddler a 10 speed bicycle. You wouldn’t let your children look for milk in the cabinet where you keep your cleaning supplies. But sometimes we are looking for what we think we need in all the wrong places. Yes, Jesus tells us to keep asking for what we need and we will receive it, but he also expects that we will be asking for the right things. We are bombarded with ads that tell us what we need to do or own in order to be happy, but are those things truly what we need? Jesus tells us that we need hearts that are open to others, that we must be people of peace and forgiveness, and when we ask for the gift of the Holy Spirit, we will surely receive. When we pray, do we ask God to give us those things which He knows we need in order to be happy, or do we ask for what the media says we need? If we leave the decisions up to God, then we will always receive what we ask for; we will find what we are looking for; and doors will open at our knock.
Through Jesus Christ, we can have boldness in our speech as we speak about Him, and boldness as we live knowing that death is gain. Through Jesus, we also get access to the Father, whom we wouldn’t have access to without Jesus. Beyond that, we can come to the Father confidently in the name of Jesus because Jesus covers us. He puts on us His perfection and victory over sin. Through Jesus, by faith, we get great rewards.
Father in Heaven, I am so glad that I can come before You confidently. Thank you for sending Jesus so that through Him I would be able to approach You. You have given me great things, so let me live boldly. I have no one to fear but You, Lord. You are the only one who needs to be pleased with me. Make me confident as I live out my days for You – not for men. You are good. You are beautiful. I truly serve the God of all things who created all things. There is no evil in You. I come to You, Father, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
As Christians, we should never forget that God is the source of all of our help. In times of need and distress, He will send us people and things to help us but we shouldn’t see the people as the source. They are just God’s vessels who are doing His work in our lives.
Dear God, I thank you that my help comes from you. In times of distress, no matter how overwhelmed I may feel, I know that I can trust in you, Lord. You are my guide and my strength. You keep me when the world tries to tear me apart. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
The sea of Galilee is the place where seventy percent of the early Jesus miracles took place. Not only did He stay at Peter’s house in Capernaum, but it was here that the multitudes of the sick, the blind, and demonically oppressed came for healing and deliverance. If the mountians surrounding the sea could talk we would have more books on all the testimonies of Jesus wonderful miracles, and compassionate heart He gave showed to everyone. He healed them all.
But are they? One of the gifts of the Feast of the Epiphany is the realization that Jesus came for ALL people. When we see representations of the Magi coming to worship the new King, we notice that they are of mixed races. We are aware that they are not Jews, but they seem to know that the star they noticed “at its rising” is a sign that the promised one has been born. At this moment in time, seem to be having difficulty seeing that we are all images of the one God, brothers and sisters regardless of race, nationality or religion. We have some choices to make in this New Year. We can follow the example of Jesus who welcomes all, or we can follow the example of Herod who wishes to destroy. The road to peace is a bumpy one and requires effort. It is a road of acceptance, compassion, forgiveness and taking responsibility for our actions. We can choose to fuel the fires of division and hatred, or we can choose love. As we count down the last few days of this Christmas season, let us decide how we want the world to look. What is the legacy of all our prayers during Advent and Christmas? Let us open our arms to receive one another in peace and love so that all may feel welcome in our churches, our neighborhoods and our community.
Do not be deceived by the party culture. Do not be lured by alcohol. While wine and beer and other alcoholic beverages are popular and promise a good time, more often these drinks make fools of us. Too much alcohol leaves one intoxicated. When someone is intoxicated, he/she does not make wise choices. When we listen to the crowd or the promise of fun or relief alcohol claims, we are being foolish. True relief only comes from faith in Jesus Christ. Ask him to help you resist the temptation today.
Dear God, give me wisdom to know when I am being led in a foolish direction. Help me to resist the temptation of alcohol today. I know it is not only leads to foolish decisions, it is also dangerous. Give me the courage to turn away from alcohol or anything offering false promises of happiness. You are the only thing that will bring me true fulfillment. Thank you for giving us refuge and courage to battle temptations such as these. Please use me to help others struggling with these temptations, Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.
There are likely older believers in your life. Here, Paul tells Timothy not to rebuke his elders, but to come to them the way he would come to his father. Then, he tells Timothy to treat younger men as his brothers. Similarly, you can treat older believers in your life as you would a father or mother. Don’t be harsh with them, but come with respect and humility. With younger believers, treat them as you would a sibling. Do not taunt or be rude to them. Do not act as though you are better than them. Rather, treat them with respect that you would want to receive from those who are older than you.
A mother is a blessing to her family. Mothers are known to be the glue that holds the family together – after Christ, that is. If you have been privileged enough to have a loving and dedicated mother, take time out to appreciate her or thank God for her. If, unfortunately, you have not, thank God for the women in your life who filled that gap. God is also able to fill that gap in your life, and heal you from any hurt or pain you may have suffered as a result of losing your mother or having a mother who did not show much care.
The Bible always instructs us to honor our parents. If you are privileged enough to have parents who know and love God, pay attention to their counsel. Their words are designed to benefit you and not bring you down – as long as they are inspired by God. You can also apply this advice to any mother or father figure you have in your life. It is wise to listen to your father and love your mother – there are exceptions to this, but generally it is wise. No matter how old you get, you can still respect and learn from your mother and father. It brings parents joy to instruct their children and give them advice. It makes them happy to hear from their kids no matter how long it’s been since they lived at home. If you haven’t spoken with your parents lately, and there’s no good reason not to, you may consider giving them a call.
Dear God, I thank you for the parents and guardians you have given me who are concerned about you and your will for their lives and my life. Father, may you help me to pay attention to their instructions and their advice. I desire to honor my parents because I know it brings you honor too. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Father in Heaven, thank you for my parents, for the things I learned from them, and for the good things they did for me. Bless my parents. Draw their hearts to You, and let them live the remainder of their days for You. Help me to keep the wisdom I learned from them, and remind me of it in a time when I need it. In Jesus’ name. Dear God, I just want to pray for all the mothers in the world. Lord, I know how tough it can be being a mom. I pray that you comfort them in times where they need comfort, strengthen them when the going gets tough, and may you bless them abundantly for their love, care and concern. I also ask that you heal those who may have never had the chance to know a mother’s love, Lord. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen, Amen, Amen.
Heavenly Father, make me respectful and humble as I interact with those older and younger than me. If I see something in their life that needs correction, give me wisdom and humility to address it. Lead me by Your Holy Spirit, and do not let me do it on my own strength. Let me correct others because I love them and You, not for selfish gain. Thank You God that You correct me in love and not wrath. Let me correct and treat others how You treat me and how I would want to be treated. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
In this last week of 2021, I hope you can spend a moment to reflect and recall the goodness of God in your life – through overcoming challenges, enduring difficulties and seeing His love ministering to you.
No matter what you’ve been through, and what you face today, God’s love will endure to the end. His goodness is there for you. There’s no scarcity to God’s presence – and no lack in His affections for you.
That’s a tremendous hope to cling to as we start another year. And it’s my prayer for you – that God would you give you a fresh revelation of His love and goodness.
Thank you for standing with us. And for your love of God’s people. Please continue to pray for Jewish Voice and for the Jewish people in Israel and around the world.
MANSOUR ABBAS, HEAD OF THE RA’AM POLITICAL PARTY, SLAMMED FOR RECOGNIZING ISRAEL AS A JEWISH STATE
The Jerusalem Post reported that Palestinians from across the political spectrum have strongly condemned Ra’am leader, Mansour Abbas, for recognizing Israel as a Jewish State. Ra’am, more formally known as United Arab List, routinely advocates for a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as the capital. It played a surprising role in breaking the stalemate in the last election by agreeing to join a coalition government for the first time.
Early last week, at an economic news conference, Abbas was quoted as saying, “The State of Israel was born as a Jewish State, and it will remain one.”
Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas, who has repeatedly stated his refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish State, expressed his outrage over the statements . . .
“These irresponsible statements are consistent with the calls of extremists in Israel to displace the Palestinians and harm the status of the blessed al-Aqsa Mosque and the history of the Palestinian people.”
The statement from the PA President added that Mansour Abbas represents only himself when he talks about accepting Israel as a Jewish State.
According to The Jerusalem Post, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee accused the Ra’am leader of supporting Israeli “racist” laws and aligning himself with the “right-wing, racist and extremist policy.”
The Iran-backed terrorist group Hamas said that the statements of Mansour Abbas concerning the Jewish state “represent a flagrant bias in favor of the Zionist narrative and a clear violation of the position of the Palestinian national consensus.”
Hamas continued by saying that despite Mansour Abbas’s statements regarding the Jewish identity of Israel, the Palestinians will “remain steadfast on their historical land and refuse to give up an inch of it.”
TOP ISRAELI OFFICIALS SCRAMBLE, BRACING THEMSELVES FOR THE EFFECTS OF THE OMICRON TSUNAMI
According to The Times of Israel, top Israeli officials said last week that the country was bracing for a “tsunami” of Omicron infections to wash over the country in the coming weeks.
As government officials scramble to deal with the expected onslaught, Israeli Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, was quoted as telling his closest advisers that a massive outbreak would likely hit in the coming days.
“The wave will hit us in 10 days. There will be mass infections, it is not preventable,” Bennett reportedly said. “It will be more powerful but shorter than previous waves and last about eight to nine weeks. Everything we knew from previous waves will be different.”
The warnings, according to The Times of Israel, came as Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz said Israelis over 60 will become the first people in the world eligible for a fourth COVID-19 vaccine shot.
Local Israeli news outlets also reported that there were serious fears that the Omicron wave would paralyze Israel’s economy and education system even if it did not cause severe illness.
Under Israel’s current rules, anybody coming into contact with a person infected with Omicron has to quarantine regardless of vaccination status. This would likely confine hundreds of thousands of people to their homes.
Israeli Finance Minister, Avigdor Liberman, has been one of the most vocal opponents of fresh lockdowns or restrictions.
“My stance is clear – yes to vaccines, no to closing the economy,” he told reporters last week. “The most dangerous virus in the world is not the coronavirus, it’s the stress and hysteria.”
The Health Ministry in Israel said last week that 170 new cases of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus had been confirmed in Israel, doubling the number of infections. There have been 341 verified Omicron cases in Israel to date, the Health Ministry continued. Another 807 infections were “highly suspected” to be Omicron cases but were awaiting verification.
Israel is the first country to authorize a fourth shot.
ISRAEL, U.S. ALIGNED IN THEIR COOPERATION TO DENY IRAN A NUCLEAR BOMB
During a recent visit to Israel, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan updated Israeli counterpart, Eyal Hulata, on nuclear negotiations in Vienna as they discuss issues of “vital strategic importance” to both countries.
According to Israel Hayom, Sullivan and Hulata discussed the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear program and Tehran’s other “destabilizing” activities in the Middle East.
The White House released a statement last week concerning the meeting and the outcomes. “They agreed that Iran’s rapidly advancing nuclear program poses a grave threat to the region and to international peace and security. The officials affirmed that the United States and Israel are aligned in their determination to ensure that Iran never gets a nuclear weapon.”
Washington has been spearheading efforts to revive the 2015 atomic pact in which Iran agreed to curb its nuclear program in return for the lifting of sanctions.
Israel bitterly opposed the deal.
According to Israel Hayom, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said he and Sullivan discussed “the strategy for combating Iran’s nuclear program and the way in which the U.S. and Israel cooperate on this issue.”
LET US PRAY TOGETHER
Please pray with me for:
God to move in the hearts of world leaders and the global threat of a nuclear Iran
God’s protection to be upon His people in Israel who are constantly facing threats and violence from enemies who hate them
Peace in the hearts and minds of the people of Israel and their enemies
Jewish people to recognize Yeshua (Jesus) as their Messiah
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT
Plan your year on this inspiring wall calendar that tells the story of “The Lost Tribes of Israel” and the exciting ways you minister to them through partnering with Jewish Voice Ministries International.
You’ll also find the corresponding Hebrew months, information about the Jewish holidays and an overview of JVMI’s work.
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Thank you for being a faithful supporter of Jewish Voice and for your love for the Jewish people in Israel and around the world. I’m grateful for your partnership.
To the Jew first and also to the Nations,
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The original colonies of America offered Christians a safe haven to practice their religion in any way they saw fit. The city of Boston, one of the earliest settlements as well as one of the most puritanical places, was viewed by the early colonists as an example of Christian values that would shine to the entire world, as a “city on a hill.” Many of the core values of the founding colonies are still central to the American way of life and western civilization as a whole. As Christians we have a duty to share the truth of God’s word with others and understand it ourselves. This light is a lamp at our feet, taking us out of darkness, into goodness. Like many of the states in early America, they thought this was a great responsibility, and did not want to keep their light to themselves.
Prayers for Healing America and Turning to God
America is hurting. Pandemics, racial inequalities, job loss, and political division have caused great suffering. We are called to be salt and light on the earth. As Christians, we can begin healing our land through prayer and action. Let us come together not just by words but a faith that produces works. The love and grace of God can begin turning the tide of America.
We look to You and to You, only, Lord. Help us make wise decisions that move our country in the right direction. Help us to do our part in praying and in staying with what we know is right according to the truth of Your Word. Teach us to make our actions count and our words matter, and line them both up to Your sense of rightness, not ours. Guide us with Your eye; grip us with Your strong arm; teach us what we need to know to make our lives – and our nation – count for you.
As a nation, God, help us to desire righteousness more than rights, and to mirror sacrifice more than selfishness. You know us well, and You understand our flaws. Turn those weaknesses into strengths; bathe us with Your grace and mercy, though none of us deserve it. Fill us with the boldness to choose the kind of freedom that will benefit all, rather than a few. Open our eyes to see others as You do—with godly potential and value. But help us, too, to recognize our own pride in trying to elevate ourselves and others above You and Your purpose for our lives.
We need, You, God. Oh, how we need You! You have exercised nothing but faithfulness and fairness in Your treatment of our country, even when we’ve turned our back on You and forgotten Your goodness to us. Your discipline at times is hard, but You are just. Your purpose is always to draw us close to You, to bless us, and to make us a great nation who honors You. You are a good, good, Father—and Your love for us has a proven track record. – Rebecca Barlow Jordannull
Prayer for An Awakening in America
Thank you for your great power. We praise you for your Truth. We’re grateful that you have set us free from the clutching grasp of sin and death. Would you be with your people, extending your grace, granting your freedom, providing your protection, and empowering with your strength. We ask that you’d bring about an awakening of your presence as never seen before. We ask that your Name be proclaimed, that all plans to silence the Name of Jesus would be thwarted and crushed. We pray that many would come to know you as Lord and Savior, we pray that many would see your Light, that you would open blind eyes and release those still imprisoned. – Debbie McDaniel
A Prayer for America’s Future
Make us a great nation, yes. But more than that, make us good, Lord, with a heartbeat that wants every person of every creed and color to know Your love, Your goodness, and Your worth. Make us wise as serpents, but gentle as doves. Turn our fears to faith, as we look to You and You alone for the future of our country. Give us God-confidence that no matter what happens, we will believe You are not only in control, but that You know exactly what is needed to accomplish Your purpose. Help us not to second-guess Your moves, but to move at Your command, always without hesitation.
Forgive us for wanting our own way and making our own paths—often the ones paved with least resistance. Forgive us for fence-walking, or for ignoring completely the truths that can so easily set us free. Deliver us from mindless quarrels and destinations that lead us nowhere, but away from You. Free us from divisiveness, and melt our hardened hearts to love, not hate, and to heal, not debate. – Rebecca Barlow Jordan
Prayer for Justice and Healing
We may look different from each other, but we have one big thing in common — we’re all your image-bearers Lord, which means we all have equal value, we all have purpose, and we are all part of your plan. Father, you know the injustice that has occurred for thousands of years, in different countries, with races of color and classes of people. I pray for justice in ongoing racism, which is still found here in America. I pray that these wrongs look very wrong to everyone who views these situations; make it clear to everyone God, that races of color are beautiful, valuable, and worthy.
You are the author of justice Lord, we ask that you would rain down justice in the form of convictions, law changes, police training, transformed mindsets and hearts, and continued racial reconciliation. Help us to look to you…and your Word to remind ourselves of what justice should look like. You know what injustice is like God; every sin committed is an injustice against you. Lord help us to fight injustice in the right way, may we always look to you as the solution. Oh Lord, that there would be more and more hearts transformed by your grace. May this time of injustice produce opportunities for conversation to talk about your grace, mercy, and forgiveness. May we seek you in our quest for justice, and may we continue to pray in your name for justice to be served when lives are taken and hateful actions are committed. In your name Jesus, amen. – Liz Auld
Prayer for Unity in America
We pray that you would unify your people for the glory of your Name that all who call themselves Christians would rise up, believing your great Truth. Wake us up Lord! Remind us to live aware, to redeem the time, to listen to your words, to be willing to make a difference in this land. We pray for all those in authority, that you would give them your wisdom and discernment as they lead. We ask that you would appoint strong, faithful men and women to serve this nation and our people.- Debbie McDaniel
A Prayer for Leaders to Rise Up in America
Lord God, we desperately need your wisdom. You have given us a great country, founded on principles and truths from Your Word. We need men and women who will honor You, trust You, and lead us once again back to You. We pray for servant leaders who love the things You love and who care more about others than themselves.
Raise up leaders with the greatest potential of godly leadership, those who can ease confusion, expose illusion, and heal delusion. You alone hold the power to turn the hearts of leaders, but You listen and use our prayers to move them into right action. Help us to be faithful to care and to pursue Your heart in prayer. – Rebecca Barlow Jordan
Heal our Land
We pray for your great healing on our land. Shine your face on us dear God. We need you now, more than ever before. Our times are in your hands. Thank you that you are rich in mercy and full of grace. Thank you that you are forgiving and merciful. Thank you that you are strong and mighty. Thank you that you are for us and that you fight for us still today. Bring honor to your Name, Oh Lord, for You alone are worthy. – Debbie McDaniel
Prayer to Love Others
Lord, help me to see the issues around me in my community. Help me to be the person who goes out of my way to meet them. Lord, my heart has gotten hardened. I haven’t wanted to love people the way you love them. I’ve only loved those that think and act the way I do. Help me love people the way you love them. Help me to love enough I’d be willing to lay down my life for them. Amen. – Michelle Lazarek
A Prayer for Those Who Protect America
Lord, police officers’ days are filled with uncertainties and unknowns as they make quick and often life-changing or life-threatening decisions. Help them to be wise and invoke all their training and experience before moving or speaking. When they have the opportunity to investigate a situation before taking action and engaging, give them patience not to rush to judgment or anger.
Give them compassion when they determine there is no ill intent but also a keen awareness for deception. Remind them that they may not have all the evidence to make a final decision. Help them to see the good in people, and don’t let their hearts become hardened and calloused by the challenging situations they encounter daily. Amen.
But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. When we are walking in God’s path, God will always confirm His word to the people in our lives who need to know. After God had given Mary instructions, and she’d become pregnant via the Holy Spirit, He sent an angel to assure Joseph of His plans. This stopped Joseph from divorcing Mary. Don’t be worried, when you follow the instructions of God in your life. He will take care of everything else.
No one likes a distracted driver. It’s the woman looking down at her phone after the light has turned green. It’s the guy who cuts off the mom in a minivan while negotiating a business deal. Brakes squeal. The minivan driver lays into the horn. The person who has been waiting to get through the light lets out a few choice words and hand signals. It’s easy to let frustration get the better of us on the road. But the reality is cursing at other drivers doesn’t get us where we are going any faster. The same is true for any conflict we find ourselves in. To be angry is not a sin, but how we respond to anger can be. Proverbs 15:18 says, “A hot tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.” Giving full vent to our anger doesn’t change the situation. In fact, it can make it worse. Maybe you don’t express anger through gestures or words, but instead, choose to bottle it up. Holding anger in is just as sinful as blowing up. Unconfessed hurt turns to bitterness and resentment, which separate us from God and others (Psalms 66:18, Mark 11:25). God knows the motives of our hearts; He is not fooled by outward appearances. As we share our struggles and open ourselves to correction, God frees us from sin. Correction may not be easy to hear, but the path without correction is far more dangerous. Proverbs 15:10 says, “Stern discipline awaits anyone who leaves the path; the one who hates correction will die.” It is hard to allow someone to correct us. Pride tells us to be defensive and stand our ground, but through discipline, God draws us closer to Him. Reflect: Think of a time when you acted impulsively. Looking back, how could you have handled the situation differently? What do you do when someone hurts your feelings? Do people know when you are angry or do you bottle it up? How do you respond to correction? As you reflect on how you respond, is there anyone you need to apologize to?
The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.
Do not compare our own measly understanding to that of God’s! God created us and everything. Who are we to say that we know this or that to be true. All that we know is because the Lord allows us to know it. Thanks be to God.
The Lord did not teach us to be fearful. There is no fear in love (1 John 4:18), and in this verse, it shows that fear is a trap for mankind. Love God with all your heart and approach Him confidently and your fear of death will be gone. Do this and all that will flow your heart with love.
Dear God, I thank you that when it comes to following your way, I have nothing to worry about because you have taken care of anything. I know that your word will be confirmed, no matter who may or may not believe it in my life. Because of this, I choose to move forward in the path you have set out for me. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Holy Lord, securer of my faith, I long to love You with all of my heart and soul. I have not always approached you with confidence, and am sad to say that I am sometimes intimidated and fearful to talk with You. Strengthen me so that I may improve this weakness, O Lord, and let the fear in my heart be cast out and replaced by love. I know I am safe with You, my rock and refuge. Amen.
O Lord in heaven, forgive my arrogance! I have thought on more than one occasion that I knew something better than You. What a fool that I am! I am so lucky that You still love me, gentle God, and know full well that I do not deserve it. I pray that You instill a new calmness in me, and a desire to be humble and wise, as Your son, Jesus Christ, has taught me. It is an honor to rejoice in Your name, heavenly Father. I am not worthy, and I humbly kneel before You as Your servant. I shall dance and sing Your name so that all may hear it: Hosanna in the highest. Blessed are we that come in the name of the Lord. Amen, Amen Amen Amen Amen Amen Amen Amen Amen Amen
Jesus Christ was born in a dreary stable. I have cleaned out many stables. I have cleaned out rich stables and poor ones. No matter rich or poor they are dirty. Yet, His birth was long awaited. Our Savior in swaddling clothes who came down from heaven to shed light and His love to the world. Only His glory and holiness will still shine bright in the darkness of this world. It’s been another year of ups and downs Jesus light still lights the way. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, no matter what in Jesus name Amen