Intercession: the action of Intervening on Behalf of Others: Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

When we try to rush ahead of God’s timing and His guidance, we will end up making a lot of mistakes. We need to humble ourselves under God’s guidance, realizing that He truly knows best. When we do so, we will reach the right points in our life at the right time. It’s all about trusting Him.

Doubt is normal. It was there in Paul’s time and it exists today. Maybe it is more prevalent today than it was in Paul’s time because there are so many people trying to discourage people from belief in God. The pagans of Paul’s time believed in gods, they just didn’t all know God. Today many claim that there is no God. They believe that scientists will soon be able to explain everything about how the world was created and answer any other question we might have. See, no need for God! And if there is no God then no heaven and no resurrection. If this is true then why bother depriving ourselves of all the pleasures we can get just because Christianity says love of God and of others should come first. But, there were too many people who witnessed Jesus after his resurrection. Too many people who were willing to die for the sake of Jesus and his teaching. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t die for a lie. And I doubt that they would either. So, as Paul says, since Jesus rose from the dead, we need to pay attention to what he said and to the promise that one day we too would rise if only we remain faithful. Doubt? Okay, but in the end, trust and belief.

According to Lionel Swain, of St. Edmund’s College, Ware, St. Paul believed intercession to be one of the most important aspects of faith and praying life, as praying for others is a recurring theme in his works. Prayer acts as a way for St. Paul to acknowledge God’s power. Intercessory prayer also acts as a way for the Apostle to “share in … the Father’s redemptive love”. Paul believed that prayer transformed the person doing the praying, as much as the one being prayed for, which creates a stronger bond between him and God.

Prof. Dr Johannes van Oort, Professor Extraordinarius in the Department of Church History and Church Polity of the Faculty of Theology at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, adds that, in addition to praying for wisdom, the early church was very much involved with different charismas, one of which being healing. Praying for other people’s illnesses was another way that intercessory prayer was important in the early church, as healing was a sign of “the power of God’s Kingdom”. This gift of healing is specifically mentioned, among the other charismata, as a sign of being a true Christian by Irenaeus of Lyons in his text, Against Heresies.

Saints[edit source]

Intercession of the saints is a doctrine held by the Eastern OrthodoxOriental Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches that saints may be asked to intercede (or pray) for others. The doctrine of requesting intercession from saints can be found in Christian writings from the 3rd century AD, such as from Origen and Clement of Alexandria.

Main article: Prayer for the dead

The dead

In addition to praying for each other in life, early Christians would pray for those who had died. There is no unequivocal evidence that Christians began to pray for the dead before the third century AD. G. F. Hamilton argues that the earliest example of Church prayer on behalf of dead Christians are found in the Sacramentary of Serapion of Thmuis (350 AD). Rather than pray for the departed in regular church services on Sunday, these early Christians would hold special commemorative occasions during the week. There was a sharp distinction drawn between remembering and praying on behalf of the dead, and those who were the “‘faithfully’ departed”, where Christians would only pray for those who had died as believers. The First Epistle of Clement (95 AD) contains a prayer which, while mainly for protection for the living, also includes the dead. Even quite early, a distinction was drawn between those who had died as Christians, and those who had died as unbelievers. In the Martyrdom of Polycarp (155 AD), Polycarp is killed and his bones are taken by fellow Christians and a shrine is set up to him, where they may remember his martyrdom. In contrast, the “Apology of Aristides” shows how those who were not Christians were grieved for, while the dead faithful were rejoiced over.  

Theological perspective: In an article in Theological Studies, Catholic theologian Patricia A. Sullivan warns that saints should not be built up in a way that brings down God. Saint Augustine had famously said that we pray not to instruct God but to get our will in line with God’s. Sullivan warns away from the dictionary meanings of “intercession” as “intervention, mediation, arbitration, negotiation”, all of which sound like we are dealing with a hostile or unfriendly God, whom we need to manipulate to get what we need. Such is not the meaning of the hapax legomenon in the New Testament of the word for intercession. Sullivan goes on:

When we ask a saint to intercede for us, what is happening at a deeper level is that we are taking refuge in the all-enfolding community of the redeemed, approaching God thru saintly symbols of Christ’s victory and of our hope. Saints want always what God wants, what is best for us whether we pray for it or not. They are in a perpetual attitude of praise for God’s love and care, to which we join ourselves, praying, more precisely, with them rather than to them. The value of our petitions is that they turn us in confidence toward the God who loves us, allowing God’s work to be more effective in us, and thru us in others.

It would be anathema to ask God to try any harder to do good. By invocation of a saint “we take refuge in faith in the all-enfolding community of all the redeemed,” where “each is responsible for all”. They are “creative models of holiness”.

Islam

Main articles: Shafa’ah and Tawassul

Although the idea of intercession or mediation (Arabic: s̲h̲afāʿa) has historically played a very prominent role in Islamic thought, it is not universally accepted by all Muslims in the present day.

The Quran says that the pre-Islamic Arab pagan gods will not be able to intercede with God on behalf of humankind, and that “the guilty” (al-mujrimīn,) will not benefit from any intercession on the Day of Judgment. Other passages that deny the efficacy intercession include. Still others say that God is the only intercessor.

However, “intercession is mentioned in the Qurʾān with respect to angels praying for the believers and the Prophet praying for erring but repentant Muslims.” Furthermore, it became an orthodox Islamic doctrine or “cardinal belief” that “Muḥammad will intercede for all Muslims on the Day of Resurrection.” While this particular tenet practically remained unchallenged throughout Islamic history, the widespread Sunni and Shia practice of asking deceased prophets and saints for intercession by praying at their tombs have become contentious issues in the modern Islamic world, with all these different types of intercession often being labelled by Salafi/Wahhabi Muslims as a type of polytheism, in a manner akin to the attitude of many Protestants towards the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox practice of saint-intercession. In prophetic sayings there is intercession of martyrs for “seventy relatives” in the Hereafter.

Some religions claim that praying for somebody who is sick can have positive effects on the health of the person being prayed for.

Meta-studies of the literature in the field have been performed showing evidence only for no effect or a potentially small effect. For instance, a 2006 meta analysis on 14 studies concluded that there is “no discernible effect” while a 2007 systemic review of intercessory prayer reported inconclusive results, noting that 7 of 17 studies had “small, but significant, effect sizes” but the review noted that the most methodologically rigorous studies failed to produce significant findings.

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Does Jesus really want us to believe that our enemies are our parents, children, family or friends? Somehow, I don’t think so! It is really about priorities. Have you ever chosen to watch a sports program when your child wanted to talk to you? What about not sitting at the table for meals because a special game is on? We are called on to make choices all the time. We can choose God, or we can choose other. Is that late night party worth missing church? We can talk all we want about being too busy, but the truth is that we find the time for what we want to do. I love to read, knit, spend time with my friends and I hate doing the laundry, dishes, vacuuming, but it all needs to be done. I would rather pick up a good book than exercise. I can say that I am “too busy” to do the things I don’t enjoy doing, but the truth is, I choose to spend my time in other ways. The same is true about putting God first. A friend that is always put last doesn’t remain a friend for long. When it comes to God, we know he will never desert us, but what about our turning our backs on him? We know what we must do – put God first and then everything else falls into place. Even carrying the crosses each of us must bear in life is easier because we know we don’t have to do it alone. Sometimes we may have to disappoint a child or friend because we choose to do the right thing, but that is the price of being a disciple of Jesus.

Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

It is amazing how selfish we can be sometimes. A line of traffic on a busy street. We’ve been waiting for what seems like forever at a traffic light. Out of the corner of our eye, we see a car trying to pull out of a parking lot, the driver desperately looking for an opening. We avert our eyes and grip the steering wheel, determined not to give an inch. Someone else can make that sacrifice. Selfish, our selfish nature makes it very difficult to understand the great sacrifice Christ made for us. When we were useless sinners, when we were absolutely powerless, He chose to die for us. Sinners….who hated God, who delighted in the very things God hates. He died for us. It’s hard to get our selfish brains wrapped around that notion. We were on the verge of perishing and He gave Himself away to save us. Who does that? What a great friend Christ is to us! That He would lay down His life to save such selfish, sinful beings.That is what is most amazing about His sacrifice. If we had all been good, righteous people–then perhaps it is understandable that He would be willing to die for us. But we were ungodly. And He STILL died for us. The depth of His love was such that, even in our sin, He loved us and died for us. He took our sin upon Himself. He knew about everything we ever did or ever would do. It didn’t matter. He did it anyway. His unwavering love for us sent him to the cross.

In this scripture, Jesus explains to His disciples (including us), that He chose us. Traditionally, in Jewish culture, a person would choose his own Teacher. In this case, Jesus makes it clear that these disciples were chosen by the Teacher, instead. This applies to us today as well. Christ has chosen us; we didn’t choose Him first. Not only has He chosen us, He has ordained us to be fruitful, meaning that we are to be productive and successful in spreading the Gospel. We were set apart for this purpose by Christ. Christ expects this fruit to “remain” or be permanent. Whatever good work we do for the Kingdom should be lasting and eternal. When we bear good fruit in this way, the consequences are that our prayers will be answered by God. Christ tells us that whatever we ask in His name will be done. This is an encouraging promise, that both gives us validation and shows us our purpose in this life.

Lord, I thank You for choosing me and ordaining me. Help me to spread the Gospel far and wide in such a way that it makes an eternal impact on people’s lives. I thank You that You will hear and answer my prayers as I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

GOD CAN SHIFT YOU FROM WAITING ON IT TO WALKING IN IT!

If God has asked you to lay something down or pick something up — I promise you that in due time you will see the fruit of that decision. You will never ever regret obeying Him no matter how extreme, crazy, hard or illogical it might look. — it’s worth it every single time! Before […]

GOD CAN SHIFT YOU FROM WAITING ON IT TO WALKING IN IT!

And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. Ezekiel!

In this passage, we see a God who is not too happy with His chosen people. Because of their disobedience, they have blackened the name of the Lord. His reputation has been smeared among the heathen people of the area. He tells Isaiah to give His people a message: that He plans to restore His own name. He will ensure that these people know that He is God. Wow! Wouldn’t it be an awful thing to let God down in this way? To “profane” His name among His enemies? Sadly, we do the same thing when we don’t give Him the honor that is due Him while we are among his enemies in the world. When we allow people to speak against Him, or when we fail to lift Him up in their presence, we blacken His name. We cause Him to have to “vindicate the Holiness” of His own name, because we have refused to make His name holy. What a dreadful and treacherous decision! To put ourselves is such a position is a foolish thing indeed.

The entire book of Romans 8 about the assurance of salvation. Every Christian wants to be assured that he is actually saved. Many people wander around “in the flesh” believing that they’re saved, but if they read this chapter, it becomes the actual measure of salvation. It is a really good chapter to read if you want the assurance that you are indeed saved. This particular verse says that those who are walking in the spirit of God are the sons of God. If we’re led by the Spirit of God, what does that mean? What Paul is trying to tell us here is that if we are walking in the spirit of God, then we are actually going to kill the sin in our lives. We’re going to want it dead in order to please God, to glorify Him. You see, people who are not in the spirit, who were still walking in the flesh don’t really want to kill their sin. People who lie don’t want to stop lying; people who gossip don’t want to stop gossiping. If they do put on some semblance of killing their sin, it’s just so they’ll look better– not because they want to please God, Paul tells us here that if we truly want to be the sons of God, the children of God, then we are going to be led by the spirit. So one assurance of our salvation is this: we ask ourselves the question, “Am I trying to kill my own sin because I want to please God?” If the answer to that question is “yes,” then you are the child of God. That is evidence that the spirit lives in You because only the spirit in You would want to put an end to the sin in Your life. If you want assurance of salvation, look within to see what your motivations are for ending your own sin.

Father, I want to make Your name Holy. I want to be Your champion and tell the world of Your goodness and righteousness. Help me not to cower in the face of Your enemies, but to stand up and defend Your honor. Help me to be strong, even when I am afraid of the adversaries around me. With Your help and with Your power, You will never have to clean up a mess I have made of Your name. Amen.

TOP 99 Favorite Bible Verses That Every Christian Should Know By Heart

Okay, over the past 6 months many of you AMAZING Christians that read my blog have contacted me and informed me of your favorite books of the Bible, Bible prayers, and today I’d like to share with you the 99 bible verses that have been shared with me the most! I’m certain that a few […]

TOP 99 Favorite Bible Verses That Every Christian Should Know By Heart

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 1:4

And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

But if ye will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall the hand of the LORD be against you, as it was against your fathers.

Famine, war, captivity…these are all the consequences of rebellion the people of Israel experienced. The Old Testament has example after example of the Lord turning his hand against those who did not obey him. It can be easy for us to judge these Old Testament citizens, but if we look closely at our own hearts, we will see that there have been times when we have disobeyed and rebelled against the Lord’s commandments. Rather than judging the Old Testament body, we should use their experiences as a guide. Rather than continuing in sin and having God subject us to his wrath, we should seek his face.

The early Christians were known by the example they showed in how they loved one another. In this short passage, we learn that they shared what they had so that no one went without. If we read further in chapter 4 we hear of how they sold their possessions and turned in their monies so that the apostles could distribute it according to one’s needs. Does this sound like the Christians of today?

Actually, it does describe Christians living in the poorer countries of the world. Many missionaries have described the welcome they have received and the good will of the people in the poor countries where they have served. I experienced the same on a mission trip to Haiti, one of the poorest countries in the world. In the wealthier countries, keeping what they have seems more important than sharing with others. People are willing to donate what is not longer useful, clothing they have outgrown, furniture they need to replace, other items they no longer have room for, even cars that no longer work. But, are they willing to rent an apartment at a lower rate so that a poor family can live safely? They might rent to a low income family but usually with a government subsidy so they don’t lose any money. The rich can seem to feel that it’s their right to keep whatever they’ve earned – which is not actually wrong, but what of their responsibility to help the needy?

In the Gospel, Jesus points out clearly talks about our responsibility to the poor and the vulnerable, a preferential option for the poor. What about us?

Often we focus on the great, unearned, unlimited mercy God has shown us. Now we need to consider how we have shown mercy to others – and maybe even to ourselves! Where do you have a problem with being merciful? It could be with forgiveness, compassion for those who suffer from addictions, or who beg, or we might not be welcoming to the stranger. Each of us has a problem with someone or something. I worked in retail during high school and college and then married into the world of retail. One of my problems is having patience with store salespeople who are rude or who don’t have a clue about the products they are selling. I try. There are members of my family who don’t speak to one another. I know people who are so unforgiving that it interferes with their relationships.

God is merciful to us when we don’t know what we’re doing. He sends us help when we are lost. He forgives us over and over again. I also know people who continue to carry their past mistakes with them to the point where they can’t move forward in their lives. God has forgiven them, why is it that they can’t forgive themselves? Today, think about the areas of your life where God has shown you mercy, and then look at the areas where you need to pass that mercy on to someone else – or maybe decide that it’s time you put down your own baggage and forgive yourself. With God’s help, we can grow in our ability to share the mercy we have been shown with others and so relieve them of some of the pain they may be carrying.

Each time the Lord saved them, they poured out their thanks and let everyone know what God had done for them. It is now the Easter season, and we need to be just as enthusiastic in our thanks and praise as the Israelites. If they were grateful for the victories won for them, how much more should we be for Jesus winning the victory over sin and death. This is a battle that has won a victory for all people for all time. Never again will this battle have to be fought, and we didn’t have to fight it, Jesus did it all. There is a hymn that I’ve sung every year at the Baptist church during the celebration of the Seven Last Words on Good Friday that is called just that: “Jesus Did it All.” Not only did he do it all, but by his resurrection he let us know that the victory was won, the gates of heaven were opened and the power of Satan had been defeated. All we have to do is live each day following in the footsteps of Christ and accept the gift we have been offered. Why do we hold back? Do we take our faith so for granted that we no longer feel the need to say thanks? This year, let it be different and let those around you know of your gratitude for the victory won for you and for them.

Isn’t it amazing that God has the power to do great things through us? He pours His Spirit out and through Him alone, men and women are able to do things that they could never do apart from God. God can do anything. He has the power to move mountains, to speak His words through Humans, and to do great works in and through us. God is truly amazing!

I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.

Here Jesus talks to His Father one of His final prayers on this earth. In this verse, He refers to the work He has completed. He knows that His time on earth has come to an end. He has reviewed His life and He says, essentially, “Father, I’ve done the best I can. There is nothing more for me to do here. I’ve prepared them as well as possible. It’s time to do this thing I came here to do.” And with that, it begins. The greatest act of love known to mankind is about to unfold.

What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

One of Kari Jobe’s most famous songs is “You are for Me.” Based on this passage, the song emphasizes the love of a God who is faithful on our side. No matter what goes on in our lives, He is there. Paul makes an important argument here: God gave His own Son for us. How can He not be on our side? He chose us. Every decision we make, every step that we take, God is with us. He sees our going out and our coming in. He sees when we fall and when we fail and He still is on our side, with unconditional love. It doesn’t matter what the world has said about us. It doesn’t matter what we sometimes say about ourselves. He, the Lord of All, is for us. He’s in our corner and with God in our corner, who dares to be against us.

Lord, I thank You for what You did for me at Calvary. You gave Your life for me. You loved me unconditionally. You suffered and died for me. Help me to be worthy of Your sacrifice. Amen.

Dear God, you are holy and you are jealous. When we are tempted to disobey your commands, remind us of the Israelites and the ways they suffered because of sin. Remind us that sometimes we must be disciplined to learn a lesson, but help us to learn this lesson from those who went before us rather than having to walk through it ourselves. Forgive us for our sins, O Lord. Do not turn your hand against us. Please extend mercy on your children. In Jesus’ name, amen. Lord, I believe that You have the power to do mighty works in and through me. I believe that You work through Your Church in mysterious ways. I give my life to You to do whatever You want in and through me. You are mighty and wonderful. Your ways are mysterious, and I praise You for Your great works. In Jesus’ name. Amen. Father, I know that You are for me. I know that You have my best interest in Your heart. You gave up Your own Son to give me life and I thank You. If You are for me, then no one can be against me. Amen.

The Fathers Glory! Lord, may You always be glorified. Help me to reveal Your glory in all that I do, so that not only Your glory, but the glory of the Father is made known to the world. Amen.

Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.

When Paul preached at Thessalonica, many believed and came to Christ. This included a number of Greeks and a number of prominent and influential women. The Greeks would have had a completely different religion, believing in multiple gods, and yet they believed. Paul himself said that he was not a good preacher. It seems unlikely that these Greek men and women would believe, and yet they did. Maybe you’ve wanted to try something for God but it seems impossible. God works in miracles and all things are possible through Him. Give it some thought and prayer, and then have courage.

In His final hours, Jesus asks His Father to allow the world to see His glory. Not because of who He is, but because of who God is. His glory is God’s glory. He asks that God allows His glory to be revealed through the sacrifice of His son, who will shortly give His life for the lost. He asks God’s glory to be revealed so that everyone will know the incredible nature of the sacrifice, and experience hope for a new life.

Once I was working with a group of teenagers and had given them a project where they needed to make a picture to illustrate one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit and they needed to work on it in teams. One of the teams had a young man who never wanted to get involved, didn’t contribute to the class and was not particularly liked by the other kids. This day, however, his artistic ability made him the hero of the team! The team came up with such a wonderful poster that the both his attitude and that of the class towards him changed for the rest of the year. It’s easy to miss something of value that’s right in front of our eyes. Peter is talking to the chief priests and scribes about their ignorance of Jesus’ true nature and mission. We may also overlook someone who could be a leader if we looked more closely at the individual and didn’t judge on appearance. I’ve become a fan of applying for jobs online as long as they don’t ask for a picture. Of course there will always be a face to face interview before the final hiring, but at least competent people won’t be overlooked because the picture doesn’t match the image the boss had in mind. Not that long ago, women were told they weren’t capable of doing many jobs they now have – doctors, mechanics, military personnel, etc. And men were seldom hired to teach young children. Just as the Jewish leaders were blinded by their own preconceived ideas, we can be too if we’re not careful.

Heavenly Father, I want to serve You. Lay on my heart how You want me to serve You. I will go where You want me to go. Stay where You want me to stay, and speak what You tell me to say. Lord, give me confirmation and then courage. Things may seem unlikely or impossible, but I know all things are possible with You. Lead me by Your Holy Spirit. I will follow. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Thanking the Father

The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.

Paul says here that husbands and wives do not have the right to deny each other marital relations; but that they can by common agreement for a time, abstain, in order to focus on the Lord in fasting and prayer. But that time should not be too long or they might be tempted by Satan.

Lord, let us find time to focus on you every day and during special times to do so even more intensely. Let us be realistic about our own weakness and proneness to temptations. Let our marriages be strong and our relationship with you be strong as well. Amen.

Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. The Word of the Lord in Jesus name Amen.

It is important to have attitude of gratitude and an eagerness to praise God because time He has always shown and proven his faithfulness. God is the God above all. He created the heavens, the earth, the universe, and He still knows you by name. Isn’t that amazing?

Jesus has just cured a man who had been unable to walk for 38 years, lying beside the healing waters of Bethesda with no one to put him into the water. After Jesus heals him, he finds him to warn him against sinning. Does this seem weird? Well, let’s think about it. A man who can’t walk can’t get into too much trouble. Now, he has choices and he may be tempted to make poor ones. God answers our prayers too. When we are in trouble and praying for God’s help, our focus is on God and trying to work things out. Once everything is great again, we often forget about God and get back into the same trouble or worse. Many people have prayed to become rich, to win a lottery or get an inheritance, and then what happens? In the majority of cases, the money can lead to a spending spree, a dissatisfaction with one’s spouse, job, home, etc, and the person loses what he has gained and more as the family, the job, the home, etc. are now gone. God’s message to the man who was healed is the same for us. Just as we turn to God in times of trouble, we must not turn away from God when all is going well.

Dear God, no one can compare to your greatness. There is no one, not a single being, in this universe that can try to stand up to you. I pray that all the earth will come to the knowledge of your greatness, O God, and that we will all come to worship you and give you the praise that is truly due to you. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.

I imagine that you may have heard the famous quote, “Keep your friends close and enemies closer.” This quote has more nefarious intentions, but Jesus wants us to keep our enemies close for positive reasons: simply put, we can help them. It is our duty to love our enemies as ourselves in order to set an example, because an example was sent to earth for us in Jesus Christ. Honor his death by living as he did, sacrificing himself to his enemies so that they too, could be forgiven.

O heavenly Father, you sent your only son into the den of his enemies, sacrificing him so that we could understand your true love for us. This is the love I wish to spread to all people, my Lord, and I am sorry for being weak and selfish so often when I should help even my enemies, for they may need it the most. I thank you every moment of my life for sending Jesus as an example for me, and I shall do all that I can to follow his ways. I pray in honor of Jesus’ holy name. Amen.

Jesus, I thank You for Your fervent prayer which unites me not only with You, but with Your Father and my Father. Help me to see the extraordinary love He has for me, and that You have for me. I am eternally grateful for Your intercession on my behalf. Amen.

Lord, Thank you for caring for me, for providing for my needs, for making me feel safe and protected. In You I see my true worth. I am treasured by You and Your love gives me confidence. In You, I am everything. Amen.

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This is a praise of joy in the Lord. The writer of this Psalm rejoices in the Lord. So should we. We should exalt in the Lord, the Highest. He is all things to us. We should praise His Holy name forever. He is worthy of all praise. Praise is one of the most powerful weapons against the enemy that we possess. When we praise, we affect ourselves, God, the enemy. When we praise, walls fall and troubles disappear. The lack of praise conversely affects everything in your life. While almost everyone would agree that praise is a good thing, many people don’t see the responsibility to praise God even when we don’t feel like it. When we give this “sacrifice” of praise unto God, we are overcomers. Praise comes naturally when we recognize the goodness in our lives. We should make it a point to praise Him every day.

The Christian life is a wondrous adventure, full of twists and turns, good times and also difficult challenges. Through all of it, God’s Word is our greatest resource for insight, wisdom, hope, and guidance. Every problem we face has its solution in the Word of God. Where there is a need for comfort, peace, or courage, He provides it. To find His wisdom, there is simply no substitute for spending time alone with Him in prayer and the study of His Scriptures. Each year I receive countless letters from people who ask if there is a way for them to know God’s will for their lives. The answer is yes. But before He will reveal this to us, we need to get to know Him—the way He thinks, acts, and demonstrates His love for us.

Are you tired of trying to overcome sin on your own? Are you worn out from trying to be perfect, in your own power? Have you tried to be righteous on your own and found yourself seriously wanting? Here is the good news: you don’t have to do this on your own. Jesus Christ paid the price for us, so that we could be saved from our sin, and so that we could also be partakers of the Father’s inheritance. The life of Christ is an unburdened life, filled with rest and blessed assurance.

Dear God, I thank you for the rest and peace I have in you as a result of what your son, Jesus Christ, did for me. Lord, I have struggled with my sin and I have grown weary from trying to be perfect on my own. Thank you, Father, for removing the burden from my shoulders and helping me overcome my struggles. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Even Jesus rested, and He encouraged his apostles to rest. He wanted them to take breaks and rest. To take the time to go away and eat. There is nothing wrong with needing rest. God meant for us to take a Sabbath just as He did. He created the world in six days, and He rested on the seventh. You are not greater than God; take a rest.

Even Jesus rested, and He encouraged his apostles to rest. He wanted them to take breaks and rest. To take the time to go away and eat. There is nothing wrong with needing rest. God meant for us to take a Sabbath just as He did. He created the world in six days, and He rested on the seventh. You are not greater than God; take a rest.

Lord, I thank You for Your Spirit, who intercedes for me in my time of need. When I don’t know what to pray or how to pray, Your Spirit steps in and takes my petition directly to You. I am not left floundering for words and praying ineffectively. Your Spirit knows what I need and makes sure that my petition reaches You. Amen.

If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

1 And the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God finished his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. 3 And God blessed the seventh day, and hallowed it; because that in it he rested from all his work which God had created and made. 4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that Jehovah God made earth and heaven. 5 And no plant of the field was yet in the earth, and no herb of the field had yet sprung up; for Jehovah God had not caused it to rain upon the earth: and there was not a man to till the ground; 6 but there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. 7 And Jehovah God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. 8 And Jehovah God planted a garden eastward, in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 And out of the ground made Jehovah God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 10 And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became four heads. 11 The name of the first is Pishon: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; 12 and the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone. 13 And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Cush. 14 And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth in front of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates. 15 And Jehovah God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. 16 And Jehovah God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. 18 And Jehovah God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him. 19 And out of the ground Jehovah God formed every beast of the field, and every bird of the heavens; and brought them unto the man to see what he would call them: and whatsoever the man called every living creature, that was the name thereof. 20 And the man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the heavens, and to every beast of the field; but for man there was not found a help meet for him. 21 And Jehovah God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof: 22 and the rib, which Jehovah God had taken from the man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23 And the man said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. 25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

Moses is giving the Israelites his final teaching and advice before they enter the Promised Land. He is reminding them of all the blessings the Lord has bestowed on them from the time he rescued them from Egypt. Moses knows he will not be entering the Promised Land with them because he has displeased God. He also knows that it is important for them to remember these blessings so that they might remain faithful to the commandments. We know from reading Scripture that the Israelites did forget, did disobey, did not remain faithful to the commandments. Jesus commented that the Pharisees of his day obeyed the human laws more than God’s laws. What of us today? Do we keep the commandments? I have mentioned before, that many of us consider the commandments “suggestions” or commandments for only the time in which they were given. But think of the discord caused by dishonesty, greed and abuse of authority. Moses’ advice to the Israelites is just as true today as it was millennia ago. Following God’s law is just as important now as it was then. As we proceed through Lent, let us read again Moses’ address to the people in Deuteronomy.

This is not an easy commandment to live up to for any man. Any comparison to Jesus is one that we can never live up to, but should always be our goal. Love your wives as Jesus loved the church. She will certainly be a lucky woman!

Lord in Heaven, Jesus Christ, I am so lucky to be a member of your holy family. My only wish in this prayer is that I can create a family in your image, and love each member as you have loved me. Amen.

When we’re going through storms of life, hurricanes of emotion, and waves of wallowing, we need faith in God’s power in order to stay calm. God can still the storms and hush the hurricanes in our lives if we trust him and pour out our hearts to him.

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

Our human vocabularies are vast. Most adults know 20,000-35,000 words in their native language. Avid readers probably know substantially more. That’s a lot of words! But even with those vast vocabularies, there are moments when words elude us. Sometimes this happens when we pray. Sometimes our need is so great that we cannot find the words to express it in our own language. That is when the Holy Spirit steps in and intercedes for us. He searches our hearts and our minds and sees what we need. He translates that need directly to God, in a language that only God understands. In a sense, the Holy Spirit becomes a “code talker.” His transmission by-passes our human brain and his code–the “wordless groans”–is unintelligible to the Adversary. In this way, the Holy Spirit helps us when we don’t know how to help ourselves.

If we hang our hopes only on this temporary world, we are pitiful this world is full of disappointments. We are bound to be let down time and again when we place our hope only in this world that we live in. Everything on this earth will come to an end. Nothing here lasts. There has to be something more. Something greater than what we know in the here and now. Something that endures. There waits for us a hope greater than anything we know on this earth and that is the hope we find in Christ and in our place with Him in eternity. His resurrection has paved the way for our own. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain when we set our hopes on the world beyond this one.

Today, Christianity is divided. I’m not necessarily speaking about denominational differences because as long as a denomination is accurately presenting Jesus’ message of the Good News, there is no problem. The problem comes when people who call themselves “Christian” preach and teach a false gospel. Just as there were Jewish leaders who tried to challenge Jesus in his own time because they didn’t like what he was teaching, there are people today who don’t want to follow the totality of his message. We learn from Paul that there is “One Lord, One Faith and One Baptism, One Lord of All.” If this is true, then why do we consider one baptism more valid than another? If the Lord is Lord of all, then why do some claim to belong more to the Lord than others?

Paul, in his first letter to the Corinthians, chastises them for their divisions saying, “I am of Paul and I am of Apollos,” etc. Paul reminds them that if they were baptized into Christ, that should be the end of it. It doesn’t matter who led you to Christ, it’s more important that we came to him. Let us work together to help end a spirit of division among all of us who are blessed to be baptized into Christ Jesus, our Lord.

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