“It Should Be Me!”

It should be me there on that tree
to perish for all eternity.
Bearing the burdens of all my wrongs,
crying and wailing the sinner’s song.

It should be me who suffered on that night
bearing the brunt of the whipper’s stripes.
But when He looked down through the ages,
passing by the kings, wise men, and sages,
He saw something special in me
that compelled Him to still mount that tree.

It should be me who readily paid the cost
because I was the one that was truly lost.
But Jesus didn’t see it that way,
which is why on this earth He could not stay.
Doing all at the Father’s holy will,
mounting higher and higher on Calvary’s hill.
He was lifted up that we might be free,
to draw men to Himself, that was the key.

It should be me is what we need to say,
because we are the sheep that have gone astray.
Doing everything in our own stubborn way,
far from the King’s heavenly highway.
But Jesus stepped in looking down from the cross,
viewing with battered eyes all that were lost.
He and His Father they did agree,
for the world to be saved, it should be Me!

 Thank you, Jesus, for stepping in for me!

 John 3:17  “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”

John 10:17-18 “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.  No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.”

Mark 10:45 “For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

John 6:38 “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.”

Text Free Photo: Pixabay/geralt

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“A Prayer for Today . . .”

My Project 442-001

 

Father God,

We don’t always understand why we have to hurt the way we do. We don’t always know the reason behind suffering, anguish and pain. But, Father, one thing we do know is You are sovereign. Every tear that we cry and every sorrow that pierces our heart, You know all about it. We struggle with the if’s, and’s and but’s, but You are He who knows the beginning from the end and the right now’s of this life. Even when we don’t fully comprehend it all, let us find our trust and our peace in You.

Please touch and bless the bereaved families everywhere on today. Comfort the brokenhearted and set the captives free. Cast off yokes of heaviness and let the hurting feel Your presence in the midst of the pain. Cover and protect Your people, O God, in the mighty name of Jesus Christ, we pray, Amen!

“Know That God Hears!”

“I called on the LORD in distress; the LORD answered me and set me in a broad place,”  Psalm 118:5, NKJV

It was one of those moments in prayer when you could utter no words, tearing streaming down your face, and only one phrase keeps repeating itself in the heart. That was me one night and try as I might to redirect my prayer, the Holy Spirit within me kept drawing me back to Psalm 118:5. I couldn’t get past it. After several attempts to lead my own prayer, I acquiesced.

There had to be a reason why my heart stayed so solely on this one verse. A revelation struck in the midst, telling me that I needed to be reassured that God hears me.  Sometimes the heart, as faithful as it can be, needs the additional support of knowing God hears.

“I called on the LORD!” God has so many wonderful characteristics and attributes, but one of the things that always strikes me as impressive is the fact that He hears my prayers, Psalm 54:2. In all lowliness of mind and heart, we come before Him freely. The Sovereign of the universe becomes attentive to us, to our needs, and bows down His ear to take on our concerns. He doesn’t have to but He is mindful of us, Psalm 8:4. He centers Himself to focus wholly and completely on us.

“The LORD answered me!” God responds! Our deepest heart’s desires do not fall on deaf ears. God is not playing cat and mouse with us. He wants us to seek Him that He may be found. “Seek the LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near,” (Isaiah 55:6, NKJV). Then, He can respond!

How would we receive it if God verbally and clearly answered us? I, honestly, would probably freak out. But, answer us He does! How often have we gone in prayer, and the Sovereign of the universe has moved and acted on our behalf? Too many times to count! Often in my prayers, I am always thanking Him for inter-weaving Himself through every area of my life because I may not have heard an answer, but I can see His response. I can see Him moving mountains and obstacles. I can feel Him bringing peace in the midst of the storm. I wonder at His glorious love for us that causes Him to respond.

“Set me in a broad place.” Distressing times are tight. It feels as though you really can’t move this way or that. You feel locked in and bound up as if unseen shackles are imprisoning you. But, when God answers prayer, you feel release. You feel a freedom that was once a dream. It no longer feels like the walls are caving in on you, rather with a Herculean strength of the spirit, you feel like you can now push some stuff out of your life and move on.

My heavenly Father hears me! There’s no need to get too deep with words here. Sometimes we just need to be reassured of these old, simple truths. God hears me! Take that, and go in the peace of God today.

“There is power in prayer!”

“Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.” Acts 12:5 (read Acts 12:1-11)

 

Martin Luther is quoted as saying, “To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.” Why is that? Because as breath is with the body, with each inhale and exhale one’s life is sustained; so is the prayer line that fosters that interpersonal relationship between God and man. It is not only life-sustaining, but it’s soul-sustaining keeping that glorious love connection betwixt the two opened and flowing.

Prayer is and of itself a discipline where one places themselves at the feet of the Almighty; to draw near to Him; to get to know Him more. Yet, prayer is often as well a plea of desperation when the times and trials of this life are too hard to bear. When we are at the end of our rope; or, when we just don’t understand what is happening or the road we should take – we pray.

We pray because deep within ourselves we know that try as we might, we can find no better help. Nor, is there any higher intervention than that which comes from God. Therefore, through prayer, we seek the release of His help and power into our problems, our lives, and the lives of those whom we intercede for.

Prayer is, and becomes, that connective key where God and man meet to converse on an intimate level, recognizing His greatness and sovereignty in the midst of our humanness and weaknesses.

And, this is what the church was hoping for when they offered up prayers on behalf of Peter who was now in prison. By this time persecution was not a new thing to the church. Throughout the Book of Acts, there are uprisings against the faith. The idea of the church enduring hardship was not going away anytime soon.

As a matter of fact, James, one of Jesus’s original disciples, was killed in the process by the sword (beheading, some say). Then, seeking, even more, favor among men, Herod proceeded further in attacking the church and imprisoning Peter also.

The Bible tells us, “Prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him,” (Acts 12:5). This is the epitome of what it means when the Psalmist declared, “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD. . .” (Psalm 121:1-2a).

Pain and suffering were taking place in the church but hope was not lost because their hope was not in the circumstances that surrounded them – their hope was in God who reigned above them.

Therefore, they prayed!

Don’t tell me prayer doesn’t matter; that it doesn’t make a difference. Yes, it does! God will literally make chains fall off and set captives free through the power of prayer (as He does for Peter here).

Unbeknownst to Peter, God heard their prayers and He was working on his case. Peter, shackled and asleep between two soldiers, was about to experience a miraculous breakthrough of a lifetime. He may have been appointed to be kept under the guard of four squads of four soldiers each; but, Peter had just one God that would step in and free him from their midst.

See, it doesn’t matter how bad they have you wrapped up, God can break through it all. It doesn’t matter how many chains and shackles the enemy will try to place on you, prayer to the right Source; to God alone, will free you from their hold.

Peter was getting an up close and personal lesson in this area. God sent an angel to come to Peter in the night. With light filling the prison house the angel stood before Peter and aroused him from his sleep by hitting him on his side.  He spoke, “Arise up quickly,” (Acts 12:7). And, immediately his chains fell off.

Through the initial intervention of prayer, God was literally breaking chains off of Peter to set him free! You have to get happy about that and feel it in your spirit what God wants to do for His people. God will move and instruct His heavenly hosts to work on your behalf as He did for Peter through the power of prayer.  Never underestimate the power of God. He can do “exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think,” (Ephesians 3:20).

The church was praying corporately and God was listening attentively, and He was working it out. When the shackles fell from his hands, the angel then instructed Peter to get himself together and put his shoes on and to follow him (Acts 12:8).

Acts 12:10 tells us, “When they were past the first, and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him.” Amazing!  You have to admire the beauty of it all coming together. God not only freed him, but took him past one enemy, and then another enemy. He took him through the prison and out the huge iron gate unknown to anyone. This blew my mind. None of the enemies had a clue to what God was up to in freeing Peter. I don’t know if they were all in a heavy sleep or not, but God did it. He freed Peter.

Peter’s freedom was spawned through the prayers of the church. Yes, God could most certainly move without the intervention of anyone. But, here in these verses, a special note was made to stand out that when they prayed; when they got together collectively and on one accord to seek for Peter’s freedom, that’s when the miracle happened. God wants us to know the importance and the power of prayer. He said, “Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me,” (Psalms 50:15).

Prayer was a huge key at work in the moving and miracles of the first-century church and it should be a huge key at work in our current lives and ministries as well. Paul later teaches, “I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting,” (1 Timothy 2:8). There is never a wrong time or place to pray. And, when you pray – BELIEVE! Believe that He hears, and believe that He will answer as He sees fit.

Your prayers DO make a difference. There is power in prayer! “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (Matthew 7:7-11).

God made the impossible happen for Peter and He can do so in the church today. People can be freed. Chains can be broken. Ministries can flourish through the power of prayer. Prayer never hurts anyone, but it can always help everyone.  We are told, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit,” (James 5:16-18).

What can you do through your prayer life?

Trust and believe that your prayers are never wasted; that there is power in prayer. Prayer can reach where physically we cannot. Prayer can go behind the veil into the throne room of God. Think about that for a second and let it sink in. Didn’t the book of Hebrews tell us, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)? This is done through prayer.

We are not alone in this life. Our way of viewing things and situations can become impaired in our day to day struggles. We may feel like we don’t have power to do anything; as if we are in the dark, but prayer offers a light of hope.

Whether falling on our knees or reverently and silently offering up with heart pleas and thanksgivings to God, your prayers matter.

We serve a God who wants to hear from us and invites us to pray.  We will never know all the ins and outs of why God answers some prayers immediately, and why with some He chooses a different course. But, I do know this; prayer is never wasted, nor is it a waste of time. God hears each and every petition. He’s paying attention to the cause of His people. Don’t be discouraged if it seems like it’s not coming through for you like you want it to. God may have a greater course of destination in mind. Just hold on, keep the faith, and never stop praying. There is power in prayer!

 

I believe in the power of prayer! | 10 Great Prayer Verses | National Day of Prayer

I believe in the power of prayer! Handle life and every situation with a prayerful heart. #NationalDayOfPrayer

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” Philippians 4:6

“Pray without ceasing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17

“Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.” Colossians 4:2; NLT

“If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” Matthew 7:11

“And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” Matthew 21:22

“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” Ephesians 6:18

“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 7:14

“The LORD has heard my cry for mercy; the LORD accepts my prayer.” Psalm 6:9; NIV

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” 1 John 5:14-15

“But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.” Matthew 6:7-8

“Persistently Pray!”

 

Emergency Reminder:

“Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and he will answer from within and say, ‘Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you’?  I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs.

So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone?  Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish?  Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”

Luke 11:5-13, NKJV

Keep praying – Never give up!

Morning Prayer:

My Project 539-001

Today, Father God, we choose to lay these burdens at Your feet.  Amen!

“Dear God . . .”

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“The most important conversation you will have . . .”

We don’t pray to center ourselves or to seek something from the universe. We pray to talk to our Heavenly Father and to receive of Him in our lives. We pray one on One because we are His children; because we are in a covenant relationship that allows us to cry out, “Abba, Father!” (Galatians 4:6), making my conversation with God my most important conversation of the day.

Text Free Photo Credit: Pixabay

“PRAY!”

 

Have ever awakened to turn on the news only to hear of some horrific event that has taken place?  Upon hearing it, have you ever had the urge to run to the scene of said event to try to do something; to want to help some and get the situation back in order?

Me too.

Often, among devastation, life can make us feel as though we are limited in our options to do something.  But, the fact of the matter is you can do something.   Something that most count as the last option should actually be the first.

PRAY!

Prayer is powerful!  Prayer is authoritative!  And, prayer works!

“Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus,” Philippians 4:6-7.

NOTHING is out of the scope of God’s reach.  The worse world events can be made tame under the hand of a Sovereign God if He so wills.

Confident prayer that He hears and is able, makes a difference in life’s circumstances.  “If we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us,” 1 John 5:14.

You can do something.  To some, it may seem a trivial thing, but there is a real power in prayer.  Who knows what you can change when you approach Him with a heart that wants to intercede on behalf of others.

Be blessed.

Text Free Photo Credit: Pixabay