Praying for God, Country and Individuals

Praying for God, country, and individuals serves various purposes and is motivated by different aspects of faith and moral responsibility. Here are some reasons why people may choose to pray for these entities:

1. Connection with God:

   – Communion: Prayer is a means of communing with God, expressing gratitude, seeking guidance, and deepening one’s relationship with the divine.

  • “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” – Matthew 6:6 (NIV)
  • “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)

2. For the Country:

   – Peace and Well-being: Praying for the country often includes asking for peace, stability, and prosperity. Individuals may pray for their nation’s leaders, citizens, and overall welfare.

  • “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)
  • “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: ‘May those who love you be secure.'” – Psalm 122:6 (NIV)

   – Righteous Governance: People might pray for leaders to make just and wise decisions, following principles that align with ethical and moral values.

  • “When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan.” – Proverbs 29:2 (NIV)
  • “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” – 1 Timothy 2:1-2 (NIV)

3. For Individuals:

   – Healing and Comfort: Prayers for individuals often involve seeking healing, comfort, and strength during times of illness, distress, or sorrow.

  • “Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.” – James 5:14 (NIV)
  • “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” – Psalm 147:3 (NIV)

   – Guidance and Wisdom: Individuals may pray for themselves and others to receive guidance, wisdom, and discernment in making important life decisions.

  • “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” – James 1:5 (NIV)
  • “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” – Psalm 32:8 (NIV)

4. Altruism and Compassion:

   – Empathy: Praying for others reflects a sense of empathy and compassion, recognizing the interconnectedness of all people and expressing a desire for their well-being.

  • “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.” – Galatians 6:2 (NIV)
  • “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” – Romans 12:15 (NIV)

   – Love and Care: Praying for individuals, including those we may not know personally, demonstrates a commitment to love, care, and support one another.

  • “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” – John 13:34 (NIV)
  • “And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” – Colossians 3:14 (NIV)

5. Aligning with Spiritual Values:

   – Seeking God’s Will: Praying for God involves aligning oneself with God’s will and seeking to be instruments of divine purpose in the world.

  • “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” – 1 John 5:14 (NIV)
  • “Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.” – Psalm 143:10 (NIV)

   – Reflecting Virtues: Praying for the well-being of others reflects virtues such as kindness, humility, and selflessness, which are often central to various religious teachings.

  • “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” – Colossians 3:12 (NIV)
  • “Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.” – Philippians 4:5 (NIV)

6. Promoting Unity and Harmony:

   – Unity in Diversity: Praying for a country and its people can promote a sense of unity and harmony, encouraging individuals to focus on shared values and common goals.

  • “So in Christ Jesus, you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” – Galatians 3:26-28 (NIV)
  • “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” – Ephesians 4:3 (NIV)

   – Forgiveness and Reconciliation: Prayers may include requests for forgiveness, reconciliation, and the healing of divisions within communities and nations.

  • “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” – Matthew 6:14 (NIV)
  • “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” – Colossians 3:13 (NIV)

It’s important to note that the reasons for prayer is often seen as a way to express one’s faith, seek divine intervention, and contribute to the well-being of the broader community.



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Finding Peace in Times of Turmoil

Introduction:
In times of turmoil, finding inner peace can be challenging. Let’s explore some scriptures that remind us of God’s presence and promise of peace.

Scripture 1: Philippians 4:6-7
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Reflection:
When we bring our worries to God in prayer, He promises to give us a peace that surpasses human comprehension. Take a moment to reflect on a situation causing you anxiety and offer it up to God in prayer.

Scripture 2: Isaiah 26:3
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in you.”

Reflection:
Trusting in God and keeping our minds focused on Him brings about perfect peace. Consider areas in your life where you can redirect your thoughts to God’s faithfulness.

Scripture 3: John 14:27
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Reflection:
Jesus offers us a unique kind of peace that the world cannot provide. Meditate on the idea of receiving Jesus’ peace and allowing it to calm your fears.

Conclusion:
In the midst of life’s chaos, remember that God’s peace is available to us through prayer, trust, and reliance on Him. As you go about your day, hold onto these verses and allow them to guide you to a place of tranquility.

Closing Prayer:
Dear Heavenly Father, we thank you for your promise of peace in the midst of turmoil. Help us to trust in you and bring our worries to you in prayer. May your peace guard our hearts and minds as we navigate life’s challenges. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

May this devotional bring you comfort and encouragement as you seek God’s peace.


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EXCUSES

The next time you feel like God can’t use you, just remember this.

Noah was a drunk.

Abraham was too old.

Isaac was a daydreamer.

Jacob was a liar.

Leah was ugly.

Joseph was abused.

Moses had a stuttering problem.

Gideon was afraid.

Samson had long hair and was a womanizer.

Rahab was a prostitute.

Jeremiah and Timothy were too young

David has an affair and was a murderer

Elijah was suicidal

Isaiah preached naked.

Jonah ran from God.

Naomi was a widow.

Job went bankrupt

John the baptist eats bugs

Peter denied Christ.

The Disciples fell asleep while praying

Martha worried about everything

Mary Magdalene was, well, know

The Samaritan Woman was divorced … more than once!

Zaccheus was too small.

Paul was too religious

Timothy had an ulcer…

and

Lazarus was Dead!

No more excuses now, God’s waiting to use your full potential!



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Being the same

Hebrew 13:8(KJV) Jesus Christ, the Messiah, [is always] the same, yesterday, today, [yes] and forever —– to all ages.

Have you ever met someone at church, that was just “the ideal Christian.” Then you saw him/her in the complaint li at a return kine in a department store, and the way they were acting, you didn’t even want anyone to know that you knew them?

I think one of the greatest compliments my mother ever gave me before she wt to be with the Lord, is stat she said, I was the same no matter where I was at.

You know, there is freedom in being yourself. You don’t have to put a front or fake face on for anyone.

People will see your faults as well as your good points. You won’t have to worry about how you have to act around certain people or in certain places.

There is a balance to living the Christian life. If you make a mistake, so What? Just ask God to forgive you, get up, dust yourself off, and continue on your walk.

As long as you are doing the best you can, that is all God expects. Be the creation that God Almighty made. Be Yourself!!

Paul said, “we are to be imitators of Christ.” He is that same Yesterday, Today and Forever.



JOY

What do the scriptures tell us about Joy?

Wayne Thorn

Rev. Cecil W Thorn

In the New Testament letters, joy is a desired attribute of Christians. Paul expressed frequently the joy he had regarding the salvation of those he was writing to and prayed that they might be full of joy

JOY (שִׂמְחָה, simchah; χαρά, chara). Closely related to gladness and happiness, although joy is more a state of being than an emotion; a result of choice. One of the fruits of the spirit (Galatians 5:22–23(KJV)). Having joy is part of the experience of being a Christian.

Galatians 5:22–23 (ESV): 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Romans 15:13 (MESSAGE): Oh! May the God of great hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope!

Hope=Joy+Peace

The fruit of the Spirit is … joy: One of the greatest marketing strategies ever employed was to position the kingdom of Satan as the place where the fun is and the kingdom of God as the place of gloom and misery. But the fruit of the Spirit is joy.

i. We could say that this is the joy of the Spirit because it is a higher joy than just the thrill of an exciting experience or a wonderful set of circumstances. It is a joy that can abide and remain, even when circumstances seem terrible. Paul knew this joy personally; he could sing when manacled in a dark prison dungeon (Acts 16:25).

Acts 16:25 (KJV): 25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.

ii. Barclay on chara, the ancient Greek word used here for joy: “It is not the joy that comes from earthly things, still less from triumphing over someone else in the competition. It is a joy whose foundation is God.”

iii. “Believers are not dependent upon circumstances. Their joy comes not from what they have, but from what they are; not from where they are, but from whose they are; not from what they enjoy, but from that which was suffered for them by their Lord.” (Spurgeon)



God and Jesus and angels all back me up

1 Timothy 5:21-22(MESSAGE)

God and Jesus and angels all back me up in these instructions. Carry them out without favoritism, without taking sides. Don’t appoint people to church leadership positions too hastily. If a person is involved in some serious sins, you don’t want to become an unwitting accomplice. In any event, keep a close check on yourself. And don’t worry too much about what the critics will say.


WHATEVER IS HOLY

When we examine the eight uses of the word pure in the New Testament, we see that they fall neatly into two buckets: personal and relational. This word is used to describe either personal purity or purity that is seen only as we interact relationally with those around us. 

On a personal level, followers of Jesus are called to be pure in their conduct. Paul told Timothy, “Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, nor take part in the sins of others; keep yourself pure [hagnos—(pronounced hawg-NAHS)]” (1 Timothy 5:22(KJV)). The Greek version of the Old Testament sums up this idea when it says, “The way of the guilty is crooked, but the conduct of the pure [hagnos] is upright” (Proverbs 21:8(KJV)).

Each of these verses uses this concept of purity on a personal level. They refer to a believer’s conduct—the actions and behaviors they are to have. Our actions are to be unstained and “set apart” from the immoral craziness of the world around us. We show our purity in everything from our words to our sexuality to our honesty to our business ethics. We are to mimic the righteousness and set-apart nature of God himself.

Another equally important aspect of this call involves how we interact with those around us. James 3:17(KJV) lists relational traits that define what true wisdom looks like: “But the wisdom from above is first pure [hagnos], then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” These are all relational traits. You can’t demonstrate these traits without other people. 

Holiness is just as much a relational characteristic as it is a personal one. So which call is given in Philippians 4:8(KJV)? The verse tells us to think this way, but it’s one of those rare verses that doesn’t say whether this purity is personal or relational. In the absence of any contextual clues, combined with the fact that the concept appears in a generic list, we can only assume that the fullness of hagnos, in both it’s personal and its relational setting, must be in play. Bottom line: the call to think about “whatever is pure” means that we are to be good and relate well. These form the defining characteristics of our holiness. 

Devotional by Jamie Rasmussen [How joyful people think]


COMMENTARY

5:21 in the presence of God and Christ Jesus and the highest angels. In Greek, there is a single article before “God and Christ Jesus.” Paul was viewing God and Christ as a conceptual unit. The article is then repeated in front of “the holy angels” as a second witness to his charge.

holy angels, “chosen angels.” Israel was a chosen people (Rom 9:4(KJV)); Gentiles, in turn, became a “chosen people” (1 Pet 2:9(KJV); cf. Rom 11:7(KJV)) and believers God’s “chosen ones” (Mark 13:20(KJV)). This is the only place in the NT where angels are spoken of as “chosen.”

without taking sides, “without prejudging” (prokrima)—to draw a conclusion before all the facts are in evidence.

showing favoritism. The Greek word prosklisin means to incline toward something or someone. In the NT it bears a negative sense of bias or prejudice.

5:22 Never be in a hurry about appointing a church leader. Mē in Greek followed by the present imperative means to stop an action in progress. It implies that Timothy was hurrying to replace elders without due consideration.

appointing a church leader, “lay hands on.”

Do not share in the sins of others. Mē in Greek followed by the present imperative means to stop an action in progress.

Keep yourself pure. The word “pure” also occurs in 5:2, with respect to Timothy’s relationship with younger women.

Linda Belleville, “Commentary on 1 Timothy,” in Cornerstone Biblical Commentary: 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, and Hebrews, vol. 17 (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2009), 103.


Burning deadwood

As I look over the property making plans for improvements, I see several things that have to be accomplished before the vision can be revealed.

The list keeps increasing; underbrush, trees, and stumps that need removing along with leveling the ground.
As the cutting and burning of the dead forest wood and the trimmings from live trees and, also, the removal of overgrown bushes continue the tasks seem endless.
A constant reminder encourages that all the little things that seem to consume time will eventually be worth it.

The same goes with serving Jesus Christ, there are so many things to learn, so many things to change in our lives, attitude, habits, etc. All we can do is step onto the property and start picking up the deadwood building a fireplace and start the cleanup.

As the property, we work on shows improvement we need to rejoice and stay encouraged that we are growing closer to our “God-goals” each and every day!

God has a vision of our better self. If we just focus on God’s love for us, we begin to see why God loves us so much! Our lives begin to show us making better decisions, and prospering, and maybe others around us begin to see the difference. That’s when we can say, serving Jesus Christ is worth the investment!



Forgiveness

Matthew 6:14-15

“For if you forgive men when thy sin against you, Your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if ye do not forgive men their sins, Your heavenly Father will not forgive your sins.”

I know this is a touchy subject because a lot of us think we don’t have to forgive because we were in the right. I’m sorry, it doesn’t work that way. Our Father states it pretty simply. If we don’t forgive those who have done us wrong, then He can not forgive us. Unforgiveness is a burden we put on ourselves. We wear them with pride. We even tell other people, so they can assure us were done wrong and we are so spiritual and did the right thing

NOT!!!

The scriptures says, if we don’t forgive, we are wrong and cannot be forgiven. I much rather forgive someone else than to lose fellowship with the Father. He also tells us to love the unloving. It is not love if we cannot forgive. The next time someone does you wrong, put yourself in their shoes and forgive them no matter what. Il forgive sometimes is as hard to do as saying,

“I’m Sorry”



A Tale

Apparently, the person in question had a dream in which he was being shown around heaven. He was shown three separate rooms, two enormous and one quite small.


The guide showed him into the first room where there were many angels, too many to count, sorting out all the prayer requests and categorizing them ready to present to the Almighty. They worked 24/7 and, despite the myriads of angels, were quite unable to keep up with their work.

The second room was of a similar size with as many, maybe more, angels who were recording the many answers to prayer.

The third room was much smaller with only one angel in it who was crying with boredom and spent most of the time asleep with so little to do. It seems that his job was to sort out the thanksgivings for answers to prayer.

The remedy: remember to say Thank You!



CUTTING TEETH

Have you ever seen a baby cutting teeth? If not sometimes you may have seen the effects of them cutting teeth. You know, like parents that haven’t had any sleep, because they have been up all night just trying to ease the pain of cutting those teeth. The parents that for the day that the teeth are finally through so their child won’t hurt and they can get some sleep.

All this is necessary so that the child can start eating food and get off just the milk. So, the child can grow and start eating meat. If the child never cut teeth and never eats meat it would not grow strong.

Hebrews 5:12-14(NCV) the word tells us, ” by now you should be teachers, but you need someone to teach you again the first lessons of God’s message. You still need the teaching that is like milk. You are not ready for solid food. Anyone who lives on milk is still a baby and knows nothing about the right teaching. But solid food is for those who are grown up. They have practiced in order to know the difference between good and evil” (New Century Translation)

You see Friend, it may hurt sometime to cut Spiritual teeth, but the process is necessary in order to grow up in the Lord and eat Spiritual meat and grow to maturity.


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