Posts Tagged ‘prayer’

National Day of Prayer

May 3, 2012

Here in the United States the first Thursday in May each year is designated as the National Day of Prayer.

(All Scripture quotes are from the New King James Version, published by Thomas Nelson, Inc.)

 

THE LORD’S PRAYER
Matthew 6:9-13

In this manner, therefore, pray:Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
10 Your kingdom come.Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.
13 And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

CHRIST GLORIFYING GOD
John 12:23-28

23 But Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. 24 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. 25 He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor. 27 “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify Your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, saying, “I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.”

PRAYER IN GETHSEMANE
Matthew 26:36

36 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.” 37 And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. 38 Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.” 39 He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.

HANNAH’S FIRST PRAYER
1 Samuel 1:9-17

So Hannah arose after they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat by the doorpost of the tabernacle of the Lord. 10 And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the Lord and wept in anguish. 11 Then she made a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head.” 12 And it happened, as she continued praying before the Lord, that Eli watched her mouth. 13 Now Hannah spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli thought she was drunk. 14 So Eli said to her, “How long will you be drunk? Put your wine away from you!” 15 But Hannah answered and said, “No, my lord, I am a woman of sorrowful spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor intoxicating drink, but have poured out my soul before the Lord. 16 “Do not consider your maidservant a wicked woman, for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief I have spoken until now.” 17 Then Eli answered and said, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition which you have asked of Him.”

HANNAH’S SECOND PRAYER
1 Samuel 2: 1-10

And Hannah prayed and said:

“My heart rejoices in the Lord; My horn is exalted in the Lord. I smile at my enemies, Because I rejoice in Your salvation.“No one is holy like the Lord, For there is none besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God.
“Talk no more so very proudly; Let no arrogance come from your mouth, For the Lord is the God of knowledge; And by Him actions are weighed.
“The bows of the mighty men are broken, And those who stumbled are girded with strength.
Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, And the hungry have ceased to hunger. Even the barren has borne seven, And she who has many children has become feeble.
“The Lord kills and makes alive; He brings down to the grave and brings up.
The Lord makes poor and makes rich; He brings low and lifts up.
He raises the poor from the dust And lifts the beggar from the ash heap, To set them among princes And make them inherit the throne of glory. “For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, And He has set the world upon them.
He will guard the feet of His saints, But the wicked shall be silent in darkness. “For by strength no man shall prevail.
10 The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken in pieces; From heaven He will thunder against them. The Lord will judge the ends of the earth. “He will give strength to His king, And exalt the horn of His anointed.”

ELISHA’S PRAYER
2 Kings 6:15-18

15 And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” 16 So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17 And Elisha prayed, and said, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 18 So when the Syrians came down to him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, and said, “Strike this people, I pray, with blindness.” And He struck them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.

ADVICE FROM JAMES
James 5:13-18

13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.

THE LITTLE CHILDREN
Matthew 19:13-15

13 Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” 15 And He laid His hands on them and departed from there.

HAVING FAITH
Matthew 21:21-23

21 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done. 22 And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”

GLORIA PATRI

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son :
and to the Holy Ghost;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be :
world without end. Amen.

DOXOLOGY

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise him, all creatures here below;
Praise him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

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Real Love

February 15, 2011

Love is not always the same as “like”. Love is much harder than that.

Liking something can easily lead to love, whether its a person, a pet, or even chocolate. But love isn’t based on an initial liking for someone or something. Jesus Christ said we should love our enemies and pray for them (Matt.5:44 ) — but we don’t like our enemies! It’s easy to love something that you like…. but it’s a whole other thing to love something that you dislike.

I had to go through this several months ago, and I’m still trying to come to terms with it: My old boss from my previous job (a nursing home) was very unconcerned about her duties in caring for the elderly residents who lived there. This created a lot of unsafe situations for these vulnerable people — situations that I wanted no part of.  For example, one night she actually expected me to work alone for a shift taking care of 46 people (because she didn’t want to come in, even though she was the “on call” that weekend).  On another occasion, she tried to sweep a severe case of resident abuse under the rug. She simply preferred her golf game and her beer over  executing her proper duties. We went head-to-head over some of these situations, and she eventually trumped up bogus accusations against me, causing me to lose my job.

And Jesus said: Love your enemy. Pray for those persecuting you.

That’s really hard.

I lost $1,200 dollar in pay for that month, had to take a part-time  job at a $5 per hour pay cut, live 6 months without a water heater (because we couldn’t afford to buy a new one), AND….lose $3,000 in tax return income due to the difference in my pay.

And Jesus said: Love your enemy. Pray for those persecuting you.

Meanwhile, she still loves her $50,000 per year salary, still loves her golf game, and still loves her booze. She sleeps quite well at night, in spite of all the neglect she gives to the elderly under her supervision.

And I still have to love my enemy, and pray for her.

And I do.
Pray for her, at least.
As for love, I’m still not sure how to show that towards her. We haven’t even seen each other this whole past 6 months. I suppose if she ended up unemployed I’d be nice to her about it (praying for the strength to resist the urge to gloat). In all honesty, if she was hungry I would feed her, and if she was homeless I would offer her our third bedroom for a while.  I would even invite her to church with me.
But for now, there doesn’t seem to be much opportunity to practice the love I am commanded to give.
So I just leave it be.

But I still pray for her.
And it’s not easy. Even though it’s been several months, the hurt of what she did lingers with us financially, not to mention the painful memories about the whole thing that I try to forget. I loved the residents I cared for; I had been “married” to the job for nearly six years — the whole situation was akin to a nasty divorce.
But God is still working with me on this.
And I’m sure I’m going a lot more slowly than He’d like me to. But I am trying.

I pray for her to recognize and overcome her affinity for the booze. I pray for her to become more compassionate towards the elderly under her care.  I pray that she doesn’t lose her job in the process.

And I pray for my own attitude towards the whole thing.

Yes, I admit it: One part of me would just LOVE to have her go through the same horrible ordeal that she put me through….and then Jesus says: Love your enemy, pray for those persecuting you.
And so the other part of me wants to be as forgiving and loving as Jesus — and it’s so hard.

And Jesus asked God to forgive the men who crucified him.
And Jesus spoke no ill towards the men who unjustly accused him.
And Jesus triumphed in love.

And I, ineptly, struggle to achieve what he did.
But I will still pray for her.

And given the opportunity, I would show her unconditional love.

May God continue helping me improve my inner attitude.

May God have all the glory.

Ethics vs. Law

September 9, 2010

Although Law, in general, supports ethical behaviour, there are times when the law is too liberal to make room for ethical behaviour.  For example: Law says that New York State is a “Free Will” state, which means an employer can fire an employee AT ANY TIME and for ANY REASON, whether the reason is right or wrong. The only two exceptions to this are cases of sexual harassment or discrimination. Other than those, you can legally be fired for whatever reason the employer desires. Although legal, it allows too much room for unethical firings.

Then there’s the law allowing for freedom of speech and freedom of religion (the First Amendment to the United States Constitution): Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Sounds like a good law…until some preacher guy in Florida decides that a mass burning of Muslim holy books is sound reasoning. (Nevermind the fact that such an act of hostility endangers others worldwide, or the fact that the Bible states we should PRAY for our enemies).

In yet other cases, a spouse is legally entitled to divorce the other spouse for any reason at all, no matter how ridiculous. It’s called a no-fault divorce, and it’s legal in too many places, even though not necessarily ethical.

Sometimes, it is a simple lack of a law that supports unethical issues. For example: In New York State, nursing homes are not required to have a particular aide-to-resident ratio. This means that it is totally legal in New York State to have only one aide taking care of 50 nursing home residents in a shift, even though it isn’t an ethical situation.

You really have to wonder about the people who use the holes in law as a tool to reach their own personal agenda at someone else’s  expense.

The meat of the matter is this:
Being lawful does not always equate to being ethical. If you are seeking a real relationship with God, you need to put His ethics first, no matter what law allows. To apply law over Godly ethics is fake and harmful, much like the Pharisees you read about in scripture.  We see many examples of true believers correctly using ethics over law in the Bible:

(All scriptural references are from the Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Jesus forgave the adulterous woman even though the law said she should have been killed (John 8:1-11).
Soldiers spared King Saul’s son, Jonathan even though the king’s law said he should die (1 Samuel 14:24-45).
Joseph married Mary even though the law allowed for him to leave her (Matthew 1:18-25).
The apostles continues to preach the Kingdom even though the law forbade them to (Acts 5:28-29).
Queen Esther risked her life to save a nation even though law said a queen risked death if she approached her king without permission (Esther 2:15 – 8:9).
Midwives risked their lives sparing babies even though the law demanded the death of those babies (Exodus 1:15-21).

It doesn’t stop there, I could go on with dozens upon dozens of other examples. The gist of the idea is that a Law isn’t always the perfect answer. When it comes to obeying God and the preservation of human life, ethics should trump law.

OF COURSE, this is within reason!

Ethical behaviour should not cause destruction. For example, although abortion is an unethical thing, the bombing of an abortion clinic is equally unethical because it causes the death of others (and it is not us as  individuals to decide who dies).

Ethical behaviour means not only  putting God and people first, but also praying for our enemies instead of hurting  them. Remember how awful Saul was before he became the apostle Paul (Acts 9:1-16, Acts 13:9)?  If such a man can be redeemed, then everyone has the potential to be redeemed! Remember: ethics does not allow for harm, it only allows for prayer and Godly direction!

So please, don’t fall into the trap of seeking loopholes in law to cause problems and harm when exercising Christian ethics. Instead, use your Christian ethics to do right — which includes praying for the enlightenment and salvation of enemies.

Remember, the prayers of a righteous man can do a lot of good (James 5:16).

Would Jesus burn the books of other religions? Did He do it in scripture?

NO.

Let’s keep the law, ethics, and God in proper perspective.

God Is Never Late

August 22, 2010

Things happen.
Awful things.
And when they do, most of us pray.

We had one such occasion occur a few years ago. Due to a landlord’s increasingly hostile behaviour, we found ourselves needing to move into a new apartment. We gave the landlord TWO months notice…which would seem like plenty of time, right? While we sought a new place, I also prayed for certain things: A two bedroom within walking distance to my job (since hubby needed the car for his job). At first we didn’t worry too much, but as the deadline grew very near we found ourselves trying not to panic. Never in our 19 years together have we ever had such a tough time getting potential landlords to respond to our phone calls and such!

And we continued praying; especially praying that we wouldn’t find ourselves homeless!

And God answered.
THREE DAYS BEFORE OUR DEADLINE!

The apartment practically fell into our laps! We went to look at it, it was perfect and affordable, and the new landlords were letting us move in right away.

Praise God!

So, even though we had to wait until practically the last minute, we (nervously) trusted that God had it all in control — and He did!

God is NEVER late. He may not be early, but He will never be late.

Right now, we’re going through another nervous deal of trusting that God won’t be late.

I won’t go into details, but basically I lost my job recently because I did the right thing. My husband works only part time hours, so his paycheck will just b-a-r-e-l-y cover our most essential expenses. Of course I lose my job at the same time we need to buy a hot water heater, so instead of a hot water heater I had to use my final paycheck to ensure the utilities would be paid up this month. This has meant cold showers and boiling up water to wash dishes. Then our microwave oven just died today, meaning we have to use the oven more often (translating into a higher gas and electric bill).

Meanwhile, we’re praying. Praying that God will see us through, and that His plan (whatever it may be) prevails. Praying that whatever we do doesn’t accidentally work against His plan.

I trust my Father in heaven. I know He won’t let us drown in the situation. Maybe He won’t be early, but He most certainly will not be late.

Praise God.


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