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Wayne
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Re: A Daily Prayer for all
Reply #4160 - 12/12/19 at 08:18:45
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Thank you nanny. Every day.......... Wink
  

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Re: A Daily Prayer for all
Reply #4161 - 12/13/19 at 05:03:19
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Wayne wrote on 12/12/19 at 08:18:45:
Thank you nanny. Every day.......... Wink



Your very welcome!!!  Cheesy
  

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.
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Re: A Daily Prayer for all
Reply #4162 - 12/13/19 at 05:18:52
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Psalm 6:9 (KJV)
The Lord hath heard my supplication; the Lord will receive my prayer.


Asking God

When my husband, Dan, was diagnosed with cancer, I couldn’t find the “right” way to ask God to heal him. In my limited view, other people in the world had such serious problems—war, famine, poverty, natural disasters. Then one day, during our morning prayer time, I heard my husband humbly ask, “Dear Lord, please heal my disease.”

It was such a simple but heartfelt plea that it reminded me to stop complicating every prayer request, because God perfectly hears our righteous cries for help. As David simply asked, “Turn, Lord, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love” (Psalm 6:4).

That’s what David declared during a time of spiritual confusion and despair. His exact situation isn’t explained in this psalm. His honest pleas, however, show deep desire for godly help and restoration. “I am worn out from my groaning,” he wrote (v. 6).

Yet, David didn’t let his own limits, including sin, stop him from going to God with his need. Thus, even before God answered, David was able to rejoice, “the Lord has heard my weeping. The Lord has heard my cry for mercy; the Lord accepts my prayer” (vv. 8–9).

Despite our own confusion and uncertainty, God hears and accepts the honest pleas of His children. He’s ready to hear us, especially when we need Him most.


Reflect & Pray
What’s stopping you from asking God for His help? What help will you seek from Him today?

Dear God, as you cleanse our hearts, grant us courage to ask for Your divine help, believing that You hear us and will answer.


Insight
Psalm 6, written by David, is considered one of seven penitential psalms, or psalms of confession of sin (32; 38; 51; 102; 130; 143). As F. B. Meyer in his commentary on Psalms writes, “The earlier verses of this psalm are a wail; but it ends in a song. It is like a day of rain which clears at evening.” David is in “deep anguish” because of his sin and shortcomings and cries out, “How long, Lord, how long?” (Psalm 6:3). He felt God’s displeasure regarding his sin and as a result was in agony—groaning, weeping, sorrowful, sleepless, and perhaps ill. Yet, it seems no sooner was his prayer uttered but he felt God’s mercy and forgiveness: “The Lord has heard my cry” and “accepts my prayer” (v. 9).
  

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.
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Re: A Daily Prayer for all
Reply #4163 - 12/14/19 at 05:12:19
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Ephesians 2:10 (KJV)
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.


Jesus and the Bigger Story

A generous friend offered to babysit our kids so my wife and I could go on a date. “You should go somewhere fancy!” she gushed. Being practical people, we decided to go grocery shopping instead. When we returned, grocery bags in arms, our friend asked why we hadn’t done anything special. We told her that what makes a date special isn’t so much what you do, but who you’re with.

One of the few books of the Bible that doesn’t record God directly saying or doing anything, the book of Ruth could seem to be pretty ordinary. So some read it as a touching but largely human drama of two people coming together in a relationship.

But in truth, something extraordinary is taking place. In the final chapter of Ruth, we read that Ruth and Boaz’s union results in a son named Obed, the grandfather of David (4:17). And as we read in Matthew 1:1, it’s from David’s family that Jesus was born. It’s Jesus who unveils the ordinary story of Ruth and Boaz and reveals the extraordinary story of God’s amazing plans and purposes at work.

So often we see our own lives in the same way: as ordinary and serving no special purpose. But when we view our lives through Christ, He gives eternal significance to even the most ordinary situations and relationships.


Reflect & Pray
When has God turned an ordinary situation into one of extraordinary significance for you? How has He made all moments in life something sacred and extraordinary?

Jesus, You give eternal purpose and meaning to the most ordinary of circumstances. Help me to see all my relationships and circumstances through You!


Insight
It’s helpful to contrast the long view of the book of Ruth with its immediate context. In the long view, Ruth’s child would be the grandfather of David—Israel’s great king. This connection also prepares the way for the birth of Jesus, who would come from David’s kingly line (see Matthew 1:1–16). The result of Ruth and Boaz’s union prepared for the rescue of the world; in a more immediate sense, the birth of Obed also provided a kind of rescue for Naomi. Her life decimated by loss and grief, she’s delivered from despair and heartache by the gift of this new life (Ruth 4:16–17). Her joy restored, Naomi was once again able to live up to her name, which means “pleasant.”
  

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.
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nanny
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Re: A Daily Prayer for all
Reply #4164 - 12/15/19 at 07:43:47
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John 7:37 (KJV)
In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.


Water into Hope

Tom and Mark’s ministry refreshes lives. This is clear in the video they share of a group of fully clad children laughing and dancing in the refreshing water of an open shower—their first ever. The men work with indigenous churches to install water filtration systems on wells in Haiti, easing and lengthening lives as diseases connected to contaminated water are prevented. Access to clean, fresh water gives the people hope for their future.

Jesus referred to “living water” in John 4 to capture a similar idea of a continual source of refreshment. Tired and thirsty, Jesus had asked a Samaritan woman for a drink (vv. 4–8). This request led to a conversation in which Jesus offered the woman “living water” (vv. 9–15)—water that would become a source of life and hope within them, like “a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (v. 14).

We discover what this living water is later in John, when Jesus said, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink,” declaring that whoever believed in Him would have “rivers of living water [flowing] from within them.” John explains, “By this he meant the Spirit” (7:37–39).

Through the Spirit, believers are united to Christ and have access to the boundless power, hope, and joy found in God. Like living water, the Spirit lives inside believers, refreshing and renewing us.


Reflect & Pray
How has Jesus satisfied your thirst through His Spirit? How will you share what Jesus has done for you?

Dear God, thank You for leaving us Your Spirit. Work in us so that our lives point others to You.


Insight
Ever since the days of the prophets, Israel had looked forward to a messianic age when renewing waters of spiritual life would flow from the temple of Jerusalem (Ezekiel 47:1–12; Joel 3:18; Zechariah 14:6–9). In anticipation of that day, at the annual Feast of Tabernacles the high priest of Israel drew water from the pool of Siloam outside of Jerusalem and led a procession into the city where he poured out the water at the temple altar. Jesus claimed not only to be the source of living water but also the temple of the living God (John 2:18–21; 4:10-14).
  

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.
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nanny
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Re: A Daily Prayer for all
Reply #4165 - 12/16/19 at 05:09:23
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Zechariah 11:13 (KJV)
And the Lord said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the Lord.


What You’re Worth

Now an accomplished writer, Caitlin describes the depression she battled after fighting off an assault. The emotional violence cut deeper than her physical struggle, for she felt it proved “how undesirable I was. I was not the kind of girl you wanted to get to know.” She felt unworthy of love, the kind of person others use and toss aside.

God understands. He lovingly shepherded Israel, but when He asked them what He was worth, “they paid me thirty pieces of silver” (Zechariah 11:12). This was the price of a slave; what masters must be reimbursed should their slave be accidentally killed (Exodus 21:32). God was insulted to be offered the lowest possible value—look at “the handsome price at which they valued me!” He said sarcastically (Zechariah 11:13). And He had Zechariah throw the money away.

Jesus understands. He wasn’t merely betrayed by His friend; He was betrayed with contempt. The Jewish leaders despised Christ, so they offered Judas thirty pieces of silver—the lowest price you could put on a person—and he took it (Matthew 26:14–15; 27:9). Judas thought so little of Jesus he sold Him for nearly nothing.

If people undervalued Jesus, don’t be surprised when they undervalue you. Your value isn’t what others say. It’s not even what you say. It’s entirely and only what God says. He thinks you are worth dying for.


Reflect & Pray
How would you describe your value? Who can you help to grasp true value?

I’m grateful that I’m valued by You, God!


Insight
Zechariah is a common name in the Old Testament, with as many as thirty different people bearing that name. It was particularly appropriate for the prophet to carry this name, however, for Zechariah means “Yahweh remembers.” As one of the former exiles returning from Babylon, Zechariah’s role was to remind the people of Israel to remember the God who’d never forgotten them through all their years of captivity.
  

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.
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Re: A Daily Prayer for all
Reply #4166 - 12/17/19 at 06:00:03
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Psalm 18:32 (KJV)
It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.


Lord of the . . . Nails?

I was getting into my car when the glint caught my eye: a nail, embedded in my rear tire’s sidewall. I listened for the telltale whistle of air. Thankfully, the hole was plugged—at least for the moment.

As I drove to a tire store, I wondered: How long has that nail been there? Days? Weeks? How long have I been protected from a threat I didn’t even know existed?

We can sometimes live under the illusion that we’re in control. But that nail reminded me we’re not.

But when life feels out of control and unstable, we have a God whose reliability we can trust. In Psalm 18, David praises God for watching over him (vv. 34–35). David confesses, “It is God who arms me with strength. . . . You provide a broad path for my feet, so that my ankles do not give way” (vv. 32, 36). In this poem of praise, David celebrates God’s sustaining presence (v. 35).

I personally don’t march into combat like David; I even go out of my way not to take unnecessary risks. Still, my life is often chaotic.

But I can rest in the knowledge that, though God doesn’t promise us protection from all of life’s difficulties, He always knows where I am. He knows where I’m going and what I’ll encounter. And He’s the Lord of it all—even the “nails” of our lives.


Reflect & Pray
When has God protected you from something that you didn’t even know about? How did He watch over your way or help you stay clear of that threat?

Father, help us to remember daily that You know every step we take. Help us to trust in Your provision for every potential problem or sudden setback we face today.


Insight
Because of David’s success and popularity (1 Samuel 17; 18:15–16), the insanely jealous King Saul tried to kill him (18:10–11). On the run for his life, David sought refuge in the mountains and caves (22:1; 23:26; 24:2). But David was mindful that it was God who delivered, protected, and kept him safe. Out of his experience as a fugitive, David wrote Psalm 18 (which also appears in 2 Samuel 22) as a thanksgiving song, therefore the long superscription: “Of David the servant of the Lord. He sang to the Lord the words of this song when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul.” David used seven metaphors in this psalm to describe God: rock, fortress, deliverer, refuge, shield, horn of salvation, and stronghold (v. 2)—all pictures of protection, security, deliverance, and safety.
  

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.
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Re: A Daily Prayer for all
Reply #4167 - 12/18/19 at 05:10:40
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Psalm 102:28 (KJV)
The children of thy servants shall continue, and their seed shall be established before thee.


Walk in the Present with God

In Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis wrote: “Almost certainly God is not in time. His life does not consist of moments one following another . . . . Ten-thirty—and every other moment from the beginning of the world—is always present for Him.” Still, waiting seasons often feel endless. But as we learn to trust God, the eternal Maker of time, we can accept the reality that our fragile existence is secure in His hands.

The psalmist, lamenting in Psalm 102, admits his days are as fleeting as “the evening shadow” and withering grass, while God “endures through all generations” (vv. 11–12). The writer, weary from suffering, proclaims that God sits “enthroned forever” (v. 12). He affirms that God’s power and consistent compassion reach beyond his personal space (vv. 13–18). Even in his despair (vv. 19–24), the psalmist turns his focus on the power of God as Creator (v. 25). Though His creations will perish, He will remain the same for eternity (vv. 26–27).

When time seems to be standing still or dragging on, it’s tempting to accuse God of being late or non-responsive. We can grow impatient and frustrated with remaining still. We can forget He’s chosen every single cobblestone on the path He’s planned for us. But He never leaves us to fend for ourselves. As we live by faith in the presence of God, we can walk in the present with God.


Reflect & Pray
How can acknowledging God as the Maker of time help you trust Him when His timing doesn’t meet your preference? How can living in the present give you peace?

Loving God, please teach us to be present in life, refusing to worry about tomorrow as You affirm Your constant presence.


Insight
Psalm 102 is a prayer written by an unnamed individual. The psalm is broken into stanzas and reflects the author crying out to God (vv. 1–2), describes the situation of distress (vv. 3–11), acknowledges that God hears his cries (vv. 12–17), declares the future praise of the Lord (vv. 18–22), and concludes with a summary (vv. 22–28). The psalm doesn’t contain any specific reference to repentance, but it later became one of seven penitential (confession) psalms (Pss. 6; 32; 38; 51; 102; 130; 143) used in the early church.
  

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.
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nanny
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Re: A Daily Prayer for all
Reply #4168 - 12/19/19 at 05:32:40
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2 Corinthians 3:2 (KJV)
Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:


Written on the Heart

As a professor, I’m often asked by students to write letters of recommendation for them—for leadership positions, study-abroad programs, graduate schools, and even jobs. In each letter, I have a chance to praise the student’s character and qualifications.

When Christians traveled in the ancient world, they often carried with them similar “letters of commendation” from their churches. Such a letter ensured that the traveling brother or sister would be welcomed hospitably.

The apostle Paul didn’t need a letter of recommendation when he spoke to the church in Corinth—they knew him. In his second letter to that church, Paul wrote that he preached the gospel out of sincerity, not for personal gain (2 Corinthians 2:17). But then he wondered if his readers would think that in defending his motives in preaching, he was trying to write a letter of recommendation for himself.

He didn’t need such a letter, he said, because the people in the church in Corinth were themselves like letters of recommendation. The visible work of Christ in their lives was like a letter “written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God” (3:3). Their lives testified to the true gospel Paul had preached to them—their lives were letters of reference that could be “known and read by everyone” (3:2). As we follow Jesus, this becomes true of us too—our lives tell the story of the goodness of the gospel.


Reflect & Pray
When people read the “letter” of your life, what do they see of Jesus? Who are the teachers who have left their imprint on you?

Jesus, I want others to see You in my life. May I decrease and You increase.


Insight
Letters of recommendation to introduce and give approval or authority to someone were common in the ancient world (see Ezra 7:11–26; Nehemiah 2:7–8; Acts 18:27; Romans 16:1–2; 1 Corinthians 16:3; Colossians 4:10; 3 John 1:9). Since Paul didn’t have any such letters, his opponents said he wasn’t a true apostle. Arguing that he didn’t need an introductory or authorization letter from anyone, Paul said that the Corinthians themselves, as believers in Christ, eloquently proved and authenticated his status as an apostle (2 Corinthians 3:1–3). Paul had made this point earlier: “Am I not an apostle? Haven’t I seen Jesus our Lord with my own eyes? Isn’t it because of my work that you belong to the Lord? Even if others think I am not an apostle, I certainly am to you. You yourselves are proof that I am the Lord’s apostle” (1 Corinthians 9:1–2 nlt).

  

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.
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Re: A Daily Prayer for all
Reply #4169 - 12/20/19 at 05:26:52
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Nehemiah 6:16 (KJV)
And it came to pass, that when all our enemies heard thereof, and all the heathen that were about us saw these things, they were much cast down in their own eyes: for they perceived that this work was wrought of our God.


Failure Is Impossible

“Failure is impossible!” These words were spoken by Susan B. Anthony (1820–1906), known for her immovable stance on women’s rights in the US. Though she faced constant criticism and later an arrest, trial, and guilty verdict for voting illegally, Anthony vowed to never give up the fight to gain women the right to vote, believing her cause was just. Though she didn’t live to see the fruit of her labor, her declaration proved true. In 1920, the nineteenth amendment to the Constitution gave women the right to vote.

Failure wasn’t an option for Nehemiah either, mainly because he had a Powerful Helper: God. After asking Him to bless his cause—rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem—Nehemiah and those who had returned to Jerusalem from exile in Babylon worked to make that happen. The wall was needed to keep the people safe from enemies. But opposition to the cause came in the form of deception and threats. Nehemiah refused to let opposition deter him. He informed those who opposed the work, “I am carrying on a great project” (Nehemiah 6:3). After that, he prayed, “Now strengthen my hands” (v. 9). Thanks to perseverance, the work was completed (v. 15).

God gave Nehemiah the strength to persevere in the face of opposition. Is there a task for which you’re tempted to give up? Ask God to provide whatever you need to keep going.


Reflect & Pray
How do you normally handle opposition? What cause are you willing to fight for, no matter how tough the opposition?

Precious God, I need Your help to keep going with the work You’ve given me to do, no matter what the cost may be.


Insight
Nehemiah recognized that his enemies were seeking to “harm” him (Nehemiah 6:2). When their attempts at “diplomacy” failed, they tried to bait him with false accusations made in an unsealed letter (v. 5). An unsealed letter could be read by anyone and was likely used to spread the rumor that Nehemiah was really plotting to become king. Nehemiah refuted the charge (v. 8) and turned to God in prayer (v. 9).
  

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.
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