Someone to Listen

[245 words] How often do you pray? Do you ever let a day go by without talking to God? When you pray is it out of habit, or is it the fulfillment of a need? Ours is an age of loneliness where millions are starving for someone to talk to. Many feel tense because they keep all their thoughts and problems to themselves. After awhile these things put so much pressure on them that they almost explode for want of someone to listen to their story. There are Christians in this condition. But children of the Lord have someone to...

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Thoughts and Prayers

[281 words] There has been a backlash in recent times against those who offer prayers during a tragedy. To some, the phrase has come to be an empty gesture, which acknowledges an issue but refuses to do anything about it. I’m sure that some of this is because of a growing atheistic mindset in our culture, but I also think some of it comes from the mistaken idea that prayer and action don’t go hand in hand. There is no greater example of someone who meshed prayer and action than that of Nehemiah. When he heard of the tragedy that...

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‘On Bended Knee, I Come’

[181 words] There are many things we can learn from nature. Recently, I read about “the secret of the bended knee.” Most birds sleep, perched on a limb, and do not fall. When I sleep, there is no rhyme or reason, I will move around on the bed during the night, occupying several different positions. I read how birds stay on their perch without falling because of the unique way God made them. The tendons in the bird’s legs are so constructed that when the leg is bent at the knee, the claws grip like a steel trap. The claws...

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God Listens

[416 words] Have you ever stopped in the middle of a sentence or in the middle of telling a story because you thought the person you were talking to was not listening? It is quite a joy when the person notices and encourages you to continue. You feel rather down and worthless when the person does not notice. While there are many reasons that a person might not be listening we can take assurance in one very important thing. God listens always. God listens and internalizes what we say to Him. He does not simply let us ramble on without...

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The Church is Praying

[215 words] “On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God” (Acts 4:23-24). Prayer is in everything that the people of God do. We are commanded to “pray continually.” God’s people got into the most trouble when they did not inquire of the Lord. Prayer is to be a part of our daily walk with God, but it must be part of our worship when we come together as a church....

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The Prayer List

[260 words] I’ve read it in several bulletins from many churches. It’s called “The Prayer List” and consists of the names of people who have either requested that we mention them in our prayers or who have had a request given by someone in their behalf. Of course, there is biblical precedence for this practice as the apostle Paul requested prayers from congregations on his behalf (Eph. 6:19; Col. 4:3; 1 Thess. 5:25). “The Prayer List” is merely a convenient reminder of these requests. I know that my memory is not what it once was, so I am grateful to...

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Losing Your Connection

[414 words] With technology comes great gains in the way we are able to live our lives. However, nothing can be more frustrating than when that same technology meant to make our lives easier fails. One of the most frequent ways this can happen is to lose a connection. Cell phones, internet access, and satellite dishes are all susceptible to this common problem. How many of us have been right in the middle of a long conversation only to lose connection and have to start all over? How many of us have been watching the big game or our favorite...

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Don’t Forget to Use All Your Strength

[138 words] A father was watching his young son struggle to lift a heavy rock. The little fellow grunted and strained, but couldn’t move it. The father said, “Son, are you sure you are using all your strength?” The exhausted boy said, “Yes, I am!” The father replied, “No, you are not. You haven’t asked me to help you.” How true is this illustration! We grunt and struggle with our burdens in this earthly life, often forgetting the Father in heaven is always willing to aid us. Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden,...

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Can Any Good Come From Stress?

[549 words] Samuel was one of the best men in the Bible. We read about his good life of faith and justice in 1 Samuel, but it is a statement made hundreds of years later about him that tells us just how godly a man he was. In Jeremiah’s day the people of Judah were so wicked that no amount of praying could save the nation from punishment. God even told Jeremiah not to pray for them (Jer. 11:14). To make this point stronger, God said that even if Moses and Samuel were alive and pleaded with him to spare...

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Psychics

[195 words] The March 2014 issue of Reader s Digest had an article by Robert Powell titled, “The Psychic, the Novelist, and the $17 Million Scam.” It is the true story of a writer who went to a psychic “on a whim” and would end up losing $17 million. The novelist was bored, had been depressed and was facing a divorce. She had a few minutes to waste and turned to the psychic for advice. The psychic was a third generation charlatan who knew how to take advantage of people with problems and how to fleece victims out of their...

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Good Days

[224 words] Would you rather have good days or bad days? I know the answer to that question, but here is another question for you: do you know how to have good days? Many people pursue good days and never find them because they run in the wrong direction. God’s Word holds the secret to good days. Peter tells us in first Peter 3:10-12, “He who would love the life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit…” good days begin with our speech and how we talk to those around...

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Watch!

[303 words] To “watch” is to be on the lookout, to be alert and vigilant. “Watch” is a constant admonition in Scripture. In addition to other words translated “watch,” the Greek word “gregoreo” appears 22 times in the New Testament. God wants us to watch, but for what? Many of the admonitions to “watch” have reference to the Second Coming of Christ. “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming” (Matthew 24:42). “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming” (Matthew 25:13). “Therefore let...

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A Prayer for Our Elders

[181 words] Our Father, let me be a pillar of strength to them, not a thorn to sap their strength, nor a burden on their back to pull them down. Let me support them without striving to possess them; lift up their hands without placing shackles on them. Let me give them my help that they may devote more time to saving others and less time to gratifying my vanity. Let me be unselfish in what I do for them, not selfish and demanding that they do more for me. Help me remember they are ministers to the whole flock....

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Yesterday’s Prayers

[387 words] In 1 Thessalonians 5:17, we are admonished to “pray without ceasing” to accurately depict a constant prayerful attitude, or having begun a life of prayer to continue, or both. The Bible is replete with examples of the wicked suffering punishment, but it also describes what would appear to be “good folk” just as shut out as those seeking refuge in Noah’s day after the door was shut. In Luke 13:25-28, there were people who attempted a protest of being shut out based upon familiarity. It didn’t work. In Matthew 7:22ff, people who actually carried out or at least...

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How Goes Your Battle? 

  [224 words] “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.  A big theme to come out of the latest faith-based film, War Room, is that we, as individual Christians, must have a prayer strategy. Just as those in charge of a military engagement gather and develop a plan to win a battle in the world, we must know how we will win the spiritual battles we face. 2 Corinthians 10 tells us that...

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Do You Watch and Pray?

  [237 words] “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak” (Mark 14:38). In the midst of His own storm, our Savior prayed in the preparation He had made for Himself. He had brought three of his followers farther into the garden for the fellowship and company we all who are in the flesh crave. It is not good, after all, for man to be alone. But, that watchfulness was not to be a comfort to Him as the men fell asleep and had not spiritually prepared themselves,...

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Clear-minded and Self-controlled

[241 words] “The end of all things is near.  Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray” 1 Peter 4:7. This chapter is pivotal for living a life in Christ!  When we become a Christian, we admit that when we lived for “evil human desires,” we made a mess of our lives.  Now, we live for the will of God.  This does not mean that He fills us to take control over us (that might be nice if He did!).  No, but He gives us strength and guidance to “live according to God in regard to the...

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What Will You Do With The New?

  [336 words] Toward the end of the year, we begin to focus on the “new.” We enjoy giving and receiving “new” presents, and we look forward to the hope of a “new” year. A blank calendar page represents fresh opportunity, but what will we do with it? Hezekiah was known as a man who received renewed opportunity from the Lord. A godly king, Hekeziah destroyed the idols in Judah (2 Kings 18:4) and trusted God (2 Kings 18:5-6). When Assyria came knocking on the door threatening to destroy Jerusalem, Hezekiah prayed (2 Kings 19:15-19), and God spared Judah. When...

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Let Us Pray

  [373 words] How many times have we heard this expression as a prelude to a collective journey of the brethren into the presence of God? I wonder, is it used so much that we forget its importance? Here are some instances of corporate prayers found in the New Testament. In Matthew 26 and its parallel accounts we learn of Jesus apparently leading His disciples in prayer to bless the food (also, 1 Cor. 11:24). This is our authority for the prayer we offer before the Lord’s Supper each Sunday. On the occasion of Matthias’ selection to take Judas’ place...

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A Prayer for Parents

  [361 words] Each of us know that prayer is very important. In our own lives we will pray at different times and for different reasons. We pray at meal times, when someone is having troubles in their lives (such as sickness, death or making difficult decisions). We also know that our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ prayed. In the Gospel accounts — Matthew, Mark, Luke and John — there are 62 instances of the word “pray” or “prayer.” Jesus prayed at the same time we pray: before making a decision, when someone was sick, when someone was distraught over...

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Preparing for Prayer

  [187 words] Talking to the Creator is beyond human comprehension. We’re lifted up when we humble ourselves before him (James 4:10), because our sins can close the ears of God (Luke 18:9-14; Isaiah 59:1-2). Prayer requires preparation because approaching God isn’t a casual affair. The solemnity and reverence in the Father’s throne room in Revelation 4-5 can touch us deeply. Let’s pause and consider the beauty of God’s creation. “The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows His handiwork” (Psalm 19:1, NKJV). “The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord” (Psalm 33:5). Reverent prayer...

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What Prayer Does

  [65 words] Prayer amplifies our feelings, certifies our relationship, clarifies our desires, dignifies our Christianity. Prayer exemplifies our commitment, fortifies our faith, identifies our needs, intensifies our emotions. Prayer justifies our belief, magnifies our hopes, notifies our Father, nullifies our fears. Prayer pacifies our worries, ratifies our conviction, sanctifies our lives, satisfies our longings. Prayer signifies our thanksgiving, solidifies our duty, testifies our adoration, verifies our security. Edd Sterchi Campbellsville, KY...

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Psalm 119:18

  [74 words] Psalm 119:18 contains this petition: “Open my eyes, that I may behold wonderful things from Your law.” For some of us, reading the Bible has become dull, and consequently, unproductive. There may be any number of reasons why that tragedy has occurred. One may be that we have not saturated our Bible reading with prayer. Before you read the word of God each day, make the prayer of Psalm 119:18 your own. Eddie Parrish Bedford, TX...

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Growing in Prayer

  [325 words] Most of us would like to be “better” at prayer. We’d like to do it more often and with more power. Just like the disciples of Jesus who came to Him and said, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1), we long for divine guidance in this area. One of the great pertinent passages to consult is Colossians 4:2-4: “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of...

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Caught Talking to God

[168 words] Two boys were put in I.S.S. (in school suspension). The one boy asked, “Whatcha in for?” “I got caught talking to Bill. You?” “I got caught talking to God.” Strange how talking to God can get one into trouble, especially when you consider all the benefits it affords. Martin Luther once said, “The less I pray, the harder it gets; the more I pray, the better it goes.” Once again, prayer has made it’s way into the spotlight this week–and I don’t mean in a good way. Seems like when people invoke God in a public way they’re often...

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Watch and Pray

“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak” (Mark 14:38). In the midst of His own storm, our Savior prayed in the preparation He had made for Himself.  He had brought three of his followers farther into the garden for the fellowship and company we all who are in the flesh crave.  It is not good, after all, for man to be alone.  But, that watchfulness was not to be a comfort to Him as the men fell asleep and had not spiritually prepared themselves, despite repeated warnings,...

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Prayer

If Jesus felt the need to pray to the Father, surely we need God’s help in our own lives. God knows our needs even before we ask, but still He wants us to ask (Matt. 6:8); and Jesus tells us “that men always ought to pray” (Luke 18:1). James wrote that the fervent prayer of a righteous man does much good (James 5:16). A prayer does not need to be long nor eloquent to be pleasing to God. It is to simply come from our heart as we humbly talk to our God and Creator. It was the simple and...

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Prayer Helps

The inspired apostle Paul affirmed that prayer helps. In writing to the church at Corinth, Paul described how there had been a time, in Asia, when he was in danger and facing the possibility of death (2 Corinthians 1:8). However, Paul was delivered from death by God and also by the prayers of the brethren in Corinth. Notice 2 Corinthians chapter 8, verse 11: “Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf.” Observe from this verse that the...

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Pray Boldly!

Television interviewer and journalist Larry King describes three farmers who gather daily in a field during a horrible drought. The men are down on their knees, looking upward, and praying the skies will open and pour forth a much-needed rain. Unfortunately, the heavens are silent, and the petitioners become discouraged, but they continue to meet every morning to lift up their request to God. One morning an uninvited stranger approaches and asks the men what they are doing. They respond, “We’re praying for rain.” The newcomer looks at each of them and shakes his head, “No, I don’t think so.” The...

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The Five Finger Prayer

The five finger prayer is a great way to teach someone to pray, or a good model for anyone to use to pray. Remember, James 5:13-16 teaches us to pray for one another. First, your thumb is nearest you. Begin your prayers by praying for those closest to you. Second, the next finger, is the pointing finger. Pray for those who teach, instruct and offer comfort. This can include teachers, doctors, and ministers. They need support and wisdom in pointing others in the right direction. Third comes the tallest finger. It reminds us of our leaders. Pray for the president,...

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Does God Hear Your Voice?

[168 words] What better way to begin one’s day than in communion with God? I know that mornings can be among the busiest parts of the day, especially if you do what I do too often – keep hitting the snooze button until I end up in a mad scramble to get out of the house on time. But I have learned that on those mornings when I get up early (having made a commitment the night before to go to bed at a decent hour), and spend some time with God, my day goes so much better. David seems...

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Overcoming Temptation

[298 words] We are constantly tempted with sin. How do we prepare? How do we cope? Scripture says, “No temptations has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it” (1 Cor. 10:13). How do we find the way of escape and endure the temptations that we face? First, we must know the Word of God. What is God’s will for my life? What is expected? What...

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Prayer

If Jesus felt the need to pray to the Father, surely we need God’s help in our own lives. God knows our needs even before we ask, but still He wants us to ask (Matt. 6:8); and Jesus tells us “that men always ought to pray” (Luke 18:1). James wrote that the fervent prayer of a righteous man does much good (James 5:16). A prayer does not need to be long nor eloquent to be pleasing to God. It is to simply come from our heart as we humbly talk to our God and Creator. It was the simple and...

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The Five Finger Prayer

The five finger prayer is a great way to teach someone to pray, or a good model for anyone to use to pray. Remember, James 5:13-16 teaches us to pray for one another. First, your thumb is nearest you. Begin your prayers by praying for those closest to you. Second, the next finger, is the pointing finger. Pray for those who teach, instruct and offer comfort. This can include teachers, doctors, and ministers. They need support and wisdom in pointing others in the right direction. Third comes the tallest finger. It reminds us of our leaders. Pray for the president,...

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Pray Boldly!

Television interviewer and journalist Larry King describes three farmers who gather daily in a field during a horrible drought. The men are down on their knees, looking upward, and praying the skies will open and pour forth a much-needed rain. Unfortunately, the heavens are silent, and the petitioners become discouraged, but they continue to meet every morning to lift up their request to God. One morning an uninvited stranger approaches and asks the men what they are doing. They respond, “We’re praying for rain.” The newcomer looks at each of them and shakes his head, “No, I don’t think so.” The...

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The Beginning and End of Prayer

Prayer, in the end, is simply an intimate conversation between a child and their heavenly Father. There are always only two people represented in true prayer, you and God. Thus, while there are many kinds of prayer we could talk about, fundamental to them all is simply a conversation, a dialogue between an individual and God. Prayer, thus, begins and ends with God and this reality, I believe, is one the reasons we do not always pray as we should. Because if we really knew and comprehended the nature and character of God, we would pray more! “Teach Us to Pray.” As...

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Some Things to Think On

  [146 words] Never neglect daily prayer. When you pray, remember that God is present, and that He hears you. Never neglect daily private Bible reading. When you read, remember that God is speaking to you, and that you are to believe and act upon what He says.  If you are in doubt whether a thing is right or wrong, go to God and ask for help in making your decision the right one. Never take your standard of Christianity from other Christians, or argue that because this or that person does something, you may. Ask yourself, “What would Christ...

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Persistent and Passionate Prayer 

  [329 words] To pray or not to pray was not a question King David struggled with. David wrote in Psalm 55:17, “Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and He shall hear my voice.” Persistence was one of David’s goals when it came to prayer – is it one of ours? Do we even have a goal? When is the last time you prayed three times in one day? Was it last week when you attended all the services on Sunday? Was it on your way to see the doctor? Was it on your...

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The Purpose of Prayer in the Christian Life

God tells us to pray (Phil. 4:6; Col. 4:22; 1Thess. 5:17), and Jesus makes a promise, “Ask and it shall he given you…” He promises that He will hear, and answer, the prayers of His people (Matt. 7:7; James 5:16; 1 Peter 3:12). All genuine believers believe in the power of prayer, but prayer will not set aside the laws of God. Not in the physical realm, nor in the spiritual. When Miriam sinned against God, all the prayers of her brothers, Moses and Aaron, could not set aside God’s law that she remain outside the camp for seven days...

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