A WOMAN’S FAITH
“From there Jesus set out for the vicinity of Tyre. He entered a house there where he didn’t think he would be found, but he couldn’t escape notice. He was barely inside when a woman who had a disturbed daughter heard where he was. She came and knelt at his feet begging for help. The woman was Greek, Syro-Phoenician by birth. She asked him to cure her daughter.
He said, “Stand in line and take your turn. The children get fed first. If there’s any left over, the dogs get it.”
She said, “Of course, Master. But don’t dogs under the table get scraps dropped by the children?”
Jesus was impressed. “You’re right! On your way! Your daughter is no longer disturbed. The demonic affliction is gone.” She went home and found her daughter relaxed on the bed, the torment gone for good.
Then he left the region of Tyre, went through Sidon back to Galilee Lake and over to the district of the Ten Towns. Some people brought a man who could neither hear nor speak and asked Jesus to lay a healing hand on him. He took the man off by himself; put his fingers in the man’s ears and some spit in the man’s tongue. Then Jesus looked up in prayer, groaned mightily, and commanded, “Ephphatha!—Open up!” The man’s hearing was clear and his speech plain—just like that.
Jesus urged them to keep it quiet, but they talked it up all the more, beside themselves with excitement. “He done it all and does it well. He gives hearing to the deaf, speech to the speechless.” Mark 7:24-37(Message)
Prayer: Gracious God, throughout the ages you transform sickness into health, death into life—Open us to the power of your presence, and make us a people ready to proclaim your promises to the whole world, through Jesus Christ our healer and Lord. Amen
A MIGHTY FORTRESS
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult...Be still and know that I am God, I am exalted among the nations. I am exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge.” Psalms 46:1-3, 10-11 (RSV)
A lbeit as fearful sinners, we approach God in devotion.
M en and the world may seek to
I njure us. Indeed, this seems to be the way of the world. But
G od stands forth as our protection, our bulwark. He truly is a very present
H elp in
T rouble. May our every desire and
Y earning be to find sanctuary in Him.
F rom all of the transgressions of
O ur minds and souls, God stands ever
R eady to lift us from our
T roubles, to instill His grace in us, and to
R econcile us to Himself. And that reconciliation is
E ternal. It
S anctifies and purifies our
S ouls in his most blessed love, mercy and grace.
I nto our lives He sent His
S on to be our expiation, to make atonement for us.
O nly by God’s love and mighty power—forgiving
U s, even though we do not deserve it—are we
R econciled to Him. Only through our Lord Jesus Christ can it be.
G ive us the wisdom and the determination,
O Lord. Our God, to seek and to accept Jesus’
D eath and subsequent resurrection in You.
Prayer: Dear Lord, you are our mighty fortress, our rock and strength. We thank you for guiding us in our daily lives and carrying us through all sadness and joy. We ask this in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
THE GREATEST STORY
“The word of God is alive and active, sharper than any double-edged sword. It cuts all the way through, to where soul and spirit meet, to where joints and marrow come together. It judges the desires and thoughts of man’s heart. There is nothing that can be hid from God; everything in all creation is exposed and lies open before his eyes.” Hebrews 4:12-13a (TEV)
Looking with the Bible in hand, I think of all that is written in these pages. What stories, history, wisdom, revelation are written through scholars, farmers, kings, fisherman, shepherd, the simple people? What they said can be applied to today’s life experiences; your relationships (Is 18:8), your family (Esther 9:28), your career (1 Cor 3:13), your finances (1 Tim 6:10) and your spirituality (Luke 11:2).
I look at all that is written and how it reads, all 66 books combined into one and ask, “How did this happen?” Was it through individual experiences, through prayer, through the Holy Spirit? Then I read, “The word of the Lord will live forever.” (I Peter 1:25 (NIT) so I know that God’s word gives me a dose of reality daily. The Word energizes my mind and body and reminds me to confess and seek pardon from God.
When we read and study the Word we should seek and call upon him while he is near.
Prayer: Lord, “as the scripture says, ‘all mankind are like grass, and all their glory is like wild flowers. The grass withers, and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord remains forever.’ This word is the Good News that was proclaimed to you.” 1 Peter 1:24-25 (TEV) Amen
“There are friends who pretend to be friends, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24 (RSV)
Do you have a real friend who is a miracle worker, a teacher, a partier, or a counselor? One who would drop everything and come to your rescue 24/7 no matter where, when or what type of a situation you were in; an illness, disaster, jail or even death.
Jesus can be that friend, always with you, always walking with you. All you have to do is ask him to come into your heart. He understands all your hurts, trials, confessions and even your joys. He is your friend who will never abandon you.
Jesus came too died for you, yes you, and rose again, yes for you, that you might have eternal life with him. He always was your friend and will continue to be your friend. Just ask him.
Prayer: Come Lord Jesus be my friend, my companion through-out my life. Help me to trust you with all my decisions. I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen
“…Know the Lord, for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sins no more. Jer. 31:34(RSV)
Grace, such a small word, but so power-full in meaning. “God’s grace.” God is either the God of perfect grace or he is not God. God’s grace forgets all our wrongs, our errors, our negative thoughts, our pride and our fears. God forgets it all and in its place he gives us his unconditional love. “Out of the fullness of his grace he has blessed us all, giving us one blessing after another. God gave the Law through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. The only Son, who is the same as God and is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.”John 1:16-18 (TEV)
With God’s grace he gave His only Son, Jesus, to suffer and die for us and then to rise from the dead so that we might be saved and have eternal life. What an awesome, loving Father. He could have ignored us and let us suffer, but he didn’t. Instead grace abounds through Jesus Christ.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help us “to continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory now and forever! Amen” 2 Peter 3:18 (TEV)
ARE YOU SATISFIED?
“Jesus said to him, ’If you want to be perfect, go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven; then come and follow me.’ When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he was very rich.”Matthew 19:21 (TEV)
Are you satisfied with what you have or are you pursuing some other life style? Are you seeking possessions, power, fame, and money?
When you seek possessions they become your god and you never have enough. You always want more, the bigger car, boat, or house. Power becomes self-serving, always thinking of me first and not of others. When you seek fame, you become competitive and self-seeking. Money becomes your possession, hoarder, always suspicious, fearful of losing it all.
Instead follow Jesus’ example. He never thought of himself as a possessor of material things, he didn’t want the fame, the power, or money. Instead he gave of himself to die for us that we might know God and have eternal life with Him. Put your faith in Jesus and follow him and you will have all the riches you will need.
Prayer: Precious Lord, creator of all things we thank you for providing for us and for others. Help us to serve you always as you see fit. In Jesus’ name. Amen
PRAYER SURROUNDS US
“Pray on every occasion, as the Spirit leads. For this reason keep alert and never give up; pray always for all God’s people.” Ephesians 6:18 (TEV)
We are blessed to have many people who offer up prayers for others
in our congregation. We have many who pray daily. We have prayer on Sundays
during worship. We have a phone prayer chain and an e-mail prayer chain for
the more critical personal requests, and we have the Circle of Love Prayer
Group that keeps the families of our entire congregation under prayer daily
or at least weekly.
We lift up our church families in prayer asking that they are filled with a
deep love for God. We ask that they are filled with our Lord's powerful love
for the things that further His kingdom. We pray that each member of each
family is filled with the fruits of the Spirit (i.e. love, joy, peace,
longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance) and that
they develop the image and holiness of Christ within them. We pray that they
are given spiritual protection from sin, self, Satan, and the world. We pray
that they feel God's presence and know His blessings.
We give thanks for the many families that are part of our Church
family. We prayerfully thank God that we are able to love, encourage, and
help one another in many ways each day. We give thanks that we are able to
be involved especially when a person needs an ear to listen, a heart to cry
with, a smile to celebrate our valley and our mountain top experiences as we
grow closer to our Lord with each experience.
We have prayer stones representing the many answered prayers of our
congregation. As we pray, understanding that:
1. Our God is powerful,
2. He hears our prayers,
3. God will occupy every area of our life if invited
4. We can trust Him
5. He will reveal Himself to us
6. He will show us the way to travel
7. He answers prayer
8. He blesses us each day
Prayer: Lord, we thank You that we are so blessed that the love shown for each of us
through prayer has come full circle. Amen