Our thoughts and Prayers (Make it meaningful)

Have you ever said, ‘I’ll prayer for you’ or ‘you’re in my thoughts and prayers’? Today this phrase has come under attack in the news, on social media and even with the younger generations. The attack isn’t that the phrase is inherently evil or bad but rather it’s seen as a cop out by many for a lack of action to change or deal with the problems in our world today. Yet we know that prayer changes hearts, thoughts and even bringing good out of troubling situations so I thought I would spend a little time in this week’s blog talking about how we can bring back meaning to the phrase ‘I’ll be praying for you’.

First thing first, it goes without saying (or maybe it needs to be said), but if you say you are going to pray for someone, do it. One of the best ways of going about this is by praying for them right then and there when you are talking to them. Another helpful way is by writing it down and placing it somewhere you see it on a daily basis (you can keep a journal, place the name and need in the place you do your daily devotions).  You can also put it in as a reminder on your phone to pray each day for the person. Whatever helps you to remember to pray, do it because as Jesus said, ‘let your yes be yes and your no be no’. Our word as Christians are important to keep.

Second thing, pray for God’s will in the situation. This is a little harder because you may not be aware at first of what God’s will may be for the one, you’re praying. Yes, they may have shared what they would like the outcome to be and the need they shared, but it may not be the will God has for that situation. So, if it seems the prayer isn’t being answered as you have been praying, start praying for God to show you how He wants you to pray. Pray the Holy Spirit will help you understand what is going on in that individual’s life and what they truly need. As God speaks, pray as He shows you.

Third, follow up with the one you are praying for if possible. Keeping informed is important so that as the situation changes you can change your prayers. This also let’s the one you are praying for know you are praying and that you do care.  The knowledge that your prayers are being lifted up can be an uplifting thought for the one who is being prayed for. By talking with the individual from time to time you can know when God has answered the prayer and you can celebrate with the one whose prayer has been fulfilled.

Finally, when the situation calls for you to act, take action. God uses us all to be His agents of grace in the world around us. There are situations that He brings before us so that we can be His hands and feet. As we pray for someone, ask and listen to God to see if He might want us to be an active role in helping those we are praying for. God will always equip us with what we need when He calls us to action. Keep praying but when God says move, get moving.

Prayer is important. For us prayer is our first and most powerful way we can help others (not our last resort). As we pray let God lead us in our words and actions in how we may be able to help. Pray constantly and from the heart. If we do this, then our ‘I’ll pray for you’ will mean more than anything else to those God puts in our lives to reach.

This week’s blog August 1st

I wonder if we really fully grasp who Jesus is. We can repeat the creeds, quote the Scriptures and state our beliefs—he is the Messiah, the Son of God, all God and all man. Yet, the question remains: do we really grasp who Jesus is?

The Creator of all things takes on the flesh of his creation. The Eternal, Infinite One becomes finite while remaining infinite. The Holy One chose to walk in unholy places. The Eternal Light shone in the darkness. The Way came and directed the lost. The Truth spoke to those living in error. The Life offered the resurrection to the dying. Purity reached out and touched the impure. The One who is total wholeness restored those totally broken.

He knew physical pain. He allowed his heart to be broken. He felt the wounds of rejection and betrayal. He who had never died gave up his life for those who had never lived. The One who has no needs reached out to all the needy and in love offered us all a new life with him.

This is what Jesus has done. This is who Jesus is. How can we keep from falling to our knees in worship? How can we not honor him every minute of our lives?

Who is Jesus to you?

This Week’s Blog July 18

It is hard to stop and listen. The noise of our world roars, rattles and clangs in our ears. Our thoughts are sprinting here and there with what we should do and how to handle life. Our hearts are filled with shouts of fear, worry, sorrow and guilt. How can one stop and listen in the midst of this cacophony?
The Lord speaks, “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)
Listening takes effort. When we work at it and learn to tune into God’s still small voice we discover the life God has given us. We discover the heart of our Abba. We learn his desires, his love, and his care. We sense his presence, are blessed with his grace and are filled with his peace.
The voice of our Abba stands out when we quiet our hearts, and still our thoughts. His word enlightens our hearts. His mind cleanses our thoughts. His truth guides our lives. Now his life fills ours. Listen, be still, relax and know that he is God.
“Show us your unfailing love, O LORD, and grant us your salvation. I will listen to what God the LORD will say; he promises peace to his people, his saints — but let them not return to folly.” Psalms 85:7-8 NIV