The flow of life, some is smooth and some rough.
It was an epiphany of sorts. I saw my parents and grandparents praying for me and knew their prayers had played a vital role in the flow of my life. As if they had been pouring goodness into me.
Timothy in the New Testament benefited from such prayer—
Night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. I long to see you again, for I remember your tears as we parted. And I will be filled with joy when we are together again. I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you. 2 Timothy 1:3-5 NIV
The prayers poured out for Timothy by Paul and Timothy’s Grandmother and Mother, helped him in his life.
That is one of the major reasons for being part of a local church so that we can pour prayer into each other.
Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. Ephesians 6:18 NLT
Paul states that prayer is one part of armor we should not neglect in our battle with the powers of this dark world.
Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Ephesians 6:13 NLT
So I encourage you to pour out prayer for your family and friends and not give up.
Flying home with friends
As I face this day, I am thankful that I do not face it alone.
“The Lord is with me; he is my helper.” Psalm 118:7
I can let the anxiety of life go, knowing God will be with me. Oh, how good it is to know the name Jesus (God saves) and Immanuel (God is with us). I can truly rejoice in Him, for He has saved me and goes with me forever.
“This is the day the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24
Facing tough times
Hasten, O God, to save me;
O Lord, come quickly to help me. Psalm 70:1
The circumstances for this psalm must have been very dire. The psalmist needs help quickly for he is under attack and will soon lose his life.
May those who seek my life
be put to shame and confusion; Psalm 70:2
Here the psalm takes a surprising turn.
But may all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who love your salvation always say,
“Let God be exalted!” Psalm 70:4
Always say: “Let God be exalted!” These are not as some magical words that will force God to intervene miraculously. These are words of worship that knock our troubles and circumstances out of preeminence in our life… and put God on the throne. Worship changes us, reassures us, moves our focus from what we are praying about to God.
The psalm ends with the troubles still bearing down.
Yet I am poor and needy;
come quickly to me, O God.
You are my help and my deliverer;
O Lord, do not delay. Psalm 70:5
What is different is the psalmist—“Let God be exalted” in me.
The heavens and earth await His coming.
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:13-14
Morning light chasing away the shadows.
The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
a light has dawned. Isaiah 9:2
This Advent let the light chase away the shadows.
I can see it just ahead
Advent is much more than looking forward to December 25th, the day we celebrate Christ’s birth. It is about realizing the hope of glory bestowed upon us in Jesus.
When the angel announced to Mary that she was highly favored and that the Lord is with you. It greatly troubled her because her life looked nothing like “highly favored.”
Going from “greatly troubled” to “highly favored” is what Advent is about. We do it by taking the words of Mary for our own:
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Luke 1:38
The promise of God for us is “Christ in me the hope of glory,” (Colossians 1:27). A hope that grows each day carrying us through sorrow, and troubles, and onto a glorious Christmas forever in Christ.
So we hesitantly count ourselves as highly favored and whisper with Mary—may it be as You have said…I think I am pregnant.
The higher up I go the more insignificant I feel.
No prayer is too small and insignificant that God will overlook it.
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Luke 12:6-7
No request too huge that the infinite power of God will not make it look insignificant.
Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.
Water flowing around rocks
“Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” Exodus 34:14
This is actually very reassuring for it means God works in our lives to keep us following Him. He will not stand for our worship of anything else. It also means God is there when we get on our knees and pray.
When I am anxious and ask for help, He is there.
When I am sad and cry out, He is there.
When I feel the pull of temptation, He is there to give me strength.
When I am joyous, He is joyous with me and will guard me from falling into hedonism.
He is always leading me to Himself.
When the world is falling down around me He is my rock, my refuge, and my savior.
In all my ways God keeps me for Himself.
Knowing this brings forth thanksgiving and praise.
I can take a deep breath in His closeness and rest in worship of my God.
“The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield and the horn of my salvation.
He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior—
from violent men you save me.
I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
and I am saved from my enemies.” 2 Samuel 22:2-4
“For great is Your love, higher than the heavens.” Psalm 108:4
We can’t make God love us less—He died for us.
We can’t make God love us more—He died for us.
But sadly we are free to ignore His love and die for ourselves.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
Gazing upon beauty depends on the condition of your mind
There are many things that interfere with my ability to appreciate beauty. Beauty is delicate and easily pushed aside. I can’t do it if my mind is beset by: anger, fear, lust, jealousy, greed, grief, or sadness. These thoughts are brash, consuming, and often out of control in my mind. I need the help of the Holy Spirit to tame them and send them away so I can see the beauty of the Lord. When the Spirit comes and transforms my mind (Romans 12:1-2) He replaces those harsh thoughts with: thanksgiving, gratitude, praise, joy, peace, hope and love. O how good it is to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord (Psalm 27:4).