Archive for September, 2016

Prayer for the Nation

September 23, 2016

This is created from the prayer off the prophet Daniel for his nation, recorded in the book of Daniel 9:1-23.

O Lord, you are a great and awesome God.  You always fulfill your promises of mercy to those who love you and who keep your laws.  But we have sinned so much.  We have rebelled against you and scorned your commands.  We have refused to listen to the words of the prophets and disciples recorded in the bible.  We have refused to listen to the words of Jesus. Again and again, down through the years, you have sent your servants to call us back to obedience.

O Lord, you are righteous, but as for us, we are always shamefaced with sin, just as you see us now, yes, all of us.  The men and women of America, the people of our government, the people of our churches, the people of our neighborhoods, the people of business, medicine and education–all the people have been disloyal to you.  Lord, we are all weighed down with shame for all our sins.

But Lord you are merciful and pardon even those who rebel against you.  We have disobeyed you, and we have suffered all the disasters you warned us about.  We have had crime, broken families, violence, abortion, child abuse, human trafficking, murder, disease, poverty and war.  Every curse written about sinners have all come true, and we still refuse to turn from our sins, confess to you and do what is right.

Though we have sinned so much and are full of wickedness, yet because of all your faithful mercies, please turn away your furious anger from America.  For the sake of our forefathers who founded this nation on Your principles and honored God with their laws, and for the sake of those in this land who love you and have ceaselessly prayed for the redemption of this land, please hear and answer our prayers for forgiveness.  In your mercy, pour out your Holy Spirit on this nation.  Drench us with a spirit of confession and repentance.  Give us the burning desire to please you.  Set our hearts on fire with love for you and compassion for one another.  We plead with you not because we merit help, but because you are so merciful despite our grievous sins.

O Lord hear; O Lord, forgive.  O Lord listen to us and act!  Don’t delay, but for the sake of those who love you and speak for you, and those within our nation who bear your name, forgive, heal and restore us.  Amen.

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An Appointment with God

September 22, 2016

A lot of people say they don’t have time to pray or connect with God.  But they make appointments to meet with people.  Then they will ask–how can I connect with God?

To connect with God it helps to let Him talk with you.  One of my favorite ways to study the bible is to do a Red Word study.  In a lot of bibles, the words of Jesus are printed in red.  If I read a passage of Jesus’ words, then I can pray, asking Him what He is saying to me today–how do His words from 2000 years ago connect to my life?  What is he telling me?  What is He asking me to do?  Then I write down these thoughts where I can act upon them.  Sometimes it involves notes to myself in my planner.

The key to getting close to God is giving Him my time.  Just as a marriage can’t thrive when the couple are apart and not connecting, neither can any relationship thrive under those conditions, including my relationship with God.  I need an appointment with God in my planner.  Many people agree its good to give God a 30 minute appointment each day, and some like to give Him an hour.  The most important thing is to be consistent.  Just as I wouldn’t be a “no show” for a client or a friend, I need to never be a “no show” for God.  Some days things happen, but rather than skip my appointment, I need to reschedule it.  I need to get that appointment in that day even if it means staying up late to have that time before bed.

Time with God before bed is good.  Educators advise studying before sleep because what is learned is retained better when followed by sleep.  During sleep our brains cement in what we learned.  So, whatever God is saying to me and whatever I have determined to do in answer to Him will become cemented into my mind by sleep.

The important thing is to give time with God a priority, just as I give sleeping and eating priority.  I need certain things for my body’s health, and I need that time with God for my mental and spiritual health.

Being a Christ Follower

September 9, 2016

When it says Christ is our life, it means we are united with Him in relationship.  It doesn’t just mean we have a ticket to heaven we get to use one day.  It means for us, eternal life begins now!  Jesus wants to walk with us through this life, and He has planned all kinds of exciting things to do together, now and forever.  When you talk to Jesus, imagine he is sitting right next to you–because He is!  And talk to him as you would your very best friend–because He is!  The difference is, He is your best friend AND He has all the power in the world.  He has wonderful plans for you and all His own, AND He loves you more than you can possibly imagine.  He is your God–the object of your adoration, yet He is your constant companion who cares for you.  Meditate on that today, and see if it doesn’t change how you look at everything!

Careful What We Ask For

September 4, 2016

Listening to the wish lists being presented to the presidential candidates this year, they do seem large:  everything from free tuition and medical care, to guaranteed jobs and guaranteed annual income.  The government is supposed to act as arbiter in the great wealth distribution.  The wealth distribution idea sounds wonderful to the great mass who occupy the bottom half of the income scale.  However, we may have erred in choosing to make government our supreme judge and giver of necessities.  As is recorded in I Samuel 8 of the bible, the people wanted a government that would provide for their security–not a God whom they couldn’t see, much less control.  Somehow they thought they would get a better deal with a king and a king’s administration.  They were warned by the prophet that the king would confiscate their wealth in greater and greater amounts, instead rewarding his administrators and allies.  They would also give up their freedom and become slaves to the king.  And God let them have their wish.

This country looks to the government in the way our forefathers looked to God.  We expect government to provide endless security for us, to keep us safe from all threats, and to compensate us for anything that life would take from us.  God may very well turn us over to the government so we will experience what government can do.  We will be taxed more and more heavily, eventually becoming slaves to the government.  We will give up more and more freedom until we become slaves to an oligarchy consisting of government workers, whose main concern is protecting their privilege and making sure it is extended for the foreseeable future.