My Prayer For A New Year
My Prayer For You
I have shared my prayers for the New Year, and today I want to share a prayer for you. I appreciate those who take time to read these devotionals from day to day. Those who send their thoughts to me through emails or on facebook and those who hit the Like button are very special and these kind gestures always send a smile and brighten my day. So this prayer today is for you! God gave Moses this prayer for Aaron and his sons to bless the Children of Israel. I pray these blessings for you today.
"24 The LORD bless thee, and keep thee:
25 The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
26 The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace." (Numbers 6:24-26)
A Prayer That We Know The Love Of Christ
Do you know that three weeks ago we were celebrating the birth of Jesus? The first week of December when Christmas is three weeks away, it seems so close. Now, it seems so far behind us. My Christmas ornaments and decorations have been put away, in storage for most of the year. The Nativity pieces which lined my mantle have also been carefully boxed up, out of sight, but hopefully not out of mind. My prayer today is that we won't quickly forget the love of God which brought His Son to walk among men, and die on the cross to give us salvation. Paul's prayer for the church at Ephesus was that they would be rooted and grounded in love and that they would be able to comprehend "the breadth, and length, and depth, and height" of the love of Christ. What a wonderful prayer!
"14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen." (Ephesians 3:14-21)
My Prayer For Us Is That We Can Take A Stand For God
Andrew Little taught a great lesson in Sunday school from chapter three of Daniel, where Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were thrown into the fiery furnace because they didn't bow to King Nebuchadnezzar's gods. My prayer today is that we, as Christians, will have the faith and courage to take a stand for our God. The media and many of our nation's leaders are taking a stand against the law of God. Let's look at some of the excuses that these young Hebrews could have used to bow to the golden image.
1. We are in a strange land and can't worship in our temple.
2. Our parents are not here to tell us what to do, or see what we do.
3. Who will be a witness for God if we are killed in the furnace?
4. Our God has forsaken us in letting us be carried away to Babylon.
5. Everyone else has already bowed to the golden image.
6. It is the law of the land that we bow to the idol.
7. We are leaders and it is expected of us.
8. We can bow in our bodies, but not in our hearts.
9. Times have changed, and serving the living God is old-fashioned.
10. Our lives have changed.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did not use any of these excuses, but they stood for God. "Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up." (Daniel 3:16-18) How many of these excuses are being used by people living today? My prayer for us is that we will be able to lay these excuses aside and put on the armor of God and stand up for God and His righteousness. For these three Hebrew boys, the fire did not destroy them, but only freed them from their bonds and let them walk with Jesus and bring glory to God.
"10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;" (Ephesians 6:10-18)
My Prayer That God Will Send Laborers Into His Harvest
I was reading in the tenth chapter of Acts this morning which begins, "There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band," (Acts 10:1) This man was a Gentile who sought God and an angel appeared to him and told him to send for Simon Peter. Meanwhile, Peter had a vision of all types of animals lowered to him in a sheet and a voice told him to rise and eat. Peter refused saying that he had never eaten anything common or unclean. "And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven." (Acts 10:15-16) This was done three times, then the men who were sent by Cornelius had arrived to take him with them. The Spirit told Peter to go with them and God showed him what was meant by the vision. "And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean." (Acts 10:28) Cornelius and his household were saved and the Holy Ghost fell on them, and they were baptized. By the time I reached these verses, tears of gratitude fell from my eyes. Salvation had been for the Jews. But, praise the Lord, He opened up the way for the Gentiles! Cornelius listened and sent for Simon Peter. Peter listened and went with a group of Jews to Caesarea. Do you realize that if salvation had not been offered to the Gentiles we would have no hope? And if the Jews of the early church had not carried the gospel message to other nations we might not have access to God today. My prayer today is that God will send us as laborers into His harvest. We may be the only witness to cross the path of some lost soul who is seeking to know God. Pastor Jack Tripp preached from the parable of the sower Sunday and reminded us that we are to sow the seed, and pray that God will bring forth fruit for our labors. Hear the Words of our Lord, "Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest." (Luke 10:2)
Wash Me, Cleanse Me
I like to cook. And that's a good thing, because we like to eat. Every. Day. In fact, we eat more than once, every day. And that means we have lots of dirty dishes, every day. But that's a good thing, because that shows that God is providing our needs. Every. Day. As I was washing my dishes this morning, I was thinking about what I read in the book of John, where Jesus was about to wash the disciples' feet.
"8 Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.
9 Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.
10 Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all." (John 13:8-10)
Jesus washed the feet of the disciples to teach them about serving others. But we can also see from this example that we get dirty walking through this sinful world. After David sinned he prayed, "Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin... Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow... Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me." (Psalm 51:2, 7 & 10) God gives us this promise, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (I John 1:9) Only God has the power to forgive our sins and cleanse us. My prayer today is, "Wash me and cleanse me." Now, back to my kitchen. I have dishes to dry, and I can even use one of the new kitchen towels I got for Christmas. God is good!
God has given us His Word so that we are able to look all the way back to the beginning of man. "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." (Genesis 1:26-27) We were made in the image of God. And God walked and talked with Adam and Eve in the beautiful garden that He created for them. After they sinned against God Adam and Eve were cast out from their home in the garden. It is hard to imagine how far man fell in just a few short chapters. "And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." (Genesis 6:5) We find our own state in Isaiah 64:6, "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away." Read a little farther... "But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand." (Isaiah 64:8) In another place Isaiah said, "Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands?" (Isaiah 45:9) My prayer today is, "Mold me and make me, into Your image." I often fail and make mistakes. But I want to be a vessel that God can use. I don't want to work against God's plan for my life. I want to live a life that brings glory to His Name.
Many, many years ago, in the 1970's, I sat under the preaching of Pastor Arthur F. Blackburn. Even though I can't remember many of his sermons, I learned a lot from his Bible preaching and from time to time God will bring to my mind something he said. One thing that he said as he got older was that he didn't want God to put him on a shelf. He wanted to preach as long as he lived. Well, I am not a preacher, but I do want God to use me as long as I live. I want to be a vessel of honor, "meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work." That is my prayer today, "Use me." I know that I won't make much of an impact on the world, but I hope and pray that I can be a help to some. I want my children and grandchildren to know how much I love the Lord. And maybe these short little devotionals will encourage some along the way. I want to be a faithful servant and give my all to the Lord, who gave His all for me.
"19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.
21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work." (II Timothy 2:19-21)