Prayer Journal

Prayer Journal

August 19, 2016
Moses answered the people "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today.… The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still" (Exodus 14:13-14). God’s power demonstrates itself most clearly when we realize that we have moved beyond the realm of our possibilities. God's power, of course, is always at work in our lives. But we can convince ourselves that we, rather than the Lord, are responsible for some of the things that happen. As long as we are convinced we are in control, there is no need to look to God to display his power. God brought...Read more
August 18, 2016
She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head (Mark 14:3b). What this woman did was a scandal. At least Jesus' disciples thought so. And it was an important enough event for the Spirit to lead three of the four Gospel writers to record it (Matthew 26:6-13, Mark 14:3-9, John 12:1-8). The woman was Mary – of Martha, and Lazarus fame. She came from a rich and influential Jewish family. She came from a family that celebrated Jesus as the promised Messiah. She came from a family that treasured a resurrection miracle Jesus worked that gave a four-day-dead Lazarus back to them. Just short of...Read more
August 17, 2016
Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, "We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it" (Numbers 13:30). God is in the moving business. He is always in the process of moving his people. Over the next hill and around the next corner he has additional blessings for us. It will not do for us to stay in the same place. We see that in the history of Israel when they were moving from slavery in Egypt to freedom in the Promised Land. God sent miracle after miracle to get them to move. But they seemed content to hunker down in the desert. At one point they...Read more
August 16, 2016
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go (The Lord to Joshua, Joshua 1:9). Jim Elliot sought to be a dangerous man. He loved God and wanted to share the Lord's love with others so much that he lived his life on the bold and courageous side of faith. Jim Elliot wrote in his journal in 1949, "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." So as a man who wanted to give away the gospel of Jesus because Jesus had given him a heaven he could not lose, Jim...Read more
August 15, 2016
…His incomparably great power for us who believe… is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms… (Ephesians 1:19-20). Power. One of our greatest needs. But not political power or controlling power or military power. Our need is for spiritual power. Our Creator-God is the source of all power. Paul asked the Ephesians, Do you want an example of his raw power? Examine the power it took for God to destroy sin's hold on us and death's right to us. Feel the eternal shockwave that power...Read more
August 12, 2016
Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices – mint, dill, and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law – justice, mercy, and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former (Jesus, Matthew 23:23). A tithe. A tenth of something. God commanded that Old Testament Israelites give a tithe of their income to support the ministry of the priests. A tithe was where their grateful giving to God was to start. In addition to that 10%, they gave offerings and gifts to God. Is that Old Testament...Read more
August 11, 2016
So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well (Jesus, Matthew 6:31-33). William Borden was a young Yale graduate and the heir to the Borden family fortune. But he forfeited all of it to move to Egypt as a missionary. After only four months there he became sick and died. If you go to Cairo today – and look hard – you can find his grave. The inscription...Read more
August 10, 2016
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Jesus, Matthew 6:19-21). Jesus pictures us as managers of his Father’s world. His Word insists that everything is in fact God’s, "The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it" (Psalm 24:1). Our role is to manage the part of God’s resources he has given us...Read more
August 9, 2016
Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting in their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything – all she had to live on" (Jesus, Mark 12:41-44). Jesus makes it very clear that honoring God is not about...Read more
August 8, 2016
No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money (Jesus, Matthew 6:24). This is just one of many times Jesus talks about money. Out of the 38 parables Jesus told, 16 had to do with money and possessions. One out of 10 verses in the Gospels deals directly with the subject of money. The Bible offers about 500 verses about prayer, 500 about faith, and 2,000 about money. Why would Jesus spend so much of his time teaching and challenging his followers about money and material...Read more
August 5, 2016
Naaman went away angry and said, "I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy" (2 Kings 5:11). In our journey through life God can call on us to do things that make no human sense. They can seem to violate every theory of economics, medicine, science, and sociology. Naaman was in that kind of a situation. Naaman was a powerful Syrian military leader who was suffering from leprosy, a disease that was devouring him from the outside in. Someone told him that Elisha, the man of God in...Read more
August 4, 2016
Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine (Proverbs 3:7-10). Wonderful, unexpected things happen when we "trust in the Lord with all [our] heart and lean not on [our] own understanding" (Proverbs 3:5). For example, when God gets our generous, firstfruits offerings, we generally find we end up with more than we started with. Of course, we don't...Read more
August 3, 2016
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6). God expects us to trust him. He commands us to trust him. In fact, we were created to function best when we live our lives in dependence upon him. There are two reasons such dependence makes sense. First, we can't get by without him. Our knowledge is incomplete, our wisdom is inadequate, and our power is ineffective. Only the rebellious illogic of sin forwards the lie that we don't need God. The other, more compelling reason we...Read more
August 2, 2016
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6). How straight are your paths? Those lines painted down the middle of a highway and on the edges of a highway help drivers stay in their lanes and out of oncoming traffic and the ditch at road's edge. God promises that our paths through life will be safe when we trust his guidelines, when our lives run parallel to his will for us, when we pay attention to his Word. But can we trust the highway lines God has given us to follow?...Read more
August 1, 2016
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5). When the Olympics came to America in 1996, part of the experience was to see the Olympic flame. The Olympic flame is carried from Greece – where it constantly burns – to wherever the Olympic Games are held. The flame made its way to Atlanta for the opening ceremonies by traveling all over America first – a 15,000 mile journey. From place to place athletes, heroes, and celebrities, along with little known people carried torches...Read more
July 29, 2016
When Joseph's brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, "What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?" (Genesis 50:15). The would-be dream-destroyers feared for their lives. They reasoned: If we had been in Joseph's position, we would have waited for our father to die and then exact our revenge. So the brothers' dream of finishing their journey through life in freedom seemed impossible. But what the brothers didn't factor in was Joseph's gratitude for God's amazing grace. Perhaps that was because their appreciation for the Lord's...Read more
July 28, 2016
The Lord was with Joseph and he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did, Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant (Genesis 39:2-4). In 1930, two young brothers named Dick and Maurice McDonald moved from New Hampshire to California to pursue the American dream: financial success. After a few failed ventures, they struck gold. They opened a small drive-in restaurant. By the mid-1950s, their annual revenue was $350,000. The brothers split $100,000 in profits...Read more
July 27, 2016
"Here comes that dreamer!" they said to each other. "Come now, let’s kill him.… Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams" (Genesis 37:19-20). Read Genesis 37:12-36. Joseph found out what every dreamer finds out – not everyone is happy about your dream. Joseph discovered that people envy your dream, conspire against it, speak against it, and even attack it. Joseph’s brothers put him in a pit and then sold him to slave traders who took him to Egypt. Joseph must have wondered just what God was doing and how his dream would now become a reality. Remember that the human-side of every God-driven...Read more
July 26, 2016
Joseph had a dream…. He said to them, "Listen to this dream I had" (Genesis 37:5-6) In the movie Field of Dreams Kevin Costner played Ray Kincella. At nearly 40 years old, Kincella had lived a predictable life. That changed when he heard a voice, "Build it and he will come." Kincella's fractured relationship with his father had haunted him. His father died before he could apologize for his years of rebellion. But the voice promised a second chance. So he plowed most of his cornfield under and created a baseball field. And it was there, on that baseball field, that his father came to meet him...Read more
July 25, 2016
"Then God remembered Rachel; he listened to her and opened her womb" (Genesis 30:22) Have you ever seen a dream walking? Jacob did. Her name was Rachel. They were very much in love. Like most married couples, they desired to have a child. But that child did not come as soon as they wished. So Rachel prayed about their dream; Jacob prayed about their dream. In his time God made their dream real. He gave them a son, Joseph. It is impossible to overestimate the power and place of dreams in human existence. Out of dreams have come lifesaving medical breakthroughs and soul-stirring revival...Read more