Boat

Prayers for the Week: Step out of the Boat!

Boat

22Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. 25And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. 26But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. 27But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.
28And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” 31Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?32And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” ~ Matthew 14:22-33 (ESV)

Hello my friends, and welcome to this week’s prayers for the week post.  The powerful words above is a story that all of us that have opened a Bible have probably heard or read about, myself included, but there are times when you hear the story preached to you and you immediately see all sorts of things that you had missed before.  That happened to me this past Tuesday night, when the Rev. Neal Jeffrey gave the message at The Men’s Study Bible Study.

Friends, there are just twelve verses of Scripture in the tale of Jesus walking on water, but contained in those twelve verses is enough power to open the eyes of almost anyone.  Have a look with me at some of the important points that I re-learned, thanks to Rev. Jeffrey.

  1. Jesus gave the disciples instruction, and they did so immediately.
  2. After He was alone, Jesus did what comes so naturally to Him; He Prayed. If only we were as faithful in our prayers as Jesus is in His!
  3. The boat was assailed by the storm on the water, and was far away from shore.
  4. Jesus came to them on the water, walking on the surface.  It was a miracle!
  5. The disciples didn’t recognize Him; they thought He was a ghost. Jesus spoke to them, though, telling them that He was there.
  6. Peter then tested Jesus, telling Him to command he come to Him if it was really Jesus out there.
  7. Jesus commanded Peter to come to Him, and Peter did — he walked on water also! Another miracle!
  8. But then, Peter took his eyes off of Jesus, and just like all of us when we take our eyes of Jesus — he ran into trouble, just as we do.
  9. But most importantly, though, Peter cried out for Jesus to help him — and Jesus immediately helped him!
  10. Afterwards, the wind died down, and those in the boat worshiped Jesus.

My takeaways from those verses can be summed up in just a couple of more sentences.  When Jesus gives me instruction, I should do so immediately. Don’t put it off until later. I should always make time to pray. I should ask God boldly for things — don’t be afraid to step out of the boat! I should keep my eyes focused on Jesus, but if I falter, I should ask Him for help, because He will help immediately! Lastly, I should always worship God and His Son, Jesus!

Thank you for reading along with me, now, please continue to pray for our prayer requests and praises.

Prayer Requests & Praises

  • Lynn starts us off with a prayer request for her family: If you could, please pray for me and my family. My grandmother passed away Wednesday night and today we would have been celebrating her 94th Birthday. She passed away only 3 hours before her birthday. I know she is having the best birthday celebration ever right now.
    I have always been so very close to her.
  • Lynn also has a prayer request for her friend: Please pray for my friend. We went to high school together. She is 40 years old and recently found out she has breast cancer. She is having surgery this morning. They will be taking her back between 7-8 this morning. And please pray for her family. She has a husband and two kids.
    • The praise is that the surgery went well, so keep praying for Lynn’s friend and her family.  Thank you!
  • Last week we prayed for Lynn’s uncle, who had fallen.  He had some serious complications which included being taken to ICU for a spell, but he is doing much better, so Praise be to God for that!  Please keep praying for Lynn’s uncle and his recovery!
  • Please pray for my friend Lindsey, recently was the one year anniversary of her sister passing away. Please keep them in your prayers as they continue to walk forward but remember their loved one.
  • Please continue your prayers for Brandon, who was listed as a prayer request last week.  Also, please keep praying for all of the people that have been listed on here at some point or another, pray for their healing, for their families, pray for those that are lost, and for those that don’t know what to pray or how to pray.

Now, please close with us by praying the prayer that Jesus taught His Disciples and us to pray:

Our Father, who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be Thy Name.

Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be done
On Earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those that trespass against us.

Lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the Kingdom, and Power, and Glory
Forever and ever. Amen.

 

Faith

Prayers for the Week: What is Faith?

Faith

What is Faith?

To the Christian, our Faith is a trademark of who we are. It is by our faith that we are identified, it is by our faith that we have our strength of conviction, and it is ultimately by our faith that we are judged. Our faith is everything. As a result, let’s take a look at the importance of faith by reading Hebrews 11 together:

1Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2For by it the people of old received their commendation. 3By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.
4By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. 5By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. 6And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. 7By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.
8By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. 10For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. 11By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. 12Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.
13These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.
17By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, 18of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” 19He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back. 20By faith Isaac invoked future blessings on Jacob and Esau. 21By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, bowing in worship over the head of his staff. 22By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave directions concerning his bones.
23By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. 24By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. 27By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible. 28By faith he kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood, so that the Destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them.
29By faith the people crossed the Red Sea as on dry land, but the Egyptians, when they attempted to do the same, were drowned. 30By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days. 31By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.
32And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— 33who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. 35Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. 36Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— 38of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
39And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect. ~ Hebrews 11 (ESV)

The words of Hebrews 11 are many, but they are necessary for us all to read.  It is in these words that we understand just how much faith the men and women of the Bible had in God.  When I read these words, I was reminded that all of these men and women faced a multitude of success and failure in their lives, and that there were times when their faith kept them whole.  Abraham was told to go off with Isaac and sacrifice him to God.  Abraham went off to do just that, knowing by faith that God would not let him down, and would not take the son he had waited 100 years for from him and Sarah. And God acknowledged that faith by staying Abraham’s hand and providing a lamb for the sacrifice.

That faith is hard to quantify at times in our lives.  When we lose a job, or lose a family member, or have some unexpected bad news hit us, it can be hard to remember that we need that faith. It is important to remember the words in Proverbs 3, verses 5 and 6, when we are not sure what or who to trust:

5Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. ~ Proverbs 3:5-6 (ESV)

Do you count yourself as a Christian? If so, how is your faith? More importantly, how is your faith when the bad times roll around? Remember the words of Hebrews 11 and look to the heroes of the Bible for how and where they placed their faith. Now, please continue reading and praying our prayer requests and praises.

Prayer Requests & Praises

  • Vonni starts us off with a series of prayer requests for a friend of hers and his son Brandon: This is not my son but my friend, Randy’s son. It’s terrible. Thank you, friends.
    PLEASE PRAY FOR MY SON BRANDON! He was involved in a near fatal car accident this morning on his way to work at Costco. He was run off the road on a blind curve. He lost control of his car and hit a tree. He is currently in Neuro ICU at Spartanburg Regional Hospital. He has extensive damage to his spinal cord. He is paralyzed from his chest down. He needs a miracle right now. Please help him receive one by keeping him in your Prayers and good thoughts. Bless you. A heartbroken Dad, –Randy

    • From Randy, update on Brandon this morning.UPDATE ON BRANDON’s CONDITION
      I am currently at Spartanburg Regional Hospital Neuro ICU. Brandon is undergoing some extensive testing and an MRI. He can move his arms and hands. But cannot feel anything below his chest. More as soon as I know something. Thank you one and all for your Outpouring of Love , Support and Prayers
    • Update on Brandon:*BRANDON’S SURGERY SCHEDULED
      We just received a call from the Hospital. Brandon’s SURGERY IS Tomorrow, Thursday (9/28/17) at 1:30 P.M., 1ST Floor WAITING ROOM. No One will be able to see Brandon BEFORE OR AFTER SURGERY. I know you understand that it’s going to be an intense day for Brandon, Doctors Nurses entrusted with his Surgery and Care. His Recovery Time in the Neuro ICU is approximately 2 weeks. No idea as to when ANYONE can visit. Please Pray and look for my posts. I will not be taking individual calls or texts Tomorrow regarding Brandon’s Progress. I hope you can understand. Its going to be a tough emotional day. Thank you one and all for your love and support! —Randy
    • Update on Brandon:
      BRANDON had Surgery yesterday. He survived and is holding his own. He is back in Neuro ICU where he is sedated and resting. Thank you for every Prayer and dollar towards his care. —RandyThank you all for continuing prayers.
      Vonni
  • Lynn’s uncle had an accident, fell, and needed hip replacement surgery.  The surgery went well but he’s experiencing complications, please pray for Lynn’s uncle to recover completely.
  • Please pray for my friend Lindsey, yesterday was the one year anniversary of her sister passing away. Please keep them in your prayers as they continue to walk forward but remember their loved one.
  • Please pray for all of those that are lost, for those that need to regain their walk, and for those that don’t know what to pray or who to pray to. Please pray for all of the unsaved, for those that don’t think they need this salvation, and please pray for all of us that have salvation but are under attack from the evil one.  Thank you all!

Now, please close with us by praying the prayer that Jesus taught His Disciples and us to pray:

Our Father, who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be Thy Name.

Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be done
On Earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those that trespass against us.

Lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the Kingdom, and Power, and Glory
Forever and ever. Amen.

Prayers for the Week: Beware the Roaring Lion

8Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen. ~ 1 Peter 5:8-11 (ESV)

Hello, and welcome to this week’s prayers for the week post.  This week has seen a lot of the roaring lion better known as Satan.  It is imperative to us all that we resist that roaring lion, that we resist Satan, and that we remember that with God by our side, no one can defeat us! Just remember, when you find yourself beset by tribulation on all sides, just pray to God and tell the roaring lion of Satan to get behind you in the name of Jesus! That will do the trick every time! Now, please continue reading and praying for our prayer requests and praises.

Prayer Requests & Praises

  • Rebecca and Sheila have a prayer request: I just got this message from Rebecca: Hey my prayer warriors! Please keep praying for Cordy’s Godfather Scott!! It has been a tumultuous week of highs and lows. Steps forward and backwards. He is not out of trouble yet. And I apologize if you haven’t heard much from us, we’ve been trying to balance everything else in our usually busy barely managed chaos of a life, and 2 trips a day to the hospital. And figure out a path forward. So please keep us all in your prayers!
    • This was the original prayer request for Scott from Sheila: I just added my friend Rebecca she needs our help ! Her husbands best friend & Godfather to her daughter, Scott, is in very critical condition. Scott is one of their families oldest and dearest friends. We would appreciate any and all love and prayers and positive thoughts sent his way. From what I understand he had a aortic dissection, which most people do not survive. After 9 hours of surgery. He now needs our help and prayers to recover.
  • Pam has a continued prayer request for her husband Ronnie: My husband Ronnie is in the hospital for the second time this week with his fourth anaphylactic reaction. Praying we get home today and have no more problems.
  • Jodi has a prayer request also: My friend Kimberly has had a mild stroke. Please keep her and her family in prayer! Thank you!
  • We met someone at dinner tonight, Deron, who has had a hard life.  Please pray for him, for God to watch over him.  Thank you!
  • A co-worker of Cindy lost a friend recently. His name is George. Please pray for them and for George’s family in their time of grief. Thanks!
  • Vonni has a prayer request for her friend Randy and more importantly for Randy’s son Brandon: PLEASE PRAY FOR MY SON BRANDON! He was involved in a near fatal car accident this morning on his way to work at Costco. He was run off the road on a blind curve. He lost control of his car and hit a tree. He is currently in Neuro ICU at Spartanburg Regional Hospital. He has extensive damage to his spinal cord. He is paralyzed from his chest down. He needs a miracle right now. Please help him receive one by keeping him in your Prayers and good thoughts. Bless you. A heartbroken Dad, –Randy
  • Lastly, please pray for the lost, for those that don’t know Jesus, for those that don’t know what to pray, and for those that are afraid to ask for prayers.

Now, please close with us by praying the prayer that Jesus taught His Disciples and us to pray:

Our Father, who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be Thy Name.

Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be done
On Earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those that trespass against us.

Lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the Kingdom, and Power, and Glory
Forever and ever. Amen.

Prayers for the Week – Praising God

Praising God

Let Everything Praise the Lord
1 Praise the Lord!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens!
2 Praise him for his mighty deeds;
praise him according to his excellent greatness!
3 Praise him with trumpet sound;
praise him with lute and harp!
4 Praise him with tambourine and dance;
praise him with strings and pipe!
5 Praise him with sounding cymbals;
praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord! ~ Psalm 150 (ESV)

Hello, and welcome to this week’s prayers for the week post.  Today we are praising God for all that He does for us.  This is a prayer post that is going to have some prayer requests in it, but let us also be about the business of praising God! Let’s get right to it, shall we?

Prayer Requests & Praises

  • Mark starts us off with a very sad prayer request: A soldier in my Reserve unit took is own life Tuesday evening. He is survived by his mother, father, two brothers and estranged wife. I ask that you put his family in your prayers.
  • Mikel has a big praise from Montana: A big thank you to you all who prayed for Montana! Yesterday it started raining – a nice steady rain that won’t rash away the dirt that is left after the burned trees – we even have snow in the mountains! God is good!
  • Jodi passes along thanks and continued prayers: Just wanted to say thank you for all the prayers during Hurricane Irma! We made it through safe and sound. We had some water leakage that insurance is checking out tomorrow. It may be builder warranty since our house is under 10 yrs old, so hopefully repairs will be covered one way or the other.
    The eye wall passed directly over our area. They were predicting 100+mph winds, but fortunately it *only* got up to about 85. Lots of downed trees, fences, signs, etc., all over town, and power was out for several hours (12 hrs for us). Some areas are still without electricity! We feel very blessed that damage was much less than it could have been!
    Please continue prayers for those who did have major losses and who have a long way to get back to normal.
  • Paul has a praise for his daughter Patricia, who lives in West Palm Beach: Yes, thank-you for your prayers! Praise God! She is fine!
  • Lori has a praise and a prayer request wrapped up together: During Irma, there was one story I never posted but I feel compelled to share now….
    I have a friend in Detroit who has most of her family (30+) in FL (unbeknownst to me until last weekend). None of them would leave and chose to weather it out.
    We waited, prayed…and waited & prayed again…and then finally got word late Monday that all of them had made it through!!! Then very early Tuesday morning, my friend texted me that her 96 year-old “Gpa” had passed away (natural causes).
    I can not help but think that he hung around long enough to make sure his family all got through it! May he Rest In Peace – a life well done!
  • Lori has a praise for the prayer request for “Jeff from Cape Coral, FL” from last week on how he managed the storm: He IS! I just heard tonight and by the Grace of God, with very little damage!
  • Lori has a prayer request for her sister Jan: My sister, Jan, is sick, very sick with what sounds like pneumonia to me. PLEASE she is not as strong as me, and I am really scared. Anyone listening, please say a prayer!
  • Lori also has a prayer request for Ronnie: Please lift Ronnie up in Prayer, he is about to greet those most Heavenly Gates!
  • I’ve got a big praise celebrating my Mom and her 75th birthday!
  • Lastly, another big praise with the start of the 2017-18 Men’s Study Bible Study this past Tuesday!
Praising God

Image ©Stefan Youngblood

Now, please close with us by praying the prayer that Jesus taught His Disciples and us to pray:

Our Father, who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be Thy Name.

Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be done
On Earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those that trespass against us.

Lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the Kingdom, and Power, and Glory
Forever and ever. Amen.

 

Prayers for the Week – A Season for everything

season

 

1For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2 a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace. ~ Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (ESV)

Hello everyone, and thank you for joining with us on our weekly prayers for the week post.  As we learn in the book of Ecclesiastes, there is a season for all things in God’s plan.  We know that there is a time to live, and a time to die.  There is a time to break down, and a time to build up. There is a time for everything.

This week has been an extremely hard one for so many of us, and you will hear all about them in our prayer requests and praises that we will lift up further down.  Starting us off, though, I want to take a moment and talk about Daniel, the young man that we have been lifting up in prayer for over four years.  This past Tuesday, though, the Lord called Daniel home.  We remember Daniel with love, even though we have never met him, and we celebrate the life he lived despite being afflicted with such a hard illness.  He met that illness head on, and never wavered in his love of the Lord because of it.  He leaves behind his wife Amanda and daughter Cate, and we lift them up every day for God’s Strength, Peace, Comfort, and Love to surround them.

The prayers for Amanda and Cate are just the beginning, so please continue reading with us as we carry on our Prayer Requests and Praises below.

Prayer Requests & Praises

  • Please pray for all of those in the path of Hurricane Irma, Jose, and Katia, and for all of those that have already faced the wrath of these storms.  Please pray as well for all of those that had to leave their homes, and for any affected in any way from the storms.
    • Paul has a prayer request: My daughter, Patricia, is in the West Palm Beach area and is staying to ride out the storm. There is no gas and roads are packed. Please keep her and her friends in your prayers.
    • Please pray for Jodi, who is in the path, and my cousin James over in Tampa.
    • Please pray for all of my friends who live in Florida who had to stay.
    • Please keep “Jeff in Cape Coral, FL” in your Prayers….for whatever reason, he is not willing to share more than that. His sister, Diane, is a good friend of mine in MN….her brother is going to “ride this out” – he is on the west side of the point of FL!
  • Please continue praying for my cousin Barb and her husband Tim for healing for his cancer.
  • Please continue praying for my cousin Deb and her husband Donnie for healing from his stomach issues.
  • Hayden has a prayer request for his Mom: I’d appreciate prayers for my mom. She is having her second cornea replacement surgery this am due to the fact her body didn’t accept the first one about 5 weeks ago. She’s needing the surgery due to her chemo and the chemo is what kept the first one from working. She’s in remission from her bone cancer but now is dealing with side effects from the chemo. Please remember her and pray that this transplant works. Thank you all.
  • Please pray for all of the wildfires — in Montana, Oregon, California, and anywhere I’ve missed.  Please pray that the fires would be put out quickly and that no loss of life or additional damage would be inflicted.
  • Hey everyone, please include my friend Donna in your prayers. She suffers from vertigo and is having a hard time right now. Thanks!
  • Please continue to pray for Karen’s sister-in-law.  She didn’t get the job she was hoping to get, so please keep praying for the right job for her to arrive. Thank you!
  • Jodi has a prayer request: My friend Kim’s best friend Shanna passed away last night. Thank you for praying for her during her illness. Please continue prayers for her family!
  • Sheila has a prayer request: Please pray for all of the people affected by the earthquake in Guatemala and Mexico.
  • As always, pray for those that don’t know what to pray for, and pray for those that are lost.  Pray for those that don’t know the words to speak, but don’t worry — because God knows what we need even when we can’t put it to words.

Now, please close with us by praying the prayer that Jesus taught His Disciples and us to pray:

Our Father, who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be Thy Name.

Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be done
On Earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those that trespass against us.

Lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the Kingdom, and Power, and Glory
Forever and ever. Amen.