Prayers for the Week: Fruit of the Spirit – Self-Control

self-control

Hello everyone, and welcome to today’s Prayers for the Week post. Last week we looked at gentleness, the eighth word that was mentioned as a fruit of the Spirit by the Apostle Paul.  Today, we conclude our series by looking at self-control.  But first, let’s look at our Bible verses again to refresh them in our minds:

22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. ~ Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV)

The past week has shown a definite lack of self-control among the peoples of this world.  Charlottesville, Barcelona, Florida, and countless other locals all have shown that there is a definite lack of self-control in this world.  What is self-control, though, and why is it a fruit of the Spirit as listed in Galatians?

To me, the concept of self-control is to make sure you exercise patience, and ask God for guidance in decisions you need to make.  Self-control is, to me, about disciplining ones self so that it is in tune with what God desires of me, rather than what the world expects of me.  Unfortunately, the events of the past week or so have shown a definite lack of self-control exists among the people of the world.  I think the examples are obvious, and we don’t need to recap them yet one more time.  The ultimate question to me is how are we going to get beyond all of this?

15 For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’ ~ Matthew 13:15 (ESV)

My friends, I’m worried that the words of Jesus, which He quoted from the book of Isaiah some 2,700 years ago, are being played out right before our eyes in the present day and time.  In my eyes, the sad reality is that the majority of the people in this world are marching to the beat of their own drum, or rather, Satan’s drum, and as a result, most of the people’s hearts have hardened.

To me, the only way that the people of this world will be redeemed is if they start praying to God, asking Him to guide them, and putting their complete trust in Him.  Fortunately, I see examples of that every single day.  I see Godly men and women looking to God for guidance.  I see them praying to God, evangelizing to others, I see them asking God’s direction for their lives, for their daily encounters, and I see God responding to our pleas. If you continue reading, and read our prayer requests and praises and pray over them, you will see God’s answer in some of them as well.

Prayer Requests & Praises

  • Amanda starts us off with a desperate plea for prayer for her husband Daniel.  We first started praying for Daniel way back in May of 2013.  But, it’s life threatening serious, people.  Please shower him with all the prayers you can. Here’s what Amanda wrote: We need prayers badly. The biliary drain for my husband is working but not bringing his bilirubin down enough. The doctor says that means the cancer is starting to interfere with the liver function. He suggested my husband go home and be made comfortable but also offered us to try Herceptin (a breast cancer drug) to see if we can beat back the cancer enough to get the liver to function well. My husband is fighting until the last possible moment and is getting Herceptin, fluids and potassium as we speak. Please pray that his body get strong and the Herceptin, & God, get that cancer out of his liver and the rest of his body. I have trouble believing God would have brought him thru all of this to take him now!
  • Stefan wrote for a prayer request for his friend Rob on Wednesday.  Here’s the original request as well as updates: Hey folks, my friend Rob suffered a heart attack Monday and again last night. He’s in surgery right now. Please pray from him!
    • Here’s an update: Update on Rob from his sister:
      We just saw Rob and talked to his doctor and nurses. He is still asleep and intubated (with breathing tube) but the surgery went very well.
      Praise God. Keep praying folks.
    • Another update on Rob — he’s getting better and was transferred from ICU to a regular room! Keep praying, but he’s getting better, thanks everyone!
  • Stephanie has an update on baby Wesley: UPDATE: “After 17 days Wesley opened his eyes!! And he is now 2 pounds!! A long road ahead but, we will take all steps in the right direction.” This is in regards to the post I made a week or so ago.
  • Jodi needs continued prayers for her work situation: OK, a few weeks ago, y’all were so faithful in praying over me as I applied to teach with VIPKid, and I thank you! I did get hired; however, I have still not gotten a single booking! I’m doing everything they say to do to get their attention, but I’m at 23 days now, and still have not taught a single class. I really need to start earning an income, so please continue to pray over this with me. Thank you!
  • Please keep praying for my cousin Barb’s husband, Tim.  Tim’s been fighting cancer for a long time too, about as long as Daniel, and he needs God’s hand on him too.  Please lift up that family, shower them all with as much prayer as you can muster.
  • Please pray for all of the families of those affected in Charlottesville and Barcelona and Florida.
  • Please pray for the upcoming Men’s Study bible study, that it would see phenomenal attendance and that all of us would be brought closer to God, and that we would share that love for God with those we meet in our daily encounters.
  • Lastly, we pray for all of those unspoken prayer requests.  We pray for all of those that are lost and have no direction, and we pray that they would learn who God is and that we would witness it change their lives.

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 – Making Sense of it all

Proverbs 19:21

Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s Prayers for the Week post. Today we’re going to talk about how hard it can be making sense of it all, all the bad that has happened in our lives, all the things that have gone wrong.  In some cases, even making sense of the good things that have happened too is necessary.  For today’s verse, I’m sharing with you a verse from the book of Proverbs:

21 Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand. ~ Proverbs 19:21 (ESV)

As you will see when you read our prayer requests, the list of people needing prayers has increased greatly over the last couple of weeks.  There are people all over the world that are suffering, and unfortunately, the suffering will continue until Jesus arrives back on earth in the 2nd coming.  The key, though, is that despite what is happening in our lives — whether it be good or bad — our focus needs to be fixed entirely on Jesus.  He is our rock, our salvation; He is our answer to prayer; He will lead us through trials; He is our Shepherd, and we are His sheep — where He leads, we should follow.  Do you remember two of my favorite Bible verses?  Well, in case you’ve forgotten, here they are again, with a third one thrown in that is becoming a favorite as well:

11For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. ~ Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)

33I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” ~ John 16:33 (ESV)

13I can do all things through him who strengthens me. ~ Philippians 4:13 (ESV)

In those three verses, we have the Promise of God, the Assurance of Jesus, and the reminder that we, as lowly and full of sin as we are, that nothing can stand in our way, as long as we call on God to help us through those days.  Such simple verses, yet so packed with love.

So, my friends, as you read our prayer requests, and lift up to God our praises, remember, nothing is to small for God, nothing is too trivial, and nothing is to great, either, for God; He wants us to give to him all of the cares, all of the worries, He wants us to turn them over to Him, turn them over and not pull them back to us.

Continued prayers for those we mentioned last week in our prayer post, along with these new requests:

Prayers for Health

  • For Elisha’s blood pressure and stress test
  • For Elisha’s sister Nora, who had neck surgery
  • For Rebecca, who has shoulder issues and likely needs surgery
  • For our old neighbor Anne, who had a stroke and is recuperating
  • For Erin’s friend, whose child is sick, prayers for healing as well as Peace
  • For Casey, who battles Lyme Disease and migraine headaches.
  • For Ginger’s Dad, who is fighting brain lesions.

Prayers for Jobs

  • For Josalynne, who has finished school and is now applying for jobs.
  • For Mitchell, who had a job with prospects for another, but was suddenly told he wasn’t needed with no notice, and now no jobs.

Prayers for Peace

  • For Elisha’s Mom and family — his Mom just lost her sister Mary.
  • For Jodi’s niece, who is being stalked.  She is 24 years old, please pray for her Peace, but also for this to stop.
  • For the family of Mary Alice Reason, who passed away suddenly without warning.
  • For the families of Alison and Adam, who were shot and killed on TV — and for the families of all of those that are lost that we don’t hear about on TV.

Prayers for the Enemy

  • Prayers for the shooter.  As hard as it is to pray for someone who commits evil on us, it is a sign of a true Christian to do so.  God will help you through these prayers.

Prayers for the Lost

  • For those that have passed away.
  • For those that do not know Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

Prayers for Finances

  • Continued prayers for those who are in financial difficulty, whomever they may be, and wherever they are.  Lord, please be with them.

Praises!

  • Glory to God for Don’s wife Vallery, who is approaching five years cancer free!
  • For Stephanie, who was offered a job!
  • For my friend Shirley, who thought of me even when she didn’t need to!
  • For Monica, who felt led by the Holy Spirit to reach out to me.
  • For Hardin, who called me about being an assistant leader in the Men’s Study.
  • For God, who put it on my heart to accept that calling
  • For all of you, who take time each week to read and pray with us!

Anonymous Prayers

  • For Frances
  • For Early

Please pray with me:

Heavenly Father, You hear our cries, You see our needs, and You listen to our Hearts.  Lord, thank you for being our God, for helping us day in and day out, for hearing us through thick and thin.  Thank you for Your promises, for Your Son Jesus, and for all that You have given to us, and all that You will do in the future.  Now, Lord, hear our prayer, as we pray the prayer that Jesus taught 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 who trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory forever and ever. Amen.

Thank you all for reading with us this week, and remember to let us know what you need praying over, so we can lift you up as you lift us up.  Thank you, and God Bless You.

Prayers for the Week – RIP Uncle Sam

Uncle Walter, Uncle Bob, Uncle Bud, Uncle Sam, and Uncle Ted in 2008

Uncle Walter, Uncle Bob, Uncle Bud, Uncle Sam, and Uncle Ted in 2008

7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. ~ 2Timothy 4:7 (ESV)

My friends, thank you for joining us today on a very special Prayers for the Week post.  We learned on Friday morning that Uncle Sam, pictured in the grey sweater, passed away in his sleep that morning.  It was totally unexpected — we had just seen Uncle Sam just 6 weeks earlier for Uncle Ted’s (far right) funeral.  My friends, thank you for your love and support during this trying time.  In this picture, only Uncle Walter on the left and Uncle Bud in the middle are left, and I know that they are hurting, wondering what is happening.  My wife Cindy and her family has lost three of her uncles in the past 18 months.

My friends, please pray with us, pray for Uncle Sam, for his goodness, for his kindness, for those that he touched in his life.  Pray for Aunt Saundra, his wife, and their children and grandchildren and nieces and nephews and cousins and on and on and on.  Please pray for their comfort, their strength, their peace, pray that God would wrap them up in His arms and care for them for as long as need be.  Most of all, pray that they would turn to God in their grief, that they wouldn’t turn angry towards God, but rather, that they would understand that God needed Uncle Sam at that moment, that, while we don’t know the reason he was chosen at that moment, we know that it is for the Glory of God.  Most of all, pray that if there is someone that does not know God, pray that they would come to know Him through the example that Uncle Sam, Uncle Ted, and Uncle Bob left for us.  These were great men, all of them taken before we wanted them, and I know that the old saying is that these things come in threes, but I didn’t want that to be the case.

My friends, please pray for Uncle Bud and Uncle Walter, that they would stay in good health, and that God would not call them for some time to come.  My wife Cindy and her family need them to stick around for a while yet.  Now, please pray with me the prayer that Jesus taught His Disciples 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 who trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory forever and ever. Amen.

Prayers for the Week – Worship in Spirit and Truth!

Isaiah 25-8

Do you go to church?  Do you worship God in Spirit and in Truth?  Do you understand what this means?  Welcome to this week’s Prayers for the Week post.  This week, I’m sharing selected verses from Isaiah 25.  Let’s see if we can come together and learn or remember exactly what worshiping God in Spirit and in Truth is all about.

1O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you; I will praise your name, for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure. 2For you have made the city a heap, the fortified city a ruin; the foreigners’ palace is a city no more; it will never be rebuilt. 3Therefore strong peoples will glorify you; cities of ruthless nations will fear you. 4For you have been a stronghold to the poor, a stronghold to the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat; for the breath of the ruthless is like a storm against a wall, 5like heat in a dry place. You subdue the noise of the foreigners; as heat by the shade of a cloud, so the song of the ruthless is put down. 6On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined. 7And he will swallow up on this mountain the covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations. 8He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken. 9It will be said on that day, “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.” ~ Isaiah 25:1-9 (ESV)

When we worship God, Jesus tells us in John 4:23-24 that “true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship Him.  God is spirit, and those that worship him must worship in spirit and truth.

What do you think this means?  From everything I’ve learned, I think that it means that we are not limited to a single place, such as a church, where we have to worship.  We are worshipping in spirit, and this means that we need to put our heart into it, for that is where the Holy Spirit resides in us.  To worship in truth, to me, is to make sure that we are properly armed with the knowledge of God that we have learned.  That means that we need to dive into the greatest Book — the Bible.  That is where the truth lives, and by reading it, we will learn a great deal about Jesus and we will learn why He is the way and the truth and the life.  More importantly, we will learn why no one reaches the Father except through Him.

This can be a confusing thing to learn; in fact, I’m not certain that I have learned it well enough yet.  However, if you have any questions, please talk to your Minister.  Ask him or her what it means to worship in spirit and truth, and then, after they have told you, see if it makes sense to you.  One of the biggest things to make sure of is the church that you attend.  If you attend a church where they are not preaching to true Word of God, then I urge you to think about finding another church.  A church that doesn’t read the Bible and worship God armed with the Word is not a church that worships in spirit and truth, in my opinion.

That’s all I’m going to say on the subject today, if you have any questions, please leave me a comment.  Now, please read and pray with us our Prayer Requests and Praises.

Prayer Requests and Praises…

  • Please pray for my friend Teresa. Here is what she wrote:Tonight a very dear aunt of our passed on. She was a huge part of our lives – full of love, understanding and always there for you no matter what. We will all miss you and love you forever Aunt Gilda. RIP – Give dad a big hug from me when you meet him again there in heaven.
  • My friend Jodi has sad news to pass along for prayers. Here is what she wrote:Oh my heart is completely broken! Adam’s Little League coach from last spring just lost his oldest daughter Hallie & her 5-month old baby Brayson yesterday. Their jeep had become stuck in the mud, and they were in the backseat, keeping warm when they were tragically poisoned by CO2 coming into the vehicle. Please pray for the Lewis family!
  • Please give praise to God for my cousin Barb — she is a new Grandmother!  Baby Blair was born the other day, and is a wonderful baby girl.  Mother and Father are doing well, so please give praise to God for His Miracle of life!
  • Today is our niece Jenna’s 21st birthday!  Happy Birthday Jenna!  Please give praise to God for Jenna, and pray for her life going forward that she continues to walk with the Lord in all she does!

Now, please pray with us the prayer that Jesus taught his Disciples 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 who trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory forever and ever.