Christian

Prayers for the Week – Why I’m a Christian

Christian

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. 12Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. 14I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile. ~ Jeremiah 29:11-14 (ESV)

Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s prayers for the week post.  Today I’m taking a moment to talk to you about why I’m a Christian.  It’s something that I feel strongly about, and pray that it may lead you to examine your own reasons for why you are a Christian — or if you aren’t one, to reach out to us and ask any questions you have about how you become one.

When I was a child, my family really didn’t go to church very often.  Most of the times we did go to church were for weddings or funerals, so not very often at all.  I don’t write that as a way of judging why my parents didn’t take us to church.  I write it because to me it shows all the more the plans God has for me, and how He is going to see them through to fulfillment regardless of me.

One of the reasons I’m a Christian is because God’s Word speaks to us today just as it did to others thousands of years ago. Jeremiah recorded the words of God to His people, the Israelites, when they were exiled to Babylon. Although those words were spoken thousands of years ago to a people that was disobedient and ended up in exile, still God tells His people that He hasn’t given up on them, that He will restore them, and it will be because they turned back to Him.

In the same vein, those words are written for us in today’s day. We are often just as disobedient as the Israelites were, and with the state of the world today, you can certainly make an argument that God has turned His back on us. But despite that, God’s promise from yesteryear is very much in evidence today.

When I lost my job at UNC-TV because management decided to outsource to an out of state company two years ago, I really had a sense of fear. How was I going to support my family? How were we going to be able to keep our home? What was going to happen with Sophie’s plans for school? Well, what I know is that the plans I had to accomplish those things really weren’t my plans at all, they were God’s plans. God knew and God knows what we need in our lives.

The short answer to this long-winded discussion is that the reason I’m a Christian is that God provides me and my family with the hope we need each and every day. God knows — and we have learned — that our time on this fallen world is short, and that our real home is Heaven. The hope we have in Jesus is a hope like none other, and it is in that hope that I am a Christian.

Now, please put your hope in Jesus as well, and please pray with me these prayer requests and praises.

Prayer Requests and Praises

  • Mikel starts us off with a prayer request: I would ask for your prayers for my husband Bruce. He has some difficult decisions to make at work that not only affect him, but the people that he manages.
  • Dennis needs immediate prayers for a family member. Please lift up Dennis and his family today. Thanks!
  • Amanda has a prayer request for her husband’s aunt, Diane is her name: My husband’s aunt needs prayers. They have found a mass on her liver and are concerned it is advanced pancreatic cancer. They are currently awaiting a biopsy and further scans.
  • Hiro has a prayer request for her father-in-law: Please pray for my Father-in-Law. He is getting surgery on his eyes tomorrow morning. He is worried about losing his sight.
  • Lastly, Jo has a prayer request for financial blessings for her family.

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.

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.

Thy Will Be Done

Prayers for the Week: Thy Will Be Done

Thy Will Be Done

Thy Will Be Done!

The four most powerful words that can ever be spoken in prayer are simply “Thy will be done.”  By saying those words to God, you — me — us — we are telling God up front that we are putting our situations in His Hands — to do with as He would.  In the Father Tim series of books about the fictional town of Mitford, NC that writer Jan Karan penned, Father Tim calls that prayer “the prayer that never fails.”  He is absolutely right.

So, Lord, today we come to you with cares on our hearts, prayers on our lips, petitions for You that we need to utter, and desires that we wish You to take care of for us.  In each of them, though, we are committing to turn them all over to you with the additional words thy will be done, knowing that if You desire it for us, then that is what it will be. Lord, hear our prayers, and thank You for loving us so much — us, the unloveable — that You sent Your Son Jesus to us to pay the ultimate penalty for our sin. We love You too, Lord.

Prayer Requests & Praises

  • Leslie starts us off with what was an immediate prayer need she posted in our Facebook Group: My best friend’s husband is en route to a shooting the next town over. Shooter is barricaded in the house. Joey is my friend’s husband, he’s a police officer. Please, pray. ~ Lord, hear our prayer.  Thy Will be done.
    • Then, later on, the update: Thank you everyone! No law enforcement was hurt during this incident, but I’m not sure about the others involved in the actual shooting. Your prayers were heard, and were felt by my dear friend. We all thank you so much!
  • Kipp has a prayer request for a little two month old baby boy: Please pray for Lucas Stewart 2mths old with a viral infection on the way to the hospital for treatment. Please pray for him. Thanks in advance. ~ Lord, hear our prayer.  Thy Will be done.
  • Cindy has a prayer request: Please pray for my co-worker, Ruthie. She has custody of her 3 young grandchildren and is facing some health issues. ~ Lord, hear our prayer. Thy Will be done.
    • Cindy has an update on Ruthie: Ruthie is somewhat better today. She had a procedure done yesterday and is still hospitalized for the next few days. Thank you for keeping her in your prayers.
  • Lord, thank You for hearing our prayers for Charles!  He is back home and doing much better!
  • Lord, thank You for also hearing our prayers for David and Louise.  David is doing much better!
  • Lord, I’d love to make enough money to be able to fully support my family. ~ Thy will be done.
  • Lord, I’d love to see all marriages that are having trouble turn to You for guidance. ~ Thy will be done.
  • Lord, I’d love to see all suffering in this world come to an end. ~ Thy will be done.
  • Lord, I’d love to see all non-believers turn to You and announce their believe in Your Son, Jesus, and what He did for us on the cross. ~ Thy will be done.
  • Lord, I’d like to wish all of the fathers out there a Happy Father Day, and to thank You for giving me my dad! Dad, I love you!
  • Lastly, Lord, I’d love to see all of us give of ourselves completely to You — not just some of the time, but all of the time. Help us to do that, Lord. ~ Thy will be done.

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.