26And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. ~ Ezekiel 36:26-27 (ESV)
The State of Your Heart
My friends, welcome to this week’s Prayers for the Week post. Today I’m led to share with you verses out of the book of Ezekiel. Ezekiel was one of the Prophet’s of God, and as such, his message was given to him by God and Ezekiel passed that word on to the people of Israel. Like most of the prophets of the day, Ezekiel’s words — God’s Words — were largely ignored, to their detriment most often. The sad reality is that far too often, we are ignoring God’s Word for us just as often as the Israelites were doing, whether we be Christians, Believers, Saved, or not.
So tell me this morning, what is the state of your heart? Have you given any thought to what God would want from you? Do you ask Him to direct your steps, to change who you are from one who is about self to one that is selfless? Allow me to give you a little insight into the heart of Mike Ellis, Christian, Believer, Saved.
Several things jump out at me when I turn introspective and start focusing on who I am as a Christian. Let me list some of them for you:
- Often selfish
- At times, angry
- Devoted Husband and Father
The adjectives on both sides of the ledger could go on and on. I imagine that as you look at yourself and think of adjectives to describe you, you will probably have a similar makeup of bad and good. The key, though, is that I left off three very important ingredients in the makeup of my heart:
- Born Again
What does it take to gain these last three adjectives? And what does any of this have to do with the state of your heart? Simply put, to be saved, to be born again, is to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that He came down on this earth, that He died on the Cross, that He was resurrected from death back to life, and that He did all of that to pay the penalty for our sins. If you are God-Fearing, you fear being separated from God. When you believe, and ask God into your life, you are Saved, and when that happens, you are Born Again, and the transformation of your heart as illustrated in the Ezekiel verses at the beginning of this post will take place immediately. Additionally, when that happens, the Holy Spirit will enter your heart, and the Holy Spirit will intercede on your behalf and talk to God with you and for you. That is how your heart can be transformed from a heart of stone to a heart of flesh and spirit. Thank you for reading this far, please keep reading and pray with us our prayer requests and praises for this week. Do you want to share your prayers with us? Join our Facebook group and do so there, or leave us a comment with your prayer requests and we’ll pray that way as well!
Prayer Requests & Praises
- Stephanie starts us off with a prayer request: Please pray for my husband, Tim! I had to bring him to the ER because he’s having shortness of breath. He’s been given a breathing treatment and a steroid shot and was just taken back for a chest x-ray.
- Update: Tim is on some medications but still struggling, so please keep praying!
- We have been praying with Amanda on a request she has this week. This has been a roller coaster of emotions all week: Please pray for my brother and his K9. He is a K9 officer and his dog was hit by a truck. She has significant internal injuries and her rear leg was almost completely severed. She made it out of surgery for the internal organ damage (Praise God!) but must recover from that before they can address the leg. My brother prayed and waited many years to be a K9 officer and his first dog bit him so badly he was on desk duty for several months. His faith has never wavered He’s inconsolable and weighed down with guilt right now. Thanks to you all!
- UPDATE: Jelka was stable through the night and did not need a transfusion as expected. They still haven‘t addressed her leg and she has blood in her chest tube making them think she might have an internal injury they missed. Thank you for the prayers – they are working!
- UPDATED UPDATE: Jelka is in the clear! She will be going home in a few days. They haven’t done anything to her leg but the blood flow is good. If the tendons are in okay shape, they will repair but if not they will fuse the leg. She’ll most likely be able to go back to police work in the fall. Thank you all for your prayers! I told my brother my warriors got results!
- Then, this update: My brother’s K9 is not doing well. She is bleeding in her chest. They are taking her into surgery but aren’t confident she will make it out. Please pray!
- Lastly, this Praise! Thank you all so much for the prayers for my brother’s K9 partner. They have worked miracles. Here she is yesterday – only 3.5 days after she was hit! She still has to have surgery on her leg but wow!
- Here is a link to a video if you want to see how Jelka is progressing.
- Hiro has a praise report and a continued prayer request: I didn’t get a chance to thank all of you for your prayers a few weeks ago. My father is doing well. In fact, he has been talking about Jesus a lot. And he is reading the Bible and in class (he teaches Karate) he relates Karate Philosophy to Jesus’ stories. It’s fascinating.
He grew up Buddhist and Shinto. So it’s deeply rooted in him. He also reads the teachings of many other religions as well because he has so many students around the world. A cool fact, He had a special tree planted in his honour when he visited Israel/Palestine (there was a brief time of peace a couple decades ago). So with all these religions he is influenced by I can imagine how difficult it is for him to follow one. But it’s been so wonderful to hear him talk of Jesus. Please continue to pray for him as he has many personal obstacles he has to overcome.
Thank you Mike for this Facebook group.
- Please pray for Dakota Miller and his family, a 13 year old who accidentally shot himself, and is in critical condition. I am not sure of the status of his injuries at this time. There was some confusion as to the legitimacy of this prayer request as it seemed to closely resemble one that was a fake request going around Facebook, but here is a story about it that sheds more light on it.
- Continuing regarding Dakota Miller prayer request. Please pray with me: “Lord, we don’t know if the prayers that were lifted up were for an actual situation or not — only You know that. What we do know, Lord, is that real or imagined, hoax or true, we know that You care for us, and want what is best for us. Thank You for loving us as you do. We learn in our Bible the very true words written by the Apostle Paul as given to him by You in his letter to the Philippians: “6do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
Lord, whether Dakota Miller be true or made up, we don’t know, but what we do know is that You hear our prayers. So, Lord, we direct our prayers to the Dakota Millers of this world, those unknown souls who struggle, who may not know You, and we lift them up to You. Grant them the Peace that only You can give, and thank You for the saving faith we have been given by believing in Your Son, Jesus. It is in His precious name that we pray. Amen!”
Now, please pray with me 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 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.
There are only two people that know the state of your heart: you and God. If you need us to pray for you, please ask, please let us lift you up to the Lord so that He can work a miracle in your life! Thank you for joining us and praying with us today!