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.

Jesus' Triumphant Entry

Prayers for the Week: Jesus’ Triumphant Entry

Jesus' Triumphant Entry

12The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” 14And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written, 15 “Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!” ~ John 12:12-15 (ESV)

Welcome to this week’s Prayers for the Week post.  Today in the Christian calendar is Palm Sunday, the date that we remember Jesus’ triumphant entry into the city of Jerusalem.  It is a day of celebration, a day when all the world seems right, a day when it seems like nothing can go wrong.  But for those of us that are Christians, we understand all to clearly that this is, in many ways, a smokescreen, a day which will lead to much distress throughout the coming week, a day when we learn that just as we praise Jesus today, later in the week we will be shouting “Crucify Him!”

The rollercoaster of emotion in this week is real, and it is something that I see in myself each year at this time.  For those that may not understand the calendar of events this week, here is a brief summary for you:

  1. Today, Palm Sunday, we remember Jesus’ triumphant entry – the fulfillment of prophecy – into the city of Jerusalem.
  2. Thursday is called Maundy Thursday, and on this day, we remember the Last Supper of Jesus and His Disciples in the Upper Room before His arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane.
  3. Friday is Good Friday, the day when Jesus is Crucified and dies on the Cross.
  4. Next Sunday is Easter, the day when Jesus is resurrected from the dead, proving that He is the Son of God.

Today we celebrate. Thursday we watch and scatter as Jesus is betrayed.  Friday we are the mob shouting for His Crucifixion.  Sunday we celebrate because despite our sins, Jesus died for us to pay the penalty so we don’t have to, and we learn that Jesus really is our Savior if we just Believe in Him and put our faith in Him.

Welcome to Holy Week, everyone, the week when the roller coaster of our emotion is in full display.

Now, please continue reading and pray with us our prayer requests and praises.

Prayer Requests & Praises

  • Kelly has a prayer request: Please pray for my GodFather – Uncle Alan. Went to the doctor about a week ago and he will be having a quadruple bypass next Wednesday. Thank you.
  • Continued prayers for Stephanie: Thanks for the prayers guys. I seem to still be battling it to an extent. I feel like I can’t get rid of the fluid in my ear and it’s effecting my hearing so another call is in order for the doc!
  • Continued prayers for Barb’s husband, who is getting better: His DVT is feeling better, still there, but the Lovenox seems to be helping. Thanks for asking, and for your prayers!
  • Continued prayers for Jodi’s brother Ken, who is also getting better: Ken was finally moved out of ICU today!!!! Talking about moving him to a recovery/therapy center for about a month. Meanwhile, his spirits are down, because he is confined and bored and is stressing himself out about everything from hospital bills to taxes to missing Sue (his late wife who passed away in Sep.)…Please continue prayers!!!
  • Praises for Ivon’s prayer request: Update… Grandma had her surgery yesterday and it was a success. Her new pacemaker is in and she’s doing great! Thank you so much everyone for all your wonderful, answered prayers.
  • Lastly, continued prayers for my brother-in-law Jerry, who had his knee surgeries.  He was in a lot of pain but he is doing much better now, so prayers and praises are the rule of the day today!

Now, please wrap things up with us by praying 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.

Faith

My Word for 2016 is…

Word for 2016

Image source ©Love Our Crazy Life

My Word for 2016 is…

By Mike Ellis.

My friend Becca from Love Our Crazy Life has a great way to ring in the year.  Rather than make a lot of resolutions that may or may not be able to be met, she takes a word and uses that to drive her through the year.  You can click over to read what Becca’s word is, and I liked it so much that I decided to embrace a word of my own for this year.  More about that in a little bit.

The calendar year 2015 was one of the hardest I think I’ve ever had to endure, with so much sorrow and loss.  It felt like wave after wave of negativity was invading our lives, and that there would never be an end to it.  It came to a head on October 31, when I lost my job at UNC-TV, the place I had worked at for over 21 years.

Word for 2016

My Word for 2016 is FAITH.

So, after all of that, the word that I am embracing this year is the word that I should embrace each and every year.  That word, my friends, is FAITH.

Faith can move mountains, faith can drive us to great and better things.  Faith, quite simply, opens up our hearts, our minds, our soul, to the understanding that all things are possible through Him that gives me strength.  I am sorry to God and my family, that at times during last year my Faith has been lacking.  I am sure that many of you would say that is understandable, especially with all of the things that our family endured this year.  However, to me, that is not a good excuse.  To me, the realization I should have had all the time is that this isn’t about me, that all I need to do is turn it over to God, and He will take care of things.  To my thinking, employing your Faith in God opens up the possibilities, and the next thing you know, God is opening doors for you that He hadn’t shown to you before; that is the importance of Faith.

So to all my readers, all of my friends, all of my family, I hope you pay this forward.  Find a word, any word (hopefully one that is full of positive energy), and make it your word for 2016.  Use that word to drive your attitude, your direction, to help you with your outlook on life.  I think this will be helpful for me, and I think it will be helpful for you as well.

24Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. ~ Jude 1:24-25 (ESV)