Prayer Encourages Seekers

MAY 20

MATTHEW 6:5_thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are for they love to pray in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men…

Oh my goodness! Here we go with the hypocrites again! And, they are back in the synagogues and the streets! Jesus doesn’t want the praying there any more than He wanted the alms giving there.

Don’t get confused about this – the devil would love to deceive you into believing that you should not pray out loud. If you are a part of a youth group that prays together – stay with it and pray together.. 

Praying out loud is a part of the salt and light process. Prayer encourages seekers who may be a part of your group. Helping the seekers find their way is what salt and light are meant to do.

When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead He prayed out loud. John 11:41-42 (KJV), “And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.”

There was a large crowd gathered to comfort the sisters of Lazarus. Jesus purposely prayed out loud. Any unbelievers in the group would know first, that Jesus was sent by God, and second, that God always hears prayer.

The result was the greatest miracle Jesus performed in His earthly life!

PRAYER

God of Heaven, Please let my prayers give attention to You, not me! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen. 

Christ’s prayers were salt and light—mine should be too!

A Path to Freedom

JANUARY 22

MATTHEW 5:7_for they shall obtain mercy.

What a lovely blessing the merciful receive – they obtain mercy. Meditate on that. After all the giving and pouring out of yourself and your time, there is mercy to receive! Everyone needs to be on the receiving end of mercy! Praise God there is a time when mercy is poured out on you! 

A day will come when you need mercy. You will experience what a beautiful thing mercy is. You will feel the warmth, comfort, and peace mercy gives. And since mercy is not a Band-Aid, you will receive freedom – from guilt. To give mercy to someone is to free them from the wrong done to you. 

Be glad you were a part of blessing another person. Be grateful that when you felt rejected or taken advantage of, you chose to respond with mercy – even though your offender was undeserving. Most of all, be grateful to the Holy God of Heaven because you are full of the Holy Spirit. That’s the only way you can be merciful. You see, you don’t deserve mercy either.

Mercy not only frees your offender; it is a part of the path to your freedom – from unforgiveness.

PRAYER

Loving Father, Forgive me for any time I have not bestowed mercy. Help me focus on You and Your truth more than the world’s deceptions. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ’s mercy is the path to freedom—He will help me!

The Comfort of Jesus

 JANUARY 12

MATTHEW 5:4_for they shall be comforted.

Don’t you love the blessing Jesus has for the mournful? Comfort. If you go through a time of mourning wouldn’t you rather have comfort than anything else?

I see God’s created life with a cause and effect sequence. This sequence shows up in the laws God gave to Moses. It also shows up in the teachings of Jesus. Could the blessing of comfort depend upon why you are mourning? 

What is breaking your young tender heart? Cruelty? There certainly is plenty of reason to mourn there. Jesus experienced great cruelty, both verbally and physically. He understands your pain and desires to give you His comfort. Experiencing Jesus’ comfort is not something you can make happen. His comfort comes naturally as you grow in His love.    

On the other hand, are you mourning because you’re the only one in the class who doesn’t have the latest electronic gadget? That may not be the kind of mourning referred to here. It’s not that it doesn’t hurt. It hurts. To receive comfort, change thought patterns. What is important to you, having what people have or having what Jesus has?

Be comforted in knowing Jesus can give you a new heart. Let love rule your heart, not possessions.

PRAYER

Mighty God, You can give me a new life. Let me take comfort in Your love. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                    

Christ sees my heart—He can change it!

I’m Saying It Again

NOVEMBER 16

MATTHEW 7:19_Every tree…

This life is hard—for everyone. Some people may appear to never have trouble, but you’re only seeing the surface. Everyone has struggles in this earthly life. 

I believe I’ve said that the Bible is about truth, and truth is about freedom. I’m saying it again.

I believe I’ve said that Jesus wants you to live free. I’m saying it again. 

I believe I’ve said that Jesus wants you to be alert to the devil and his schemes, so you can escape the bondage into which he desires to snare you. I’m saying it again.

When Jesus ate His last Passover meal with His disciples He let them know that everyone will face hard times. John 14:26-27 (KJV), “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”  

I really like that Jesus assures me the Holy Spirit will remind me of these creation principles.

Jesus’ peace conquers fear.     

PRAYER

Immanuel, Thank You for giving Your peace to me when I face trouble. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.     

Christ is peace over fear—He gives it to me!

He Does It All!

OCTOBER 6

MATTHEW 7:9_Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask…

One of the great mysteries of the spiritual life is the Trinity. The Triune God who functions as three-in-one. 

The Bible teaches God can function as the Eternal Father, the Jehovah-Jireh provider, and as the I AM. The Bible teaches this same God can function as the Son, the Creator of all that exists, and as the Christ, the Messiah who saves for eternity all who believe. The Bible also teaches this same God can function as the indwelling Holy Spirit, who comforts, who teaches, and who guides. No wonder He is all-powerful—He does it all! 

Jesus calls God, Father. So do I. Jesus taught to pray to God as My Father, which art in Heaven. As a Jesus follower, you are a child of God. II Corinthians 1:3 (KJV), “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort” Be comfortable in God because He loved you before you loved Him. 

God wanted King David to know how to call upon Him. Psalm 89:27 (KJV), “He [King David … and me] shall cry unto me [God], Thou art my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation.”

God is all those things to me.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, I stand in awe of You and worship You as my Father. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.          

Christ teaches me God is my Father—I am His child!