MATTHEW 7:22_and in Thy name cast out devils…
Ephesians 6:12 (KJV), “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
This verse says there are rulers in the darkness and they have powers. It is good to have a healthy fear of these powers. It helps you live in the reality that the devil is powerful and you are no match for him.
That’s as far as your fear needs to go. When you chose to accept Jesus as your Savior—you defeated the devil. He knows he no longer has power over your eternity. Beware that he will come after you in this life with his deception and lies about your unworthiness.
Colossians 1:12-14 (KJV), “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet [worthy] to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear son:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.”
That’s why the devil is defeated.
Be knowledgeable about the spirits of darkness, but do not pursue experiencing first hand any kind of occult practices. Don’t go there, even if you think you are learning something for the good of helping a friend.
Grow strong in Jesus and know your Bible—that’s how you help friends!
Jesus Savior, Praise You for defeating the devil for me! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ has defeated the devil and his demons—For me!
MATTHEW 7:17_but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
The word corrupt in this verse means subject to decay. To decay is to rot. Dead to the life and abilities once possessed. A tree that is in the process of decay may still bring forth fruit, but it is not good for consumption.
The condition of the fruit is the same as the the condition of the tree which produces it. The strength of the tree determines the strength of the fruit.
In the same way, the weakness of the tree determines the weakness of the fruit. It’s all about the tree—the vine—the source of power. If you go anywhere other than the Bible for the source of connecting with the Holy God of Heaven—you’ve gone to a weak source.
Psalm 60:11-12 (KJV), “Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man.12 Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.” Now that’s a powerful source!
It’s not that you should not go to people when you need help—everyone needs a little help from their friends. The problem comes when people are your primary source. When you place all your trust in what people can do, and never seek God’s help.
It’s all about the source!
Holy Master, I want You to be the primary source of all I am and need. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ is The Source—He wants to be mine!
MATTHEW 6:8_for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of…
God knows our needs. That is not a reason to bail out on prayer. We decided prayer was primarily about building relationships. Getting to know each other.
If we’ve learned anything the past 150 plus days it’s Jesus’ teachings are right, holy, and true. Jesus’ teachings lead us to be salt and light.
We can learn a lot about prayer from the prophet Nehemiah. He prayed well and often. Nehemiah 1:11 (KJV), “O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him [Nehemiah] mercy in the sight of this man [King Artaxerxes].”
Nehemiah had a large request to ask King Artaxerxes. He wanted some time off. Not just a few days – years! Nehemiah wanted to leave Persia, return to his home town, Jerusalem, build a wall, and renew Israel’s faith in the LORD. He prayed before he asked the king. Nehemiah just prayed a lot. Notice he asked God to be attentive to the prayer of His servant (King Solomon also prayed that). I learned from them. I ask God to let His ears be attentive to the prayers of His servant (me).
Prayer is not about coming to God because you feel obligated. Neither is it only about asking God to do something for you, or give something to you.
Prayer is a form of worship.
Jesus Friend, Thank You that I am Your friend. I want to be a loving friend who enjoys communicating with You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ is my friend—I am His friend!
MATTHEW 6:7_But when ye pray…
Jesus really does not make prayer an option. He says when you pray, not if you pray. Jesus expects prayer to be a basic part of your life.
Everything Jesus taught is a part of who He is. If you have a goal to gain wisdom, understanding, and knowledge from Jesus’ teaching, you need a relationship. A relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost requires a prayer life. A prayer life requires time.
Set a time of day that works best for you and commit yourself to prayer. Also, set a place that is best for your closet and talk out loud. This does not have to be a literal closet – but there’s nothing wrong with that.
When you are serious about discipleship, you will be serious about prayer. Every time you pray, God is pleased. Along with regular committed prayer time, pray throughout the day. Lift up prayers for your family, friends, church, government leaders, and country – don’t forget to pray for those who hate you.
Philippians 4:6-7 (KJV), “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
God of Peace, Please teach me when to pray. Give me a heart full of thanksgiving as I make my requests to You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ is true peace—He will give it to me!
MATTHEW 6:5_And when thou prayest…
Prayer is a necessity in the Christian life. Don’t try to live even one day without it. I Thessalonians 5:17 (KJV), “Pray without ceasing.”
No one wants to go a full day without speaking to someone they love. If you don’t love Jesus, talk to Him anyway – you may soon find Him to be your friend. It takes time to truly love. There is such a thing as love at first sight, but if that’s all there ever is and love goes no further than sight – that won’t get it done. You have to know the person who has caused your heart to skip beats. Time must be spent in communication.
Prayer is communication. There is nothing in your heart you cannot tell Jesus. The fact that He already knows what’s there does not stop Him from wanting to hear your voice. Jesus desires your deep, intimate, communication – just as any two people who are in love.
Get to know the book of Psalms. They may be written for songs, but they make for some kind of awesome prayers! No matter your situation, there is a Psalm to express your heart. Pray a Psalm in first person.
If it is a prayer of brokenness, it’s okay to weep. If it is a prayer of joy, then sing praise.
Simply let your heart express itself.
Lord of All, Thank You that You hear my heart, and my feeble words. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ prayed—He will teach me!