Daily Devotions from The Word Of God… From the heart of Ed Algreen

Posts tagged ‘Trust’

Fasting and Prayer

Thursday, 2019-01-17

Bible Reference: Matthew 6:16-18
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: 16 “When you fast, don’t look like those who pretend to be spiritual. They want everyone to know they’re fasting, so they appear in public looking miserable, gloomy, and disheveled.[o]Believe me, they’ve already received their reward in full.17–18 When you fast, don’t let it be obvious, but instead, wash your face[p]and groom yourself and realize that your Father in the secret place is the one who is watching all that you do in secret and will continue to reward you openly.”

OBSERVATION: The Word of God is clear that if we publicize that we are fasting, our reward will be nothing more than what we hear back from our audience. That defeats the whole purpose of fasting, for we are dedicating ourselves to petition God for a specific need that we have personally, or corporately. Today, let us consider why we should fast, how should we fast, and what do we expect from a fast.

APPLICATION: I believe that when you look at an entrepreneur starting out in business – one that is pictured in their mind as a unique opportunity to fulfill a specific need for consumers, or industry, or intense profitability, you will hardly see them in their usual places of worship, at events with their family, or just having casual fun. For they are 100% engrossed in making that business succeed, and to be all that they pictured in their minds. So what about the Christian who is desperately seeking God to intervene in their lives personally, or in their family unit, or in their church, or even in their workplace? Does it seem natural to just ask someone else to pray, or casually commit those specific needs in corporate prayer, or even in your personal prayer time, when you tend to cover a wide spectrum of things, and of life itself, before God? I would say yes in all cases, but I would go a step further by sharing what I believe the Bible teaches on fasting and praying. You see, the businessperson spoken of above, will skip meals, miss family events, and more, just to totally dedicate themselves to their new business opportunity. In the life of a Christian, we might casually pray about the weather, or our child in school, etc, but consider how much more intense our prayers become when a loved one is barely hanging on to life, and the doctors are uncertain if they will possibly survive the medical issues they are having. The latter is more of the mindset of a believer when they fast, and dedicate time in prayer over a specific request. For they are willing to forego one or more meals, or perhaps give up caffeine or Facebook, or something that they feel could be sacrificed for dedicated time to plead in prayer before their Maker on a matter of prime importance to them. Think about if friend, what is the most important thing in your life right now? What do you feel is the most critical need in your life, or in the lives of those you care about, and for which you would be willing to do ANYTHING, in order to turn things around in those circumstances? Would you be willing to give up something important to you, just so that you could spend intimate and intense time talking to God about that? The Scripture tells us today that should you consider a fast, it is something that you decide together with God. There is no need to send a note to the local newspapers, or your pastor, or anyone else. For the pat-on-the-back you receive from those around you is the only reward you could expect. A one-on-one, intimate and private relationship with the Creator of the universe, the Savior of the world, our soon coming King, a commitment to commune with Him alone, and a mindset that you are willing to do anything as you seek God about a specific need, is the key to fasting and praying. It’s between you and God – no one else need be involved. Do you have a need of that importance to you today? Are you willing to do whatever it takes to dedicate the time in prayer before God Almighty over that need? What takes place in privacy between you and God, will be rewarded publicly by the King of all kings, according to His promises in His Word!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, it just rolls off our lips without effort or thought, that we will pray for someone. Oh that we may become a people of sincerity, especially in the matters of prayer. When asked to complete chores at home, we don’t look for excuses or distractions, but we seek to serve one another faithfully as we try to please each other in actions and words. The privilege of spending time with You, Almighty God, is beyond our wildest imagination, for who are we that our Creator, who put us together for His glory, should look on us in tender mercy and listen to our petitions. Please forgive us for our littleness, and our insincerity, and our lack of commitment. Lord, we need You every hour of every day, and often a lot more frequently. Please teach us to pray, and help us to see the urgency of prayer before the only One who could make a difference in our lives. May we be willing to give up the world to meet with You, Heavenly Father. You are the only one who could answer our prayers. May we commit to pray, and in times of our deepest need, may we never hesitate to fast and pray. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

The Rewards of Faith In God

Saturday, 2019-01-12

Bible Reference: Genesis 13:1-5
Translation: Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: 1-2 So they left Egypt and traveled north into the Negeb—Abram with his wife, and Lot, and all that they owned, for Abram was very rich in livestock, silver, and gold. 3-4 Then they continued northward toward Bethel where he had camped before, between Bethel and Ai—to the place where he had built the altar. And there he again worshiped the Lord. Lot too was very wealthy, with sheep and cattle and many servants.

OBSERVATION: In reading the whole chapter of Genesis 13, I glorified God for all that He rewarded Abram with in verses 14-16, and I would encourage you to read down to at least those verses. You see, in verse 4, Abram had stopped to worship the Lord, in spite of being without a place to call ‘home’ for he and his family. Let’s meditate on our ability, or inability, to worship God in all circumstances of life, especially in those times where it seems like things are not going well for us. How well do we do at that?

APPLICATION: Let’s stop to consider this scenario for a few moments today. Let’s try to place ourselves in Abram’s role and try to imagine what we would’ve done, or perhaps would do, in our current relationship state with God. Abram had just been kicked out of town by Pharoah, and now, with the responsibility of leading his precious family, Abram must find a place to call ‘home’. There is no indication that Abram had any remorse about the situation he found himself in, but he knew that he needed God. But notice the one thing that the Scripture made clear – Abram was very rich in livestock, gold and silver. I live and work in agriculturally rich towns, but I hear repeatedly of people facing similar challenging times in life, regardless of their monetary worth. Friends, we were designed by an awesome God, and if you go back to the beginning chapters of the Bible, you will note that He loved us so much that He provided everything for us to survive, enjoy and be in awe about. We should therefore always remember that, no matter how inflated our bank accounts are, or how big our farms are, we must remember from whence we came, and who exactly gave us the opportunities and blessings of becoming earthly ‘rich’. Often when hard times of health degradation or losing a loved one comes our way, there is no degree of earthly richness that will satisfy our souls. But also be reminded of how awesome our God is, for He saw the faithfulness of Abram; He saw the trust that Abram placed in Him even after he had attained much earthly wealth; He saw the humbleness in Abram, that even though he was the senior member of the family, yet he gave Lot the option of choosing his area of land first, and leaving Abram to settle in the remainder. I feel like often God looks at our choices in circumstances when we think no one is watching, to truly bless us, for He then sees the ‘heart’ of man. Notice in verses 14-16 how God, having recognized the ‘heart’ of Abram, blessed him beyond all measure. Notice that this blessing came even though Abram was not pleading with God for more, more, more. Friends, let us be consistent and persistent in our relationship with God, especially in those times that we can’t see what lies ahead for us. Be reminded that you are a child of the most high God, He loves His children, and He gives His very best for us, just as He did at Calvary. If you have never surrendered Your life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, may I encourage you to consider that today? It is the one critical means of bringing you into the sonship of the Almighty God. Please don’t delay that decision my friend. Let this be the best day of your life here on earth, as you prepare for eternity!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, please have Your will and way in the lives of each one reading this devotional today. Just as You presented Abram with unlimited blessings, I believe that You are prepared to bless us with unlimited time with You and the Father. It just doesn’t get any better than that! May You be glorified today in all decisions made for true relationship with You. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Careful in Beginning Right

Tuesday, 2019-01-01

Bible Reference: Genesis 1:1-2
Translation: Amplified Bible (AMP)

Bible Text:IN THE beginning God (prepared, formed, fashioned, and) created the heavens and the earth. [Heb. 11:3.]
2 The earth was without form and an empty waste, and darkness was upon the face of the very great deep. The Spirit of God was moving (hovering, brooding) over the face of the waters.

OBSERVATION: At 12:01am today, January 1st. 2019, we were presented with a ‘clean slate’. In Genesis 1:1 God started with a similarly ‘clean slate’. It was just Him, and the Holy Spirit that hovered over the earth. I would strongly encourage you to read again the first chapter of Genesis and the Bible, for I believe that you will be reminded of how careful God provided everything we would need for life. To be reminded of that on this first day of a New Year, should impact us to think that God still has things in order for us to live like He designed. That takes all the worries out of life, if only we will trust God!

APPLICATION: Each day we face a ‘Clean Slate’, and we must decide whether, (1) We will go with the flow, and all of the evil that normally shows its face in our culture, or (2) We will seek the guiding hand of our Creator in whom we have placed our faith and trust. Similarly, we went to bed last night and not only put our bodies into a state of sleep, but also made our minds content in all that had happened in our life up to that point in time. When we awakened this morning, we could easily identify with what God faced at the very beginning, because we faced a world filled with sin, strife, trouble from every side, hurt feelings from our fellow Brothers and Sisters, because they are unfortunately facing the same challenges. If we do nothing at all, then we easily and quickly become a part of that same evil world. If we know the Master of this universe, and we dare trust in Him, then we must decide that we will not settle for the norm, but instead trust in God to lead us into the world that He has created, and in which He has provided everything for our survival and enjoyment. Friends, please be reminded that God did not just throw us into this world expecting us to survive without His ongoing help. In Genesis 1, we are told that each thing that God created was with deep thought, and designed for our ongoing survival and enjoyment. For example, I’ve always heard about God creating vegetation on the third day, but it wasn’t until today that God showed me the rest of the story. Read verses 11 – 13, and note how God created plants that either bore seeds, or fruit that contained seeds, so that reproduction could easily occur. Only God could be so careful in providing such awesome ways just for His kids! I’m, glad that I not only know that He loves me, but that I have committed to a personal relationship with Him. I would encourage each of you to consider the greatest decision you could make in 2019, accept Jesus as your Savior and Lord and trust in Him to daily care for you and direct your paths in ways that are pleasing to Him, and that are best for your future. He loves you friend, and He wants to be your Father. The next move is yours! Be bold, and do the right thing!

PRAYER: Thank You for Your many blessings oh Lord, and I especially thank You for allowing us to welcome in a New Year. Everything about this transition is unknown to us, but I can confidently call on the only One who knows everything about what will come our way in 2019! Lord, please continue to be patient with us as we finally recognize Your love and Your awesome power to guide us, protect us and love us through all of life’s circumstances. Please keep us humble so that we may submit ourselves to Your perfect will this year Oh Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Trust That God is With Us This Christmas

Tuesday, 2018-12-11

Bible Reference: Isaiah 7:9-16
Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: Samaria is the capital of Ephraim alone, and King Pekah’s power will not increase. You don’t believe me? If you want me to protect you, you must learn to believe what I say.” 10 Not long after this, the Lord sent this further message to King Ahaz: 11 “Ask me for a sign, Ahaz, to prove that I will indeed crush your enemies as I have said. Ask anything you like, in heaven or on earth.” 12 But the king refused. “No,” he said, “I’ll not bother the Lord with anything like that.” 13 Then Isaiah said: O House of David, you aren’t satisfied to exhaust my patience; you exhaust the Lord’s as well! 14 All right then, the Lord himself will choose the signa child shall be born to a virgin! And she shall call him Immanuel (meaning, “God is with us”). 15-16 By the time this child is weaned and knows right from wrong, the two kings you fear so much—the kings of Israel and Syria – will both be dead.

OBSERVATION: We can’t expect God to bless us, protect us, heal us or provide for us, if we don’t trust Him or believe fully in Him! Let’s meditate on this today as we contend with the busyness of Christmas and prepare our hearts for the celebration of Christ’s birth!

APPLICATION: Verse 14 is a verse that we hear used a lot around Christmas time in Christian circles, but as represented in other recent devotionals, I believe it is so important for us individually to take time and read the whole context from which these popular verses are found. Today’s scripture is a wonderful example. Like us, King Ahaz thought that some things were just too trivial to bother God with, even though it was God Himself who told Ahaz to test Him. I love what the Lord said to Ahaz in the latter part of verse 9, and I know that it very much applies to me and very possibly also applies to you. In my own words, and based on my understanding, I believe that God said to Ahaz, and is saying to us: How do you expect me to protect you, or, how do you expect me to heal you or bless you, if you don’t learn to believe in, and trust me? Friends, there is so much truth in those powerful words by the Master! Will our child ever release themselves from a high wall and jump into our arms, if they have not learned to trust us? I don’t think so! In my hyperlink to today’s scripture, I included the whole chapter, because I want you to take time to read and understand that God had given Ahaz comfort in knowing that He would take care of the opposing leaders, and He even wanted to give him a timeline that it would occur. However, God knew that Ahaz doubted what he was told, so He told Ahaz to test Him just to gain trust in knowing that He is true to His word. The timing of this event then allowed God to elaborate on the miraculous birth of His Son, Jesus. Friends, once again we are assured that our Father has a plan for His children, just like He had for Ahaz. However, we must know Him so well that we are willing to trust Him and believe what He says to us through His Word; through visions; and through His mighty warriors who deliver His messages to us each week. Wouldn’t it be ‘MERRY’, if this Christmas this concept might ‘click’ in our minds and cause us to totally place our faith and our trust in our Savior? We can’t expect God to bless us and protect us if we don’t trust Him or believe fully in Him!

PRAYER: Your Word never ceases to amaze me Oh God! To read the context from which we have traditionally heard parts of the Christmas story, and still find new truths that really speak to our hearts, we can only say ‘Wow’ what a Savior! What an awesome God! Lord Jesus, we just want to worship You, praise You and honor Your blessed name for the key role You have played in our plan of salvation. God had a plan to comfort king Ahaz, and I am convinced that His plan to comfort, protect and save us, is even more awesome! Thank you Heavenly Father! Please continue to open our hearts and fill us with Your grace and Your awesome love that You have shown to us, so that we may, in turn, be a blessing to others in every way possible this Christmas season and throughout each day of the upcoming New Year. With every fiber of our being, we again say ‘thank You Father’ for Your amazing love to us in so many ways! AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Ask for it

Monday, 2018-11-19

Scripture

Bible Reference: John 14:12-14

Bible Text: 12 I tell you the truth: whoever believes in Me will be able to do what I have done, but they will do even greater things, because I will return to be with the Father. 13 Whatever you ask for in My name, I will do it so that the Father will get glory from the Son. 14 Let Me say it again: if you ask for anything in My name, I will do it.

Bible Translation: The Voice Translation (Voice)

My Take

Ever noticed that your son may go and ask a friend of equal age to do something that both he and you feel is the best thing to do, but it may have little relevance to the friend, until he brings down the power by saying that my dad asked that we do this right away? Bringing the dad’s name into the equation always adds power to the instructions being given. Ever noticed also that as a son, you may tell your buddies to do something that sounds different to what they know your dad has always preached, and they will give you a funny look and wonder where are you coming from with those instructions? Jesus had just introduced the Comforter to His disciples as He (Jesus) prepared Himself to go and be with the Father. Jesus assured His disciples, as He still assures us today, that He will be sitting at the right hand of the Father interceding for us, and that He will receive glory from the Father as His children carries on His work here on earth with the help of the Comforter, or the Holy Spirit. Notice that great emphasis is directed to the fact that even though we stand to do things even greater than He (Jesus) did while here on earth, we must never lose sight of who we are representing, and whose power resides with us to enable the work. Remember that in Acts 19:13-16 there were some who went around trying to cast out demons in Jesus’ name, but even the demons recognized that they were not of Jesus and not speaking on His behalf. Friends, it is safe to say, based on the Word of God, that if any miraculous work is to be done, it will be the power, and the work of Jesus Christ portrayed through us to do the work, with the results being totally for His glory. I believe that there are two important things to remember about being blessed with the power of Jesus working through us: (1) That doing the work of the Lord, demonstrates our love for Him, and not what we might be able to brag on, or benefit from personally; and (2) Miracles are performed in order to bring people to a full knowledge of Jesus Christ. Not for any gain of ourselves, and not for the purpose of relieving our friends from some earthly burden, but that they might know Jesus as their Lord and personal Savior. Please note that there is nothing mentioned about the obedient servant who God uses to stand in His stead and allow His miracle to be transmitted through. But I can assure you that for those who will do this, we will be blessed beyond anything words can describe. To God be the glory for all the great things He can do through even us who believe in Him, and are willing to be used by Him!

Prayer

Lord Jesus, I believe that we, Your children, in our meager faith tend go from one extreme to another way too often. For I believe we recognize our powerlessness and know that we can do nothing miraculous by ourselves. However, I also believe that there are times that our ego steps in at times and we want so badly to see our friends overcome obstacles that we tend to jump in there and pray peace and/or healing over them so they could return to a sense of normalcy. I was recently reminded by a pastor when He said that we could very easily step in the way of You actually disciplining someone, by trying to humanly help them correct or overcome their situation. This scripture has once again opened my eyes to the fact that we must be so driven by the Spirit of God that the things we say and the things we do, are very much aligned with His will and His purpose. I also believe that if the Holy Spirit leads us to a miraculous scenario with our friends that will demonstrate the love of God for them and bring them to a full knowledge of Jesus Christ, then we must, in obedience, seek your leadership and carry out Your work, particularly among the unsaved. Lord, I am concerned that there are so many in each of our circle of friends that don’t know You as their Lord and personal Savior. If it takes a miracle to convince them of Your love and power today, I pray that Your will may be done. Please speak clearly to Your children today so that we may in obedience do Your perfect will. AMEN!

Footnote

If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

‘GUILTY’ of Praying?

Tuesday, 2018-11-13

Scripture

Bible Reference: Daniel 6:10-11

Bible Text: 10 When Daniel learned that the decree had been signed and posted, he continued to pray just as he had always done. His house had windows in the upstairs that opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he knelt there in prayer, thanking and praising his God. 11 The conspirators came and found him praying, asking God for help.

Bible Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

My Take

Many of us meditating on this scripture today probably don’t have any state laws prohibiting us from any religious activities, but I wonder when last we could have possibly been found guilty of ‘praying’? Over in Philippians 4:6 we are told to not fret or worry about anything, but instead ‘pray’ about everything, yet in a country where we are free to pray and worship the God of this universe, we probably deal more with depression and anxiety than anything else. Daniel shows us that in spite of man’s efforts to hinder his relationship with his God, that nothing would separate him from the love of his Lord. I would encourage each of us to take particular note of this, because it doesn’t take much to hinder us in our prayer life. Of course I could only speak to our corporate prayer life, but it is sad that our midweek prayer and Bible study is attended by only a very small percentage of our congregation. In fact, so poorly attended that I am reminded by the words of a pastor in my younger life, who said that it looks like the church at large has voted to cancel the service, for the absence of the vast majority speaks volumes about how they feel about corporate prayer meetings. In fact, I wonder how God must feel when He looks at our corporate prayer meeting attendance, for He said through His servant in 1 Thessalonians 5:18Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you, who belong to Christ Jesus, to live‘. So friends I would challenge you to seriously consider and declare who you are claiming as your King; your Lord; and your Master. Have you personally accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior? God’s Word tells us that if you have, then you would have a desire to ‘pray all the time’. If your ‘love-for-God’ meter is measured by your prayer life, are you proud of the love you show to God every day? How about your concern for the church as a whole, do you attend corporate prayer enough to support its survival and its outreach into your community? Is your pastor empowered because of your prayers for him? Daniel maintained his prayer life in spite of a new law being enacted that he knew could have led to his imprisonment. How valid do you feel your excuses are for not attending your corporate prayer services, compared to Daniel’s commitment in the circumstances he was under?

Prayer

Lord God, we are a sorry bunch, considering all the gracious gifts that You bless us with every day, compared to the uncaring attitude we extend in returning thanks to You. Friends are dying every day without Jesus, and ashamedly we acknowledge that our prayers and our influence in their lives could have made a difference. We have read, heard and seen the power of prayer, yet many have chosen to ignore its power through their attendance and commitment to pray corporately. Please forgive us Lord. I feel like we are witnessing the greatest need for revival probably in the life of Your church here on earth. Only those who have actually accepted you as Lord can be ‘revived’, so Lord, please begin a great work in the life of Your church – Your people. May Your children be reminded of the power of prayer, and their obligation to converse with their Master. We need you heavenly Father, revive Your church again, I pray. AMEN!

Footnote

If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Concerned Enough To Pray

Thursday, 2018-11-10

Scripture

Bible Reference: Nehemiah 1:2–4

Bible Text: Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that had survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem. They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.” When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven

Bible Translation: New International Version (NIV)

My Take

Ever shared your burden with a friend, and they promised to pray for you, but never followed up with you to see how you’re doing? Ever stood in a line of folk entering or exiting a church, and while telling one parishioner that you will be praying for them, you are already looking at the next person and greeting them? I am not your judge on whether you follow through with those promised prayers for someone, but I can honestly share with you that I have said those words many times before and now stand ashamed before God acknowledging that I have often not followed through with praying for the needs that I promised someone I would pray for. Nehemiah’s actions in verse (4) really spoke to me, but what equally ministered to me, was the action that he took in verse 2, where he asked about the condition of his Jewish brothers who had survived the exile. How many times do you leave church upset that the pastor never even asked you how you were feeling? Now, may I ask you a more challenging question, how many times in the last 4 weeks have you asked how things are going at the church at a very high level, or how might you pray for your pastor? Friends, too often we want to know what’s going on because we want every little piece of gossip we could get. I believe that Nehemiah is teaching us to settle for an answer like “I am really struggling today, please pray for my health”, or “I am feeling discouraged today, please pray for me”, or a pastor may say “I am feeling overwhelmed today because I am concerned about so many parishioners who are hurting emotionally or perhaps sick”. I believe that if we could settle for prayer needs such as that, instead of needing to know every little detail, then more pastors and/or Brothers and Sisters would share their high level prayer requests with us. But remember, most won’t share their prayer requests with us if we don’t care enough to ask. Now let me draw our attention to the depth of Nehemiah prayer. For he not only cared enough to ask about the condition of his people, but he followed through with days of mourning, fasting and praying before God for the needs of his people. Some months ago I took part in a prayer chain, where I committed to enter into God’s presence for one hour, praying over some heartfelt concerns. Because I have been accustomed to short, quick conversations with God, that hour felt like an eternity. Look at the condition of Nehemiah’s heart over this concern for his people – he mourned, he fasted and he prayed for days. May I challenge you to dig deep into your heart, yes even those of you that are trying to have hearts like your Master, the Lord Jesus Christ, and consider the last time that you were burdened enough about your church, or pastor, or unsaved loved one that you found it more important to pray than to eat, and your heart was so burdened for the need that you wept uncontrollably before God in prayer for hours and days before you felt a breakthrough? Let’s care enough to actually pray about those things that concern us, and/or concern those that we love and care about. The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man/woman avails much. Communion with God will best prepare us for dealings with mankind!

Prayer

Lord Jesus, please touch Your people once again. Draw us unto Yourself so that with Your heart and Your love and Your concern for Your children, we too might become more devoted to caring for one another and praying sincerely for the needs of others. Regrettably, we have become such an instant, fast-paced people that we hardly leave time for showing deep concern for one another, for our pastors and for our churches. Please forgive us Lord, and teach us to pray in a way pleasing to You, and that consequently reaches the hearts of those that we pray for. Our prayers are to You and for Your glory, so help us to never lose sight of our Savior by slacking in our prayer life. The world needs You, heavenly Father, and Christians need more of You to be effective witnesses for You. Please renew a right spirit within us, beginning with me, so that the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart will be acceptable in Your sight, oh Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. AMEN!

Footnote

If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

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