“THE SOLDIER’S PRAYER”

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”  James 1:5 NIV

 

Read:  James 1:2-8

 

Several years ago, I wrote a devotional about a soldier’s prayer.   Since I had so many ask for it again, it bears repeating.

 

“The Soldier’s Prayer” is told to have been found on the body of a fallen confederate soldier near the end of the civil war.  Which side the fallen soldier fought is of no meaning.  This man had an understanding and appreciation of the richness of GOD’S love.

 

I pray for each reading this eloquent poem that you gain the understanding and faith GOD wants for you and from you.  Discover the weakness, infirmity, poverty, weakness and life that GOD gave you.  Find joy in our CREATOR so that HE may find joy in you.
I asked God for strength, that I might achieve;

I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey.

I asked for health, that I might do greater things;
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things
.
I asked for riches, that I might be happy;
I was given poverty, that I might be wise.

I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men;
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.

I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life;
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.

I got nothing that I asked for, but everything I hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am among all men most richly blessed.
Today’s prayer:  Repeat the soldier’s prayer above…from your heart!

 

“COUCH POTATO CHRISTIAN?”

“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.”

2 PETER 1:5-7

 

Read:  2 Peter 1:5-11

 

Do you know a couch potato Christian? Maybe, you are asking; ‘What is a couch potato Christian?’

A definition might simply be a person who professes to be a Christian, but is not following CHRIST’S instructions.  You might picture this person wrapped in their robe, lounging on their couch while waiting for the world to pass them by.  Yet, most are going through the motions of everyday life but they are going it alone.

A couch potato Christian might go to church on rare occasion when they have nothing better to do or they feel they need to go because it is Easter or Christmas.  For some, it may have been years.  They may hold an opinion that they are a Christian, but they expect others to bring the message to them.

Some may go to church regularly, while their Bible gathers dust the other six days of the week.   Others attend church; but don’t ask them to tithe or donate to support the church, missionaries and outreach programs.

GOD wants a relationship with us.  That is why HE created Adam…for fellowship.  We are to worship HIM.  HE told Moses HE is the great I AM.  HE stayed with HIS people in their escape from Egypt as a pillar of fire and a comforting cloud.

JESUS chased the money changers from the temple.  The temple, our local churches, are places of worship.  HE wants us there to fellowship and learn more about HIM with others.   It is not a social building.   It is for us to share and grow with other believers.  HE does not want us being couch potatoes.  HE wants us talking with others about HIM.  The great commission is delivering HIS message, the Gospel of CHRIST, to everyone.

Do you know a ‘couch potato Christian’?   What can you do to help them worship as GOD intended?  There is nothing in HIS plan anywhere in scripture telling them to be ‘couch potato Christians’.

Today’s prayer:  “JESUS, Forgive me for putting myself before YOU.  Help me focus more on what YOU want of me so that I may grow in faith.   Amen.”

 

“DO YOU NEED A PRAYER?”

“Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.”  James 5:13 NIV

 

Read:  James 5:13-16

 

Do you need a prayer?   Who have you told?   Is it a secret?   It should not be.  One of our failures may being so independent, we rely totally upon ourselves.  If you need a prayer, you need others praying for you.  Don’t go it alone.

Most of us don’t pray as often as we should…even when we need help from our GOD.   We fail ourselves.  When we don’t pray and talk with GOD, we fail HIM as well.  HE wants us to communicate all of our thank you times as well as our needs.

Since we may not do a good job of talking with GOD when we should, we are probably not reaching out to others as well.  When was the last time you asked someone to pray for you?   When was the last time you asked a lot people to pray for you?

GOD loves prayer.  James 5:16 tells us:  “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

No matter who you are, there is someone more righteous who can take your praises and your desperate needs to GOD.   They only need to know what you need them to pray.

And, don’t forget.  You can send a prayer request to me.  Send your confidential prayer request to revivalministry@hotmail.com.   Be sure to put “Prayer Request” in the subject line.  Your privacy will be absolutely protected.  I will pray for you.

Today’s prayer:  “MY GOD, Thank YOU for always hearing my prayers.  Help me be more sharing by asking others to help me by praying to YOU for me.  Help me to also lift others up in prayer.  Amen.”

 

“COMMON SENSE?”

“Even as fools walk along the road, they lack sense and show everyone how stupid they are.” Ecclesiastes 10:3 NIV

 

Read:  Ecclesiastes 10:1-10

 

Education is great, but common sense surpasses all that ‘book learnin’.   No matter how educated we are, it seems a waste without a good measure of common sense.  Super strength and a strong back will never replace common sense.   As the old adage says:  “Work smart, not hard.”

It seems some are gifted with more common sense than others.   At the same time, even those with the apparent gift of common sense seem to slip into a mental coma and make judgment mistakes that even they will later question.  As they say; ‘been there, done that’.

When did you last ask yourself: “Why did I do that?”   Don’t beat yourself up.   We all make those momentary decisions that in hindsight have no validity.   Thankfully, when we ask, GOD forgives our dumb mistakes as well as those mistakes we painstakingly plan.

GOD gave us all common sense.   The variable seems to be; some of us appreciate the gift and some of us don’t.   Common sense is best when it is teamed up with prayer and GOD’S will.

Common sense seems lost and wasted when we act impulsively and allow ourselves to just do it our way.

Think about it.  Pray about it.  Then, do it GOD’S way.

Today’s prayer:  “FATHER GOD, Thank YOU for giving me the common sense to come to YOU in prayer.  Help me to understand all the spiritual gifts YOU have given me.   Help me to understand YOUR ways before I act for myself.   Amen.”

 

“ONE MORE EXCUSE!”

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”  Romans 1:20 NIV

 

Read: Romans 1: 20-32

 

I had a young man who worked on a project for me for a few days.   No matter how I attempted to communicate with him, my words seem to fall upon deaf ears.  Five days he was to have started work at a scheduled time.   Each of those five days, he gave me five different excuses for being late every day.

He had a pleasant attitude and worked super hard, yet the projects never got finished.  He would start, then decide there was a better way to do the job than instructed.   His efforts would lead him astray.  Then, he would have to undo what he had done and start over…a lot of wasted time and effort.   No matter what he did, he had another excuse for his actions.

Excuses are words that attempt to cover up the failures.   Reasons are words that clearly justify our actions.   Excuses are never reasons.   When we have reasons, we don’t need excuses.

GOD’S Bible is like that.  GOD had and has a reason for each and every verse.  Each verse has a purpose that we can use to live by and help to help others.  We have excuses.   Excuses of not reading our Bibles are without any merit.   There are no excuses for not reading HIS instructions for us.

There are no excuses for reading our Bible and not living our lives as GOD intended us to do.  Reading our Bible creates reasons for us to live our lives as GOD intended.

Get rid of those weak excuses and live as GOD wants.   HE gave you all HIS reasons.

Today’s prayer:   “Dear LORD,  Please forgive me for all my feeble excuses for my failures and sinful acts.  I do want to live my life for YOU for all the right reasons.   Amen.”

“THE THRILL OF DEFEAT?”

“And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”  Revelation 20:10 NIV

Read:  Revelation 20:7-10

You have probably heard the famous quote; ‘The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat!’  This was part of the introduction to the ‘Wide World of Sports’ television show which ran for decades. The complete introduction was: “Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sport!  The thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat!”

As you heard the announcer, a clip of Vinko Bogataj, a Slovenian ski jumper who missed his jump on a too fast slope and crashed painfully through a fence in 1970 played for all to see for years to come.   It became a standard for the show and set the tone for those feared words; ‘the agony of defeat’.

While we may quote ‘the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat’, have you considered the ‘thrill of defeat’?

GOD did.   GOD told us in Genesis of the trials of man in a sinful life and how Satan would be defeated.   Satan was defeated again with the death and resurrection of JESUS.   Satan believed he had won with the crucifixion of JESUS, only to be defeated by the the resurrection of our SAVIOUR.  Revelation tells us of Satan’s final defeat.

Do you know the ‘thrill of defeat’?   If you have trusted JESUS and asked HIM to forgive you of all your sins, you know the thrill of defeating Satan.   The ‘thrill of defeat’ is victory over Satan’s eternal death.

By trusting and believing in JESUS as your redeemer you have defeated Satan and will have joy eternally with JESUS.

If you have not turned your life over to CHRIST, isn’t it time to have the ‘thrill of victory’ and the blessings of the ‘thrill of defeat’?

Today’s prayer:   “JESUS MY SAVIOUR,  Thank YOU for forgiving me of all my sins.   By YOUR grace, I can feel the thrill of victory and the thrill of defeat.  Help me spread this message to others.  Amen.”

“DON’T CHASE THE PAIN!”

“For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.'”  Jeremiah 29: 11-12 NIV

 

Read:  Matthew 6:5-8

 

Before a minor day surgery, the doctor called in prescriptions he felt I would need after the surgery including a mild pain medicine.   Rather than after the surgery, I could pick these up from the pharmacy before and have them ready when arriving at home.

Not wanting to take a lot of medicine, I decided to take the pain medicine only as a last resort.  Then I remembered something from years ago; ‘don’t chase the pain’.   In other words, at the first sign of pain, take the medicine rather than wait for the full pain to set in then attempt to deal with it.

This preparation reminded me of how we should prepare ourselves with GOD.   All to often, we jump into prayer after we are in need of HIS help, chasing our pain.   When adversity hits us in the face, we decide it is time to go into prayer.   While GOD welcomes our prayers when we are faced with a problem, HE wants to hear from us before we have a problem.

We don’t need to chase the pain in our lives.   Difficulties, setbacks, health issues, family problems, job issues are sure to happen from time to time.   These can all cause emotional, physical and spiritual pain.

Be prepared.   Have an ongoing prayer with your FATHER.  He is waiting to hear from you on a regular basis. GOD is ready to hear from you.   Now is a good time.

Today’s prayer:   “My FATHER, Thank YOU for always being here for me.   Forgive me for not being obedient and talking with YOU more often.   Help me to talk with YOU more, not just when I think I need something from YOU.  Amen.”

 

“BAD BLOOD!”

“By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: ‘He could not be found, because God had taken him away.’  For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.”  Hebrews 11:5 NIV

 

Read:  Genesis, Chapters 4&5
The lady continued her whispering gossip;  “He will never amount to anything.  He comes from ‘bad blood’.”   Have you ever condemned someone because of their parents or relatives or the area of town they grew up?   Maybe, you have been slandered and condemned unjustly because of your heritage or economic status.

 

Enoch came from ‘bad blood’.  Cain was the son of Adam and Eve who killed his brother Abel who was condemned by GOD.  Cain had a son named Enoch.   Enoch carried out the evils of his father Cain.

Adam and Eve had a second son named Seth.  Several generations of Seth later, Jared became the father of Enoch.   Unlike his namesake, this Enoch walked with GOD.  This is the same family that had produced what we could call ‘bad blood’.  But, it was not ‘bad blood’ at all.

The second Enoch walked with GOD.  Walking with GOD is very different than doing things as we see them.   Walking with GOD is a vigil.   Walking with GOD is keeping GOD as the constant in our lives.

You are born in innocence.  You had no choice of your parents, grandparents  or siblings.  The wrongful things of their lives are between them and GOD.  Don’t take on their sins or responsibilities.  GOD created you to be you…free of the wrongs of your family.

Like so many of our prejudices are so unfounded, there is no such thing a ‘bad blood’.   We each have a choice.

Today’s prayer:   “GOD MY FATHER,  Thank YOU for being patient with me and forgiving me.  I do not want to be evil as some before me.  Help me to walk with YOU.   Amen.”