Prayer List Comments
I collect prayer requests for our
church and then forward them out to those who want to receive them.
Often I add a devotional thought. These are collected here.
1/7/05 I’ve been reading in 1 Samuel.
One of my favorite passages in the Bible is the scene where Samuel
first hears God. Eli advises Samuel to respond: “Speak, LORD,
for your servant hears.” 1 Sam 3:9
Three things stand out to
• LORD – Samuel is going to address the LORD, Yahweh,
Lord God of the Universe!
• thy servant – Samuel’s attitude
is right — he recognizes his relationship to God and is ready to
• hear – not only does Samuel address the Lord, but
the Lord speaks to Samuel; and Samuel is ready to really listen.
120/05 Holy, Wholly, Holey
words of the famous hymn are “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God
almighty!” But what about us? How can we describe a disciple of
Christ? I suggest “Holy, wholly, holey.” “Holy”
because even though we are but flesh, God calls us to be holy –
“You shall be holy; for I the LORD your God am holy.” Lev
19:2b. And how can we possibly be holy, but by being wholly committed
to God and letting His grace work fully in us – “With
eyes wide open to the mercies of God, I beg you, my brothers, as an
act of intelligent worship, to give him your bodies, as a living
sacrifice, consecrated to him and acceptable by him. Don’t let
the world around you squeeze you into its own mold, but let God
remold your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that
the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands and moves
toward the goal of true maturity.” Rom 12:1-2 (Phillips).
Finally, “holey” – discipleship comes at a price. Oh,
salvation is a free gift – I’m not arguing against that. But
following Him may not always be a bed of roses; in fact, Jesus
promised us otherwise, “If they persecuted me, they will
persecute you;” John 16:20 and “Then Jesus told his
disciples, ‘If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and
take up his cross and follow me.'” Mt 16:24. Taking up His cross
led to holes in his hands and side. Being holy like God and being
wholly committed to God may require being holey like God.
1/28/05 “The place on which you
are standing is holy ground.” We are all familiar with this
scripture from Ex 3 where Moses encounters God in the burning bush.
As I read these words this morning I was overcome with God’s holiness
and presence. The place where *I* was sitting was holy; the
place where *I* was standing was holy — not, of course,
because of me, but because God is present and active in this world
and is present with me. Wahoo!
Help us, Lord to get ever closer
to You and to help others to do the same.
2/11/05 As Valentine’s Day approaches,
let me encourage you to pray for your spouses. Here is a
I pray for [name]:
I pray that the Blood of the
Lamb will wash her clean
and buoy her up amidst the swirl of
Protect her, O God, from harm.
And I ask that you would
and give her the wisdom and power and direction
that she needs for this day.
Enable her to be an agent of your
grace and mercy to those around her.
And give her Your
2/34/05 SonShine (inspired by all the
sunshine we’ve been having lately)
- Sunlight warms the Earth and gives it
- It warms us; it is a pleasure to be out
- It enables us to see and not stumble in
- Finally, it lets others see us. And
what they see is a combination of us and the light that shines on
us; that is, our skin and clothes absorb some colors and reflect
others, so what an observer sees will depend on both us and the
light we’re bathed in.
It’s the same in the spiritual world –
just replace “sun” with “Son.”
- Jesus is the Light of the world.
- He offers life, abundant life,
- It is a pleasure to bask in His
- He gives us discerning hearts, guidance
and wisdom to enable us to walk in the Light and avoid the Darkness.
- And what do others see when they look
at us? Hopefully not just us (and realistically, not just Him). He
made us to be us – not Him. We are not mirrors but
uniquely crafted reflectors. And we need to reflect for all we’re
saw the sunrise this morning. It started with only a faint glow in
the east. This was enough to see that there were some clouds in the
sky – dark clouds, hiding the brightening sky. But then as the
sky grew brighter, and the sun directly illuminated parts of the sky,
those clouds, once dark, became light – first with a soft glow,
then with brilliant streaks of vibrant color. Breathtaking! A sunrise
without clouds is nice, but one with clouds can be awesome.
The clouds in our lives are the problems and
trials we face. As we give them over to the Lord, we allow Him to
show us the way to deal with them. Then they become bright spots of
victories won in our lives.
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I
am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in
darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
3/23/05 BE Here! (my thought and
prayer for Easter)
When God commissioned Moses to lead the
Israelites out of Egypt, Moses asked, “When I talk to the
children of Israel and they ask me for Your Name, what should I tell
them?” God answered, “I AM. Say, ‘HE IS sent me.’”*
Jesus echoed this phrase when on one occasion he declared, “Truly,
truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I AM.” (John 5:58)
When we look out at our world now and see the needs both near and
far, we might well plead, “BE here!” – not that God
is not here, but that we ask for His Power to work and for His Might
to be seen and for each of us to be open to his working through us.
God described Himself – named Himself – as BEING.
Oh, God, BE here!
*Paraphrased from Exodus 3: 13-14
5/13/05 For some reason God chooses
to use people to water His Kingdom, and He is always looking for more
and wider spigots.
5/26/05 “God is trying
experiments with human lives. … And His question is, ‘how far will
this man and that woman allow me to carry this hour?’ ” — Frank
Laubach, quoted in The Life You’ve Always Wanted by John Ortberg
6/15/05 “A friendly church is not
about a church’s building and all the programs the church can offer;
a friendly church is all about you.” Larry Hardy, presenter of
“What is a Community-Friendly Church?” at the Northwest
Christian Education Conference.
6/23/05 Everything I need to know about
life, I learned from Noah’s Ark…
One: Don’t miss the boat.
Two: Remember that we are all in the same boat.
Plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark.
fit. When you’re 600 years old, someone may ask you to do
something really big.
Five: Don’t listen to critics; just get on
with the job that needs to be done.
Six: Build your future on
Seven: For safety sake, travel in pairs.
Speed isn’t always an advantage. The snails were on board with the
Nine: When you’re stressed, float a while.
Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by
Eleven: No matter the storm, when you are with
God, there’s always a rainbow waiting..
[passed around the net]
8/13/05 I’ve been reading the Old
Testament. Just finished one of my favorite stories — that of Elisha
and his servant being surrounded by an enemy army in 2 Kings 6. When
his servant was fearful Elisha prayed that his eyes might be opened
to see the bigger army of angels protecting them. Lord, may our eyes
be open to the spiritual dimension — so see the protection you
provide, and opportunities open to us.
8/19/05 . . . it is time to seek the
LORD, until he comes . . . [in power and glory and righteousness]
8/25/05 “Their deeds do not permit
them to return to their God.” Hos 5:4a.
people are so caught up in their sins that their sins blind them from
seeing the Lord, or, they refuse to turn to God because that would
mean giving up their sins.
9/16/05 “If you do not stand firm
in your faith, you will not stand at all.” Isaiah 7:9b
9/22/05 For I can do everything with
the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need. Phil 4:13 (NLT)
10/1/05 “I will be with you”
Several places in the Bible; both in terms of help in
times of trouble and help to obtain the victory; for example, Joshua
1:5, Judges 6:16, Isaiah 43:3.
heavens above, rain down righteousness;
let the clouds shower it down.
the earth open wide,
let righteousness grow
I, the LORD, have created
Listen to me, O house of Jacob,
all you who remain of the house of Israel,
you whom I have upheld since you were conceived,
and have carried since your birth.
Even to your old age and gray hairs
I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
will also make you a light for the Gentiles,
that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.”
The LORD your
God is with you,
he is mighty to
He will take great delight
he will quiet you with his
he will rejoice over you
This is what
the LORD says:
“Stand at the
crossroads and look;
ask for the
ask where the good
way is, and walk in it,
will find rest for your souls.
11/18/05 “the righteous will live
by his faith” Hab 2:4b
I don’t know about you, but this
And where is the line between presumption and
11/26/05 I will give them a heart to
know me, that I am the LORD. Jer 24:7a
my strength and my fortress,
refuge in time of distress,
the nations will come
ends of the earth and say,
fathers possessed nothing but false gods,
worthless idols that did them no good.
Do men make their own gods?
but they are not gods!”
“Therefore I will teach them—
this time I will teach them
power and might.
Then they will
that my name is the LORD.
AMEN! May it
be so now!
what the LORD says:
the wise man boast of his wisdom
or the strong man boast of his strength
or the rich man boast of his riches,
but let him who boasts boast about this:
that he understands and knows me,
that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight,”
declares the LORD.
is he who will devote himself
be close to me?’
Now there is a challenge!
— and an invitation.
is what the LORD says—
Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
am the LORD your God,
teaches you what is best for you,
directs you in the way you should go.
As we enter this new year let us note
these words from Jeremiah
“. . . there is hope for your
future,” declares the LORD. Jer 31:17
“Our philosophy here is ‘know,
grow, and go.’”
–Valley City, North Dakota Church of
the Nazarene in http://www.ncnnews.org/Article.aspx?id=2143
Let me recommend the missionary book,
The Heart and Life of Helen Temple. Besides being an interesting book
about her life, there are a bunch of good quotes in it. Here are two:
She probably has contributed as much or more during her
tenure to the success of the World Mission program of the Church of
the Nazarene as any other one person — Guy Nees, World Mission
Director, 1984. [What can just one person do? Lots!]
If I met
On the street today
And He said,”Hi! I’m back!
Are you ready to go?”
Could I say, “sure,
–Helen Temple, 1980
“When we work, we work. When we
pray, God works.”
James Hudson Taylor (1832 – 1905),
Methodist missionary to China and founder of the China Inland Mission
(renamed as Overseas Missionary Fellowship, OMF International),
served there for 51 years, bringing over 800 missionaries to the
country and personally baptizing an estimated 50,000 converts.
like the quote; I agree with the quote. But what if we are working in
our God-given calling (whether preaching, teaching, nursing, or
I might add a corollary: When we work with God, we
I can’t resist relaying this portion of
the Jesus Film report for this week:
Over 650,000 people have
seen the JESUS Film in recent months in this un-named
gospel-resistant country. The leader overseeing the ministry wrote:
“There is a miracle taking place [here]… that we have
never seen in our lives. All the villagers turn up for the shows and
ALL surrender their lives to Jesus! It is Harvest time. Pray that
this net takes them to heaven. Every time they show a film, a church
is left there.” Pray for this leader in his ongoing
relationship with government leaders about the ministry.
From Job (in the midst of his
“I know that my Redeemer lives” (19:25a)
“My ears had heard of you
now my eyes have seen you.” Job 42:5
What Job said to the
Lord when He appeared to him. Job had asked to be able to make his
case for his innocence to God Himself or at least to ask for an
explanation for his suffering. When the Lord appeared, Job fell on
his face and was basically silent. He got no answer nor did he
present his case, but he did see the living God — as I believe we
are invited to — not just to hear about Him, but to experience Him
for ourselves. And likely He will not answer all of our questions,
but He does promise to be with us.
“If a man thinks he is “somebody”,
he is deceiving himself, for that very thought proves that he is
nobody. Let every man learn to assess properly the value of his own
work and he can then be glad when he has done something worth doing
without dependence on the approval of others.” Gal 6:3-4 Phil
like this passage because it warns us of the dangers of both sides of
the pride ridge. On our walk of life along the ridge, we have to be
careful of falling down the pride side — that is well known. But we
are also not to fall down the other side — the “worm”
side, the side of I’m no good and can’t do anything right.
I just ran across this neat prayer
guide as we pray for our church laborers: “We always thank God
for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. We continually
remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your
labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our
Lord Jesus Christ.” I Thes 1:2-3
“May God himself, the God of
peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul
and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.” I Thess
There is a lot of meat in here, but when I read it this
time what jumped out at me is “he will do it.” It’s not a
possibility; not even a probability; it’s a certainty! Praise the
Lord. Let’s go!
Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I
do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ
of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him
up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped
to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple
courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. Acts 3:6-8
is one of my favorite passages — because it speaks of God’s power;
power working in someone’s life.
I know God does not always
work that way — to answer our prayers in miraculous ways. On the
other side there is the “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in
him” (Job 13:15) — trust and faith without miracles or even
with great adversity.
How do we balance these? I vote for the
miraculous:) Seriously, there is no easy answer. Certainly both are
Biblical. Let us not neglect one for the other.
“. . . upon this rock I will
build my church; and the gates
of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matt 16:18
heard a neat message on this passage on the radio this week (Herb
Lusk on Focus on the Family Wednesday). He had two points. (1) The
preacher pointed out that gates don’t move. Therefore the battle is
not one where the church has a defensive position. We are not
fighting with our backs up against the wall and hoping to barely
survive. No! We are to be on the offensive – battling the
powers of darkness where they fight to destroy us – in
character, in marriages, families, churches, and of course, in souls.
The second point was: WE SHALL PREVAIL! Hallelujah!
“I will remain in the world no
longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy
Father, protect them by the power of your name—the name you
gave me—so that they may be one as we are one.”
This verse has always puzzled me a little. I can
understand Jesus asking the Father to help us, his followers, to be
united, but one as He and the Father are one!? That seems tighter
than reasonable or possible – but – perhaps worth trying
to understand more fully.
He [Hezekiah] appointed military
officers over the people and assembled them before him in the square
at the city gate and encouraged them with these words: “Be
strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the
king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater
power with us than with him. With him is only the arm of flesh, but
with us is the LORD our God to help us and to fight our battles.”
2 Chron 32:6-8
There’s nothing like a death in the
family to bring cosmic perspective — I’ll be asking my neighbors to
church again. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one
and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have
eternal life.” John 3:16
Good Friday is here, but Sunday is
He is risen!!!
Our Marching Orders:
all you people of the land,’ declares the LORD, ‘and work. For I am
with you,’ declares the LORD Almighty. Haggai 2:4b
Here are some portions of Ps 147:
Praise the LORD.
How good it is to
sing praises to our God,
pleasant and fitting to praise him!
3 He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.
Great is our Lord and mighty in power;
his understanding has no limit.
6 The LORD sustains the humble
but casts the wicked to the
10 His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse,
nor his delight in the legs of a
11 the LORD delights in those who fear him,
who put their hope in his unfailing love.
A portion of Ps 147 that I didn't quote last week is "Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; make music to our God on the harp. He covers the sky with clouds; he supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills." Ps 147:7-8 Well I was reviewing Ps 147 Saturday night after having to scrub a planned star party at Lake Chelan. The "He covers the sky with clouds" caught my eye. Yes. God is sovereign -- even over noble public service events:)
“we prayed to our God and posted a
guard day and night” part of Neh 4:9
Interesting — they
didn’t just pray, and they didn’t just post a guard against the enemy
threat. They did both. This applies to us as well — when we face
difficult situations, we do what we can and we pray.
Zechariah (John the Baptist’s father)
prophesied that salvation was coming to (among other things) “enable
us to serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before
him all our days.” Luke 1:74-75
But Moses said, “Here I am among
six hundred thousand men on foot, and you say, ‘I will give them meat
to eat for a whole month!’ Would they have enough if flocks and herds
were slaughtered for them? Would they have enough if all the fish in
the sea were caught for them?” The LORD answered Moses, “Is
the LORD’s arm too short? You will now see whether or not what I say
will come true for you.” Num 11:21-23
What God says He will
do, He will do! What are we having a hard time believing He will do?
Father’s Day — I heard a very good 2
day series about the importance of fathers on Focus on the Family
Thursday and Friday. Catch it on the web at http://www.family.org/
The second day was the best part.
Prayer: Happy Fathers’
“Nevertheless, God’s solid
foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: ‘The Lord knows
those who are his,’ and, ‘Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord
must turn away from wickedness.’ ” 2 Tim 2:19
It’s nice to
know that in these times where humanism and moral relativism run
increasingly rampant, and just about everything is changing at an
ever faster pace, Some Things do not change.
“Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made
the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm.
Nothing is too hard for you.” Jer 32:17
I like this verse —
is anything too hard for God? No matter what we face, nothing is
too hard for God!
“Finally, be strong in the Lord
and in his mighty power.” Eph 6:10
The introduction to the
“armor of God” passage reminds us of the source of our
strength and where our focus should be — in life, in church, in
Vacation Bible Camp. Let’s do it!
“. . . bring them [children] up in
the training and instruction of the Lord.” Eph 6:4b
addressed to fathers, this verse has wider application of course —
this week especially.
“. . .our struggle is not against
flesh and blood. . .” from Eph 6:12
Sometimes it is good to
remember that though it sometimes appears otherwise, our real enemy
The familiar “Armor of God”
scripture concludes with, “And pray in the Spirit on all
occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind,
be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Pray also for
me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I
will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am
an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I
should.” Eph 6:18-20
Did you catch a re-occurring theme
here? Prayer? — “on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and
requests” sounds pretty all-inclusive. “for all the saints”
— “saint” in the New Testament referred to any believer.
And while we may not be in chains, we could all use prayer that
“words may be given us” to help us declare the Gospel
“fearlessly, as we should.”
Let’s do it!
“God only wants for us what we
would want for ourselves if we were smart enough to want it.”
Another couple of good quotes from
God never intended us to feel at home in a
culture that disowns Him and His values.
Why is it some
people will excuse themselves from holy living all their lives
yet expect to be happy in a holy heaven?
Ok, so it’s a long quote, but I
couldn’t think of how to cut it and keep its character. (And maybe it
will make up for not getting the prayer list out last week:)
A “Prayer Tip” from E. M. Bounds:
Much time spent with God is the secret of all successful praying.
While many private prayers, in the nature of
things, must be short; while public prayers, as a rule, ought to be
short and condensed; while there is ample room for and value put on
ejaculatory prayer — yet in our private communions with God time is
a feature essential to its value. Much time spent with God is the
secret of all successful praying. Prayer which is felt as a
mighty force is the mediate or immediate product of much time spent
with God. Our short prayers owe their point and efficiency to
the long ones that have preceded them.
short prevailing prayer cannot be prayed by one who has not prevailed
with God in a mightier struggle of long continuance. Jacob’s
victory of faith could not have been gained without that all-night
wrestling. God’s acquaintance is not made by pop calls.
God does not bestow his gifts on the casual or hasty comers and
goers. Much time with God alone is the secret of knowing him
and of influence with him. He yields to the persistency of a
faith that knows him. He bestows his richest gifts upon those
who declare their desire for and appreciation of those gifts by the
constancy as well as earnestness of their importunity.
Christ, who in this as well as other things is our Example, spent
many whole nights in prayer. His custom was to pray much. He
had his habitual place to pray. Many long seasons of praying
make up his history and character. Paul prayed day and night.
It took time from very important interests for Daniel to pray three
times a day. David’s morning, noon, and night praying were
doubtless on many occasions very protracted. While we have no
specific account of the time these Bible saints spent in prayer, yet
the indications are that they consumed much time in prayer, and on
some occasions long seasons of praying was their custom.
We would not have any think that the value of their prayers is to be
measured by the clock, but our purpose is to impress on our minds the
necessity of being much alone with God; and that if this feature has
not been produced by our faith, then our faith is of a feeble and
The men who have most fully
illustrated Christ in their character, and have most powerfully
affected the world for him, have been men who spent so much time with
God as to make it a notable feature of their lives. Charles
Simeon devoted the hours from four till eight in the morning to God.
Mr. Wesley spent two hours daily in prayer. He began at four in
the morning. Of him, one who knew him well wrote: “He thought
prayer to be more his business than anything else, and I have seen
him come out of his closet with a serenity of face next to shining.”
-E. M. Bounds, “Power Through Prayer” (excerpt from
Chapter 7) [http://prayerfoundation.org/prayer_tips_e_m_bounds.htm]
E. M. Bounds was a Pastor around the time of the Civil War. It
is said that he prayed daily for three hours before he would begin
work on his writings.
I saw the movie Facing the Giants
last week — excellent Christian film about a high school football
team, but deals with many life issues and faith — and not in a too
churchy way — good action and excitement for kids. Review at
“I urge you, brothers, by our Lord
Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle
by praying to God for me.” Rom 15:30
It seems to me that
this is the essence of small groups — joining together in prayer, in
struggles, in the Spirit, in love.
“For the kingdom of God is not a
matter of talk but of power.” 1 Cor 4:20
“But seek ye first the kingdom of
God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto
you.” Matt 6:33
Hudson Taylor applied this verse to the
enormous needs he faced while starting the China Inland Mission 150
years ago. He resolved and reminded himself that it was not up to him
to raise the funds and find the workers and convert the people —
that was God’s part. His part was to seek first the Kingdom. This is
a good two-edged reminder for me.
“I thank my God every time I
remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with
joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day
until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in
you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Sometimes I get so involved in praying for the
needs in our church, that I forget to thank God for what He
has done and for who we have serving Him in our local body of
“…you are a letter from Christ .
. . written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not
on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” 2 Cor 3:3
Let’s not keep our letters under a bushel!
“So from now on we
regard no one from a worldly point of view.” 2 Cor 5:16a
just covered favoritism in our Life Together Group (from James 2).
This verse goes a step beyond that — advocating the positive as well
as prohibiting the negative; and towards everyone. A good reminder —
especially in this Christmas season.
“But the God of peace, who brought
again from among the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the
sheep, in the power of the blood of the eternal covenant, perfect you
in every good work to the doing of his will, doing in you what is
pleasing before him through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for the
ages of ages. Amen.” Heb 13:20-21 DBY
We’ve learned a lot about power (or lack of it) these last few days.
We were without for 3 1/2 days (and thus the lack of the prayer list
last week). Some of you maybe still without. Power performs work; it
gets things done. I believe God wants to use his power much more than
he does. Why? Because for some reason he chooses to do his work
through us much of the time.
Lord, help us to be better
conduits of your mighty power!
“I keep asking that the God of our
Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of
wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also
that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may
know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious
inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us
who believe.” Eph 1:17-19a
I can think of no more
appropriate prayer as we begin the new year.
How did I come to exist? Why do I
exist? How do I know I exist?
These questions are answered by the
One who said “I AM!”
He says, “You ARE!”
He declared us into existence as He did light, the Earth, and
the rest of the Universe (Gen 1).
We exist to glorify God and to
have fellowship with Him. And by the way, He loves us.
know all this by His Word and His Spirit, whom He sent to guide us,
live with us, and to live in us – to be a part of us.
so I watched a film (at a friend’s advice) that went from quantum
mechanics way off the deep end into existentialism, New Age,
idealism, “we are all god” and there is no right and wrong.
This is my reaction.]