Tuesday, February 26, 2013

PM#0528 Do You Encourage or Control? The "I" Factor

Do you encourage or control?
Hebrews 3:13

Is our focus on the “I” factor, or is it on encouraging others? 

So many times the I factor shows up, even though it is disguised. 

The Bible encourages us to build up one another in Heb 3:13, and to look on the affairs of others for the purpose of encouraging them. That is in Philippians 2 vs 4.

So what is difficult about that?  I know all of us have our rationale, but the behind that rationale could be an “I” desire to control.  Sometimes, rationale can make recognition of the “I” desire to control very difficult to recognize.

What can we do?  Through prayer, humble ourselves and ask God to show us “I” issues in our life. 

Consider a prayer like this:  Father, help me recognize when I have an “I” problem.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


What might identify “I” factors in us?

Is it important to submit those “I” factors to Jesus?

Monday, February 18, 2013

PM#0527 Praying for Our Leaders

Praying For Our Leaders
I Timothy 2:1-3

Have you ever wondered how prayer affected past leaders of the United States of America?

Research has found that George Washington prayed before many of the revolutionary battles that he fought in.  Further study reveals how God answered his prayers and gave victories that led to the foundation of the United States of America.

Through prayer, George Washington humbled himself before the Lord Jesus Christ and sought God's help on behalf of our new forming Nation.

The examples of leaders humbling themselves in prayer is an example to us to do the same.  Our leaders need our prayer support, seeking God's wisdom for them.  The Bible encourages us to do this in I Timothy 2:1-3.

Why not take time and pray for our leaders.

Reflection question:

Why is humility important in prayer?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

PM#0526 God's Wisdom and Help in Prayer

God’s Wisdom and Help in Prayer
James 1:3

There are times when circumstances hit us and we draw a blank on how to pray.  Other times, we may not recognize needed areas to pray. 

Through prayer, we can seek God’s help and protection.  He already knows the issues we will be facing.  They are no surprise to Him.  When we draw a blank or do not recognize issues that might affect us, we should consider asking for God’s help and wisdom to guide us as we pray.

God’s wisdom comes from His Word, and listening to God’s Holy Spirit.  All we need to do is ask for it.  See James1:5.  The Holy Spirit always speaks in accordance with the Word of God and what God shares with us can help us in our prayers.

Consider a prayer for wisdom like this:  Father, I need your wisdom to help me pray.  Help me to listen to Your Holy Spirit speak.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Reflection Questions:

·        Be honest—are there times we pray without seeking God’s direction?

·        What was Jesus saying as an example to us in John 5:19: “but what he seeth the Father do: for what things so ever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.”

·        If you have sought the Lord how to pray—perhaps you may wish to share your experience here.

Monday, February 4, 2013

PM#0525 Repentance-it is a Key

Repentance-it is a Key
James 5:16

A few years back, my wife and I were counseled to open up to our children and confess issues that we may not have handled properly.  For a parent, it is difficult stepping down from the parent role.  

The Bible does say:  “confess your faults one to another.” That is found in James 5:16.  Now does that really mean parent should humble themselves to child?  Though it does not directly say it, I believe it is implied.

I have learned that confession removes issues that block our prayers from working.  Many charge ahead in prayer without seeking wisdom concerning issues that need clearing.  Those stubborn issues and remain blocking prayer.

For pray to work, they must be removed by confessing them and going to the person they affect.   

Consider the prayer:  ‘Lord, show me issues that need cleaning.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.’

Reflection questions:

If repentance is a key to prayer being answered, then why do you hardly hear of repentance?

Why is repentance difficult?
Have you seen where prayers have been answered because of the action of repentance?