Tag Archives: Christian life

Pray Out Loud

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Pray Out Loud

God hears our silent, whispered, murmured and loud prayers, however there are many good reasons to pray out loud. A few are:

1. When we pray out loud it zeros in on our thoughts. At any given time we have many thoughts going through our mind so when we pray out loud it helps to single out what we are praying for.

2. Praying out loud together is the pattern set for us by the early church

Acts 1:14 NKJV
“These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.”

Acts 2:42 NKJV
“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.”

Acts 12:12 NKJV
“So, when he had considered this, he came to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together praying.”

3. Praying out loud declares your faith.
According to Romans 10:9-10, confession is made with the mouth.

Romans 10:9-10 NKJV
“that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

By praying out loud, you are declaring, or confessing, your faith.

4. Praying out loud is an encouragement.
When we pray out loud those that hear can be encouraged by our words.

When Jesus prayed for other people He prayed out loud so that those who heard Him could be strengthened in their faith and encouraged.

5. Praying out loud can help stir up faith and prayer in others.

Hebrews 10:24-25.NKJV
“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,
not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”

6. Praying out loud helps others to pray.
Jesus taught His disciples how to pray. By listening to Jesus pray they gained greater understanding on prayer and how to pray.

7. Praying out loud can speak things into existence.
Our words contain power and they have the ability to speak things into existence.

8. Praying our loud (in a group setting) is a way of sharing our struggles and weaknesses. It can also be comforting for others to pray out loud for us.

James 5:13-16 NKJV
“Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.
And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”

9. Praying out loud helps build your faith. Your mind thinks it, your mouth says it, your ears hear it and your mind believes it.

Influence

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Influence

When we deny ourselves things in order to help someone who is in need or distress we will be a positive influence. Jesus is the Light of the World and we are to be a reflection of Him. Jesus gave up His very life in order to help man – He denied His own desires so that we could be restored into a right relationship with God. Because of Jesus’ many selfless sacrifices He was, and still is today, a positive influence in the lives of those that recognize Him as the Son of God.

Isaiah 58:8 NKJV
“Then your light shall break forth like the morning,
Your healing shall spring forth speedily,
And your righteousness shall go before you…”

Isaiah 58:10 NKJV
“…Then your light shall dawn in the darkness,
And your darkness shall be as the noonday.”

Everywhere Jesus went, He radiated the love of the Father, and so should we. Our lives are to shine in such a way that we will be an influence for the kingdom of God. Everyone is an influence in some way, however, everyone is not an influence for the kingdom of God.

Fasting and Compassion

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Fasting and Compassion

Isaiah 58:5-12 NKJV
“Is it a fast that I have chosen,
A day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush,
And to spread out sackcloth and ashes? Would you call this a fast,
And an acceptable day to the Lord? Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the heavy burdens,
To let the oppressed go free,
And that you break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; When you see the naked, that you cover him,
And not hide yourself from your own flesh? Then your light shall break forth like the morning,
Your healing shall spring forth speedily,
And your righteousness shall go before you; The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard,
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’
If you take away the yoke from your midst,
The pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
If you extend your soul to the hungry
And satisfy the afflicted soul,
Then your light shall dawn in the darkness,
And your darkness shall be as the noonday.
The Lord will guide you continually,
And satisfy your soul in drought,
And strengthen your bones; You shall be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
Those from among you
Shall build the old waste places;
You shall rise up the foundations of many generations; And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach,
The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.”

 

What does fasting and compassion have in common? Some dictionaries give “to go without food; eat little or nothing; go without certain kinds of food” as the definition of fast. Others say that fasting is quietly choosing not to eat for a period of time in order to give extra attention to God. We could say that fasting is quietly choosing to deny yourself something that you need (or that you think you need) for a specific purpose.
Compassion is feeling for another’s sorrow or hardship that leads to help. Compassion is not the same as sympathy. Sympathy is pity, feeling sorrow (sorry) for someone who is in distress. We can feel sorry for someone without doing anything (or trying) to help them, but it doesn’t please God.
Many times in order to be truly compassionate we will have to deny ourselves something (food or things). It pleases God when we deny ourselves things in order to help someone who is in need (distress). Go does not take pleasure in us denying ourselves or afflicting our souls (mind, will and emotions) in order for us to gain attention from others. However, God does take great pleasure in someone who denies them self something in order to help someone else.

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Dear Father,
Thank-you for the love and compassion that You have shown to me. By the power of the Holy Spirit, help me to look at others through Your eyes of love and compassion.
In Jesus’ name, Amen

Keep The Fire Burning

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Keep The Fire Burning

In the tabernacle, after God lit the fire the priest had the responsibility to keep it burning. God would not send the fire again.

Leviticus 6:12-13 NKJV
“And the fire on the altar shall be kept burning on it; it shall not be put out. And the priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and lay the burnt offering in order on it; and he shall burn on it the fat of the peace offerings.
A fire shall always be burning on the altar; it shall never go out.”

Once God sends the fire we must keep it burning. If the fire goes out it is up to YOU to fan the flame. Many times believers and the church are guilty of waiting for God to send revival fire, when He is actually waiting for them to fan the flame that He has already placed within them. In the natural realm a fire has to be fed with more fuel or it will go out. The same is true in the spiritual realm, we have to fuel the fire that God has placed within us. God will not send the fire again. We have the responsibility of keeping the fire of God burning and ablaze in our lives.

Luke 12:35-36 NKJV
“Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning;
and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately.”

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Dear Father,
Thank-you that You have chosen me to be a priest unto You and for the fire that You have placed within me. By the power of the Holy Spirit, help me to keep that fire burning bright and may it never go out. Cause me to be watching, waiting ,and ready for Your return.
In Jesus’ name, Amen

Guard Your Relationship With God

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Guard Your Relationship With God

Some people neglect their relationship with God when they begin to accumulate a lot of things. In the end they will lose everything, including their soul. Wealth will not help in judgment.

Mark 8:34-36 NKJV
“When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, ‘Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his soul?”

When we stand before God, He will not be concerned with how much money (or things) we had, however, He will be concerned with our relationship with Him and our relationship with others. While pursuing wealth, did we love others? How did we treat people?

James 5:1-5 NKJV
“Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days. Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out, and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of the Sabaoth. You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury; you have fattened your hearts as in the days of slaughter. You have condemned, you have murdered the just, he does not resist you.”

We must not mistreat others while trying to gain wealth. In everything that we do we must remember the two greatest commandments, love God and love others.

Mark 12:28-33 NKJV
“Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, ‘Which is the first commandment of all?’ Jesus answered him, ‘The first of all the commandments is: `Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandments greater than these.’ ”

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Dear Father,
By the power of the Holy Spirit, may I never neglect my relationship with You. Help me to deny himself, and take up my cross, and follow You. In everything that I do may remember the two greatest commandments. Help me to love You with all my heart, with all my soul, with all my mind, and with all my strength. And may I love my neighbor as myself.
In Jesus’ name, Amen

What Is Your Life Focus?

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What Is Your Life Focus?

Materialism is the tendency to care too much for the things of this world and to neglect spiritual needs. It is a life focus that causes a person to be more concerned about what they have or wish to have than about what they are or what God wants them to be. There are materialistic people in every economic bracket. A materialist is a person who cares too much for the things of this world and neglects spiritual needs – theirs and others. Many times a materialist’s self-interest determines their conduct or behavior.

Matthew 6:19-21 NKJV
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

When God does bless you materially you must not become high-minded or proud. Nor should you put your trust in your money (riches). Each of us must remember that only God can provided for all our needs.

1 Timothy 6:17 NKJV
“Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives to us richly all things to enjoy.”

Those who are materially wealthy are commanded to recognize and honor God as the source of their wealth. The blessings that God has given these people are to be used for the advancement of His kingdom, not for self-centered living. Their blessings are to be shared with others and enjoyed by many.

1 Timothy 6:18 NKJV
“Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share”

Our obedience to God (even concerning money, blessings) builds a good foundation for the time to come (eternity).

1 Timothy 6:19 NKJV
“storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.”

A Christian’s works (deeds) will be evaluated in heaven, not their bank account.

1 Corinthians 3:13-15 NKJV
“…each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.”

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Dear Father,
I trust in You. You are the one who gives to us richly all things to enjoy. Thank-you for providing for all my needs. By the power of Holy Spirit, don’t allow me to neglect spiritual needs – mine or those around me. I desire that my conduct and behavior bring glory to You. Help me to lay up for myself treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. May I use Your blessings for the advancement of Your kingdom. Fill me with a desire to be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share.
In Jesus’ name, Amen

Guard Your Thoughts

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Guard Your Thoughts

God, not man, decides who will be blessed. God is in control of everything, therefore we should not be jealous of others when God blesses them. There will be people that will go through this life materially rich and there will be people that go through this life materially poor. Many times God will give wealth and honor to the materially poor in other ways.

1 Samuel 2:7 NKJV
“The Lord makes poor and makes rich; He brings low and He lifts up.”

Whatever situation we find ourselves in (rich or poor) the Bible tells us that godliness with contentment is great gain. It is not wrong to want a better life or better things, however it is wrong when it is at the expense of your soul.

1 Timothy 6:6-10 NKJV
“Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

When a person places more emphasis on gaining riches than they do on their relationship with God (those desiring to be rich), it creates a lack of contentment and godliness within them that leads to greed. Greed will lead a person into temptation and creates a lust within them. Many times these material desires will lead a person away from God, costing them their very soul.

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Dear Father,
Thank-you that You care about us. Whatever situation I find myself in I know that godliness with contentment is great gain. By the power of the Holy Spirit, may I never be so consumed with things that I loose sight of eternity and what matters most. May I place more emphasis on my relationship with You than I do on gaining riches.
In Jesus’ name, Amen