Monday, January 21, 2019

praying effectively: Teach God's Words (Deut.)

(Deuteronomy 6:1-2)  “Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the judgments which the Lord your God has commanded me to teach you, that you might do them in the land where you are going over to possess it, so that you and your son and your grandson might fear the Lord your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged."

(Deuteronomy 5:32-33)  So you shall observe to do just as the Lord your God has commanded you; you shall not turn aside to the right or to the left. 33 You shall walk in all the way which the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you will possess.

(Deuteronomy 4:9)  “Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, so that you do not forget the things which your eyes have seen and they do not depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and your grandsons."

(Deuteronomy 11:19)  You shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up.

(Deuteronomy 4:40)  So you shall keep His statutes and His commandments which I am giving you today, that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may live long on the land which the Lord your God is giving you for all time.”

(Deuteronomy 5:29)  Oh that they had such a heart in them, that they would fear Me and keep all My commandments always, that it may be well with them and with their sons forever!

(Deuteronomy 12:28)  “Be careful to listen to all these words which I command you, so that it may be well with you and your sons after you forever, for you will be doing what is good and right in the sight of the Lord your God."

(Deuteronomy 32:46-47a)  he said to them, “Take to your heart all the words with which I am warning you today, which you shall command your sons to observe carefully, even all the words of this law. 47 For it is not an idle word for you; indeed it is your life...”

Reminder:  "praying effectively" involves knowing God's will.  When we pray in His will (in His name), He may choose to not answer those prayers in the time period that we would like, or HOW we would like - but He will answer those prayers!

It is God's will:
- that we focus on ourselves and living obediently (4:9, 4:40, 5:29, 5:32-33, 6:1-2, 12:28, 32:46-47a)
- that we teach God's words to our children and grandchildren (4:9, 4:40, 5:29, 11:19, 32:46)

Today's prayer: 

Dear Lord Jesus, thank You that Your words are life giving!  Thank You for saving me from my sins and from an eternal life of death.  Thank You for saving our children!  Help us to live obediently, knowing that Your commandments help us to prosper in ways that we could not otherwise.  And if and when grandchildren come along, help us to pour into them the knowledge of Your word, all the while living what You teach as an example for them to follow.  Amen.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

praying effectively: Do Not Change God's Words (Deut.)

(Deuteronomy 12:32)  “Whatever I command you, you shall be careful to do; you shall not add to nor take away from it."

(Deuteronomy 4:2)  You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.

(Deuteronomy 4:13)  So He declared to you His covenant which He commanded you to perform, that isthe Ten Commandments; and He wrote them on two tablets of stone.

(Deuteronomy 27:10)  You shall therefore obey the Lord your God, and do His commandments and His statutes which I command you today.”

Reminder:  "praying effectively" involves knowing God's will.  When we pray in His will (in His name), He may choose to not answer those prayers in the time period that we would like, or HOW we would like - but He will answer those prayers!

It is God's will:
- that we do not change God's words in any way (Dt.4:2, 12:32)
- that we live obediently by God's words (Dt.4:2, 4:13, 12:32, 27:10)

Today's prayer: 

Dear Lord Jesus, thank You so much for Your word!  Protect the integrity of Your words as people translate and publish Bibles in different languages for the world to read.  Guide those people, and let them be Spirit-led so as not to change any intent of Your truths.

Help me embrace Your truths and live obediently by them!  Amen.

Friday, January 18, 2019

praying effectively: Choose Righteous Leaders (Deut.)

(Deuteronomy 1:13-18)  Choose wise and discerning and experienced men from your tribes, and I will appoint them as your heads.’ 14 You answered me and said, ‘The thing which you have said to do is good.’ 15 So I took the heads of your tribes, wise and experienced men, and appointed them heads over you, leaders of thousands and of hundreds, of fifties and of tens, and officers for your tribes.
16 “Then I charged your judges at that time, saying, ‘Hear the cases between your fellow countrymen, and judge righteously between a man and his fellow countryman, or the alien who is with him. 17 You shall not show partiality in judgment; you shall hear the small and the great alike. You shall not fear man, for the judgment is God’s. The case that is too hard for you, you shall bring to me, and I will hear it.’ 18 I commanded you at that time all the things that you should do.

(Deuteronomy 16:18-20)  “You shall appoint for yourself judges and officers in all your towns which the Lord your God is giving you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment. 19 You shall not distort justice; you shall not be partial, and you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous. 20 Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue, that you may live and possess the land which the Lord your God is giving you.

Reminder:  "praying effectively" involves knowing God's will.  When we pray in His will (in His name), He may choose to not answer those prayers in the time period that we would like, or HOW we would like - but He will answer those prayers!

It is God's will:
- that we are just, impartial and do not take bribes (Dt.16:19)
- that we pursue justice for everyone (Dt.16:20)
- that we choose righteous judges who will be just and impartial (Dt.1:16-18, 16:18)
- that we are organized and choose righteous leaders (Dt.1:13-15)

Today's prayer: 

Dear Lord Jesus, help me to be just and see all people as equal in Your eyes.  Help our churches choose righteous leaders who will remain true to Your word.  And when it is election time in our country, give me wisdom and insight to know which person is right for the job.  Amen.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

praying effectively: Keep Your Vows (Num., Deut.)

(Numbers 30:2)  If a man makes a vow to the Lord, or takes an oath to bind himself with a binding obligation, he shall not violate his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.

(Deuteronomy 23:21-23)  “When you make a vow to the Lord your God, you shall not delay to pay it, for it would be sin in you, and the Lord your God will surely require it of you. 22 However, if you refrain from vowing, it would not be sin in you. 23 You shall be careful to perform what goes out from your lips, just as you have voluntarily vowed to the Lord your God, what you have promised.

Reminder:  "praying effectively" involves knowing God's will.  When we pray in His will (in His name), He may choose to not answer those prayers in the time period that we would like, or HOW we would like - but He will answer those prayers!

It is God's will:
- that we are careful when we make vows and promises
- that we keep your vows and promises

Today's prayer:

 Dear Lord Jesus, help me to take it seriously when I make a vow or promise, so that I will actually carry it out.

My marriage vow is something I take very seriously, and promises I make to other people have more of an accountability factor;  but the smaller promises that I make to myself (and to You) - help me to see that those are just as serious.

My word should be truthful and faithful.  So no matter "how small" I consider something, I confess and apologize for breaking promises - thinking that it's okay because it wasn't really such a big deal.  But how I hold to vows and promises, no matter how small, reflects not only on me, but also on my testimony of You.

Thank You so much for Your grace!  May I never take that for granted!  Amen.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

praying effectively: Living and Dying (Num.)

(Numbers 24:23)  Then he took up his discourse and said,
“Alas, who can live except God has ordained it?

Reminder:  "praying effectively" involves knowing God's will.  When we pray in His will (in His name), He may choose to not answer those prayers in the time period that we would like, or HOW we would like - but He will answer those prayers!

It is God's will:  whether someone lives or dies

Today's prayer: 

Dear Lord Jesus, it is You who ordains who lives or dies.  I am so thankful that You are all-knowing, and that You are loving.  You do care, so that You do nothing outside of what ultimately makes sense - even if it doesn't make sense to us.

Help us to keep in mind that You are fair and just, therefore no one will die before having a very fair chance of becoming a believer.  And when You allow a believer to die, we should be celebrating the fact that they are now at home with You!

Be with us when we do mourn, that we find closure in order to then continue on in life as we should.  As long as we are still alive, THAT is Your will.  Guide us in knowing Your will and our purpose.  Amen.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

praying effectively: Tithes, Offering and Giving (Num., Deut.)

(Numbers 18:25-29)  Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 26 “Moreover, you shall speak to the Levites and say to them, ‘When you take from the sons of Israel the tithe which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then you shall present an offering from it to the Lord, a tithe of the tithe. 27 Your offering shall be reckoned to you as the grain from the threshing floor or the full produce from the wine vat. 28 So you shall also present an offering to the Lord from your tithes, which you receive from the sons of Israel; and from it you shall give the Lord’s offering to Aaron the priest. 29 Out of all your gifts you shall present every offering due to the Lord, from all the best of them, the sacred part from them.’

(Deuteronomy 12:5-6)  But you shall seek the Lord at the place which the Lord your God will choose from all your tribes, to establish His name there for His dwelling, and there you shall come. There you shall bring your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the contribution of your hand, your votive offerings, your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herd and of your flock.

(Deuteronomy 14:22)  “You shall surely tithe all the produce from what you sow, which comes out of the field every year.

(Deuteronomy 26:10-14)  Now behold, I have brought the first of the produce of the ground which You, O Lord have given me.’ And you shall set it down before the Lord your God, and worship before the Lord your God; 11 and you and the Levite and the alien who is among you shall rejoice in all the good which the Lord your God has given you and your household.
12 When you have finished paying all the tithe of your increase in the third year, the year of tithing, then you shall give it to the Levite, to the stranger, to the orphan and to the widow, that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied. 13 You shall say before the Lord your God, ‘I have removed the sacred portion from my house, and also have given it to the Levite and the alien, the orphan and the widow, according to all Your commandments which You have commanded me; I have not transgressed or forgotten any of Your commandments. 14 I have not eaten of it while mourning, nor have I removed any of it while I was unclean, nor offered any of it to the dead. I have listened to the voice of the Lord my God; I have done according to all that You have commanded me.

Reminder:  "praying effectively" involves knowing God's will.  When we pray in His will (in His name), He may choose to not answer those prayers in the time period that we would like, or HOW we would like - but He will answer those prayers!

It is God's will:
- that we tithe faithfully
- that we give gifts and offerings as we are able
- that we give gifts to our missionaries, spiritual leaders, orphans and widows
- that we worship and thank the Lord

Today's prayer: 

Dear Lord, thank You so much for everything You have provided and given to us.  You are so good!  It is an honor to give back to You (at least) ten percent of everything that You have so generously bestowed.  And I know, as I have done that, You are faithful to make sure that I always have whatever I need.

Help me to recognize what is surplus for me, in order to give extra gifts to our missionaries in the field, and to the needy.  Thank You so much for Your generosity.   Help me to be more like You.  Amen.

Monday, January 14, 2019

praying effectively: Worship Altogether (Num.15)

(Numbers 15:14-16)  If an alien sojourns with you, or one who may be among you throughout your generations, and he wishes to make an offering by fire, as a soothing aroma to the Lord, just as you do so he shall do. 15 As for the assembly, there shall be one statute for you and for the alien who sojourns with you, a perpetual statute throughout your generations; as you are, so shall the alien be before the Lord. 16 There is to be one law and one ordinance for you and for the alien who sojourns with you.’”

Reminder:  "praying effectively" involves knowing God's will.  When we pray in His will (in His name), He may choose to not answer those prayers in the time period that we would like, or HOW we would like - but He will answer those prayers!

It is God's will:  that all believers worship together, no matter what our race is or where we come from

Today's prayer: 

Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for coming and dying for all of us.  Thank You that You love the everyone, and everyone is precious in Your sight!  May we love everyone as You do.  Help us to stamp out racism and prejudice.  Help us to treat everyone equally.

Help those who have experienced unfair treatment to find strength, peace and love through You.  Help all believers forgive those who have persecuted them, so that we will not live in anger, bitterness and fear, but embrace the freedom that You so generously supply.  Amen.