What do you see taking place that shouldn’t be? What do you hear or hear about that seems so wrong and should be stopped? Do you pray about it? Are you praying for it to stop? Are you praying about what you might be able to do? Are you praying about how God could use you to remedy the injustice? God can intervene supernaturally! God can do that through you! Let’s make sure as we pray that we are incorporating God’s wisdom and plan of how we can be His hand extended, His feet running to help, His arms extended in love! Let’s pray for wisdom and discernment around how we can be used and what we can do to help bring justice to those around us.
Today’s Reading: Habakkuk 1:2-4
2O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear? Or cry to you “Violence!” and you will not save?
3 Why do you make me see iniquity, and why do you idly look at wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise.
4 So the law is paralyzed,and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; so justice goes forth perverted.
Are you crying for help? Are you crying to help yourself or because you see people dealing with injustice who need help? Have talked to anyone else about it? Anyone you know you can trust? Is there anything in that position that God has provided you abilities or opportunities to be able to help?
Are you pointing out violence? Are you screaming because it is happening to you? Are you screaming because you are witnessing violence around you? Are you reaching out to help? Are you bringing it to someone who is able to help? What might you be able to do in that situation?
Are you seeing immoral or grossly unfair behaviors? Are you seeing wickedness, sinfulness, immorality, impropriety, or just plain evil taking place around you? Are you seeing villainy, criminality, atrocities, obscenities, crime, wrongdoing, or offenses? What can you do? Are there others you can bring in to help? Are there things you can say or do? Be wise! Ask God what to do! Don’t try to get yourself hurt, but rather look for ways to be able to bring justice into that situation! Is there something you can do to help? Are there people you can get involved? Can you be the source who helped justice show up?
Consider today how God would use it! Consider today why you are in such a position! You have been brought to such a place at such a time for a purpose and on purpose! Maybe it’s a mission! Nothing is impossible for God! Pray and hear what He has to say! Then do what He calls you to do for the glory of His kingdom with boldness and courage!
Ever been in a situation where you used that ultimatum? Ever put that type of a condition on something? Ever put that type of condition before you would act? How about with God?
It’s not something new, as people have used that on God for a very long time. Do you trust Him? Do you believe Him? Are you just trying to affirm or confirm that it really is God asking? Are you trying to manipulate God? Where is your heart in the situation?
Today’s Reading: Judges 6:36
36 Then Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand, as you have said,
We see Gideon did it too. We need to be wise! We need to pray for clear direction! We need God’s wisdom to guide us and lead us and protect us and strengthen us so that we can go bold and courageously into His calling! Once you have confirmation, you need to walk in obedience to complete the work that God has given you to do.
If we checkout what Gideon and the outcome it is pretty amazing…
37behold, I am laying a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece alone, and it is dry on all the ground, then I shall know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you have said.” 38And it was so. When he rose early next morning and squeezed the fleece, he wrung enough dew from the fleece to fill a bowl with water. 39Then Gideon said to God, “Let not your anger burn against me; let me speak just once more. Please let me test just once more with the fleece. Please let it be dry on the fleece only, and on all the ground let there be dew.” 40And God did so that night; and it was dry on the fleece only, and on all the ground there was dew.
–from Judges 6
Where are you at today? What is God calling you to do? Who is God calling you to be? He created you on purpose for a purpose! You were no accident in His eyes because He formed you in mother’s womb with a plan that is good for you and your life.
The enemy will try to make you feel bad and try to rob your joy. Don’t let Him, grab a hold of God’s grace and mercy and His incredible love for you and press on to become everything God created you to be! As we see Gideon gets going and allows God’s prompting and wisdom to guide him and lead him in the way He should go.
1Then Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) and all the people who were with him rose early and encamped beside the spring of Harod. And the camp of Midian was north of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley.
–from Judges 7
You realize a lot of the time there are people watching you right? You realize people are listening to hear what you have to say right? You realize that what you say and what you do matters right? Praying out loud has many benefits…It allows others we may be praying for to be able to hear it and receive it, it allows others to know in whom we put our trust, it allows others to hear and learn that it’s not magic, it’s just talking to God in our normal words. And it may also build up their faith in God!
You may be saying, but I am by myself, what is the benefit of praying out loud? It can help you there too by helping your mind not wander but stay in the prayer because both your brain and your mouth and your ears are busy since you have all of them actively involved.
Today’s Reading: John 11:41-42
41So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.”
The words that come to mind as reasons to pray out loud are: Purpose, Focus, Priority, Visible, Display, Share, Show, Encourage, Strengthen
Praying out loud has benefits for ourselves and for those who can hear us.
When you consider your spiritual growth, who comes to mind? Is there a person who invested in you? Are there people who invested in you? Is there a person who made a spiritual deposit into your life? Are there people who have made a spiritual deposit that is generating a reward? Who are they? Have you thanked them? Have you lifted them up to God? Have you thanked God for putting them into your life? Have you thanked God for allowing their lives to intersect yours? Consider them today! Pray to God about them! Allow them to be lifted up and filled up so that they are able to pour out to others who are in need! Bless them today!
Today’s Reading: Philemon 1:4-7
4 I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, 5because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints, 6and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ. 7For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you.
As I consider my life, I am thankful for my grandmother who at a young age kept planting seeds. I am thankful for parents who would bring me to church. I am thankful to my pastors who preached and taught on weekends and Wednesday night. I am thankful for guest speakers who came to men’s retreats and conferences and spoke truth and life. I am thankful to the worship and arts ministry where I have been able to bless and receive through serving the church. I am thankful to Pastor Steve () for seeing something in me that I hadn’t seen myself so many years ago. I am thankful to Pastor Andy () who came alongside me and called me into leadership. Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of the mens’ leadership team and helping me grow and stretch. I remember the mens’ retreat where I heard God telling me to get involved in my community and join the board of the HOA. I am thankful to Pastor Billy who poured into my life not only in and through our time in worship and arts, but also through the book The Lovecat Way (Love is a killer app) that provided me the opportunity to reach and connect with Tim Sanders ) the author as well as others who have been able to be impacted by the book. I am thankful for John who came to my small group and would be such an encouragement to me. I am thankful to Dave who to the end of the group would be the morning breakfast friend. I am thankful for Daron who has been there through the years and continues to be there for me. I am thankful for Harold who would always speak words of encouragement over me. I am thankful for the leaders who allowed me to encounter Cleansing Stream ministries so many years ago with such an incredibly power retreat and freedom. I am thankful for Paul who saw something in me and never gave up and kept prompting till the timing was right and I was able to join into such an incredible ministry for foster kids. He didn’t stop once I was in, and has called me to even greater things.
How about you? Do you have people you need to lift up and thank?
Who do you need to step up and invest in? Who do you need to be planting seeds into their life? Are you? Is there anything holding you back? It’s Go Time! No time to waste!
Search your heart and hand over your sins to God! Confess them and He will forgive them! Hiding them and carrying them around just adds weight and burden, guilt and shame to our lives that God never wanted or desired for you to have to carry! Let’s be honest about our sins and start our prayers by confessing and giving it all up to God so that He can help us get past it, get over it, get by it as well as so that we can receive hope and truth, love and grace, through the forgiveness that comes from Him! God already knows. So us holding it in and trying to hide it from Him isn’t really working! Release it to God and allow Him to transform you from the inside out! Give it away! Give it to Him! Why carry the pain and the sorrow, the worry and regret, the guilt and the shame, the weight and the burden, when there is a way out! Take time today so that you can be set free and walk in that freedom!
Today’s Reading: Ezra 9
“O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift my face to you, my God, for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has mounted up to the heavens.
Worry changes nothing, Prayer changes everything!
Why carry burdens
you were never meant to carry?
If not today then when? If not here then where? If not you then who?
Just like we read in John:
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
–from John 10:10 (NIV)
These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
–from John 15:11 (ESV)
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, 7casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. 8
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someoneto devour. 9
But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.