Tag: pray about everything

Rejoice!

Scripture reading for September 7th: Philippians 4

Although in jail himself, Paul closed his letter with encouragement to the church to live in joy and rejoicing regardless of their circumstances.  “Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again:  Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all.  The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 4:4-7)

The church can rejoice because they are ‘in the Lord’.  That alone is reason enough to rejoice.  Paul believed that the Lord was near in two different ways.  First, He was always present in His people and He was coming again soon for His people!  This is why the church must not live in fear or anxiety!  We must by prayer give all our worries to God and enjoy His peace guarding our hearts and minds.

Paul gave us two other reasons why he rejoiced and we should too.  “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”  (Philippians 4:12-13)  Christ is our strength to face every situation!  We can live by faith in His promise!  “And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 4:19)  God will meet all our needs because He owns all the riches of this universe!  We can truly rejoice along with the Apostle and Philippians in God’s wonderful provision!

 

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Prayer Changes the Battlefield!

Scripture reading for April 15th: 2nd Kings 18-21

In today’s reading, the ten tribes of Israel were taken into captivity by the Assyrian army.  Scripture records that this happened because they had not obeyed the Lord and had violated the covenant made by Moses.  (2nd Kings 18:10-12)  This is a familiar reason for defeat or captivity and God’s people were well-warned in the word of God what would happen if they failed to obey! (Deuteronomy 28:15-68)  Knowing and doing what God says is something that has eluded mankind since the Garden of Eden.

After the fall of Samaria, Hezekiah, king of Judah, was attacked.  Sennacherib, king of Assyria had captured all the fortified cities of Judah and had surrounded Jerusalem, demanding tribute.  Hezekiah gave him the gold and silver from the Lord’s temple, but he wanted a complete surrender.  He taunted the leaders and people of Jerusalem telling them not to trust in the Lord or Hezekiah.  He promised them life if they surrendered and threatened death if they failed to heed.  (2nd Kings 18:26-35)  His vast army had easily taken Israel and now most of Judah.  Things on the battlefield looked grim for those in Jerusalem!  King Hezekiah had told the people to remain silent and no one spoke a word.

In response to this bad situation, Hezekiah’s officials went to the king in mourning with torn clothes and sackcloth.  The king also tore his clothes and went to the temple to inquire of the Lord.  He sent word to Isaiah the prophet for prayer.  They desperately needed a word from the Lord.  The Lord spoke through Isaiah that day, “This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid of what you have heard–those words with which the underlings of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me.  Listen! I am going to put such a spirit in him that when he hears a certain report, he will return to his own country, and there I will have him cut down with the sword.”  (2nd Kings 19:6-7)

That night the angel of the Lord went out and put to death 185,000 men in the Assyrian camp and the army withdrew from Jerusalem as the Lord had said!  Prayer had truly changed the battlefield!  The battle wasn’t just with men and chariots but against wicked spiritual forces.  When we appeal to the Lord, He alone has resources to bring victory!  He alone receives the glory!

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