Tag: rescue

Prayer as incense!

Scripture reading for July 1: Psalms 140-145

Have you ever experienced a prolonged time of sickness or trouble that seemed would not end?  Have you felt like God didn’t hear your prayer or wasn’t answering your call?  David’s life was one of deep trouble and prolonged times of pursuit by his enemies.  Often these enemies were his own friends or family!  His brothers were jealous of him and spoke in a derogatory manner about him.  His boss, King Saul, tried to kill him and hunted him mercilessly for a number of years.  His own wife, Michal, despised him for dancing before the Ark!  His son Absalom tried to take his throne by force and hunted him!  But David had a habit of prayer that helped him to keep his soul steady and in tune with the Lord. 

In Psalm 140, David was crying out to the Lord for rescue from evil men.  These men had sharp tongues and plotted violence and war against him.  They wanted to trap him and trip him up.  David realized that he needed God’s mercy to make it through the battles.  He prayed that those who surrounded him would be covered with the trouble that their own lips had caused!  (Psalm 140:9)  In other words, he wanted them to reap what they sowed!  He prayed that they would have burning coals fall upon them and that they would be thrown into the fire and miry pits.  He assured himself that the righteous would praise God’s name because God secures justice for the poor and needy!

In Psalm 141 David asked the Lord to come quickly and help him!  He asked that his prayer would come before God like incense. (Psalm 141:1-2)  The priests would add incense to the burnt offerings to make the smell of the burning meat more fragrant.  As they offered the prayers before the  golden Altar of Incense in the Holy Place, the incense on the coals would rise in sweet fragrance to the Lord before the veil.  In Revelation 8:3-5, John the Apostle sees an angel offering incense with the prayers of the saints on the golden altar before God’s throne.  As the prayers and incense ascended, the Angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and hurled it toward the earth producing thunder, lightning, rumblings and an earthquake!  David knew the power of prayer and expected God to help him!

As we read this series of psalms, we realize that we are totally dependent on God, the Faithful One.   Take time to pray one of David’s prayers: “Rescue me from my enemies, O Lord, for I hide myself in you.  Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.  For Your Name’s sake, O Lord, preserve my life; in Your righteousness, bring me out of trouble.” Psalm 143:9-11

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Much joy in the city!

Scripture reading for February 2nd: Acts 8, Psalm 24, Proverbs 24

Acts 8: 4-8 “Now those who were scattered went about preaching the Word. Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed to them the Christ. And the crowds with one accord paid attention to what was being said by Philip when they heard him and saw the signs that he did. For unclean spirits, crying out with a loud voice, came out of many who had them, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. So there was much joy in the city.

As a result of the persecution of Saul and other zealous Jews, believers were scattered everywhere. This did not hinder them from sharing the Gospel. Luke tells about how Phillip went down to Samaria and preached Christ there. People gathered and attentively listened and the Holy Spirit worked through him to do many miraculous signs. Demons were cast out, lame people walked and the presence of God’s power and the Good News brought joy to the city! God wants to deliver the bound and set free those headed for hell and destruction. Believers open their hearts to the King of Glory and He blesses them and uses them to bless others.

Psalm 24:9-10 “Lift up your heads, O gates! And lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of Glory may come in. Who is this King of Glory? The Lord of Hosts, He is the King of Glory.”

Prayer: Praise Your Glorious Name, O Lord of Hosts! You are the King of Glory! Where You enter, lives are changed and forces of darkness must flee! Thank You for working with Your people as they fearlessly preach Jesus Christ crucified and risen from the grave! May You do today, in our time, what You did of old. Use me to rescue those being taken away to death and those stumbling to hell. Pour on the joy!

Proverbs 24:11-12 “Rescue those who are being taken away to death; but hold back those who are stumbling to slaughter. If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,” does not He Who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not He Who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will He not repay man according to his work?”

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The Lord stood by me!

Scripture reading for July 8th:  Ecclesiastes 10-12, 2nd Timothy 4

Key Scriptures:  2nd Timothy 4:14-18 “Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds.  Beware of him yourself, for he strongly opposed our message.  At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me.  May it not be charged against them!  But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it.  So I was rescued from the Lion’s mouth.  The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into His heavenly kingdom.  To Him be the glory forever and ever.  Amen.” 

Paul warned Timothy by naming a man who had greatly opposed him.  This was not for the purpose of revenge–God must be the only one to repay!  Paul also mentioned being deserted by all his friends when he stood up in court to the charges against him.  He was facing death and asked that this not be held against them by the Lord.  God stood by Paul and strengthened Him.  Paul was fully convinced (confident) God would rescue him and bring him safely into heaven.  

Faith confession and prayer:  Lord Jesus, help me to always leave all revenge to You.  I believe You will always stand by me and strengthen me.  You are my hope of safe entry into heaven.  

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14  “The end of the matter; all has been heard.  Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.  For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or bad.”  


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Declaring the whole counsel of God!

Scripture reading for May 11th:  1st Samuel 30-31, 1st Chronicles 10, Acts 20

Key Scriptures:  Acts 20:24-28 “But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the Gospel of the grace of God.  And now, behold, I know that none of you among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom will see my face again.  Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.  Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which He obtained with His own blood.” 

Paul was meeting for a last time with the Ephesian elders that he had ordained and set over the congregation.  He shared his view of life and ministry.  He wanted to complete what Christ Jesus had laid out for him.  In Ephesus Paul had declared the full and whole counsel of God to the church there.  He had done his part and was therefore innocent of their blood.  They must continue in the Word and be watchful over themselves and the flock of God there.  Paul knew there would be trouble arising from within the church from Satan and warned them.

Faith confession and prayer:  Lord Jesus, I ask to be like Paul the Apostle, fully preaching the whole counsel of God to each congregation to rescue sinners.  I will be diligent to speak Your Word as You direct.

1st Samuel 30:7-8 “And David inquired of the Lord, ‘Shall I pursue after this band?  Shall I overtake them?”  He answered him, “Pursue for you shall surely overtake and shall surely rescue.” 


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Rescued and safe in the heavenly kingdom!

Scripture reading for October 7th:  2nd Timothy 4, Psalm 50, Proverbs 15

Key Scriptures:  2nd Timothy 4:16-18  “At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me.  May it not be charged against them!  But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it.  So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.  The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into His heavenly kingdom.  To Him be the glory forever and ever.  Amen.”  

Paul knew his time on earth had come to an end.  He lamented the desertion of all his friends at his trial but was encouraged by the Lord’s real presence to strengthen him and enable him to fully proclaim the Gospel of God’s grace.  He prayed for his friends for their forgiveness.  He also proclaimed his faith in God’s ability to rescue him now and eternally.  This moved Paul to worship as he ended his letter to Timothy.

Faith Confession:  I believe that God will stand by me even if all earthly friends may not be able to or willing.  He will strengthen me to fully preach the Gospel, and will take me safely into His heavenly kingdom when my time on earth is up!  I say along with Paul:  “To Him be glory forever and ever!  Amen!”

Proverbs 15:3  “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.”

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Ask and receive!

Scripture reading for April 24th:  John 14, Psalm 82, Proverbs 20

Key Scriptures: John 14:11-13 “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.  Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in Me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.  Whatever you ask in My name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask Me anything in My Name, I will do it.” 

Jesus made some fantastic promises to those who would choose to believe in Him.  He promised His disciples that they would do the same works that He had been doing.  He also stated that they would do greater works.  In fact, whatever need that they had, they could ask in His Name and He would do it.  Faith to see what Jesus wanted to do and to ask Him would bring results!

Faith Confession:  Thank You Jesus for these precious and magnificent promises.  Help me to see what You want to do each day and to ask You for needed resources. (Action step:  Ask Jesus in prayer for a need that you have and expect results.)

Psalm 82:3-4  Father, I pray Your Word:  “Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.  Rescue the weak and the needy, deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”  Amen.



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