Just went out on a walk on the ice with my great wife who stayed home from the office today. The two dogs that were pushing for this, love it out there. I only fell down once, off a curb. Laughing out loud. Kinda funny. The temperature is in the teens out there. Windy too. Our older son up in North Dakota said on the phone that he only wished the temperature would climb up into the teens. Hey, don't go out there. Yes, as the whole city here (Dallas) is literally shut down just days before the Super Bowl starts..due to an ice storm..here's a few very basic quick devotional ideas on prayer that are aimed to motivate you (and me) onto the knees. Liney wants me to paint a painting and I will soon.
Hope that you and your family are safe, but I figure if people are at home when they were scheduled to be at work etc, they will have more time on their hands to stop and simply commune with God. Can you think of anything better to do with your extra time?
Our duty as believers is to start with prayer directed to God in Jesus Name.. rather than with verbally witnessing or "doing" other things in Jesus Name. We do-ers really can't be reminded of this too often. I confess that doing too much ..even if it's good stuff.. is probably my biggest temptation each week and I'm not really such a "good person." Being still before my Lord to hear from Him is not.
Our duty as Spirit-born Christians is to live in such close intimate contact with the Lord that we closely follow His moment by moment lead, His good example, His principles, His teaching.. yes, so closely that we may have His mind about all the issues that we face each day. As we silently ..in public or verbally in private (yes, for what listening unbeliever likes to see spooky believers who always have to show off how spiritually they are by some supposed audible vertical conversation they carry on each day with God, who visits them as He would visit no other human).. ask questions of the Lord and candidly share our hearts with Christ, He is only pleased to lead us and be our closest Friend. This "relationship thing" really doesn't have to come off as supernatural-hurkey-jerky-religious as many people like to make it appear, for whatever the reason. Prayer and obedience isn't at all about impressing other people to gain a loyal audience. The Pharisees of old were all about that jive and it bugged Jesus.
It's really to be about blessing one other Person.
"…men always ought to pray and not lose heart." ~ Luke 18:1
"We struggle with prayer. We forget to pray, our prayers are hurried. I'm praying that this is the day prayer becomes a priority for all of us. Jesus hanging out with frustrated Martha: You're missing the best one thing. Stop in the stillness, enjoy Me and the truth I'm here to give you.. like ur sis is enjoying my teaching. Mary has her priorities straight (Luke 10:42). Prayer impacts the flow of history. God has wired His world for power, but He calls on us to flip the switch. Satan tries to keep us from prayer. He tries to position himself between us and God. But he scampers like a spooked dog when we pray." ~ Max Lucado
Anyways, tools can impede if we let em do that. Lots of stuff can get in the way of prayer, if we let it. People are on God's heart today, so I would say that the fallible, weak tools such as technology and others material things that we've learned to depend upon in our fast pace lifestyles.. yes, that we must deal with daily ..are only important to the extent as to which they are there for helping your family, your friends, and other people in your life.
For example; if you have a commitment to be at your job punctually so that you can provide and pay your rent or electric bills, then your car or other transportation is important for that purpose. Duh! Yes important, but still secondary. How we use the tools that God gives us is indeed important to God.
Too often we believers get distracted putting secondary things like tools before God or before other people. Sometimes we even put God's church or uber-business at church ahead of God. It's such sin! Too often we put other Christians, ministers, or people ahead of our time with God. What do you sometimes put ahead of your relationship with God..your kids?
In the mornings do you like to check-in to see what your social network peeps are doing first, before checking in with the God who gave you those friends? If you look at the stats on this, many do this.
Too often we believers shirk the most important ministry that we have—worship of God—by substituting "doing" for prayer. But think about it, believing biblical prayer ..to praise the Lord, or even prayers for our lost loved ones.. that's is the only thing that has no drawbacks with it, because this is what keeps our relationship completely open with God. Prayer is dealing with the most important relationship we have. Seek ye first, means exactly that..seek ye first (see Matt. 6:33).
"Love your enemies ..and pray for those who.. persecute you." ~ Matthew 5:44
"Lord, help us not respond in kind to those who hate and turn from You; Instead, help us to love and pray that someday they'll accept what's true." ~ Sper
What we must avoid in our prayer time, is praying for someone really messed-up to be simply "patched up" if you will. Why would a temporal fix help them when eternity will soon break-in upon their experience? Why would we wanna try to reform their bad habit that is repulsive to us, before we simply seek to lead them to Jesus? It bugs me that 95% of born again Christians have still never led another person into righteousness.
We must pray that we will truly forgive those short-sighted fools who have literally burned us and our friends. We need to completely pray em through into contact with the very life of God themselves. Why would God want us to pray n pray about Him putting a Band-Aid on a man lacking people skills or called a jerk by many ..who has cancer?
We are to pray that sinners will come to repentance and be saved. God cleans up those He saves—that's what He does with us too. No one has to get themselves cleaned up to come to God, and God doesn't first clean up people before He catches em.
Sanctification is of the Lord, but first people must get right with God by turning and faith. Think of the number of unbelieving people that God has brought across our paths, only to see us try to help them with periphery little areas regarding their bad habits ..and then see us drop them! Sinners sin because they are sinners and that's why we pray for them. There is a root Problem that needs to be addressed more. They need a new nature inside from a new birth that is free. When we pray on the basis of redemption instead of on other secondary reasons, God then creates something that He can create in no other way than through prayer. Be encouraged to keep blessing the Lord in worship and in praying for others. ~ F4S