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Jesus’ Pre-Passion Prayer Pt3

Father, unity with others comes at a price. Unity with You comes at an even deeper price. Give us strength to sacrifice our pride, nailing it to the cross with Jesus. Give us the strength to die, to see with eyes of one looking back over their life as we draw our final breath, so that we might have eyes to see those things that would fill us with regret, and let us lay those sinful inclinations down to die so that we might live. Let us live in unity with You. Cleanse us, refine us and let us walk in Your glory through the sacrifice of Jesus. Amen.

John 17:20-26
20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.

24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

This High Priestly prayer of Jesus is arguably one of the most beautiful parts of all of Scripture. Of all the gifts that God has given us in His Word, this shines out as a gem on the crown of the Gospel message. Jesus did not have to pray this prayer out loud, but He did, and He did it for our benefit. He speaks frankly with the Father, He speaks plainly for His disciples, and He speaks plainly for us. We see the desire of His heart, and we see our deep need for Him. And where we stand unworthy, He seeks simply to redeem us from our unworthiness.

Those days when we don’t feel worthy, when we don’t feel loved, lovable or worthwhile, Jesus calls out to us and says, “Listen to this! I asked God for you. I want you to believe in Me, and be drawn into this deep, abiding relationship with Me. You are worthwhile, and God will be glorified in this.” Because while it is ultimately all about God and His glory, we also see that God is glorified, and this pleases Him, when we walk in unity with the truth, and with Him. And this is what Jesus set about to do.

This relationship will stand as testimony to the whole world of His goodness, mercy, grace and loving-kindness. Your life and mine stand as a love letter, read out loud, just like this prayer was spoken out loud. God didn’t have to do things this way, but He chose to so that more and more might see and hear and be brought to salvation through Jesus Christ. He has made it known, and He will continue to make it known, because it glorifies God and it redeems us.

The world will reject us. They do not know Christ. Romans 3 reminds us:

What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, 10 as it is written:

“None is righteous, no, not one;
11     no one understands;
    no one seeks for God.
12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
    no one does good,
    not even one.”


Even in the face of our sin, Jesus prayed this prayer. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. This is grace. This is the rhythm we walk in with Jesus as we seek unity, daily, with the Father, and the rhythm that brings joy into our lives. Let us pause, remember and seek His wisdom & glory for this day.

Father, unity with others comes at a price. Unity with You comes at an even deeper price. Give us strength to sacrifice our pride, nailing it to the cross with Jesus. Give us the strength to die, to see with eyes of one looking back over their life as we draw our final breath, so that we might have eyes to see those things that would fill us with regret, and let us lay those sinful inclinations down to die so that we might live. Let us live in unity with You. Cleanse us, refine us and let us walk in Your glory through the sacrifice of Jesus. Amen.

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Generous God, Generous Love

Bless the LORD o, my soul! How excellent is His greatness!

Ephesians 4:1-14
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

Bask in that for a moment will you? Listen again to what you just read. Rest in words of grace and provision, forgiveness and the mystery of the opening of the will of God to His people. Remember the sealing of the Holy Spirit that came to you when your faith came into being, and your submitted your heart to His, being baptized into His baptism for the praise of His glory.

Remember.

This is our resting place, within the generosity of God. We deserved death as the payment for our sins, for our rejection of His will and Lordship over us. We were guilty, broken and damned. There is no sadder state than the one we occupied before we met Christ, no condition more hopeless. We were sinners in the hands of a just, wrathful and holy God. Hell and desolation were our destination, separated from Him for eternity, goats, chaff & weeds all.

But through Christ Jesus we have stepped out of darkness and into His glorious light!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
Praise God all creatures here below!
Praise God above, you heavenly host!
Praise Father, Son & Holy Ghost!

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.

Dwell in this blessed truth today, if you are in Christ! If you are not, listen to the words of promise above, the words of hope and expectation. Ask God to open the eyes of your heart, the ears of your soul, so that you might see and hear what so many already enjoy and find their peace within. God is generous with His grace. He is generous with His love.

Praise God!

Psalm 119:153-160 // ר Resh // God’s Help in Our Struggle

“153 Consider my affliction and rescue me,
for I have not forgotten Your instruction.
154 Defend my cause and redeem me;
give me life as You promised.
155 Salvation is far from the wicked
because they do not seek Your statutes.
156 Your compassions are many, Lord;
give me life according to Your judgments.
157 My persecutors and foes are many.
I have not turned from Your decrees.
158 I have seen the disloyal and feel disgust
because they do not keep Your word.
159 Consider how I love Your precepts;
Lord, give me life according to Your faithful love.
160 The entirety of Your word is truth,
and all Your righteous judgments endure forever.”

Psalm 119:153-160

==

Read through David’s lament again. Read his cry to God a second time. Where is his heart? What is going on in his head?

Read it a third time, remembering God’s faithfulness in your own struggles, remember how He has shown you love and protection. 

Read it a fourth and final time, making it a prayer of remembrance. Praise Him for His faithful love & watchcare.  

Acts 8:1-8 // Persecution & Great Joy

“1 Saul agreed with putting him [Stephen] to death.

On that day a severe persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout the land of Judea and Samaria. 2 Devout men buried Stephen and mourned deeply over him. 3 Saul, however, was ravaging the church. He would enter house after house, drag off men and women, and put them in prison.

4 So those who were scattered went on their way preaching the message of good news. 5 Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah to them. 6 The crowds paid attention with one mind to what Philip said, as they heard and saw the signs he was performing. 7 For unclean spirits, crying out with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed, and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed. 8 So there was great joy in that city.”

Acts 8:1-8

It isn’t unsusal to see strange pairings in the life of the Church. That persecution and joy would be so closely intertwined would be unusual in the world’s eyes and expectations, but we see God working wonder and beauty so often out of pain and unfortunate circumstances. That the death/martyrdom of Stephen would be followed by persecution, anger and hatred that then, in turn, pushed thoe who carried the same Gospel message out into the surrounding areas spurring others to come to know Christ, and salvation through Him, is something straight out of God’s handiwork. He brings good where someone else intends evil. 

Think back to Genesis, when Joseph was sold by his brothers to some Midianite traders because they didn’t want to hear about his dreams anymore. Joseph, sold by his own family into slavery, winds up being in the position to save them from starvation during a terrible famine. And not on ly his own family, but that entire region of the world. What they intended for evil, God used for good. Anger and frustration resulted in joy and thanksgiving.

Think to the next chapter in Israelite history. Moses has been born, floated down the nile, raised in Pharaoh’s household and decides to go out and see how his fellow Israelites are doing. While he is out on a walk, he sees the Egyptian taskmaster beating a Hebrew slave and Moses kills him, which ultimately results in his flight from Egypt and 40 years as a shepherd. Moses had anger in his heart, he was a murderer. But God used that flight from Egypt to teach him valuable lessons and to get him to a place where he could lead His people out of slavery. What Moses began with evil, God turned into something good.

And so the stories run. God takes the messes of our lives and creates beauty from our ashes, strength form our pain. And so He is glorified. Saul, who watched and apporved of Stephen’s death would later write that God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness. Because when we have nothing to run on, the handiwork of God becomes much more obvious, and all the praise and glory belongs to Him. 

The persecution that began at Stephen’s martyrdom resulted in the spread of the Gospel message, the breaking down of social barriers and the saving of many lives & so persecution led to great joy. Such is the love and concern of God, He doesn’t leave any opportunity untapped. All things point ot Him and His glory, we simply need to remember this and trust Him to move, even in the midst of our pain…especially in the midst of our pain. He’s just that good. He loves us that much. All glory & honor & praise go to Him for His goodness, mercy & grace.

As we GoLove others in His Name, we need to remember all these occasions that He brought good out of bad and how He redeemed our lives from the pit. While we were still dead in our trespasses, God, in HIs perfect timing, sent Christ to be life for us, taking that penalty of sin and death upon Himself so that the beauty of salvation might prevail, and that God might be glorified in both His justice and in HIs love. 

Praise God!

  

Acts 7:1-8 // Jesus and the story of Redemption (pt 1)

1 “Is this true?” the high priest asked.

2 “Brothers and fathers,” he said, “listen: The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he settled in Haran, 3 and said to him:

“Get out of your country

and away from your relatives,

and come to the land

that I will show you.”

4 Then he came out of the land of the Chaldeans and settled in Haran. From there, after his father died, God had him move to this land you now live in. 5 He didnt give him an inheritance in it, not even a foot of ground, but He promised to give it to him as a possession, and to his descendants after him, even though he was childless. 6 God spoke in this way:

“His descendants would be strangers

in a foreign country,

and they would enslave

and oppress them 400 years.

7 I will judge the nation

that they will serve as slaves, God said.

After this, they will come out

and worship Me in this place.”

8 Then He gave him the covenant of circumcision. After this, he fathered Isaac and circumcised him on the eighth day; Isaac did the same with Jacob, and Jacob with the 12 patriarchs.”

Acts 7:1-8

There is a lot of trust, faith even, that begins God’s story of redemption through Abram and his future offspring. From the very beginning, faith has been the hinge-point. Abram and his family had to trust God when they left where they were living to begin this new life with Him in the lead. They relocated again after his father died in Haran before settling in Canaan. But even then, Abram lived as a nomad, travelling with his flocks and herds as the seasons changed, in the land God promised to his descendants. Then God promises, along with the land and it’s abundance, a period of oppression and slavery under a foreign thumb. 

What kind of promise is that?

“I’m going to set you and your family here, but first, you are going to be slaves.”

Would you want to listen to that promise? Would you even consider it as an option? Probably not.

But Abram did…and we ask “Why?” 

Because Abram knew that he was dealing with YHWH Elohim, and not some capricious human being or false god.  He wasn’t going to move him around just to mess with him. He wasn’t going to allow his grandchildren and great grandchildren to go into slavery just because He thought it might be fun. YHWH Elohim had a greater plan in mind and Abram believed him. Hebrews tells us that God credited it to him as righteousness. Trust and faith cannot be separated. It would be silly to say otherwise. Trust is part of the definition of faith. And Abram had faith that God’s plan was bigger and better than anything he could ever have divised for himself, and that if there was something difficult to deal with along the way, that God had a greater purpose in mind for it. God didn’t cause the Israelites the pain of their future slavery, He allowed it, and there is a great difference to understand there. 

When Stephen began this sermon to the Sanhedrin in Acts 7, he began with the reminder of suffering and redemption. This element was a common theme through the life and history of the Jewish people. God gave direction, the people listened for a short time, they became apathetic & rebelled, they were faced with the consequences for their sins and upon their repentance, God saved them. 

Over and over again, God saves them. 

And it all began with Abram & the faith he had in God’s ability to make good come from the mess of life. And God would do this within the rhythms of His grace. The constant pulse of His great love, the beating of His heart, would be a comfort to His children all throughout their history with Him & He promised this to Abram form the very beginning. He promised His presence through the good (inheriting lands and the expansion of his family) and through the bad (oppression, slavery and pain.) 

Stephen wanted them to remember in their hearts what they knew in their minds: that God loved them and had a plan that was bigger then them or their own wisdom. God’s plan was deeper, wider and stretched further than the control they were trying to exercise over it, and in turn, Him. Stephen began this first and last sermon trying to get them to recall the faith they were supposed to have in God and in His ability to save His people, and so he told the story of their collective hearts in an attempt to get them to see the role that Jesus played in this great love story. 

AS we try to GoLove people, we need to remember these rhythms of grace as we speak and serve, teach and share with them. We need to take their hearts on the journey that God has mapped out, show them His heart in His dealings with people, and express His concern for the souls of men, His role in seeing justice done and freedom brought into the lives of all of us who are oppressed by sin. Even if it is our first and last ‘sermon,’ it will be totally worth it to speak the love of God to a hurting heart. 

  

Psalm 102 // Affliction in Light of Eternity

A prayer of an afflicted person who is weak and pours out his lament before the Lord.

1 “Lord, hear my prayer;

let my cry for help come before You.

2 Do not hide Your face from me in my day of trouble.

Listen closely to me;

answer me quickly when I call.

3 For my days vanish like smoke,

and my bones burn like a furnace.

4 My heart is afflicted, withered like grass;

I even forget to eat my food.

5 Because of the sound of my groaning,

my flesh sticks to my bones.

6 I am like a desert owl,

like an owl among the ruins.

7 I stay awake;

I am like a solitary bird on a roof.

8 My enemies taunt me all day long;

they ridicule and curse me.

9 I eat ashes like bread

and mingle my drinks with tears

10 because of Your indignation and wrath;

for You have picked me up and thrown me aside.

11 My days are like a lengthening shadow,

and I wither away like grass.”

“12 But You, Lord, are enthroned forever;

Your fame endures to all generations.

13 You will rise up and have compassion on Zion,

for it is time to show favor to her —

the appointed time has come.

14 For Your servants take delight in its stones

and favor its dust.

15 Then the nations will fear the name of Yahweh,

and all the kings of the earth Your glory,

16 for the Lord will rebuild Zion;

He will appear in His glory.

17 He will pay attention to the prayer of the destitute

and will not despise their prayer.

18 This will be written for a later generation,

and a newly created people will praise the Lord:

19 ‘He looked down from His holy heights —

the Lord gazed out from heaven to earth —

20 to hear a prisoners groaning,

to set free those condemned to die,

21 so that they might declare

the name of Yahweh in Zion

and His praise in Jerusalem,

22 when peoples and kingdoms are assembled

to serve the Lord.’

23 He has broken my strength in midcourse;

He has shortened my days.

24 I say: ‘My God, do not take me

in the middle of my life!’

Your years continue through all generations.

25 Long ago You established the earth,

and the heavens are the work of Your hands.

26 They will perish, but You will endure;

all of them will wear out like clothing.

You will change them like a garment,

and they will pass away.

27 But You are the same,

and Your years will never end.

28 Your servants children will dwell securely,

and their offspring will be established before You.”

Mark 5:1-20 // The One Master Over All

“1 Then they came to the other side of the sea, to the region of the Gerasenes. 2 As soon as He got out of the boat, a man with an unclean spirit came out of the tombs and met Him. 3 He lived in the tombs. No one was able to restrain him anymore — even with chains — 4 because he often had been bound with shackles and chains, but had snapped off the chains and smashed the shackles. No one was strong enough to subdue him. 5 And always, night and day, he was crying out among the tombs and in the mountains and cutting himself with stones.

6 When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and knelt down before Him. 7 And he cried out with a loud voice, “What do You have to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You before God, don’t torment me!” 8 For He had told him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!”

9 “What is your name?” He asked him.
“My name is Legion,” he answered Him, “because we are many.” 10 And he kept begging Him not to send them out of the region.

11 Now a large herd of pigs was there, feeding on the hillside. 12 The demons begged Him, “Send us to the pigs, so we may enter them.” 13 And He gave them permission. Then the unclean spirits came out and entered the pigs, and the herd of about 2,000 rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned there. 14 The men who tended them ran off and reported it in the town and the countryside, and people went to see what had happened.

15 They came to Jesus and saw the man who had been demon- possessed by the legion, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 16 The eyewitnesses described to them what had happened to the demon- possessed man and told about the pigs. 17 Then they began to beg Him to leave their region.

18 As He was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon- possessed kept begging Him to be with Him. 19 But He would not let him; instead, He told him, “Go back home to your own people, and report to them how much the Lord has done for you and how He has had mercy on you.” 20 So he went out and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and they were all amazed.”
Mark 5:1-20

What a horrific existence must have been taking place in that cemetery cave. Tormented, constantly being afflicted and torn. An unsettled mind, a broken heart, to say nothing of the physical discomfort, hunger and separation from society. The ‘legion’ of demons infecting this man’s body, mind and life was indicative of the condition of humanity. Tormented by sin, pain and evil impulses, humanity grapples with something beyond its capability, and is powerless to change their own situation.

This man’s start down this road is a total unknown for us, but we don’t need to know just what events started this path, just that he is there and that he desperately needs to be saved from both the demons and himself. It is a terrible story, I’m sure, but that is the past, and now change has come.

How often do we see Jesus encountering people dealing with situations bigger than themselves? Mary & Martha with Lazarus, funeral processions, Jairus, the centurion and so many others, stories, John says, that are apparently uncountable, we couldn’t write enough books to contain them all. And this is part of why He had to come like He did. Sometimes, the only way we will see just how bad our situation is, is by having someone who is bigger than our own capability step in and show us the way out. Like a parent helping a scared, confused toddler out of an easily fixable situation, Jesus steps in and simply exerts His authority. And in doing so, everything changes.

As we GoLove others in His Name, a Jesus send us out to see good works done and the Gospel shared from the same authority thatgreat his man from all his trials and troubles. The authority that brought Him peace is the same authority that brings us ours, and to the world through us. Trust Him. He is the One who has authority over all, and the One who gave Himself to see us freed from death and sin. It doesn’t matter where or what your life may have been before today, it just matters that He is here now, and He is ready to free you, too.

Psalm 66 // For all that God has done

Praise for Gods Mighty Acts
For the choir director. A song. A psalm.

“1 Shout joyfully to God, all the earth!
2 Sing about the glory of His name;
make His praise glorious.
3 Say to God, ‘How awe- inspiring are Your works!
Your enemies will cringe before You
because of Your great strength.
4 All the earth will worship You
and sing praise to You.
They will sing praise to Your name.’ Selah

5 Come and see the wonders of God;
His acts for humanity are awe- inspiring.
6 He turned the sea into dry land,
and they crossed the river on foot.
There we rejoiced in Him.
7 He rules forever by His might;
He keeps His eye on the nations.
The rebellious should not exalt themselves. Selah

8 Praise our God, you peoples;
let the sound of His praise be heard.
9 He keeps us alive
and does not allow our feet to slip.
10 For You, God, tested us;
You refined us as silver is refined.
11 You lured us into a trap;
You placed burdens on our backs.
12 You let men ride over our heads;
we went through fire and water,
but You brought us out to abundance.
13 I will enter Your house with burnt offerings;
I will pay You my vows
14 that my lips promised
and my mouth spoke during my distress.
15 I will offer You fattened sheep as burnt offerings,
with the fragrant smoke of rams;
I will sacrifice oxen with goats. Selah

16 Come and listen, all who fear God,
and I will tell what He has done for me.
17 I cried out to Him with my mouth,
and praise was on my tongue.
18 If I had been aware of malice in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened.
19 However, God has listened;
He has paid attention to the sound of my prayer.
20 May God be praised!
He has not turned away my prayer
or turned His faithful love from me.”
Psalm 66:1-20

God’s faithfulness knows no end. He has provided over and over again for His people, He has sifted and sorted and refined our hearts. He lays out the paths of righteousness, and marks our ways in His love. We do not wander, we have no need to grope around in the darkness, because He has given us His Word and He has shown us His ways.

What grace our King has shown us! How richly He has supplied for our needs. Though we continue in our little rebellions, His love and justice point us back toward His heart, in Christ He has provided. In Jesus, He has shown us the way. His grace is staggering. His mercies are new every morning.

He molds us, sculpts us and removes the impurities that would tarnish us. He loves us, He glorifies Himself in us and He included us in His work. This is joy beyond measure and priceless beyond hope. We are entitled to nothing. We have only purchased destruction for ourselves, but He has given us life! We should not need reminders to GoLove in His Name, to share what He has done. We should be overflowing with gratitude and love for Him, eager to do His work, eager to serve our King and Savior.

Psalm 43 // Send Your light & truth

When we are feeling down, there is only one real cure for our broken hearts. When we are depressed, there is only one light bright enough to cut through our gloom. When we are distracted and dismayed, there is only one source of truth that can snap us out of the false reality set before our eyes.

The light and truth of our Father, God, is our only hope, our only guide and the one true source of joy when we have no where else to turn.

Praise God for His unfailing love!

“1 Vindicate me, God, and defend my cause
against an ungodly nation;
rescue me from the deceitful and unjust man.
2 For You are the God of my refuge.
“Why have You rejected me?
Why must I go about in sorrow
because of the enemys oppression?”

3 Send Your light and Your truth; let them lead me.
Let them bring me to Your holy mountain,
to Your dwelling place.
4 Then I will come to the altar of God,
to God, my greatest joy.
I will praise You with the lyre,
God, my God.

5 “Why am I so depressed?
Why this turmoil within me?”
Put your hope in God, for I will still praise Him,
my Savior and my God.”

James 5 // Pray in faith

“13 Is anyone among you suffering? He should pray. Is anyone cheerful? He should sing praises. 14 Is anyone among you sick? He should call for the elders of the church, and they should pray over him after anointing him with olive oil in the name of the Lord. 15 The prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will restore him to health; if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The urgent request of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect. 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours; yet he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the land. 18 Then he prayed again, and the sky gave rain and the land produced its fruit.”
James 5:13-18

Prayers are precious things and a privilege to participate in. Each one is a journey before the throne of God and we really need to take that fact into our understanding. As His children, we need to be confident that He hears us as we stand before Him and that we’re not just speaking to the ceiling or lobbing requests at the clouds. Instead, when we pray, we are coming as adopted sons and daughters to the King, heirs of His promises and we need to know that He takes what we have to say seriously. So, when we pray, come before Him, acknowledging Him directly and in faith. Trust that He hears you and that He cares.

I have seen the sick cured, pains removed and true peace given to the dying. I have seen lives restored, redeemed and renewed thanks to honest, faithful prayer. I have full confidence that God will accomplish all that lies within His will if we will simply come to Him in faith. And sometimes, a lot of times for me, if what I want lies outside of His will, He will help bring us into correction and an understanding of what He really desires for us if we will humbly come and seek His will in prayer. But we must have faith. We must believe.

It is easy to flippantly toss a request up in the sky and then move on, but that is not what we are told to do. When we pray, we must come with the urgency that is on our hearts, we must come with the earnestness that speaks to real need. If we don’t care about what we’re praying for, if we are not really acknowledging it or Him, don’t you think that plays into how our requests are received. When you pray for the sick, do you sincerely pray that they would be healed, believing they will be, or do you pray like healing is a long shot and really believe that nothing miraculous can happen? When you pray for the hurting and broken, do you pray that God will move in their hearts through His Spirit, believing that He will do a work in them, or do you pray to comfort them, quietly hoping that time will remedy the situation?

If we are going to GoLove people in Jesus’ Name, we need to believe what we are telling to them and we need to be sincere with what we pray for them. Prayer is not just a babbling into the wind, prayer is an ushering before the Throne of God and a petition in His presence. We must pray in faith if we want to be heard and see change happen. Half hearted, half cared about prayers are ineffective and fall short. But when we boldly come, seeking His will (that means leaving prideful, human, fleshly desires out of the mix) and believing that He hears, cares and will respond, we can trust that He will do what is right.

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