Quickie Prayers

A while ago I wrote about praying for others. In my devotional time as of late, I have been reading from 1 Timothy and Nehemiah, and on the same day they talked of prayer … just in different ways.

Pray for others!

“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people” (1 Timothy 2:1, NIV) Paul continues by discussing for whom we should pray and a few other items I may discuss in the future, but the focus of today, I remind you, is on prayer.

Sometimes it can be difficult to remember to pray for others later, and we may not have time to offer a “great” prayer for someone. We might even forget to pray for our elected officials and church leaders. I think there is a good way to pray quickly.

Nehemiah’s example

I heard a sermon on Nehemiah several years ago by a man who is being installed as the District Superintendent of the Northwest Illinois (NWIL) district of the Church of the Nazarene, Scott Sherwood.

In chapter two and verses four and five, he read these words: “The king said to me, ‘What is it you want?’ Then I prayed to the God of heaven, and I answered the king, ‘If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my ancestors are buried so that I can rebuild it.'”

Pastor Scott’s message had little to do with prayer that day, but he made the observation that Nehemiah prayed to God has he spoke. There was not time to go find a quiet place and pray that God would allow the king to hear his request. It was then or never! He made his request to the king his simultaneous quickie prayer to God.

We need to remember that our entire life cannot consist entirely of quickie prayers. We need times of dedicated prayer to truly thrive. Quickie prayers are most effective when sustained by the wisdom and closeness to God that comes from times of personal prayer in a quiet (as quiet as you are able to find) place. That being said …

When we are talking with friends in passing or we do not wish to interrupt something important or just do not have time to stop, these quickie prayers can be just the answer.

It can look something like this:

“Oh, hi! I haven’t seen you in a while! What’s going on?”
“Well, my mom just got admitted to the hospital for cancer.”
“I am so sorry! I will keep you in my prayers, and, God, please watch over this family.”
^—This is the prayer!

… or …

[you see your friend in another car at the stop light]
“Where are you going?”
“I have a job interview!”
“Stay calm and strong! God is with you!” <—Here is this prayer!

… or even …

“I got the job!”
“Praise God!” <—Yep, this is a prayer!

The point is this: as you are giving the encouragement or praise, you are offering it to God as you speak.

I reiterate here that this is a simple way to pray for someone (and not be a liar when you say you will pray and later forget) that can be done so easily, but we also need that bedrock of personal prayer time.

I have gotten in the habit of just talking with God throughout the day about everything (yes, sometimes out loud), but that is yet another topic for another post!

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 06/17/2012

HAPPY FATHERS’ DAY, all you daddies out there!

Be strong for your families, whether it be biological, sociological, ecclesiastical (church), and/or through work.

Like last week’s post, today’s poem relates to the day being celebrated. If you can show me a father who has not struggled with God in some way, I would truly be amazed.

May we all hold out for God’s blessing.

Israel (Struggles with God)

I am Israel
I do not always like what God tells me
I do not always want to listen
I struggle with His commands
I ask for a way out
I look for other options
I plead with God for another path
I also accept His Word
I know it is good
I argue with God
I know He will bless me
I will keep going until He does
I am Israel

Taken from deeper words for God from a simple man of God by daniel m  klem, page 85.

Proverbial Thoughts and Thinking

I have had a really busy month with travelling around, homework, a wedding, and all manner of other things!

You know what … I am on vacation!

So, for today, you can head on over to my contribution at Proverbial Thought (http://proverbialthought.com).

The topic today is about the importance of Bible study and knowing the Word of God. Another passage that goes well with this is 2 Corinthians 10:5. The only way to take every thought captive to be firmly rooted in the Word through the power of the Holy Spirit and prayer.

I think it is time we all work on building the callouses on our knees as we read our Bibles!

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 06/10/2012

For starters, I must say:

HAPPY 29TH ANNIVERSARY, MOM AND POPS!

My parents have been through quite a bit in their lives together. There have been times of joy and happiness, but there have also been times of pain and struggling. Most married people will tell you this is true for them.

So it is fitting to have the poem for today:

struggling through

i want to serve God
but it is so hard
this life call i have
seems like way too much

Your strength is needed
throughout every day
help me to serve You
my days seem so tough

i am getting through
God the Father helps
His grace is enough
and i feel His Love

Taken from deeper words for God from a simple man of God by daniel m  klem, page 84.

Marriage Flow Chart

Any thoughts?

This is just a great poem that is only about 1000 years old. I thank Bob Blincoe from Frontiers for making this available to us!

Bob Blincoe

The Flightiness of Thought

Shame to my thoughts, how they stray from me.

I fear great danger from it on the day of eternal doom.

During the psalms they wander on a path that is not right.

They fash, they fret, they misbehave before the eyes of the great God.

Through eager crowds, through companies of wanton women,

Through woods, through cities–swifter they are than the wind.

Now through paths of loveliness, anon of riotous shame,

Without ferry or ever missing a step, they go across every sea;

Swiftly they leap in one bound from earth to heaven.

They run a race with folly anear and afar:

After a course of giddiness they return to their home.

Though one should try to bind them or put shackles on their feet,

They are neither constant nor mindful to take a spell of rest.

Neither sword-edge nor crack of whip will keep…

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Bad Teacher

First of all, do not forget to get some wisdom from Proverbial Thought!

Today’s post is not about a movie starring Cameron Diaz. Rather, true to this blog, today’s post is about theology.

The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience(and a sincere faith.Some have wandered away from these and turned to meaningless talk. They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.
1 Timothy 1:5-7

To tell you the truth, this passage scares me.

I am a big believer in God speaking through dreams (but not all dreams). I am big believer in God speaking through visions. I believe prophecy still happens.

I have had dreams and visions in which I speak to a large audience (perhaps blogging will be that realization?). I have had others (both Christians and non-Christians) say or speak over me (either specifically as prophetic or “in passing”) that they see me one day leading ministries and/or a congregation (or congregations) or speaking to large groups.

This scares me simply because I know my past and how I have treated theology and teaching. What if God eventually calls me to be a pastor/priest over First Church of Hometown, USA?

I hate to break it to you (tongue-in-cheek), but there are many teachers and preachers today who simply should not be. These are men and women who replace love of God and/or people with a love of money, power, influence, or popularity. These are men and women who either do not have or have lost a pure heart and good conscience. These are men and women may or may not have a sincere faith, but the question becomes where that sincerity or where that faith truly lies.

I may step on some toes and perhaps offend here, but here are some examples of things people teach and confidently affirm without really knowing what they are talking about:

  • God wants you happy and financially rich in this life. There is never a biblical guarantee that all godly people will have both or either of these in this life. In fact, there are promises of the opposite for the believer in Christ.
  • There is no Trinity. Quite frankly, Christianity falls apart without the Trinity. My Catholic brother Richard has begun covering this over at CatholicBoyRichard.
  • Women have no place in ministry. Let me just say that people who believe this are complete idiots. They may be very intelligent, but they really stupid.
  • Jesus sinned. The faith falls apart if this is true. I cannot express enough how important this is and how false and straight from the pits of Hell this is.
  • God hates ... This one is taken specifically from Westboro Baptist Church, the people who say “God hates fags” along with many other people. It is this kind of “christian” (not just those who blatantly call for the destruction of others, but also those who promote hatred through favoritism, indifference, and bigotry [misunderstanding mixed with fear]) who gives the Church the bad name we seem to see and hear about today.

There is a long, long list, and I know I have been guilty of at least all of these at one time or another. Paul listed a few others to Timothy:

As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. These promote controversies rather than God’s work—which is by faith.The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.Some have wandered away from these and turned to meaningless talk.They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.

We know that the law is good if one uses it properly.We also know that law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.
1 Timothy 1:3-11

How can we – how can I – know we are staying true to good teaching? How can we know our teachers and preachers are staying true to good teaching?

The simple answer:

We must continue studying together. We must not give up on the traditions from Church history (and before some complain, where do you think our Bible and even most of our liturgy, keeping in mind I currently attend and serve in a non-denominational church, came from? Why do we know many of the facts we know about the early Church? From what did Christianity arise?). We must always strive to express the love of God to all people.