A prayer of thanksgiving

Praying Woman“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”

Colossians 3:16

Father God, to me every day is a day for giving thanks. You have blessed me beyond anything I could have ever hoped for.

But, America sets aside one day each year as a conscious reminder of how we are blessed to live in America. You brought us to this country so that we could worship You freely and without condemnation.

So many others around the world do not have this freedom and I want to lift each person up to You for guidance, safety, and fulfillment of your promises in their life. Some will be martyred today, before the sun sets on them, for their belief in the One true God. Others will continue to live in fear as they gather in secret to worship and learn more about You as they study the Bible and pray.

God, I pray that someday, around the world. that each country will have a designated thanksgiving day. A day when they were given the freedom to worship You and share their faith with others.

And Father God, let every American start this Thanksgiving Day on their knees, truly thanking God that we live in America. Let their focus be on all that You have freely given to us and let the Holy Spirit speak to each Christian on how we can give back to You this coming year. Ask us how to live life in a way that is not taking our freedom for granted, but using it as a means to live a life reflecting your Son, Jesus Christ, who provided that freedom. Let us come together as one Christian body. Bring a revival to America, Lord, and let it begin in me.

In Jesus’ Name I pray,

Amen

Advertisements

The “proper” way to worship

Interior-large-worship“And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God, and all the people answered, “Amen, Amen,” lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.”

Nehemiah 8:6

Bullying hurts. We teach each of our children how to avoid the devastation of bullying from other children. Hopefully, we are also teaching our children how to interact with others who are different from them without putting the other child down.

But what about bullying in our churches. Oh, it may not be as obvious as some of the things that happen in our schools, but it’s there. There seems to be such a division in our denominations that we use their beliefs as put – downs against each other.

For instance, I overheard as I was leaving a church one time. First man:”I am having some pain in my back today.” Second man: “Just think, if you went to the Pentecostal church down the road you could go up and let them pray you well!” And they both laughed sarcastically. When did praying for a healing become a negative? Maybe one church is more open about their prayers, but does that make them wrong? Or….maybe God is trying to open our eyes to pray more boldly.

If we raise our hand to swat at a fly in church, we may be labeled as charismatic. If we want music with more praise to it we may be labeled as new age. And f we DON’T want praise music, well, we get labeled as stuck in a rut. If a church is huge they are following the world. If a church is small, they don’t have anything to offer. Why do we have to label??? I have seen large churches that have prayer warriors working inner city. And I have seen large churches that are just for the notoriety. I have seen small churches with Holy Spirit power. And I have seen small churches that were led by the few who were left from a bygone era and don’t want it to change.

Personally, I let the Holy Spirit direct when and how I worship. I often am driving down the road, listening to K-Love (my favorite Christian station), and a song will touch my heart right where I need it. I will raise one hand in praise (don’t worry, I don’t close my eyes) and thank God for sending that message to me. In my prayer room, I often kneel with my head bowed and my hands reaching upward to my God. And how I pray is however the Holy Spirit leads me. Quietly in worship, loudly to let Satan know his place, or in an unknown tongue because I don’t have the words. All I want is to be able to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit without being judged.

Let’s stop the bullying and name calling. It’s time to accept the Holy Spirit as our guide and if a person raises their hands in praise in a Baptist church, well, let’s praise with them even if we don’t raise our hands. And if a person sits quietly in their pew and praises in a Pentecostal church, then let’s praise with them however God leads us. Together we can bring revival. But separate we can bring destruction to the family of God.

 

We are the church

Image result for church images

“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.”

Acts 20:28

Church. Simple word, but so much meaning. We enter the door to where we worship and we say we are going to church. We sing special music and we say we are doing it for the church. We serve in fellowship and we do it for the church. But we are forgetting one vital aspect, we ARE the church.

Christ didn’t die for a building, He died for us. His Holy Spirit lives in us to make us overseers of each other, not of the building. He obtained each of us by His Blood to be His living church. We are obligated to pay careful attention to ourselves and to each other in how we choose to live as the church.

So, when we complain about how things are going, we have to remember that we are the church and we alone have the power to pray about and influence where we choose to serve. It is not always going to go as our human minds want it to go, but what does our spirit tell us? We will know if God is moving us to another place of worship, but we will never leave the church because it is inside each of us.

Pray about your part in unifying the body of Christ, what is God asking you to do today? What is He asking you to pray about? Where is He asking you to serve other parts of the church body? Listen and obey. Don’t let Satan take that blessing away from you.

Thirty Days of Prayer for My Pastor – Day 21

cross-and-prayer

“Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing evil. Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few.”  Ecclesiastes 5:1-2

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations,  I will be exalted in the earth!”  Psalm 46:10

Almighty God, creator of all things in heaven and on earth; we praise Your Name. Let us never enter Your sanctuary without mentally removing our shoes and knowing that we are on holy ground, sanctioned by You as a place to worship as Your family of believers. Never let us take our church building for granted, but always treat it with respect as entering the sanctuary of God.

Let our pastor, each time he stands behind the pulpit, set the tone for worship to lead us into the sense of awe deserving of our risen Savior. Fill our music minister with the anointing of the Holy Spirit to lead us into the reverent presence of God. Teach our Children and Youth ministers to lead these young people into worship and respect for God, who loves them unconditionally.

And, Lord, I pray for a new awareness of the majesty of You to sweep over our congregation and fill our church services with the wonder and worship of our God. In Jesus’ Name,

Amen