Charles Stanley – Does Prayer Influence God?

 

James 5:13-18

Our heavenly Father chooses to involve the prayers of His children in the outworking of His plan (2 Kings 20:1-6). But what about a circumstance like a friend’s serious illness? Perhaps you wonder, Why should I pray about it if God already knows how the situation will turn out?

When you pray, God works in your heart so that you are in harmony with His will. Prayer lets us in on what He is doing. In the event that God calls your friend home, He also prepares you with awareness of His presence—that way, when you walk through the valley, you have peace. And in some situations, your prayer may be the very instrument God plans to use in bringing about a result He desires.

No farmer can control the yield of his crops. He can till the soil and plant the seed in the best way he knows, but it is the Lord who causes growth. Of course, God could produce crops without help, but no farmer reaps a fantastic harvest sitting at home. In a similar way, the heavenly Father chooses to work through us because He is a God of relationship. He wants to involve us in His work, and that includes our prayers.

Bible in One Year: 1 Chronicles 25-27

 

 

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Our Daily Bread — Doubt and Faith

 

Bible in a Year:

The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.

Job 1:21

Today’s Scripture & Insight: Job 1:20–22; 2:7–10

MingTeck woke up with a severe headache and thought it was another migraine. But when he got out of bed, he collapsed onto the floor. He was admitted to the hospital where the doctors informed him he’d had a stroke. After four months of rehabilitation, he recovered his ability to think and talk but still walks with a painful limp. He often struggles with despair, but he finds great comfort from the book of Job.

Job lost all his wealth and his children overnight. Despite the harrowing news, he at first looked to God in hope and praised Him for being the source of everything. He acknowledged God’s sovereign hand even in times of calamity (Job 1:21). We marvel at his strong faith, but Job also struggled with despair. After he lost his health too (2:7), he cursed the day he was born (3:1). He was honest with his friends and God about his pain. Eventually, however, he came to accept that both good and bad come from God’s hand (13:15; 19:25–27).

In our sufferings, we too may find ourselves vacillating between despair and hope, doubt and faith. God doesn’t require us to be dauntless in the face of adversity but instead invites us to come to Him with our questions. Though our faith may fail at times, we can trust God to always be faithful.

By:  Poh Fang Chia

 

 

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Joyce Meyer – The Power of Forgiveness

 

I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven… — Matthew 5:44-45 (ESV)

Adapted from the resource Healing the Soul of a Woman – by Joyce Meyer

When we think about our enemies (also known as the people who’ve hurt us), we often want to run as far away from them as possible. We don’t want to see them, hear about them, or think about them. And we definitely don’t want to love them or pray for them. When we’ve been wounded, we just want to heal from the hurt in our hearts that’s connected to them. If we decided to only follow our feelings, we’d probably never pray for our enemies…but that’s exactly what Jesus is asking us to do.

If you’re struggling to forgive someone right now, I have good news for you: Forgiveness is not a feeling, so we don’t have to feel like forgiving to forgive. It’s a choice we make because we want to follow Jesus, and it opens the door for our soul to heal.

Now, I want to be sure you understand what I mean—and don’t mean—about forgiving people. To forgive does not mean that we allow others to continue to treat us badly, that we never confront their bad behavior, or that we let them get away with walking all over us. What forgiveness does mean is that we choose not to stay angry with people or get even because of what they’ve done, but to let God take care of vindicating us. It also means that we’ll pray God’s best for them, and even have some compassion for them, because we know they’re only hurting themselves by mistreating others.

I believe one reason some of us struggle so much with forgiveness is that we don’t pray for our enemies; praying for them is a vital step toward being able to genuinely forgive and heal. If you’re wondering how to pray for someone who’s done you wrong, here are a few suggestions:

– Pray that they’ll know Jesus in a real, personal way.

– Pray that God will show them what they need to see about their behavior and how it has hurt others.

– Ask God to bless them.

As hard as praying for our enemies can be, know that being intentional to bless them and not badmouth them will do wonders in helping us heal. If you need to talk about it as part of your healing journey, please don’t share your situation with someone who’ll only feel sorry for you, then start gossiping all about it. Instead, choose to find someone who has the ability to truly help you, who’ll pray with you and for you, and who will keep it confidential. As you take these steps, God will give you the grace you need to forgive and heal the pain in your heart.

Prayer Starter: Father, please give me the strength I need to pray for ____, and to trust You to take care of justice. Thank You for providing the grace I need to forgive ____, and for healing my heart. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

 

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – All Who Win Souls Are Wise

 

“Godly men are growing a tree that bears life-giving fruit, and all who win souls are wise” (Proverbs 11:30).

I have never led anyone to Christ, and I never shall.

However, I have had the privilege of praying with thousands of people who have received Christ as a result of my witness.

When a person receives Christ, it is the work of the Holy Spirit. That is why I cannot boast over much fruit or be discouraged over little fruit.

The responsibility for fruit belongs to the Holy Spirit who works in and through the believer, producing fruit and changing the lives of those who respond favorably to our witness.

The power of our Lord Jesus Christ is available to all who trust and obey Him. We need to “understand how incredibly great His power is to help those who believe Him.”

The Lord Jesus commissioned the disciples to go into all the world and preach the gospel, with the promise that He would always be with them.

Bible Reading: Proverbs 11:24-31

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Today I will consciously draw upon the supernatural resources of the Holy Spirit to obey God’s commands for holy living and fruitful witnessing.

RELATED

 

 

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Streams in the Desert for Kids – All Alone

 

Genesis 32:24

Some kids love to be alone. They like to go into their rooms and read or think or play music. Other kids can’t stand to be alone. The more company they have the better.

Being one way or another is not better or worse. We all have preferences. It is interesting, however, to think about some of the great characters of the Bible and their miracles. Many of their great miracles happened when they were alone. Jacob in the Scripture above was alone when he met an angel who wrestled with him. Moses was by himself when he saw the burning bush. Peter was alone on a housetop when he had a vision giving him instruction about what he was to do next. Jesus often went off alone by himself to pray and think.

Maybe these people knew something we need to know, especially if you are one of those who likes lots of activity and company all the time. There is so much noise in our world coming into us that it can be very hard to hear God’s voice telling us what to do. Once in a while we need to shut off the iPod, close down the computer, turn off the TV and the cell phone, and just listen to see if God might want to say something to us. You might be surprised at what he says to you.

Dear Lord, Sometimes I use all the noise in my life to keep me from talking to you and listening to see if you have something to say to me. Help me to listen for your voice. Amen.