Our Daily Bread — Praying in Difficult Times

Bible in a Year:

From the ends of the earth I call to you . . . as my heart grows faint.

Psalm 61:2

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Psalm 61

Author and theologian Russell Moore described noticing the eerie silence in the Russian orphanage where he adopted his boys. Someone later explained that the babies had stopped crying because they learned that no one would respond to their cries.

When we face difficult times, we too can feel that no one hears. And worst of all, we can feel that God Himself doesn’t listen to our cries or see our tears. But He does! And that’s why we need the language of petition and protest found especially in the book of Psalms. The psalmists petition for God’s help and also protest their situation to Him. In Psalm 61, David brings his petitions and protests before his Creator, stating, “I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I” (v. 2).  David cries out to God because he knows that only He is his “refuge” and “strong tower” (v. 3).

Praying the petitions and protests of the psalms is a way of affirming God’s sovereignty and appealing to His goodness and faithfulness. They’re proof of the intimate relationship we can experience with God. In difficult moments, we can all be tempted to believe the lie that He doesn’t care. But He does. He hears us and is with us.

By:  Glenn Packiam

Reflect & Pray

How does it encourage you to know that God hears your desperate prayers? What petitions and protests will you share with Him today?

Dear Jesus, help me to offer You my petitions, protests, and praise.


Grace to You; John MacArthur – Understanding God’s Will

“We have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding” (Col. 1:9).

Godly living results from being controlled by the principles of God’s Word.

Paul’s prayer for the Philippians (Phil. 1:9-11) is closely paralleled by his prayer for the Colossians (Col. 1:9-12). Both epistles were written from the same Roman prison at about the same time in Paul’s life. Both prayers focus on godly living, but each approaches it from a slightly different perspective.

The Philippians were gracious people who needed to exercise greater knowledge and discernment in their love. The Colossians also were gracious but their devotion to Christ was being challenged by heretics who taught that Christ is insufficient for salvation and godly living. True spirituality, the false teachers said, is found in Christ plus human philosophy, religious legalism, mysticism, or asceticism. Paul encouraged the Colossian believers and refuted the false teachers by showing the utter sufficiency of Christ.

At the outset of his prayer Paul stressed the importance of being controlled by the knowledge of God’s will (which is revealed in His Word). That’s the meaning of the Greek word translated “filled” in verse 9. “Knowledge” translates a word that speaks of a deep, penetrating knowledge that results in behavioral change. “Spiritual wisdom and understanding” refers to knowledge that cannot be known through human reasoning or philosophy. It is imparted by the Holy Spirit Himself.

In effect Paul was saying, “I pray that you will be continually controlled by the life-transforming knowledge of God’s will, which the Holy Spirit imparts as you prayerfully study and meditate on God’s Word.”

Scripture supplies the principles you need to live a godly life. The Spirit gives you the power to do so. Many false teachers will try to divert you from the simplicity of devotion to Christ by offering you philosophy, psychology, and a myriad of other hopeless alternatives. Don’t be victimized. In Christ you have everything you need!

Suggestions for Prayer

  • Thank God for His all-sufficient Son and for the resources that are yours in Him.
  • Ask for wisdom to apply those resources to every situation you face today.

For Further Study

Read Colossians 1:15—2:23.

  • What was Christ’s role in creation?
  • What was Paul’s goal as a minister?
  • What warnings and commands did Paul give?

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur 


Joyce Meyer – How to Overcome Your Doubts and Fears

I am…being ardent and passionate for God just as all of you are today.

— Acts 22:3 (AMP)

Every human being wants to be free. We want to try new things, to be bold and fearless, to live an exciting, adventurous life.

We were created by God to have goals and to press toward them, and to dream of bigger and better things than what we have ever known. But fear and doubt can leave us frozen in place, unable to do much of anything except be idle and alone with our torment. As long as we become inactive every time we feel a doubt or have a sense of worry, we won’t live in confidence, and we’ll miss out on the exciting, adventurous life God has for us.

Please be assured that Jesus died not only for the forgiveness of your sins but also so that you might enjoy a passionate, fruitful, and powerful life in Him. Be determined to experience all that He died to give you.

Prayer of the Day: Father, I am so grateful for promises and instructions You give me in Your Word. As I hear Your voice and obey You today, help me to experience the confident, joy-filled, overcoming life Jesus came to give me—free from doubt and fear.


Truth for Life; Alistair Begg – The Giver of Law and Liberty

God spoke all these words, saying, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.”

Exodus 20:1-2

To faithfully read and respond to the Ten Commandments, we must first understand what they are and are not. We find clarity in the truth that lies at their head: “I am the LORD your God.” This reminder of who God is precedes the instructions that follow. In other words, the I am of God’s person grounds the you shall of His commands. He can command us because of who He is. The psalmist further expresses this: “Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his” (Psalm 100:3). God created us, and His being our Creator grants Him rights and authority over His creation. Regardless of the efforts of our world to reject the creational handiwork of God and thus His authority over our lives, His role as our Ruler remains unthreatened. He has made us; we are His.

When we remember who spoke the law, we are in a position to grasp the purpose of the Ten Commandments as well as to understand what they are not.

First, the commandments are not a formal list of dos and don’ts given to restrict our personal freedoms. God is not some cosmic killjoy. In fact, if you wanted to provide a heading for the Ten Commandments, you could call them “Guidelines to Freedom.” They do not restrict our freedom but rather give us a blueprint for joy, showing us how life works best. Second, the commandments are not intended as a ladder up which we climb to attain acceptance with God. No such ladder has ever existed! God brought His people out of slavery—from Egypt in the exodus, and from sin and death at the cross—before He called us to obey Him. So we obey because we’ve been “brought out,” not in order to persuade Him to do so. Rather than being rules that save us, the Ten Commandments serve as a mirror in which we see ourselves, revealing the depth of our sin and our need for a Savior—and they show how we can live to please our Savior. Third, the Ten Commandments have not been rendered obsolete by the coming of Christ. When Jesus said that the two greatest commandments were to love God and love our neighbor, He was summarizing the Ten Commandments (Mark 12:28-31). What does it mean to love God with our heart, soul, mind, and strength? The first four commandments tell us. What does it look like to love our neighbor as ourselves? The final six commandments flesh that out. Jesus, master teacher that He was, summed up the ten with the two.

When you see all this, you are ready to read the Ten Commandments and let them transform your life. You must see the sin that the commandments reveal and respond in repentance and faith in the one who fulfilled the law and offers Himself as your Savior. He, the Lord Jesus Christ, will ensure that this law is not merely etched into your conscience but also inscribed on your heart. Give yourself to the Lord and His ways, and you’ll find everlasting joy and liberty.


Exodus 20:1-17

Topics: Grace of God Law Obedience

Devotional material is taken from the Truth For Life daily devotional by Alistair Begg,


Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Created You According to His Plan

Psalm 139:14 “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”

God created you just as He wanted you, with a loving purpose in mind.

When I was in elementary school, I didn’t like the way my voice sounded. Sometimes at school we would have to read aloud and record our voices. I always hated having my recorded voice played back to me. Surely that couldn’t be the way I really talked! I had such a quiet, babyish voice. How embarrassing!

What about you? Is there anything about yourself that you wish you could change—but can’t? Let’s think for a minute about Who made you the way you are.

Psalm 139 says that God formed you and wove you together in your mother’s womb. Before anyone else even saw you, God knew all about you! He planned you; you were completely His idea. Before you were even born, God skillfully formed you exactly the way He wanted you to be.

There are some things about ourselves that we can change. But many things we can’t. Have you accepted the fact that the way you look, the way you talk, your personality, or your health are all part of God’s plan for your life? God made you exactly as you are, because He has a loving purpose in mind for you. His Word says that His creation of you is a reason for you to praise Him! Have you ever done that?

God created you just as He wanted you, with a loving purpose in mind.

Do I complain about the way God created me? Have I ever thanked Him for making me with such wisdom and skill?

Denison Forum – Why World War III will not start in Ukraine

As the war between Russia and Ukraine officially turns a year old today, a popular question among many is whether we are witnessing the start of World War III. After all, it has already become “the biggest ground war in Europe since World War II” and shows few signs of slowing down any time soon.

In his address to the nation earlier this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that his government would place a greater emphasis on nuclear testing and development in response to western involvement in the war. To that end, Putin claimed that the country was preparing to deploy its Sarmat silo-based intercontinental ballistic missiles sometime this year.

Nicknamed “Satan 2,” each of these missiles reportedly has the capacity to launch at least ten nuclear warheads at different targets. It’s believed that Russia tested the missile earlier this month and that the test failed, though their defense ministry has not commented on the veracity of the report.

However, Putin is not the only one who seems invested in continuing the conflict.

On Thursday, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen stated that “we will stand with Ukraine in its fight—for as long as it takes,” promising an additional $10 billion in economic support to the embattled nation over the coming months.

In that same address, she warned countries like China against helping Russia bear the burden of western sanctions. Several Chinese companies have already been hit with sanctions of their own for offering such aid, though most agree that they have yet to send lethal aid in the form of weapons or munitions.

Such help might not be too far away, though, if the present course of events continues.

Is China helping Russia?

While China marked the one-year anniversary of the war by calling for a cease-fire and proposing a twelve-point plan for peace, they did so amidst joint military exercises with Russia and South Africa.

As part of those exercises, the Russians sent a frigate equipped with hypersonic missiles—bombs that travel too fast to be shot down by most air defense systems—and there have been mixed reports on whether they plan to test them during the operations. However, they do not have to launch the missiles to remind the world—and the West in particular—that they could do so.

Given that the warship in question docked with the letters “Z” and “V” painted on its blackened smokestack—both of which are symbols associated with the war in Ukraine—there seems little doubt that the show of force was intended more for nations not taking part in the exercises than for those that are.

Given what’s currently going on in Iran, however, Putin may find that his target audience has more pressing concerns to worry about at the moment.

“We’ve waited very long”

Earlier this week, Bloomberg News reported that international atomic monitors in Iran detected uranium enriched to 84 percent purity. Considering that uranium is classified as weapons grade at 90 percent and previous reports—including those from the Iranian government—claimed that their centrifuges were designed to stop at a figure closer to 60 percent, this development could indicate a dramatic shift in their capacities as well as their intent.

A report last month indicated that Iran already has enough “highly enriched uranium to build ‘several’ nuclear weapons if it chooses.” Nonproliferation experts have also warned that even 60 percent enrichment “has no civilian use for Tehran,” casting further doubt on the country’s stated purpose for the uranium.

In response, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reportedly preparing to attack Iran’s nuclear installations in the near future.

But it is rare that Israel would telegraph such a strike. It’s widely believed that they have carried out similar attacks in the past, but they have never admitted it publicly. As such, many assume the leaked information is Netanyahu’s attempt to convince his country’s Western allies to intercede before any such attack would prove necessary.

The desire to have others step in, however, should not be mistaken for an unwillingness to act if Israel’s allies do not. Regardless of whether Iran is really on the verge of becoming a nuclear power, Israel seems done waiting for that eventuality to occur.

On Tuesday, Netanyahu cautioned that “The only thing that has ever stopped rogue nations from developing nuclear weapons is a credible military threat or a credible military action. . . . The longer you wait, the harder that becomes. We’ve waited very long.”

Is World War III starting?

So, going back to our initial question, will World War III start in Ukraine?

It’s impossible to be sure but the odds seem against it.

In many ways, China benefits more by prolonging the war than they do by expediting its end. And Iran seems content to continue selling drones and other munitions for the Russians to use in their attacks.

However, that doesn’t mean that what’s currently going on in Ukraine can’t play a part in bringing about a more global conflict.

The truth is people are wary of what’s unfolding around the world for good reason. Alliances are beginning to take shape in ways that could easily escalate a regional conflict into a world war in any number of arenas. After all, few thought the assassination of an out-of-favor prince could have led to the first World War, but that didn’t stop roughly 20 million people from dying over the course of four years of brutal combat.

And if it happens again, America may not like where it’s standing when the fighting starts.

Our spiritual battle

Ultimately, there’s little you or I can do to prevent the kinds of global conflicts that appear to be on the horizon. But there is an important lesson we can learn from them that makes a profound difference in our ability to navigate the trials and temptations that threaten to draw us away from God.

So much of the world’s attention is currently focused on the war between Russia and Ukraine that other—potentially more dangerous—threats are allowed to persist relatively unchecked. We make the same mistake in our own lives when we become so fixated on where we expect Satan to hit us that we blind ourselves to the other areas where we are vulnerable.

Our Enemy tends not to care where he attacks so long as the attack proves effective. As such, it is often the parts of our lives to which we give little thought that prove to be the most fertile ground for temptation to take root.

So take a few minutes right now to ask the Lord to show you any areas of your life where Satan may be at work in the shadows. Ask him to show you where you are most vulnerable and keep an open mind about where those areas might be.

All of us have them. The only question is whether they’ll be used by God to strengthen our walk with him or by the Enemy to drive us further away.

Which will you choose today?

Denison Forum

Hagee Ministries; John Hagee –  Daily Devotion

Luke 11:1

Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”

None of us just wake up one day as a prayer warrior; we learn to pray. The disciples saw very clearly what was happening in the ministry of Jesus. They saw Him walking on water after He had spent the night in prayer. They noticed that when He prayed, the fishes and the loaves were multiplied and fed thousands. They heard what He said when He drove out a demon—that “this kind” only comes out when you fast and pray. If the disciples knew they needed to learn to pray, don’t you think we should learn, too?

How was it that Christ had the confidence to say, “He who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do” (John 14:12)? He could say that because He taught the disciples to pray. When you learn to pray like Jesus prayed, and you learn to walk in the power of the anointing that gave Him the ability to move heaven and earth, when you learn how to live the life of “greater things than these shall you do,” you have the chance to turn the world upside down.

Enter into the power and the privilege you have when you are willing to learn to pray!

Today’s Blessing: 

Now may the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you, giving you His peace. Today may you be filled to overflowing with hope, love and joy. May the unshakeable power of God’s eternal hope remove from you every form of bitterness and every element of sorrow that has dogged you all of your life. May you rejoice in a new beginning that will remain forever. In Jesus’ mighty name we pray. And all of God’s children said, “Praise the Lord.” Amen.

Today’s Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

Leviticus 15:1-16:28

New Testament 

Mark 7:1-23

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 40:11-17

Proverbs 10:13-14


Turning Point; David Jeremiah – One More Thing…

He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.
Psalm 126:6

 Recommended Reading: Psalm 126

Beneil Dariush is an Iranian-born MMA fighter. Last year he won an important match, and during the post-fight interview he addressed his countrymen in Iran. “I need to dedicate this fight to my people in Iran,” he said. “I know you’re struggling. I know you’re fighting for freedom. I know it’s a tough struggle. I want you guys to know we’re praying for you, and we love you.”

Then he said, “Let me tell you one more thing…. There is true freedom, a freedom that no one can take from you in the name of Jesus Christ, the son of God. Don’t ever forget that.”[1]

We never know when we’ll have an opportunity to say a word for the Lord or to present the Gospel. When God leads you to share Christ with someone, obey immediately. He will give you the words you need. God can help you plant a seed in someone’s heart, even if you don’t immediately see the results. Let’s not miss any opportunities!

Success in witnessing is simply taking the initiative to share Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the results to God.
Bill Bright


Harvest Ministries; Greg Laurie – That Means Us

Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. 

—2 Chronicles 7:14


2 Chronicles 7:14 

When we look at the breakdown in our culture, we’re quick to point the finger at Hollywood or the politicians in Washington, DC. They may all play a role in it to some degree. But when God sees the breakdown of a nation, He doesn’t point His finger at the White House. He points it at His house.

In 2 Chronicles 7:14, God says, “Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land” (nlt).

Of course, we gravitate toward the last part of the verse that talks about restoring our land. But let’s notice that at the beginning of this verse, God says, “If my people . . .” That means you. That means me.

Yes, there are people doing evil, horrible things today. But what about us? Do we need to humble ourselves and seek His face and turn from our wicked ways?

According to Scripture, that is the prescription for revival.

During the Jesus Revolution, the Holy Spirit was at work. There was a sense of expectancy in the church services. No one was late for church. There was a sense of anticipation about what God was going to do. And this is the same Holy Spirit that set the first-century church in motion.

God’s Holy Spirit wants to work in our lives. The question is, do we want Him to work? The Bible says, “Do not quench the Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 5:19 NKJV).

Sometimes God’s Holy Spirit will nudge us to do a certain thing or go to a certain place, and we’ll say no. That is quenching the Spirit. Don’t do that. If we want another spiritual awakening, then we need the Holy Spirit at work in our lives, empowering us, filling us.