Our Daily Bread — Operating with Prayer

Bible in a Year:

Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord.

2 Chronicles 20:3

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

2 Chronicles 20:1–12

When my son needed orthopedic surgery, I was grateful for the doctor who performed the operation. The doctor, who was nearing retirement, assured us he’d helped thousands of people with the same problem. Even so, before the procedure, he prayed and asked God to provide a good outcome. And I’m so grateful He did.

Jehoshaphat, an experienced national leader, prayed too during a crisis. Three nations had united against him, and they were coming to attack his people. Although he had more than two decades of experience, he decided to ask God what to do. He prayed, “[We] will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us” (2 Chronicles 20:9). He also asked for guidance, saying, “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you” (v. 12).

Jehoshaphat’s humble approach to the challenge opened his heart to God’s involvement, which came in the form of encouragement and divine intervention (vv. 15–17, 22). No matter how much experience we have in certain areas, praying for help develops a holy reliance on God. It reminds us that He knows more than we do, and He’s ultimately in control. It puts us in a humble place—a place where He’s pleased to respond and support us, no matter what the outcome may be.

By:  Jennifer Benson Schuldt

Reflect & Pray

How has prayer helped you? What current challenge in your life might benefit from prayer?

Dear God, thank You for listening and responding to prayer. I worship You as the all-knowing, all-powerful God. Please help me in each challenge I face today.


Grace to You; John MacArthur – Trials’ Lessons: Faith

 “By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac; and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son” (Hebrews 11:17).

The main reason God allows trials in the lives of Christians is to test the strength of their faith.

The memorable example in Genesis 22 of Abraham’s testing is perhaps the severest trial any human being has ever faced. When God told Abraham to offer his only son Isaac as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of Moriah (Gen. 22:1-2), Abraham no doubt was stunned. In terms of God’s nature, His plan of redemption, His promise to Abraham, and His love for Isaac, the entire concept was utterly inconceivable and unprecedented.

But in the face of all that, Abraham showed remarkable faith in dealing with this trial (Gen. 22:3-8). He did not second-guess God, as many of us would, but rather obeyed immediately (v. 3) and displayed the confidence that he and Isaac would return (v. 5) and that God would supply a lamb for the offering (v. 8). Then Abraham showed he was ready to obey completely. Genesis 22 tells us he “bound his son Isaac, and laid him on the altar on top of the wood. And Abraham stretched out his hand, and took the knife to slay his son” (vv. 9-10). What unbelievable faith, and what a dramatic moment when God spared Abraham from the full cost of obedience (vv. 11-12)! The story clearly shows us the nature of true faith (Gen. 15:6) and why Abraham was later called the father of the faithful (Rom. 4:11-12Gal. 3:6-7).

As heirs to Abraham and his extraordinary trust in God, we can also endure the most difficult trials and pass tests of faith that seem unimaginably severe at the time. God might want us to offer our own loved ones to Him and let them go His way rather than tightly holding on to them for our own purposes. However, if we look to God as Abraham did (Heb. 11:17-19), we can be confident in any trial and know with certainty that our faith has passed the test.

Suggestions for Prayer

Pray that God would strengthen your faith even in the smallest of daily trials.

For Further Study

Read 2 Kings 20:1-11 and 2 Chronicles 32:24-31.

  • What was at the heart of Hezekiah’s difficulties (2 Chron. 32:25)?
  • Why did God test him (v. 31)?

From Strength for Today by John MacArthur


Joyce Meyer – Speak Your Trust in God

I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.

— Psalm 34:4 (NIV)

The psalmist writes in today’s scripture that God delivered him from all his fears. Fear is closely related to worry, dread, anxiety, and various other negative emotions. The enemy wages a spiritual war against us in our minds, and to win the battle of the mind, we must learn to handle fear and worry in a godly way.

Let me ask you: How often do you hear yourself saying, “I’m afraid…,” “I’m concerned that…,” or “I’m worried about…”? Many people use these phrases perhaps millions of times throughout their lives. But what’s the purpose? These words don’t help us in any way; they simply reinforce the fear or worry we feel. Neither anxiety nor fear changes our circumstances, but they do influence us in negative ways by moving our minds away from hope and faith, by stealing our peace, and by causing us to feel stressed.

Whenever you are tempted to say, “I’m worried about…” or “I’m afraid that…,” say instead, “I trust God.” Declaring that you trust God releases His power to work in your life. Next time you feel anxious or fearful, instead of talking about it, study God’s Word and remember His faithfulness to you in the past. He will deliver you from all your fears, as Psalm 34:4 says, and you can do your part to help reach that breakthrough. Move in the right direction by eliminating “I’m worried” and “I’m afraid” from your vocabulary.

Prayer of the Day: Father, thank You that even though I feel fear, and worry, I can trust in You and declare Your faithfulness over my life. Deliver me from all fear and fill me with Your peace, in Jesus’ name, amen.


Truth for Life; Alistair Begg – Fearless Faith

“If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” They answered him, “You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?” And they cast him out.

John 9:33-34

When the blind beggar in John 9 encountered Jesus, not only did he receive physical sight, but his spiritual eyes also were opened so that he came to believe in Him as Lord. Unfortunately, though, his troubles weren’t over. When he encountered the religious leaders, he discovered that, unwilling as they were to accept this man’s physical transformation and newfound faith, they were determined to discredit him by challenging both the miraculous sign and his personal testimony.

The Pharisees were such an intimidating presence that when questioned, the man’s parents refused to answer for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue. Instead, they redirected the Pharisees to their son, saying, “He is of age; ask him” (John 9:23). But when the man was duly summoned for his second round of questioning and intimidation at the hands of the religious leaders, he did not waver. In the face of their opposition, his newfound faith made him fearless.

The Pharisees repeatedly asked the same questions and made the same accusations because there was nothing left for them to say. They were confronted with irrefutable evidence. And what did they have by way of response? Nothing. So they began to do what people usually do when the weakness of their argument becomes evident: they resorted to insults. “You were born in utter sin,” they said to the man, “and would you teach us?” In other words, You are a miserable sinner and we are righteous people. How dare you lecture us?! Don’t you realize that we’ve gone to school for this? And you, some upstart beggar from the streets, think you can come in and confront us! The Pharisees were challenged and, because it did not fit with their own assumptions nor their own view of themselves, they couldn’t handle it. So they cast out the man who could have led them to the truth.

As fellow followers of Jesus in a world that is hostile to God and His ways, we ought not to be surprised when our friends and neighbors want to throw us out too. Frankly, we should probably get thrown out a lot more than we do! The reason many of us are under no such threat may be that we are more like the fearful parents than their faithful son, keeping quiet rather than speaking up.

Your faith in Christ does not guarantee that you will have an easy path in life. In fact, faith in Christ will almost certainly lead you to be opposed by others. Are you afraid of how others may respond to your faith? Does fear cause you to keep quiet instead of telling others, “I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see”?[1] Has your faith led you to be bold in the face of opposition like this blind man? And if not, will you pray right now that God will grant you that kind of faith so that you would speak these kinds of words?

Questions for Thought

How is God calling me to think differently?

How is God reordering my heart’s affections — what I love?

What is God calling me to do as I go about my day today?

Further Reading

John 9:18-38

Topics: Evangelism Fear Persecution


1 John Newton, “Amazing Grace” (1779).

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


Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Is Loyal to His People

“O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever.” (Psalm 136:26)

Do you know what it means to be loyal? Stella’s grandpa kept a white pony named Ginger on his farm. Whenever Stella visited Grandpa, she loved to ride Ginger around the pasture. Sometimes Stella would sit on the fence for an hour at a time talking to Ginger. When she would have to leave Ginger and go back home to the city, the pony stayed in her thoughts. Stella often drew pictures of Ginger or wrote about her in stories.

Now the truth is, Ginger was a very stubborn pony, and she was even a little bit mean at times. But if anyone ever said anything bad about her, Stella always stood up for her. She thought of Ginger as her horse. When Grandpa finally had to sell Ginger away to another farm, Stella went out to the empty pasture and found some long white hairs from her tail stuck in the fence. For years afterward, she kept that horsehair in a special little box. Her love for Ginger was loyal.

Did Ginger deserve to be loved like that? No, probably not. And neither do we. But God’s love for His people is just as loyal as that–in fact, it is even more loyal than any human love could be, because God is God. When you read the Old Testament, you can see God showing loyal love to His people, the Israelites, over and over again. He faithfully led them. He defended them against their enemies. He shared the deep thoughts and plans of His heart with them. He revealed Himself to them with wonderful miracles. He did not overlook their sin. When they broke their covenants with Him and went after idols, He always punished them. But even the punishments were signs of His loyalty. He never gave up on His people. He never “let them go.” He always drew them back. When they humbled themselves and sought Him, He mercifully restored them again to a right relationship with Him. And best of all, He sent them a Redeemer–His own dear Son, Jesus Christ.

The Hebrew word for God’s loyal love is hesed. You will often see this word in our English translations as lovingkindness or mercy. God acts the same toward His redeemed people today as He did toward His people Israel in the Old Testament days. He will never give up on His people, nor will He ever give up a good work that He has begun. He loves us with a loyal, steadfast love.

God’s love for His people is loyal and steadfast.

My Response:
» Am I loyal in my love for God?
» How can I demonstrate (show) loyalty like God’s in my relationships with my friends and family members?

Denison Forum – How much will the British royal coronation cost the public?

Today is the National Day of Prayer. However, for reasons I will explain shortly, I am beginning today’s Daily Article by discussing the cost of the British royal coronation on Saturday.

The celebration comes at a challenging time for the UK: the country is reeling from a cost-of-living crisis that has fueled multiple strikes by hundreds of thousands of government workers, doctors, teachers, train drivers, and others. Since leaving the European Union, Britain’s currency has lost a fifth of its value. Things have been so dire that the Wall Street Journal recently headlined “Britain’s Financial Disaster Is a Warning to the World.”

Nonetheless, Saturday’s coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla is expected to cost British taxpayers at least $125 million, roughly double the cost of Queen Elizabeth’s coronation.  Unsurprisingly, only 32 percent of the British public thinks the coronation should be funded by the government.

Some suggest that, since King Charles’ personal wealth is estimated at around $1.8 billion, he should pay for his own coronation. Since he became king the moment his mother died last September and Saturday’s coronation changes nothing on a practical level, some people wonder why Britain persists as the only country in Europe that still practices coronations.

However, there’s a larger question at work here, one that applies to every evangelical Christian of every nationality.

What “gives a man the only true life”

The year before Queen Elizabeth’s coronation in 1953, President Harry S. Truman proclaimed a National Day of Prayer. Presidents dating back to George Washington had issued such proclamations for particular days or challenges, but President Truman’s declaration made this an annual observance.

Unlike Saturday’s royal coronation, today’s observance costs nothing for those who participate. Jesus’ death on the cross paid the debt we owed when God “made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). As a result, we can “with confidence draw near to the throne of grace” (Hebrews 4:16).

Evangelicals rightly emphasize the fact that we are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8–9) and that there is nothing we can do to earn or lose our salvation. However, it can consequently be tempting for us to lapse into what martyred German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer called “cheap grace.” In The Cost of Discipleship, he wrote: “Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession. . . . Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.”

By contrast, he explained, “Costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will gladly go and sell all that he has. It is the pearl of great price to buy which the merchant will sell all his goods. It is the kingly rule of Christ for whose sake a man will pluck out the eye which causes him to stumble. It is the call of Jesus Christ at which the disciple leaves his nets and follows him.”

Bonhoeffer famously added: “Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life.”

“Think about these things”

While it costs us nothing to pray today to Christ our Savior, it costs us everything to coronate him our King. C. S. Lewis observed, “Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.”

God’s word emphatically and consistently calls us to the complete commitment of our lives to our King:

  • “Consecrate yourselves, therefore, and be holy, for I am the Lᴏʀᴅ your God. . . . You shall be holy to me, for I the Lᴏʀᴅ am holy and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be mine” (Leviticus 20:726).
  • “Let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1).
  • God is “training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age” (Titus 2:12).
  • “Be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish” (2 Peter 3:14).

Such holiness in service to a holy King begins with our minds. As we noted yesterday, epigeneticists report that our thoughts and attitudes can lead to changes in gene expression that lead to tangible changes in our brains and, thus, our lives. As a result, we should say with Job: “I have made a covenant with my eyes” (Job 31:1). When we refuse to look upon or think about what is sinful, we will be less sinful.

To do this, pray every day: “Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things” (Psalm 119:37). Then join God in answering your prayer: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind” (Romans 12:2) through Bible study, prayer, worship, and communion with Christ.

Seek the “mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16) through the discipline of your mind: “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Philippians 4:8, my emphasis). Then turn your mind into an altar upon which you pray today and every day for our nation and her leaders (1 Timothy 2:1–4).

Spinning at 1,040 miles per hour

Our planet is spinning on its axis at 1,040 miles per hour. The earth is spinning around the sun at 66,600 mph. Our solar system is moving around the Milky Way galaxy at a rate of 558,000 mph. And the Milky Way is moving through the universe at 660,000 mph.

The King of the universe holds all of that in the same palm of his hand (cf. Isaiah 40:12) where he is holding onto you (John 10:28).

Are you holding onto him today?

Denison Forum

Hagee Ministries; John Hagee –  Daily Devotion

Proverbs 4:20-22

My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart; for they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh.

Healing comes through the Scripture and the Spirit. Not only does He forgive all of our sins, He promises to heal all of our diseases, too (Psalm 103:3).

The Word of God speaks healing to us. When we cry out to the Lord in our troubles, He sends His Word to heal us, to deliver us from distress and darkness, even the very shadow of death. He breaks our chains into pieces (Psalm 107:13,14,20).

Our verse for today says that His Words bring life and health to our flesh. As we read His Word, as we memorize and internalize it, as we apply it and walk it out, it translates into healing and wholeness for us. One of the most powerful things that you can do to improve your health is to read God’s Word.

Not only does God heal through His Word, He heals through His Holy Spirit. According to Romans 8:11, the Holy Spirit raised Christ from the dead. As believers, that same Spirit lives in us. The Word tells us that Spirit will quicken our mortal bodies. He will bring new strength and new vitality to us — now and eternally.

As we immerse ourselves in the words of the Father, our faith unfurls and blossoms. Mustard-seed faith can move mountains of medical impossibility! As the Spirit comes alongside to convict us of our sin and convince us of His righteousness, we recognize our need to confess. He trades our sin for salvation and mends our broken hearts. As we heed His counsel, we find the power to forgive. When we find the strength to let go, we are set free.

Our Good Shepherd anoints our heads with the oil of His Spirit, and we flourish even in the presence of our enemies (Psalm 23). The Lord is our Healer.


Heavenly Father, as I read Your words, help them come alive to me. Help me to store them deep in my heart. Let them be life, truth, and light to me. Renew and restore me through the power of Your Holy Spirit. I believe that You are my Healer. In Jesus’ name… Amen.

Today’s Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

Judges 19:1-20

New Testament 

John 3:23-4:3

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 104:25-35

Proverbs 14:22-24


Turning Point; David Jeremiah – Peace, Be Still

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
John 14:27

 Recommended Reading: Mark 4:37-39

One of the ironies of the naming of hurricanes and tropical storms is the fact that some are named Irene. There were tropical storms named Irene in 1947 and 1959, and hurricanes named Irene in 1971, 1981, 1999, 2005, and 2011. The irony? Irene comes from the Greek word eirene—the word for “peace.”

Jesus showed His disciples it is possible to experience peace in the face of a storm. When a squall came up as He and the disciples were crossing the Sea of Galilee, Jesus “arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace, be still!’ And the wind ceased and there was a great calm” (Mark 4:39). Storms and squalls of all kinds arise in our world. Jesus told His disciples that they would experience trouble in this world but assured them He had “overcome the world” (John 16:33). He tells us the same.

We can have peace and calm in this world knowing that Jesus gives us His peace and He has overcome the world.

Faith that goes no further than the head can never bring peace to the heart.
John Blanchard


Harvest Ministries; Greg Laurie – Fruit Production

When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father 

—John 15:8


John 15:8 

One of the first things we do as Christians is produce spiritual fruit. Jesus said, “When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father” (John 15:8 NLT). If we are really disciples of Jesus, then we will have spiritual fruit, or evidence, in our lives.

For example, you stop doing sinful things and instead do godly things. That will intrigue some people in your life, and it might even perplex them. But it’s one way to produce spiritual fruit.

Another way is to give praise and thanks to God. Hebrews 13:15 tells us, “Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name” (NLT). When you’re in church singing praises to God, that is producing spiritual fruit.

A change in your conduct and character is also spiritual fruit. The Bible tells us, “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” (Galatians 5:22–23 NLT).

However, spiritual fruit doesn’t grow overnight. For instance, you wouldn’t pull up a chair in front of a fruit tree and just sit there waiting for fruit to appear. Of course, you could do that, but you wouldn’t see anything.

But if you were to set up a camera with time-lapse photography in front of that tree, you would see dramatic growth. The same is true with spiritual growth. We may not see any changes happening because it takes time. We need to start by saying, “I want to take up the cross daily and follow Jesus because I want to find the life God has for me.”

And we will find our purpose and meaning in life by putting God first.