• 1.11.21

    a new start

    Revelation 21:5-6
    5 Then the one seated on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new.” He also said, “Write, because these words are faithful and true.” 6 Then he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will freely give to the thirsty from the spring of the water of life.


    Reflection

    2020 was, to put it lightly, a very difficult year. It is safe to say, all of us are excited about the beginning of this new year. More exciting than a new year is the reality God’s restoring work in our lives. He makes all things new! As we start this year, let’s ask God to do a fresh work in our lives in this new season. He is able to do it because He is the Alpha and Omega, and He freely gives to those who are thirsty for Him. 


    Challenge

    If we want God to do something new in our lives, we must thirst for Him. Thirst implies a strong desire that can only be quenched by one thing. Do you desire to see God move in your life in that way? Fasting is a way to grow in our hunger and thirst for God. As we abstain from other things, we can grow in our desire for God. Maybe you could fast certain foods, or certain meals. Maybe you could fast social media or certain forms of entertainment. During this 21 Days of Prayer what could you fast in order to grow in your hunger and thirst for God?


    Prayer

    Father, thank you for making all things new! I ask you to do a new work in my life this year. Help me to desire You and Your will more than anything else. I surrender to You.

  • 1.12.21

    eliminate hurry

    Luke 10:38-42
    38 While they were traveling, he entered a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. 39 She had a sister named Mary, who also sat at the Lord’s feet and was listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by her many tasks, and she came up and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to serve alone? So tell her to give me a hand.” 41 The Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has made the right choice, and it will not be taken away from her.


    Reflection

    It has been said that hurry is the greatest enemy of spiritual life in our day. In this story, Martha finds herself “worried and upset” as she hurries to get things ready for Jesus. Meanwhile, Mary is enjoying time with the Lord. The difference between the experience of these two sisters is that Martha allowed hurry to distract her from the presence of Jesus, and Mary slowed down to spend time with Him. We live in a hurried world, full of distractions and interruptions. In this account Jesus commended Mary for making the “right choice.” What will you choose to do with the hurry of your life?


    Challenge

    If we want to experience the reality of Christ’s presence we must ruthlessly eliminate hurry. As we begin this 21 Days of prayer, what steps can you take to slow down and allow the Lord speak to you? Set aside some time each day to read and meditate on Scripture. Will you choose to slow down to sit at the Lord’s feet?


    Prayer

    Father, forgive me for allowing “hurry” to keep me from spending time with You. As I slow down to spend time with you in this season, I ask You to speak to me and strengthen my faith.

  • 1.13.21

    stay connected

    John 15:1-5; 11
    “1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 Every branch in me that does not produce fruit he removes, and he prunes every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, neither can you unless you remain in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without me… 11 I have told you these things so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.”


    Reflection

    Jesus makes it incredibly clear in this passage: without Him, we can do nothing. As we saw yesterday, hurry keeps us from staying connected to Him. When we are not connected we are not growing. Are there areas in your life where you are trying to grow and produce spiritual fruit without being connected to Christ? Trying to live the Christian life this way leads to frustration instead of the joy that Jesus intended for us. 


    Challenge

    It is Jesus' desire that we would grow and produce spiritual fruit. In fact, we are told that He cuts away those that do not produce fruit. What spiritual fruit is being produced in your life? Are you looking for opportunities to grow? Are you actively serving? Are you sharing your faith with others? As you spend these 21 Days seeking the Lord, ask Him to give you opportunities to produce fruit and serve.


    Prayer
    Father, forgive me for the times I try to live without staying connected to Jesus. Help me to grow and produce spiritual fruit, so that you will be pleased and honored with my life.

  • 1.14.21

    rejoice in trials

    James 1:2-5
    2 Consider it a great joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience various trials, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing. 5 Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God—who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly—and it will be given to him.


    Reflection

    The past year has been a trying year for everyone. Incredibly, in these verses, we are told to take joy in our trials. Did you know that God is using the most difficult seasons in our lives to grow us to maturity? Since this is true, we don’t have to doubt God’s love for us when we face difficulty. He doesn’t waste our pain. He uses it to strengthen and complete us. Rather than growing discouraged, we should ask Him for wisdom for how to handle our adversity. If we ask Him, He will answer.


    Challenge

    What challenges have you faced in the last year? What challenges are you currently facing? Have you allowed those difficulties to defeat and discourage you? Remember, God wants to use those trials to grow you to maturity. Ask God to help you as you face your challenges to trust Him for wisdom and strength.


    Prayer
    Father, help me to see the trials of life as opportunities to grow. Help me to trust that you are working through the most difficult seasons of my life. Give me wisdom and courage to trust you.

  • 1.15.21

    pray for restoration

    Galatians 6:1-3
    Brothers and sisters, if someone is overtaken in any wrongdoing, you who are spiritual, restore such a person with a gentle spirit, watching out for yourselves so that you also won’t be tempted. 2 Carry one another’s burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone considers himself to be something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.”


    Reflection

    We have all had seasons in our lives when we were in need of restoration. Praise God, for individuals who have encouraged us, challenged us, and corrected us. Is there anyone in your life that needs to be lovingly restored in their faith? Many have become disconnected from church and from the Lord during this time of quarantine and isolation. God uses us to bear one another’s burdens and help bring about restoration. How will you allow God to use you in this work?


    Challenge

    Ask God to open your eyes to identify individuals who need to be restored spiritually. Begin praying for those whom God brings to your mind. Ask God for opportunities to have spiritual conversations with them. Ask God to give you a gentle and humble spirit as you seek to reach out. Finally, ask God to give you boldness to have the necessary conversations. 


    Prayer
    Father, thank You for Your restoration in my life. Grow my heart to see my struggling brothers and sister restored in their faith. Help our church to be committed to restoration for your honor and glory.

  • 1.16.21

    pray for the next generation

    Matthew 19:13-15
    13 Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 Jesus said, “Leave the little children alone, and don’t try to keep them from coming to me, because the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” 15 After placing his hands on them, he went on from there.”


    Reflection

    Children are precious to Jesus; they should also be precious to us. Part of our responsibility as a church body is to provide a safe and encouraging place for families to raise their children to know and follow Jesus. We try to provide environments like OBC Kids and ALIVE students ministries where young people can connect and grow in their faith. We also want to be a church that equips parents to faithfully train up their children under God’s direction. How has God called you to be a part of this important ministry?


    Challenge

    Ask God to strengthen our families. Ask God to protect our children. Ask God how you can encourage the next generation in our church. Could God be calling you to serve in our children’s or youth ministries? If so, what are you waiting for? You could have an incredible impact on the lives of the next generation.


    Ask God to protect the lives of the unborn in our nation.


    Prayer
    Father, give me a heart for the next generation. Help me to be encouraging to families and children in our church. Give me opportunities to speak life to the next generation.

  • 1.17.21

    grow in worship

    John 4:19-24
    19 “Sir,” the woman replied, “I see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews say that the place to worship is in Jerusalem.”21 Jesus told her, “Believe me, woman, an hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know. We worship what we do know, because salvation is from the Jews. 23 But an hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and in truth. Yes, the Father wants such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in Spirit and in truth.”


    Reflection

    Jesus tells us what kind of worship the Father desires in these verses: Worship fueled by Spirit and Truth. What does this mean? There are those who pursue truth without spirit. These individuals may know the truth of who God is, but they don’t enjoy the reality of His presence in their worship. They are all head and no heart. On the other hand there are some who pursue spirited worship without being grounded in truth. These individuals are pursuing a spiritual experience without a solid foundation for who God is. They are all heart and to head. Both worshippers miss the mark. The Father wants worshippers who, when they are confronted with the truth of who God is, are moved in their spirit to express their gratitude and joy through worship. What kind of worshipper are you?


    Challenge

    Maybe you have been pursuing a spiritual experience without pursuing truth, or maybe you have been pursuing truth without allowing it to move your heart. Ask God to help you grow in “Spirit and Truth” worship. 


    Prayer
    Father, I confess that my worship can be out of balance sometimes. Help me to offer you the kind of worship you desire. Let Your truth move my spirit to express my joy and gratitude to You.

  • 1.18.21

    find rest in him

    Mathew 11:27-30
    “27 All things have been entrusted to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son desires to reveal him. 28 Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”


    Reflection

    A yoke was a tool placed on the shoulders of livestock so that they could pull wagons or plows. It was heavy and burdensome. Jesus knew that many of the people in His day were trying to carry a heavy religious burden that He never intended for them. Jesus calls them to bring their burden to Him and find rest. His yoke was unlike the heavy yoke they were used to because, under His yoke, He does the heavy lifting. We still try to strive and strain under the heavy yoke of self-driven effort. Today, Jesus is calling to us to come to Him and find rest. Will you trust Him?


    Challenge

    Does your spiritual life feel like a heavy burden? That is not God’s intention. To be clear, Jesus calls us to follow and obey Him - that means we cannot sit on the sidelines. However, we cannot follow Him in our own strength; we must trust Him to empower us and sustain us. If we will come to Him, He will give us spiritual rest. Ask the Lord if there are areas of your life you are trying to “power through” without Him. Surrender those areas to Him today.


    Prayer
    Father, I confess that I try to operate in my own strength many times. The result is that I am often tired and burdened with life. Help me to trust You and to allow you to lift the burdens for me. 

  • 1.19.21

    live by the spirit

    Galatians 5:22-26

    22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. The law is not against such things. 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.


    Reflection

    When we are saved by grace through Jesus Christ, we are given yet another gift who resides in us, the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our seal of salvation, he convicts us of sin, he comforts us, and produces spiritual fruit within us. These fruits are holy and the law is not against them. Paul tells us to keep in step with the Spirit, and the way we do that is prayer. As followers of Jesus we have crucified the flesh and have been called to a new way of life, life in the Spirit.


    Challenge

    Verse 24 says that the mark of a follower of Jesus is one who has crucified the flesh, it’s passions and desires. This is a daily battle that requires prayer and surrender and the Holy Spirit. Are you living in step with the Holy Spirit? Are you allowing him to lead you? Are you praying and asking the Spirit to produce fruit within you?


    Prayer
    Holy Spirit today I submit to your leading in my life. Help me to live in step with you. Remove my sinful flesh and replace it with your supernatural fruits: love, you, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. 

  • 1.20.21

    love god

    Matthew 22:34-40
    34 When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they came together. 35 And one of them, an expert in the law, asked a question to test him: 36 “Teacher, which command in the law is the greatest?” 37 He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the greatest and most important command. 39 The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. 40 All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.”


    Reflection

    In just a few verses, Jesus gets right to the heart of spiritual living. He instructs us that all of the commands of Scripture depend on our love for God and our neighbors. Tomorrow we will look at what it means to love our neighbor. Today let’s reflect on what it means to love God with all our heart. What would it look like if everything you did was motivated by your love for the Lord? Would it change the current priorities of your life?


    Challenge

    In Isaiah 29:13, God says, “These people… honor me with lip-service, yet their hearts are far from me.” Loving God with our whole heart requires more than just words, it requires action. Do the actions of your life reflect a deeply rooted love for God? We can grow in our love for God by spending time in His word and in prayer. Hopefully during this 21 Days of Prayer, you will grow in your love for Him. Ask Him to help you lay aside the things in your life that compete for your affection.


    Prayer
    Father, I confess that I do not always love you with my whole heart, soul, and mind. There are many other things that compete for my affections. Help me to lay them aside and see you as the greatest treasure of my life.

  • 1.21.21

    love your neighbor

    Luke 10:29-37
    29 But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus took up the question and said, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him, beat him up, and fled, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down that road. When he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 In the same way, a Levite, when he arrived at the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan on his journey came up to him, and when he saw the man, he had compassion. 34 He went over to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on olive oil and wine. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him. When I come back I’ll reimburse you for whatever extra you spend.’ 36 “Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” 37 “The one who showed mercy to him,” he said.Then Jesus told him, “Go and do the same.”


    Reflection

    What does it look like to love your neighbor? Jesus answers this question in a very clear way. In this story the religious people don’t want to be bothered to help this poor man. The Samaritan, who was looked down on by the religious, on the other hand goes out of his way to help and provide for the wounded man. Then Jesus tells us to, “Go and do the same.” By including the Samaritan in the story, Jesus makes it clear that our neighbors are not just our friends and family, but anyone in need. 


    Challenge

    Do you ever go out of your way to help others? Not just your friends and family, but those who are different than you...


    Prayer
    Father, help me to love my neighbor as myself. This is difficult for me to do. Help me to see the people around me the way you see them. Give me a love for them, and a desire to serve. 

  • 1.22.21

    ambassadors for christ

    2 Corinthians 5:17-21
    17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come! 18 Everything is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. 19 That is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and he has committed the message of reconciliation to us. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God.” 21 He made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.


    Reflection

    Those of us who have put our faith in Jesus Christ as Savior have been given a job. This job is to share the Good News of God’s reconciling work with the world. This passage tells us that God has committed this work to us. It also goes on to say that we are ambassadors for Christ. An ambassador does not work to accomplish their own agenda, but rather the will of the one they represent. Are you living your life as an ambassador for Christ?


    Challenge

    The way we live our lives, and the things we talk about reveal the priorities and values of our lives. If people had to guess what our priorities are based on what they see and hear from us, what would they say? Does your life declare God’s priorities? Does your life declare God’s reconciling work for those who are far from Him? Are you living as an ambassador of Christ?


    Prayer
    Father, help me be an ambassador for You. Help my words and they way I live my life to reflect Your priorities. Help me to declare your reconciling work to those who are far from you.

  • 1.23.21

    pray for those who govern

    1 Timothy 2:1-4
    “1 First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, 2 for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. 3 This is good, and it pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”


    Reflection

    In this passage we are given specific instruction to pray for those who rule and govern. It is easy to grow frustrated with our government, but how often do you pray for those who govern? We are told that our prayers for our leaders please God. They also help us to live peaceful and dignified lives. Our leaders certainly need heavenly wisdom as they navigate all the challenges our nation and world is facing. Let’s pray for them today.


    Challenge

    There is a good chance if you are reading this, that you were disappointed with the results of the presidential election. God calls us to pray for our leaders whether we voted for them or support them. Do you know the names of any of your local elected officials? Try to find out the names of the officials who represent you and your community and begin to pray for them by name. 


    Prayer
    Father, give our national and local officials wisdom. Help them to seek you as they govern us. Help us to pray for them rather than complain about them. Help us to live with Godliness and dignity as Your people. 

  • 1.24.21

    speak the word with boldness

    Acts 4:31
    And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.


    Reflection

    As we endeavour as a Church to plant Churches in hard places, we know that the driving force behind the success of our planting will be a greater boldness in preaching the Word. But this passage reminds us where our boldness comes from, it comes from the Holy Spirit. As we pray for boldness to take the gospel to the greater Central Florida area, we are praying to be filled with the Holy Spirit, lead by the Holy Spirit and empowered by the Holy Ghost to boldly preach the Gospel that saved us and made us alive together with Christ when we were dead in our trespasses. 


    Challenge

    Thinking about Church planting can be scary. But most of our fear comes from not knowing what to expect. The beauty of planting Churches by valiantly proclaiming the Gospel ensures that we will not be alone in this kingdom mission. The Scriptures reminds us that the Spirit will not only empower us to be bold in our witness, but that the third person in the trinity will be with us through every step of the process. So will you consider praying how you will play a part of our Church's mission of planting Churches here in our city, starting with the city of Sanford in 2022? Know that you will not be alone. The Spirit will be with you, He will guide you, He will empower you, and He will give you the boldness to speak His Word!


    Prayer
    Lord Jesus, give me a deep desire to see the Gospel advance in our community, our city and in our state. May your Spirit give me the boldness to speak Your truth to the lost, broken and hopeless. Give me clarity as to how I can be a part of our Church’s mission to plant Churches in our city. 

  • 1.25.21

    pray impudently

    Luke 11:5-8
    And he said to them, “Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and he will answer from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything’? I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs.


    Reflection

    As Americans we have a hard time asking others for help let alone beg for something! When Jesus teaches the disciples how to pray, He teaches them to pray as a beggar. The word that encomposes the entire parable is the word “impudence”. Impudence simply means to pray with shameless boldness. Pray as if everything depends on it. Christ is teaching a valuable truth in the parable of the midnight caller. The truth is that those who pray impudently, are needy. Need drives us to God in prayer. If we are going to be effective in our prayer life then we have to pray with a steadfast dependence on God. 


    Challenge

    Pride murders believing prayer. Is there pride in your life that is causing you to skip prayer and depend on yourself? What area of your life have you not acknowledged that you are desperately needy for God in? Start here. God  wants you to pray with a shameless boldness. Our challenge to you is to pray until God meets your needs. Don’t give up. Keep asking, keep seeking and keep knocking. 


    Prayer
    Heavenly Father, forgive me  for giving up so quickly in prayer. Help me to relinquish my independence, and by your Spirit, help me  to see my  great need for you. Help me to pray impudently until I receive, until I find and until the door is opened to me. 

  • 1.26.21

    forgiven people forgive people

    Matthew 6:9-13
    Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.

    Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

    Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.


    Reflection

    There is so much to  learn from Jesus’  model prayer. One of Jesus’ great instructions to the disciples on prayer  was to pray for the  forgiveness of one’s own sins  in light of forgiving the debts of others made against us. Jesus is making the important point  that people who know they are forgiven forgive others. One cannot pray for the forgiveness of sins and yet not  forgive those who trespassed against them. Jesus is calling us to a continual  prayer of forgiveness so that we might be a forgiving people.  Forgiveness happens after prayer. 


    Challenge

    Is your heart hardened against  the sins of others?  Have you grown weary of extending  mercy, grace and forgiveness towards those  who  have sinned against you? Pray. Prayer will not only reveal the true status of  your heart before God, but it will also reveal your need to forgive others the way Christ has forgiven you. 


    Prayer
    Our Father in heaven, glory to your name. Forgive me of my sins, as I forgive those who have  hurt me and sinned against me. Help  me to remember your great mercy towards me at the throne room of grace. In light of your tender forgiveness towards me when I am undeserving of your mercy,  purify my heart  to lovingly and mercifully forgive the vilest of sinners and sins made against me.

  • 1.27.21

    open your hand to the poor

    Deuteronomy 15:7-8
    “If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be.


    Reflection

    God in our reading today was instructing the Israelites how they were to live and govern in the land in which they find themselves in. These two verses remind us of God’s heart for the poor. He cares deeply for those who are marginalized, overlooked and downcasted. As we live underneath God’s blessings, we are reminded that we were made to take those blessings that were bestowed to us by sheer grace, and open-handedly share with our poor and needy neighbors. How much should we help? God replies  “sufficient for his need, whatever it may be.”


    Challenge

    What is  hardening your heart in caring for the poor and needy? What are some of the reasons you have shut your hand against your poor brother or sister? I know we have the tendency to come up with many excuses as to why we don’t help the poor, but know my dear brother and sister in Christ, that God has commanded you to faithfully care for the poor regardless of the circumstance that got them there. God will handle and judge those who abuse the graces and mercies of God, our only responsibility is to be faithful to God’s Word. Will you  be found faithful in caring for the poor on the day you meet your maker? 


    Prayer
    Heavenly Father, forgive me  for hardening my heart towards the poor. Lord give me a compassionate and generous heart towards those who are in need. Help me to see that it is your grace that sustains me and my poor brother alike. Give me an open hand to lend sufficient for other’s needs, whatever it may be. 

  • 1.28.21

    pray like jesus

    Luke 5: 15-16

    But the news about him spread even more, and large crowds would come together to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses.  Yet he often withdrew to deserted places and prayed.


    Reflection

    On day 14, Jesus instructed us how to pray, giving us the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus was and is the greatest teacher of all time, especially on prayer. But in this passage of scripture we see Jesus demonstrating how to pray, when to pray, where to pray. Jesus finds himself extremely busy healing the sick and preaching the gospel to the crowds as his fame grows. Prayer is not the first thing to go when life and ministry get busy for Jesus, prayer is the go to. Jesus knew his human limitations and needed constant communion with God the Father.


    Challenge

    What is your response to the busyness of this life? Is prayer the first go to or is pray the first thing to go when you get stretched? We are finite beings with limitations, but thank God for prayer! We have access to our infinite, all-powerful Father who loves us and invites us into communion with Him at all times. What rhythms of prayer can you incorporate into your day? Next time you feel exhausted or just behind on life, withdraw and pray. Jesus withdrew from really good things to do a better thing, which was time with God the Father.


    Prayer
    Heavenly Father, grow my desire for prayer. Teach me to abide in you the way Jesus did and teach me run to  prayer when life gets hectic. Lord I need you.

  • 1.29.21

    the spirit intercedes for you

    Romans 8:26-27

    In the same way the Spirit also helps us in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us  with inexpressible groanings.  And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because he intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.


    Reflection

    As followers of Jesus, we are constantly being transformed and shaped into his image. Pride, selfishness, anger, our sinful flesh, still appear in our daily lives, including our prayers. But what a loving Father we have! He knows that even our best prayers are not what they should be, yet gives us the Holy Spirit to perfect them. There are days when words aren’t enough, when grief and pain and shame make prayer difficult. Praise God that He knows our hearts and knows exactly what we need! The Holy Spirit intercedes, mediates, intervenes on our behalf. In our weakness, He is strong.


    Challenge

    What does it mean to you that the Holy Spirit searches your heart? Does it change the way you approach prayer knowing that the Holy Spirit is constantly interceding for you? Next time you hesitate to pray, or feel unworthy to come to the Father, remember this passage of scripture. The truth is, God knows your heart and knows what you need before you ask him, so do not hesitate to ask him.


    Prayer
    Lord  you search my heart,  you know me better than I know myself, and you still love me. Holy Spirit thank you for interceding for me and aligning my heart to the will of God. Forgive me for hesitating to pray. 

  • 1.30.21

    the lord is my shepherd

    Psalm 23

    The Lord is my shepherd;

    I have what I need.

    2 He lets me lie down in green pastures;

    he leads me beside quiet waters.

    3 He renews my life;

    he leads me along the right paths

    for his name’s sake.

    4 Even when I go through the darkest valley,

    I fear no danger,

    for you are with me;

    your rod and your staff—they comfort me.


    5 You prepare a table before me

    in the presence of my enemies;

    you anoint my head with oil;

    my cup overflows.

    6 Only goodness and faithful love will pursue me

    all the days of my life,

    and I will dwell in the house of the Lord

    as long as I live.


    Reflection

    Shepherds protect their flock, they lead their flock, they correct their flock, and ultimately they know what is best for their flock. Sheep need all the help they can get. Jesus is our great shepherd. Only Jesus can renew you, satisfy you, and lead you every day. We are promised joy if we just sit in his presence.


    Challenge

    Will you allow Jesus to lead you today? 


    Prayer
    Jesus, you are my great shepherd. Forgive me for constantly trying to lead when you have called me to follow you. I submit my life to your leading today. Renew me, protect me, satisfy my thirst as only you can.

  • 1.31.21

    the great commission

    Matthew 28:18-20

    18 Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”


    Reflection

    The Great Commission is the last thing Jesus says to his disciples before he ascends into heaven. Make disciples, everywhere. This is his command to every person who commits to follow him, including you. Sounds intimidating, right? Thankfully Jesus first reminds us that he is all-powerful, that he is God. Jesus then promises to be with us every step of the way. As followers of Jesus, making disciples is our mission. This call is not set apart for the “spiritual elite,” for pastors and missionaries only. This call falls to every single person who has made Jesus Christ the Lord of their life. 


    Challenge

    Who has God already put in your life and called you to disciple? Your spouse? Child? Sibling? Friend? Co-worker? The neighbor you have awkward conversations with across the street? There are people that God wants to save, and you are the disciple he is going to use to do it. God has equipped you for today, will you obey?


    Prayer
    Heavenly Father, I need you! Jesus thank you for promising to be with me always. Lord break my heart for those who do not yet know you. Use me today Lord to make disciples, give me opportunities, give me the words to say Holy Spirit, and remove all obstacles.