Christmas Prayers to Help Christians Celebrate Jesus’ Birthday

Take some time to reconnect with God and give thanks for our salvation in Christ with these powerful Christmas prayers. These Christmas prayers, whether you traditionally say a prayer on Christmas Eve or while sitting around the Christmas Day meal, will inspire everyone present to give thanks and rejoice.

Below I have gathered some of my favorite prayers for the Christmas season. May these words fill your mind, heart, and spirit with joy and gratitude!

And PLEASE share with me ALL of your favorite Christmas Prayers if you have time to do so!

A Prayer to Remember What Christmas Is All About

Lord, I thank You for coming to earth so You could redeem me. When I think of the extent to which You were willing to go in order to save me, it makes me want to shout, to celebrate, and to cry with thankfulness. You love me so much, and I am so grateful for that love. Without You, I would still be lost and in sin. But because of everything You have done for me, today I am free; my life is blessed; Jesus is my Lord; Heaven is my home; and Satan has no right to control me. I will be eternally thankful to You for everything You did to save me! I pray this in Jesus’ name!

Short Prayer of Christmas Thanks

Thank you, God for sending Your Son on one glorious night to be born a virgin, to live a perfect life, and to die on the cross for my sins. Thank you that he rose from the dead three days later and that this Christmas and every Christmas we can celebrate the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ. Amen.

Christmas Hope

Father, I pray that you will turn our hearts toward you as Christmas approaches. Let us not get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season this year and miss the chance to celebrate the gifts of hope, peace, joy, love, that you sent to us on that first Christmas. That first Christmas, you gave us the gift of hope wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger. Thank you, Father, for your immeasurable gift. In Jesus’ precious name, we pray. Amen

A Prayer for Christmas Eve

May you be filled with the wonder of Mary, the obedience of Joseph, the joy of the angels, the eagerness of the shepherds, the determination of the magi, and the peace of the Christ child. Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit bless you now and forever.

Christmas Day Prayer

O Lord Jesus Christ, true God from true God, you became a little child for us so the world you made would be saved. Just as a child is born to us and a Son is given to us, may we be born again through you
and always remain in the number of God’s faithful children; through your merits, O blessed Savior, with the Father and the Holy Spirit you live and reign, one God, now and forever. Amen.

A Merry Christmas Prayer

Lord, we ask You to grant us peace. Peace in our homes, peace in our churches and peace in our hearts, especially when it feels like the world all around us spins out of control.

Help us stay focused on You, this Christmastime and always. Thank You for loving the whole world enough to send the greatest gift, Your Son, so we might truly have a very merry Christmas, even in a not-so-merry kind of world. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

New Birth and Freedom in Christ

Almighty God, grant that the new birth of your Son in the flesh redeems us from the old slavery under the yoke of sin, so we may receive him with joy as our Redeemer, and that when when he comes to judge we may see Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, forever and ever. Amen.

Christmas Communion Prayer

O merciful God, open the depths of our souls that we may receive the immortality of our spirits through the new birth of your Son by the power of his body and precious blood; for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Prayer for Inward Peace and Goodwill

O Lord Jesus Christ, by your incarnation you united things earthly and heavenly. Fill us with the sweetness of inward peace and goodwill, that we may join the heavenly host in singing praises to your glory;
for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Prayer for the Love of Jesus

Ah! sweet Jesus, pierce the marrow of my soul with the healthful arrows of your love, that it may truly burn, and melt, and languish, with the desire for you alone; that it may desire to be dissolved and to be with you; let it hunger alone for the bread of life; let it thirst after you, the spring and fountain of eternal light, the stream of true pleasure; let it always desire you, seek you, and find you, and sweetly rest in you. Amen.

Happy Birthday Jesus Prayer

Father, today I celebrate the reality of Your presence in my life. I celebrate Your birth, Your life, Your death, and Your resurrection. And as I celebrate, Lord, help me to be “God with skin on” to those in need around me. Open my eyes and let me see them as You see them! I love You. Happy birthday Jesus! In Jesus name, Amen.

A Prayer for Those Feeling Loss at Christmas

Dear Heavenly Father, though Christmas is sometimes hard because we miss the ones we love help me remember the gift You gave – Your Son, Jesus, a baby born to die. Thank You for this gift of love, help me receive it. In times of grief and sadness, remind me of the reason and fill me with Your Peace.

Mighty God, I ask You for the power to press on and Everlasting Father, I thank You for carrying me when it’s hard to walk.

Wonderful Counselor, I pray You’d fill my mind with wisdom and may the Prince of Peace rule my heart. This Christmas help me remember it’s not about the people I celebrate with, but the One we celebrate! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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God Please Give Me Strength: Prayers for Strength

I hope everyone reading this is having an AMAZING day, but for those of you who are struggling, I’d love to share with you a few prayers that help lift me up when I’m feeling down and provide me with the strength I need to turn any frown upside down…

Prayer for God’s Strength:
Dear God, We thank you for the Power of your Word and your Presence over our lives. We thank you that no weapon formed against us will prosper, for greater are You who is in us, than he who is in the world. We pray that you will cast down every threat and accusation, every abusive word and cruel attack hurled our way. We praise you that nothing is impossible with you, that You are loving and gracious, full of mercy and might. We trust in you alone, to rise up strong on our behalf. Thank you that you are our Defender and Strong Tower, our Refuge and our Strength. Thank you that you fight for us today, and in our weakness, you make us strong. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

For Unfailing Strength:
Do not look forward to what may happen tomorrow; the same everlasting Father who cares for you today will take care of you tomorrow and every day. Either He will shield you from suffering, or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace, then. Put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations, and say continually: “The Lord is my strength and my shield. My heart has trusted in Him and I am helped. He is not only with me but in me, and I in Him.

The Strength to Survive:
God, I thank You for providing everything we need to face difficulty with grace. I thank You for being present with me in pain. Please strengthen all the brothers and sisters who are persecuted for Your sake today. Help them to know they’re not forgotten in their suffering. Provide them with everything they need to stand strong. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

A Prayer in the Storm:
When the storms rage around me, I can always run to You and rest, Lord. In turbulent times, in trials and temptations, in weakness or in fear, You are my strength, and Your hiding place is secure. Bless You, Lord, for being my refuge.

Hope in the One Who Doesn’t Grow Weary:
Dear heavenly Father, I praise You for who You are, the Eternal God. Forgive me for the times I’ve placed my hope in anything other than You. There is no substitute. I pray You realign my heart to Yours, and grant me strength for this day in You and You alone. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Prayer for Strength in Adversity:
Lord, I pray not for tranquility, nor that my tribulations may cease; I pray for your spirit and your love, that you grant me strength and grace to overcome adversity; through Jesus Christ. Amen.

For Guidance and Strength:
Dear Lord, I am calling upon you today for your divine guidance and help. I am in crisis and need a supporting hand to keep me on the right and just path. My heart is troubled but I will strive to keep it set on you, as your infinite wisdom will show me the right way to a just and right resolution. Thank you for hearing my prayer and for staying by my side. Amen.

When I’m Overwhelmed:
Lord, You have shown me that falling is not always failing. You pick me up and rescue me when I am overwhelmed. You are Jehovah-sabaoth, the Lord of hosts, a tower of strength for me. I have no other place to run to, no other shelter in which to hide. I depend on You, Lord.

More Strength, Less Stress:
Heavenly Father, You are my Strong Tower, my Deliverer, and my Shelter. I’m running to You now. Please renew my strength. Please lead me with Your Holy Spirit and guide my day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

A Prayer for God’s Power:
Oh, God, today help us to live with faith. May it not be said of us that our faith is too small, or to help us to look to You, to see in You, Your infinite power. Your infinite glory, and greatness, and grander, and majesty, Your infinite ability. Keep us, oh God, from trusting in our power. Help us to trust in Your power. Help us to pray accordingly as we pray, even right now. God, help us to realize we’re talking to You, the king of the universe that has all authority and all power, who’s sovereignly ruling and reigning over all things. Help us not to underestimate You in our praying. As we pray for others, as we serve others, help us to do that cognizant of Your power.

For the Weary:
Lord, I need You. Please help me sift through the things in my heart, my mind, and even the things on my calendar. Thank you for being the source of all the strength I ever need. Lead me with Your Spirit today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

For Strength and Wisdom
Thank you, Lord, for being there for me and allowing me to cry out to you in my times of need. It is amazing to me that the Lord of the Universe would take time to listen to me and to care about what I say. God, there are things happening around me right now that I do not understand. Some of these things make me feel weak, helpless and afraid. Even in the midst of this, I know that you are the Lord. I know that the situation is in Your hand, and I trust You. I beseech you for strength and for wisdom that I would be able to endure this situation and be able to handle it in a way that would bring glory to Your name. In Jesus name. Amen.

In My Weakness, You Are Strong:
Lord Jesus, You are my strength and my defense. I humble myself before You, and I declare in my weakness, You are strong. There is no other like You. Thank You for clothing me in Your power and righteousness. I am enough because of You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Prayer for Strength against Sin:
O God, in wonderful ways you created and redeemed mankind. Give us steadfast minds to resist the allurements of sin that we may attain the joys of eternal life. Hear us, O Lord. Amen.

Prayer For Divine Strength:
O mightiest King, co-eternal with the Father, by your might you vanquished hell and trodden death under foot, you have bound the strong man, by your miraculous power and the radiance of your unspeakable Godhead you arose as the second Adam from the tomb. Send forth your invisible right hand, which is full of blessing, and bless us all. Pity us, O Lord, and strengthen us with your divine power. Take away the sinful and wicked influence of carnal desire. Let the light shine into our souls and dispel the surrounding darkness of sin. Unite us to the all-blessed assembly that is pleasing to you; for through you and with you, all praise, honor, power, adoration, and thanksgiving are due to the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.

The Yoke of Christ:
Jesus we come to You. We find rest in You. We need You. We need the pardon You give for our sin, we need the forgiveness You provide for our sin and we need You to help us walk with God. To obey God, to experience the delight of obedience to His commands. God, we need Your help through Christ to live this Christian life. We cannot do it on our own today. We couldn’t do it yesterday, we can’t do it tomorrow, we can’t do it today. Please help us, we pray. Help us in such a way that we find rest for our souls as we abide in Jesus, as we walk in the yoke with Jesus, as we learn what it means to follow Jesus we pray that our souls will grow into greater and greater rest with You. Enjoyment of You, delight in You because of the work of Christ in us. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

Bible Verses about Strength:

“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” ~ Philippians 4:13

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” ~ Isaiah 41:10

“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” ~ Deuteronomy 31:6

“But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” ~ Isaiah 40:31

“The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.” – Exodus 15:2

Please share with me any prayers about strength that help you get through challenging time.

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Urologist: Try This if You Have An Enlarged Prostate – CLICK HERE TO WATCH VIDEO!

All Christians Need to Embrace the Power of Prayer

When the disciples walked the earth with Jesus, they had the privilege of being able to ask him any question they wanted. (We have that same privilege as well.) But of all the things that they asked Jesus, one of the things that sticks out above the others is when they asked him to teach them to pray.

“One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples’” (Luke 11:1).

What is it about prayer, or what is the power of prayer, that would cause the disciples to want to learn how to do it correctly? A basic definition of the power prayer is when you invite heaven’s resources to intervene in your earthly situation. Since heaven’s resources are unlimited, then you are inviting the omnipotent God into the equation and asking him to fix or do something about your circumstance. When you grasp that, then you are getting hold of what the power of prayer is.

What Does the Bible Say about the Power of Prayer?
There are numerous scriptures throughout the Bible that encourage us to pray and highlight the true power that is in prayer. Here are just two.

“Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
and he brought them out of their distress.
He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven”

(Psalm 107:28-30).

“’Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.’ After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly” (Acts 4:28-30).

From these two verses and so many others, you can see that one of the powers in prayer is when God’s people ask for his help in their current situation.

Why Is Prayer So Powerful?
There is an old expression that says, “God helps those who help themselves.” Many people think this is in the Bible, but it is not. Not only is this not in the Bible, but this is also not really true. If you hold onto this type of thinking you will nullify prayer’s power.

When you think about what the real power of prayer is, it is not coming from a person who believes they can help themselves, but from a person who knows they can’t.

In the gospel of Luke, Jesus told this parable, and when you understand it you will understand what the power of prayer is.

“To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: ‘Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

‘But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted’” (Luke 18:9-14).

There is a stark difference between these two men praying. One came with full confidence, knowing he had done everything right and his praying was just the icing on the cake of his self-righteousness. The other one could barely lift his eyes toward heaven, yet he is the one that experienced the power in prayer. There were two simple but important reasons why:

  1. Reality

If there is a key to experiencing power in prayer, it is making sure you pray from a place of reality. What I mean by this is that you don’t hide the truth of your situation and how you feel about it.

One reason we never have real times of breakthrough in prayer is because we often approach God like the Pharisee, either falsely believing we have it all together or thinking we must get it together before we approach God, because “God helps those who help themselves.” The truth is you need to come to God just the way you are, bring the situation just the way it is and be open, real, and honest before God. This is what God wants from you and when you do this, you position yourself to experience the real power in prayer.

  1. Humility

I mentioned earlier that statement about God helping those who help themselves. The truth is the opposite. God helps those who realize they can’t help themselves – those who cry out to him for his help. When you invite heaven’s resources into your situation, that means you are acknowledging that what you have is not enough.

If you are repenting of sin, you are admitting you don’t have enough righteousness on your own.

If you are praying for opportunities, you are admitting you can’t create them on your own.

If you are praying for wisdom, you are admitting you don’t have all the answers.

It does not matter what you are praying for, when you humble yourself and recognize that without God’s help this is not going to happen, then you have positioned yourself to know and experience what the power of prayer really is.

Does Prayer Physically Aid Us?

As great as the spiritual benefits are from prayer, there have been studies that show there are physical ones as well. Admittedly this is not my area of expertise, but here is information from a 2009 study:

“A 2009 study by Koenig and colleagues found that six weekly in-person Christian prayer sessions with patients at a primary care office lowered their depression and anxiety symptoms and increased their optimism.”

Because God understands fully all the benefits of prayer, it is no surprise that he would encourage us to do it. It is why verses like this make more sense.

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).

As these patients continued in prayer, their anxieties and worries were lowered. This happens because in prayer, they transferred their anxieties from themselves to God and allowed him to carry them.

In prayer God is not just concerned about your need, he is concerned about you as well. Part of the reason God desires you to pray is because he knows it is good for your health. The things you let go of and give to God are not only good for your spirit, but they are also good for your body and mind too. This is a power of prayer that we most certainly overlook.

Is There Anything Prayer Cannot Do?

As powerful as prayer is, there is one thing that prayer, faith, or anything else can’t do. Prayer cannot supersede or override the will of God. You can pray as much as you want, for as long as you want, and with as much faith as you can muster, but it will not change what God has willed to do. For this reason, one of the most powerful weapons in prayer is agreement with God’s will. Not only are we encouraged to pray God’s will be done (think the Lord’s prayer) we are also assured that when we pray according to God’s will, he will do what we are praying for.

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him” (1 John 5:14-15).

When we consider this verse, we get an even better understanding of the power of prayer. The real power of prayer is when your will and desires come into alignment with God’s will and desires. When this happens, there is nothing that God will not do in answer to prayer because your prayers are already aligned with what he wants to do in the first place.

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Christian Prayers for Forgiveness

I hope everyone reading this is having an AMAZING start to their week! I had a close friend of mine lie to me about something over the weekend, and when I discovered the truth I decided that it would be best to forgive my friend instead of keeping a grudge against her. I truly believe that forgiveness is a very important Christian rule that mus be taken seriously. I know that forgiving someone who wronged us is difficult at times, but if you do forgive then you can work on your friendship instead of allowing it to disipate.

Enough of me rambling, here are some Christian prayers about forgiveness that I would like to share with everyone today…if you have any prayers of forgiveness that you would like to share with me I would very much appreciate that!

Pray in true faith with these powerful words of forgiveness and be forgiven by the grace and mercy of our Lord. May these prayers for forgiveness bring you peace and comfort.

Prayer to God for Forgiveness of Sins


Even while I encourage you to pray this prayer, I caution you that saying words alone will not save you. Prayer doesn’t save. Only Christ can save. But prayer can be a means of reaching out to the Lord in true saving faith. If you pray these words in faith, Christ will save you. You can be sure of that.

Lord Jesus, for too long I’ve kept you out of my life. I know that I am a sinner and that I cannot save myself. No longer will I close the door when I hear you knocking. By faith, I gratefully receive your gift of salvation. I am ready to trust you as my Lord and Savior. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for coming to earth. I believe you are the Son of God who died on the cross for my sins and rose from the dead on the third day. Thank you for bearing my sins and giving me the gift of eternal life. I believe your words are true. Come into my heart, Lord Jesus, and be my Savior. Amen.

Prayer for Forgiveness and Salvation


Lord, Father all-powerful, and ever-living God, I thank you, for even though I am a sinner in the kindness of your mercy you have fed me with the precious body and blood of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. I pray that this holy communion may not bring me condemnation and punishment but forgiveness and salvation. May it be a helmet of faith and a shield of goodwill. May it purify me from evil ways and put an end to my evil passions. May it bring me charity and patience, humility and obedience, and growth in power to do good.

May it be my strong defense against all my enemies, visible and invisible, and the perfect calming of all my evil impulses, bodily and spiritual. May it unite me more closely to you, the one true God and lead me safely through death to everlasting happiness with you. Lead me, a sinner, to the banquet, where you with your Son and Holy Spirit, there is true and perfect light, total fulfillment, everlasting joy, gladness without end and perfect happiness for your saints. Grant this through Christ our Lord.

Prayer for Forgiveness and Deliverance


O Christ, my Creator and Redeemer, Almighty Lord God, forgive the sins of all who are joined to me by friendship or blood, and for whom I pray, or have resolved to pray, — and all your faithful people. Deliver them from all evil, preserve them in all good, and bring them to eternal joy; for your honor and glory. Amen.

Short Prayer to Forgive Others


Dear Lord, I thank You for the power of forgiveness, and I choose to forgive everyone who has hurt me. Help me set [name anyone who has offended you] free and release them to You (Romans 12:19). Help me bless those who have hurt me (Romans 12:14). Help me walk in righteousness, peace, and joy, demonstrating Your life here on earth. I choose to be kind and compassionate, forgiving others, just as You forgave me (Ephesians 4:32). In Jesus’ name, amen.

Short Prayer to Forgive Yourself


Father, today I ask forgiveness of all the negative and harmful words I have spoken about myself. I do not want to abuse myself in such a way again. Transform my thoughts and let me understand how marvelously you made me. Change my habits so I use my tongue to speak hope and favor upon my life. In Jesus’ name.

Prayer for Forgiving Others


Dear Merciful Lord, thank you for your gift of forgiveness. Your only Son loved me enough to come to earth and experience the worst pain imaginable so I could be forgiven. Your mercy flows to me in spite of my faults and failures. Your Word says to “clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.” (Col. 3:14) Help me demonstrate unconditional love today, even to those who hurt me.

I understand that even though I feel scarred, my emotions don’t have to control my actions. Father, may Your sweet words saturate my mind and direct my thoughts. Help me release the hurt and begin to love as Jesus loves. I want to see my offender through my Savior’s eyes. If I can be forgiven, so can he. I understand there are no levels to your love. We are all your children, and your desire is that none of us should perish.

You teach us to “let the peace that comes from Christ rule in our hearts.” (Col. 3:15) When I forgive in words, allow your Holy Spirit to fill my heart with peace. I pray this peace that only comes from Jesus will rule in my heart, keeping out doubt and questions. And above all, I am thankful. Not just today, not just this week, but always. Thank you for the reminder, “Always be thankful.” (Col. 3:15) With gratitude, I can draw closer to you and let go of unforgiveness. With gratitude, I can see the person who caused my pain as a child of God. Loved and accepted. Help me find the compassion that comes with true forgiveness.

And when I see the person who hurt me, bring this prayer back to my remembrance, so I can take any ungodly thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ. (2 Cor. 10:5) And may the confidence of Christ in my heart guide me into the freedom of forgiveness. I praise you for the work you are doing in my life, teaching, and perfecting my faith. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Forgive and Awaken Us


Lord God, heavenly Father, we all like sheep have gone astray, led away from the right path by Satan and our own sinful flesh. Graciously forgive us all our sins for the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ and awaken our hearts by your Holy Spirit, that we may abide in your Word and in true repentance and a steadfast faith continue in your Church to the end and obtain eternal salvation; through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one true God, now and forever Amen.

Bible Verses about Forgiveness


1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

James 5:16 – Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

Matthew 18:21-22 – Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.

Matthew 6:14-15 – For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Colossians 3:13 – Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

I would love to read any prayers of forgiveness that you would like to share with me!

Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to ready my blog, and please subscribe to my blog if you enjoyed what I have to share!

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Urologist: Try This if You Have An Enlarged Prostate – CLICK HERE TO WATCH VIDEO!

How We Know that God Really Does Hear Our Prayers

One of the greatest struggles encountered by many of God’s people is prayer. Our three deadly enemies, being the world, our own flesh, and the devil are all involved in keeping us away from this divine discipline. But even in the midst of our times of prayer, any one, or a combination of these enemies can rise up to distract us from fellowship with the Lord.

The world tends to increase our time spent away from prayer by busying, or overburdening us with things like work, school, and other necessary things. When it comes to our flesh, it wants nothing at all to do with the things of God. Flesh cries out to be satisfied—and prayer does not do that. “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish” (Galatians 5:17).

Satan of course, is an enemy of prayer because he and his horde of principalities and powers know what can happen when the child of God invests quality time with the Lord.

Whether it is through intercessory prayer, petitions, or simply desiring to hear from Him for guidance, we are ultimately strengthened through our prayer times. Prayer has been designed by God to enrich the life of every believer. Even at its most basic level, prayer touches God. It is not “busy work,” i.e., something that we do just to say that we did it. Through it we are able to enter into intimate fellowship with the Lord.

Prayer also engages us into spiritual warfare. As stated previously, there are spiritual forces arrayed against us when we pray. Satan will do all that he can to frustrate our faith, and if we are not careful, he can convince us that God either does not care, or that He is not listening. In times when this does take place, we know immediately that the devil is a liar, because God has given us His Word which assures us that we can know that he hears us when we pray.

Five essential ways that we can know that God hears our prayers:

  1. He Hears Us Because We Do Not Treasure Sin
  2. He Hears Us Because We Know That He Is Able
  3. He Hears Us Because We Come Boldly to His Throne
  4. He Hears Us Because We Have Humbled Ourselves
  5. He Hears Us Because We Pray According to His Will

Some may quibble over which of the spiritual disciplines are most important. While each one may be involved more in one discipline over another, the truth is that they all share equal value to the child of God. Each draws us into God’s presence in its own powerful way. However, when we pray, we should listen carefully to His voice, because we know that our prayers have been heard by Him.


What Is the Power of Prayer?

What is the power of prayer? How can prayer bring a person back to life? How can it heal the sick? How does prayer comfort those who are anxious or sinking into the depths of depression? Why do Christians pray for their future spouses or pray prayers of protection over their children as they send them off to school? How can prayer impact those who don’t know Jesus or help in a time of crisis like a pandemic?

The answer is found in one pivotal scripture. In Matthew 18:18-20, Jesus tells us about the power of prayer when he said,

“Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”

There are dozens of real-life accounts in the Bible where Jesus and other disciples battled in prayer. God shut the heavens and prevented rain from falling for three years at Elijah’s request. He parted the red sea for Moses to lead His people through. He cast out demons; Jesus healed the sick and gave sight to the blind, and, on more than one occasion, raised people from the dead, like Lazarus.

Do we realize the power we have available to us when we take our authority in prayer? If we did, we would be praying in Jesus’ name more. There would be no such thing as doubt, fear, or anxiety because we would be on our faces before God, storming the heavenly realms in battle with the darkness and evil forces in our world.

Talking to God
So, what exactly is the power of prayer? The power of prayer isn’t in the words you utter. It’s not about what you pray or even how you pray. Prayer can be defined as talking to God, but it is much more than that. Prayer is an act of worship that glorifies God and reinforces our need for Him. Through living a life of prayer, we communicate with the very source of and purpose for our existence.

It is our fiercest weapon against the enemy and all things in this fallen world. Priscilla Shirer is the author of the Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan to Serious, Specific, and Strategic Prayer says, “Prayer is the portal that brings the power of heaven down to earth. It is kryptonite to the enemy and to all his ploys against you.”

Another well-known author, Mark Patterson says, “Prayers are prophecies. They are the best predictors of your spiritual future. Who you become is determined by how you pray. Ultimately, the transcript of your prayers becomes the script of your life.”

In other words, who you become, the circumstances in your life, and the core of your character are all determined by what you talk to God about. According to the Bible, the power of prayer is, quite simply, the power of God, who hears and answers prayer. Consider the following:

God Is All-Powerful
The Lord God Almighty can do all things; there is nothing impossible for Him (Luke 1:37). The character and heart of God is the very fabric of the gospel. When we close our eyes, get on our knees, the spirit of God whispers, “I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” It’s as if to say to our hearts, no need is too great or small.

God Asks Us to Pray
He invites, encourages, and wants us to talk to him. We are to come to him in faith, (James 1:5), with persistence (Luke 18:1), with thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6), within his will (Matthew 6:10), and from a heart that is right with God (James 5:16).

In fact, in Luke 18:1 we read, “And he [Jesus] told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.” Hebrews 4:14-16 talks about Jesus as our High Priest and says He can sympathize with us.

Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” We have been given access to the very throne of God through prayer.

He Answers Our Prayers
The Lord God Almighty answers prayer. “I call on you, O God, for you will answer me” (Psalm 17:6). “The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles” (Psalm 34:17). In John 16:23-24, Jesus makes a stunning, sweeping, glorious promise to us:

“Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”

In other words, when we ask God to give us a love for our neighbors, he does. When we ask for patience, he begins to tend to our hearts, uprooting areas of impatience and then provides opportunity to practice patience. When we ask him to be near to us, his presence sweeps in and surrounds us like a cozy blanketed embrace filled with his peace and strength.

Even when we lack faith or have very little faith. Sometimes learning to trust God with our prayers is like being a toddler. We wobble, waver and fall. But he doesn’t chastise us. Instead, he encourages us to get back up and try again with his hands held out as he says, “Because of your little faith,” He told them. “For I assure you: If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20).

Power of Prayer and How Do I Tap into It?
The power of prayer isn’t in the person praying. It’s not a magic formula. It isn’t keywords. It is an open heart, humble and filled with awe of who our mighty God is. Rather, the power resides in the God who is being prayed to.

1 John 5:14-15 tells us, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us — whatever we ask — we know that we have what we asked of him.”

In fact, Jesus rebukes those who pray using repetitions or those who pray in public to seek attention or those who don’t have the right heart, “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him” (Matthew 6:7-8).

Psalm 107:28-30 reminds us, “Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven.” There is power in prayer!

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What Are the Benefits of Prayer?

Prayer. To some, it’s a way of life, but to others, it can be mysterious or complicated. Oftentimes, it’s referred to as a Christian discipline, which can make it sound difficult or oppressive.

However, prayer is a wonderful thing that provides many benefits. These benefits go beyond the individual praying.

In this article, we’ll define what prayer is and look at some of the benefits prayer provides.

What Is Prayer
People define prayer in various ways but the simplest way to describe it is communication with God.

There are different kinds of prayer and many ways to practice it. Benefit-producing prayer isn’t recited but is communication that comes from the heart.

Some Benefits of Prayer

  1. Prayer changes our focus. It’s easy to get caught up in the circumstances going on around us, good or bad. Praying directs our focus away from here on earth to God in heaven.

Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth (Colossians 3:2, NLT).

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith… (Hebrews 12:2).

  1. Prayer brings us closer to God. Because prayer is communicating with God, it helps us build our relationship with him. It’s one of the many ways we can get to know him better.

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you (James 4:8).

The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth (Psalm 145:18).

  1. Prayer ushers us into God’s presence. In the Old Testament, people needed the priests or prophets to talk to God for them. But when Jesus died, the veil in the temple was torn in two, opening the way for us to talk to God ourselves.

The curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom (Matthew 27:51).

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16).

  1. Prayer is a way to help others. There are two ways this is true. One is praying with someone and the other is praying for someone. One is done in person (or over the phone), while the other is done in your private time.

Pray for one another, that you may be healed (James 5:16).

And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. (Colossians 1:9-12, ESV).

  1. Prayer helps calm us. The world is full of things that bring anxiety into our lives and prayer can restore our peace.

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you (1 Peter 5:7, NLT).

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).

  1. Prayer brings about change. The familiar phrase prayer changes things is true. Sometimes the things that change are circumstances, while other times we are the thing that prayer changes.

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops (James 4:16-18).

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26).

And the List Goes On and On
The benefits of prayer can’t be exhausted. Prayer helps us find direction in life. It can prevent us from making wrong decisions and falling into sin. Through it, we can learn to submit to God’s will.

Prayer helps us receive forgiveness and love. It also helps us love our enemies as we understand how we were once God’s enemy but, through Jesus, we are friends and heirs.

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4 Prayers for Christians Struggling with Comparison

We can’t help it, even a Christian college aged women like myself, whenever we see someone on social media or in real life who seems to be steps ahead of us, we can’t help but compare our lives to theirs. Comparison today goes beyond the traditional definition of examining things to establish similarities and dissimilarities and tends to be more about defining our self-worth by comparing our successes or failures with someone else’s.

Sadly, the destructive nature of comparison leads many of us to sink into depressive thoughts, jealous behaviors, and even feelings of defeat. Most of all, it can rob us of living the abundant life Jesus spoke of in John 10:10.

“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

If you’re struggling with comparison, here are four prayers to help you on your journey:

  1. “Lord, I Believe; Help My Unbelief.”
    One of the most authentic and powerful prayers in the Bible was stated by a father who was desperate for his son to be healed. As he spoke with Jesus, he admitted he believed the Lord could heal but followed it up with an honest admission that he struggled with unbelief. What a powerful example for us who are caught in the trap of comparison! We can take our honest feelings of unworthiness, jealousy, or defeat to Jesus and admit we struggle to believe. By doing this, we are surrendering all pretense and humbling ourselves under the mighty hand of God. Not only can this lead to a breakthrough, but it can also steer us away from comparison into sweet fellowship with the Lord.

Let’s pray.

Holy God, we come to You today and declare, “I believe, Lord, help my unbelief!” As we compare ourselves to others, it’s easy to forget that You have a plan and purpose for our lives. We can trust You with all our hearts, minds, and souls. There is no need for comparison when You are leading us in the way we should go. Our journey will not look the same as others, and that’s okay. We only want to do Your will for us – Your good, pleasing, and perfect will. Please heal us today from the stronghold of comparison and give us peace. Thank you, Father, in the name of Your Son, Jesus. Amen.

  1. “Lord, Here I Am; Send Me!”
    The Old Testament prophet, Isaiah, had a vision of God on His throne, high and lifted up. In awe of such a vision, Isaiah was immediately made aware of his sins and shortcomings when he described himself as “a man of unclean lips.” At once, he was assured his sins had been atoned for as a seraph touched his mouth with a burning coal from the altar of God. Then Isaiah heard the words of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” Isaiah’s response was one of faithful obedience, saying, “Here am I. Send me!” This imagery is a beautiful depiction of a gracious God who atoned for our sins through His Son and calls each of us to a specific purpose. When we focus on God’s plan for our lives, we are much less concerned with what others are doing and how we compare. With one simple statement, “Lord, send me,” we redirect our thoughts to the path God has marked out for us, and it’s a direct path out of comparison.

Let’s pray.

Heavenly Father, forgive us for focusing on other people’s lives when You have a specific plan and purpose for us. Turn our thoughts away from what others are doing and turn them towards what You would like to do through us. Give us the motivation to say, “Here I am. Send me!” Just as the prophet Isaiah was able to move past his failures, so we would like to move past our failures and walk in Your ways. Thank You for leading us in the way we should go. We look to You for guidance and direction. In Jesus’ name, amen.

  1. “Lord, Turn My Mind Toward Excellent Things.”
    So often, when we compare ourselves to others, our minds are filled with thoughts that are contrary to God. Jealousy over the way people live, look, and act becomes like idols in our minds, consuming us with “what ifs” and if only’s.” In contrast, when our minds are full of the things mentioned in Philippians 4:8—things that are pure, noble, lovely, excellent, and praiseworthy—we don’t have time to compare our lives to others. Turning our minds towards excellent things enables us to rejoice in God for the blessings we’ve been given. The best part is, gratefulness and praise can replace comparison faster than anything.

Let’s pray.

Lord, we know that comparison usually starts with our mindset. A thought comes in, and we entertain it until it becomes jealousy over what other people have. Please forgive us for allowing those thoughts to marinate in our minds. Help us replace them immediately with the attributes mentioned in Philippians 4:8. Turn our comparative thoughts into praiseworthy things. Fill our hearts with thanksgiving so that we are humbly grateful for what we’ve been given. We pray these things in the precious name of Jesus, amen.

  1. “Lord, Remind Me of Your Blessings.”
    As the old chorus goes, “Count your blessings; count them one by one. Count your many blessings see what God has done.” This simple song is a wonderful reminder to count every blessing and recall God’s goodness. From childhood to the present day, how has God blessed you and come through for you? In remembering the mighty ways in which He’s worked through your life, you’ll be shining a bright light on His provision and turning out the light of comparison.

Let’s pray.

Gracious God, thank You for your many, many blessings over my life. Please forgive me for overlooking the ways You’ve come through for me. Instead of comparison, please help me remember Your favor and goodness to me. In turn, help me bless others with the overflow of blessings You’ve poured out over my life. I love You and praise You, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

(Original Article: https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/prayer/prayers-for-struggling-with-comparison.html)

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The Beautiful Gifts God Gives His Children

It’s exhilarating to know that God sets the standard for the best gifts when it comes to gift-giving. James 1:17 states, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” This passage is a sweet reminder that God’s gifts are good and perfect.

Matthew 7:11 states, “So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.” This passage indicates that just as humans give pleasant gifts, our heavenly Father provides supreme and superior gifts. So, let’s take a look at some of the amazing gifts our Father provides those whom He calls His children.

Gift #1 – Jesus
The very best gift God gives us as His children is Jesus. He was the most sacrificial gift God gave, which demonstrates His immeasurable love for us. Because of Jesus, we have access to all of the other gifts our generous, heavenly Father has to offer. John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Gift #2 – Eternal Life
As stated in the previous gift, God gives us eternal life once we have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Romans 6:23 states, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” The precious blood of Jesus covered all of our sins, and as a result, God mercifully gifted us with the opportunity to spend eternity with Him in heaven instead of the fiery pit of hell.

Gift #3 – Forgiveness
Forgiveness is another remarkable gift that God gives His children when we confess our sins. God does not have to do it, but He forgives us over and over. He loves us just that much. Micah 7:18-19 states, “Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.” God not only forgives our sins, but He casts them away and no longer brings them up. What an incredible gift!

Gift #4 – Holy Spirit
Have you ever found yourself saying “something told me not to do that” or, “something told me to do that?” Well, that something is Someone. The Holy Spirit. Jesus said in John 14:16-17, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” Two of the many names and functions of the Holy Spirit are comforter and spirit of truth. God gave us this ever-present gift to guide, teach, and comfort us whenever we need Him. God is such a great Father that He did not leave us unaccompanied.

Gift #5 – Wisdom
Do you need clarity or direction? Are you trying to determine what the right decision to make is? God has the ideal gift for these concerns. James 1:5 states, “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.” God wants to hear from His children and grace them with His matchless wisdom so that you and I can be all that He has created us to be and so that He may be glorified. We certainly do not have all of the answers, so we should choose to accept the gift of wisdom by asking God for it just like we ask for a new job, finances, good health, etc.

Gift #6 – Way of Escape
One sneaky (and sometimes not so sneaky) thing that creeps up in all of our lives is a 10-letter word. T-E-M-P-T-A-T-I-O-N. Temptation has our address, phone number, and email address. There is hope, though. God has just the right gift to help us when temptation comes knocking at our door. 1 Corinthians 10:13 states, “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” There is always a way out. We must open our eyes, ears, and hearts to accept the gift and proceed to the nearest escape route.

Gift #7 – Abundant Life
We have an enemy that is always on the prowl to see who he can devour, demean, and diminish. If the enemy had his way, our lives would be desolate, depressing, and deplorable. But God had a better gift and plan in mind. John 10:10 states, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” The fact that Jesus came to earth, died on the cross, and rose again canceled out the enemy’s plan. Instead of an empty life, God gifts each of us with abundant life in Him. We just need to embrace this wonderful gift.

Gift #8 – Spiritual Gifts
God created each of His children uniquely and gave each of us spiritual gifts. While all of us do not have the same gift(s), each of us is given gifts to edify the kingdom and point others to the Lord. The entire chapter 1 Corinthians 12 highlights an array of spiritual gifts and callings such as apostles, prophets, teachers, miracles, healings, helps, governments, and diversity of tongues (verse 28). Additionally, other references for spiritual gifts can be found in Romans 12:3-8 and 1 Peter 4:10-11. The recurring theme surrounding spiritual gifts is service. Our heavenly Father gave each of us as His children spiritual gifts to serve one another.

Gift #9 – Power, Love, and a Sound Mind
God gives His children a threefold gift that can combat fear when it arises. 2 Timothy 1:7 states, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” This gift bundle is valuable when the spirit of fear tries to seep in and cripple us. We can tap into power, love, and a sound mind to confidently pursue both great and small tasks that we are presented with each day, knowing that the spirit of fear is not from God. Embracing these gifts takes practice because fear can be persistent, but we must remind ourselves that God freely gives us power, love, and a sound mind.

Gift #10 – Beauty for Ashes
There are times in life when tragedy strikes, and we find ourselves in a season of mourning. God graciously has gifts for us during these seasons. Isaiah 61:3 states, “To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.” While we cannot avoid sorrow and pain, the gifts of beauty, joy, and praise are promised in exchange. We do not have to remain in a season of mourning forever, thanks to these precious gifts.

Gift #11 – Peace
When we feel confused, uneasy, or anxious, God has the perfect gift. Jesus stated in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” His peace that surpasses all understanding is available for the taking. We must choose to accept the gift, and in exchange, give God all of our cares. We can lay them right at His feet, leave them there, and walk away with the gift of peace.

Gift #12 – Victory
God gives His children victory. Not defeat, but victory! 1 Corinthians 15:57 states, “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Through Jesus Christ, who overcame death, we as children of God always win. Trials will come. Situations may appear bleak, but defeat is not our destination. Instead of a period, there is a comma, and the gift of victory proceeds every storm and each tribulation. When we hold on to this gift, we can grasp hope in those moments where it seems like we have lost. After all, God reminds us that the battle is not ours, but it is His. When He is fighting for us, the result is always victory.

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Difference Between Mercy and Grace

Mercy and grace are the utmost attributes of love. The essence of the Bible is loving God and loving people through the lens of Jesus Christ. Two grand works of God have displayed His all-powerful, gracious, and merciful nature: creation and redemption.

While God’s work of creation demonstrated His mighty power, God’s work of redemption revealed His marvelous love, shown through His mercy and grace. This very love of God is indispensable for the existence of life and the salvation of humanity.

“The Lord is gracious and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.” (Psalm 145:8-9)

Grace and Mercy: Definitions and Differences:

The Greek word used for mercy is most often eleos (pity, compassion) and for grace is charis(favor). Mercy and grace, as paraphrased from Willmington’s Guide to the Bible, can be differentiated as follows: mercy is the act of withholding deserved punishment, while grace is the act of endowing unmerited favor. In His mercy, God does not give us punishment we deserve, namely hell; while in His grace, God gives us the gift we do not deserve, namely heaven.

Mercy and grace are two sides of a coin – and the coin is love. In the author’s own words, mercy is a compassionate love to the weak, and grace is a generous love to the unworthy. Humans are weak and unworthy – we all need God’s mercy and grace. Mercy takes us to the path of forgiveness, while grace leads us to reconciliation.

Examples of God’s Grace and Mercy in the Bible:

Mercy and grace are often mistakenly thought to be a New Testament concept. But in fact, they are manifested throughout the entire Scripture.

The Bible is filled with the story of God using imperfect people to accomplish His purpose. There are many examples of God’s mercy and grace in the Old Testament. David is perhaps the most prominent example: he was called “a man after God’s own heart” despite his great sins. David lusted, killed, and fornicated. Abraham feared and lied, Sara was impatient, Jacob was a cheater, Moses was stubborn and doubtful, Rahab was a prostitute, and the Israelites rebelled many times against God – yet God still used all of them to accomplish His purposes.

God was faithful and His promises never failed (Exodus 34:6, Deuteronomy 4:31, 7:9, Lamentations 3:22-23, Numbers 6:24-26).

More examples of God’s grace and mercy in the New Testament:

  • Saul was a persecutor, yet God converted him to become Paul, the apostle of Christ, the author of nearly half of the New Testament.
  • Peter was temperament and denied Jesus, yet God used him to preach and about 3,000 were saved.
  • Thomas was a doubter, yet God used him to preach the Gospel in India and possibly Indonesia (according to traditions),
  • Mary Magdalene was demon-possessed, yet God graciously gave her a wonderful chance of being the first witness of the risen Christ.
  • Martha was restless, yet God also allowed her to be among the first witnesses of the resurrection of Christ (and of Lazarus, her brother).
  • Barabbas was a criminal, yet God allowed him to be set free in exchange for Jesus.
  • The penitent thief was forgiven on the cross and promised to be in Paradise with Jesus.

Clearly, the Bible is the record of a God who repeatedly forgives sinful humans – and even more, a perfect God who works in and through them, the broken vessels, for their own good and ultimately for His glory. The mercy and grace of God alone can save and sustain mankind (Titus 2:11, 3:7, Ephesians 2:4-9, Psalm 103:1-5, 8).

If God has shown His love to those people in the past, He must be able to do so in our lives today. So now, how do we respond to God’s love?

Responding to God’s Grace and Mercy

  1. Acknowledge our needs for grace and mercy.

To embrace the mercy and grace of God, we need humility (James 4:6, Micah 6:8). We must first confess that all humans are sinners, nobody is able to meet God’s standard of perfection (Romans 3:23, 5:20), and the world we live in is broken, so we do not become obsessed with ourselves and things in this world. In doing so, we shift our focus from human centeredness to God and acknowledge His sovereignty over all things.

Mercy and grace liberate us from perfectionism, a prideful and rebellious heart. It is only by the Lord’s mercy and grace that we could live today.

  1. Accept God’s grace and mercy.

There is a deep desire of humanity for freedom. Naturally, people are happy when receiving something good for free (for example, who does not like free food?) and otherwise are reluctant to pay or sacrifice. The good news is that God has offered His mercy and grace for free. The Son of God has done for our behalf all that we need for our salvation (Romans 6:23, Ephesians 1:7). We are saved not because we are good, but all because God is good. He has paid all the necessary payment for our salvation for us.

Moreover, God knows that not only we love something free, but we also love something new. Thanks be to God, through the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we are given a new, holy life (1 Peter 1:3, 2 Timothy 1:8-9) and a great privilege to live for Him (2 Corinthians 5:15). As we walk in His ways, we will continue to experience His grace and glory (Psalm 84:11) and find our help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16).

  1. Know our identity in Christ and share His love with others.

We were once children of wrath because of our sins, but in Christ, we have now become the children of God (John 1:12). And as His children, we should be grateful that our Father is full of grace and truth (John 1:14). But we must not take His love for granted. We must grow in our relationship with Him, to know and love Him more.

His desire is for us to have mercy on others (Hosea 6:6, Matthew 9:13, 5:7, Luke 6:36). As the Lord has planted the seed of love in our hearts with His sufficient grace, we are to bear more fruit in our work (2 Corinthians 9:8, 12:9).

Paul realized the importance of working hard for the Lord as the appropriate response to His grace, not as an effort to earn His favor (1 Corinthians 15:10). Let us, therefore, as God’s chosen and beloved people, continue to do the good work He has given us (Colossians 3:12), be gracious and merciful in our judgment of others (James 2:13), and do all these things in truth and love (2 John 1:3).

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Should Christian Only Read Christian Novels?

Christians have debated the idea of whether or not they can read books outside of Christian novels for some time. Some legalistic Christians believe Christians should only read the Bible; whereas other Christians may believe it is within their Christian freedom to read whatever they want to read. The Bible gives guidance into all of these matters and the Holy Spirit will help direct you as an individual.

A Novel Idea
Christian novels have grown in popularity over the years with series such as The Chronicles of Narnia, The Lord of The Rings, and The Wingfeather Saga. All of these Christian novels are good to read, and most believers would agree that these novels are great for any person to read.

In fact, many Christians may encourage other believers and nonbelievers to read Christian novels in order to introduce the idea of Christ to them. Christian novels are great to read, but what about other novels? Many best-selling novels cause a raise of concern for believers.

When a Christian chooses to read a piece of literature outside of the Bible or Christian novels, they need to exercise caution, wisdom, and discernment. It is within each believer’s freedom in Christ to read the novels and books they desire; however, simply because a person can do something does not mean it is beneficial.

I have the right to do anything,” you say — but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything” — but I will not be mastered by anything (1 Corinthians 6:12).

Before reading a novel, Christians should run the content of the novel through Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.”

We should only read things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. There are many secular books that do not contain anything sinful in them. Believers should never read novels that contain graphic materials, sexual concepts, or novels that promote an anti-biblical agenda.

A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself, “Would Jesus read this book? Will God be glorified through me reading this book?” Reading is a great gift that believers have received from our Heavenly Father.

Not everyone in the world has the privilege of being able to read, which is why we use our privilege with wisdom. God does not want His children reading novels about sins or novels promoting unethical behaviors.

Reading can help people relax, learn, as well as grow into better readers and writers. There are advantages of being familiar with secular novels as Paul gives us this example by being knowledgeable about the popular secular writers during his ministry.

Paul was able to quote the philosophers, which actually helped the lost become interested in his message (Acts 17:22-28).

Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So, you are ignorant of the very thing you worship — and this is what I am going to proclaim to you. “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands (Acts 17:22-24).

It is good to be familiar with secular novels, but believers should never read a novel that they believe will cause them to sin. We all have our own temptations, and it is wise for you to be aware of your own triggers.

If a book causes you to feel bad feelings or encourages you to sin, it is best to close the book, put it down, and return the book to the bookstore. Christians can read novels outside of strictly Christian novels; however, they need to be cautious and really know their own limitations.

  1. Reading for Education
    There are going to be times when a believer will have to read secular books, such as in the event of high school, college, or work training. There is nothing wrong with reading a math textbook, an English workbook, or an employee handbook for training.

Within secular high schools and colleges, it is highly plausible Christians will encounter many evolutionary ideas and professors will teach evolution as the truth. Secular universities downplay creationism as an old wives’ tale.

In the event of a Christian having to read these textbooks, it can cause the believer to doubt their belief in creationism and even cause them to express doubt in God. Rather than allowing these books to cause the believer to doubt, the believer should view it as an opportunity to grow, strengthen, and increase their faith.

There are many creationists scientists who have written science textbooks to prove creationism, such as Ken Ham. If you are not enrolled in a Christian school or university, you most likely will not see Ken Ham’s books; however, his books would be worthwhile to read in the argument for creationism. Thus, there are books outside of Christian novels that are beneficial to believers.

  1. Reading for Fun
    Despite popular belief, God does want His children to have fun. God does not want His children to have fun in the way the world views fun, such as drunkenness, sexual immorality, and drugs. These things are not true fun. In the same way, God wants His children to have fun with reading, but it has to be good, wholesome fun.

It is not fun to read about temptations that will cause you to sin against God nor is it fun to read novels in which the main character participates in unethical behaviors. As believers, we can read for fun, but we have to run the book through Philippians 4:8 as mentioned above.

God has given us each a brain and He wants us to use it. If we know the novel is not good for our spiritual growth, do not read it. If we know the novel will lead us into sin, we should not read it. We can read any book, whether Christian-focused or not, as long as the content glorifies the Lord.

Why Does Reading Matter?
As believers, we should want to do the right thing and only engage in activities that will honor God. If the novel does not glorify God and has questionable content, it is best to abstain from reading that specific book.

There are many great secular books out there that do have good morals to them — the Christian just has to discover them. We are all given freedom in Christ, but we must not misuse our freedom as Peter tells us “Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves” (1 Peter 2:16).

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Russian Attack On America’s Power Grid “Imminent?” – CLICK HERE FOR INFO!

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