Beautiful Mother’s Day Prayer to Share with Mom on Sunday

For all of us Christians that are lucky enough to still have our mom’s in our lives, let’s do our absolute best to make they have the BEST mother’s day possible this Sunday!

My grandmother recently passed away, so this will be the first year my mom won’t have a mother to call up or spend time with on Mother’s Day, so I’m going to do my best to make sure she has a beautiful day.

I’m so grateful that Mother’s Day always falls on a Sunday so that I can attend church with my mom on her day, it’s just a great way to start the holiday!

Other than attending church services with my entire family on Mother’s Day, one of the best ways to enjoy this holiday is by having a nice breakfast, lunch, or dinner with your mom where she does nothing but enjoy the meal with her family, so if you cook, or go out to a restaurant, here’s a wonderful prayer you may want to share with your mom:

“Lord, thank you for all mothers. For the new ones, who endure sleepless nights with infants in arms.

For the busy ones, who juggle the pressures of home and family life.

For the steadfast ones, who nurture and care for our special vulnerable children.

For the patient ones, who always seek to forgive and engage with their pre-teens. For the persistent ones, who cleverly find new ways to connect with their mini-adults.

For the mother aunts, who step in to cradle and care for nieces and nephews.
For all grandmas, who love and support their precious grandchildren. For the foster mothers that are called to gather and cover the fragile ones. – Amen”

Please give your mothers the biggest hugs and kisses on Sunday…and oh yeah, you should also get her a nice flower arrangement because moms love getting flowers!

Thank you for taking time out of your day to read my blog…that really means a lot to me!

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 Russian Attack On America’s Power Grid “Imminent”

Is Big Tech, with the help of Russia, censoring an imminent attack on American patriots?

You’ve probably already noticed them de platforming patriots.

They banned Trump from Twitter and Facebook.

They tore Parler from the internet.

And they’re even silencing everyday Americans.

It seems Big Tech is intent on turning the whole internet woke.

And muzzling anyone with a patriotic opinion.

But do they have an even more sinister agenda?

The Committee on Homeland Security recently declassified a shocking report. Click Here to watch a video that discusses this ASAP before it’s too late!

This reveals Big Tech could be doing way more than demolishing the First Amendment.

It seems they’re actually withholding lifesaving information from you and I.

The declassified report contains a chilling warning:

A disastrous attack on patriots is imminent.

And I’m not talking about a head cold invented by the powers that be.

I’m talking about a single catastrophic event that will target American patriots.

Leaving us without power, gas, food, water, telephone, internet.

It could make every single patriot an outcast from society, scrambling to survive.

Many of us could die in the wake of this event.

And, if reports are correct, this event could happen within weeks.

But if you search the internet or social media for warnings I’m almost certain you won’t find anything.

That’s why I’m sending this alert.

Because one brave patriot has found a way around Big Tech’s censorship.

He’s created a short video exposing the truth about this upcoming attack.

But since this message runs on their systems, it could be blocked at any moment.

That’s why I urge you to watch his short video to protect yourself and your family.

Then tell everyone you know about this.

Click Here to Watch the shocking report

How Can Christians Learn to Pray Confidently

Prayer can seem intimidating if we lack confidence that God will really listen to our prayers and answer them. We may see prayer as an obligation rather than an opportunity – and end up not praying much, then feeling guilty. If we learn to pray confidently, though, we can enjoy the process of praying, because we’ll wake up to God’s presence with us there.

What Does it Really Mean to Pray Confidently?

Praying confidently means trusting that God will meet us in prayer because he cares about us. 1 John 5:14-15 assures us that we can pray to our loving God with confidence: “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.” It’s possible to pray confidently because God will listen to us with love and answer us according to his will, which reflects his great wisdom and power.

All we need to do is show up, do our best to communicate with God, and then trust God to respond in the best ways and in the best timing. The more we devote ourselves to prayer, the more we can develop the trust we need to do so.

Here are five ways Christians can learn to pray confidently:

  1. Approach God with reverence and humility:

If any sin in our lives has distanced us from God, we may lack the confidence to pray. John 9:31 reveals, “We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him.” We should be reverent and humble when approaching our awesome God, confessing our sins and accepting God’s help and forgiveness so we’ll be able to come into his holy presence with a clear mind and an open heart. We can confess directly to God: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). We can also confess to our brothers and sisters in Christ: “Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16). Once we’ve dealt with any sins we need to confess, we can be confident in approaching God with our prayers. “Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God” 1 John 3:21 assures us.

  1. Let go of formulas:

We don’t need to worry about following any formulas when we pray. God will still accept our prayers if we don’t use formal language when we speak or if we don’t sit still with our eyes closed. God will still listen and respond if our thoughts are unorganized or our emotions are raw. God will meet us where we are when we simply pray naturally, and his Spirit will help us express what we’re truly longing to pray. As Romans 8:26 assures us, “… the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” We don’t need formulaic methods of praying; all we need is a genuine desire to communicate with God.

  1. Try out creative possibilities:

We can feel free to try praying in new ways that shake up our prayer routines. The creative possibilities for expressing our prayers are unlimited, and include writing, drawing, singing, and dancing. We can pray silently anytime and anywhere, such as while driving, walking, or cooking. What’s most important is that we pray in ways that truly get us excited about communicating with God.

  1. Listen as well as talk:

Prayer should be a two-sided conversation between us and God. So, after we talk to God, we need to listen to what God may have to say to us. God promises in Jeremiah 33:3: “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and incomprehensible things you do not know.” By quieting our minds and focusing on hearing from God, we can discern messages that the Holy Spirit sends into our minds during prayer.

  1. Expect big answers from our great God:

We can also develop more confidence as we pray by expanding our prayers. Rather than only praying small prayers (for situations that don’t require much help from God to change) pray big prayers (asking God to intervene in situations and do what only he can do). We can remove limitations from our prayers, keeping in mind that God “… is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20). Invite God to do something greater than what we can do ourselves, in each situation we present to God in prayer. Dare to ask for big answers from our big God! As Jesus encourages us in Matthew 7:7, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”

The ability to communicate with our Creator in prayer is a blessing that we can embrace with confidence. Learning to pray confidently will move us closer to our loving God who always wants to meet with us. As Hebrew 4:16 says, “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.” Let’s look forward to the wonder we can discover during our prayer times with God!

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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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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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How Does Prayer Change Us?

Prayer is the power tool for Christians to communicate with the Lord. It is our way of realizing that we have needs and the only provider of our needs is the Father in Heaven. The Bible tells us that He will never leave us, as it is written in Scripture,

The LORD Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” (Deuteronomy 31:8).

And we can lay our worries to Him because He promised to take care of us, as is written, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).

As we pray, we can feel a change in our spiritual life. We are closer to God because we continuously communicate. Through prayer, we acknowledge that His love for us is infinite, and He will never leave us. Truly, there is power in prayer and it can change us in many ways. How does prayer change us?

Changes Us by Knowing God Better
Prayer changes us by making us closer to God and knowing Him better. The Holy Spirit guides us through prayer. The Bible tells us that Jesus assured us that after His resurrection, the Holy Spirit will be with us forever and that the Holy Spirit is all around us to give us wisdom in knowing God.

The Bible also tells us, “For I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you. But if I go, I will send Him to you” (John 16:7).

It is written that through a very good relationship with God, through prayer, we are able to experience God’s omnipresence through the Holy Spirit. For this reason, we know God better because we experience Him in our daily lives.

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen (2 Peter 3:18).

It is also through knowing God that we are able to understand God’s nature. We know that he will never leave us and that He is the great provider, but only through prayer that we may experience knowing him more. And that God’s love for us shines brighter than anything else.

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).

Changes Us by Listening
Prayer also changes us by improving our attitude on listening to what God wants. Most of the time, we are always focused on presenting our request to God and praying constantly that our requests are answered.

Sometimes, we forget to listen to God and acknowledge that it is His will that should be followed. “Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord.” (Proverbs 16:20).

Listening to God is not an easy task. It requires constant discipline, and we can only achieve training through continuous prayer and practicing His command.

Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me — put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you (Philippians 4:9).

However, there will come a time when we are tempted to not follow His command or His will. That is why, we have to train our minds to avoid the noise of the world and instead, listen to God and God alone.

We can do this by continuously learning about God and communicating through prayer as we strengthen our faith in Him, as Scripture says, “But solid food belongs to those who are full of age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:14).

Changes Us through Patience
Prayer also changes our lives by patience. Because as we pray, we are required to be patient in listening to God’s will. As Jesus Christ said,

Truly I say to you, If you have faith, and doubt not, you shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if you shall say to this mountain, Be you removed, and be you cast into the sea; it shall be done (Matthew 21:21).

However, human as we are, we are sometimes impatient. We become tired of waiting for our prayers to be answered. Do not fret. The Bible tells us that:

Have you not known? Have you not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, faints not, neither is weary? There is no searching of his understanding. He gives power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint (Isaiah 40:28-31).

Continuous prayer can change us and make us patient. Our communication with God will tell us that He will answer our prayers according to His will.

Changes Us through Faith
Prayer changes us by nourishing our faith in God. As we communicate with God, we learn that He is truly our great provider and it is only through God that we can receive impossible breakthroughs in our lives.

However, there are circumstances when we feel hopeless, especially when trial after trial happens to us. Remember, it is only in God’s will that we can understand the totality of each situation. As the Word says, “Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience” (James 1:3).

And “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:8-9).

We are reminded that there is an inexpressible and glorious joy as we continue our faith in God because we know through Him, we can achieve impossible things.

Continued prayer to God makes us remember God’s promises to His faithful servants. That is why it is important for us to continue and communicate daily through prayer.

Changes Us through Our Inner Strength
Prayer has the power to change us by building our inner strength through Christ Jesus. As stated in Psalm 46:1-3,

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.

The Father in Heaven promises to be the refuge in times of harsh circumstances. Therefore, prayers have the power to change circumstances to a better one by changing our inner perspectives to that of a perspective that has faith in Christ Jesus and the Father in Heaven.

Our life depends heavily on our prayer life and spiritual life. That is also true with our inner strength. As we pray, our inner strength is being built to be stronger and stronger until we become prepared for whatever circumstances we face because the Father in Heaven has promised in Isaiah 43:1-3,

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord you God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.

Whenever we need strength, we can count on God to be there in endless ways as written in Proverbs 18:10, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run into it and are safe.”

And rest assured your path is right as long as you have constant communication to God through prayer.

Changes Us through Ultimate Surrender
Prayer changes us through our ultimate surrender to God. Prayer is a form of worship and only through worship, we are able to surrender ourselves through God. As Scripture says, Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship (Romans 12:1).

Through ultimate surrender, we can rest all our worries to the Lord, “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes” (Psalm 37:7).

Finally, we are reminded that, indeed, prayer is our most important tool in communicating with God. It is also equally important if we have faith in Him and we know Him better, which can be achieved through continuous prayer.

Having a continuous communication with the Lord will help us and lead us to the right path. A stronger prayer life changes us through our inner strength, through ultimate surrender, through patience, by listening, by knowing God better, and through faith in Christ Jesus as the Bible tells us,

Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9).

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How Can We Be Sure God Hears Our Prayers?

Talk of prayer is evident in the Christian home, church, and Holy Bible. We talk about prayer as a means of gaining wisdom, making important decisions, and otherwise living life as God desires for us. Why?

There are numerous examples of people using prayer in the Bible for the same reasons. In some of these instances, prayer is evoked to bring about healing over physical or emotional ailments and even victory over enemies in battle. We can conclude then that prayer at some level is a conversation between the person (or persons) praying and God. Yet, in order to fully comprehend prayer, there first needs to be an understanding of communication.

Communication is the basic foundation for any relationship, friendly, romantic, business. Humans utilize communication through spoken language and also nonverbal body language. Communication is vital in the life of a Christian, not just in how we relate to other people, but more importantly to God. Our language, spoken or otherwise, constantly affects our relationship with Him and our ability to live out His commandments.

At its root, there are three pieces to communication: “the sender, the message, and the recipient.” In prayer, Christians alternate between the roles of sender and recipient. When we operate as the sender, we pray to God seeking some sort of spiritual discernment. We send a message, which God receives. When God answers our prayers, we become the recipient, taking in the message that He sends.

Studying communication explains how prayer fosters a relationship between ourselves and God, and with other people. However, this does not explain the need for prayer in the Christian life. Nor does having communication with God mean He is listening to us. How are we to be sure? For these answers, we must turn to the Bible for insight.

Does God Hear Our Prayers?
We know that prayer is our way of communicating with God. The Bible helps us to further this understanding by giving us examples of how others pray and what they prayed about. One great example comes from Matthew 6 when Jesus presents the Lord’s Prayer. During the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus draws a comparison between true believers and hypocrites. He calls for those following His teaching to not pray out in the open to be seen and admired by others (Matthew 6:5).

Instead, Jesus advocates for a more personal and intimate conversation with God, one that does not to be heard by others to be heard by God. Important to note is that Jesus does not say to only pray in private, but that public prayer done for admiration is wrong. In this sermon, He goes on to recite the Lord’s prayer which embodies all the reasons why Christians pray.

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:9-10)

Jesus himself informs us of our greatest responsibilities as Christians (Mathew 22:34-40). With this in mind, we can confirm that prayer helps us to live a life dedicated to loving God and others. When we pray, we make our requests known to God, which helps us efficiently live out our responsibilities. Thus, according to Jesus, prayer is intimate, personal, and often private. When we pray, we may seek things to benefit ourselves, but any and all things should redirect us to fulfilling the first and second greatest commandments.

This explains why we pray to God. We pray because of who God is, our Father in Heaven, the one who grants us salvation, the one who guides us through life. We pray in order to live out His will as He has deemed for believers. Like Jesus, there were many figures in the Bible who used prayer to communicate with God. We can follow all of their examples of how to pray, when, and what to communicate to God.

One question still remains though, how do we know God hears our prayers. The Bible too answers this.

How Do We Know That God Hears Our Prayers?
The entirety of the Bible can be read as a love story, a story of God caring so much about humanity that He sacrificed His son in an act of redemption. How do we know God hears our prayers? He loves us.

We know that God hears our prayers because of the prayer accounts presented in the Bible. People tell the story of God answering their prayers, how they prayed, and what they prayed about. The aforementioned example of Jesus in Matthew 6 is just one account of many. And there are lines in the Bible of God himself speaking, that reaffirm He hears our prayers.

“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)

Not being able to hear God as we would another person does not mean we cannot find Him. We also don’t pray to other people, meaning our relationship with God is bound to look different. Our relationship with God is governed by our faith and not by our ability to see Him or audibly hear him (2 Corinthians 5:7).

This information lets us know that God hears our prayers. We can look at the evidence in the Bible and the evidence in our own lives of God answering our prayers. God may not act when we want, or exactly how we want, but God does act when we pray according to His will. Knowing that God hears our prayers makes us better equipped to communicate with Him.

What Can We Learn from the Way People Prayed in the Bible?
Prayer Is Honest

“How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?”
(Psalm 13:1)

Psalm 13 is a great reflection of the human experience of suffering. David prays to God with questions. He is not only seeking insight, but deliverance. His words show that he is not approaching God timidly, but openly bearing his anguish. His words are so dramatic as to question God. Nonetheless, David ends on an upbeat note, saying that he will remain trusting in God.

When we pray, we can share with God our positive experiences, as some of the psalms reveal. However, we can also talk to God about our suffering. Much like the conversations we have with peers, everything we discuss does not have to be positive. God wants to be a part of every aspect of our lives, including the moments of despair and desperation.

Prayer Is Constant

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

We are called to pray every day. Much like any relationship with a person, what we invest in our communication is what we will get out of the relationship. The more we commune with God the stronger our bond. There is no time limit the Bible issues on prayer. Quite the opposite. As Christians, when we learn to pray without ceasing, we will begin to see God is all aspects of our lives. However difficult, the benefits are worthwhile.

Prayer Is Not Instantaneous

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Paul serves as a great example of someone who prayed for God to deliver Him from suffering, but God did not. God had His reasons, and Paul was fortunate enough to learn why. When we pray, God may not answer certain prayers when we want, how we want, or at all. We have to trust His reasoning and timing.

Prayer Brings Healing

“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.” (James 5:16)

Prayer has the power to bring about miracles, whether God is performing the miracle Himself or working through someone. As we seek to bring God’s kingdom to Earth, our prayers for spiritual discernment will put us on the path God sees fit. All the while we can include in our prayers, moments of gratitude, thanking God for the highs and lows of life knowing that He is present always.

The Lord’s Prayer

There are many aspects of prayer. Ultimately, we can conclude that prayer is vital for a relationship with God. Prayer allows us to communicate with Him in a way we do not with other people. Through our words and our actions, we have the ability to live a life that is God-centered like Jesus, or not. Part of power resides in prayer. With this in mind, we can recite the Lord’s prayers with greater wisdom as to how we pray and why we should.

“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.”
(Matthew 6:9-13)

Amen.

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Is It Biblical to Say “the Lord Gives, and the Lord Takes Away”?

You might have sung the verse in church or heard it at a funeral, perhaps as a way to explain the inexplicable: The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away.

But what does this phrase actually mean? Is it biblical, and does it accurately describe the nature of God?

While the term “the Lord gives, and the Lord takes away” is biblical in that it does appear in the Bible, uttered by Job in a seemingly worshipful, accepting manner after his family and possessions are destroyed, it’s important to understand that it does not necessarily reflect the truth of who God is in relation to his love for humanity.

What Does It Mean, “the Lord Gives and the Lord Takes Away?”?
We find the phrase in Job 1:21, after Job—a man described as blameless and upright, who loved God, shunned evil and was the greatest among all the people of the East (vv. 1-2)—lost his 10 children, thousands of livestock, and countless servants in a single day. This came some time after God and Satan were said to have argued over Job’s character. God described Job as God-fearing, but the devil said Job was only so fearful and righteous because all had gone well for him. God then granted the devil power over all Job had, though He said the devil could not hurt the man himself (v. 12).

When the cursed day arrived and Job did indeed lose everything, he was devastated. He tore his robe, shaved his head, and worshipped God, crying, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised” (Job 1:21).

Essentially, Job is acknowledging that despite what happened, God is sovereign. He rules over all and has all under control, and this appears to bring Job comfort. He does not blame God for any of this.

Is the Phrase “the Lord Gives and the Lord Takes Away” Biblical?
On one hand, the verse is biblical, meaning these words are indeed contained in the Bible. It is a statement uttered by a righteous man of God in the face of calamity. He’s lost it all, and he clings to the powerful nature of the Almighty God, who created us in the first place and gave us all the blessings we possess. It is a way Job is attempting to worship God, praising God’s stable and triumphant rulership when all else is lost.

And indeed, on the surface, there is truth in this. Genesis 1:1 tells us God “created the heavens and the earth” and went on to create all things in them—people, animals, planets, seas, stars, and more. Revelation 22:13 proclaims God as “Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”

Elsewhere, we are reminded of God’s sovereignty. Colossians 1:16-17 tells us that in God, “All things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”

Ephesians 1:11 says much the same, noting, “In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.”

But taking a look at the entire book of Job gives us more context and understanding of the verse, which should not be read and interpreted on its own.

While at first Job praises this sovereign God who gives and takes away, later more destruction occurs. He is plagued with painful sores, and his wife and friends begin to falsely accuse him of bringing these sorrows upon himself—perhaps his sin prompted God’s retribution.

Soon, Job sinks into a depressive state. His view of God as one who would arbitrarily give and take away translates into despair. He sees it as an abuse of power, this God who destroys at will, seemingly for the fun of it. He moves away from God, and begins to see God as an enemy unworthy, perhaps, of his adoration.

As he finally utters in Job 30:20-22, “I cry out to you, God, but you do not answer; I stand up, but you merely look at me. You turn on me ruthlessly; with the might of your hand you attack me. You snatch me up and drive me before the wind; you toss me about in the storm.”

But ultimately, Job repents of this perspective. He understands he cannot define God as cruel or arbitrary. He cannot even say, “The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away” (Job 3:21).

As he reflects in Job 42:3-6, “You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.’ My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.’”

Is Everything That Happens to Us because of God’s Will?
God does indeed have a plan for the world. He has a purpose and a will. And on one hand, God Almighty, who is all-knowing and all-encompassing, is indeed sovereign over everything. But not everything that happens is God’s will. For instance, God does not want us to sin, yet we do. In the case of Job, God was clearly delighted with Job, but while He didn’t cause the calamity to happen, He did allow the devil to do as he wished in the man’s life.

We cannot understand the ways of God, as Job ultimately concludes. But we do know God orchestrates all according to His ultimate purpose, no matter what.

As Romans 8:28 tells us, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Why Does God Take Away?
It’s important to know that God’s plan is not for humans to live separated from Him by sin forever. He gave us temporary bodies on purpose, knowing that if we chose the true path—His Son, Jesus—we would be blessed with eternal life in heaven, where tears, sadness, and pain do not exist. Bad things do happen, but God uses them for His good purpose. And we can take comfort that when these bad things do happen, this world is not the end. Heaven is our ultimate destination. And the bad things we experience on earth enable us to be prepared for ministry in a deeper, more compassionate way.

We might not understand God’s reasons or even begin to understand a kernel of His plan, but we can trust that He loves us. We can trust that He makes a better way for us—a life removed from the sinful world and all its death and destruction.

A Prayer to Faithfully Trust God’s Plan
If you are in a place where bad things are happening to you or around you and you cannot fathom why a good and loving God can seem to give and take away, can seem to bless and curse in the same breath, here is a prayer that might help:

Father God, help us remember the words of Your servant Job, who understood after all his painful experiences that Your ways are beyond comprehension. I am but a human being, sinful and without full understanding. Some things are simply, as Job said, too wonderful for me to know. Help me, Lord, to trust that You are almighty. You created the world, and You have a plan that is being fulfilled. I might not be able to see it or even define it, but I put my faith in You, resting in the perfect peace that You are in full control. I surrender all to You. In Your holy and precious name I pray, Amen.

God knows all, sees all, and encompasses all. As God said through the prophet Isaiah, “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts’” (Isaiah 55:8-9).

We can indeed trust God in good times and in bad. We are given this life, and breath in our lungs. Because of God’s great mercy and love, we are also given eternal salvation through His Son, Jesus.

This world and its happenings are not the end.

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Trump Administration Will Spare Bibles from Tariffs on Chinese Goods

The Trump administration has decided to give Bibles a free pass amid an escalating tariff war between the U.S. and China.

In May, Christian publishers began to panic as bibles and other religious texts printed in China, together totaling some 65 percent of the 2018 U.S. brochures and leaflet imports, were set to be slapped with tariffs of up to 25 percent.

On Tuesday, however, the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office (USTR) published two lists of items that will be subjected to a 10% hike in tariff charge starting in September and December respectively — the Bible, USTR said, will be spared from both.

“Bibles and other religious literature are among the items removed from the tariff list and will not face additional tariffs of 10 percent,” USTR confirmed to Christianity Today in a statement.

Christian publishers and Bible translators were becoming increasingly concerned by the Trump administration’s refusal to back down from a trade war with China and repeatedly warned that financial restrictions on the printing of the good book would restrict its proliferation across the globe.

“For the past several months, there has been great concern among the Christian publishing community that our important work would be threatened by proposed tariff schedules,” the president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources, Ben Mandrell, told CT. “Today’s announcement by [USTR] has given us hope that the administration has heard our concern.”

Mandrell did, however, express concern at the word of God being “taken hostage in an international trade dispute.”

Other items that evaded the tariff charge included child safety seats, cranes used in ports and construction, shipping containers and certain types of fish, according to Reuters. Interestingly, rosaries, which are a staple in Catholic religious practice, remain on the earlier tariff list — they will fall victim to a 10% tax when the new charges come into effect September 1.

Still, the decision to axe tariffs on the importing of Bibles has been widely celebrated by Christian leaders. “I am pleased to see today that US tariffs on China will now exempt the Bibles printed in China,” tweeted Russell Moore, President of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) of the Southern Baptist Convention. The announcement is “welcome news” for many publishers and ministries, he added.

The ERLC also clarified why such an overwhelming proportion of American Bibles are printed in China as opposed to at home in the United States.

“Like encyclopedias and textbooks, Bibles contain a large amount of text that must be formatted to a bound book on thin paper. China has been specializing in this printing technology for decades and is home to the world’s largest Bible-printing company, printing at least 150 million Bibles in 2016,” the ERLC explained. “To import Bibles from a country other than China would require time, extensive quality tests, and higher prices incompatible with the high and consistent demand for Bibles in the United States.”

Source:
https://www.christianheadlines.com/contributors/will-maule/trump-administration-spares-bibles-from-tariffs-on-chinese-goods.html

The U.S. Church Isn’t Dying and Young People Aren’t Fleeing, Says Myth-Busting Book

You’ve likely heard the conventional wisdom: The U.S. church is shrinking. Teenagers and young adults are leaving in droves. Atheism and unbelief are growing rapidly.

But a new book challenges those assumptions – and even says the truth is exactly the opposite.

The book, Myth of the Dying Church: How Christianity Is Actually Thriving in America and the World by author Glenn T. Stanton, asserts that church attendance in the United States is at an all-time high, both in raw numbers and as a percentage of the population. That includes the colonial days.

Stanton also says Americans are more attracted to Bible-believing churches that discuss sin and salvation than to liberal churches that avoid both topics.

Stanton – the director of family formation studies at Focus on the Family – examined multiple studies and bodies of research for the book.

Christian Headlines recently spoke to him. Following is a transcript:

We hear so often that the church is shrinking today – that young people are leaving the faith, and Christianity is disappearing. You say this is not so. Why?

First, as I got into the research while writing the book, I was really surprised how much stronger the data on this topic actually is. It tells this story: The best forms of Christianity, faithful, Bible-teaching churches calling its members to real discipleship and vibrant worship, are holding very strong, even growing in some ways. The most troubling forms, those that’ve compromised on things like the deity of Christ, the historicity of the resurrection, the reality of sin and miracles as well as caving on issues of sexuality, abortion and homosexuality, those churches are hemorrhaging members by the millions and have been for decades. So the story here is a separating of the wheat and the tares, but certainly not a decline of Christianity.

So America is not becoming more secular, more unbelieving?

Not in terms of the people themselves. Yes, our culture seems to be in terms of media, Hollywood and journalists. But when it comes to people themselves, there is certainly not a mass move toward unbelief. I read an article recently from a major conservative news source that said atheism is the largest “religious” group in our nation. Not even close, for goodness sake. The Pew Research Center tells us that only 3 percent of the U.S. population is atheist. Only 4 percent are agnostics. For the people of truth, we can spread a great deal of falsehood. I’m trying to change that through this book.

We hear so much about the growth of the so-called “nones” – those who say they no longer identify with any institutional church. You say these “nones” are not what most people have been told–that they don’t represent a growing population of new unbelievers. Explain what you mean.

The nones are certainly the most misunderstood, and therefore most misreported, part of the story in all of this. Most leading, university-based sociologists of religion explain these are certainly not a new and growing category of unbelievers. The nones are largely those who were never really attached to a church in the first place. They are folks who might have said, “Yes, I’m Methodist” or “I’m Baptist” but they were actually only CEO Christians… Christmas and Easter Only types. Their pastor never knew who they were. But now, based on how survey questions are being asked, they are more comfortable being honest, saying they have no real connection to any institutional church.

Thus, the nones only mark a new categorization, not new unbelievers. Again, like the Harvard/Indiana research and other sources explain, there is not a growing secularization among people in the United States.

We also hear about young people leaving the church in largenumbers–that they are losing interest in matters of faith. You say that’s not true. What did you discover?

This is a very interesting finding of the book. First, we must know that every generation has seen their young people cool their faith practices. If you read the Puritans of the colonial days, they complained about the very troubling secularization of their young people. There never was a golden age of stalwart young believers. Goodness, look at the kids of the parents that had direct, audible intimacy with God. Cain killing Abel could be understood as “walking away from the faith.” The Prodigal Son also. So this age of development has always seen more “independence” in many areas of life. It’s the nature of moving into one’s own adulthood. Nothing new there.

But the truth is that we have more young people, age 18-29, regularly attending church today than in the early 1970s. That was the time of the really remarkable revival of the Jesus Movement. And where are they going? To the more conservative, vibrant evangelical churches.

Young people are not bailing on biblical Christianity. It speaks to the emptiness of the human heart and soul, and it does so to young adults.

People will often tell Christians they need to get with the times, stop talking about sin, miracles, salvation and start accepting things like gay marriage, sexual freedom and abortion or the church will die. You claim the exact opposite is true. Why?

This is one of the strongest and most interesting findings of the book. I included a chapter in the book, one I didn’t originally plan on, entitled “Stick a Fork in It: The Major Fail of Liberal Christianity.” It’s time to call the liberalizing effort in the church a major failure. People are voting with their feet. They are leaving the liberal, compromising churches in massive numbers. Some of those are just tossing the faith while others are going across the street to the more faithful evangelical churches, those that actually believe Christianity is true.

Get this very interesting finding: Two scholars from Columbia University and UCLA investigated where same-sex attracted individuals who attend church, choose to go. To their utter shock –they are very pro-gay researchers –they found that such people are 2.5 times more likely to attend more conservative churches, those holding an unapologetically biblical stance on sexuality. These scholars could not understand why gay- and lesbian-identified folks would choose to go to such “gay-hostile” churches. Well, maybe they find them to be quite kind and gracious, and the Bible teaching and worship enriching to their lives. The very people the rainbow flag-waving “we welcome all” churches are trying to attract are not interested in their liberalizing compromises. We must never forget that people will be attracted to the loving and truthful presentation of Christ’s life-giving Gospel.

What’s happening with the Christian church around the globe? Is there any good news there?

Oh goodness. Philip Jenkins from Baylor University is perhaps the leading sociologist of religion on the global picture. He says the Christian Church is absolutely exploding in most parts of the world, particularly what scholars call the Global South. It is exploding on the African continent, South America, China and throughout many parts of Asia. God’s Word is doing everything but returning void.

It is important for us to have faith in the unquenchable work of the Holy Spirit. What He did at Pentecost, where “many were being continually added to their numbers daily,” He is still doing today. His character and power dictates that He cannot do otherwise. The Church is in very good hands.

So not only is the “church is dying” mantra bad sociology, but it’s also bad theology.

Source:
https://www.christianheadlines.com/contributors/michael-foust/the-u-s-church-isn-t-dying-and-young-people-aren-t-fleeing-says-myth-busting-book.html