When our prayers move away from me to we, and we focus on the mission of reaching he lost, then we will see passion reignited in our hearts and our churches. Church families can be caught up with ensuring they are getting fed they forget that the church is a soup kitchen where we are the workers whose aim is to feed those who are hungry. We do need to be united as a family and open to creating a bond that is attractive to those who see it. They want what we have, Jesus living in our everyday lives.
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. James 5:16
I wonder how a Sunday morning would go over if the Pastor opened the service by instead of asking the congregation to shake hands, he asked them to turn to one another, confess their sins from the week and pray with one another. I think there would be a few shocked faces and maybe even an uproar from some. But imagine with me if this became common practice in the church.
If every Sunday before church the saints met and confessed with one another, prayed before the Sunday service, healing would begin to take place. Then true worship would arise from the followers in attendance producing wonderful results. All to often we wait until the end of a service to confess our sins, maybe after the Pastor has preached a sermon that cut us right to the heart. But if we have already laid our sins at the Fathers feet, we could be prepared to receive so much more.
This is one reason I believe in pre-service prayer. Now understand I said believe, not practice, I confess I sometimes barely get to church on time, no excuses. But If I truly and honestly want to see God move in the service among his people and to see the lost who may be attendance changed then I need to start changing my habits. You may say “well I pray at home in the morning before church” that’s great. But there is power in the gathering of the saints with one unity purposefully praying for the move of God. Awesome things will start to happen, people WILL be healed, people WILL be saved, prayers WILL be answered, hardships WILL be overcome, needs WILL be met. Will you gather with others, openly confess your failures and sins, and pray that God will work in your Church, community and city?
Jesus, we ask you to forgive our sins. Give us an openness to declare and confess our sins to others, not to create stories to gossip about but so others can pray for us and help us overcome the weakness that we struggle with. Use them to build us up. Jesus we want to see your power move through our communities, city and churches. Motivate your people to take time not only in private prayer but in pray as a family. The people of this world matter to you, so they matter to us. Amen
We have people in life that just don’t like us. They don’t like the look of us, the way we act or what we believe. They are either jealous or for some reason we have just never connected. This can happen in your church, this can happen with other believers, this can happen to us.
It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, Philippians 1:15-18
Paul wasn’t in total isolation when he was in jail. From accounts he wasn’t a considered a dangerous criminal and most likely had visitors or at least letters telling him the churches and places he had been. How else would he have heard of those teaching out of envy and rivalry?
Human nature has become a lifestyle where you have to outdo the other person to get a head. This thought pattern creates that envy and rivalry that Paul is talking about here. If their church has 100 seats, mine will have 200. If they send money to missions will send more. There bringing in this special speaker, will bring this better one.
Paul here takes a different view on it, he almost shrugs it off and says ‘whatever’. He knows that at least at the end of the day Christ is being preached. What could Paul do to change the motives of man? That change is something the Holy Spirit can do but not us.
So, we see Paul here telling us to rejoice that Christ is being preached. Not to get caught up in trying to fix their issues. All to often we get caught up in trying to fix their issues, point out their problems, spend hours talking about it or joining them by ‘fighting’ back. Maybe instead of doing all this we need to take an approach like Paul. Rejoice.
We need to rejoice when other churches are reaching the lost, we need to rejoice an be encouraged that no matter the motives Christ is preached. Pray for those churches that God will keep working in them. He will show them the change they need, not our job to fix them.
Do you want to see your passion flourish? Start praying for the whole Church. We are the body of Christ; all parts are important. Let’s pray that God is preached in the whole body.
Father, we pray today for the Whole body of believers. God we have separated into different circles of believers but we all belong to your Church. Although we may have different viewpoints we pray that they be continuing to preach the love of Christ. Help us not to get caught up in pettiness and become more loving to all our family, rejoicing when Christ is preached and people saved. Ignite our passion help us to grow in you, Amen
As we open the letters in the New Testament we are reading the mail of the early church. So much of what was written impacts pour walk as believers as the early church and the church today are dealing with very similar challenges.
“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers, making request if, by some means, now at last I may find a way in the will of God to come to you. For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established— that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.”
Romans 1:8-12 NKJV
As I was reading this morning I was debating on what to ask about. I thought about using the second half of Romans, But I didn’t feel that was needed today.
Today the question I feel I want to ask is this. What are you currently doing to spread the hope of Christ?
Paul had a desire to share the love of Christ to the world. He traveled and spread letters all over the known world. His words are now forever with us as part of the bible. He went to jail, eventually was killed, but through that all his sole desire was kingdom building, individually and the Church.
People around me know my faith, more from word of mouth then from me. I am open to talk about it to them if they ask, but am I too quiet in the faith. My actions speak louder then words, but eventually I do need to speak and share.
Are we building each other up on prayer? Are we encouraging one another enough? Are we asking or challenging our brothers and sisters in the faith about what they are doing to reach the lost? If not then we need to change our mindset. We joke together and talk about so much stuff and avoid what really matters. We can build each other up and share tools to reach the lost. This is what the family of God is all about.
Thank you, Jesus, for equipping us. Thank you for sending the Holy Spirit to guide us, help us to listen to his guidance. Help us to listen to each other and be willing to ask each other the tough questions. This world needs you now just as much as ever, and people won’t just come unless someone tells them. Help us be a people who are willing to share the love that you have given us. Don’t let us hoard your salvation. Amen
Thoughts on Day 35: Having a child or loved one walk away from their upbringing is heartbreaking. To invest your time and love into them and show them the truth and love only God can bring and see them turn it down can almost be a slap in the face to how you raised them. What did I do wrong? The answer is simply this, nothing. Every human must make a choice themselves what path they choose in life. As parents we are entrusted for a small about of time, maybe 1/5th of their life to introduce them to who we are, what we believe and our moral standards. But at one point they will have to make these choices on their own. What you invested into their lives we pray becomes the foundation of who they are.
Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6 NKJV)
I would think this scripture would be in the top ten for most parents. It is one that gives hope as a vast majority of children these days walk away from the church at the first opportunity. Why if the child really had an experience with his/her maker would they walk away? Why, why, why?
I have a couple theories,
1) the world is an easy tempter of pleasure,
2) a child leaves home and a circle of believers and moves to a place and doesn’t join another for either lack of trying or maybe a hard time joining a group,
3) influence of girl or boyfriend, and friends.
Don’t be discouraged if your child has walked away. God has not forgotten them even if they seem to have forgotten Him. Keep praying that God will reveal Himself to them daily, through His creation and by bringing people into their path showing the love of Christ. Don’t give up on you Child, God hasn’t, and the Holy Spirit is working on them daily.
Dear Jesus, if we have a child who has walk away from You and are living a life we would call sinful we ask You to bring them back. Holy Spirit send people into their lives to show them the love of Jesus, remind them of the creator. Give us a peace that You know what you’re doing in this situation and no matter how long it takes we won’t give up on our loved ones until they have come back to Jesus. Amen