PRAYER UNIFIES US!
Jim Cymbala once said, “The Church didn’t start when someone was preaching. The church started when someone was praying!” On the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit fell upon a praying church in the upper room. In that moment, the church, as we know it, was born. Have you ever noticed how Acts 2 begins? “When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place.” (Acts 2:1). Did you notice they were “together in one place”? In other words, they were “together, together!” A prayer meeting brought them together in unity. Prayer still unifies the church today. In prayer, racial differences disappear. When we pray with other believers, our denominations are secondary issues. When we pray with people from other nations, prayer makes us feel like family. Today, as you pray remember- believers from every nation are calling out to the same God in prayer. Prayer unifies us!
🔷 Congratulations- today we complete our challenge to read the entire New Testament in 31 Days! If you are behind in your reading don’t be discouraged but don’t stop until you finish! God bless you.
♦️ Day 31: Revelation 13 – 21
THE UNLIMITED REACH OF PRAYER
Throughout Scripture, God’s people interceded for others. In an extreme example, think of how Abraham prayed for those in Sodom to be spared. (Genesis 18) The consistent display of God’s power when we pray, assures us that prayer on behalf of others can have incredible results. Intercession finds an audience with God. S.D. Gordon, an early 20th century author and pastor, compared the service/ministry of prayer to other ministries in the Body of Christ and concluded, “In all other service we are constantly limited by space, bodily strength, equipment, material obstacles, and difficulties in the peculiar difference of personality. Prayer knows no such limitations.” Prayer knows no limits since nothing lies outside the reach of prayer except that which lies outside the will of God!
“Then will I purify the lips of the peoples, that all of them may call on the name of the LORD and serve him shoulder to shoulder.” (Zephaniah 3:9)
🔷 ONLY ONE MORE DAY TO COMPLETE OUR READING OF THE ENTIRE NEW TESTAMENT IN 31 DAYS!
♦️Day 30: Revelation 5 – 12
PRAYER LASTS FOREVER
A review of the prayer lives of biblical characters reveals the powerful role intercession has played in our spiritual history. One of the most moving events in the life of Israel involved the nearly final words of the prophet Samuel, the long-time leader of God’s people, as his time of public ministry was coming to a conclusion. He stood before the nation and said, “Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you…” (1 Samuel 12:23) Samuel’s public
ministry was coming to an end, but his private intercessory prayer ministry lived on. Yours can too! What if our greatest contribution in the Kingdom occurred in our secret place of prayer? It could happen, since prayers last forever.
🔷 WE HAVE ALMOST COMPLETED THE ENTIRE NEW TESTAMENT! No matter where you are in your reading schedule, DON’T QUIT UNTIL YOU REACH YOUR GOAL!
♦️ Day 29: 1 John 2 – Revelation 4
CONFESS AND MOVE ON
“…let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…” (Hebrews 12:1)
I once purchased a computer that was pre-loaded with software, most of which I had no use for and all that extra stuff caused the computer to move too slowly. When the unwanted software was uninstalled it processed much quicker. That computer is a lot like us when our lives are full of sin and “stuff” that so regularly clutters our soul. By confessing our sin, our spiritual lives run more smoothly and we walk in freedom. One of the most powerful prayers we ever pray involves the simple statement, “Lord, I am sorry.” After you confess your sin, receive His forgiveness and move on!
🔷 We are VERY close to the end of our Bible reading challenge- read the entire New Testament in 31 Days! No matter where you are today – KEEP READING!
♦️Day 28: James 3 – 1 John 1
A BALANCED DIET OF THE WORD!
Years ago, as a young dad, I learned babies can develop a taste for something they, at first, didn’t seem to like. When parents keep working with their babies, they can watch those little, infant eyes light up when it dawns on them that the food they originally rejected isn’t too bad after all. As believers we have to train ourselves to have a healthy, balanced, spiritual diet – even if it requires some adjustments to our schedule. Just as a loving parent introduces new foods for the balanced diet of a healthy, growing child, believers need a balanced diet of spiritual things. Along with prayer every day, the child of God needs the reading of the Word of God, too.
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105)
🔷 This Sunday I’m preaching the last message in the series, “MY SPIRITUAL BEST YET!” The message is called, “LIVING A SPIRITUALLY REFRESHED LIFE” Join us at Hyde Park Baptist or The Quarries Church this Sunday!
➡️ HOW ARE YOU DOING ON YOUR DAILY BIBLE READING? We have almost completed the New Testament-If you fell behind DON’T QUIT! By persistence, even the snail made it to the ark.
♦️ Day 27: Hebrews 7 – James 2
YOU CAN PRAY FOR YOU!
An error to avoid in the life of prayer is to conclude God does not want you to pray for yourself at all. Nothing could be further from the truth. Jabez, in the Old Testament, wanted blessing in his life and he unapologetically asked God for favor on his personal life. If Jabez could seek God’s favor for his financial status and his personal health, and seek those things while being referred to as “honorable,” then so can you! Don’t be afraid to pray for your needs, and your heart’s desires. God knows what you need and He longs to bless His people! He will never violate His Word, His character, or His purposes to give you what you ask for, but, on the other hand, He doesn’t usually answer “un-prayed” prayers, either. In other words, step out in faith to pray, and He will do what’s best. You simply pray in faith and trust God for the outcome.
“Jabez was more honorable than his brothers…Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, ‘Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!’ And God granted what he asked.” (1 Chronicles 4:9-10)
🔷 WE are nearing the end of our Bible reading plan through the New Testament. If you are behind keep reading and do your best to catch up! You can do this.
♦️Day 26: 2 Timothy 1 – Hebrews 6
“…as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:12)
Think about the claims in this passage. Concepts like love, compassion, and forgiveness are illustrated with extravagant examples of our access to God. The writer stretches his imagination by insisting the unmeasurable distance from earth to heaven is a legitimate example of how far-reaching the love of God is toward us. Then, he imagines forgiveness extended from east to west, which is an unlimited horizontal expanse! When we repent, we can experience extreme forgiveness!
🔷 We are deep into reading the New Testament with only a few days left-keep going!
♦️ Day 25: 1 Thessalonians 1 – 1 Timothy 6