"God is there, listening for all who pray, for all who pray and mean it."
Psalm 145:18 Message Bible
Recently, I was speaking with my church about the power and the importance of prayer. We talked about how this communication is important to maintain a relationship with God, just as open communication is a requirement for any other relationship.
I heard how difficult it could be to pray because so many other things enter our mind and we find our thoughts drifting. The enemy is cunning, isn't he? Amazing how we can so easily get preoccupied when we are supposed to be communing with God.
But there are several promises given to us, when we endeavor to pray to the Father, through Jesus Christ. God has promised to be there... eagerly listening for everyone who prays and means it. He has promised that if we seek Him, we will find Him when we do so with our whole heart (Jeremiah 29:13). He tells us that we can have confidence in knowing that we can have anything according to His will if we earnestly ask Him (I John 5:14). The only requirement is that we pray and pray earnestly, with our whole heart. Without attention deficits. Without wondering minds. Laser focused.
Now is a time for us to pray more earnestly than ever. Even though we are dealing with the sickness and death from COVID-19, and a wealth of other things that concern our heart, God still gives us a chance to communicate with Him. He still promises to be there. We should run to the throne of grace often, making prayer a part of our everyday life, not a task in a brief moment of time.
What a joy it is to know all that awaits us in the will of God when we give Him our attention! He desires to fellowship with us. He wants to talk to us. And when we communicate with Him, He is there listening for all who pray, and mean it.
Today is the first day of September.
2020 has been something, right? It has changed so much from what WE THOUGHT it would be like on January 1. Those who were talking about 2020 vision at the end of 2019 probably didn't see this 2020 coming.
There are so many things that are different. We have endured an international pandemic in the form of COVID19. Life as we know it has changed. "Going to church" has changed. Our leisure time and time with our families has changed. And there have been many loved ones, family, and friends who are not with us today. Whether because of sicknesses associated with the pandemic or because of other causes, they have been thrust into eternity.
Despite it all, there is one thing that has not changed. God's love for us. He loves us now just as much... and I believe even more (if that's possible) than He did before. I say more, because He knows how confusing and uncertain these times are and His heart is close to us, even in this. His unfailing promise not to leave us and to be here for us in the most trying times still holds true.
I John 3:1 says, "See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him." Do you see what John did there? LAVISHED on us. Poured on us. He has drenched us in His love. Engulfed us. He loves us so much that He called us the children of God because that is what we are. The world cannot know know us because they do not know Him.
God's love is unchanging. In a world where there is so much fear and angst, God's love is solid and stable. We can rest in the great love He has willing lavished on us. We can bask in it. It is a safety net. Just as children can find comfort in running to the arms of their father for security and comfort, the arms of God, our Father, are always open to us.
What a thought! #lovedunconditionally
A word from our Co-Founder, Leading Lady Mary Hall
II Corinthians 4:5-7
When we think of the term servant or servanthood, it can raise several questions. What is it that causes people to not want to serve? Why is it that some people find it hard to be a blessing to others? Why do we think of serving as being demeaning? What has to change in our mindset that will allow us to be open to becoming more of a servant, not only to others, but to Jesus Christ?
There is a difference between a servant's heart and a servant's mentality. When you have a servant's mentality, you may be nice and you can even ask what needs to be done to assist. But you do not necessarily have a heart to serve others. When you have a servant’s heart, you anticipate the need and long to meet the need of others. You do it because it is right, because you have a genuine desire to be a blessing to someone else.
II Corinthians 4:5
5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.
Paul states that "we are servants for the sake of Christ". The message Bible says that we are "messengers, or errand runners for Jesus Christ". This means:
As true disciples and followers of Christ we must be sure to do the same.
We must be sure that we:
When you have a servant’s heart, what are the benefits?
God will acknowledge your faithfulness.
Example of the parable to the men with the talents. For each one who allowed their talent to multiply, their lord answered in this way.
His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come.
God will bless you above and beyond what you ask.
Solomon regarded himself as a servant when asking God for wisdom. And because of this, not only did God give him wisdom for guiding God’s people, but he also gave him both riches and honor.
I Kings 3:7-9
7 And now, O Lord my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in.
8 And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude.
9 Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?
You will have the honor of God .
26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.
Let us make every effort to serve God by serving others.
Saying yes to God doesn't require perfection. Saying yes just requires a 'Yes'.
Matthew 5: 1-12
We are still in the early stages of 2020. We are still in the stages where we are deciding if we are going to eat right or not. We are still in the stages of deciding whether or not this is the year that we will volunteer or purchase a gym membership. Yet, I cannot help wonder how many people said, "This is the year that I will say yes to God?"
I ask that question because we are closer to God’s appearing than we have ever been. Yet it seems we are farther away from Him than we have ever been. Saying "Yes" to God means change, and I am not sure how many of us really want change. Saying "Yes" to God can mean that there is an admittance of wrong doing and a commitment to do it right. Saying "Yes" to God means that there is a call for obedience.
Let's look at Matthew 5:1-12. As a quick summary, it says, "... blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, blessed are those who are persecuted, blessed are the peacemakers..." and it goes on and on. Yet, if you look a little deeper, the blessing comes because you have made a decision to say "yes" to things that are not popular and can, at times, be disheartening.
When you say yes to God, you often:
It is important to remember that God gives us free will. He is not One to force you to do something that you have no desire, or do not want to do. You have a choice to say "Yes, God, I will obey." You have the leeway to choose a YES. God doesn’t want slaves, He wants followers. He wants friends.
Here are a few things to remember.
Saying yes to God does not require perfection. A yes doesn’t require gifts and talents. A yes just requires a YES.