Tuesday, August 06, 2013

August 6, 2013 … "May I pray for you?"

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 218

Devotional Song: Go to this link  … A powerful song, performed by Shelly Moore Band, singing “Jesus, I Come”, reminding us just Whom we come to when we desire to pray for ourselves or for others.

Highlight Passage of the Day: Philippians 4: 6 [In the context of verses 6-7] … [NLT] …
6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
 Contextual Study involving today’s passage in Philippians, Chapter 4 Go to this link

Reference Passage of the Day #1: Matthew 18: 20 [God is there when two or three come together IN HIS NAME] … [NLT] …  
20 “… For where two or three gather together because they are mine, I am there among them.”

Reference Passage of the Day #2: 1st John 5: 14 [The power in prayer is our relationship with Him.] … [NLT] …  
13 I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life. 14 And we are confident that He hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases Him. 15 And since we know He hears us when we make our requests, we also know that He will give us what we ask for. 

Reference Passage of the Day #3: 1st Peter 5: 7 [When God says “ALL” cares, He means it!] … [NLT] …  
7 Give ALL your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.

Reference Study involving today’s passage found in John, Chapter 17 Go to this link

Reference Study involving today’s passage found in James 5: 13-18 Go to this link

My Journal for Today: Has anyone ever asked you to pray for them? Or, perhaps you noted someone in deep physical, emotional, or spiritual need; and you offered to pray for them? As Christians, … why do we do that? Do we really believe that prayer makes a difference?

Of course we do, or we wouldn’t be offering to pray for someone, would we? Jesus prayed to His Father for the needs of His disciples [including you and me], didn’t He (see link to John 17 above)? And I’ve always thought and said, “If it’s good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for me?” And as an Elder in my church, we Elders often get requests to pray over someone who has an illness (see James 5: 13-18 link) or for some other need in the lives of members of our flock. And over the years, I’ve witnessed some wondrous things happen as God answered the prayers of my fellow Elders as we prayed for these needs.

Today’s highlight verse has a very pertinent exhortation, followed by an even more pertinent prescription, followed by a very powerful promise. As Christians we’re challenged by God not to worry (in fact NEVER to be anxious); but God, through Paul, doesn’t just want us NOT to do something. No, God’s word gives us the exact remedy for worry; and that is prayer. And then, God lays out His wonderful promise on us, … that He will give us His peace to guard us if we’re willing to bring our needs to Him in prayer. Wow!

Some years ago I witnessed the power of the truth in this very practical passage when a colleague of mine came bolting into my office in tears. She was absolutely torn up over something one of her sons was into; and she needed consolation. Well, she laid out her story for me, sobbing as she did; and just having memorized Phil. 4: 6-7, I asked her if she knew what it said. She didn’t; and not wanting to show off for her, I handed here the Bible I had on my desk and asked her to go to that passage and read it out loud. She did so; and as she read the passage, I saw a total change in her countenance … from one of panic to peace; and she abruptly said to me, “Oh, I see! … I’m taking all of this worry on my own back; and I need to be taking it to God, don’t I?” Of course, I agreed with her; and she left my office that day with God having related to her just how much He loves her and how He was willing to take on all her cares (see 1st Peter 5: 7).

But do we believe that? … REALLY?!! 

Because if we did, as well as in the truth in 1st John 5: 14, copied above, I would expect that we’d be bringing our cares and our needs to God far more often than we do, … wouldn’t we? And also, may I give you a tip about the commitment to pray for others. Besides the surface reality of actually praying for someone when you promise we will, if/when we’re in the physical presence of someone and they ask us to pray for them or we see a need and ask that one if we can pray for them, I’ve learned the power of stopping … right there – in the moment – and praying for the one in need. Don’t wait! Just do it [!] … at the time that the promise of prayer is requested or needed. It is a powerful reminder of what is communicated in the song to which I’ve linked you here today.

When we pray with another, thankfully, … in the Name of Jesus … in that very moment in time when the prayer was requested or needed, we are recognizing the truth of Matt. 18: 20; and we are saying, as the song sings today, “Jesus, I come!” And in that moment of humble prayer before God’s throne of Grace, He will much more be able to pour out the enriching, enabling, empowering grace that He so desires to lavish on His children … so much more readily than if we were to go off and worry about things on our own.

So, I come here this morning … praying that I pray more … for myself and WAY MORE for others.

My Prayer for Today … Lord, convict me to pray more and come to You more often with my needs and especially with the needs of others. … Amen

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