Tag Archives: Prayer for Today

Standing Firmly in Faith ~ Jeremiah 26:1-24

“But as for me, behold, I am in your hands; do with me as is good and right in your sight. ~ Jeremiah 26:14

I wonder sometimes how I would react if my life were in danger because of my faith. Would I stand firm, trusting God that His will is as good and perfect as I believe it is, or would I turn against Him to spare my life?

This passage presents an interesting turn of events. As Jeremiah continues to faithfully prophesy in the Lord’s name about the disasters to come if Judah does not repent of her sin, the priests and prophets seize him and, with all the people, declare he must die. Jeremiah warns them that they are about to spill innocent blood; if they do, disaster will befall them. Then, exhibiting complete trust in God, he tells them to do with him as they will. People begin to listen, beginning with some officials and then some of the elders of the land, who remember that Micah, a prophet before Jeremiah, prophesied the same things from the Lord that Jeremiah was prophesying. As they consider Micah and other past prophets who proclaimed similar messages they begin to realize that Jeremiah truly is a prophet from God and they wisely spare his life.

As I read about God’s heroes of faith, including people like Jeremiah, Noah, Stephen, Paul and many others, I am humbled when I realize how much growing I have yet to do. Looking back over my life I see a long road of maturation leading me to where I stand today and for that I am truly thankful. However, I also realize that I still have much growing to do. As I look ahead, I am eager to walk with my Lord wherever He may lead me.

For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. ~ Galatians 2:19-20

Ponder this: When I consider the faith with which God has gifted me I am truly thankful. I wonder, sometimes, if I am doing enough to share it with the world.

My prayer for today: Heavenly Father, Thank You for those who have come before me and trusted completely in You even when their very lives were threatened for doing so. Teach me through their example, and equip me to be Your witness, even in situations in which the easy way out is to remain silent. In Jesus’ Name I pray, AMEN.

Finding Comfort in God’s Sovereignty ~ Jeremiah 18:1-20:18

But if I say, “I will not mention His word or speak anymore in His name,” His word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot. ~ Jeremiah 20:9

God’s sovereignty is a touchy subject in the modern church. Many preachers these days don’t preach about it, and many believers don’t like to hear about it. That puzzles me, as I take great comfort in it.

In this passage, God directs Jeremiah to visit a potter and watch him work. As the potter forms his object, it becomes misshapen so the potter punches it down, destroys it, and begins again. The potter has complete control over that which he creates, and he shapes and reshapes it until it becomes exactly what he intends. God then directs Jeremiah to take a completed pot outside the city gates and smash it before the people, telling them that this is what God will do to Judah and Jerusalem for their disobedience.

For prophesying these things, Jeremiah is beaten and placed in a stockade overnight. After his release, he cries out to God in despair for the persecution he has endured for bringing God’s words to the people. But even through his despair, Jeremiah offers praises to God, knowing of course that God’s will is perfect.

Members of some modern-day churches might interpret my speaking of God’s wrath as a lack of “peace in Jesus”. They feel that way because they are not being taught the entirety of God’s truth. God, as preached in some churches, is our buddy. He’s not angry; He’s just a bit disappointed. He wants us to be happy and prosperous. He would never send anybody to Hell, and He has provided many ways to salvation; Jesus is just one of them. Blasphemy indeed! But sadly, I know many members of Christian churches who believe these things.

Here is the irony: I have peace in Jesus because I understand and appreciate God’s sovereignty over His creation, the righteousness of His wrath and the fact that it applies to me because of my sins. When I consider the love God has for me, that He sent His Son to take my punishment, I am awestruck. I don’t deserve it, but He did it anyway. Through Jesus, and only through Jesus, our Sovereign God has forgiven me and spared me of the eternal consequences I deserve. That, my friend, is the message of the Gospel. For the nonbeliever to come to Christ, we must make him aware of his need for Christ. We must share the whole truth.

Indeed, Christians are persecuted around the world for sharing God’s truth. Facing such persecution is sometimes extremely difficult. Let us lift these faithful brothers and sisters in Christ in prayer as we seek to follow their example – boldly and honestly proclaiming God’s truths to a world that seems to be increasingly turning away from Him.

Ponder this: Does your church preach and teach the entirety of God’s truth? Are you equipped to share it?

My prayer for today: Heavenly Father, today I lift up Your church and all who share Your Gospel. Give me boldness to speak Your truth faithfully out of love for my fellow man. Let your Church be a beacon of truth in a land ensconced in darkness. Guard and protect me, and use me as You will to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ. In His name I pray, AMEN.

Protection for the Godly ~ Jeremiah 14:1 – 15:21

“I will make you a wall to this people, a fortified wall of bronze; they will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you to rescue and save you,” declares the Lord.” ~ Jeremiah 15:20

God continues to pour out His anger against Israel for rejecting Him and chasing after foreign gods. As He spells out the consequences for Israel’s sin, Jeremiah asks the Lord about prophecies being spoken – prophecies that contradict what God is saying through Jeremiah, “But I said, ‘Alas, Sovereign Lord! The prophets keep telling them, ‘You will not see the sword or suffer famine. Indeed, I will give you lasting peace in this place.’” (14:13) I can only imagine the level of persecution Jeremiah was enduring. Here he is, rightfully prophesying God’s anger to Israel; certainly a prophesy that the people do not want to hear. In the other ear are false prophets reassuring the people that all is well.

What is God’s response? He assures Jeremiah that these prophets are not prophesying in God’s name; He did not send them. Their words are worthless. “Then the Lord said to me, ‘The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds.’” (14:14) God goes on to tell Jeremiah about the consequences that await such false prophets and the people who abide by their words.

Because he alone is standing on God’s Word, Jeremiah is a loner, rejected by the people and even threatened physically. In chapter 15, Jeremiah asks God “Why is my pain unending and my wound grievous and incurable? You are to me like a deceptive brook, like a spring that fails.” (15:18) God reassures Jeremiah that He will restore him if he repents. God will protect him: “I will make you a wall to this people, a fortified wall of bronze; they will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you to rescue and save you,’ declares the Lord.” (15:20) With a promise like that, surely Jeremiah was reassured and strengthened to continue standing firmly on God’s Word.

Our national discourse is rife with false prophets dispensing false teachings, and people within and outside the church are lapping them up like so many thirsty dogs. Christians who stand firmly on God’s Word are openly persecuted. The aim of the enemy, of course, is to silence us. As Jeremiah prophesied God’s Truth to Israel he was faced with a people that rejected God’s Word in exchange for the empty promises of false prophets speaking with no basis in Godly authority. His life was threatened, and here God promises to protect him.

Ponder this: Instead of giving in to persecution and being silenced, we too can stand firmly on God’s promise. Jesus said: The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10) That is good news indeed! Let us stand firmly upon God’s Word, faithfully resting in the knowledge and truth that this battle has already been won!

My Prayer for Today: Heavenly Father, my heart aches for those who speak falsely and those who so eagerly lap up their false teachings. Awaken your church, Lord, and awaken our country. Strengthen those who speak the truth and lead us back to You through faithful preachers and teachers. Let me be a witness to Your eternal truth according to Your will. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.

Healed! ~ Acts 9:32-43

This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord. 

~ Acts 9:42

English: Dorcas Stained glass window in St. Jo...

English: Dorcas Stained glass window in St. John’s church, Healey. Acts IX-36 says “Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Holy Spirit was working through the apostles in very miraculous ways, and thus the early church continued to grow. In this passage, Peter heals a paralytic and resurrects a deceased Dorcas. This, of course, is not of Peter’s own accord but solely by the will of God through the power of the Holy Spirit working through Peter. In both situations, after describing the miraculous events, Luke makes a point to state that “many people believed in the Lord” (9:42) which I believe clues us in on why God was doing these things.

Does He do these things today? Are there miraculous healings that have no plausible explanation except for direct intervention by God? Are people gifted in this manner today? I believe the answer to each of these questions is an unequivocal “yes”. God is very actively at work in the lives of those who believe in Him, and even in the lives of those who do not believe in Him. All of this supports His good and perfect will for eternity.

I am troubled by a prevailing attitude in modern society that places God behind the competing priorities of wealth, position, and power. Our society has very low expectations of God. When God does work among us, society scoffs at the notion that it was He at work and instead assigns the praise and credit elsewhere.

The faithful disciples in Lydda who retrieved Peter to pray over Dorcas had very high expectations supported by a strong faith in the Lord. God honored their faith by bringing Dorcas back from the dead; and the church grew. Let’s not put God on a shelf. Let’s acknowledge Him and celebrate Him for who He is, for what He has done, and for what He will do. Our God is an awesome God. He is the one true God. He is the great “I Am”. And He loves you.

Ponder this: Do I fully trust God? What must I turn over to Him, today?

My prayer for today: Heavenly Father, You ask me to trust You, yet I hold back. Forgive my lack of faith. Renew me, redirect my focus, and help me to completely trust You and Your perfect will. In Jesus’ name – AMEN.

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