Pray Daily

As we immerse ourselves in Scripture, we learn how much we need God as human beings. We learn about the most awesome and powerful God and amazingly we have access to speak to him whenever we want to. We can talk to him about anything.

According to Ephesians 6:18, “we are to pray at times.” Our God is available to hear us and supply all our needs in every season of life. He is not like the friend who disappears in bad times or the family members who turn their backs on you when you needed them most. No, God is here for you in the good, bad, scary, frustrating, and the most disastrous times of your life. He is always there!

Therefore, daily prayer is your lifeline—your constant connection to the one who has our very best interest at heart. First Thessalonians 5:17 instructs us to pray without ceasing. That is how we have fellowship with our God. We can pray to him anytime and anywhere. The prayers can be long or short. You can pray silently or aloud. God does not put as many restrictions on us as we put on ourselves, so let’s go and enjoy your God through prayer on a daily basis.

 

Awareness … Part 2

How can I make sense of all this?

How can I make sense of all this?

When we become aware of the big impact that the past has on our present, we can fully engage in the present instead of subjecting ourselves to what I call the “invasion.” It is an invasion because it is truly a battle that takes place within our mind; it is warfare and we are poorly equipped to fight it if we do not know the Word of God. When we continuously view things and circumstances from a past-time perspective, we remain stuck in that time frame; our choices and decisions are strongly compromised.

We try to walk on and live our lives, but the past will never stop its intrusion. Maybe we catch a glance from an old acquaintance we randomly encounter in the street; suddenly the past has come back into our lives. We imagine they are looking at us in a criticizing manner and  judging us. Even if we have not seen this person for many years, the inner voice in our head says:  “Oh, look. I bet he/she is talking about me, I bet he/she is thinking about all those past years.

So we start to avoid certain places or groups of people. We want to leave the past behind us, but how is this possible if it continues to rear its head whenever we leave home? Wherever we go, we are continually reminded of these past transgressions or of a period of time in our lives during which we lived a careless life.

If we attempt to turn the corner and walk towards the Lord, then someone will pop up to remind us of some past activity that is not in accordance with our new life and self-image. They may mock us for seeking to shift the blame for our internal flaws onto an external  factor. They may remind us of those times when we mocked the religious for being unthinking sheep who  were unable to take responsibility for their own problems and instead needed to rely  on a mystical world view that had more place in a world of cave dwellers than in a modern society.

Dwelling on the past can become a habit in itself. No matter how painful it is to relive the memories we  frequently seek solace in those times. However, the lens of time has a tendency to distort past events. When we let our memories play on loop in our heads, we may neglect certain details; we can be prone to attribute significance to things which in reality were unrelated.

If we are in a negative place this will tinged our memories. Instead of viewing them objectively and for what they really are, we instead start to blame ourselves. Continually asking the questions: “Did I do something wrong?” “Could I have acted in a way that would have resulted in a different outcome?” It is easy to go through these questions within our mind to live out alternate courses of events. This could even be a useful exercise.

Nevertheless, it is impossible to answer these questions with certainty.  Asking them eventually becomes a self-defeating exercise. We must live in the present and we cannot change what happened in the past. We must though, work on our present so as to walk towards our future, so as to be able to build ourselves a future, instead of remaining tied to our pasts. Whatever did happen took place for a reason, and we must have the good grace to accept this.

Step into His Goodness

For the Lord God is a sun and a shield;

the Lord gives grace and glory;

no good things does He withhold from

those who walk up rightly.

Psalm 84:11

Many of us have a warped perception of God. We see God as a domineering father figure who is ready to strike us down when we do something wrong. To the contrary, God is the opposite. He is loving, benevolent, generous, and caring. God does not pay us lip service when He says that only He is good. He has given us ample evidence to demonstrate that. He shows us his goodness through nature, the way that he cares for us, and through His Son Jesus Christ.

Furthermore, the evidences for God’s goodness permeate our everyday living. The natural blessings that we take for granted on a daily basis. For example, we take for granted waking up every morning, having good health, and experiencing the seasons of life. God is good enough to give us food when we need to eat, clothes when we-re naked, comfort when we feel afraid, and music to soothe our very soul. God delivers us from everyday troubles. He delivers us through the ups and downs that we go through when we experience life’s trials and challenges.

When we understand the goodness of God and we take it to heart, the Spirit of God will move us to repentance because we often doubt that God is good and that He has a good future for us. Once we have God’s goodness in the right perspective, the mind will be renewed, will have the confidence to pursue a different direction; and as a result, we will begin to see the Holy Spirit change our lives. In addition, when we understand the goodness of God, we will not be surprise when adversity comes. As a matter of fact, we will be excited to take big risks and step out on faith. Deep down we know that God will never ask us to do anything that will hurt us. Everything He asked us to do is to transform us to the likeness of His Son.

Psalm 84:11 is a good example of God’s goodness. “For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord gives grace and glory; no good thing does he withhold from those who walk up rightly.” “The Lord is the sun” – your source of power energy and resources. He’s a shield – your protector. “The Lord gives grace and glory” – your comprehensive source of resources and blessings. “No good thing does he withhold from those who walk up rightly” – if you live your life God’s way, he will make sure that you lack no good thing.

Here is a prayer by Chip Ingram taken from God: As He Longs for You to See Him that will be a blessing to you if you decide to meditate on it.

Oh Lord, full of goodness and mercy, as I look into the

face of Jesus and ponder the goodness of the cross, grant

that I might 

repent of my unbelief and ingratitude,

rest in your goodness even in the midst of trials, and

risk trusting you in every area of my life like never before. 

I praise you that I live under a friendly sky, that you are for

me, and that I need never be afraid of the future because

you are good!

In Jesus’s name, Amen.

 

Dr. G

Unending Joy and Peace

The secret to a life of unending joy and peace

involves finding something or someone who will

“come through” for you 100 percent of the time

in any and every situation forever.

Chip Ingram