Zechariah Chapter 7

I am in Zechariah as I continue my reading through the minor prophets.  I am daily amazed and blessed at what God gives us through all the books of His Word – and at what He gives me, personally.

In Zechariah chapter 7, God reminds His people of their hard, selfish hearts, the reason they were carried away captive. Even in their captivity, as they walked through the rituals, their hearts were not bowed in humble adoration before their great God. He renews His call to heed His prophets, to walk in His ways with His heart (v 9, 10). But they would not hear.

It is the same with us, with all people: we cannot have a heart for God unless we have God’s heart – His Holy Spirit within us to love as He loves.

1 John 4.19 We love Him, because He first loved us.

Pray for Our Church

Prayer is of the utmost importance! We must be on our knees daily before God Almighty, bowing before Him with obedient hearts, interceding for ourselves, our loved ones, our communities, our church (the Body of Christ), our nation, and the world.

Churches are suffering. Some suffer persecution in their righteousness. Some suffer from lack of knowledge and wrong teaching, moving away from God’s Word and falsely interpreting. Lord, forgive us, teach us, move us by Your Holy Spirit to do what is right in Your Eyes. Humble our hearts, and may we bow before You, our Living Word and Savior.

Here are some ways we can pray for our church:

  • May God give unto us the Spirit of Wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him: the eyes of our understanding being enlightened; that we may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power (Ephesians 1.17-19)
  • God put a hedge of protection around our church and its people, protect from division and evil
  • May God count us worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in us, and us in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thessalonians 1.11, 12)
  • May we be deeply rooted in God’s Word, daily reading and meditating upon His Scripture. Lord, create a gnawing hunger in us for Your Word.
  • May families have a deep trust in God’s ways and His Word, firmly believing what God tells us. May we ever fully obey Him.
  • May we train up our children, and parent unto salvation, providing Godly examples with joy
  • May husbands and wives be faithful and true to God; and therefore faithful and true one to another
  • May we edify one another in the Spirit
  • May our church be obedient ambassadors of God in our community, rightly representing Jesus Christ, fully displaying our joy and peace
  • May God bring all those He wishes to our church; may He give them special promptings and grace to attend
  • May we be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that we might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light (Colossians 1.9-12)
  • May our church people welcome and embrace one another – those we know, and visitors
  • God prepare the hearts of all who attend services, meetings, and group events. Especially anoint the preacher / teacher; prepare the hearts of the listeners so that Your Word penetrates deep into our hearts and changes our lives.
  • God loves a cheerful giver. May we give generously from the abundance God gives us: in time, love, material resources, from hearts filled with the Holy Spirit.
  • May our worship together reflect the moving of God’s Holy Spirit.
  • May our singing and our prayers come from hearts of true worship and praise.
  • May we ever worship and work in a Spirit of unity and cooperation. We serve One Lord: One Spirit lives and moves and has His Being in all of us.
  • May the Lord prepare the hearts of those whom He calls for special leadership. Lord, call your workers, for the harvest is plenteous
  • Because we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2.10), may we be tuned to God’s guidance and direction as we have our conversation and daily walk.
  • May we fellowship in the ministering to the saints (2 Corinthians 8.4); fellowship in the gospel (Philippians 1.7); fellowship in the Spirit (Philippians 2.1); and fellowship in His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death (Philippians 3.10).
  • God has given us, individually, unique and valuable gifts. We are each precious in His sight. As we learn our gifts, may we desire to use them to serve God and, by serving Him, serve one another, thus functioning as His Body
  • May we praise God and garner favor with all the people; and may the Lord add to our church daily those who are being saved (Acts 2.47).
  • May we have a heart for missions, praying and giving to the need.
  • May we be a lighthouse in our community, a beacon of hope
  • We give the running of the building, and the business of monetary and work operations into God’s hands. May we be faithful stewards in handling the gifts He provides. Our building and grounds are God’s; we ask His protection, His wisdom in maintaining, and His provision in caring for physical structures.
  • May we ever give thanks and show appreciation to those who work to serve
  • May we humble ourselves under the mighty Hand of God, confessing our sins and repenting of our fleshly ways. May we speak, honor and obey God alone.
  • May we be ever forgiving one to another, lest Satan should get an advantage of us; may we not be ignorant of his devices (2 Corinthians 2.10, 11)
  • Prepare us for persecution: may we be hiding God’s Word in our hearts, memorizing and rightly dividing the Word of Truth, ready to give an answer as God provides
  • May we live in an attitude of holiness
  • May we ever give God blessing and glory and wisdom, and thanksgiving and honor and power and might (Revelations 7.12)

Burden of Confession

God has given me a burden of confession. It started when He laid this on my heart:

Sometimes, when I want something that I know I shouldn’t, I don’t want to cry to God for deliverance from temptation. “I want it, I’ll have it,” is what goes through my mind (either subconsciously or right in the front of my brain). This mostly concerns food, but to what other areas of my life does this apply?

This is a serious sin, Lord. Thank you for showing me. I confess. May I always run to You.

A month later to the day, my sister in Christ, Julie Dibble, wrote about revival and repentance, here: https://juliedibblewrites.wordpress.com/2021/08/19/what-does-revival-mean-to-you/ . God increased the burden.

Since that day, this post has been bubbling and burning in me, to write about sin and confession and repentance.

In the Old Testament, God gives us a picture of living in sin, right from the time of Adam and Eve. He shows how sin leads us into bondage and darkness, when the Israelites were in Egypt. Also throughout the Old Testament, God gives us a promise of salvation. God saved His people from bondage, and brought them out of Egypt. But once in that Promised Land, they needed to fight and destroy the enemy so that they could live in peace. God didn’t just wipe out the enemy for them; they had to “work out their own salvation,” so to speak. They had to continually be on guard, keep up the defenses, and be ready to fight. Sometimes they gave up. Sometimes they didn’t care.

God chose David to be a victorious warrior, to take back the ground God meant for them to have. He and his son, Solomon, set the kingdom up to live in peace. Sadly, Solomon did not keep up the defenses, primarily the defense tool of honoring God and obeying Him.

Salvation gives us peace, a relationship with God. Our responsibility is to follow and obey Him. Sin puts up a wall, prevents us from receiving His blessings (we give ground to satan, Ephesians 4.27). When we confess sin, it’s not that we tear down that wall or take back that ground; it’s that we confess we can’t, and ask God to deliver us.

Our responsibility is to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2.12). We are to draw near to God, cleanse our hands, and purify our hearts (James 4.8). When we confess, purify our hearts, and walk in full obedience to God, we cannot even imagine the blessings He has in store for us.

1 Corinthians 2.9 But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

Daily Confessions

Fall on your face before God Almighty, and ask Him to reveal your sin to you, that you can confess to Him, and receive His forgiveness:

Psalms 139.23, 24 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting

  • Did I fail God in any areas of personal conduct?
  • Did I miss an opportunity / did I avoid doing something I should have?
  • Was I honest in my dealings with others?
  • Did I depend on myself or on God?
  • Were my thoughts pleasing to God?
  • Was I wasteful with my time / money / home / people / food / family / friends / other relationships or resources?
  • Did I honor God with my actions?
  • Did I steal?
    • Material items
    • Time
    • Money
    • Joy
    • Name / reputation
  • Did I cause, condone, or promote bitterness or strife for those in my life?
    • Home
    • Church
    • Community
    • Leadership
      • Home, local, state, nation, world

Confessions: Digging Deeper

  • Do I deal with strongholds in my heart? Are they generational? Did I inherit them, or invite them of my own accord? Strongholds may include:
    • Thievery / greed
    • Fornication (inappropriate sex, pornography, etc.)
    • Addictions (food, sex, alcohol, pornography, drugs, video- or other-gaming, gambling, cell phone, etc.)
    • Lying
    • Curious or “familiar” spirits / worship of idols (crystals, figurines, magic/magi, tea leaves, tarot cards, sorcery, etc.)
    • Fear
    • Depression
    • Bitterness
    • Shame (general condemnation of a person as bad or not good enough)
  • Do I invite satan into my heart or home?
    • Movies, videos, TV, games, magazines, books, guests, phone calls, texts, etc.
    • Thought life (vain imaginations)
  • Am I careful in what I teach my children?
    • Purposefully
    • By example
    • By accident
  • Do I call out to God when faced with temptation, or do I decide that I want to give in and do it / take it?

Psalms 107.13 Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses. 14 He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder. 15 Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

When you confess your sin, when you receive the forgiveness God so freely gives, be sure to fill your heart with God and His Word.

Matthew 12.43 – 45 43 When an unclean spirit comes out of a man, it passes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. 44 Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ On its return, it finds the house vacant, swept clean, and put in order. 45 Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and dwell there; and the final plight of that man is worse than the first. So will it be with this wicked generation.”

Tearing Down Strongholds:

We have no power to take back the ground that satan has claimed in us. Cry out to God, confess, give it over to Him (humble yourself / surrender 1 Peter 5.6). If you or a family member are under the power of sin:

In Jesus’ name, bind satan (Mark 3.27, Matthew 16.15-19)

Pray a hedge of thorns around yourself/loved one (Hosea 2.6, 7)

Cast down false reasonings (2 Corinthians 10.3, 4)

④ Conquer every wrong thought (Romans 12.2, 1 Corinthians 2.14-16).

When you have confessed, repented, and received forgiveness, be sure you receive His forgiveness and don’t take up the guilt of your sin again.  God has removed your sin. Let it be removed and remain removed.

Psalms 103.11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. 12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. 13 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him

Pull down false reasonings with God’s Truth.

Do not let sin entangle you:

Hebrews 12.1 Therefore we also, having such a great cloud of witnesses encompassing us, having laid aside every weight and the sin easily entangling, should run with endurance the race lying before us

Confess and be accountable to a reliable person. (James 5.16) Do you and / or your church need to have a communal time of open confession? God gives us the gift of relationships for so many reasons: one of which is to be accountable to each other, and support and edify one another, in the love that His Holy Spirit pours out upon / within / and through us.

Read your Bible. All the epistles teach us how to live in the Promised Land, how to fight and be ready. That Promised Land is the Kingdom of God, of which Jesus speaks so often. Read the gospels.

For more on sin and forgiveness see these posts:

Hymn: Just As I Am, Without One Plea

Author: Charlotte Elliott
Tune: William B Bradbury

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_as_I_Am_(hymn)  

Just as I am – without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidst me come to Thee,
-O Lamb of God, I come!

Just as I am – and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot,
To Thee, whose blood can cleanse each spot,
-O Lamb of God, I come!

Just as I am – though toss’d about
With many a conflict, many a doubt,
Fightings and fears within, without,
-O Lamb of God, I come!

Just as I am – poor, wretched, blind;
Sight, riches, healing of the mind,
Yea, all I need, in Thee to find,
-O Lamb of God, I come!

Just as I am – Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe,
-O Lamb of God, I come!

Just as I am – Thy love unknown
Has broken every barrier down;
Now to be Thine, yea, Thine alone,
-O Lamb of God, I come!

Just as I am – of that free love
The breadth, length, depth, and height to prove,
Here for a season, then above,
-O Lamb of God, I come!

Where to Get Those Expectations

I’ve been wading through the book of Micah, and am still on Chapter 1. Verses 9 – 16 contain several metaphors, similes, onomatopoeias, and paronomasias (play on words), and led me to dig a little deeper. Yeah, God is deep; deeper than any of us can ever be.

Micah 1.12 (For the inhabitant of Maroth waited carefully for good: but evil came down from the LORD unto the gate of Jerusalem.) made sense to me. I looked up Maroth, and it means bitterness. They are waiting for relief, but God sends only evil.

It’s interesting that, whenever hardship, evil, disaster hits, we wait for relief; we pray for things to get better, back to “normal.” But our expectations are skewed.

Unbelievers may think they can work their way out, that none of this was deserved and, if there was a God, He should be cursed.

Believers can pray and hope for eternal relief / joy; but in this sinful world, we may not expect things to “get better.” Indeed, we have no right to expect things to get better: although we have every right (and we are passionately invited) to pray about every and all situation/s.

Whatever that situation is, we know that our relief, our hope comes from the Lord (Psalms 62, for example).

God has His own thoughts and plans.

Jeremiah 29.11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope.

Isaiah 55.8, 9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

We must consider what our expectations are: are they realistic and Biblical? Pray to God about expectations, and ask Him to place them where they belong.

Isaiah 26.3, 4 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:

The Wind Bloweth

John 3.8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

When we think of the Holy Spirit being like the wind, we like to think of that wind as a balmy breeze that kisses our shoulders. And maybe sometimes He is.

But winds can also be hurricanes, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and derechos. Those are destructive winds.

Sometimes God must destroy things in our lives. Sometimes His Spirit works through health; or other people; or nature. Whatever the conduit, God works in our lives to conform us to the image of His son, Jesus. And when He needs to whittle away something we love, it hurts.

Things we love: our private time, working on our projects, television, money, power, gossip, choosing our own schedule, our families, our pets, choosing our own friends; sometimes we love the wrong things; sometimes we love the right things / people, but we turn them into an idol that we love more than God. (Please note, I am not in any way implying that when loved ones die, it is because we idolized them or loved in the wrong way. God has reasons I cannot imagine – Isaiah 55.9, but they are all because He loves us.)

Those things we love or idolize have got to go, and it hurts when God hints at putting those things to death. It hurts even more when He brings about circumstances (winds) that push us into a corner and make us choose.

It’s better to put things to death of our own accord. Sometimes Love Looks Like Death. It is an act of worship and love when we sacrifice our worldly loves for whatever else God has in mind for us.

Job 1.18, 19 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house:  And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.

Job’s children were killed by a wind. I can’t even imagine how that hurt [just the day before, he had offered burnt offerings to God for each of them, in case “my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts(v5)].

Job’s response is written for us in verses 20 – 22:

Job 1.20 – 22 Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.

God has a kingdom for us, and it is a kingdom worth dying for, that He may live within us. May we take Job’s example to heart. Let it hurt. Grieve. Worship God.

Job 13.15, 16 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him. He also shall be my salvation: for an hypocrite shall not come before him.

Intercessory Prayer Workshop Opportunity

I wrote previously about my new excitement about my prayer journal. I’m still excited about it, and use it and add to it. If you don’t use a prayer journal, please consider starting one: it will change your prayer life, and your connection with God Almighty.

Here is an opportunity to enhance your prayer journal, or to get motivated to start one: https://arabahjoy.lpages.co/prayer-journal/

Use the above link to join the FREE intercessory prayer journal workshop on Tuesday, August 24th, hosted by AJ (arabahjoy.com) and Jen Evangelista. If you sign up, you will be eligible to watch the replay, in case you can’t make the original.

The invitation invites you to join them as they cover:

01
How an intercessory prayer journal can help you consistently pray for others

02
How to pray Scripture by identifying prayer points in a passage. (Hint: You’ll be able to start using these tips to improve your prayer life immediately!)

03
Simple ways to beautify your prayer journal using color, lettering, and other elements – no experience or art skills necessary 🙂
And much more!

Forsaking Our Own Mercies

Jonah 2.8 They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.

What a lot of meat to chew on in this verse! This is a reminder of the Israelites in 2 Kings: they knew God, they knew His commandments, they knew He loved them and had saved them; and yet, they chose to follow the heathen practices of their neighbors. God called those ways vanity:

2 Kings 17.14 – 16a Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the LORD their God.  And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified against them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that were round about them, concerning whom the LORD had charged them, that they should not do like them.  And they left all the commandments of the LORD their God.

In Jeremiah 10, God points out the foolishness (vanity) of preparing their own idols from wood or silver, and then worshiping / receiving instruction from them. And then, Jeremiah 16 portrays the wonder of the people that God would pronounce this great evil against them: “What is our iniquity? or what is our sin that we have committed against the LORD our God?” (v10)

We simply cannot expect the blessings and mercies of God when we are disobedient. He told us so in in the whole Old Testament, especially in Deuteronomy (and especially Chapter 28).

We are without excuse:

Romans 1.19 – 21 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

God has made Himself clearly plain:

Psalms 98.2 The LORD hath made known his salvation: his righteousness hath he openly shewed in the sight of the heathen.

Christians are called by God’s grace, and given His Holy Spirit – divine wisdom. We can live day – by – day for His blessings. We can pray that we see His blessings.

Beloved, we cannot imagine the blessings God has for us when we obey!

2 Corinthians 2.9 But as it is written [in Isaiah 64.4], Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

His blessings are so magnanimous and beautiful that we cannot even imagine them!

May we pray fervently “unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3.20) that we will read His Word, and obey Him Who loves us so deeply and widely!

In that belly of the fish, Jonah recognized that God’s ways are not his ways, and that he forsook the mercies of God by following the vanity of lies he preferred.

How often do we do this? We feel that tap on the shoulder that this activity or person is not what the Lord intends for us; we feel that caution, and we know it’s from God that we should not enter into what is ahead of us.

We will never know the blessings we forsake when we go our own way. We think we can imagine the blessings of following our ways, and it looks good – enticing. Even in the details, we may think this little thing is not going to make any difference. We cannot imagine the peace God will give us when we obey.  We think that it will be worth it to go ahead with this sin this time.

And we forsake our own mercies.

But God always blesses obedience! When we weigh our options, we cannot imagine any kind of blessing by rejecting this thing we love; we can only feel how good it would be to follow the sin. But we can listen to and obey that still small voice, that one Who tells us to walk to the right or to the left.

Isaiah 30.20, 21 And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers: And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.

When we recognize this, when we run to God in the face of sin, we run blindly. But when we run to Him anyway, this is FAITH. God will increase this faith, and He will BLESS you!

Isaiah 55.6 – 12 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

Jonah 2.9 tells of Jonah’s final, encompassing confession: “Salvation is of the Lord.” He humbled himself, and gave himself up to whatever God wanted for him.

God directed the fish to vomit Jonah out upon the dry land (v 10). Note that Jonah still could not save himself – God did not direct Jonah to crawl out of the fish. Jonah’s tribulation and deliverance were completely under God’s control.

So are ours. Submit to God.

James 4.7 – 10 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.  Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.  Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

God Always Listens and Answers

Psalms 28.6 -9 Blessed be the LORD, because he hath heard the voice of my supplications. The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him. The LORD is their strength, and he is the saving strength of his anointed. Save thy people, and bless thine inheritance: feed them also, and lift them up for ever.

I can’t imagine how many gazillions of prayers are being sent heavenward every minute of every day. And God listens to them all; and He answers them all.

The thing is, sometimes we don’t or can’t see His answers.

Isaiah 55.8, 9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Most times, when we pray, we have expectations of what the answers ought to look like. We play God all the time, believing our answers – our solutions – are the best way, and that’s what God ought to do.

But, thank God, His ways are not our ways; and He is high and mighty and lifted up. He loves us best and most perfectly, and will answer accordingly.

However, no matter our situation, a Christian can always be comforted through prayer. The greatest of God’s answers to our prayers is peace with Him. David was in some pretty tough situations, but he knew without any doubt that God was his rock, his peace, his comfort.

We can know the same. Whatever our need, whether for ourselves, loved ones, our country, our world; we can be comforted in prayer, knowing that God is in control, He can quiet our anxious hearts (Psalms 139.23), He is trustworthy, and He is working in our lives and everyone’s lives to the benefit of those of us who love Him, and to His glory (Romans 8.28).

John 14.27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Let God be your guide in prayer (The Lord’s Prayer, Matthew 6, Luke 11; Matthew 21.22, 1 John 5.14, 15), even if you can’t find the words (Romans 8.26, 27).

And do not worry about how God is going to answer your prayer, just know that He listens and He answers. Be content in letting God handle it all.

Matthew 6.33, 34 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

And, as David did, end each prayer with praise and thanksgiving. God is worthy of that, in any situation, any time.

2 Samuel 22 – 24 And he said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; The God of my rock; in Him will I trust: He is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my Saviour; Thou savest me from violence. I will call on the LORD, Who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.

Revelations 4.10, 11 The four and twenty elders fall down before Him that sat on the throne, and worship Him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.

Where Jesus Walked

I wonder stuff; do you? For instance, I got to thinking about Jesus walking around on Earth.

When Jesus was here, He was God. “In the beginning,” He was “the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1.1) So He knew every inch of that earth, and who else had walked right there; He knew what everyone had done in any given location.

Did He lift His eyes to look upon the burial ground of Moses? Did He feel the great victories of David beat in His breast as He walked over the battlegrounds? Did the words of Jeremiah ring in His ears as He walked the streets of Bethlehem, feeling the terrified cries of mothers as the prophesy was fulfilled and babies were killed? Did He ponder the histories and peoples of Judah, Israel, and Samaria as He traveled region to region?

Was His body physically overwhelmed as He walked Jerusalem, contemplating Abraham bringing his son, Isaac, to sacrifice; as David brought the ark back; as the temple was built, and later destroyed and pillaged?

What other stories and people did He know from Bethany, home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus?

What other people did He ponder, how many millions did He consider who are never mentioned in the Bible, and who we will never know until we live in eternity?

The Key to Truly Knowing God

from https://www.oneplace.com/devotionals/daily-living-for-seniors/the-key-to-truly-knowing-god-senior-living-june-7-11736776.html

The key to truly knowing God

Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
but whoever hates correction is stupid.
– Proverbs 12:1

The famous baseball player Ted Williams put up some amazing statistics in his days. In the 40s and 50s, he was known as a “natural hitter” because of the seeming ease with which he would make contact with the ball and send it soaring through the air.

Williams was once asked about his natural ability to hit. He replied, “There’s no such thing as a natural-born hitter. I became a good hitter because I paid the price of constant practice.”

Many people today want to have a close relationship with God and experience Him daily. But they’re simply reluctant to pay the price to do it. They see others who have an unshakable faith and know God’s Word up and down. But what they don’t realize is that those people have spent years in prayer and reading the Bible to build that kind of faith!

It’s impossible to know God intimately and walk closely with Him without spending time in His Word and in prayer. That takes diligence, discipline, and commitment. So make sure you’re ‘practicing’ your faith daily. Commit time and effort in knowing God more intimately by reading His Word and spending consistent time in prayer!

Prayer Challenge

Pray that God would give you the discipline and desire to grow closer to Him through reading His Word and prayer.

Questions for Thought

Why do you think many people are reluctant to put in the time and effort necessary to knowing God intimately?

What are some steps you can take starting today that will help you grow even closer to God through His Word and prayer?