Prayer: A Challenge for You


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 “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” James 5:16

How do you feel when you know someone is praying for you? Does it bring you comfort? Does it encourage your heart?

It has taken me a long time to really understand prayer. I can remember a time when someone would tell me, ” I am praying for you,” and the question that would come to my mind would be, why? You see, I did not yet understand the power of prayer. I could not understand why someone would take the time to pray for me. As I have grown as a Christian I have learned to appreciate the prayers of others. Oh, the comfort that my heart feels when someone looks at me and says, “I am praying for you!”

I not only appreciate the prayers of others. I have also learned how important it is for me to cover others with my prayers.

I am a self-admitted worrier. Go ahead, raise your hand, if you are too. There was a time when instead of praying for someone I would worry and fret over them. It did not take me long to learn that no matter how much I worried and fretted, I could not change or help their situation.

I can not tell you the relief and comfort I felt when I began praying for those who were struggling rather than worrying and fretting over them. I learned a couple of things in that process:

  •  I learned that I had more peace in my heart and life when I quit worrying so much and started praying more.
  •  I saw God do great and mighty things in the lives of those who had been struggling when I took the time to pray for them.

Are you a worrier? Do you find yourself losing sleep over things that you can not change. Do you find yourself burdened for your friends and loved ones? I want to offer a challenge to you today:

Think of one person for whom you would like to pray this week. I understand that there are probably many people on your prayer list, but I want you to pick out one person in particular that you will commit to covering in prayer every day this week. Next, I want you to find the time, today, to let them know that you are going to be praying for them this week.

Friends, worrying will get us nowhere. Only through prayer can we see God really work in the lives of those we love. Let us commit together to focus more on prayer and less on worrying.

The Joy of the Lord is my Strength


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“Then he said to them, “Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10 

Has life knocked you down?

Have you lost your joy?

Friend, all throughout our lives we are going to face trials. These trials will try to steal our joy. They will take the wind out of our sails.

When we find ourselves in these situations, we often wonder how we will ever get back up, how we will ever survive.

I want to encourage your heart this morning. You are not defeated. You are not alone.

Today’s verse tells us that “the joy of the Lord is our strength.”

You see, life is more than we can handle. The day to day struggles that we face are too much for us. The sudden blows that come from the devil will surely knock us to the ground.

The good news is that we do not have to stay there. We have a source of strength, and His name is Jesus.

When life hands you a situation that you can not bear alone, Jesus is there. The joy that can be found in knowing Him and serving Him is enough to pick us back up and dust us off.

Having Jesus in our hearts does not guarantee us a life free from struggles. However, knowing Jesus and having a relationship with Him brings a peace and a joy that can get us through these difficult times.

Do you know Jesus?

Do you have the joy of the Lord in your heart?

I want you to know, today, that Jesus loves you. He is standing, with arms stretched wide, waiting for you to run to Him.

Will you choose Jesus today? Will you let the joy of the Lord be your strength?