2 Corinthians 4:18 NLT
God hasn’t made prayer difficult or complicated, but really simple. The truth is, many of us pray more often than we know. And we have a more effective and successful prayer life than we realize. The trouble is, we don’t always recognize when we’re praying. That’s because we’ve gotten the wrong idea about it. We’ve been taught that prayer requires a specific environment like church, or a prescribed posture like kneeling, or a particular form of words like “Thee” and “Thou,” and that we must strictly adhere to certain religious rituals.
No, prayer is simply talking to God, then being still and allowing Him to talk to you. You can pray any time, anywhere, about anything, by just directing your thoughts, spoken and unspoken, toward God.
Paul writes, “We fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.” Imagine that all of God’s blessings and benefits are stored in a giant warehouse in the invisible realm; things like forgiveness, strength, wisdom, guidance, favour, and resources. Through prayer you enter God’s warehouse of blessings, and by faith you receive them and bring them back into your life.
The Bible says you have not because you ask not (See James 4:2). So whatever you need today, pray and ask God for it – believing that He will give it to you. Jesus said, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted” (John 15:7 NLT). So, have you prayed about it?
Soul food: Gen 10-12; Matt 16:13-28; Ps 36; Prov 5:21-23
2 Corinthians 4:18 NLT
God hasn’t made prayer difficult or complicated. Prayer is actually really simple. The truth is, we probably pray more often than we realise. The trouble is, we don’t always recognise when we’re praying, because we can get the wrong idea about it. We might have been taught that prayer needs a specific place or environment like a church, or a certain posture like kneeling with head bowed and eyes closed, or a particular form of words like ‘Thee’ and ‘Thou’, or that we must stick to certain religious rituals when we pray. These things aren’t necessarily wrong, but we don’t need to do them for God to listen to us.
Prayer is simply talking to Him, in a way that feels comfortable and natural to us, then being still and allowing Him to talk to us. We can pray anytime, anywhere, about anything, silently or aloud, just by directing our thoughts towards Him.
Paul wrote, ‘We fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.’ Imagine that all of God’s blessings and benefits are stored in a giant warehouse in the invisible realm; things like forgiveness, strength, wisdom, guidance, favour, and resources. Through prayer we enter God’s warehouse of blessings, and by faith we receive them and bring them back into our lives. Jesus said, ‘If you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted’ (John 15:7 NLT).
So whatever you need today, pray and ask God for it, believing that He will give it to you.
Gen 10-12; Matt 16:13-28; Ps 36; Prov 5:21-23
2 Timothy 4:5 NIV
A woman was sitting in her family room when a small black snake suddenly appeared, slithered across the floor, and made its way under the couch. Being deathly afraid of snakes, she ran to the bathroom to get her husband, who was taking a shower. He came running from the shower with just a towel around his waist, grabbed an old broom handle from the closet, and began poking under the couch. At this point the family dog awakened. Curious to see what was happening, the dog came up behind the husband and touched his cold nose to the back of the man’s heel. The man, thinking the snake had bitten him on the heel, fainted. The wife concluded that her husband had collapsed with a heart attack, so she ran from the house to a hospital just a block away. The ambulance drivers promptly came to her house and placed him on a stretcher. But as they were carrying him out, the snake reappeared from underneath the couch. One of the drivers got so frightened that he dropped his end of the stretcher and broke the man’s leg. Seeing her husband’s twisted leg, the wife collapsed on the spot. Meanwhile, the snake slithered quietly away!
An old African proverb says, “There are forty kinds of lunacy, but only one kind of common sense.” Acting impulsively usually means things will get worse before they get better. So before you panic, calm yourself and ask God for wisdom and help, even in the simplest things.
Soul food: 2 Sam 3:22-7:17; John 3:22-36; Ps 89:38-52; Prov 23:19-21
2 Timothy 4:5 NIV
When we’re faced with a problem or a situation that scares us, our first reaction is often to panic. Panic is our body’s normal reaction to danger as our adrenaline levels increase, and in some circumstances it can be helpful. But if it gets excessive or uncontrollable, it can stop us living a full life. (If you experience panic attacks, or the panic is getting out of control, it’s important to seek help from a doctor or counsellor.)
If we’re experiencing panic, one thing we can do is to bring God into our situation. Fear and panic can make us overreact or make bad decisions, and acting impulsively usually means things will get worse before they get better. When we find ourselves in a stressful situation, we need to try to calm ourselves and ask God for wisdom and help.
Here are some verses from Scripture to help us keep calm and remind us of God’s goodness and love: ‘I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears’ (Psalm 34:4 NLT). ‘Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you’ (1 Peter 5:7 NLT). ‘God will save you from hidden traps and from deadly diseases. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you can hide. His truth will be your shield and protection’ (Psalm 91:3-4 NCV).
It doesn’t matter if the thing we’re worried about would seem trivial to someone else. If we’re worried about it, God cares and wants us to tell Him about how we’re feeling. ‘Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand’ (Isaiah 41:10 NIV).
2 Sam 3:22-7:17; John 3:22-36; Ps 89:38-52; Prov 23:19-21
Psalm 42:2 NIV
Godliness isn’t a culture, it’s an attitude of the heart. It has little to do with how a person looks or what they own. The Bible says, ‘People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart’ (1 Samuel 16:7 NIV). Godliness is internal. A truly godly person is one whose heart is sensitive to God, who takes God and His Word seriously, and who desires more of Him. Someone who can relate to David when he cried, ‘My soul thirsts for God.’ We can be rich or poor, young or old, urban or rural, follower or leader, active or quiet, married or single – none of that matters. What matters is having a longing to know God intimately, to obey Him, and walk with Him. It’s about being dedicated and devoted to God. And out of that devotion comes a godly lifestyle. The more time we spend with God, the more we’ll begin to change and become like Him. The more we’ll want to lay aside the things we know we shouldn’t be doing, and live His way instead. The Bible tells us: ‘Just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do’ (1 Peter 1:15 NIV). We become holy through our time spent with God, and by becoming self-disciplined. The Bible says: ‘Train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things’ (1 Timothy 4:8 NIV). We need to ask ourselves, ‘Do I want to be godly?’ If the answer is ‘no’, we need to ask God to change our hearts and attitudes. And if the answer is ‘yes’, we need to ask God to help us desire Him above all else.
Eze 46-48; Luke 22:54-62; Ps 3; Prov 21:4-8