Month: October 2013

All That Muscle Won’t Help You

ALL THAT MUSCLE WON’T HELP YOU

So he answered and said to me: “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts (Zechariah 4:6 New King James Version).

When we do things in the name of the Lord, or for the Lord, we need to make sure God’s Spirit is with us. His Spirit empowers us. Jesus called the Holy Spirit the Helper; some translations call Him the counselor – at any rate, everything we do should be backed by the power of the Holy Spirit. This includes evangelism, ministry service, bible study, and service in the church. Without the Spirit, we will either bear no fruit, bear sickly fruit or we will get stuck in a rut going through joyless motions.

Evangelism without the Spirit is like kicking a dead horse. I believe many, in their zeal to share Jesus Christ, do so without the prompting of the Spirit. It is the Spirit who convicts; when we convict, we act as judge and jury. It is not our job to push on the lost; we are simply to allow the Spirit to move in the heart of those hearing our message and stop talking when the Spirit says to stop. To go any further, we’ll turn the person off. Ministry service is another area many serve in without the power of the Spirit. Sure, we may have a talent in one area, but that may not be an area where God desires service at this time. We also have a tendency to try and help God by filling needs within our churches, instead waiting for those God as called to the ministry area. While this may have to be done in some instances, I believe there are many missed blessings because someone took it upon himself or herself to fill a need without waiting on God. Meanwhile the person God  called may have not bothered to serve since someone else stepped in and filled it.

Bible study without the Spirit is difficult. If we don’t take our time to study Scripture, and allow the Holy Spirit to bring revelation and understanding, we will only read the words, they won’t sink in. Lately I’ve begun reading my bible more for quality than quantity. I want to savor every word, letting it penetrate my heart. If this means I don’t get past one passage of Scripture, then so be it. This is not an ordinary book and we shouldn’t treat it as such. This is a book in which God speaks to us, it only makes sense to listen!

Let’s Pray: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the blessing of this day! Thank You for waking us up, for loving us so much to show us when we have stepped out in our own power and for correcting our ways and path. Father, may we always be led of Your Spirit; may we not try to step out of line and get ahead of You. When we take it upon ourselves to do something You do not have for us to do, bring a word of correction and frustrate our efforts, bringing to mind Your very word in our hearts. Father, may we not be forceful with our evangelism, may we have discernment to know who You have brought us to share with, wisdom to know the words to speak and humility to know when to stop talking. Father, we love You and we know that our time here on earth is not guaranteed day after day, help us to make the most of every day and to give You all glory and honor and praise! We stand before You in the name of Jesus, Amen.

Today’s Attitude of Worship: Take time to listen for the Holy Spirit; when you read your bible, read it to hear, not to simply read it; examine your motives for your service in church and ministry. Allow the Holy Spirit to convict, correct and lead.

Additional Scriptures: John 14:15-26; Acts 1:8; Acts 2:1-4

“A church in the land without the Spirit is rather a curse than a blessing. If you have not the Spirit of God, Christian worker, remember that you stand in somebody else’s way; you are a fruitless tree standing where a fruitful tree might grow” (Charles Spurgeon).

Shalom,

Prudence

 

Saddle Up

 SADDLE UP

 And the LORD said to Moses, “Go, get down! For your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves.  They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them. They have made themselves a molded calf, and worshiped it and sacrificed to it, and said, ‘This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!’”   And the LORD said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and indeed it is a stiff-necked people!   Now therefore, let Me alone, that My wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them. And I will make of you a great nation.”
Then Moses pleaded with the LORD his God, and said: “LORD, why does Your wrath burn hot against Your people whom You have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand?  Why should the Egyptians speak, and say, ‘He brought them out to harm them, to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth’? Turn from Your fierce wrath, and relent from this harm to Your people.   Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants, to whom You swore by Your own self, and said to them, ‘I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven; and all this land that I have spoken of I give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.’” So the LORD relented from the harm which He said He would do to His people  (Exodus 32:7-14 New King James Version).

After Israel corrupted themselves with the golden calf, Moses interceded for Israel when God’s anger burned hot enough to destroy them.  Because of Moses’ pleading with God, He did not pour out His wrath upon the Israelites.  Moses stood in the gap for his people; one man for them all.

Another man stood in the gap for us.  Jesus interceded for us on the night He was betrayed (John 17:6-26).  We are told to pray and intercede for all men (1 Timothy 2:1).  Prayer is conversation with God. intercession is taking someone else’s burden to God on their behalf. Prayer is the greatest gift we can offer anyone, and most beneficial to our own spiritual health. Because of prayer and intercessory prayer, many families have seen salvation, received healing, and miracles, ministries have born fruit, pastors have overcome adversity and attacks from the enemy, while financial burdens have been eased.  As we continue to press in more and more to our Father, we also get to know Him more and more, and our hearts become more Christ-like.

Let’s Pray:  Dear Lord, we praise You and exalt Your mighty name above all!  We come and bow humbly at Your feet in worship and adoration of You!  Forgive us, Lord, if we have not stood up straight in the gap for others, show us what to say, how to intercede, change us to be more like You.  Help us to develop a more intimate relationship with You, draw us closer.  Fill us with Your Holy Spirit, and empower us to be bright and salty while we are serving You on this earth.  Open our ears, Lord, that we may listen for Your still small voice and seek Your face.  Let not a day go by that we are not reminded of how You interceded for us, so that we may lift others up to You. When we can’t think of anything to say, Lord, we ask for Your Spirit to pray and intercede on our behalf.  We desire to be more like You, Jesus.  Purify our hearts, take hold of our thoughts and teach us.  We thank You for interceding for us, we thank You for Your sacrifice, we thank You for Your friendship, love and guidance.  We give You glory and honor and we continuously sing Your praises.  In Your name Jesus we pray, Amen.

 Today’s Attitude of Worship:  Take some time today to examine your prayer life.  Do you spend quality time with the Lord?  Do you lift others up in prayer or just yourself and your needs?  Do you simply place requests before Him or do you ask Him how you may serve Him this day?  Do you desire to pray for others, but don’t know how or what to say?   Quiet yourself, go to your prayer closet and sit at His feet.  Praise Him for who He is and allow Him to speak to your heart all the things He wants to share with you.

Additional Scriptures:  Genesis 20:17; Numbers 21:17; 1 Samuel 1:27; Matthew 21:22; Romans 8:26; Ephesians 6:18; Colossians 4:2

“Jesus Christ carries on intercession for us in heaven; the Holy Ghost carries on intercession in us on earth; and we the saints have to carry on intercession for all men” (Oswald Chambers).

Shalom,

Prudence

Consequences

CONSEQUENCES

For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, before the sun.’” So David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” And Nathan said to David, “The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die. However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die”  (2 Samuel 12: 12-14 New King James Version).

For every action there is a reaction. For every word we speak, for every thing we do, there will be a consequence resulting from it and not one of us is exempt. King David, a man the Bible says was a man after God’s own heart, learned this the hard way. He committed adultery and then to cover it up, he had the woman’s husband murdered. So, he was an adulterer and a murderer. When Bathsheba came through her period of mourning, the bible says King David took her to be his wife and a child was born. King David, because he allowed sin to root in his heart, could not see what he had done; God used a parable spoken through Nathan, the prophet, to open King David’s eyes.

God is a God who forgives, His love and mercy go beyond our human comprehension. Because we are sinful, the bible says the wages of sin is death, but because God is love and He is redemptive in nature, Jesus paid our sin debt. When we repent, we no longer are dying as a result of our sin. King David realized he had sinned against the Lord and he repented (v. 13) and the Lord forgave him; however, because there are consequences for our sins, the Lord was going to take the child, the fruit of the adulterous union. The child fell ill and died, despite King David’s pleading and fasting.

If God did not love us so and desire for us to mature and grow in Him, becoming fruitful branches on His vine, He would also remove from us the consequences of our actions. When we do not see the results of what we do, we learn nothing. We will never know what not to do if we don’t experience the results. We would continue to put our hands in the fire if we never felt the burn; we would be as spoiled and undisciplined children. God is a God who loves and chastises because of His love for us. He is faithful and He is true. God has stated, in His word, whatever we sow, we will reap. Oh, we may go ahead and tell a little white lie, covering up what may seem small at the time, but later on that little white lie could come back to bite us in the backside and it could be years before we realize it.

Let’s Pray:  Dear Heavenly Father, Your grace is endless and Your faithfulness is matchless. Your love is pure and You are Holy. Father, there is none like You, none can compare to You! Father, thank You for the love that You extend toward us by the consequences we must pay for our actions. May we learn from the mistakes we make, may we learn from the results of our actions. Father, may our hearts become ever more obedient and ever more yearning towards pleasing You. May we have discernment to know when we are stepping into territory that will have results unfavorable towards us. Father, may we seek Your direction and face at every turn, in every moment. We love You and we give You all our praise and worship! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Today’s Attitude of Worship: Give careful thought to every word you speak, every step you take, every action, for what you do today will have repercussions in your tomorrows.

Additional Scriptures:  Numbers 32:23; Galatians 6:7; 2 Samuel 11:1-12:23

Sow a thought, reap an act; sow an act, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny” (Author Unknown).

Shalom,

Prudence

Desperate Times Demand Desperate Prayers

DESPERATE TIMES DEMAND DESPERATE PRAYERS

And all the people said to Samuel, “Pray for your servants to the LORD your God, that we may not die; for we have added to all our sins the evil of asking a king for ourselves.” Then Samuel said to the people, “Do not fear. You have done all this wickedness; yet do not turn aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart. And do not turn aside; for then you would go after empty things which cannot profit or deliver, for they are nothing. For the LORD will not forsake His people, for His great name’s sake, because it has pleased the LORD to make you His people. Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you; but I will teach you the good and the right way. Only fear the LORD, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you. But if you still do wickedly, you shall be swept away, both you and your king” (1 Samuel 12:19-25 New King James Version).

These are tumultuous times. We only need to read the newspaper headlines, or listen to the news to realize just how unhealthy our days are. Many are out of work; others have chased the wind and run into walls; many fight wars which seem hopeless to win; many go from well-off to poor; children have strayed; parents have compromised themselves; morals and values have been demoralized and devalued. Still others have turned to crime as a way to solve financial and personal issues; others have taken what is good and called it bad, while taking what is bad and calling it good. We live in a country where, yes, we have freedom, but even some of these liberties are being removed, re-written and reconstructed. What was once black and white has become blurred and gray. These are tumultuous times for sure. Guess what? Jesus said these times were coming. Matthew 24: 4-13 says “And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” How do we endure to the end? Prayer, yes, prayer.

Prayer is not a last resort for these times; it should be what we run to first. It’s the best way to communicate our worries, our hurts, our fears, our questions, our praise, our thanks, and our desires to our most Holy Father. It’s the way to seek out His will and to be sure we are in His will. It’s our BowFlex in the spiritual realm, it’s our bank when our spiritual currency has run out, giving us courage, boldness and strength. Prayer is not just designated to those ordained as priests and pastors, prayer is for everyone. Prayer is not eloquent words and fancy sentences; prayer is a conversation from the heart. Prayer is not just talking to God, it is communicating with Him. We may write, sing, dance, cry, sign, or even think our prayers to God. Prayer is the way to stay connected to God in these tumultuous times. As our example, Jesus took time to pray every day. He sought out time with the Father, where He found His direction and strength. By praying consistently, we become stronger and more grounded in God, we will not turn aside from following the Lord and we are better equipped to serve Him with all our heart. Prayer keeps us protected under God’s wings; it keeps us spiritually alert. Jesus calls us to watch and pray; we cannot watch effectively if we are not praying to discern what we are to watch for. Prayer teaches us faith, trust, and gratitude in God.

Step out of your comfort zone today and communicate with God. He is longing to talk to you, open the door and let Him in. Don’t let your personal insecurities, your inhibitions hold you back from seeking His face. By communicating with Him often, you will overcome any adversity and you will be strengthened and encouraged during these tumultuous and uncertain times.

Let’s Pray: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You so much for this gift of another day! We are so grateful that Your mercies are new every morning and that Your love endures forever. Forgive those of us who have taken the time to speak with You. Plant in us the desire to bring our requests, petitions and desires directly to You; share with us the urgency to seek Your will each day for every situation no matter how small it may seem to us. You desire to be in the details of our lives, to strengthen and encourage us, to teach and empower us and we ask that our hearts are open to Your hand in our lives. Father, give us courage and endurance to remain faithful in that which You have called us, may our trust of You grow each day despite the times we live in. May we truly be lights in this dark world, exhibiting our faith and trust of Your ways and Your will no matter how bad the news around us is. May we be strengthened to serve You with our whole hearts and may we not turn aside from following You to go after empty things. Father, we ask that You reveal to us all the empty things we have been following after, and remove them. We love You Lord, and we desire to please You. We stand before You this morning in Jesus’ holy name. Amen.

Today’s Attitude of Worship: Offer prayers to God throughout the day, giving Him thanks and praise; asking for insight and revelation; seeking what He wants you to do in a situation. Offer to pray for someone you don’t know, or someone who doesn’t know Jesus but is going through a hard time.

The reason why many fail in battle is because they wait until the hour of battle. The reason why others succeed is because they have gained their victory on their knees long before the battle came…Anticipate your battles; fight them on your knees before temptation comes, and you will always have victory (Reuben Archer Torrey).

Shalom,
Prudence

Shaken But Not Stirred

SHAKEN BUT NOT STIRRED

Then I shook out the fold of my garment and said, “So may God shake out each man from his house, and from his property, who does not perform this promise. Even thus may he be shaken out and emptied.” And all the assembly said, “Amen!” and praised the LORD. Then the people did according to this promise (Nehemiah 5:13 New King James Version).

The Lord is shaking His people.  Why?  Because there are many who make empty promises and many who take oaths, but do not deliver.  God is looking for honesty, obedience and integrity in His people.  Jesus said in Matthew 5:33-37, “Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’  But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne;  nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.  Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black.  But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.”  Jesus is coming back to collect His Bride, the Church, and He will not tolerate spots or blemishes; He is looking for purity.  He is shaking us up, cleaning us, and washing our bridal garments.

Are you being shaken right now?  Ask our Lord to reveal to you the areas in which you are not walking in honesty, obedience or integrity.  He who has ears to hear, let him hear!  When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it; For He has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you have vowed—Better not to vow than to vow and not pay.   Do not let your mouth cause your flesh to sin, nor say before the messenger of God that it was an error. Why should God be angry at your excuse and destroy the work of your hands (Ecclesiastes 5:4-6)?

Let’s Pray: Dear Lord, You are Holy, Righteous, Pure and True.  Thank You for the cleansing You are working in our lives right now.  We thank You for Your mercy, it is because of Your love and mercy that we are able to recognize Your hand at work; purifying us, cleansing us, uniting us.  We want to be the Bride You have called us to be.  We give You access to those areas of our hearts that need Your touch.  We turn over to You all of our insecurities, our burdens, our entire selves.  We renounce every prideful act, every lie, every bit of dishonesty in our lives.  We ask that You strengthen us during times of temptation to sin, we ask for Your Spirit to remind us of Your Word and to show us the correct path to take during moments when the enemy seeks to confuse us. Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips (Psalm 141:3).  Yes, Lord, set a guard over our mouths.  Blessings, Honor, Glory and Power to You forever!  In Your blessed name, Jesus, we pray.  Amen

Today’s Attitude of Worship: Don’t make a promise you have no intention of keeping just to make someone else happy.

Additional Scriptures: see above passage

We must not promise what we ought not, lest we be called on to perform what we cannot (Abraham Lincoln).

Shalom,

Prudence

Hunting Season

huntedHUNTING SEASON

Be sober; be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter5:8 New King James Version).

2 Timothy 2:4 says, “No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.” Upon acceptance of Christ’s call, we enlisted in His army. Each day we awake is not only a blessing, but also a call to battle. There is a spiritual realm, and engagements happen in this realm, spilling into the physical realm. We are told to be watchful, sober, and vigilant because the devil prowls about looking for weaknesses. God has given us armor; Ephesians 6: 11-18 says, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints”. God provided defensive armor- armor to help us stand against the enemy’s moves; and He gave us one offensive weapon – His word, which is the sword of the Spirit!

Sadly, there are many defeated and ignorant Christians walking around. They don’t take the time to strengthen their armor, and therefore walk around as though carrying a one ton weight. They expect other people to protect them and pray for them. Church, Jesus calls us to be vigilant. He’s given us the tools necessary to stand and resist the devil. There is a spiritual realm and the battles fought there affect the physical realm. Let’s think about some of the situations we’ve gone, or are going through, and pray to discern where the source is…is it a test from God or a battle we need to stand and fight spiritually? We must press into God through prayer, studying His word, fasting, praise and worship; these are all effective tools the Lord has given us to wield His Sword. This must become a daily habit, not just one day a week.

Determine to pull your armor on each morning when you awake, put it on early and keep it on. The devil is hunting for dents in the armor. Dents and weaknesses come when we don’t pray; when we don’t worship; when we don’t study God’s word; when we are not bearing fruit in the kingdom of God; or when we keep repeating the same sin. Whenever we are disconnected from God, we are allowing cracks in our foundation, and the devil will exploit each and every one of those cracks. Church, it’s time to seal those cracks. We must get before the Lord, repent of our complacency and ask God to show us where we need to be sober, vigilant and watchful. The devil is hunting; let’s not give him a meal.

Let’s Pray: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for waking us up this morning and blessing us with a new day. Father, forgive us for not having our spiritual antennae tuned to Your kingdom; we have no excuse. May we learn to be sober and vigilant, able to discern the source of our troubles and sorrows. May we rise up with Your Spirit in battle and fight the good fight; knowing that You have provided us the victory already in Jesus’ name, and may we take hold of that victory and walk in it! Father, we pray to be disciplined in our lives so that we take serious Your word, that we consistently feed off it, that we pray often; that we always come before You with praise and thanksgiving; and that we offer ourselves to You in humble worship. Father, may we live our lives according to Your will and plans and not our own. Remove anything from us that is not of You and reveal to us the cracks and crevices in our armor that the devil may reach in and harm us. Father, reveal to us our repeated sins and show us mercy and help us to overcome them. We love You, and we are soldiers at Your command. We give You praise, glory and honor, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Today’s Attitude of Worship: Wherever you are today, pray to discern where attacks, trials or difficult situations arise from, whether in your life or the lives of those around you. Once God reveals to you what it is, act accordingly. Stay prayed and praised up!

Additional Scriptures: 2 Corinthians 10:3-6

Shalom,

Prudence Ramos

A Deserted Place

A DESERTED PLACE

Mark 6:31Then the apostles gathered to Jesus and told Him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught. And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. So they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves (Mark 6:30-32 New King James Version).

God’s work is full of activity. If we are not careful, we can become over-zealous in working for the Lord. Jesus sent the disciples out to preach the gospel, heal the sick and cast out demons. We can assume they were very busy with barely a moment’s rest, which is why Jesus called them to come aside to a deserted place and rest. This is also the tranquil moment before Jesus fed the five thousand.

When we are active in our ministry to the point where we don’t take time to properly care for ourselves, God will tell us to get by ourselves in a deserted place and rest a while. We may not see God is calling us to do this, because we feel by serving God, we must be busy. It is wonderful and fun to serve the Lord, but He designed us to refresh ourselves with rest and nourishment. If we are constantly on spiritual high alert, running to church any hour of the day, being the only go-to person for our ministry, taking every responsibility upon ourselves even after delegating, running, running, and running – how are we taking the time necessary to nourish our spirit and physical bodies?

When God has something big planned for us, He will cause us to step away for a bit from what we’ve been doing. He may ask we only attend service for a couple weeks, or perhaps not go, but to sit quietly in His presence. He may move us from the ministry we’re in; He may bring in a helper to take over for a time. He will do what He needs to do to get us rested up and refreshed, before the next season rolls in.

If we have been serving constantly with no break, no time away and we feel restless in our spirits, it could be God is calling us to a deserted place with Him.

Let’s Pray: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for this blessing of another day! Thank You for waking us up, breathing life into us, filling us with Your Spirit! Father, we desire to be refreshed, renewed and revived! Take us to the deserted place so that we may be refilled! Grant us discernment and wisdom, allow us to hear Your plans and voice. Father, may we have grace and humility to step into that deserted place and rest in Your presence. May we have courage to take the next step! We love You, Lord, and we give You all glory and honor. In Jesus name, Amen.

Today’s Attitude of Worship: Reassess your service to the Lord. Are you going, going, going? Are you in a deserted place and about to step out? Sit with God a while, rest, become nourished and get ready for the next step!

Additional Scriptures: Mark 6:7-13; Isaiah 30:15a; Hebrews 4:10-11

Shalom,

Prudence

What Praise Can Do

WHAT PRAISE CAN DO

Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand, to execute vengeance on the nations, and punishments on the peoples; to bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; to execute on them the written judgment—this honor have all His saints. Praise the LORD (Psalm 149:6-9 New King James Version)!

When we give God praise for all things- our troubles, tests, low points, high points; when we praise Him for our jobs, or joblessness, the things He’s blessed us with and for what we don’t have; when we praise Him for where we live, and our government – He responds. He is sovereign, nothing  escapes His watchful eye. He desires for us to praise and give thanks so we fully understand how we can do nothing apart from Him, and how He is our all in all. He created us and gave us life; He breathed His breath into us after speaking us into existence. His Word is a living two-edged sword.

Lately, many Christians have forgotten the power of praise and prayer, turning instead, to bashing our fellow man, especially those in leadership positions. We would do well to remember God places princes and kings on their seats, calling us to pray for all men. Proverbs 24:17-18 says, “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; lest the LORD see it, and it displease Him, and He turn away His wrath from him.” When our enemies fall, we are to continue to pray for them, not call attention to their failures. The Bible says God may see it and turn away His wrath from him, in other words…God may change His mind regarding punishment of our enemies if we rejoice when they fall. 1 Timothy 2:1-3 says, “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.

We must also remember those who don’t call themselves by Christ’s name are lost, and we who are saved are not to judge the lost, but to share with them the love of Jesus Christ and His gospel. We give bad witness when we bash others and grumble against them. We become more like the world in those instances and less like Christ. We are to be salt and light, we are to stick out and be peculiar, not hate-mongers and gossipers.

When we praise God for all things, and when we pray for all men, we give God the okay to act on our behalf. Psalm 146:3 says, “Do not put your trust in princes, nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help.” Praising God for all things indicates our trust is solely in the Lord, and His outcome is better than any we could have constructed on our own. Our world is the way it is today because many have forsaken the biblical truths of praying for all men and not rejoicing in an enemy’s fall. It’s time to repent of this, Church, get back on our knees and begin to take our government, our pastors, our bosses, our teachers, our authority figures before the Lord in prayer and allow Him to raise them up or take them down.

Let’s Pray: Dear Heavenly Father, You are Holy and Righteous; You breathed Your life into us, You spoke this world into existence. All things were created by You, and You constantly and consistently care for all things. You feed the sparrows and clothe the lilies; You provide for us when no other source of provision is available or visible. Your Holy Spirit guides us, whispering into our hearts; You have seated kings and princes; You have raised up and taken down whom You choose. Father, there is nothing too hard for You, and nothing that we can do apart from You. Father, I lift Your Church up to You. It is my prayer that Your Church becomes the peculiar and different Body that You have called it to be in Christ. I pray and ask that the Church recognize Jesus Christ as its true head, and that the petty differences and squabbles be set aside in order to meet the call of Christ to  be His hands and feet among this world. I ask that a desire to pray spread like wild fire through Your Body, a desire to lift up our leaders, our neighbors, our friends, co-workers, classmates, all of mankind, in prayer and ask for God’s will to be done. I pray that a Holy Spirit fire be ignited in the hearts of Your church, and that a stirring up of Your gifts become evident – that the Body truly functions as the Body You meant it to be. Cut off that which is of the world, burn it Lord, and may we come to repentance and develop a strong distaste for this world. May Your Children be bold and courageous for Jesus Christ, may they speak Your truth in Love and may those who hear have ears to hear and eyes to see. May we come before You in praise, true praise, heartfelt praise and may we fully understand how to worship You in spirit and in truth. May we not conform to this world, but be transformed. Father, we love You, we give You all glory and honor. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Today’s Attitude of Worship: We are living in tumultuous times. Our government has shut down while the two parties bicker like small children. Uncertainty and fear are prevalent forces woven into the fabric of our nation.  I have been praying about the ACA and still do not have peace in my spirit about it. There is a spirit of control hovering over our country driven by fear, and we must take our place in the battle lifting our praises high. There is nothing too hard for God, His mercy and faithfulness are unmatched and unending. Take time today to get before the Lord and praise Him for all things – even this government shutdown! As we collectively come before Him in praise regarding this and lifting these leaders up to Him in prayer, I’m confident we will see His hand at work.

Additional Scriptures: Hebrews 4:12-13; Amos 9:5-6; 1 Samuel 12:23; 1 Kings 13:6

Shalom,

Prudence Ramos

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