Paul’s Prayer ~ Digging Deeper

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen
Galatians 1:3-5 (NIV)

Today, I want to try and take you a little deeper into this very simplistic prayer. In I and II Corinthians, Paul just gives a simple greeting of Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, but here in Galatians Paul adds a bit more depth.

1. He reminds us why we have grace.

  • Jesus gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil
  • It was God the Father’s will

2. Why we should have peace.

  • Jesus gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil
  • It was God the Father’s will.

3.  We should give glory to God. Forever and ever.

  • Jesus gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil
  • It was God the Father’s will

The Message, explains a little deeper just what Jesus did to rescue us.

So I greet you with the great words, grace and peace! We know the meaning of those words because Jesus Christ rescued us from this evil world we’re in by offering himself as a sacrifice for our sins. God’s plan is that we all experience that rescue.

Grace is typically described as receiving a gift that isn’t deserved. And yes, that can apply here. Sinful man did not deserve to be pardon from the painful execution of the cross, but it was offered to us any way. According to Strong’s Concordance, the grace spoken of in Galatians is joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness and loveliness. Either way you look at it all goes back to the cross. We have been given grace and therefore should have grace (joy, pleasure, sweetness, and loveliness).

Peace is a word tossed out every day, especially when it comes to world conflict. A common, cliched, answer given to the question of What do you want for Christmas? is often world peace. I’m sure many of you know what peace means (harmony) , and I’m sure you all know the Hebrew term for it, but do you fully understand the meaning of shalom.

Are you ready for it?

Nothing missing, nothing broken.

WOW!

So, in the midst of our chaotic lives, in the midst of this evil world, in the midst of politics, in the midst of divorce, in the midst of finances, in the midst of cancer we are to have grace and peace, the kind of joy that overflows to where nothing is missing and nothing broken, because Jesus suffered for the sins we should have born all so that we could have communion with God the Father.

Glory be to God!

Faith-Digging Deeper

I was going to talk about faith, but Patty Wysong does it so well that I’m going to refer you to Patterings.

Once you’ve read her post, come back here if you’d like.

Okay, are you back?

Mark 2:5

The Message (MSG)
A Paraplegic

2 1-5 After a few days, Jesus returned to Capernaum, and word got around that he was back home. A crowd gathered, jamming the entrance so no one could get in or out. He was teaching the Word. They brought a paraplegic to him, carried by four men. When they weren’t able to get in because of the crowd, they removed part of the roof and lowered the paraplegic on his stretcher. Impressed by their bold belief, Jesus said to the paraplegic, “Son, I forgive your sins.”

Jesus knows we’re human. He knows we’re weak. We often focus on circumstances. This passage shows us that the faith of friends is also important. The friends had heard about Jesus, they believed in Jesus, and they acted on that belief by taking their friend to see Jesus. And they didn’t just walk right up to him. No, they carried their paraplegic friend to the roof, removed part of the roof and lowered him down.

These friends were determined, their faith bold. Can you imagine the smile on Jesus’ face?

There are times when we are weak. Times when our circumstances overwhelm us and our faith falters in the situation. It’s good to have friends, friends who will carry our burdens to the feet of Jesus.

If you are burden, if your eyes are on your mountain and you can’t see your way around it, if you need prayer, please let me know, I’d be honored to carry you to Jesus. You don’t have to give me specifics, you can just type a simple ‘me’ in the box. If you prefer not to leave your prayer needs in the comment sections you may email me. The address is at the side.

Christina

Hannah’s Prayer (Part I)

What is prayer? To put it simply, it’s communication with God. There are many examples in the Bible of how to pray and how not to pray. I’ll get to the examples of how to in the coming weeks, but today, I want to look at Hannah.

There is a section in 1 Samuel 2 called Hannah’s Prayer, but that’s not what I want to point out. Skim back to chapter 1 verse 10: In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the Lord.  Verse 11, And she made a vow, saying, “O Lord Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head. (NIV)

If you know anything about the story then you know Hannah was barren. To make matters worse, her husband’s other wife was fruitful. And to make matters even worse, her husband showed favoritism to Hannah (not a bad thing to be loved), which made the other wife spiteful and jealous. The other wife, as Scripture says, “provoked her (Hannah) in order to irritate her.”

Hannah’s husband did all that was right and proper according to the law when it came to offering sacrifices. He even gave Hannah double portions, because he loved her. My guess is, her heartache tore at him and thought to beseech the Lord with double portions, hoping she’d (they’d) find favor (grace) in his eyes.

But check this out:

As she kept praying to the Lord, Eli (high priest) observed her mouth. Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk and said to her, “How long will you keep on getting drunk? Get rid of your wine.”

Ouch! Here is this woman, heartbroken and crying out (praying) to God and this man of God tells her to get rid of her wine. Okay, so there must be something wrong here. Why would this sort of prayer be such an oddity for the high priest to see that he accused this woman of being drunk? Why would he have not recognized it from a personal standpoint?

Perhaps because Eli had moved away from the personal communication with God and moved into a legalistic one.

Some things to ponder . . .

  • How is your communication with God?
  • Are you surprised by those around you whose actions, when it comes to praying to God, seem out of the ordinary?

Next week, I’ll go into Hannah’s response, Eli’s and God’s.

Something to Think About

Isaiah 40:2 says, ” Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins” (NIV). I love this passage as it shows God’s great mercy and love her his rebellious children. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, let her know her redemption is nigh. And I’ll be honest here, I’m not sure how to take that last bit, but to me it seems as if the Lord is saying that not only has Jerusalem paid her dues for her rebelliousness, but that He will restore her with twice what she had before. Maybe I’m reading a little more into what is really there, but look at Job. After all his trials and tribulations, after all had been stripped from him God gave him twice as much as he had before.

When I look at how Job’s family and friends came to him and brought with them gifts, I see a realization of God’s goodness and glory. The scriptures say they came to comfort and console Job, but I’m wondering if he really needed consolation for God had already brought restoration and healing to Job. So too, when Jerusalem receives her complete restoration and healing will God’s glory be revealed.

“And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
Isaiah 40:5

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 Now, I have the great honor and privilege to pray for all of my wonderful friends as they congregate in St. Louis for the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference.

Father God, I lift all those bodies in attendance to you. I pray above all Your name be glorified and hearts will be touched that all may know You are the one true God. For those first time attendees, I pray you calm their spirits and give them Your peace. May they be attentive to what it is You’d have them learn. As they ready for their pitch appointments grant them focus and coherent speech. May You close doors meant to be closed and open wide opportunities that they would know Your will.

Father, I lift Joy, Ane, Susie H., Delia, Susie M., Ralene, Donna G., Sarah, Fred, Lora, Barbara, Bob, Daniel and Stephanie as they enjoy and participate in the conference. Bless them greatly with fellowship. I lift up Sally to you as she waits for word on her manuscript entered into the Genesis. Father, she is such a blessing to those around her, I pray you give her the desires of her heart. And I lift up Susan F.’s family as they deal with family medical issues. Father, you are the Great and Holy healer. You are the ultimate Comforter.

And Father God, I lift Jerusalem to You. Father may You remember Your promises to Your City. May her eyes be opened to Your will, reveal Your glory, may she recall her first love, may she turn her eyes back to You, O God, may she be like a precious ruby.

In Your son Jesus’s name,

Amen

A Prayer

The Lord is my light and my salvation–
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life–
of whom shall I be afraid?
                                                                                   Psalms 27:1

Dear Heavenly Father, I praise you for the beautiful weather you’ve blessed us with. And I praise you for the ability to bring my prayers into the Holy of Holies. Lord, there are many today who need your healing touch. There are several people I know who are currently lying in a hospital bed, I lift them up to you and ask that you reveal yourself to them. May you guide the physician’s hands and grant them wisdom as they diagnose and treat the illnesses.

Father, as you know hundreds of writers will be flocking to St. Louis. I pray you calm the nerves and prepare each one for the divine appointments you have for them, whether it’s to offer a hug or receive a request for their manuscripts. I pray your presence be known and that your name will be glorified among each of them.

And God, I pray you grant our land rest. I pray you cause the flood waters to recede and that you would allow rain to fall onto the parched drought stricken lands.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

Merrie, this prayer is for you

Merrie asked the other day if I would pray for her as she continues along this writing journey she was called to, and what better way than to pray the Word of God over her. The following comes from Colossions 1:9-12

Father God, I pray that you fill Merrie with the knowledge of Your will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And, Lord, I pray this in order that she may live a life worthy of You and may please You in every way bearing fruit and growing in Your knowledge. May she be strengthened with all power according to Your glorious might that she may have great endurance and patience, giving praise to You, God.

In the name of your son Jesus and by the power of Your Holy Spirit,

Amen

If you’d like me to pray for you please leave a comment and I will do so. Or if you’d like you can email me privately through the contact button on the sidebar.

Christina