Let Your Shouts of Praise be Heard today!

Thanksgiving Day 2022

As you gather around you tables today, May your words be sweet to one another and filled with praises to God. I love Psalm 100 and its joyful reminder of who God is and why He is worthy of all our praises.

A psalm. For giving grateful praise. Psalm 100

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
    Worship the Lord with gladness;
    come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
    It is he who made us, and we are his;
    we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
    and his courts with praise;
    give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
    his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Have a blessed day of giving thanks.

Linda

Give Thanks for it All!

November 23, 2022

When I’m thinking about giving thanks the first thing that comes to my mind, in a tangible way, is saying grace at meals. We have many examples in scripture of Jesus breaking bread and thanking God for the provision of food. In the Old Testament most all of the references to giving thanks are about God’s character. Thanks for His righteousness, kindness, grace, enduring love, greatness, mighty deeds and His Name. In the New Testament the majority of the references to ‘giving thanks’ center around food. Perhaps this is because they had the Lord present with them and He wanted their daily habits to reflect thanksgiving. Our thanks needs to encompass both the tangible (food) and the intangible (God’s character) as we seek to praise God continually in all things.

Jesus made it a habit to thank God before eating. He modeled this in the feeding of the 4,000 in Matthew 15:36,  he took the seven loaves and the fish, and having given thanks he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.” In Mark 14:22-23, he gave thanks at the Last Supper they shared together before his crucifixion. He told us the bread and wine were symbolic of his broken body and shed blood to come, “And as they were eating, he took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” 23 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it.” Whether it was symbolic or not, Jesus had the habit of thanking God for His provision. Be it food to sustain our bodies or food for our souls, we must maintain a constant attitude of grace and thanksgiving. We may have prepared the supper but we did not cause the food to grow- only creator God, is able to do that. We may have accepted Jesus as our Savior and accepted His sacrificial gift of forgiveness, but only perfect Savior Jesus was able to provide for our righteousness. We need to take ourselves out of this equation and focus our thanks wholly on God. He alone is able to provide for our needs both spiritually and physically.

Giving Thanks is a humbling posture that requires us to have an attitude of gratitude about all things. I love 1 Thessalonians 5:18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Whether it is food, health, home, family, jobs, hobbies, relationships…. the list is endless, all is provided to us by God. Thank you Jesus.

A truth to claim with thanksgiving: I was bought with a price and belong to God. As believers were are valuable to God and He paid the ultimate price for our righteousness- the death of His Son, Jesus. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. He has graciously given us His Holy Spirit to indwell us so that we have a personal guide that connects us to Him. Praise God that He loves me so much that He has given me everything I need to be connected to Him.

May the thought of being bought with the price of Jesus’ life be a source of extreme gratitude for you this Thanksgiving. As you break break together, give thanks for your provisions both physical and spiritual that are made possible through you faith in Jesus.

Linda

God is UNCHANGING, What a Blessing that is!

November 22, 2022

Our passage today comes from Hebrews. The author of Hebrews is talking about the unshakable nature of God’s kingdom. Hebrews 12: 28-29 gives us the conclusion the author reaches and what our response to the unsinkability of God should be. “Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, 29 for our God is a consuming fire.

Is your response to the Immutability of God, his unchanging character and will, one of gratitude? Can you imagine if God was changeable? We could never be assured that He would not change His mind about our salvation! How do we know that God would not change what He desires from us? His purity, goodness and truth would also come into question. In the Old Testament we see the Israelites and other pagan nations worshipping idols. They never knew what would please their gods, how they would react, what they wanted or what they would or even could do. Psalm 96:5 reminds us that idols do not create anything. ” For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the Lord made the heavens.

The author of Hebrews wants to remind us that God is immutable, and therefore worthy of all our worship. He is a consuming fire! The picture of fire is one that appears repeatedly in the Bible. God appeared to Moses in a burning bush that was not consumed (Exodus 3:5), a pillar of fire to moved the Israelites at night in the desert (Exodus 13:21), the Lord consumed the offering on Mt Carmel with fire (1 Kings 18:38) and the Holy Spirit descended upon believers with tongues of fire (Acts 2:3). Fire is a picture of pure energy and power, that is our Sovereign God!

I am so thankful that God is unchanging and I can depend upon Him to keep all his promises. I have several verses that remind me of God’s unchanging character that I can claim with assurance. James 1:17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” and Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.’ We can place our faith in our unchangeable God.

A truth to claim with thanksgiving: I am sealed by the Holy Spirit. God’s all consuming fire that was manifested to the early believers as tongues of fire. It showed the presence of His Holy Spirit descending upon the believer. We can know His power within us today. That same power of fire and energy indwells each believer and seals us or guarantees our faith. Ephesians 1:13-14  In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” He guarantees our salvation and inheritance in heaven by His Holy Spirit! 2 Corinthians 1:21-22  “In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” God did this for us so we would know His love and promises are true. It is reaffirmed in 2 Corinthians 5:5 also “He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

What a wonderful gift God has given us by telling us we do not have to worry about His kingdom as it is unshakeable. We can rest assured that He is unchanging. His consuming Holy Spirit will indwell us and hold us for all eternity. That is some guarantee!!

Linda

Peace, Gratitude, Forgiveness- May they be seated at your Table this Thanksgiving

November 21,2022

Colossians 3:15-16 “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.

Paul was writing to Colossians about their attitudes towards one another. In verses 12-15 he describes what their behavior should look like towards one another that would be pleasing to God. “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” If we are behaving as Paul describes, then we just need to relax and let Christ rule in our hearts bringing peace and unity to our gatherings. Because of the message of Christ, we can worship together and praise God in one accord with extreme gratitude in our hearts.

What if this is not what our homes, families, and churches look like? Then we need to seek God’s help. Hebrews 4:16 “
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
God will seek to use us to bring harmony and peace to where we are. He promises His peace to indwell us and knowing that promise we can indeed be thankful. At this opportune time of the year, let us express our thanks to God and to let others know that our THANKFULNESS comes from GOD! Remember, Psalm 107:2 “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble.”

A truth to claim with thanksgiving: I am forgiven. You might wonder why I chose this truth for today’s scripture. As my remember my own sin, it brings great thankfulness for God’s forgiveness. I can look at others as ones loved by God who also stand in need of forgiveness. I am reminded of Romans 5:8“but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” God loved me and sent Christ to die for me. That is the center of my thankfulness and heart of gratitude towards God and others. Here are a few other verses about forgiveness: Colossians 1:12-14  and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

Micah 7:18-19 is one of my favorites to claim with hope and thanks, “Who is a God like you,
    who pardons sin and forgives the transgression
    of the remnant of his inheritance?
You do not stay angry forever
    but delight to show mercy.
19 You will again have compassion on us;
    you will tread our sins underfoot
    and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.
Thank you Jesus, my sins are gone!

I also love the image given to us in Isaiah 38:17 “Surely it was for my benefit
    that I suffered such anguish.
In your love you kept me
    from the pit of destruction;

you have put all my sins
    behind your back.”

Let your forgiven heart be open to the needs of others and seek to make peace at your Thanksgiving table. Remember you have His peace within you and can testify to the wonders of His Name.

Linda

A Prayer for Others, do it for them!

November 19 and 20

As we think about and plan for the upcoming holiday and the theme of giving thanks, let’s look at Paul’s attitude towards the believers in Philippi.

Philippians 1:3-6 “I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.Paul begins his letter to the Philippian Christians with a note of thanks. He is thankful every time he thinks of them because they are coworkers in telling others about the love and redemption they have through Christ’s death and resurrection. When was the last time you prayed with thanksgiving for those who work beside you at church, at work or at home who know the Lord and are seeking to tell others about Jesus? Whether they are near or far, it does not matter to God as He hears our prayers and knows our hearts. Living with an attitude of gratitude for those around us is essential to a fulfilling and abundant walk with the Lord.

Paul then continues as he seeks to lift these coworkers up in prayer. Consider his prayer in Philippians 1:9-11 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God. Paul is praying for his friends to have abounding love, knowledge and insight into God and His ways so they can apply His truth to their lives. He wants them to be fruitful and fulfilled in their walk with the Lord. Who do you know this Thanksgiving season that you can pray this prayer for? You can put their name into the scripture and lift them up to Jesus. Here is my version, I pray it inspires you to pray for others.

Dear Lord, I am thankful every time I remember ___________. May his/her faith in Jesus be continually filled with joy. I am confident that You who started the good work of salvation in ______ will continue to do so until Jesus comes again or he/she joins you in heaven. Today I’m asking that _____________’s love for Jesus will continue and grow more and more. I pray _______”s knowledge of Jesus will expand so that __________ will be able to choose what is best in our world filled with temptations and distractions. Lord, I ask that ________ will show the fruits of the Spirit in his/her life so that others may be encouraged by his/her love, patience, kindness, peace, self-control, gentleness and joy. Amen.

A truth to claim with thanksgiving: I am a co-worker for Jesus. The letters in the New Testament all have verses that speak of the co-workers that are toiling with the Apostles. In 1 Corinthians 3:9 Paul says, “For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.” He affirms their working together for Christ. Paul also addresses the Thessalonians in 1 Thessalonians 3:2 about why they are sending Timothy to them. “We sent Timothy, who is our brother and co-worker in God’s service in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith,” Doing God’s work is serious business and appreciated by your fellow co-workers. Together we can encourage and pray for one another, so God’s work is accomplished just as He promises. We are a part of His work in the world! Praise God! He can use us even though we are weak. One of my favorite verses is 2 Corinthians 12:9, may it encourage you to keep on keeping on in Christ. “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Blessings as you pray with thanksgiving and hope in your hearts for your fellow coworkers and those they are ministering to!

Linda

God is Bigger than ANY Storm We Face

November 18, 2022

Psalm 107:23-32 Some went out on the sea in ships;
    they were merchants on the mighty waters.
24 They saw the works of the Lord,
    his wonderful deeds in the deep.
25 For he spoke and stirred up a tempest
    that lifted high the waves.
26 They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths;
    in their peril their courage melted away.
27 They reeled and staggered like drunkards;
    they were at their wits’ end.
28 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he brought them out of their distress.
29 He stilled the storm to a whisper;
    the waves of the sea were hushed.
30 They were glad when it grew calm,
    and he guided them to their desired haven.
31 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
    and his wonderful deeds for mankind.
32 Let them exalt him in the assembly of the people
    and praise him in the council of the elders.

This portion of Psalm 107 shows the majesty and grandeur of the seas and oceans. The power of the wind and the waves and the quiet calm. The psalmist praises God for His sovereignty over the elements of nature He has created. Over the power of the tempest, the sailor’s cries for help can be heard. God does answer and delivers the sailor to their safe haven. We may not be sailors, but we can relate to God’s power. We know that God is greater than any force of nature we face, any crisis we are involved in or any person or thing that threatens us. No matter what the circumstances God desires that we find an attitude of gratitude within the pain because we know for certain that the things of God are not temporal but eternal. The things of God are treasures and are held safely in His care for us. I am reminded of Matthew 6:19-21 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Where are your treasures stored? Through faith in Jesus we can have the assurance of salvation and the power of God in us! We have eternal life with Jesus. No one can take that away ever. Jesus promised in John 10:28 “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.” We are safe in the arms of Jesus not matter how big the storms of life!

A truth to claim with thanksgiving: I am saved through faith in Christ Jesus. Here are some wonderful verses to claim as you revel in the thought of being saved and loved for eternity by Jesus. John 14:6 “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Jesus is the way! John 10:9  “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture.” Jesus is the gateway to a saving relationship with God. Romans 5:9-10 “Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!” John 3:16 is a promise from God for all eternity “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Knowing Jesus, we can be safe for all eternity, covered in His love, redeemed and delivered from the penalty of our sin which is eternal death. Jesus is the way! Praise God today for your salvation and God’s protection as you weather the storms of life each and every day. Being assured that all your precious heavenly treasures that are sealed and saved for you in heaven.

Linda

Ancient Problems are Here and Now, Too!

November 17, 2022

Psalm 107:16-22 Some became fools through their rebellious ways
    and suffered affliction because of their iniquities.
18 They loathed all food
    and drew near the gates of death.
19 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he saved them from their distress.
20 He sent out his word and healed them;
    he rescued them from the grave.
21 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
    and his wonderful deeds for mankind.
22 Let them sacrifice thank offerings
    and tell of his works with songs of joy.

When you read this portion of the psalm you see the Israelites suffered from illnesses cause by eating disorders and from their own afflictions caused by sin. I was pondering this and the first thing that came to mind was addictions we have today for drugs and alcohol. The eating disorders and the wasting away reminded me of anorexia and bulimia. That these disease and afflictions would be in our present day but addressed in this ancient text shows the depth and applicability of God’s Word. What the psalmist is saying is that God can and does address these problems. If the sufferer cries out to Him, he will be heard. God can and does save people out of addiction each and every day. God can rescue them from the grave so to speak as He breaths life and hope into the individual through faith in Christ. Verse 20 says that God sent out His Word. Jesus is the Word and faith in Jesus will heal and save both physically and spiritually. Those who have been rescued out of these conditions along with their loved ones live lives fill with praise for God’s powerful healing in their lives. Why does God do this? He heals and rescues because He loves us. His love is unfailing unlike human love His is eternal and always full. His is a faithful love that is unconditional and unending. Praise God!

A truth to claim with thanksgiving: I can find grace and mercy in a time of need. This truth is so wonderful. You can claim it with hope in your heart day and night. God is accessible and we can come to him any time or any place. He promises in Deuteronomy 31:6 to never leave us. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” We can have courage for living each day and assurance of His presence with us. Knowing we can come to God in prayer, what can we be assured we will find there in His presence? First of all we can find peace and relief from fear. John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” We are also assured in Hebrews 14:6 of grace and mercy. “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” God would not have told us that He has peace, grace and mercy unless He means it! God does not lie. God is truth. You can count upon Him to always be with you, give you peace, grace and mercy exactly when you need it most. Come into His presence today and ask Him for these things. He is faithful and will answer just as He promises.

Are you facing difficulties right now in your life? Do you suffer from an addiction or are you stressed out from the pressures of life? Call upon Him. Come into His presence today and feel His love and support. He has what you need in abundance.

Linda

Restoration From Utter Darkness, Thank you Jesus!

November 16, 2022

Psalm 107:10-16 Some sat in darkness, in utter darkness,
    prisoners suffering in iron chains,
11 because they rebelled against God’s commands
    and despised the plans of the Most High.
12 So he subjected them to bitter labor;
    they stumbled, and there was no one to help.
13 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he saved them from their distress.
14 He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness,
    and broke away their chains.
15 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
    and his wonderful deeds for mankind,

16 for he breaks down gates of bronze
    and cuts through bars of iron.

In this portion of the psalm the writer gives examples of different problems that were NOT beyond the control of Almighty God. The one who is suffering is portrayed in utter darkness, a prisoner in chains because of their own sin against God. This scenario is like the Israelites who refused to follow God and worship Him. After many years and many chances, God sent the Babylonians to take the Jews captive and remove them from their beloved land. They were deported to Babylon and remained there for 70 years. After that time, God arranged for their miraculous return to Jerusalem and they were able to rebuild the temple and the city walls. Never again did the Israelites forsake God and worship idols.

God knew what they needed to come to the realization that He was God and deserved all their praise, worship and thanks. They learned that God preserves and protects His own for their good and His glory. As the psalmist wrote in verse 14, He brought them out of darkness, broke their chains and restored them. Just as God has done in the past, He will do for you and me today. He restores our soul, lifts our spirit and redeems us from utter darkness. Where has God rescued you and broken the chains of sins that entangled you? Will you give Him thanks and praise? He is an awesome God and He loves you!

A truth to claim with thanksgiving: I am free in Christ. Because of Christ and his work on the cross, I am no longer in bondage to sin and I am free from sin’s penalty, death. Here are some verses to ponder about your freedom in Christ: John 8:35-36 “Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” Galatians 5:1 speaks of our freedom from our old nature and its slavery to sin “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Romans 8:1-2 “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you[a] free from the law of sin and death.” What a glorious truth! I am free in Christ! Thank you Jesus!!

Linda

Write it Yourself, Praise and Thanks

November 15, 2022

Some wandered in desert wastelands,
    finding no way to a city where they could settle.
They were hungry and thirsty,
    and their lives ebbed away.
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he delivered them from their distress.
He led them by a straight way
    to a city where they could settle.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
    and his wonderful deeds for mankind,

for he satisfies the thirsty
    and fills the hungry with good things. Psalm 107: 4-9

This portion of Psalm 107 is recalling the wandering times in the wilderness as a group or perhaps during personal times of distress where the believer called upon the Lord for His help. The psalmist recounts their woes- tired, hungry, distressed and in need of guidance. He then tells how God met these needs by filling the hunger with good things, leading them to where they could settle safely, and by hearing their cries. Their love and thankfulness to God was based on personal experiences. Do you have times you can remember when you were desperate and God met your needs? Or maybe you were confused and in need of guidance and He heard your cry for help and sent someone to meet your needs. Or maybe God came himself and sent His Holy Spirit to give you peace for your inner soul.

Could you write your own psalm of praise and thanks to God? Fill in the blanks with your own experiences.

Lord, I was _________________ and __________________________.

You heard my prayers for help and sent ______________________ to meet my needs.

You brought me peace and hope and filled me with good things. Thank you for your unfailing love and for what you have done and are doing in my life.

Amen.

A truth to claim with thanksgiving: I am helped by God. This truth is found repeatedly in scripture. Here are a few verse for you to claim as you seek to truly believe that God has your back and is always with you. Hebrews 4:16  Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Are you in need of God’s help? This verse is a promise you can claim- God hears and desires to help us when we are in need! Deuteronomy 31:6 is one of my life verses- claim it! “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Psalm 121:1-2 “I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” The psalmist encourages us to look to God for our help- He is creator God and sovereign over all things.

Be assured today that God hears your cries and God will help. Turn to Him. Trust His timing and His ways. He is always faithful even when we are not.

Linda

Thankfulness in Prayer

November 12th and 13th

We are about midway through this month of gratitude and as we near Thanksgiving and all the preparations that go into that day let your mind and heart dwell on the why. Why are you personally thankful this year? Begin this weekend to speak words of thanks for your family, home, neighbors, cities and for our country. Instead of looking for what is wrong, focus on what is right and pray for those around you. Here is a prayer of thanks from Colossians 1. Paul begins by expressing his thanks for the faith of the Colossians. ” We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people— the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel .” (verses 3-4) Who do you know that you are thankful for their faith? Who’s faith has pointed you continually toward Jesus and the truth of God’s Word? Offer up your own thanks for those believers who strength and encourage your faith.

Paul continues in verses 9-14 “For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

What is Paul praying for the Colossian believers? In verse 9 Paul begins by asking that they will be filled with the wisdom and understanding provided by the Holy Spirit. He then continues and asks that the wisdom and understanding God will give them be applied to their lives so they will please God with their words and deeds. He wants them to produce fruit of the Spirit in the good works they are doing. He desires that they continue to grow in the knowledge of God. Paul wants them to be strengthened so that they may have patience, endurance and joy in their walk with Jesus. He wants them to remember the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and how he saved them from eternal death and darkness and brought them into a life of light and forgiveness.

This is a mighty prayer. Who do you know that you can pray this prayer for? Who do you know that needs empowerment for living like the Colossian Christians? You can replace the ‘you’s’ in this prayer with their name or your own. I challenge you to pray this prayer over them for several days, a week or even a month. Look for God’s transforming power in them and in yourself as you pray for others.

A truth to claim with thanksgiving: I have the ability to approach God. The idea of approaching God has been fraught with fear and trembling throughout the ages. However, if we look at Genesis Chapters 2 and 3 we see that in the beginning man existed in the garden and had a relationship with Almighty God. Adam and Eve did not fear God until they ate from the tree of knowledge, then they knew sin. Through the work of Jesus on the cross, we can now come near to God as we have a relationship with God again. Jesus has made us clean and presents us to the Father. I love Ephesians 3:12  In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.” and Hebrews 4:16  Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” We can approach God on behalf of others, as Paul did for the Colossians, or for ourselves.

Prayer is a mighty privilege and through it we come into the presence of God Almighty. Use it wisely and often.

Linda