The Power of Thanksgiving and Prayer

The last post focused on Prayer, Praise, and Worship. We learned that giving thanks is part of prayer. This Post is an elaboration on the Power of Prayer and Thanksgiving.

Paul wrote Philippians 4:6 to let us know that our requests are made known to God. “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

Paul also shared

If praying was easy, everyone would be doing it. It is important to understand that the war between God and the evil one often takes place in our minds. When I was younger, I thought the battle was in the physical realm, and often it is, but the center of anything that happens in this world originates in the mind of world leaders, governmental officials, family members, friends, associates, bosses, villains, and you. We find ourselves at war in our minds. As believer’s we initially stand fast in pray, unwavering in the Word when our lives are going well, and at odds with ourselves when the prayer is not answered as quickly as we wanted. We begin to question God, we entered the war where the voice of doubt speaks out. This doubt, this darkness, is the stronghold of the evil one. His weapons are the attitudes of wrong thinking, of pride, and carnal thinking in general. They are designed to strip us of our blessings and throw us into sin.

So, what does this have to do with Thanksgiving? Everything! When we pray in faith, we stay in faith. God sends down blessings when we pray. If we pray and doubt, they cancel each other out.  Have you ever prayed and believed, and saw your blessing only to see it deferred? Think back, when did you begin doubting that God has control and started questioning yourself saying (self-talk) maybe God is not going to answer, maybe He did not give me direction, maybe it was just me. It was not you, it was the evil one that is speaking doubt to rob you of your blessings. The key is distinguishing between the Lord’s voice and that of the evil one. One of my favorite scriptures reads –

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27. We must learn His voice, and His voice is the Word which is the sword of the Spirit and part of the Armor of God to protect us against the evil one.

Yesterday we learned that praising the Lord as a way of thanking Him for all He has and will do for us. It is how we petition in praise and acknowledge that He is our Father and will answer us. Giving praise or thanks is how we express acknowledgment and appreciation of Him, His grace, blessings and sovereign work in our lives, and the world. But it is not easy, in fact, it is a battle. 

Most of us have experienced difficulty when praying and giving thanks, especially in times of anxiety. But, as we pray through, we become less anxious because we are letting our requests be made known to God so that He is glorified when answering them.  After our blessing, we should give Him more praise and thanksgiving for answering our prayer.

Now back to our children. We often read Bible Stories with young children and share the Word with older ones, but how often do we dissect the scripture to explain how to apply it in their lives? Young people are smart. If we explain to our youth that praise and thanksgiving are a way to acknowledge our Lord, and through praise and thanksgiving a relationship and bond is established between the Lord and them, most would become avid practitioners of praise and thanksgiving. They would begin to understand the formula we have been given to pray and receive God’s blessings. 

In general, people do not understand their relationship with God in real-time. They feel that the Bible was about people during its time of writing and does not pertain to us today. How wrong can we be? Our children deserve training to become Young Christian Warriors. His Words are our sword, part of the Armor of God.  Praying back His Word to Him and thanking Him for all He has done provides a sense of calm, diminishes anxiety, and protects from the world.

_______________________

I just listened to John Hagee, Scriptures on Healing at https://youtu.be/9qxfyyYDF58.

Take a listen, he is one of the worlds most dynamic healers. John is the founder and Senior Pastor of Cornerstone Church, San Antonio, Texas. Website – www.jhm.org

God Urges the ‘Why’ in Children

It seems children continuously ask ‘why’ and are always questioning life. Asking questions like, why should I do it, why shouldn’t I do that, why is the earth round, why is this the only way to solve the problem and on and on and on. Have you ever asked why them they always ask, why? I believe children were not born believing that there are limitations to what they can do. God gives children the ‘why.’ Gods inspiration is designed to ask for the impossible. I recently saw a poster which read, God’s Power Takes Us BEYOND our impossibilities.Picture of girl holding a sign that says why?

Imagine, ‘beyond’ our impossibilities. Ephesian 3:20 (NET) translate the scripture as, “Now to him who by the power that is working within us is able to do far beyond all that we ask or think…” The NLT translation reads, Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.

Our children may not know the scripture, but they intrinsically are aware that we place limitations on our lives. They see the possibility, and we see the impossible. We limit their imagination by confining them to think within the realm of what we feel is reasonable.

This type of thinking worked in the world of 19th-century widgets, but in the 20th -century of virtual worlds, the ‘why’ has become all important. To usher in the brave new world educators have advanced a new national curriculum called the Common Core. The primary purpose of this strategy is to create an environment of questioning, postulating the ‘what if,’ and the ‘why’ of a thing. They want to capture the ‘why’ children pose every day and formulate learning around their adventurous minds.

God is the original adventurous thinker, he is the source; He created the world and introduced the ability to go beyond through the power and might of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us. He is the one who is at work in our lives, He is the one who plants ideas in our minds, and He is the one who has given us the ability to ask, ‘why.’ God works beyond what we might ‘ask’ or ‘think’ about new possibilities. It is God who has this ability, not us. He will do ‘above’ what we ask or think. The principle is that God can do more for us than we can conceive. He offers us the ‘power’ to live beyond what we can imagine or believe. Raising our children to become Young Christian Warriors allows the to imagine and expend the impossible.

Boy pondering 'why'He gives us the power to live beyond our perceived limitations. The fact is children do not sublimate the worldview adults adopted. As a principal, I was the head of a school where hundreds of young people spent much of their day learning. I found looking out of their eyes was refreshing and cast an HTML brilliance on the world. Positing ‘why’ is not a sarcastic response but a query. God has given them the gift of questioning, and God himself goes beyond their questioning to formulate an answer and result.

We should not discourage our children, but instead, teach them the scriptures and let them know that the Holy Spirit, who lives in each of us, is speaking and acting through us. He is operating beyond our capacity to question and understand. He is making the impossible available, and through our relationship with him, will speak through them and make them the ‘apple of his eye.’

(Scriptures from the Holy Bible app)

Children – New Mercies Everyday

Well, it’s a new day. I wake up every morning thanking God for new mercies. Children need to know that God is not revengeful, He gives them new mercies every day despite the activities and thoughts of the day earlier. God’s compassion does not fail.  Great is His faithfulness to us. It is un-called for mercy. Daily mercies is another way God shows us that he cares and loves us despite our mistakes.

Lamentations 3:22, New Day, New Start

Children often think that what they did or said alienated them from God. The power of this scripture is the basis for understanding that God loves them and is a father of second chances. During this lesson, you can also share the knowledge about repentance.

Children Navigate Difficult Times

Looking back on your childhood did you ever wish your parents shared how God’s word helps navigate through life’s difficulties as a child, a tween, a teen, a young adult and today?

Deuteronomy 6:7 ESV says, You shall teach them (commandments) to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

Did your parents share the commandments as practical steps to govern your life? The Bible is a overcomes guide. It teaches how to overcome difficulties, obstacles, hurt, bitterness and strife. We begin to encounter challenges during our childhood, and the way we respond to them begins to take form in our early years. If you teach your children the word, it will live in their heart.

Psalm 119:11 says – I have hidden your word in my heart.

Think, if Gods word is hidden in our hearts, how did it get there? We received them through study and application. When should we begin studying and applying the word as part of daily living? If we do not help our children hold the word in their hearts, when they are tested they will often find that they have no resources to navigate through the dangers of life. 

Continue reading “Children Navigate Difficult Times”

Children – Protected By Angels

Angel standing over two children

Angels protect our children. They keep them from harm’s way. Guardian angels belong to God and he assigned them to us. Our children have guardian angels to look over them and so do we. They exist to help us. We are in a time when we must acknowledge their presence and learn to communicate with them. http://angels-angelology.com/what-angels-do-for-us

“For it is written: “ ‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’ ”  Luke 4:10-11 NIV

Angels are messengers of God’s grace and have special characteristics and abilities that enable them to communicate with humans. Angels can see the face of God and they bring to us and share with us the richness of their understanding of the beauties, perfections, and remarkable attributes of God. These gifts are shared with us in our daily lives. http://angels-angelology.com/what-angels-do-for-us

Winter Angel scene

“For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;” Psalm 91:11 NIV

While there are many different angles in heaven, this post focuses on Guardian Angels. Why Guardian Angels, because these are the angels that protect our children from harm. Imagine your children are now wearing the whole armor of God, and are also protected by guardian angels and Archangels like Michael who are at their side in time of trouble. Angels help us in critical times in our life. God commands them to protect our children.

So, here we are today, we’ve taught our children how to dress in the Whole Armor of God every morning during family prayer time. They leave the house knowing that they have their armor on. If you did not see this lesson, look in the September Archives section at the bottom of the page.  They are learning practical applications of scripture and are becoming aware of who they are in Christ. Their awareness becomes established as a daily process over time. But God has so much more to offer us. We have and must teach them to acknowledge their angels as part of their armor and peace of God.

““See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.”Matthew 18:10 NIV

Guardian Angels protect us in during our daily activities. They guard us against harm.  Our angels are another level of protection.  While the angels communicate with God, they look over us. 

“He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.” Matthew 4:6 NIV

As we continue to empower our children through the word of God which are his scriptures, we must reinforce who to call on God, how to apply his word in their daily lives and how to acknowledge that they were assigned an angel at birth and the angel will stay with them through their life on earth.  The angels protect our children and are a gift from God.

Share the importance of memorizing these scriptures with your children. Let them know that God provides them with gifts to help them navigate through life as Young Christian Warriors. Their angels have a purpose and that purpose is to protect them and guide them through challenging times.

There is comfort in knowing that their angels will remain with them and will never leave them. They can visualize their armor on and their angel by their side as they go through their daily activities.

How to Have a Half Day of Prayer by Chris Russell

Moms and caretakers have busy schedules and it is important to include daily prayer as part of your daily activities, but once in a while, we need more time with God. This article explains how to maximize your time with Our Father.

http://wp.me/p98Coa-5u  From BibleStudyTools.com

Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed. Mark 1:25

Many years ago I learned about a spiritual discipline that literally changed my life: a half day of prayer. I learned about this concept through leadership training with The Navigators, and it has stuck with me ever since. One of the most dynamic experiences I have come to enjoy in life is to take a half day to get away to a place of solitude and just … pray! I highly recommend it to any who are reading this post.

But as you ponder this concept, you are likely asking yourself something like, “What in the world would I do for 4–5 hours of prayer? What would I say to God? What would I do with that much time?” Great questions! Let me give you some suggestions!

First of all, I would suggest that you break the time up into two key divisions: speaking to God and listening to God.

Speaking to God

For the first division of your time, you can take time to pray according to the acronym ACTS. Each of those letters stand for a specific theme of your prayers to God: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication.

Adoration
A great way to begin your half day of prayer is to spend some personal time in worship with the Lord. Sing. Listen to worship music. Contemplate everything you can think of that makes God so great. Write down everything you can think of that demonstrates the awesome majesty of God. And then ponder the things you have written. Contemplate the greatness of God while you are there before Him.

Confession
After your time of adoration, then take time to confess to God any sin you can think of in your life. David said, “Search me, O God, and know my heart. Ask God to show you any sin that you have in your life that is interfering with your journey with Him. Ask for God’s forgiveness, and then ask Him to help you to turn from those sins.

Thanksgiving
Now spend some time thanking God for every blessing you have in your life. I have found it helpful to write these items down as they come to my mind. Make a list, and make it as exhaustive as you can. Don’t leave anything out. Thank God for every single way He has blessed you and those around you.

Supplication
For the supplication portion of your prayer, invest time into praying for every single person who is close to you in your life. Remember every family member, every co-worker, every friend, every neighbor, every church member you can think of, etc. Again, write down the names of the people as you pray for them. This will help you to think of others who should be on that list.

Listening to God

The next section of your half day of prayer will be the “Listening to God” section. This is likely to become the most important, life-changing experience of your half day with God!

Years ago I read a great book by Bill Hybels called, Too Busy Not to Pray. One of the eye-opening suggestions for me in that book was the idea that we should actually take time to stop and listen to God. I realized after reading that book that, in my own prayer life, I had always been the one who did all the talking! I never stopped long enough to actually listen to God. Most relationships that operate like that end up failing, so we should assume that our relationship with God will struggle as well if we are the only ones doing the talking.

So, then, how do we go about “listening” to God? Bill Hybels gave some recommendations for that, and I have expanded on those a bit in my own practice of listening.

Continue reading “How to Have a Half Day of Prayer by Chris Russell”