En Gedi: Finding rest in the wilderness!

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Posts Tagged ‘prayer’

“Truffles from Heaven” Moms Conference!

Posted by Scott on February 14, 2010

 

If you live in the North Dallas area please pass the word on about this great conference for moms. You can register online at Mom2Mom Ministry of Stonebriar Community Church!

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I sit in this pit and wait!

Posted by Scott on October 10, 2009

Adapted from Psalm 130

“Lord, I am down here in this deep dark pit, can you hear me?

My voice is weak and my heart even weaker, can you hear me, Lord?

I hope you can hear me as I cry out to you for mercy and forgiveness!

Lord, if you keep score of all my wrongs without mercy who can ever survive?

But Lord, I know you are full of forgiveness and mercy.

You are to be feared, because You are the Almighty God!

So, I sit here in this deep dark pit, reading Your Word, patiently waiting.

It is in my Lord’s Word I am hoping to find peace and comfort always.

 

Every morning I wake up anticipating what You will do that I can be a part of.

I do this every single morning, watch and wait for You!

 

People, rest assured all hope is in the Lord.

In the Almighty God is a love unimaginable!

In the Almighty God is a love that never ceases!

In Him, is a restoring love that never grows cold!

 

Everyone, our Lord and Savior will restore His own.

All of our sins will be forgiven, be patient, be repentful!

God will hear your cry from any dark pit you find yourself in!”

-by scott bailey (c) 2009

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Book Review: Voices of the Faithful Book 2

Posted by Scott on September 26, 2009

09-08-19BG_Voices_of_the_Faithful_Book_2This is a wonderful devotional. Over 366 stories of the mission field from all over the world that will encourage your day.  The stories are inspiring as Christians who serve around the world tell their accounts of wonderful encounters with God.

This series of books were created by Beth Moore and in Book 2 were compiled by Kim Davis.  Beth Moore has a way with putting together a book and this one in up there with the rest.  If you wonder what goes on from the front lines of our faith in this spiritual battle we are in, then this devotional book will certainly meet your intrigue.

Each day is filled with danger, anticipation, heartache, triumph, and miracles.  You will witness on each page the glorious details God has provided in the lives of those in the middle of the battle.  You’ll meet children that are boisterous, parents who worry about their kids, teens, and situation, curiosity, and much more. 

At the end of each days devotional you will be encouraged by the leading prayer which will help you get into an even more intense prayer time.  Remember to pray for those in foreign countries contending for the faith on a daily basis.  Remember to pray for those being persecuted around the world for preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.  God is sustaining these Believers all around the world through His Word, the suffering they experience, and His glorious timing to be their rescuer.

Get this devotional and include it in your daily devotional time…it could enhance your prayer life immensely.

Scott Bailey 2009

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Book Review: “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young

Posted by Scott on August 31, 2009

    This is a great little devotional book for every day of the year.  The devotional is written by long time missionary, Sarah Young and published by long time publishers, Thomas Nelson Publishing.   Jesus Calling is geared for both men and women with quick and short paragraphs that would be most desirable for someone on the run that needs to take five minutes to stop and reflect on God and reflect on Him speaking to them in that very moment.

Each daily devotional is done from the point of view that God is talking to them that very moment.  The fact is, He is talking to each of us Believers all the time if we would stop and listen.  This little devotional book brings that out in a unique way.  At the bottom of each page are great verses of Scripture to deepen the experience of that days devotional. 

Each days writings are from Sarah’s personal encounter with Jesus day by day as she recorded in her prayer journals.  Sarah would write down what she sensed the Lord telling her in her prayer time daily.  I believe Sarah does a fantastic job helping the reader to understand that Jesus is ever present with us and we can enjoy His peace on a daily basis.  This is not a deep book understandably at first glance, but it helps to get each of our minds and hearts turned back towards Him each day and learn to listen for His voice out of the hundreds of voices yelling around us taking us into a deeper walk with Christ.  Jesus does speak to us today through His Scripture and through daily time listening to Him.  This book is a great way to get back to or continue on in each Believer’s personal quiet time.  Our spiritual health depends on it.

Scott Bailey (c) 2009

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A Christian’s work…borrowed!

Posted by Scott on March 20, 2009

“The fulfillment of all our need is an activity of the Holy Spirit – and yet, mysteriously, He waits until we ask before He moves!”

“A Christian’s work in never anything but borrowed activity, based on borrowed authority – authority borrowed from God!”

Just remember that “We are forever in need – body, soul and spirit! Only as we walk in continual, step-by-step dependence upon the living God can any of these needs be adequately met. When we fail to pray, we fail to depend on Him. Thus, we condemn ourselves to physical, emotional, and spiritual starvation.”

-Ray C. Stedman “Talking With the Father”

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Don’t stand next to the edge and you won’t fall in!

Posted by Scott on March 18, 2009

Another portion of the model prayer that Jesus used to teach His disciples, is “Lead us not into temptation”. Luke 11:2-4 Jesus used a shorter version of the model prayer to teach them with. The first part of any prayer should deal with God, who He is, His character, His holiness and our relationship with Him. However, in the second part of the prayer we are to deal with our shortcomings, our sin, our forgiveness of sin as well as us forgiving others for their ills against us or even things owed to us, our attitude, our indebtedness, and our selfishness.

What is temptation anyway? I have found from the Greek original text can be an enticement, trial, trouble, an affliction, an adversity, to make stumble into a situation to sin, an examination. The “temptation” is not what the sin is, however, it is what we do with the temptation that can become the sin, the shortcoming, the unlawful act. As it is revealed to us, all Christians, will be tempted…there is no escape from it on a daily basis. It is a necessary part of the Believer’s life in order to become the instruments or vessels God will use. These most difficult and trying situations come in our lives to see how we will react and to build upon. These discouraging events in our lives are there to build us up in Christ, strengthen us in Him, and ultimately deliver us into victory.

Why should we ask God not to lead us into temptation if it is a necessary part of life? That is a very good question. So, let’s jump into that end of the pool for a moment. Remember, Matthew 4:1 it tells that “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil”. So, why should we ask not to be lead into temptation? Well, as one mentor would say he thinks Jesus meant, “we should pray to be kept from unrecognized temptations”. If we know a temptation is coming, then we can prepare for it in prayer and be resistant to it…as we resist it becomes a source of strengthening and growth. However, many places we go and find ourselves at we may not be able to discern a temptation in that moment without asking the Lord to keep us from that temptation in the first place. Many times we fall into temptation and end up sinning, because it has caught us off guard and we had not prayed.

Look at Peter the day Jesus was taken prisoner and crucified. Jesus asked him to pray with Him in the garden. What did Peter do, slept. Peter could not stay awake. Jesus was not asking Peter to pray for Him, but to pray for himself and to use the teachings on prayer that Jesus had taught Peter just days before. Peter was not “prayed up”, as some call it, for the events about to take place in his life and the life of Christ.

What happened that night in the garden…Peter ended up chopping off a soldier’s servant’s ear to which Jesus had to miraculously put back on the servants head. Then near the courts, when Peter was confronted, he failed again and cursed Jesus and denied any involvement with Jesus or that he knew Him at all. Peter should have prayed before all this, but he learned a valuable lesson on why he needed to pray daily and pray that he would not be lead into unforeseen temptations. In Peter’s case, Ray Stedman said “Satan wrung out his courage and hung him up to dry”. We certainly do not want to be caught in this same situation. Jesus has told us how to pray to our God, now, we must simply put that into action.

So, when we pray as we should, we need to think while we pray about what we are praying. Use this prayer a guide to keep us on track and in proper order to be in God’s will. I understand times when we are mumbling to God out of despair, when we cry out in a humble situation, and that takes on a different type of prayer. This is dealing with our daily communication with our heavenly Father. When we come to this part of our prayer time, we are simply recognizing that we are foolishly weak and that we constantly battle to stay out of trouble. We need to admit this and ask God for His assistance in keeping us from the edge of the “well of sin”…show us where the edge is, so that we can stay far away from the edge. If we are not playing at the edge, then it is good to say we will not fall in.

Scott Bailey © 2009

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What Are You Hiding in the Corners of Your Closet?

Posted by Scott on March 13, 2009

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” -Psalm 19:14

Some of the darkest areas of any house are in the closets, especially, a corner of the closet underneath the stairs. The kids love to play in the closet underneath the stairs. It is a secret place, dark, even cozy for some, a place to hide or get away from it all and a place to hide our most precious valuables.

In our spiritual life, think about the darkest corners of your life. What closet is it that holds the ugly smelly skeletons of our life we want no one to know about? I mean, most of us walk through life and especially, our prayer life with a closet or two that we do not want God to go into. We allow him in every other area of our life to clean up and make holy, but these dark, dusty, smelly corners of a particular closet we say…”God don’t go in that area, it belongs to me and I will take care of the corners of that closet.” Of course we do not verbally say that, but if we are really honest, that is exactly what our hearts and minds are saying to God each time we pray, “O Father, holy is Your name.”

We are talking with our heavenly Father, calling Him “Holy or Hallowed” yet we hold back certain areas of our life from Him when we pray. Think for a moment about certain areas that you really have not handed over to God for Him to make holy in your life. It could be a career move, your sex life (hey it is so good now, please don’t try to make my sex life holy that might be weird), money, serving in church, your “things”, your children, your friends and so on. You can name a hundred other areas that could be withheld from the holiness of God making us all hypocrites when we pray “O Father, holy is Your name.”

To pray, “O Father, holy is Your name” is really saying in all honesty, “May the whole of my life be a source of delight to You and may it be an honor to the name which I bear, which is Your name.” The quote above from Psalm 19:14 from David sums this up nicely. It is saying “may we be pleasing to God when we pray, because we have opened up every closet, pulled out every stinking skeleton from those closet’s to be laid out before a holy God, every oozing sin carcass left to rot in the far dark corners of that closet underneath our stairs”. As we go before such a holy Father, we must come to Him leaving nothing behind, holding nothing back, and not hiding anything in any closet. Coming to God and calling Him “holy” is allowing Him to examine every single aspect of your being. Let Him into the tiniest corners of your heart and mind in order to clean it all up. You are allowing Him to create within you a clean and holy life. Is this a perfect life? Absolutely not! However, we are to strive to be a holy vessel before a loving and holy God.

Until we really mean “O Father, holy is Your name” from a stand point of total commitment, total honesty, complete openness…we cannot and will not have any real contact with God, any real touch of the power of His Majesty, any genuine sincere experience of His glorious fragrance and wonder of Him at work in our life. We must place it all out before Him and desire the holiness of God in complete devotion to Him by allowing Him access to all of our lives not just parts of it. This is a cry of helpless trust in God. The focus is off ourselves and placed on a holy God as it should be.

Stand still at this moment in your daily prayer life. Be quiet for a moment after saying “O Father, holy is Your name”. Allow God this moment without rushing to get the prayer over and done with as someone would do a chore. Your prayer time should not be a chore…it should be an honor to even speak to such a holy God and further, to call Him “Father”. This is a moment that we are placing God first in our lives…we are not presenting our problems, our desires first…we are honoring Him first by bowing before Him in holiness.

When we pray with an attitude of total submission to our heavenly Father, we will come to understand that God will enter the darkest corners of our life, the places the stink from our sin is so bad we do not even want to go there and clean it up and our Lord, our heavenly holy Father will clean those areas out and make us a holy vessel He can now use. We could pray something like this:

“Father, there is no area of my life that I hide from You. Search me; illuminate the darkest corners of my life. Reveal to me the flaws and sin in my relationships, my social life, my sex life, my thought life, my business life, my school life, my recreation and vacation time, my ________ (you name the others).

This is getting brutally honest about our sin and our desire before God that we want to be holy, too. In 1 John 1:7, John tell us, “If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.” Well, to walk in the light means that we are willing to walk honestly and openly before God, so that the light of His truth can illuminate or light us up and clean the darkest of the dark corners of our lives.

So, when you pray next time, think about this small beginning in your prayer time. Open up to God by being honest. Let Him into those darkest parts of your heart and mind. Let Him clean those up for you. I think we will all see tremendous changes in our prayer lives and our daily lives we live for Him.

Scott Bailey (c) 2009

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Prayer Time Starts with God!

Posted by Scott on March 11, 2009

Jesus told the disciples to start their prayers off by addressing our heavenly Father, our Dad! He should be first in our prayer life, always. By doing this it often exposes a few flaws or weaknesses in our own prayers, because how often do they start with us rushing in immediately spewing out before God our laundry list of troubles. Here are a few things to remember in the beginning of our prayers:

1. Slow down, stay calm and gaze upon our Father in all His greatness, holiness, and glory. By doing this, we receive an immediate calm spirit to go throughout the rest of our prayer time. He is our Father, our heavenly Dad, but remember He is holy most of all.

2. By starting out as Jesus taught by addressing our holy Father it helps to eliminate several misconceptions about God up front. Real authentic prayer is never coming to God as the Chairman of the Benevolence Committee, the Priest behind the vail during our confession session, or our personal Banker to help finance our latest projects or concerns. He is our Father and we must come to Him as a child comes to their earthly father, but with much more respect I might add.

3. Our God possesses a father’s heart, love, power, and concern for his children. This is an intimate conversation with our holy Dad, our heavenly Father. A child will isten for their father and run to him in complete trust and simplicity. But a young child is also very frank with their dad as well. God wants us to come to Him like a young child, with a young child’s faith…otherwise it is not faith nor is it true prayer.

4. By understanding that we are coming to our heavely Father, this shows us one of the truest natures of our God. He is a father, not some old blind man floating on a cloud or a force behind a curtain pulling levers and trying to keep everything on track, or an impersonal spirit that comes and goes. Our heavenly Father is very personal with us. He is all about love and relationships. He gives a careful listening ear to His children and what we say.

5. He is a patient and tender father we can really believe in. By addressing Him as our Father from our entire being not just our lips, it is saying we believe He is our Father and we are trying to relate to Him as our Father. Understand this belief is not some intellectual agreement with God, but we are actually committed in our entire life to Him from deepest parts of our soul.

This is where true authentic earth shaking prayer begins. Jesus taught His disciples to begin their prayer time like this and we should do no less. Start off as though you are setting down beside your dad and going to have an intimate, loving conversation with him…it is the same with our heavenly Father.

Scott Bailey 2009

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A Prayer for all us on Prayer!

Posted by Scott on March 10, 2009

“Father, what can we say in this hour but to cry out as the disciples cried out, ‘Lord, teach us to pray.’ Teach us our need. Tear away this vail from our eyes that makes us think we have any adequacy in ourselves. Deliver us from this satanic delusion, this widespread worldly philosophy that our knowledge, our education, our training can provide an adequate background for activity. Give us instead a conscious sense of dependence on You, an awareness that nothing we do will have any lasting value apart from daily, hourly, intimate communion with You.” -Ray C. Stedman

In Christ we all pray, AMEN!

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Why Do We Struggle With Prayer?

Posted by Scott on March 9, 2009

Studying into the prayer life of Christ, we find that prayer was not a struggle for Him. It was a neccessity of life and was also natural. I have found no references to Jesus ever struggling to get away and pray. He was always ready to pray about everything. Interestingly I found 4 areas Christ used prayer for:

1. Thanksgiving! He was already to give thanks to God in everything. He always thanks His Father for the food they were eating. Thanks for circumstances, the people He had given to Jesus, victories, and He gave thanks at the Last Supper which would be His last before He suffered on the cross.

2. Counsel! He always went to the Father for counsel. In Luke 6:12-13 He went before the counsel of His Father in choosing the 12 Disciples. I can imagine the discussion over Judas, but in Jesus’ case, He always obeyed the will of His Father. In prayer for counsel from God He was seeking His guidance in every situation. Asking that the Father would light up the right path to be taken. Yes, Jesus was God, but at this time on earth He put that aside and relied on His Father, God for power and direction.

3. Intercession! He prayed for His disciples as they set out to spread the gospel. Not only for them, but also for those who would hear the gospel and believe. He prayed for Peter many times, but in particular at the time Jesus told him that satan had asked to sift him and Jesus told Peter, “I have prayed for you, that your faith will not fail.” He also prayed for Peter before he denied even knowing Jesus during the time of His crucifiction. He prayed for those that placed Him on the cross that fatal day…because they really did not know who they were nailing to the cross, but He asked for their foregiveness.

4. Communion! Prayer to Jesus was His communion with the Father on an hourly basis. In the garden with sweat of blood coming from his pores, anguish over the impending torturous death, Jesus experienced communion when the Father sent angels to minister to Him at that time. He also experienced a great communion with the Father at His transfiguration. His appearence changed, His robe became bright and shiny. As Ray Stedman said, “In prayer, He experienced such a communion so rich that the glory of the Father, the indwelling glory broke through the tent of His body in which it was hidden.” Reference John 1:14.

So, why do we struggle with prayer so much. It should be a neccesary action in our life and over time become our first natural response throughout the day, not something we feel is a last ditched effort. Stay in constant communion, intercession, counsel and thanksgiving with our heavenly Father…it will transform our lives.

Scott Bailey (c) 2009

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