What Is One Prayer?

One Prayer

I don’t know about you, but I often feel overwhelmed by the daily news. But one prayer can make a difference.

Whether it’s in my community, the state, our nation, or the world, the amount of evil out there is just plain disturbing. I know that many good things are also happening, but those are often overshadowed by what isn’t.

To counteract this helpless, hopeless feeling, Mary and I thought it would be helpful for us to focus our prayers. Even when an event seems so horrific that we despair of being able to do anything to help, we need to remember that prayer is the powerful antidote to evil. Let us not ever forget that. The enemy wants us to be overwhelmed and ineffective. That is not what the Bible says.

The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. James 5:16

The Greek word for powerful in this sentence is Ischyo.  Are you ready for its definition? It means “to be effective, capable of producing results.” Wow. Our prayers are capable of producing results —  even when ISIS is on the move, even when the diagnosis is cancer, even when aborted baby parts are being sold on the market, even when refugees are backed up on a country’s border.

To help us focus our prayers, several times a week, we will select a person, issue, or topic for us to pray about. The reminder will be short, perhaps just a sentence or two in the sidebar of our website OnlyByPrayer under the heading One Prayer. Please add your one-minute prayer silently or aloud to the collective praying we will all be doing. If you’d like you can tweet that day’s prayer focus using #OnePrayer.

Let’s stop sticking our heads in the sand and take advantage of the very real power of prayer. God did not make us helpless but bestowed upon us the gift and responsibility of prayer to bring about real change in the world.

Pray on!

Resources for the Current Prayer Concern

8-5-20 Beirut Explosion

7-17-20 Coronavirus Prayer Resources

7-17-20: Prayers for our Leaders

7-17-20 Prayers for First Responders

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Back to School,Obey the Rules

To Do-ers List Bible Study: Back to School, Obey the Rules

Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey — whether slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? Roman 6:16

Slave to Fear

When I was a little girl, I was embarrassed by something that happened in church one Sunday. It wasn’t a big deal, but in my mind, I blew it up to big proportions until I feared that it would happen again. The fear grew out of control until I dreaded going to church. Unfortunately, fear became my go-to emotion in my life. When I finally conquered the fear from the original occurrence, another one quickly replaced it. The process of how I dealt with difficulties in my life was broken, and it was making me a slave to fear, which is actually a sin!

Call It What It Is

I did not realize that this now-established pattern in my life was a sin. And I certainly didn’t realize that I was “obeying” it, but I was. It controlled many aspects of my life because I would go to great lengths to avoid the thing that created fear. And this was ever changing, ever growing; the talons of fear were firmly clasped around my throat, strangling the life out of me.

It wasn’t until I gave my life to Christ that I learned to be obedient to Him and the truth of His word, and that is what bought me my freedom. It was a slow process because I had years of learned wrong behaviors. But as the Holy Spirit got a hold of my life, I switched my allegiance to the Life Giver, and He set me free.

How did He do this? Here’s some of the things that helped.

  • Attending church and absorbing the sermons
  • Reading the Bible for myself
  • Memorizing scripture that applied to my situation and repeating them aloud many times, speaking them into the situation
  • Praying and identifying another trusted person to pray for me
  • Changing my thinking from focusing on lies to truth
  • Listening to biblical teaching on fear
  • Talking to those wiser than me

One thing I realized was that

As we have already mentioned previously in this study, spending time with Jesus studying his word are crucial elements to becoming doers of the word. Mary told me about a little book called A Gospel Primer for Christians, Learning to See the Glories of God’s Love by Milton Vincent that really helps the reader to rehearse who you are in Christ and the righteousness that is now yours. It may help you to firmly plant these truths in your mind and heart too. Here is a link to it on CBD. (OnlyByPrayer is an affiliate of CBD, so if you purchase this book from this link, we will receive a small profit from that).

904670: A Gospel Primer for Christians: Learning to See the Glories of God"s Love A Gospel Primer for Christians: Learning to See the Glories of God’s Love
By Milton Vincent / Focus PublishingTo the Christians in Rome, the Apostle Paul wrote, “I am eager to preach the gospel to you who are at Rome” (Romans 1:15). Evidently, Christians need to hear the gospel even after conversion. A Gospel Primer for Christians is designed to do just that. Use this book to preach the gospel to yourself on a daily basis, and be amazed at the difference it can make in your life!

For Today

Today let’s identify if there are any areas of our lives where we are not obeying Jesus. Is there something that you need to let go of or give up? Is there an area that you’ve been trying to retain control of? Perhaps you’re not even aware of it, as I was not. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to identify it and for the grace to hand it over. Then come up with a plan of how you will walk in freedom. List one or two things that you can do today to work for or maintain your freedom by obeying Jesus’ rules.

Resources:

To help you organize your daily study and record your experiences, please download and print the following PDF, or download the journal app to your favorite Apple device.

Don’t forget to comment on your experience in the comment section below! Choose your verse/s for today and be a Doer of the Word.

School is in session. Obey the rules!

Previous Sessions of To Do-ers List, Back to School:

Day 1: New Clothes

Day 2: The Book

Day 3: Pack a Lunch

Day 4: Listen to The Teacher

Day 5: Study!




Bible Journal-Graphics:What’s the Big Idea? by Mary Kane

Sometimes we all need a a little help organizing our thoughts …  especially when we are doing Bible study. Writing our thoughts on paper helps us to process them; it’s the difference from “in one ear and out the other” or planting  Bible truths  deep in our heart.

Try our latest Bible Study Journal-graphics page, What’s the Big Idea? Use this graphic organizer to analyze the text, identify the main idea of a passage of Scripture, and draw out meaningful details from specific verses. You will love the  insights you’ll discover as you dig into God’s Word!

Bible Study Journal-graphics make a great companion to any Bible study series. You can also use them to record God’s messages to you as you study straight from the Bible. Your small group, discipleship training class or prayer conference will also benefit from this unique study tool.

Download  Bible Study Journal-graphics by clicking on the link  below. Be sure to make  fresh copies for each day of the week.  Please  share this graphic organizer with your church family, small group or youth group. You can also share them at your next Bible study meeting or Sunday school class. Enjoy!

What’s the Big Idea?

Let us know how you like using Bible Study Journal-graphics in the Speak Your Mind section below.




1 Thessalonians A Life of Faith, Part 1: Grace and Peace

 

Peace out. Peace on earth. Peace of mind.

What comes to your mind when you think of peace? According to www.globalissues.org, the world spends about $2 trillion dollars every year to keep the peace. We only have to listen to the news for a few moments to realize that our peace plan is ineffective. A life of peace cannot be bought with earthly currency; it is only purchased through faith by the blood of Christ. The world continues to rage, and we continue to face hardships and challenges. But when we live a life of faith, God gives us His grace so we can live in peace with Him.

To do today’s Bible study, please click on the link below;

1 Thessalonians, A Life of Faith: Grace and Peace




Advent Devotional Wednesday, December 11, 2013

More Than A Baby coverKindleWelcome to Day 11 of our Advent devotional. Today we consider two prophecies of the Bible that foretell of Jesus’ birth. It’s exciting to see the history behind these stories of the Bible.

If you’d like a bit of background about Advent, please read Day One’s entry. Keep persevering in your desire to draw closer to God during this season of Advent.

To read today’s entry, simply click on the link below.

Advent Devotional Wednesday, December 11, 2013




Freely Give by Kelsey Williams

photo 3I recently spent two weeks in Uganda, Africa on a mission trip. Being my third trip to Africa, I have seen more poverty than I imagined existed in this century. I have watched women bake rolls in an underground oven lined with handmade bricks. I have also had the humbling privilege of helping place brand new Bibles in the hands of nearly 200 Africans. Before we gifted the Bibles during my latest trip, my team leader asked if any of them already had a Bible of their own and, out of forty kids, only two raised their hand. When they bowed to thank us, their knees nearly touched the ground.

Humbled. Privileged. Blessed.

These words have shaped my life since my first trip to Africa. My heart aches and my eyes burn with tears even as I write this. Even so, pity is not in their vocabulary. They are a strong, beautiful people who trust the Lord to provide for their needs even in the midst of their trials and hardships, like maybe getting one meal a day. They believe fully in God’s faithfulness even as they watch their parents, siblings, and friends die of AIDS and other diseases. God has shown me many new facets of His love through these orphans. They have shown me how to love freely and unconditionally under the conditions of losing loved ones and suffering from many broken hearts. These children hold nothing back from each other. They share every material possession that they have to the point that you truly do not know to whom it belongs. They surround each other in such a way that you would think they are all brothers and sisters.

Loving Hearts

Something the Lord revealed to me through their love for each other is how much more closed off I become to people with each scar a person leaves on my heart. I quit giving freely because I want to protect myself. These orphans expect to lose the people they love but I have never seen it hinder the way they surround each other and continue to give freely from their heart in spite of the hurt to come. The Lord has been whispering to my soul, “I am your strength and defense (Psalm 118:14). You have nothing to fear (John 14:27) for fear cannot coexist with love (1John 4:18). Now give My love freely (Matt. 10:18).” This calls for a complete shift in my own actions as Jesus said His disciples would be known by love. And Jesus’ example of love was not cheap or convenient; it was costly and sacrificial.photo 1

During my time in Uganda this past August, the Lord showed me how He is a Father to the fatherless and His heart is for such as these. Satan, from the very beginning, has been trying to destroy God’s family, and he’s trying especially hard with the AIDs pandemic in Africa. Praise God that the story doesn’t end there, though, and we have hope for us and hope to offer the orphans. God has defeated Satan and is gathering His family together as a mother hen gathers her chicks. John 14:18 says, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”

God’s Heartbeat

There is so much that God revealed to me during those weeks about myself, about people, and about my passion for Africa but I consider the most precious what He revealed about Himself. The first morning in Uganda, He gave me an image of me sitting in His lap with my head against His chest, listening to His heartbeat. Generally we, as people, don’t lay our heads on just any random chest but only on the chest of someone we love and feel deeply connected to and intimate with. I knew He was telling me that, unless I was that close to Him, I would never hear His heartbeat. It is not until we’re able to hear His heartbeat that we’ll know what it beats FOR. Since then, I’ve also realized He’s trying to give me a heart transplant. It is an incredibly painful process that requires sacrifice and denial of self but a beautiful, genuine love is the outcome that can only take root in the fertile soil of God’s heart in me. This is only the beginning of a lifelong process, but I will photo 2consider the goal attained if He never stops breaking me apart and transforming me to be more like Him in all things. For it is in the places I feel the most broken apart that I feel the most alive in Him.

Rivers of Life

Our heavenly Father yearns for us to curl up in His lap and listen to His heartbeat. He has made us to be bearers of His love and Jeremiah 31:3 says He has drawn us with love, and He wants to continue to bring us to Him through each other. There is a dried up riverbed inside of many of us because we have built a dam, hindering the water flow. At our request, the Lord is prepared to demolish the dam and allow His waters of love to gush forth, up and out of us. He then nourishes our heart with His love; it flows freely into us and freely out as we begin to feel His heart beat. We have the humbling privilege and blessing of knowing what His heart beats for; we need only to start asking and listening.

 

Today’s guest post was written by Kelsey Williams, a college student studying nursing. She says, “The Lord has laid it on my heart to bring nursing skills into international missions and words cannot describe how passionate I have become about this calling on my life. In the mean time, I enjoy getting to know new people and letting them know how dearly they are loved by their Father in heaven. I also enjoy talking to people about my experiences in Africa and recruiting them to come with me.”