5 Ways to Pray in July

5 Ways to PrayWhether it feels like it or not where you live, summer has arrived in full force. In July we usually enjoy long, hot days with lots of sunshine. Summer evenings are illuminated by thousands of lightning bugs, and crickets and cicadas serenade us with a chorus of songs.

Thanks for taking some time to pray with Only By Prayer this month.

1. Independence Day, July 4 — In 1776, the American colonies won their independence from Great Britain, and we have enjoyed the privileges of a free nation ever since. As we consider the persecution that many are suffering around the world for personally held beliefs, our freedom is not to be taken lightly. In recent years, controversies regarding race, sexual orientation, religion, and politics have made us seem anything but the United States of America. We can pray for Americans to seek God and His plans for their lives and our nation.


Intercessors for America

Verse: If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV

Prayer: Jesus, we thank You for the freedom we have enjoyed for many years in America. We never want to take these for granted. May we keep a spirit of thankfulness ever before us. Many times, however, we have abused these freedoms and made ourselves an offense to You by our sin. We ask for Your forgiveness. May Americans repent and turn to You, seeking Your plans for us as individuals and for our nation as a whole. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

2. Mission Trips — Churches frequently schedule mission trips during the summer months when individuals and families may have a bit more time to devote to this commitment. Let’s pray that God prepares the hearts of all those involved. This can be a life-changing experience for both those going and those who are on the receiving end of the mission’s work.


Avoiding Pitfalls of Short-term Mission Trips

Verse: Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:19 NIV

Prayer: Lord, may the short-termers’ first thought be of preparing their hearts before You and seeking Your plans for the trip. We ask that those going would be aware of cultural customs so as not to offend anyone and would be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. We pray for safety and good health while traveling. For those whom the trip is planned, we pray for salvation, healing, and growth. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

3. Ebola — Although it’s been out of the news lately, Ebola continues to be a problem in certain parts of the world. Liberia, which the World Health Organization declared clear of Ebola in May 2015, has just confirmed two new cases. Neighboring countries Sierra Leone and Guinea are still reporting several cases every week. Let’s pray that this disease can be wiped out and that another widespread outbreak does not occur.


News Story

Verse: Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits — who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases. Psalm 103:3 NIV

Prayer: Lord, we pray that the scourge of Ebola would be wiped off the earth. We ask for healing for those who are suffering from this illness. We pray it will not spread any more. We pray it will not cross the boundaries of cities and countries. We ask a hedge of protection around those who have contact with Ebola patients. Please give the doctors and health care workers wisdom as they treat those infected. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

4. Shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston – Nine people were killed at this black church when a lone, white gunman opened fire after a prayer meeting that he attended. Since then, three arson fires have been set at predominately black churches in the South. These tragedies should spur us on to pray against racism in the United States. We have always been a melting pot of different races and cultures; rather than letting that divide us, let’s be a force for prayer that can overcome prejudice and hate.


Prayer Against Racism and Prejudice

Verse: A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another. John 13:34.

Prayer: Jesus, out of a heart filled with love, You died so that we might all have eternal life. When You look at us,You see your children. Help us to remember we are all brothers and sisters in Christ. May our hearts cultivate a spirit of love. We ask for healing at Emanuel Church and for the friends and families of those murdered.  We pray for these other churches that were victims of arson. We pray that hearts of stone and hatred would be changed by your unfailing, color-blind love. May your church be leading the charge of changed hearts. Amen.

5. The Feast of Mary and Martha of Bethany, July 29 — This church feast day celebrates the story of Mary and Martha offering hospitality to Jesus as He was visiting and teaching at their home. We can cull many lessons from this vignette of Jesus’ life. First of all, we can see the importance of offering hospitality and sharing our home with others, just as Mary and Martha did. Perhaps even more, we see the importance of priorities and how we spend our time as we study Jesus’ words to the worried Martha.


She Sat by Mary Kane

Mary and Martha at Lectionary.com

Verses: Now as Jesus and his disciples went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42 NIV

Prayer: Jesus, we ask for the trait of hospitality that Mary and Martha demonstrated. Help us to freely share our homes and resources as they did. And we pray for the focus that Mary had on what is important — You. May we set our eyes on You as she did; align our priorities with Yours. Amen.

Thank you for praying with us this month, and be sure to add other requests in the comment section.

Pray on!

Seven Days of Freedom, Day 3: Free

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Out of my distress I called on the LORD;
the LORD answered me and set me free.

Psalm 118:5

free [free] adjective

  1. enjoying personal rights or liberty, as a person who is not in slavery
  2. pertaining to or reserved for those who enjoy personal liberty
  3. clear of obstructions or obstacles, as a road or corridor
  4. enjoying political autonomy, as a people or country not under foreign rule; independent

One of my European cousins has often commented on the American’s obsession with freedom. I must admit, I love the freedoms granted by our Constitution. Why? Because freedom means choice. It means I am free to be who God created me to be.

Freedom is also a very important spiritual concept, more important than national freedom. In fact, a person cannot be completely free unless they have been set free from sin. Most Americans have not experienced the bondage of physical slavery, but we all have been in bondage to sin. But because Jesus died for us on the cross, we have been set  free.

The Hebrew word for freedom used in the verse above is merchab which means a broad roomy place. or wide expanses. Merchab is derived from the root word rachab which means to grow large, to grow wide. One of the things Jesus  frees us from is distresses, metsar in the Hebrew. Metsar, which means trouble, pains, or tight places, when traced to its root also means,  stomach. From the previous definitions, we can infer our worries keep us small, stunt our growth, hem us in, and tie our stomach in knots.

Ironically, Jesus sets us free so we can experience true freedom by becoming … slaves of Christ. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. When Jesus sets us free, we are free indeed.

Action Points

  1. A slave does the will of his Master. What area/s of life are you still controlling?
  2. Because you are safe in the hands of your Master, what are you free to do?
  3. What are the blessings of living according to the will of the Good Master?
  4. How does being a slave of Christ bring freedom?

God Bless America.


We hope you enjoy the music below.

“free.” Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 28 Jun. 2015. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/firm>.

7 Days of Freedom, Day 1: Truth

31 “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

John 8:31-32

Truth [trooth] noun

1. the true or actual state of a matter

2. conformity with fact or reality; verity

3. a verified or indisputable fact, proposition, principle, or the like

4. the state or character of being true
5. actuality or actual existence.
The definition from Dictionary.com gives us a decent yet incomplete definition of the word truth. To learn the complete truth about truth we must turn to the source of all truth, Jesus. He is the way, the truth and the life. Our verse above tells us that we find the truth in the Word of God. God is the Father and creator of all truth. If science, philosophy, religions, or false religions contain a grain of truth, it is God’s truth.
As Americans we are blessed with great freedoms. The Bill of Rights and the Constitution list the many liberties of United States citizens. While  in all outward appearances we look free; our souls may be in great bondage to sin. Our physical freedom was wrought by muskets and cannons, in contrast our spiritual freedom was won by the cross. Knowing the truth of our spiritual condition-we are lost, and the truth of  salvation-only by the cross of Christ, we are set free from the bondage of sin and death.
Have you accepted the truth of your condition and the freedom made possible by the cross of Christ?  If the answer is no, please click on the link below to learn how to accept Christ as your Savior.

The Way to God

Jesus … know Him, know truth.

Action Points

  1. Ask God to show you areas of your life in which you are not living in His truth.
  2. God’s Word is truth. How can you get more truth in your life?
  3. Listen to your words today. Are you speaking God’s truth into your experiences?


Please take a moment to remember those who have gone before us.


God Bless America.


“truth.” Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 28 Jun. 2015. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/firm>.