Monday, November 30, 2015

Praying for 30 days- day 22

Acts 26:18 including v 17 and Colossians 1:12-15
" 'I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, 18 to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’"

"12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. 13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation."

I ask, Lord, that You will open ________'s eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to You, God that _______ might receive the forgiveness of sins and be sanctified.

I have grew to appreciate Paul's conversion and testimony throughout the years. He was a man that was driven by pride, and honestly thought he was doing what God wanted him to do as a Jew. But that day, on the way to Damascus, Jesus got ahold of his heart and transformed it. Paul was once a man controlled by his own desires and passions that was switched to God's desires and passions for all people.
What Paul was commanded to do was exactly what happen to him. He was brought out of darkness of anger and violence into the light of loving and caring for all people. Paul was no longer under the power of Satan who desired that the message of Christ be stopped but now under the power of God who saved him from his sins. He received forgiveness from all that he had done and an inheritance to be a son of God. 
This too happened to us as Christians through what Christ did when He came down as a human. Jesus came as a representative of who God is to this earth so that we can be saved from our sins and become His own. We no longer can live in darkness but see things through His light. It was all from the His great love and the shredding of His blood that we too experience these things.
I don't know about you but this should drive you and I too to tell others about Jesus and what He has done for us. It is so much that He has given to us. Why is it so hard to share with others if it has changed our lives? I too am convicted by this.     

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Praying for 30 days- day 21

1 John 1:9 including verses 6-10
" If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us."

Thank you, Father, that when ________ calls on You, You will be faithful and just and will forgive ________ and purify ______ from all unrighteousness. (Today I pray Stonecroft ministries)

In order to receive forgiveness and before one calls on God, one has to know His truth. It is the word of God that allows us to come to Him. He uses that to transform our hearts and minds in order to forgive and cleanse us from our sins.
How did I get that from these verses? Look at verses six, eight, and ten. If one walk in the darkness, they don't practice truth. If one say they have no sin, they deceive themselves and truth is not in them. If one says that they don't struggle with a sin, they make God a liar and His word is not in them. You see the God's truth is what leads us to confessing our sins to Him. In result our sins are forgiven and we are cleanse from all unrighteousness. That is why it is so important for us as Christians to read His word but also more importantly it is our job to tell others who are not Christians about His truth. It is what saves people. God uses us who is faithful to His word so that others can experience their sins forgiven and cleansed. 

Friday, November 27, 2015

Praying for 30 days- day 20

Matthew 11:28-30
" Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Father, help _______ to come to You for that true soul rest.
(Today I pray, Stonecroft ministries)

I am going to share a story about a friend of mine who came to mind when I saw this prayer today. They grew up in a very conservative home. They were taught to focus on being that good Christian. Their parents discouraged any questions that they would have that questioned what the Bible taught. In result communication was stifled and things were hidden from their parents. To this day my friend thinks the reason why their relationship with their parents are bad is because of their parent's religion. 
My friend is burdened by their false ideas and traditions that are not completely based off of God's word. For one to have complete rest, they need to let go of their own ideas and traditions that go contrary to the Bible. It is so easy to hold onto those church traditions that we grew up with and not even realize that they are not biblical. Traditions contrary to the Bible bring conflict, strife, and contradictions which result in being burdened by doing things in one's own strength.
So instead of leaning on those traditions, we need to take Jesus up on His offer and give those traditions to Him. We need to draw near to Him through His word and allow Him to sift our hearts to empty us and be completely burden free.  

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Praying for 30 days-day 19

This Christmas season I have been thinking about doing an advent activity with my little goober even if she is only 16 months (closer to 17 months) for the season. But since she is still a little young I thought of inviting my five year old neighbor whose family is not a Christian to join us. I am so excited to plant those seeds and see where God takes me this encounter.

But this morning with today's verse in Acts 11:18 it got me also thinking about other people who seem "less likely candidates" to spread this advent experience with. I will also include the first 17 verses.
"Now the apostles and brethren who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God. And when Peter came up to Jerusalem, those of the circumcision contended with him, saying, “You went in to uncircumcised men and ate with them!”
But Peter explained it to them in order from the beginning, saying: “I was in the city of Joppa praying; and in a trance I saw a vision, an object descending like a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners; and it came to me. When I observed it intently and considered, I saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air. And I heard a voice saying to me, Rise, Peter; kill and eat.’ But I said, ‘Not so, Lord! For nothing common or unclean has at any time entered my mouth.’ But the voice answered me again from heaven, What God has cleansed you must not call common. 10 Now this was done three times, and all were drawn up again into heaven. 11 At that very moment, three men stood before the house where I was, having been sent to me from Caesarea. 12 Then the Spirit told me to go with them, doubting nothing. Moreover these six brethren accompanied me, and we entered the man’s house. 13 And he told us how he had seen an angel standing in his house, who said to him, ‘Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon whose surname is Peter, 14 who will tell you words by which you and all your household will be saved.’ 15 And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning. 16 Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit. 17 If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?”
18 When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, “Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life.”

Some of those candidates might be those people who seem a little rough around the edges and rub you the wrong way. Or maybe it is a person who seems so trouble. Or maybe a person in line at the store who is grumpy and bites the cashier's head off. Those type of people make me feel uncomfortable to reach. Maybe it is someone who you don't think deserves to have a chance because they don't seem to get it. Those are the exact people we need to be praying for to have true repentance to turn away from their sin and hurt in their lives. It is easy to want to spread the Christmas joy with my neighbors but these people are just a little hard sadly for me.

But the key is saying yes to God no matter who the person is. That's what Peter did with the gentile he visited. He said yes to God even though it did not seem right at the time. Even the other disciples reacted in shock before Peter told his story. But when they realized that he said yes to God, they said yes too and it changed their hearts. Maybe the key is simply just saying yes and allowing God to do the rest.

Holy God, I pray that You will grant genuine repentance to ________, a repentance that causes _______ to hate sin and to turn from it.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Praying for 30 days-day 18

This morning I was really struggling with grace. I hate the time I waste on watching Netflix and messing around on my ipad when I should be playing and cherishing the moments I have with my family. It is so easy to get wrapped up with the things of the world and loose focus on what's important. God is faithful and gave me a little reminder of something to be thankful this holiday season.
Isaiah 64
" Oh, that You would rend the heavens!
That You would come down!
That the mountains might shake at Your presence—
As fire burns brushwood,
As fire causes water to boil—
To make Your name known to Your adversaries,
That the nations may tremble at Your presence!
When You did awesome things for which we did not look,
You came down,
The mountains shook at Your presence.
For since the beginning of the world
Men have not heard nor perceived by the ear,
Nor has the eye seen any God besides You,
Who acts for the one who waits for Him.
You meet him who rejoices and does righteousness,
Who remembers You in Your ways.
You are indeed angry, for we have sinned—
In these ways we continue;
And we need to be saved.
But we are all like an unclean thing,
And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags;
We all fade as a leaf,
And our iniquities, like the wind,
Have taken us away.
And there is no one who calls on Your name,
Who stirs himself up to take hold of You;
For You have hidden Your face from us,
And have consumed us because of our iniquities.
But now, O Lord,
You are our Father;
We are the clay, and You our potter;
And all we are the work of Your hand.
Do not be furious, O Lord,
Nor remember iniquity forever;
Indeed, please look—we all are Your people!
10 Your holy cities are a wilderness,
Zion is a wilderness,
Jerusalem a desolation.
11 Our holy and beautiful temple,
Where our fathers praised You,
Is burned up with fire;
And all our pleasant things are laid waste.
12 Will You restrain Yourself because of these things, O Lord?
Will You hold Your peace, and afflict us very severely?"
Contrast between man and God
+ We need to be saved v 5
+ We are an unclean thing v 6
+ The good things we do are like filthy rags v 6
+ Our sins have taken us away v 6
+ We don't call out for His name v 7
+ We don't stir up ourselves to seek you out v 7
+ We are only clay v 8

+ Mountains shook at His presence v 3
+ He acts those who wait for Him v 4
+ He meets Him who rejoices and does righteousness and remembers Him in His ways v 5
+ He is angry for we have sinned v 5
+ He is the potter v 8

We are humans who can try with every ounce of our being to do good things but because of our evil hearts, they are anything but good. They are like filthy rags. But God is a God that the mountains tremble at because of His power and control. He is a faithful God who sticks by us. He is more than willing to meet with us when we remember who He is and what He has done. When we sin He hates our sin because He is a just God. Our filthy rags is what separates us as non believers from God but as a believer, it reminds us of what He did when He sent His Son as lowly baby who came to do Father's will and die for our sins. That is what this scripture reminds me in this Thanksgiving season, that my filthy rags show me my need for my Savior. For those who are not believers in what Jesus did on the cross, this too can be your hope.

Father, I pray that ________ will see all personal good works are as filthy rags in Your sight and that they will not make anyone right with You.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Praying for 30 days- day 17

Today's scripture from my book Today I pray by Stonecroft ministries is Jeremiah 24:7.
"Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart

Father, give _______ a heart to know You. Draw _______'s whole heart to You.

I am going to split this verse in three sections to meditate on it in a different way.

"Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord..."
This is God's doing not our part. God is the Lord of our lives even people who are not Christians. Each person is created to glorify God. Some people will never be saved but was used to bring someone else closer to Him. Others do become saved through God giving them a heart to want to know Him more. It is Him who gave us the desire to know Him as our personal Lord and Savior. Non-Christians can be given that desire but it is only through Him.

"they shall be My people..."
In order for someone to be apart of God's people, they need to know Him. There has to be a relationship. That relationship once again points to God giving that us that desire to know Him. I am so thankful that He is the Lord of my life and gave me the desire in order for me to be apart of His people. I hope and pray for the same for my love ones.

"I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart."
So because God is the Lord of all of our lives and gives us the desire to know Him so that we can be apart of His people, that desire allows us to come to Him with our whole heart. It is still His working in us even though we are making the move to come to Him. Isn't that freeing when it comes to praying for those who we love and long for to come to Him? When we do give seek Him with our whole heart, our entire being, we will get to know Him.

So my challenge for you is to think of that person(s) that your heart aches for, the one you long for them to listen to the beckoning voice of God and pray for God's perfect timing and perfect will to move their hearts to want to know Him more. Pray also that God will put a peace in your heart to know that it is only Him that can move that person's heart.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Praying for 30 days- day 16

So I am going to give a small update on how God has been working in my life since I have started this praying for 30 days challenge. I really thought it was going to be a month of watching God move in other people's lives. It started that way with my husband's grandfather finding out he has terminal cancer but then gradually I started to see God working in my own life.
The pass week I have been under tons of spiritual warfare. I feel the tug-a-war between my flesh and God. God has been really fighting for me and I don't want to give in but when I do just a little bit, I cave in to the flesh. I have gotten frustrated with my little goober's eating but realizing how much getting angry just makes it worse. I want to show her grace not anger. Then I watched Tomorrowland which really got me going about our future as a nation and how as a Christian I need to be telling the world of the hope I have in Christ now but also in the future. I then overheard our neighbors arguing which lead me inviting her over and hopefully doing advent calendar with her daughter. Then the Paris attacks happen last Friday which also has been a battle of frustration and anger and fear. I don't want my comfortable life be destroyed by abunch of evil men hiding in abunch of innocent people who are going to come over and mooch off of the government more. But then I made a simple comment on Facebook that I called my governor to ask him to say no to the Syrian refugees which turned out that some of my friends got into an argument of what would Jesus do vs how stupid it would be to allow abunch of terrorists come over. I was torn because as I said before I don't want my little goober killed, nor my husband be beheaded or me being a sex toy to abunch of sick and twisted men. But God woke me up early in the morning and told me that Jesus said we need to love the unthankful and evil and be merciful as He has been merciful to me. I of course allow Facebook to feed my obsession knowing Jesus wants me to trust in Him and bless others. And then today I get the prayer based off of the verse 1 Timothy 1:13-16 but also adding chapter 2 verse 4

"although I [Paul] was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus... who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth."

Does that not sound familiar? Let's look at it this way:
Blasphemer- to speak against God
Persecutor- pursuing Christians as prey
Insolent man or person- violent person acting out of pride

Who is that? ISIS, Saul, and me. Yes, I have spoken against God in fear and anger. Yes, I have had some really mean thoughts towards some people which Jesus called murder. Is it hard to put myself in the same category as ISIS? Oh yeah! But that's called pride which is not of God. I am a sinner saved by God's grace and they deserve His grace too.

As I said in the beginning God is working on my heart and just because I wrote this does not mean that I get this. I want to but wow it's so hard to let go of this prideful anger and fear. But you know what, that's what praying is about humbly coming towards God and allowing Him to work it out. I have to admit I am so scared.

Jesus, because You came into the world to save sinners, I pray You will save __________ who is a sinner (just like I am) and in need of Your grace and mercy.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Praying for 30 days- day 15

Today's scripture is found in Matthew 23:27-28
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness"

Lord Jesus I pray that _________ will not be content with the appearance of righteousness, but will seek You for the true and lasting transformation of his/her whole life.

The Pharisees seemed like they had it all together. They followed all the rules and did what they were suppose to do. But Jesus saw their hearts and as He described them in today's scripture, they were filled with "dead man bones and all uncleanness". Their hearts did not please God. They did all what is right in their own eyes but when it came to what Jesus wanted they were far off. They were so focused on following the rules and what others thought that following the two commandments that were actually important to the Jews was not on their minds. Those two commandments are
1) Love the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.
2) Love your neighbor as yourself

When I was reading this, I actually considered myself in this category. I am a person that struggles with focusing on the rules and not loving God with all my life. It is so easy to lean on my own strength. But I read some more and these Pharisees had no idea they were doing this. They were not wrong. That's not me. There are people who legitimately feel like they are a good person and see no need of God in their lives. My heart wants to be humble. Theirs were prideful and arrogant. Those people most definitely need to be prayed over the most because they are so deceived. Just like the prayer says we need to pray that they can see their need through Jesus for a transformation in their lives.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Praying for 30 days- day 14

The scripture from my book Today I pray by Stonecroft ministries is Matthew 11:28-30.
"Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in hear, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

Lord Jesus, I pray that ________ will feel and know the burden of sin and will come to You for forgiveness, rest for his/her soul and salvation.

Today's scripture is Jesus talking about the Jews who continue to live by their own traditions and reject who He is as the Messiah. Jesus even came to their towns and preached to them but they still rejected Him. He told them come to me who are labor and heavy laden with your own way of living. It is exhausting but I can give you rest. You can learn from Me when you give up the burden of your sins that you continue to carry. You can find rest for your souls.
 It is the same for those people who continuously try to handle life on their own. Bad things continue to happen where they just feel so burdened with life because no matter what they try to do, it never lessens the heaviness. They just continue living life the way they want to but they don't get that won't make them happy. They have heard God's word but they have not applied it to their lives. They have not said yes to Him yet. Jeus cries out to us to accept Him at His word. He is for real. Life can be easier when you know that He is there holding your burdens. 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Praying for 30 days- day 13

Today's scripture from my book Today I Pray by Stonecroft ministries is 1 Corinthians 1:18.
"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."

Father, I pray that _________ will understand that the only hope for forgiveness and acceptance from You is through Jesus' work on the cross.

Jesus' work on the cross is more than a one time experience. It is suppose to change our lives as Christians. It brings us many capabilities that we would not be able to do on our own strength.
Here are some examples of the power that comes from Jesus dying on the cross.
1) the power of God brings us to salvation- Romans 1:16
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek"

2) the power of God is there in our weakness- 2 Corinthians 12:9
"And He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

3) the power of God is given to us pertaining to life and ungodliness- 2 Peter 1:3
"as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,"

4) the power of God saved us to receive forgiveness and an inheritance- Acts 26:18
"To open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me."

I want to finish with this song that is currently one of my favorites.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Praying for 30 days- day 12

In light of the terrorists attacks in
Paris yesterday I feel like this prayer and scripture is appropriate to the needs of people in this nation. What happen in Paris was very sad and disheartening. It brings home the reality of sin in this world and our despite need of a Savior. My first reaction was in anger towards our President because he doesn't care about what is going on and we are next. In fact I think he enjoys it but that's not the point. The point is that I was wrong and God reminded me of that quickly. He is still in control. He knows what is going to happen. I too also know what is ultimately going to happen which is destruction of this world. It is inevitable. But the question is how am I going to react? What am I going to do? Before I share the verse from my book (Today I Pray by Stonecroft ministries), I want to share this verse also found in 2 Peter 3:10-14.
" But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless;" 

I and Christians today to be holy in conduct and godliness and to be found by Him in peace without spot and blameless. When we seek that through drawing near to Him through prayer and His word, automatically we should want to tell others about who He is which leads me to the verse in the book found in Romans 10:14 including also verse 17.
" How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?...So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."

How can people truly know who He is if we don't go out and tell them about it. But I thought I would include verse 17 because their faith comes from them hearing from someone but someone who preaches the Gospel through God's word. It always always always comes back to hearing and reading God's word. Even as I write that, I believe it but it doesn't impact my life as much as I want it to be. It frustrates me that I still hold onto the things of this world. But I do know God's word truly does save people's lives. It is the only thing that will save our nation. It is the only thing that will help us to survive if anything happens. We just have to be faithful to read it and read it to others.

Father, I pray that You will send people continually into _______'s life who will proclaim the Gospel clearly.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Praying for 30 days- day 11

Today's verse from my book Today I Pray by Stonecroft ministries is 2 Corinthians 6:2 but also including chapter 5 verse 20-21 and going into the first verse of chapter six.
" Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.
21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For He says:
“In an acceptable time I have heard you,
And in the day of salvation I have helped you.”
Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation."

Holy Spirit, I pray that ___________ will respond today to Your prompting and realize the need for Jesus Christ for personal salvation and eternal and abundant life.

The prayer and the scripture the book suggested really confused me. The prayer was praying for someone to accept Jesus for their personal salvation, but the scripture was talking about believers in the Corinth church who was not living like they needed Jesus. So I had to back to verse twenty of the previous chapter and see that Corinth was being challenged to pick a side. They needed to be reconciled with God. Being reconciled meant two things
1. not allowing the grace of God be vain in their lives
2. Seeing that today was the day of getting right with God.

The Corinth church had to pick a side. Paul was pleading them saying today is the day to say yes to God. Today is the day to say yes to His grace. Today was to reconciled to God or tell Him no thanks. I know that Paul was not wanting them to reject God. Hence the letter. He encouraged them to see that God too was not giving up on them either.

This is the same for those people in our lives that need to pick a side. Or maybe it's you. God is calling out for everyone to say yes and to live it out through His grace everyday.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Hope for the Future

Taking a break for my praying for 30 days today to give you something that I was deeply encouraged by. It kinda goes along with my desire to pray for 30 days.

I just finished watching Disney's Tomorrowland and it was a very good movie! Amazing actually! It was one of those movies that gets your brain thinking and write a blog : )
Without getting into too much detail for those who have not watched it, the basis of the movie was the world is falling apart and dreamers are the only ones who can change the way the world is going. This of course is what I want to be. I want to help this nation to remember our biblical roots and turn ourselves around. But then I got a thought, "Wait I can't change the future. Only God has the future in His hands and it will fail no matter what because of our sin." My mind immediately went to the verse in 2 Timothy 3:1-9 which says,
"But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was."

So the physical and moral destruction of the world is inevitable. It is happening. Everyone does what they want and have no desire or false knowledge of who God is. A sad reality. But it doesn't end there. As Christians we have the hope of our futures in heaven and also to experience the new earth and new heaven that happens after everything is destroyed.
So instead of rewriting the future (because we can't), we need to be going out and telling others who Christ is in our lives. We need to share with them the abundance of life we have through Christ and the hope of our future in heaven. We all are need of a Savior. People who need Jesus choose to go their own way and even if they admit it or not, there is still something missing in their lives. Jesus is the only one who brings a brighter tomorrow. As humans, we can't do anything apart from Him. The same power that rose Jesus from the dead lives in us who do believe what Jesus did. That is the only reason we can impact people's lives.
So let's be people who bring hope to others through what Jesus did for us. Because our ultimate goal for the future is to see more people join us when the world is destroyed.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Praying for 30 days- day 10

So before I begin, I have to say that I was going about this all the wrong way. I was so fixed on making sure that I have a blog to deliver that I forgot to focus on what is important, praying. I am deciding to give myself some grace and allow God to direct me and not my blog.

Today's verse is Ephesians 2:8-9 from my book Today I Pray by Stonecroft ministries.
"For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God. Not of works lest anyone should boast."

Lord God, I pray that You will grant _______ genuine faith, a faith that trusts in Jesus alone and surrenders to Him as Lord and Savior.

This is such a popular verse used for salvation. It is interesting though to read the seven previous verses with it. There is this contrast between us and God. We are dead in our sins completely separated from God. We live under the prince of this world. But then according to God great mercy and great love, He sent His Son to die for us so that we can believe and become children of God. Amazing gospel story! Verses eight through nine sums up for us by saying that being saved is a gift from God through His grace. He gives us the faith through that grace through Jesus. You notice that none of that had to do with us. Nothing! Its His gift, His grace, and His faith. He enables us to believe in what Jesus did through His faith to us. As the prayer says above, no wonder we want to pray for that lost love one to surrender to God because He truly deserves it.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Praying for 30 days- day 9

Today's verse from my book Today I Pray by Stonecroft ministries is Romans 6:23 with the 22nd verse added.
"But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jeus our Lord."

God, I pray that _______ will receive the free gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ the Lord.

So today's verse was super awesome because it challenged the way I use to look at it. Roman 6:23 is always associated with salvation but technically it isn't. I always thought that the eternal life in Romans 6:23 is when you die you will go to heaven and live eternally with God in heaven. Yes, eternal life does mean that but not in the case of this verse. Eternal life is meant on how you live your life now here on earth. John 10:10b states how Jesus wanted to give life and give it more abundantly. That is what the previous verse in Romans 6 says, that when we become slaves of God our life bears fruit which leads to holiness and ultimately life abundantly. Kinda cool.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Praying for 30 days- day 8

Today's scripture from my book Today I Pray by Stonecroft ministries is Colossians 1:13. I am also going to add verses 12, 14, and 20-22.

" thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins...and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. And you, who once were alienated and enemies in you mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight"

Father, I pray that You will deliver _________ from the kingdom of darkness and transfer ____________ into the kingdom of the Son You love, Jesus Christ.

What does it look like to be delivered by what Jesus did on the cross based off of these verse?
- We are partakers of inheritance of the saints
- We are delivered from the power of the darkness
- We are transferred into the kingdom
- We are redeemed and forgiven of our sins
- We have peace
- We are reconciled to be holy and blameless
Why wouldn't we not want to pray for the special people in our lives? Jesus has so much to offer. It is also a good reminder for us who has been delivered too.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Praying for 30 days- day 7

In my book (Today I Pray by Stonecroft ministries), they continued on with the parable of the sower focusing on the seeds that fall on the thorny ground that gets choked up because of the cares of this world (Matthew 13:7,22). I also have decided to add Jeremiah 4:1-4 using the New Living Translation instead.
" And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them...Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful."

"O Israel,” says the Lord,
    “if you wanted to return to me, you could.
You could throw away your detestable idols
    and stray away no more.
Then when you swear by my name, saying,
    ‘As surely as the Lord lives,’
you could do so
    with truth, justice, and righteousness.
Then you would be a blessing to the nations of the world,
    and all people would come and praise my name!
This is what the Lord says to the people of Judah and Jerusalem:
“Plow up the hard ground of your hearts!
    Do not waste your good seed among thorns.
O people of Judah and Jerusalem,
    surrender your pride and power.
Change your hearts before the Lord,[a]
    or my anger will burn like an unquenchable fire
    because of all your sins"
Father, I ask that the pleasures of this world and the pressures of life will not choke the Word of God that has been sown into ______'s life.

In our world today there are people who have heard the word of God, who can even quote it, but the pleasures and pressures of this world has prevented God's word to bear fruit in their lives. It is actually very common in the church today.

I grew up in a home where everyone was a new believer and was growing spiritually together. My mom would say that she wishes to do things differently if she could do it over again. I was the "good" child, doing everything "right" except only right in my own eyes. I grew up memorizing God's word in Awana and doing my quiet times every morning but I did it all in my own strength. The pleasures of this world was my motivation, wanting boys to like me, wanting people to tell me that I was so good at the things I did. The word of God was there but I don't think it took deep roots at all. I had not concept of grace but only what the world thought of me. I was an example of the thorny soil. But thankfully God kept using circumstances and people in my life to show me grace and that it only came from trusting in Him and His word. I am thankful that He did not give up on me.

Just like In verse three and four in chapter four of Jeremiah, God calls out to those who have heard His word but chooses the the things of this world. You can hear Him pleading, "Plow the hard ground of your hearts! Surrender your pride and power! Change your heart towards Me!".

I challenge you to find a person who you know has heard God's word but you just dont know if they truly know God. Pray the prayer above for them today. I too have someone that God has brought to my attention just yesterday. What am I going to do with this? Am I going to ignore it or pray about how God wants me to use His word to water the seeds that just continue to be choked up by this world and its demands?

Friday, November 6, 2015

Praying for 30 days- day 6

Today's scripture from my book Today I Pray by Stonecroft ministries is Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
"On the same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea.  And great multitudes were gathered together to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.  He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”...Therefore hear the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;  yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.  But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”

Lord, I ask You, through Your power and _______'s circumstances, to prepare ________ to hear and receive the Word of God.

The parable of the Sower shows me that God is all knowing and all powerful when it comes to our salvation but that He still gives us the free will to reject His words in the Bible.  Let's first review the four soils that the seeds land in
1. The seed thrown to the wayside- hears the word, don't understands it so doesn't receive it
2. The seed thrown on stony ground- receives word  with joy but then life happens and only endures for awhile
3. The seed thrown among the thorns- hears the word but the cares of the word snatch him up
4. The seed thrown on good ground- hears and understands the word and bears fruit

There are many people out there in the world every day that hears the word of God. What they do with it is their choice. God promises anyone who reads His word their lives will be changed. I believe that the desire to read God's word comes from God preparing one's heart but they still need to keep reading it. Once someone takes the time to read God's word continuously they can become the good soil. The word of God and the supremacy of God dictates what soil our hearts are to be. I thankful that He has given us His word and free will and uses our circumstances to bring us to Him.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Praying for 30 days- day 5

Today's scripture from my book Today I Pray by Stonecroft ministries is Acts 16:14 and I also included verses 11-15

"Therefore, sailing from Troas, we ran a straight course to Samothrace, and the next day came to Neapolis, and
from there to Philippi, which is the foremost city of that part of Macedonia, a colony. And we were staying in that city for some days. And on the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the riverside, where prayer was customarily made; and we sat down and spoke to the women who met there. Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatir, who worshipped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us saying, "if you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay." So she persuaded us."

Father, I pray that You will open ________'s heart so that __________ will pay attention to, receive, and believe the Gospel.

God is the God of Psalm 139! On this particular day outside the town of Phillipi, Paul and Silas decided to go to a prayer meeting instead of a synagogue. They began to talk to the women there about Jesus. Lydia from Thyratira was also there that day selling her fine cloths. She overheard what Paul was saying and God opened up her heart and heeded the words he said. Her and her family accepted Jesus and was baptized. God knew and prepared for that day when Paul and Lydia would meet where He opened her heart to Him. It cannot happen any other way. Yes Paul spoke the truth and yes Lydia made the move but God prepared for everything to happen. I am just so thankful that I serve a God who knows our hearts and prepares us at just the right time for us to accept who He is.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Praying for 30 days- day 4

Today's verse from my book Today I pray by Stonecroft ministries is Proverbs 14:12. I also will include Proverbs 12:15, Luke 18:11, and Romans 8:13.

"There is a way that seems right to a man,
But its end is the way of death"

"The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
But he who heeds counsel is wise."

" The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector."

"For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live."

Holy Spirit, in the name of Jesus, I pray that You will destroy any false ideas that _______ has about Jesus Christ and salvation from Him

All four of these verses show how easy it is for the natural man to go his own way. The natural man's ways are prideful and the complete opposite of who God is. According to the Romans 8:13 passage, those who follow the ways of the flesh will die. Living your life based off of anything else other than the Gospel are false ideas. Those who gain life are those who humble themselves or as Romans 8:13 states allowing the Spirit to work in your life. It is quite humbling for me to think of all those times that I put my own ways before God's that He still accepts me because of what Jesus did on the cross.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Praying for 30 days- day 3

Today's scripture from my book Today I pray by Stonecroft ministries is John 6:44 but I am going to add verses 35-45.

"And Jesus said to them, 'I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.'
The Jews then complained about Him, because He said, ' I am the bread which came down from heaven.' And they said, 'Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, ‘I have come down from heaven’?'
Jesus therefore answered and said to them, 'Do not murmur among yourselves. No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.  It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God. Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.'."
Father, I pray that You will draw _________ to Jesus Christ in true faith and repentance. 
Jesus is the bread of life! Jesus was sent by the Father from heaven. He was making Himself available through Jesus. When we believe in Him, we will be completely satisfied by Him. We will always be full. But it only comes from the Father. Through God's word and the learning of who Jesus is, is the only way to the Father. He draws us to Himself and we have the choice to to believe in Him or to reject Him. It is His desire for everyone to believe.

The past few weeks has been very emotional for my husband's family. His grandfather is 92 years old and is very frail physically and mentally. My mother in law is constantly over there helping him to get to place to place. He has made the choice to no longer walk to the bathroom because he is that weak. My husband has a very close relationship with his grandfather and it tears him up to see his grandfather this way. I know that his grandfather is still here on this earth for a reason. Sometimes my limited human mind honestly do not know why he is still here. But instead of having those feelings I need to be praying this prayer for him, that the Father will draw him near to Him for true faith and repentance so my husband's grandfather can have peace in the last days he has on this earth. It is only through Him.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Praying for 30 days- day 2

Today's scripture from my book Today I pray by Stonecroft ministries is found in Luke 22:42 but I included verses 39-46

 "Coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed, and His disciples also followed Him. When He came to the place, He said to them, 'Pray that you may not enter into temptation.'
And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, saying, 'Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.' Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him.  And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. When He rose up from prayer, and had come to His disciples, He found them sleeping from sorrow. Then He said to them, 'Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation.' ”

Father, I pray not my will, but your will be done in ______'s life.

Jesus is our perfect example of following God's will. It was His obsession. He was driven by it. God's great love for us was what drove Him to send Jesus to die for us even if it meant separation from His Son. The verse that came to mind was Ephesians 2:4-5, 

"But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)"

As a kid, I always thought that Jesus was in agony because of the pain He was going to experience. The nails being driven in His hands. The suffocation. But I learned it was that He was going to be separated from God that brought such intense agony. But it was about doing God's will. 

Another point I thought about was what Jesus told His disciples before and after He prayed. Pray so that you will not fall into temptation. That is the same for us as Christians and as the church. Our nation has fallen apart because we as the church do not pray often and we have fallen into temptation. We no longer seek God's will. It is not what drives us. As for me, I am driven sometimes by people's opinions of me and not the opinion of God's will for my life. Imagine if we can pray that prayer above, "Not my will but yours God", what would our lives look like? How would that change our nation? Jesus is our example. He gave His life up for it and it changed the world.

Praying for 30 days- day 1

Last month I went to a lady's retreat with my church. It was such a blessing to be around the women who were so real about their faith and who really want to glorify God. One of the women led prayer by always using scripture as she prayed. On the last day she handed out these books called Today I Pray by Stonecroft ministries. I believe God has been showing me that I need to show truth to others by loving them especially when it comes to our country and my love ones who don't have a relationship with God. I believe that going before God in prayer and releasing it to Him is a step I need to proceed on. So here is the first day of praying for 30 days.

The scripture that the book gives first is Psalm 139:13-16.

For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;[a]
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.

Here is the prayer that they gave:
God, thank You for _____, who was fearfully and wonderfully made by You. Thank you, Father, that you knit _____ together in his/her mother's womb and his/her frame was not hidden from You. Thank You, Lord, that all the days ordained for _____ have been written in Your book before one of them had come to be.

I find it amazing that the book started out with this verse. This is always a constant reminder for me as I pray that God is the God of Psalm 139. That He is the God is ultimately in control of my life and the lives of others. Every single one of my days are written down and He knows every single one. My heart is still beating because He is in control. My lungs keep taking in oxygen and letting out carbon dioxide because He is in control. Knowing this and trusting in this and praying this helps me to acknowledge that He is in control of the person that I am praying for. That I don't have to fret or worry but realize they are still alive breathing because God has allowed it. I am so encouraged by this verse and it is my prayer this month to hold onto this verse as I continue to pray for other people with other scripture. This verse will be a foundation for all the others. If I can simply let go because of what this verse says, I can trust God with the people in my life.
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