Praying For Our Nation ~ Week 5

“In the fifth petition we pray that God, for Christ’s sake, would freely pardon all our sins, which we are the rather encouraged to ask, because by His grace we are enabled from the heart to forgive others.” Shorter Catechismunknown-1

Forgiveness is a revolving grace that begins with God, working His love and forgiveness in us, and through us to others. Subsequently, we can confidently ask for forgiveness for our own indebtedness to Him, which is more than anyone could owe us. This grace is characteristic of God’s people, those who share space in His kingdom. How can we not love and forgive, when our Father has forgiven us?

Is there bitterness in your heart toward God or another person? Resentment is the spirit of oppression, and the enemy’s greatest weapon, working from within to destroy.

The condition of any single life, family, or nation, can be summed up in the total of our grievances and vengeance against others.

Where is Our Freedom?

We are concerned about our freedom here in America. We are already in bonds to the oppressive spirit that rules in the hearts and minds of men. What we see from those who desire to govern this nation is the same spirit of this nation. We are in need of God’s intervention by His Spirit to bring us to repentance, to lead us in truth and righteousness; to overcome this spirit within us.

Our nation and the world will remain under threat until we learn to live in love and care for our heavenly Father, our Lord Jesus Christ, and each other. Let us consider and examine our own hearts to know for sure that we have trusted the heavenly Father’s love and forgiveness for us.

Gracious Father,  forgive us of our rebellion, our pride, and covetousness; forgive us our anxieties and unbelief. Forgive us our discontent and impatience; forgive us our neglect and slothfulness. We need you to examine our hearts, to try our thoughts, to know if there is any bitterness that we hold against you or any other person. Reveal your love and forgiveness to us by the power of your Holy Spirit. Bring us to repentance, that we may trust you in all things, to live in peace with you and our fellowman. Heal hearts in this nation and other nations by the peace of your Son, in whose name I pray. Amen.

“O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God.” Daniel 9:19

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Praying For Our Nation ~ Week 4

give-us-this-day“In the fourth petition we pray that of God’s free gifts we may recieve a competent portion of the good things of this life and enjoy His blessing with them.” Shorter Catechism

As one of the most affluent nations in history, Americans live daily in the abundance of things that other nations only imagine. We have all the technical devices, all that we want to entertain us, and more food than we need ~ yet Jesus taught us, His people,  to pray for our “daily bread.”  We understand that our prayers are not just for us and our family, but for all people. We are reminded that He taught us to “seek first the kingdom of God our Father, and His righteousness”  before anything else, believing that He would supply all our physical needs.

As with the other petitions of the Lord’s Prayer, this one alludes to our trusting God our heavenly Father, whose name, kingdom and will are first and over all things in heaven and on earth, so that all our hope for all things is in Him.

Dear Father, as we anticipate a transition of leadership in a few weeks, let us as your children continue to examine our hearts and our faith. Show us your leading for all things. Make us to know that all that we need comes from you.

Even as we ask you to give us (all of us) our daily bread, give us understanding that we need not fear what man can do, nor hope that any man or woman can do more than you enable them to do. Again, I ask that you enable us to encourage others, and that you will grow the faith of all your people as we see you supplying all our needs.  More than physical food, enable us to understand the more needful, spiritual food that comes only from your Holy Word. Turn us to the truth and power of your Word, that we may know the abundant life that you promise us in Christ, your Son.screen-shot-2016-10-15-at-2-46-50-pm
Pour your Holy Spirit on us; give us a hunger for your Word; draw us to your Word for all that you desire for us.

Let us enjoy you and your blessings today, without anxiety of what we may need tomorrow. Show us our extravagance, and how to live simply in obedience, confidence, and contentment in you, so that we may share with others what you so graciously pour out upon us.

Make us the answer to the prayers of others who are in need, for the spirit, soul, and body.  In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.

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Praying For Our Nation ~ Week 3


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supreme-courtThis week we want to meditate on and pray the third petition for us and our nation.

capital“What do we pray for in the third petition? In the third petition we pray, that God, by His grace, would make us able and willing to know, obey, and submit to his will in all things, as the angels do in heaven.” Shorter Catechism

Dear Father, you teach us in your word that all secrets belong to you. We have learned that you have a secret will and a revealed will, which leaves all things in your hands.

As Jesus taught us, we pray that you reveal your will to us through your Word, and in time your secret will concerning the future of this nation. As we watch and wait to know who will be the next President of this country, open our hearts to your Word for us as your children, so that we may know and trust that all things work according to your will.

First, believing that we need you to work in us as your people, we pray that, as your will is done in heaven, we may know the rule of Christ over us and in the center of our lives, our families, and our churches. As the angels worship and adore Him, serving in obedience to Him, please move in our hearts to seek your will through a new, reviving, transforming work in us. Let Christ, through your church, be the light that is needed in this darkness.

Move the hearts of those who will rule this nation to know you and your will in their lives. Have mercy upon us as we place all our hope in you.
In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Let Us Pray Together For Our Nation

Why should we pray together for our nation? Burdens and prayer go together. As Christians we expect our heavenly Father to place burdens upon us so that we will come to Him in humility for His intervention.

He has given us His Spirit of grace and supplication for times like these.

He has placed His Son, our Lord and Savior at the helm of His kingdom as our High Priest, and through His Spirit, He receives our prayers and supplications.

In these last few weeks before this presidential election, please join me at the beginning of each week to pray each of the petitions of the Lord’s Prayer.  We will see how it relates to each of us, personally, to our families, the church, our nation, and the world.  We ask that other nations join us. (See A World in Crisis)

Please consider fasting as the Lord leads you.

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Dear Father, we come to you with the burden you have placed on our hearts. We see the handwriting on the wall. Believing that you are our heavenly Father who has birthed us into your kingdom, we need no other recourse but you. You care for us through your authority and rule over us as your children. During these times of uncertainty draw us near to you, show us your ways, teach us your paths, lead us in your truth, for you are the God of our salvation.

As we watch the proceedings leading up to this election, enable us to see all in your omnipotence, all happening under your control. Let our responses to these things be honoring to you, as we trust you in all things.

Let us not be anxious; let us not be fearful, but work in us that we may trust you explicitly in these coming weeks and for the end result.

Examine our own hearts and minds. Search us and try us as your people; let us not be found wanting, but in all things honoring you and your name ~ in our thoughts, our words, and our actions. Let the work that you do in each of us be honoring to you as a light to others who are fearful.  Let us be a blessing to those who have no hope.

Increase our faith during these times of uncertainty.

Let our attention not be on those who may be physically ruling this country. but enable us to keep our focus on you, your authority, your honor, your power, and your glory, for your name’s sake.
In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.

Related articles:  A World in Crisis, and  A Crucial Seven Weeks.

Photography: Washington Sunrise by Aram Vartian

A World in Crisis

Was the whole world in crisis when God sent Jonah to Nineveh? It might have been, had God not saved that city.  In this year of 2016, all nations are experiencing some kind of crisis, but especially here in the USA.  At no other time in history have we seen such a lack of hope for a sensible government to rule this nation.  Where is our hope as we near the time of an election for a new president?635174824587222334sad-child-divorce
Are we to sit around and wring our hands? Are we to be concerned about the condition of our nation and the world? Certainly, we should be. But how are we to respond to the reality of the crisis and uncertainty that we now face?

It does not help to send emails about the character and the secrets of candidates that are running for office. This seems to stir up more anxiety and chaos.

What are we to do? Is there anything we can do?

As Jerry and I are watching the scenario from our little corner of the world we continue to pray.

We believe that there is hope, for with or without it, the whole world is affected.

Without hope, the chaos will continue and with continued crisis comes destruction.

When God sent Jonah to Nineveh, Jonah, at first, refused to go. Personally, it seems that a boat to Tarsus would be easier for me, than launching out into the deep to share this article. I am not a prophetess, nor is my intent to preach, but to share a simple message of wisdom and grace from our heavenly Father.

When Jesus’ disciples asked Him to teach them to pray, they had no idea that the prayer He gave them would fit every occasion, especially for times of crisis. I believe that God, our Father wants us to listen to Him and perhaps for the first time stop whatever we are doing and take a fresh look at our Lord’s Prayer.

Wherever you are, in the USA or another country, please put aside whatever seems important to you right now, and consider that God is listening and desiring us to come to Him at this time of crisis. In the days ahead please take time with your family and church to consider the importance of this prayer.

What does He want to hear?

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be thy name.”

Take some time to meditate on this first petition. Is He your Father? Are you honoring your heavenly Father in your heart and life? Does your life witness to others that you are a child of God?  Would your character qualify you to govern others?  Do you desire His rule in your life and this world? Do you trust Him to rule over all things, according to His will? Are you encouraging others to trust Him instead of putting their trust in men and our circumstances?

“Thy kingdom come.”

Do you desire His kingdom ruling in every area of your life? Do you see Christ as King of kings, and Lord of lords in your own heart and over the whole world?

“Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

If we see where Christ is ruling at the right hand of the Father, with all authority in heaven and earth, all creatures and angels are surrounding and worshiping Him.

Is Christ the center of your life? Does your world revolve around Him? Are you following Him daily, looking to Him for all of life; casting your crowns before Him to glorify Him for His grace and goodness in every area of your life? Are you grateful for Him and His sacrifice for you that you may have eternal life in Him? Do you seek His will in all that do?

“Give us today our daily bread.”

Many do not have daily bread, yet most of us have more than we need. Are you God’s means of answering the prayers of others who are in need by sharing the blessings that God has given you? Are you content with the simple things and letting Him be the fulfillment of your life?

“And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.”

Are you withholding forgiveness from anyone?
A nation’s crisis can be summed up in the total of our grievances and vengeance against each other. Resentment is ruled by the spirit of oppression and is our enemy’s greatest weapon. How can we not love and forgive, when our Father has forgiven us? Our nation and the world will remain in crisis without our love and care for our heavenly Father, our Lord Jesus Christ, and each other.

“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

We start with ourselves, praying this personally and for our families, the church, and the world. We must each take an account as we consider how we live and lead wherever we are. As we look to Him for His continual leadership, we are the example of His goodness, and His power to keep us from temptation.

Can We Make a Difference?

We could concentrate on one petition each week during the next six weeks; asking the Holy Spirit to search our hearts to reveal His truth to us personally ~ then during the week of the election, praise Him for His kingdom, His power, and His glory.

Can this prayer make a difference in the middle of our crisis? Only as we come to our Father, in repentance, in faith, in love and obedience will we know how He will make the difference, first in our own lives; then, in His timing in this nation and the world.

Please join us here on this blog each week to pray together for God’s will in this next presidential election.
Let’s Pray Together For Our Nation  ~ Week 1
Praying Together For Our Nation  ~ Week 2
Praying For Our Nation ~ Week 3

Two months ago He led me to write a little book, First Things That Last Forever. It is the basis from which I write this article. The eBook is free. Please read it, and pass this article and the link to others. Our Father wants us to come to Him with genuine humility and love; with hope and anticipation of a merciful answer.butterfly-1140x460

Dear Father, hear our prayers; send your Holy Spirit; rend the heavens and come down as the melting fire burneth, and make your name known among the adversaries ~ beginning in our own hearts and lives.
FOR THINE IS THE KINGDOM, AND THE POWER, AND THE GLORY, FOREVER.
In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen
SEE FOLLOW-UP  ~  A CRUCIAL SEVEN WEEKS

Fran ~ 2016

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Capsules and Nutshells

Certain pills when swallowed can cause death.  Are there capsules that contain the ingredients for life?   Is there simple meat “in a nutshell”  that when eaten, cause us to want more?  Are there concentrated truths in God’s Word that establish a pattern, and prove our salvation?

The writer of the book of Hebrews said that God had spoken in the past  through the prophets, but in the last days He had spoken to us through His Son. (Hebrews 1:1-2)

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1)

“There are also many other things that Jesus did.  Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.  (John 21:25 ESV)

Jesus’ said in John 6:63, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all.  The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.

Here are a few time-tested words from the Lord Jesus Christ.

                   “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.”  Matthew 6:33

                    “If you abide (continue-KJV) in my word you are truly my disciples,

                                     and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32

                   “Pray then, like this: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.”  Matthew 6:9

                   “Ask the Father….for the Holy Spirit.”  (See Luke 11:9-13)

His Spirit is the “living water” that dissolves the capsule of His Word, and spreads the contents through our hearts and into our lives.  His Spirit is the power of God to break open the nutshell and reveal the meat of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, to keep us seeking, abiding, praying, asking for more, and growing thereby—for the Father’s glory and our joy.

Chrysostom ~ concerning God’s Word:  “It is not the word of man, but of the Holy Spirit, and the least syllable of it contains a hidden treasure.”

Father, open our hearts to receive the truths and life that are in your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  In His name we ask.  Amen