Daily Archives: May 18, 2019

May 18 Three Elements of Prayer

Scripture Reading: Colossians 4:2–6

Key Verse: Colossians 4:2

Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving.

How would you assess your prayer life in its current state? Do you pray regularly? Are your prayers answered by God? If you find that you are less than satisfied with your times of fellowship with God, do not become discouraged. Many believers struggle to maximize their prayer lives, but the Bible has many wonderful tips for improvement:

  • We must devote ourselves to prayer (Colossians 4:2–4). We are to pray without ceasing, and with the expectation of seeing results. Devoting ourselves to prayer means making time for listening to the Father as well as for talking to Him.
  • We must stay alert in prayer (Ephesians 6:18–19). This means we must be aware as we pray. What should we be aware of? The schemes of Satan. The enemy wants to distract you from prayer. He wants your mind to drift and your heart to be troubled. If we expect these things, we can counteract them by focusing more intently on the task before us—communicating with God.
  • We should pray with a spirit of thanksgiving (Colossians 3:16–17). We should never forget to thank God for the goodness He has shown us, or for the goodness He will show us in the future. Thank Him for listening, for His faithfulness, and for the answer He will bring.

Begin incorporating these three elements into your prayer life as soon as possible, and wait in faith for God to honor your efforts.

Lord, give me a heart to pray without ceasing, the stamina to stay in focus, and a spirit of thanksgiving for Your faithfulness.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 145). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

In Preparation for the Lord’s Day: What Shall I Render — The Thirsty Theologian

What Shall I Render to the Lord
MARTYRDOM Psalm 116:12–19

imageWhat shall I render to the Lord,
what shall my offering be,
for all the gracious benefits
He has bestowed on me?

Salvation’s cup my soul will take
while to the Lord I pray,
and with His people I will meet,
my thankful vows to pay.

Not lightly does the Lord permit
His chosen saints to die;
from death Thou hast delivered me,
Thy servant, Lord, am I.

The sacrifice of praise I bring
while to the Lord I pray,
and with His people I will meet,
my thankful vows to pay.

Within His house, the house of pray’r,
my soul shall bless the Lord,
and praises to His holy Name
let all His saints accord.

Hymns to the Living God (Religious Affections Ministries, 2017).

Right tune, wrong hymn:

The current hymnal for this series is Hymns to the Living God, published by Religious Affections Ministries. This is such a good hymnal that I’m pretty sure I could happily post every hymn it contains, but I’ll be limiting selections to hymns I have never posted here before, especially those unfamiliar to me (of which there are many). For more information and to purchase this hymnal, visit Religious Affections Ministries.

via In Preparation for the Lord’s Day: What Shall I Render — The Thirsty Theologian

May 18 Snared by the Schemer

Scripture Reading: Psalm 25

Key Verse: 1 Peter 4:7

The end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.

Warren Wiersbe commented on our struggles with the enemy: “The word warfare in 2 Corinthians 10:4 means campaign. Paul was not simply fighting a little skirmish in Corinth; the attack of the enemy there was part of a large satanic campaign. The powers of hell are still trying to destroy the work of God (Matthew 16:18), and it is important that we not yield any ground to the enemy.”

Many believers fail to realize that they are in spiritual warfare on a daily basis. The enemy fights a relentless battle for our minds, thoughts, and beliefs. Our values are under constant attack as we are challenged to “get in step” with a society that has long since left its spiritual foundation far behind.

Don’t be rocked to sleep mentally by thinking that because you are a member of a certain church with a certain denomination as its backbone, there is no way you will fall to Satan’s deceptive temptations. In 1 Peter 4:7, we are told to be “serious and watchful.”

Even believers can fall prey to the enemy, so stand strong in Christ. Every thought, every issue that is raised up against God must be taken “captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5 nasb). You are the only one who can assume responsibility for your life.

Don’t be snared by the enemy into thinking that you don’t need Jesus Christ. Life is given to every fiber of your being.

O God, give me sound judgment and a sober spirit. Help me take captive every thought that is raised against You. Pour life into every fiber of my being.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 145). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

May 18 An Opportunity to Worship

Scripture reading: 1 Samuel 14:21–31

Key verses: 1 John 3:7–8

Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.

The erosion of Saul’s life began subtly. The enemy never announces his plans to lure us away from our devotion to Christ. Instead, he uses small and seemingly harmless tactics to draw us into deception and compromise.

One careless event changed the course of Saul’s life and eventually led to his denunciation by God and his death. Although God’s grace keeps the believer, sin has its consequences, and many times the relationship with God suffers. Make sure your life is free of spiritual erosion by asking God to give you a deep love for Him and His Word.

Amy Carmichael once wrote,

The story of Mary breaking her pot of ointment made me think of some among us who love their Savior and yet have not broken theirs (vessel of oil). Something is held back, and so there is no outpouring of that love, no fragrance in the house. It is shut up, not given.

The days are passing so quickly. Soon it will be too late to pour all we have on His feet. How sorry Mary would have been if she had missed her opportunity that evening—an opportunity that would never come again: “But you do not always have Me.” Soon He was among His foes. She could not have reached Him then.

Lord, I want to take every opportunity to worship You. I want to express my love to You right now. I pour out the fragrance of my life in a sacrifice of praise.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 145). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.