When Praying

Matthew 6:7 And when praying, do not choose many words, as the pagans do. For they think that by their excess of words they might be heeded. I have attended meetings where someone is asked to say a blessing over the meal. Too often I have witnessed those table blessings go on and on often filled with many extraneous words, such as repeating “Father” a dozen times in the prayer. As if God needs to be reminded who He is or that you are still speaking to Him. You would not do that if talking to “Bill”. How strange that would sound if you said, “Bill, I thank you, Bill, for coming, Bill, to our gathering that, Bill, you could be present, Bill, when, Bill, we dedicate this building, Bill, in your name, Bill.” The best prayer is a conversation with God. Say what needs to said then stop and listen. Prayer Lord, forgive us for not giving you enough time to answer and for piling up empty words when we pray. Amen. Also visit my other blogs
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    NO UNEMPLOYED

    Matthew 11:25-30

    At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for hiding these things from wise and intelligent people and revealing them to little children. Yes, Father, this is what pleased you. “My Father has turned everything over to me. Only the Father knows the Son. And no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son is willing to reveal him. “Come to me, all who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Place my yoke over your shoulders, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble. Then you will find rest for yourselves because my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

    I read this scripture, before I accepted the forgiveness of God’s gift of love and restoration, and it frightened me. I didn’t understand the truth of “Place my yoke over your shoulders.” I imagined a heavy wooden yoke placed upon my shoulders and then being forced to pull a plow or a wagon with a huge load in it. Now, having accepted the gift of salvation, I realize that I previously had my own yoke on my shoulders and was pulling that load alone. With Jesus’ yoke, we are sharing the load and he is doing nearly all of the work.

    Make no mistake, in the kingdom of God there are no unemployed. Every Christian had a duty to perform. However, Christ is with us doing all of the heavy lifting

    Prayer Thank you Lord for lifting that load. I ask now for the strength to lighten the load of my brothers and sisters in Christ. Amen IF YOU LIKE MY BLOG, PLEASE HIT THE LIKE BUTTON AND MAYBE LEAVE A COMMENT.
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    THEY HAD ONE JOB TO DO

    Mark 14:32-42

    Then they came to a place called Gethsemane. He said to his disciples, “Stay here while I pray.” He took Peter, James, and John with him and began to feel distressed and anguished. He said to them, “My anguish is so great that I feel as if I’m dying. Wait here, and stay awake.” After walking a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if it were possible he might not have to suffer what was ahead of him. He said, “Abba! Father! You can do anything. Take this cup of suffering away from me. But let your will be done rather than mine.” He went back and found them asleep. He said to Peter, “Simon, are you sleeping? Couldn’t you stay awake for one hour? Stay awake, and pray that you won’t be tempted. You want to do what’s right, but you’re weak.” He went away again and prayed the same prayer as before. He found them asleep because they couldn’t keep their eyes open. They didn’t even know what they should say to him. He came back a third time and said to them, “You might as well sleep now. It’s all over. The time has come for the Son of Man to be handed over to sinners. Get up! Let’s go! The one who is betraying me is near.”

    This person had one job to do, paint two parallel yellow lines in the middle of the road. For mile upon mile he had done just that. And then something happened. Maybe he dozed for just a moment or maybe he was distracted momentarily. For whatever reason, he failed to do the one thing he was supposed to do.

    Jesus gave Peter, James, and John one job to do, wait and stay awake. He had told them, “My anguish is so great that I feel as if I’m dying.” Three times he prayed and they slept. One simple job, and they failed … repeatedly!

    Imagine for a moment that your best friend had just told you that they felt like they were dying and they asked you to wait and watch over them while they prayed. What would you do? Now put yourself in the other place. You are the one who feels like your dying. What would you expect of your friends?

    I would expect to pray with my friend and have them pray with me. I certainly wouldn’t expect them to fall asleep when I was at my darkest hour.

    Prayer
    Lord, forgive us for times that we also “fall sleep”. It may no not be actual sleep but times when inattentive to you calling to us. Or those times when our friends have needed us and we’ve not been there for them. Open our ears that we may hear. Open our eyes that we may see. Open our minds that we may know. Open our mouths that we may speak, and open our hearts that we might love. Amen

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    Truly Wise Men

    Matthew 2:9-12 After they (the wise men from the east) had heard the king, they started out. The star they had seen rising led them until it stopped over the place where the child was. They were overwhelmed with joy to see the star. When they entered the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary. So they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. God warned them in a dream not to go back to Herod. So they left for their country by another road.

    When the wise men visited King Herod of Judea and said that they were seeking the King of the Jews, Herod wasn’t happy. He was man jealous of his power. So much so that Herod murdered his wife Mariamne, her two sons, her brother, her grandfather, and her mother because he suspected that they were plotting against him.

    Then men from the east came seeking a new King. He told the wise men to find this new King and report back to him so that he might go and worship him.

    They were not fooled and followed the warning from God not to return to Herod.

    Prayer Lord, let us hear your voice so that we also may be truly wise. We hear so much from the mouths off powerful people, claiming to want the best for us. Not all are being honest. Give us discernment. Amen.

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    Blessings

    Jude 1-2
    Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to those who are beloved in God the Father, and who are guarded and called in Jesus Christ: May mercy, and peace, and love be fulfilled in you.


    I am so humbled by the salutations in the various letters (epistles) saved in our scriptures.

    Though I write daily in my various blogs, I haven’t taken pen to paper to write an actual letter in years. Furthermore, in those days past, the salutations of my letters ever only were “Dear, insert name here”. Never did I open with a blessing.

    What does it cost us to offer a blessing to others? Nothing. I’ve begun to end phone conversations with “have a blessed day” rather than goodbye. Did you know that goodbye was a late 16th century contraction of God be with you, which was originally meant to be a blessing. However, goodbye had become so much less. Its modern meaning simple means I’m done talking to you.

    Let us make it a goal to offer a blessing to someone at least once a day.

    Prayer
    Father, fountain of all blessings, send your Spirit to prompt us to offer sincere blessings to those whom we are in connect today.
    Amen

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    For You and Me

    Hebrews 2:14-17
    Therefore, because children have a common flesh and blood, he (Jesus) himself also, in like manner, has shared in the same, so that through death, he might destroy him who held the dominion of death, that is, the devil, 15. and so that he might free those who, through the fear of death, had been condemned to servitude throughout their entire life. 16. For at no time did he take hold of the Angels, but instead he took hold of the offspring of Abraham. 17. Therefore, it is fitting for him to be made similar to his brothers in all things, so that he might become a merciful and faithful High Priest before God, in order that he might bring forgiveness to the offenses of the people.

    Jesus, God with us, CHOSE to live the life of a human being. He likewise chose to die a physical death to free us from the fear of death. This is how much he loves us and chooses to have us share eternity with him.

    Prayer
    Jesus, thank you for your great sacrifice for us. Forgive us for the times we have failed to makes the tiniest sacrifice for you.
    Amen.

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    Luke 4:16-21

    Luke 4:16-21, 28

    And he went to Nazareth, where he had been raised. And he entered into the synagogue, according to his custom, on the Sabbath day. And he rose up to read. And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. And as he unrolled the book, he found the place where it was written: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; because of this, he has anointed me. He has sent me to evangelize the poor, to heal the contrite of heart, to preach forgiveness to captives and sight to the blind, to release the broken into forgiveness, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord and the day of retribution.” And when he had rolled up the book, he returned it to the minister, and he sat down. And the eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to say to them, “On this day, this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

    And all those in the synagogue, upon hearing these things, were filled with anger.


    First a little history. The practice in the synagogues was to have seven readers every sabbath, the first a priest, the second a Levite, and the other five Israelites of that synagogue. Jesus was raised in, and a member of, that very synagogue. As a member, he may have often been one of the readers for the day. However this day was special. This was the day that he announced to family, friends, and neighbors his God given ministry.

    Family and friends may be the hardest to whom you ever minister. Those who’ve known you longest know all your failures, the foolish things, and perhaps the sinful ways of your past. But they are the ones whom you most want to seer saved.

    The Great Reward

    The teachings of the LORD are perfect. They renew the soul. The testimony of the LORD is dependable. It makes gullible people wise. The instructions of the LORD are correct. They make the heart rejoice. The command of the LORD is radiant. It makes the eyes shine. The fear of the LORD is pure. It endures forever. The decisions of the LORD are true. They are completely fair. They are more desirable than gold, even the finest gold. They are sweeter than honey, even the drippings from a honeycomb. As your servant I am warned by them. There is a great reward in following them. (Psalms 19:7-11)

    Some assembly required. Those three little words seem so innocent on the package. But when you’ve opened the box and the myriad of pieces fall you the floor your heart sinks. How will this scattered pile of parts ever resemble the desired product? Read through the instructions and follow them step by step and like magic it begins to appear!

    Do You want your soul renewed? Do you wish to be wise? Does your heart rejoice and your eyes shine?
    Read the teachings of the Lord adds follow them.

    Lord forgive us for our impatience. We like children want all of your promises fulfilled in or lives. However, we often fail to follow Your instructions on how to achieve  them. Grant us wisdom and patience as we read and follow the directions.
    Amen.

    Also visit my other blogs.

  • Tom and Ella’s Daily Journal of Our Lives
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  • My NEW sermons blog Armchair Sermons. Sermons posted Sundays 10 AM central time.
  • ©2020 Thomas E Williams

  • Tom and Ella’s Daily Journal of Our Lives
  • http://TomAndEllaJournal.WordPress.com
  • My NEW sermons blog Armchair Sermons. Sermons posted Sundays 10 AM central time.
  • ©2020 Thomas E Williams

    “I Won’t Grow Up”

    I remember Peter Pan singing, “I won’t grow up, I don’t want to go to school. Just to learn to be a parrot, And recite a silly rule. If growing up means It would be beneath my dignity to climb a tree, I’ll never grow up, never grow up, never grow up. Not me!!

    I won’t grow up, I don’t want to wear a tie. And a serious expression In the middle of July. And if it means I must prepare To shoulder burdens with a worried air, I’ll never grow up, never grow up, never grow up Not me.”

    Matthew 18:1-4 1. In that hour, the disciples drew near to Jesus, saying, “Whom do you consider to be greater in the kingdom of heaven?” 2. And Jesus, calling to himself a little child, placed him in their midst. 3. And he said: “Amen I say to you, unless you change and become like little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. 4. Therefore, whoever will have humbled himself like this little child, such a one is greater in the kingdom of heaven.

    Jesus did not say, “Don’t grow up. Don’t mature.” He said that we are to become humble like children. A child is humble because he recognizes how powerless he is. We are to recognize our true powerlessness and who is the true source of power.

    The author of the Letter to the Hebrews has this to say about immature Christians, “Our message about him is great, and difficult to explain when speaking, because you have been made feeble when listening. 12. For even though it is the time when you ought to be teachers, you are still lacking, so that you must be taught the things that are the basic elements of the Word of God, and so you have been made like those who are in need of milk, and not of solid food. 13. For anyone who is still feeding on milk is still unskillful in the Word of Justice; for he is like an infant. 14. But solid food is for those who are mature, for those who, by practice, have sharpened their mind, so as to discern good from evil.” (Hebrews 5:11-14 11)


    My question for you is, have you sharpened your mind? Have you taken time to study the word of God? Have you applied the truths you have learned? Are you about your Father’s business? Have you grown up?

    Prayer
    Father, forgive us our immaturity. Grant us wisdom. Grant us strength of conviction to do the tasks that you have for us. Amen.

    Also visit my other blogs.
    • Tom and Ella’s Daily Journal of Our Lives
    http://TomAndEllaJournal.WordPress.com
    • My NEW sermons blog Armchair Sermons. Sermons posted Sundays 10 AM central time.
    ©2020 Thomas E Williams
    • Tom and Ella’s Daily Journal of Our Lives
    http://TomAndEllaJournal.WordPress.com
    • My NEW sermons blog Armchair Sermons. Sermons posted Sundays 10 AM central time.
    ©2020 Thomas E Williams

    We Gather Together

    Hebrews 10:24-25 24.
    Let’s consider how to provoke one another to love and good works, 25. not forsaking our own assembling together, as the custom of some is, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.


    Every Wednesday a group of us gather for a card ministry. We send cards to celebrate anniversaries, birthdays, and other milestone events. Cards are sent with our sympathies. Get well cards are sent with our prayers. The cards are signed by all in attendance (up to 24 folks). Though this group also has other ministries within and for the community, the cards are what draw us together every week. At the end of each meeting we take a role call. The roll call is when each member updates us on their joys and concerns for the week. The roll call binds us together to celebrate each other’s joys and carry each other’s burdens.
    If there is a similar group near you, I encourage you to join them. If there is no group, make one!

    Prayer
    Lord we are mindful of the apostle’s words , “not forsaking our own assembling together”. Lord, thank you for bringing your followed together for ministry toward the community and within our assembly.
    Amen.

    Also visit my other blogs.

    • Tom and Ella’s Daily Journal of Our Lives
    http://TomAndEllaJournal.WordPress.com
    • My NEW sermons blog Armchair Sermons. Sermons posted Sundays 10 AM central time.
    ©2020 Thomas E Williams