Monday, July 23, 2007

Still Pondering Paul's Prayer for the Colossians

As I completed my study on Revelation this week, the Holy Spirit kept bringing to mind patient endurance. Great endurance and patience is part of the prayer for the Colossians. Paul asked for God to strengthen them with all power according to his glorious might so that they may have great endurance and patience. I followed Paul's example and prayed this prayer over the Christians God places in my life AND over myself. Just as God regularly does, during my study I was reminded how much I need God to answer that prayer.

As God reveals his judgments on the inhabitants of the earth throughout Revelation he stops the commentary twice to say how important endurance and patience is. He says, "This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints (Revelation 13:10). And again in Revelation 14:12, "This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God's commandments and remain faithful to Jesus."

I am truly grateful Paul reminds us to pray in this way. We need it to remain faithful to Jesus, even to the end. It probably would be a good idea to pray this prayer over ourselves more often. I so want to hold tight to to the testimony of Jesus. Amen.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Praying for Other Christians

In Colossians 1, Paul has written a wonderful prayer that we can borrow to pray for our Christian brothers and sisters. Like Paul, we can continuously pray this prayer for the members of our church or any other Christian we know. It's such a good prayer, we should pray it for ourselves, too:

We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus
and of the love you have for all the saints. . .
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped
praying for you and asking God to full you with the knowledge of his will
through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in
order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please
him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the
knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to
his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience,
and joyfully giving thanks to the Father. . .Colossians 1:3, 9-12

  1. We can always thank God for our faith and love for all the saints
  2. We can pray non-stop for God to fill us with the knowledge of his will, asking him to help us know what he wants us to do.
  3. We can ask God to give us deep spiritual wisdom and understanding.
  4. We can pray that we may live lives worthy of the Lord.
  5. We can ask him to teach us how we may please him in every way.
  6. We can pray to bear fruit in every good work.
  7. We can ask God to give us more knowledge of himself.
  8. We can pray pray for God's gospel power in our everyday life according to his glorious might.
  9. We can ask God for a heart that patiently endures and is full of joy and thankfulness.

Now that we are prayed over, we can serve God and wait expectantly to see all that God will do. Paul's purpose in praying was to destroy heresy that had developed in the Colossian church. What stronghold in your life needs to be broken down? If you ask God, he will show you.

Live Strong,


Thursday, July 12, 2007

Does someone you know need deliverance?

While reading "Tired of Trying to Measure Up" by Jeff VanVonderen, I ran across a statement on Spiritual Warfare that made me stop and think. I asked myself, "Does someone I know need deliverance?" I bet all of us could answer that question, "Yes."

Jeff wrote, "Sometimes we need those who can aggressively bring the power of God's kingdom to bear on our life and our past, and to get us beyond the blockages that hinder full deliverance . . . I'm not talking about Dear Jesus, please help so-and-so feel better. I'm talking about Father, pour out your Spirit in power upon this person. Do supernatural surgery on the wounds that are here. Minister your love and grace to his heart so he can begin to trust you. And Satan, in Jesus' name and by his authority, be gone! You're trespassing. You have no right to be here. This person belongs to Jesus. He's private property.

Have you thought of someone who could benefit from a prayer like this? I did. I customized this prayer for my loved one and prayed it out loud to my Father in heaven. I know he heard me. Satan did too, if he was around. Just in case he was, I followed the prayer with leaving my xm channel, Spirit, playing loud and clear. A constant flow of praise to my Lord with no commercials. :)

My hope is that you, too, would stand in the gap for someone who needs to experience the full life Jesus promises. Some of these strongholds have been up for years. No matter! Jesus is stronger. He is quite capable of breaking his children free from bondage, as long as we continue to use our weapon of prayer (see 2 Corinthians 10:4-5)

Always Listen, Susan

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Ears That Hear

After Jesus told the Parable of the Sower, he called out, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear"(Luke 8:8). So, how do we get ears that hear? The answer is clear in the very next verse: "His disciples asked him what this parable meant" (Luke 8:9). If we want to possess ears that hear we can follow the disciples examply by praying and asking Jesus to explain what we read and study in his word. Just like Jesus did for the disciples, he will take the time to explain it to us if we take the time to sit still and wait for him to do so. But don't we have to be disciples for that to happen?

". . . But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop (Luke 8:15). Disciples have noble and good hearts that listen to God. There is only one way to become a disciple and that is to be saved. "That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him (Jesus) from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved" (Romans 10:9-10). "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).

The Listening Heart is noble and good only because of what Jesus did for us on the cross. There is no other reason. Hearts are regenerated by the power of the resurrection and immediately granted the ability to hear.

Thank you, Jesus, for giving me a noble and good heart that can hear your precious word. You did not repair my old heart, you gave me a whole new one. Praise the Lord! Help me to persevere every day so I can produce a crop worthy of your holy name. I don't ever want to take advantage of my ability to hear. Speak to me loud and clear and remind me to ask you what your word means. I love you, Lord, with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Great and Precious Promises

Psalm 126 holds a wonderful prayer request and some of those great and precious promises Peter wrote about in 2 Peter 1:4. The request goes like this: We ask God to restore our fortunes or bring back our captives. Since we are not in captivity like the Israelites were, we can customize this request for us today and ask God to restore what Satan has stolen from us. Satan loves to steal our time, especially our time alone with Jesus. He sets up roadblocks of all kinds to stop us from spending time with Jesus. He knows time alone with Jesus is the child of God's greatest treasure.

The second part of this request says to restore our fortunes like streams in the Negev. The Negev is a dry and barren land. For streams to flow there takes the miracle work of God. I feel an urging here to pray expectantly waiting for God to supply his life-giving water into my daily life.

And then comes the promises . . .

Those who sow in tears
will reap with songs of joy.
He who goes out weeping,
carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
carrying sheaves with him.
There is so much to weep over in this fallen world. These promises inspire even more requests of my Father in heaven.
Dear Lord,
As I read and study your word, you have filled me up with your seed. I carry it with me wherever I go. Give me your songs of joy so when I share I will return carrying sheaves with me. Thank you, Jesus. I love you with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. Amen.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Starting Over, Yet Again

I'm so thankful we have a God of second, third, and fourth and even more chances! He never gives up on us. I keep trying to make a commitment to write in this blog more regularly and then life happens, which lately, for me, has been a whirlwind of change. My husband, Greg, got laid off after 17 and 1/2 years of service to Coca-Cola. He has been off work now for two months. I have been devoting as much time to my husband as I could. Although he feels like I'm never home, I was just doing my regular stuff to take care of business. Then my surgery finally happened on June 29th. I found it hard to concentrate while waiting for that to be over with. And then there is my parents who need more medical care as time goes on, which means more office visits and procedures--sitting in hospital and doctor's waiting rooms, waiting, waiting, and more waiting. I have been frustrated, confused and worried to say the least.

But July is a new month with a new beginning. I have come through the surgery with no problems and hardly any pain. My mind is clearing from the anesthesia and I'm feeling stronger every day. And the day before my surgery we received even more good news. A friend mentioned Greg's name in a passing conversation at the gym to someone who needed someone who does what Greg does--Merchandise Marketing Manager. (Isn't this just how God accomplishes things--by per chance meetings?) Greg interviewed for the job and got it. His new position at Coco-Cola is permanent (not contract), yet temporary and extends his lay-off for six more months. A hint that the job would be longer than six months was implied, but no promises were made. Only time will tell. We have prayed for God to direct our path and he has done so over and over.

While studying Revelation for the summer one of the phrases from the Church in Pergamum keeps rolling around in my mind. As I face all the confusion and an unknown future, the Spirit is speaking the same thing to me that he spoke the churches, "I know where you live . . . yet you are clinging to and holding fast to my name and you did not deny my faith" (Revelation 2:13AMP). Even though I feel like I haven't gotten a thing accomplished, I am clinging to his name with all I have. God knows where I live and what I am trying to do. He will supply my every need according to his glorious riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19) and being confident of this, that he who began a good work in me will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6). This is the truth, no matter what I feel like.

Thank you, Jesus, for being a God of countless chances. Please continue to guide my service to you and provide for my family like you always have and always will. I love you, Lord, with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, forever.