My Daily Prayer Place

Early morning prayer can be a delight instead of a duty is you will simply follow these few simple steps to a close and intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. Everyone is busy, rushed, and tightly scheduled but amid the noise of a world of clamour there is a silence, a peace and a solace, God wishes to impart into every heart and mind. Some will spend five minutes but others will launch into an hour or more but to be productive and regular you may need to implement a few short steps.

Sometimes a husband and wife will spend some prayer time together but today I want to emphasize a private and personal time in prayer.

Journal Grab a journal or small notepad and record a Bible verse that stands out to you this morning or maybe a song. Scribble down your most pressing prayer requests or needs. Then, write down the answers to prayer or your praise. I started a prayer journal while in college and while not writing in it everyday – I have found time to make a few notes from time to time to help me focus on what is most important during my prayer time and what I should remember to praise Him for the answers already received.

Schedule Some people have been known to actually put GOD on their calendar at a specified time. Others, grab a cup of coffee, and head to their favorite spot in the morning, others like the quiet hours of the evening before bed for their personal quiet time with God. Whatever time you choose be sure and schedule it each day so you can have a set time that comes to mind.

Plan While praying go from praying for family to friends to your future. Pray God will illuminate your present steps and give you wisdom for your tomorrows. Repent, repair and revive as you press into the presence of God. Tell Jesus you love Him and let Him know you intensely desire to walk each day in a Christlike spirit. You may not need a plan but this way you won’t forget to pray for a friend that requested your prayers yesterday. Just simply jot down a few necessary items before going to prayer or building a list throughout the day to take with you to your prayer spot. Sometimes my prayers are scattered without a planned prayer list.

Practice You will always get better at the things you do the most. Prayer, like any other Christian discipline, takes practice to perfect. If you miss a day simply pick up the next day but you will notice an ease at coming to the prayer spot each day. You may want to begin your prayer time with a devotional to put your heart in a good frame of mind.

Place To have a private prayer place allows for you to quietly and quickly slip in and experience your meeting place with God each day. Make sure your private place is free from magazines, a stack of mail, your computer or other distractions. The bedroom, the living room, a back porch, your office, wherever it is, go to an undistracted place that says to you, this is my private place with God.

Comment: Do you have something you do in your private prayer time that is not mentioned above?

Copyright by Jim Laudell.  Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author.

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Dear God, “I’m sorry”

People are suffocated from evil around us, covered with fear and mesmerized by sin but Jesus is setting people free. We have been hearing reports from across the nation and around the world of people coming to Jesus for forgiveness, receiving salvation and turning their lives around. Repentance is a heart issue not a church issue. Oh, don’t get me wrong – you will want to link up with other believers but merely going to church is not salvation. No, this is a heart issue, a believing in the heart, a cleansing in the heart and a receiving into the heart.

Why must I go to Jesus for forgiveness? Because only God is holy and you have sinned against God. Salvation is the benefit of a repentant heart. Turn to Jesus Christ with all your heart, know that He loves YOU, died for your sins on the cross and is willing to forgive you.

For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.

2 Corinthians 7:11

Real repentance doesn’t occur because you are sorry you failed and you are disappointed in yourself, no, it is more than that. Real repentance is not fear from being caught and your sin laid out in the open, no, it is more than that. Real repentance is faith. Faith in knowing you are guilty but Jesus loves you; Jesus is willing to forgive you!

Admit your sin, your guilt, and your wrong in prayer to Jesus Christ.

Acknowledge He died on the cross for you and loves you. Jesus wants you to come to Him.

Ask Him to forgive you and come into your heart and He will if you ask sincerely and honestly.

Accept it all done and thank Jesus for salvation and His mercy. Praise is the path into God’s presence.

Accountability is the next great decision – join a group of Bible believing Christians and stick with your new life.

Comment: Did you pray and ask Jesus Christ to forgive you and come into your life?

Copyright by Jim Laudell.  Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author.

Confessions of a Father

The day after Father’s Day and back to work but not without some important changes. Several fathers admit there are some things they would like to change. They want to change their family future.

Most father’s admit they aren’t for sure what is expected of them and what they must do to accomplish being a “good” father. They support their family with a good work ethic, provide for the needs of the family and go to church but father’s are asking, “is something missing?”

Let’s look at what children really need from their father if we are to find adequate answers. It is true families need to be provided for but new shoes will never take the place of a father pitching the ball to his son madly swinging a bat in all the wrong directions.

Of all the requests that come from families for dad to do this or that – the most requested item is – “we just want Dad to be with us.”

“Dad time” is the most important item we can give to a child. Let’s look at some prime “dad time” ideas:

Being one to one with your child The highlight of a child’s week is when he is picked to go with dad. We must be fair to balance it out when there are more children but this “gift” of time with a child being one on one with Dad is one of the most important aspects of a child’s life.

Praying with your child Praying together makes our heart soft and grants a connection with a child, only God can give. When my children we young there were times I asked my son or daughter to forgive me for being angry, only to hear those innocence words come back, “I forgive you Dad.” Precious time is invested in a child when you are on your knees.

Love their mother Your children will find no greater security than when a Dad shows affection to their momma. A dad who expresses honor and affection to their children’s mother is a wise man.

Comment below: Do you have a “DAD TIME” moment you would like to share?

Copyrighted by Jim Laudell. Material contained in this post cannot be reproduced or copied without permission from the author.

Walking in the Dark

It isn’t easy to walk in the dark and it is far more dangerous. Jim Cymbala, of the new book, Spirit Rising, told a story of his dark adventure. One night, as a small boy, he was walking in the dark, when he stubbed his toe on a container he had not previously known was there. He made this observation, had he been walking with the light on, he would have been able to see what was in front of him.

Most of us would like to know – “what is in front of me.” If we knew what God had planned we might not be so anxious about giving up. Quitting would not be in my vocabulary if I could see my tomorrow. My wife and I have anxiously followed a small newborn, still in the hospital after some months, with several complications. The mother posted a picture of the child at birth and one this past weekend; the difference was remarkable, untold miracles have enveloped this child since birth, giving him the strength and life. Looking back the Mother can say, God has been faithful.

But you say, I need something right now! Walking in the dark with an unknown future is difficult, to say the least, but here are three distinct points to remember.

God’s presence is magnified in the dark. The presence of God is most cherished when I have walked through the dry time, wrestled with my emotions and worried through the problem. God is so close during the difficult days. Tears are easy to come by but God’s hand lifting me up and keeping me courageous is encouraging each and every day.

My daughter recently bought a night-light in case one of her two boys gets up during the night. But the night-light is off through the night but comes on when someone passes by. You may not see God’s presence when you want to but in the dark, when you are walking alone, the light comes on. God’s presence is magnified in the dark.

God’s promises are exemplified in the dark. It is in the low times, the dry times and the dark times that the Word of God becomes most precious. The Bible is not filled with just poetry and prose but promises. Promises of His faithfulness. “…lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” (Matthew 28:20). You are not alone. Cry out to Him right now. Look in the Bible and find the lit path in your dark time. Psalms 119:105  “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”

God’s peace is found in the dark. Finding peace in the middle of the storm and finding peace in the middle of turmoil is unknown to some who may not know Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord but God is able to bring a peace that calms the heart in the worst of the night. Don’t cry yourself to sleep – pray yourself to sleep. Philippians 4:7  “And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Peace is mentioned over 400 times in scripture and you can find some peace in your darkness.

Comment below: Shout Out! of a dark time in your life when God gave you His presence, promise or His peace.

Family Prayer

When our children were preschoolers we would have a regular scheduled time for prayer and Bible story time. Each evening the children would climb on the couch for daddy to tell a story, take prayer requests and pray with each one. Later on when my children grew to be teens, praying together as a family was a directive for their relationships, school work and other pursuits. Now, my children are married and have children of their own, what a great delight to know they pray with their children each night before bedtime.

The Gospels record Jesus inviting the children to come to Him. Family prayer has many benefits but let me name just a few:

It is a great time for the family to talk about pressing issues. Families don’t get enough time to have meaningful conversations about moral, economical or relational subjects and the time of Family Prayer can open up discussion of these vital topics. It is found among teens, they will follow whoever listens to them.

It is a great time to express our love for each other. My wife and I would often thank Jesus for each other while praying, reinforcing our love and commitment to each other at our family time of prayer. Holding the children in your lap and praying a blessing over them not only has biblical roots but can open the door for your child to receive what God has in store for each child.

It is a great time to uncover the purpose for each child. Each person has a unique calling and purpose for life. Family prayer time can investigate the gifts of each child and expose them to various callings for their life.

It is a great time to pray for their protection. Each time you send your child into the public school you risk not seeing that child return in the same spirit. We must pray protection over their body, mind and spirit. The Israel customs were full of symbolism and in Exodus the description of putting blood on the doorposts to protect the family from the death angel, reminds us to plead the blood over our children for their protection in an evil world.

It is a great time to memorize the Word of God together. With all the functions, activities and events of the local church, there is nothing as powerful as the family memorizing the Word of God together. En-grafting the Word of God in our mind and life is an awesome insurance for the lives of our children. Deuteronomy  6:7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

“Who Needs a Miracle!”

“I need a Miracle!” We have heard more than once from a desperate soul crying out for a Divine intervention in their lives. But does God do miracles anymore? There certainly is a great need; a pastor facing cancer, friends whose 3-year-old passed away this week, a baby in Kentucky fighting for its life, and many, many more.

Miracles aren’t always big. My daughter testified of her burning eye she had accidentally scratched and after prayer, the burn succeeded and the pain quit. If God does miracles, you might ask, then why don’t we see more? Good questions and frankly, I don’t have all the answers but here are four things I know about miracles.

First, miracles happen to those who expect them.  Dr Thomas Lindberg, Senior Pastor of First Assembly of God Church of Memphis, writes, “God does not send miracles merely where they are needed; God sends miracles where they are expected.” When Moses put his rod down into the Jordan River he fully expected God to do something. In fact, all through the Gospels, people cried out to Jesus, they knew He could perform a miracle and not one left disappointed.

Secondly, miracles happen when all other means of an answer are swept away.  Our deficiency is God’s sufficiency. Our lack is His opportunity. When we have no one else to turn to, nowhere else to go and no more answers – Jesus shows up in magnificent splendor and does the impossible. Miracles don’t happen so we can be arrogant with our own self-righteousness, our abilities or our wealth but He shows up to the beggar, the blind, the broke and the berated.

Third, miracles happen when you pray. Prayer is the key to unlock heaven’s resources. Prayer puts me in the place where we are able to trust Him. Prayer melts my heart, soothes my fears and enables me to place my hand in His hand. Faith moves mountains but prayer moves God. Persistent, fervent and heartfelt prayer turns circumstances around and breaks the bonds of the enemy.

Last, miracles don’t always happen the way I prayed it. My thoughts and God’s thought don’t always line up. He is infinite and I am finite. He is strong and I am weak. He is omniscient and I know very little. God started working things out weeks ago so we could have answers to our prayers today. However, God decides to answer my prayers I must trust He will answer when I pray, even though the answer may not come the way I expected.

Stressed Out? This is for you!

A recent Gallup poll notes that over 80 percent of Americans feel stressed out at least some of the time and nearly half noting those feelings frequently. Stress is found at jobs, homes, and while driving. Life is supposedly easier and more efficient but has become more complex. American Psychological Association reports the top cause of stress is Money, followed by work and thirdly by the economy. We hear it on the news, collapse. foreclosures, ruin, and the uncertainty is beginning to take its toll on us. With 290 million people owning a TV we are constantly bombarded with bad news, this barrage of negative information is having tremendous effects on the souls and minds of men and women.

After a Doctor’s visit, a friend of mine told me his bronchitis was  not clearing up and the doctor had prescribed a double dosage of the medicine he was taking. As a result of bad news slapping us in the face day after day we need a double dosage to correct the stress. Stress can cause headaches, muscle cramps, stomach problems, anger, and a host of other problems. Many times relationships are put to the test because of the stress around them.

We need a double dosage to relieve the stress of today.

First, double dosage your prayer. One preacher asked the question, “Is your prayer life adequate for the pressures you are facing?” Simply question but a difficult one to answer. But increasing the amount of time may not be the best answer; maybe creating a more fervent and heartfelt prayer is a better answer. Praying until God’s presence begins to soothe your doubts and fears. Inviting God into your todays and tomorrows is the beginning of a peaceful present. As Grace Hansen said, “Don’t be afraid your life will end, be afraid that it will never begin.”

Secondly, double dosage your Bible reading. Begin today with the three M’s; Memorize, Meditate, Make it your own. By taking the word of God and bringing it into your life, you are diluting the power of the world and increasing the power of the Spirit.  Look at James 1:21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. The antidote for filthiness and naughtiness is to “engraft” the Word of God. “Engraft” means implanted, to “make it your own,” to make it personal. Bring the Word of God into your own life.

Thirdly, double dosage your faith. The quicker you get rid of the thing that weighs you down the better you will feel. That’s why , 1 Peter 5:7 says, Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. “Cast” means to throw away, God encourages us to throw away our worry and anxieties because He cares for us. His concern for you and His care for you is deeper than anyone else you can depend on. The word “careth” in this scripture implies that God “continues to care” for you – He never quits. Leave your stress in the hands of Jesus and watch the strength of the stress disappear.