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Sunday, January 3, 2016

Sunday Words of Encouragement January 3, 2016

Our church is starting the year with a focus on prayer! A substitute Sunday School teacher played an impressive video of a message by Jim Cymbala, the pastor of the Brooklyn Tabernacle. He reminded the people that Jesus threw out the wicked money changers with the declaration: My house will be called a house of prayer.... It is not a house of preaching, music or entertainment, but a “house of prayer”.

When you are in trouble, pray; when intimidated, pray; when afraid, pray. When you receive blessings, pray and give thanks.
When you pray, God comes. Prayer brings God’s power and grace.
Prayer is the conduit, the channel for His power and grace.
Let us come boldly to the throne of grace... Hebrews 4:16.
Spend time in prayer. Give your troubles and concerns over to God.

Pastor’s sermon was “Fasting with Prayer”. We are sharing in a 21 day fast starting today. The purpose for us is threefold: 1) for our church; 2) for family, especially lost loved ones; and 3) our individual need. I will be listening to the CD and then praying to select my “need”, the nature (partial or complete, food or other item) and form (time element one meal a day, three times a week, alternate days, etc.) of my individual fast.

Why do we fast?
Fasting reminds us that we can get by without most things, but not without God.
Fasting helps us humble ourselves and recognize that we must depend on God.
Fasting helps train and discipline our passions; control desires. (If Satan can't have you he wants you to become ineffective.) 1 Timothy 4:7-8.
Fasting may acknowledge sin.
Fasting shows you what you need to relinquish (anger, fear, jealousy, etc.) and what you can have (joy, peace, etc.).

Arthur Wallis stated: ‘[fasting] demonstrates that you mean business.’ It gives notice to God that the matter is a priority.
The goal of fasting is to make more time for God; talk to God; draw away from things of this world to focus and grow closer to God.

Here is an older worship song that I think is appropriate for the message 
and the New Year:
A Verse for Today:
Hebrews 4:16.
“Let us then approach God's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

My prayer today: Lord, Thank you for the opportunities of a New Year. Direct my steps as I prepare to seek a closer relationship with You.

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed reading this post today. I just told myself New Year's Eve that I want to spend more time for God. Thanks for sharing this with us!


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