What Do You Do? You Pray

Throwback Thursday. This post is from 2019. It is more relevant for me today than it was two years ago. I have gotten more and more into Biblical Study and Apologetics in the past two years and I have seen more extreme angry than ever before towards God and those who argue for Him and His Word.

The Good Word

I see many questions about God from atheists who have anger in their hearts.

They want evidence, they want proof and they demand answers.

Now the truth is I have seen many Christians ranging from your average person to highly educated apologetics present many different types of evidence from archaeological to scientific to historical to even personal accounts but they are never believed.

Often times when you do present your views they become angry and say harsh things and take a nasty tone to God. Many are upset that we even had answers to their questions.

They call their views “rational” and say they have “logic” and “reason”.

Which even in a polite conversation when you use those words to describe your atheist views we can assume since our beliefs are the opposite of the atheist that they believe our views are, “irrational”, “illogical” and “unreasonable”.

I have personal experience…

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Love Your Enemies And Pray For Those Who Persecute You

I have heard and seen people who hold onto bitterness and refuse to listen to scripture and pray for their enemies.

It could be someone they know personally, it could be a type of person or just an entire group.

Sometimes a person views someone as their enemy because of race, religion, denominational differences, politics, etc.   

They say the person or group has hurt them or that they’re enemies of God, I have even heard a person say I only pray for those who the Holy Spirit guides me to pray for.

These are all not Biblical arguments.

The Bible is clear on this matter…

 Matthew 5:44 (ESV),
“44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,”

None of us are worthy of God’s grace so your enemy and yourself are on the same page.

In the Bible, throughout history and today people have prayed for their enemies and those who persecute them. We must do the same.

I understand it is hard, so ask God to soften your heart, to help shed your pride and humbly reach out to Him.

Pray even if you’re angry, sad, bitter.

Just pray and the Holy Spirit will work in you.

Have a Blessed and Prayerful Week,
Chris

Bible Verses:
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%205%3A44&version=ESV

Prayers For Those Who Persecute You:
https://www.openbible.info/topics/pray_for_those_who_persecute_you

Scripture Reading Plan:

Monday – 1 Samuel 17:1-23, 32-49

Tuesday – Psalm 9:9-20

Wednesday – 2 Corinthians 6:1-13

Thursday – Mark 4:25-41

Memorial Day Prayer 2021

It’s Memorial Day in America. I found a prayer that I’d like to share with you.

“Almighty God,

We thank You for bringing us together at this Memorial Day celebration to acknowledge the debt we owe to the men and women of the United States military who have guarded this country with their lives. We especially honor those who lost their lives while defending this nation. They fought on land, at sea, and in the air, always understanding that they may not come back from the mission and accepting that as part of the job. They were willing to risk death to protect this land we hold so dear and the American people along with it. We thank them for their sacrifice and promise we’ll carry on their legacy to ensure they did not die in vain.

Father, we pray that You strengthen and protect all our military personnel who are serving presently and in the future. Give them the courage to face whatever comes, protect them in battle, and help them prosper in times of peace. Watch over their families, Lord, as You watch over us all. We put our trust and faith in You and even though we don’t always understand Your ways, we accept that You have a plan for each and every one of us. Please help us fulfill our personal missions, whatever they may be. Amen.”

Thank you to all those who have sacrificed so much for the freedom of this country.

God Bless You,
Chris

Scripture Reading Plan:

Monday – 1 Samuel 8:1-22; 11:14-15

Tuesday – Psalm 138

Wednesday – 2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1

Thursday – Mark 3:20-35

Source and Link To More Memorial Day Prayers
https://dying.lovetoknow.com/Prayers_for_Memorial_Day_Services#:~:text=Let%20us%20turn%20to%20You,for%20those%20who%20gave%20all.

Prayer For The Nation

I think it is important this week to offer a prayer for our nation.

Lord I want to first pray for all those affected by the violence at the Capitol, it was horrible, horrific and avoidable.

I also want to pray for those affected by the violence that has occurred throughout the year in this country.

This nation has faced tragedy after tragedy this year. I pray that we overcome, that people’s hearts are healed and their needs are met.

I want to offer prayer as we go through a transition of power in this nation. Many are hurt and angry, some are excited, others relieved.

I think it is an important reminder we must not trust in man but God.

You God, sit on a throne that is greater than any throne made by the hands of man.

I also want to call for repentance of this nation. This is not about one party or group this is about the nation as a whole. Everyone in this country should go to the Lord humbly.

The truth is we have lived very comfortably so long Lord, help us Lord to be humble and remember our brothers and sisters throughout the world who have suffered so much.

We must turn back to you and live our lives by Your will not ours and by Your Word not ours.

Thank you Lord for your continued blessings, have mercy on us God and help us return to you.
.
Amen.

2 Chronicles 7:14 (English Standard Version)

14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Links:

All Saint’s Day

Today is All Saint’s Day. It’s a day we remember the believers who died and are now with Christ.

Whether a believer in Christ died this year or in years past today is the perfect day to think of them and thank God for the effect they have had on our lives and in the church as a whole.

I found this wonderful prayer that I would like to share with you…

“Dear God, thank you for the example of the Saints. I desire to join in their company, worshiping you forever in Heaven. Please help me follow their footsteps, and yours, Jesus Christ. Please help me to conform myself to Your image, seeking Your will in all things, as the Saints did. Please help me to devote myself, and all that I do, to Your glory, and to the service of my neighbors. Amen.”

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

Links:
Prayer
https://www.praymorenovenas.com/prayer-saints-day

History of All Saint’s Day
https://www.christianity.com/church/church-history/all-saints-day-november-1.html

Heritage Baptist Church

COVID19 and a Call to Prayer

This has been on my heart for a while. All over the internet you see people both secular and Christian arguing over COVID19 statistics, numbers and the effect of the virus. The human and personal element has been taken out of the discussion.

God cares if just 1 suffers so let’s focus on how we can help.

So I ask that those who see this pray for the people who have been affected and will be affected by COVID19 both from the actual virus and from the fallout.

Also let’s pray for guidance on how we as the church can help those in need during this time and be the light in all that darkness.

Let the people recognize the church by our love and compassion.

Let’s separate ourselves from the world by showing how to do the right thing.

If someone calls you a sheep be proud of that because we are the sheep of the Good Shepard.

Besides the last thing we want to be in the end is a goat.*

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

* Matthew 25:31-46 English Standard Version (ESV)

The Final Judgment

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,[a] you did it to me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2025%3A31-46&version=ESV

PS: Here is this week Heritage Baptist Church Online Service…

How Does God Talk To You?

My wife and I are were watching our church’s online service and in the opening portion the Pastor, the associate Pastor and Minster of Music were discussing how God speaks to them personally. They then asked the church to write down how we believe God speaks to them and share it.

The message inspired me to write this blog.

For those out there reading this I want you to know God wants to have a personal relationship with you.

He wants to talk to you and He wants us to listen.

God can speak to you in many forms. God knows us best and I believe God will speak to someone in the best way they will hear Him.

I know the Music Minister Willie said he hears God through music.

Me personally I have always been someone who thinks and thinks and thinks. My mind is always on and I can never shut it off. So God speaks to me through my thoughts. Sometimes a little thing here and there other times I get some very deep messages I truly feel are from the Lord.

I realize there is a negative connotation to someone who says, “God told me” or “God spoke to me”. I think a lot of that has to do with people’s own skepticism. The truth is even though we have faith we also struggle with skepticism.

Now I am not saying that you should believe every word someone says or just go along with what someone is saying but we should listen to our brothers and sisters.

You may ask but how do we know if what someone is saying is the truth?

Well since we don’t actually know if God has talked to that person we can’t write them off but there is ways to use discernment. This works both for the listener and the one who believes God is speaking to them.

First you can always ask the Holy Spirit, ask God if He is the one speaking to you or if the person speaking to you is telling the truth. Remember the Holy Spirit dwells within us as Christians.

If you’re still unsure see if what is being said matches with scripture. God is not going to tell anyone something that goes against His Word.

Know scripture and know God.

Know God and know truth.

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

Links to this week’s church video and the church’s website…

https://vimeo.com/428936365

https://www.heritageloves.com/

Memorial Day

The Good Word

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When Someone Mocks God

I did it again.

I was reading a sad news story and decided to do the unwise thing of looking through the comment section. And naturally there began a chain comment mocking God.

This time it was an attack on prayer. The person said, “Instead of praying, why don’t you do something that works?”

A foolish statement.

I thank the Lord that He granted me the wisdom and the maturity not to respond. He helped me not to get upset and respond to this man’s comment. This man was trying to hurt believers and get them angry but instead of that he actually received many replies from Christians who did not respond with anger but instead corrected him with love. Hopefully some see the loving replies he received and realize the Light that comes from Christianity when someone tries to be hateful and dark.

When it comes to his effect on me he ended up inspiring me to write this blog so it appears his comments have done the opposite of what he intended.

One mistake people make is they act as if prayer is an “instead of” option. If a fire breaks out no Christian is saying pray only and don’t send the firemen. We are praying for the fireman and the victims of the fire. We are praying for strength, protection, comfort and guidance. We are praying to the Lord for help.

It’s a silly thing to mock, besides I’ve never heard someone say in response, “Thank you for mocking those who prayed.”

Instead you hear, “Thank you for all the thoughts, kind words and prayers.”

Prayers uplift a person, telling someone they’re being prayed for shows that people out there care.

So why do these people mock prayer?

Because if God isn’t guiding their heart, satan is, he knows the power of prayer and wants the believer to stop it and give up a crucial part of our relationship with God.

Truth is there wasn’t much of a point for me to respond to that man, he had taken it upon himself to ridicule those who did respond to him. In this moment his heart and mind are made up he was enjoying mocking Christians and God. Our brothers and sisters had planted a seed in his brain but by his own free will he rejects God and refuses to open his mind and heart to the Lord. Sadly he and others like him think these thoughts are their own but truth is they come from satan and they’re being used by him.

The skeptic presents an argument where they attack the effectiveness of prayer but no believer has a chance to win that argument. Because the skeptic has placed unreasonable demands on the believer.. They refuse to believe the testimony of the believer but they themselves cannot test the power of prayer because they lack faith, so therefore the argument by human standards in unwinnable. That doesn’t mean you should give up, talk to them and share your story, treat them with love. The argument possibly could be a pointless endeavor but your story is not.

God knows your story and wants you to tell it, He loves you and sees what you’re trying to do. Keep up the good work.

Now the skeptic may also bring up a time in which they did pray and the prayer supposedly wasn’t answered. But the truth is ALL prayers are answered. But sometimes the answer is “no” or maybe even “not yet.”

Just because you did not get what you asked for doesn’t mean your prayer was unanswered.

God is our Father and just like any good parent He doesn’t give His children everything they want.

God knows what is best and that is why we pray by God’s will not our own.

So that leads to the question what do you do with a person who mocks God and rejects the Gospel? Someone who refuses to have an open conversation and talk with you?

You do what they mock, you pray.

You pray and continue to be the light in the darkness.

Who knows that person might accept the Lord into their heart and they could be praying for you someday.

Wouldn’t that be something?

So how do we end this entry? What better way than the Lord’s Prayer…

Matthew 6:9-13 New King James Version (NKJV)

“9 In this manner, therefore, pray:

Our Father in heaven,

Hallowed be Your name.

10 Your kingdom come.

Your will be done

On earth as it is in heaven.

11 Give us this day our daily bread.

12 And forgive us our debts,

As we forgive our debtors.

13 And do not lead us into temptation,

But deliver us from the evil one.

[a]For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

Sources:
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+6%3A9-13&version=NKJV

The Homeless Woman

Years ago my wife attended college in the city of Baltimore, one evening I joined her for an event at the University and on the way back we saw a homeless woman at a traffic light, she looked gruff, tired and clearly had a rough, rough life. I pointed her out to my wife.

She told me, “Oh yeah she is out here every day. It’s depressing, every corner and traffic light they’re struggling people that need help.”

She went on to tell me it seems never ending and hopeless at times. Whether you give money or food or water or any type of essential item to a person there is always ten more you can’t help. But she told me she still helped in ways she could.

The before mentioned woman approached our car, let’s just say she seemed not of sound mind, my wife gave her some money and a few kind words. The woman didn’t make eye contact with her and mumbled something we couldn’t understand.

But then when she walked back to the side walk she looked to the sky and shouted towards the Heavens, “THANK YOU GOD!”

She was joyous to receive such a little seemingly insignificant amount of money.

You see her mind may not be right but her soul is.

And that means she has more wisdom than many brilliant minds on this Earth who deny God.

It also means despite her situation on Earth she has more treasures than any rich men who don’t value God but instead their money.

She is a child of God and that’s what matters most in her heart.

That is what should matter most in all of our hearts.

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris