Crying out to God

Psalm 107:10-16 NLT – Some sat in darkness and deepest gloom, imprisoned in iron chains of misery. [11] They rebelled against the words of God, scorning the counsel of the Most High. [12] That is why he broke them with hard labor; they fell, and no one was there to help them. [13] “LORD, help!” they cried in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. [14] He led them from the darkness and deepest gloom; he snapped their chains. [15] Let them praise the LORD for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them. [16] For he broke down their prison gates of bronze; he cut apart their bars of iron.

In this passage we see the people were in chains and then they cried out to God. Once they did this, He freed them. Let us look at the progression.

1. The people were in chains of misery. Why? Because they rebelled against God’s Word and counsel. (V11-12)

2. They cried out to God for help and HE saved them (v13)

3. HE led them from darkness and broke their chains (v14)

4. The people praised God for saving and releasing them (v15-16)

All true freedom starts with crying out to God. HE alone is the one who can truly set people free. In this life we can be bound up by so many things, but only God can truly free us.

Prayer

Dear God, I feel like I am bound up in chains. Today I come to You and cry out. I ask that You will free me. Help me to listen to Your Word and Your counsel. I ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

I need Your help Lord

I am aware that I need Your help Lord…

with every breath that I receive
with every step I take
with every thought I think
with every glance I see
with every prayer I pray
with every person I help
with every verse I read
with every bite I eat
with every sip I drink
with every rest I take
with every interaction I make

I am aware that I need Your help Lord.

Amen

We all need forgiveness

The Bible says in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness”.

That is a great verse. It says that if we confess our wrongs to God them He WILL forgive us. It is a guarantee no matter what we have done or how bad we may have been.

But one thing I find interesting about this verse is the verses just before and just after.

Verse 8 says, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us”. Wow that is pretty heavy. If we say we haven’t sinned (or we self-justify our lives) there is no truth in us.

Verse 10 goes on to say that, “If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives”. That is a huge thought, we make a liar out of God if we say we haven’t sinned!

An important thing to remember in all of this is that we all need forgiveness. If we have never made our connection with God, asking forgiveness if part of that process. If we already a Christian, we still need to confess our sins.

The truth is that none of us are perfect. Ninety per cent of the time we might have the right attitudes, we might do the right things and we might love and serve God, but sin has a way of creeping in and we get led astray.

The key thing to remember is that confession is an important part of a healthy life. Not only does it keep us right with God, but it frees us up from holding on to unnecessary guilt that ways us down and stops us being all we can be.

Prayer

Dear God, I come to You and confess my sin. I am sorry for all the wrong things I have done and the wrong attitudes I have held. I am also sorry for the things I know I should have done, but did not do. Please forgive me now. Please help me to follow You. I ask in Jesus name, Amen.

Sincere faith

2 Timothy 1:5 NIV – I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.

Sincere according to the dictionary means “free from pretence or deceit; proceeding from genuine feelings”. So sincere faith is a genuine faith that flows from real feelings. It is free from pretence or deceit.

What a great way to be described as a Christian – someone who has sincere faith!

I want to be someone who has a sincere faith that other people see. I don’t want others to see a surface level wishy washy faith in Christ, but a deep biding faith and penetrates every fibre of my being.

As we see in the verse above where the Apostle Paul is writing to Timothy, sincere faith is also a faith that is passed down. It is passed down from generation to generation.

Let us purpose in our hearts to have a sincere faith that penetrates every fibre of our being. Let us purpose to have a faith that not only effects those around us today, but the generations to come.

Prayer

Dear Lord Jesus, please help me to have a sincere faith. I want to be known as a sincere Christ follower who effects this generation and the generations to come for Your Kingdom. In Your name I pray, Amen.

My daily prayer guide

Today I thought I would share how I format my morning prayers. As you can see in the image above I record all of my prayer requests in a book.

I draw a cross so I make four boxes. In each box I write a heading – things I am thankful for, prayers for help (for me), prayers for others, and what God is saying. I find it has a way of balancing your prayers for yourself and for others.

I take a few minutes in each section and write down what comes to mind as I sit silently with God. After I have written some things down, I pause and give thanks or pray. I make sure I take my time in each section.

For the last box at the bottom I simply pray “Is there anything you want to say to me Lord?” I then pause and wait on God. Usually before long I find He speaks quietly to my heart. Sometimes He reminds me of a Bible passage or He brings someone to mind to contact or He speaks words of encouragement to me.

The best part of this is you can look back over your prayer requests and see how they were answered. You can tick things off your list and see how God has worked in your life. It is a real faith builder.

I would encourage you to try it and see how you go. It has blessed me so much over the years.