Today’s Morning prayers 9

I believe in you, O Lord;
I count on you;
I depend on you
For the success of today;
I trust you;
I rely on you.
I start this day
With confidence
Because I trust you;
I know you are there
For me;
And with you, surely,
All will be fine;
Thank you
For being there for me.

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Pray to God

Pray God
To open the door
For you;
So that you may
Get in;
If he accepts
To do it,
No one will stop him;
He has all the powers;
He does what he wants;
Pray to him
To be your guide;
Pray to him
To equip you
With the graces
You need.
Pray to God
To be your light;
Pray to God
To make you strong,
To face the challenges
Of daily life.
Pray to God;
Pray to God
Without ceasing;
Pray and pray to God.

Today’s morning prayers 8

I the name of the Father,
And of the Son,
And of the Holy Spirit,
Amen!
God of heaven and earth,
Lead us this day,
To where we must go,
To what we must do;
Equip us with the wisdom
We need,
To deliver the goods
As it will please you.
Protect us;
Guide us
To do not our will,
But yours.
May we live this day
Not for ourselves
But for you.
Through Jesus Christ
Your Son, our Lord,
For ever and ever. Amen!

A Perpetual Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving , prayerThanksgiving as a holiday is a day traditionally set aside in America to reflect upon and “give thanks” for the multitude of blessings we enjoy as Americans. Most businesses are closed, at least for the morning and afternoon hours, before plunging us all into the mayhem of the Yuletide season.

For most, a large part of such reflection involves family, feasting, and football. For many, that often means enjoying our abundance of these items as a prelude to the Christmas holiday.

However, Thanksgiving can suffer from a familiar ailment of such days of celebration. It is the ailment of the holiday aftermath.

The Advent of Thanksgiving Day

Replica of the Mayflower in Plymouth Massachusetts

The Pilgrims who sailed on the Mayflower and landed at what they would call “New Plymouth” in 1620 suffered through a terrible winter with the result being that almost half of their number died. The reaction of these remarkable people was to bind closer to each other and together come closer to God. In order to assess the significance of Thanksgiving Day as a modern holiday, we should take a glance at generations past. The origin of this holiday is recorded and fairly well known.

Their diligence, faith, and trust in the LORD were rewarded the next spring when in March when one solitary Indian walked boldly into the Pilgrims camp and entered the “common house” before the startled men could react. What happened next would bring untold good fortune to the besieged settlement.

Welcome!” he suddenly boomed, in a deep, resonant voice. The Pilgrims were too startled to speak. At length, they replied …”Welcome.” Their visitor fixed them with a piercing stare. “Have you got any beer?” he asked them in flawless English. …The Pilgrims looked at one another, then turned back to him. “Our beer is gone. Would you like …some brandy?”

The mysterious visitor accepted the offer of brandy and the subsequent offer of food as well. While he ate and drank, the Pilgrims began to pepper him with questions particularly how he was able to speak their native tongue, but he refused to answer until he finished his meal.

When he did finish and answered their questions, they learned that he was a leader of the Algonquins in what is present-day Maine whose name was Samoset. He had learned English over many years of speaking with English fishing captains along the coast of Maine.

It was Samoset who would introduce the Pilgrims to another Indian that would prove the greatest human benefactor for the ultimate survival of the new settlement. That was a man named Squanto, who would literally teach these colonists everything they would need to do in order to survive, and pave the way for the first celebration of Thanksgiving.

Squanto taught them how to plant and fertilize corn with fish, as well as how to catch the fish in the best manner.

Squanto helped in a thousand similar ways, teaching them how to stalk deer, plant pumpkins among the corn, refine maple syrup from maple trees, discern which herbs were good to eat and good for medicine, and find the best berries.

3063466292_0c67673fc0_wWhen Governor William Bradford a day of public Thanksgiving to God, the tribe which was known as the Wampanoags, among whom Squanto and Samoset, though of different tribes, lived, was invited to participate, and the rest, as they say, is history.  The “day” stretched into a three-day celebration of mutual feasting and fun.

Between meals, the Pilgrims and Indians happily competed in shooting contests with gun and bow. The Indians were especially delighted that John Alden and some of the younger men… were eager to join them in foot races and wrestling. There were even military drills staged by Captain Standish.

The reason for the Thanksgiving celebration was the Pilgrim’s faith that God had brought all these unlikely circumstances together and blessed them beyond any expectations. Thus the moment which was most important for them was the start of the festivities with a prayer by their pastor William Brewster thanking God for their provisions.

Thanksgiving’s Aftermath

This first feast of Thanksgiving forms the backdrop to the day we designate in America as “Thanksgiving Day.” What happened in the aftermath should serve as a warning to the nation as we leave the orbit of Thanksgiving for another year.

Through a series of unfortunate events, the winter after the first festival of thanks proved to be exceedingly harsh for the Pilgrims of Plymouth.

Thus they did enter their own starving time that winter of 1621-22 (with… extra people to feed and shelter), and were ultimately reduced to a daily ration of five kernels of corn apiece. (Five kernels of corn – it is almost inconceivable how life could be supported on this.) But as always, they had a choice: either give in to bitterness and despair or go deeper into Christ. They chose Christ. And in contrast to what happened at Jamestown, not one of them died of starvation.

Thanksgiving prayerThat ordeal would linger on the hearts of the Pilgrims through further hardships such as a severe drought that threatened to wipe out their crops the next planting season. The reaction of these stalwarts was to declare a day of fasting and prayer to seek the LORD.

These and other considerations moved not only every good man privately to enter into examination with his own estates between God and his conscience, and so to humiliation before Him, but also to humble ourselves together before the Lord by fasting and prayer.

The result of this was two weeks of unseasonably gentle rain that revived their crops and insured a bountiful harvest that fall. The aftermath of their first Thanksgiving began with more adversity and it seemed God had abandoned them.

For these remarkable people of faith, all that meant was they needed to trust God even more and depend upon His provision. Which brings me to the larger point of recounting this history that great blessing is often followed by great testing and that both are meant to drive us closer to Christ.

I and my family have also experienced this. My stories are of little import beyond my environment for I know other pastors, missionaries and evangelists who have welcomed great favor from the LORD and endured far greater hardship than I.

We in America are living through a time of great blessing mixed with great opposition to the blessings He has granted us through the presidency of Donald J. Trump. The challenge presented to us by the Pilgrims of the past is that we must live as they did, in a state of perpetual thanksgiving to God, repentance, and prayer for His guidance and aid to face the trials and testings yet to come. 

The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God!” Psalm 50:23 [ESV]

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001

The Light and The Glory, Peter Marshall and David Manuel, Fleming H. Revell Company, 1977

Featured and Top Image courtesy of Harley Pebley’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of denisbin’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of Mike Licht’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of Hope Media Stock Photo’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Praying without ceasing

Whatever your religion,
There are many things
You must dispel completely
From your life;
Those things that stand
On your way to God.
If you cannot think of any,
I do think of many;
Topping the list is doubt;
When doubt takes hold,
Your faith must suffer;
You must get rid of doubt
And believe.
God is real and almighty.
This, I believe, wholly.
And prayer is the engine
Of my life.
I will pray without ceasing.

Praying for you

What am I doing
For you?
I am praying for you;
If you hate me,
Know that I am
Praying for you;
It doesn’t matter
How deeply
You hate me;
Know that I am
Praying for you;
If you are trying
To stand on my way,
Know that I am
Praying for you;
If you are rejoicing
Over my misfortune,
Know that I am
Praying for you.
That is what I always do;
And what
I will always do.
I pray for you;
I will always pray
For you;
May I always pray for you,
Regardless of who you are,
And what you do.

Covenant of Faith

God set forth an impossible undertaking when He challenged my capabilities to be the best at something I never imagined possible. But then it occurred to me – how many others seem to be on a quest for Jesus? They do not realize the disillusionment of the deserts.

I often wonder how some people got started in life. What made them so great in their lifetime? For example, Nicodemus in the Book of John became a legend in the Jewish community as a ruler and teacher of Israel. Then there was an Indian lawyer called Ghandi, and a lady named Mother Teresa. Closer to home was a little boy called Billy, who took his Bible to school every day. He was such an avid reader, and he never gave up his desire to serve the Lord.

But many others are true to their heart, and they never waver from God’s ministry. In my personal life, it’s a profound feeling of a great success to serve the Almighty. It comes with abounding rewards and grace. Now I should ask, where is the Holy Spirit in your life?

It could be too easy to stop my ministry of writing. I’d load the kayaks in the back of my pickup truck and head to the lake. Not a bad idea, but God puts His trust in me to bring others to His kingdom. My reward for faithfulness? I am so blessed in every waking moment. I’m sure my words may confuse you, but my closest friends and family know my priority is to serve the Father.

Too many believers “toe the line” in their commitment to serve our Lord. They pray for answers but give up when there’s no immediate response. Sometimes we look for answers within this world only to discover God is already working on our healing.

If you want to see faith at work, then don’t look at a three-piece suit parading up on a stage, shaking a Bible at our Almighty. That’s blasphemy – no! Let’s examine the heartbreaking scenes of the Bahamas. A mother stood in a bathroom with her three children praying to God for help in the disastrous times of Dorian. Do you think God didn’t hear her heart? (See the video below) Prayer is the only ammunition to combat evil.

https://youtu.be/SOHeYhT0LPw

With the mighty force of just one young mother, who guarded her three children in a bathroom, she brought together the strength of nations, ready to oblige her mission. What a world we could live in if we understood the destitution of our mental thoughts! Hopefully, many received the message for it was a great example of God working through His people.

God challenges us to be successful in His glory if we stay in prayer and never give up hope. Do not render your patience. As we kayak in God’s calm waters, do not evade the fact the calm waters are His too. He wants everyone to be successful and filled with hope. We shall armor ourselves in the covenant of faith for God ordained it to be ours.

God bless you, my friends, and all the survivors of Hurricane Dorian.


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Prayer for my need

Almighty God,
You are a God of miracles;
You can do everything
Including the impossible;
Here I am, O Father, desperate;
On my knees before you;
You know my problem;
You know my need;
You know what I am going through right now;
Please, Father,
Do something for me;
Solve this problem for me;
Put a smile on my face;
Give me the best solution;
I know you can do it now;
You never fail those who
Put their trust in you;
My hope is in you;
Do something for me now;
Thank you!

Faith for Two

It’s common to hide in the shadows of doubt. We often exhibit some kind of fear – either instilled at a young age or because of a subliminal act which caused us to become negative. Living in faith or placing trust in something you cannot directly touch sometimes seems almost impossible.

On the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught of the futility of worrying about things you cannot control. He used the example of food and clothing, but His message was unmistakable–seek the kingdom of God, trust in your Father, and He will provide for you!

Matthew 6:25-27

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

One of my favorite sayings is “where there is fear there is no FAITH.” You can’t have both fear and faith! But, sometimes in life, those weakened by illness need a little support from those whose faith is a bit stronger. I find myself in a position, more times than not, administering to those who need help. God often speaks in scriptures of our duty, as Christians, to bear another’s burdens and give encouragement to others. It shines the example of His precious love. Having faith for two is so essential.

Jesus cured the lame and sick in the name of God. He never questioned this gift to heal the sick nor the strength of His conviction, which came from His Father. We have the same capabilities, believe or not, if we overcome our fears; for example, can you imagine how Moses, an ex-murderer, felt when God asked him to lead all the Israelites out of Egypt and across the Red Sea? He must have been scared out of his wits, but he had enough faith for all forty thousand people to succeed.

What about Noah? He was mystified by God’s request to build an ark because God was going to flood the earth of all sin. Could he hold the faith for two? The townspeople laughed and mocked him as he built the boat which would carry the future generations of life. Through the worries he faced, his mission was successful anyway because we are here today to relay the bible story.

On a personal level, my wife held the faith for two as she sought to find me after a thirty-two-year hiatus in our friendship. She finally found me in 2016, and God supported our dream of publishing my book and having a beautiful marriage. Our story of incredible odds leads me to believe it was only God involved in our success story. As many of you know, my wife had a scarf with a severe health issue. I know there were times her faith wavered amid a grim diagnosis; but I carried her, in my faith for two, and God took care of the rest.

We should examine ourselves and understand we have the strength to carry our loved ones through difficult times. Staying in prayer, uplifting each other’s spirit, and asking for God’s guidance will supply you with everything you need. It is empowering to know God will transform our body and soul when we carry the faith for two.

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