Dec. 21 – 21 Days of Prayer

We pray that the Lord will make your love grow. We pray that he will give you more and more love for each other and for all people. We pray that you will love everyone in the same way we love you. This will strengthen your desire to do what is right, and you will be holy and without fault before our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy people.  1 Thessalonians 3:12-13 ERV

Please refer to Dec. 2-7 for an explanation of ACTS in Prayer if you need it and spend a few moments doing each of these as you begin today…

A = Adoration

C = Confession

T = Thanksgiving

S = Supplication

In 1 Thessalonians 3 Paul encourages these Christ followers to grow in faith, hope and love.  His primary focus of prayer here is that they’d grow in love for each other and ALL PEOPLE, and that they should love as he loved them.   Paul loved them when they were far from God and didn’t know Christ. It was his love for Christ that compelled him to share the truth about Jesus with the Jews and Gentiles in Thessalonica.

Jesus said all the commandments and teachings of the prophets can be summed up in this: that we love God with all our heart, soul and mind; and love our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:34-40).  Jesus also said there’s no greater love than to lay down your life for someone else (John 15:13).  Are you willing to love like this?  Are you willing to love others like Paul did?

Today, I’m praying for you in the same way Paul prayed for the Christians in Thessalonica.  As you pray for LIGHT, I ask that you pray for people to experience the love of Christ in all its fulness.  I also ask that you pray for our church family to love one another and love ALL PEOPLE as Jesus did.

 

Christmas Fun, Jokes, Trivia

From Yesterday:  In what decade did NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) start tracking Santa on Christmas Eve?

 

Answer:   The 1950’s     1955 to be exact

 

 

 

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Dec. 20 – 21 Days of Prayer

“And they were all amazed at the greatness of God…”     Luke 9:43 NIV

Please refer to Dec. 2-7 for an explanation of ACTS in Prayer if you need it and spend a few moments doing each of these as you begin today…

A = Adoration

C = Confession

T = Thanksgiving

S = Supplication

In Luke 9:43 the people were amazed at the greatness of God because Jesus healed a boy who was possessed by a demon.  Seeing God heal someone of a physical issue creates awe in me!  I’m even more amazed and in awe of God’s power when He brings about spiritual healing in someone when they choose to trust and follow Jesus as Lord and Savior.

As you pray for LIGHT, ask God to reveal the greatness of His power to those who attend, to our church family and to individuals as lives are changed by the power of God when people choose to trust and follow Jesus.  For me, there is no greater miracle than to see someone’s life transformed and made new by Christ!  2 Corinthians 5:17 Amp says: Therefore if anyone is in Christ [that is, grafted in, joined to Him by faith in Him as Savior], he is a new creature [reborn and renewed by the Holy Spirit]; the old things [the previous moral and spiritual condition] have passed away. Behold, new things have come [because spiritual awakening brings a new life].

 

Christmas Fun, Jokes, Trivia

In what decade did NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) start tracking Santa on Christmas Eve?     Answer Tomorrow

 

 

 

 

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Dec. 19 – 21 Days of Prayer

But before people can pray to the Lord for help, they must believe in him. And before they can believe in the Lord, they must hear about him. And for anyone to hear about the Lord, someone must tell them.   Romans 10:14 ERV

Please refer to Dec. 2-7 for an explanation of ACTS in Prayer if you need it and spend a few moments doing each of these as you begin today…

A = Adoration

C = Confession

T = Thanksgiving

S = Supplication

You and I have the privilege of knowing we have direct access to God in prayer at any time because of our relationship with Him through Jesus Christ.  Some of the people who will attend LIGHT,don’t have that assurance or knowledge because they’ve never put their faith in Christ.  Pray for people who attend LIGHT to open their hearts and choose by faith to believe in and receive Jesus as Lord and Savior.  Pray that people will respond to the invitations we make to attend LIGHT.  Pray for our staff as we prepare to make the truth of Jesus clear during LIGHT.

Now take a moment to thank God for the privilege of prayer that’s yours because of Christ.

 

Christmas Fun, Jokes, Trivia

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Yule.
Yule who?
Yule know when you answer the door.

 

 

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Dec. 18 – 21 Days of Prayer

I pray that God will open your minds to see his truth. Then you will know the hope that he has chosen us to have. You will know that the blessings God has promised his holy people are rich and glorious.  And you will know that God’s power is very great for us who believe. It is the same as the mighty power he used to raise Christ from death and put him at his right side in the heavenly places.   Ephesians 1:18-20 ERV

Please refer to Dec. 2-7 for an explanation of ACTS in Prayer if you need it and spend a few moments doing each of these as you begin today…

A = Adoration

C = Confession

T = Thanksgiving

S = Supplication

 As you pray for LIGHT, ask God to help open your mind to His truth. Ask Him to help you understand the fullness of hope He has for you and to realize the incredible power that’s available to those of us who believe in Jesus Christ.  Ask Him to help you realize nothing’s impossible with God and He can give you the power to accomplish what He desires – no matter what that might be.  Ask Him to help you grasp the power of this truth; that no one is exempt from prayer. In the power of prayer, ask God to pack our services this weekend with people who need to know God.  Ask Him to fill every aspect of our services with the power of His Spirit and draw people to Himself.   Ask Him to help me speak clearly and powerfully about the Light of the World – Jesus Christ.   Ask Him for 100’s to take their next step with Christ; whatever that step may be – salvation, commitment or interest.

 

Christmas Fun, Jokes, Trivia

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Noah.
Noah who?
Noah good joke about Christmas?

More Christmas Fun…

Below is a Starbucks Card and Code.  Have the barista scan the code to have a cup of coffee on us todayuntil the card balance runs out.    You might want to ask them to check and make sure of balance before you get your cup of coffee!

 

 

 

 

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Dec. 17 – 21 Days of Prayer

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time.  1 Timothy 2:1-6 NIV

Please refer to Dec. 2-7 for an explanation of ACTS in Prayer if you need it and spend a few moments doing each of these as you begin today…

A = Adoration

C = Confession

T = Thanksgiving

S = Supplication

Would you take a moment to read the passage above again – slowly.  Reflect upon it and what it means.   It’s clear we need to pray in several ways, but what do verses 3-4 encourage us to do?   I believe this reveals the heart of God; He desires for all people to be saved even though some will choose to reject Him.

As we pray for LIGHT, pray for people to be saved.   Pray for them to admit their sin and agree with God that the way they’ve been living is wrong.  Pray for them to believe that Jesus is who He claimed to be, and in their belief to make the statement in their heart, or out loud, that Jesus died on the cross for their sins and rose from the dead which proves He is Lord and God. Pray for them to believe in and receive Jesus into their hearts as their Lord and Savior.

Added Notes:  God wants all people to be SAVED.  Saved from what?  Saved from the penalty for their sin (choosing to live their way instead of God’s way) which is death (eternal separation from God).     Romans 6:23 NIV says: For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.    The death talked about here isn’t just physical death (which is the result of original sin) but relates to the 2nd death talked about in Revelation 2, 20 and 21.   Revelation 20:14 NIV  says: Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.    

When people are SAVED by putting their faith and trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, their eternal destiny is changed from the 2nd death/eternal death to eternal life.

Christmas Fun, Jokes, Trivia

From Yesterday:  Who created the first electric light Christmas display?

Thomas Edison   In 1880 he put up the first Christmas display made from electric lights to advertise his light bulbs. A few years later an inventor named Edward Johnson, a colleague of Thomas Edison, created the first string of Christmas lights.

Below is a Starbucks Card and Code.  Have the barista scan the code to have a cup of coffee on us todayuntil the card balance runs out.    You might want to ask them to check and make sure of balance before you get your cup of coffee!

 

 

 

 

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Dec. 16 – 21 Days of Prayer

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.  Luke 18:1 NIV

Please refer to Dec. 2-7 for an explanation of ACTS in Prayer if you need it and spend a few moments doing each of these as you begin today…

A = Adoration

C = Confession

T = Thanksgiving

S = Supplication

Without going into all the details of Luke 18, Luke says Jesus told His disciples to pray and not give up; to persist in prayer.  One of the greatest men of faith I’ve ever read about, George Muller, prayed for over 50 years for two of his friends who needed to trust Christ.  Both men made decisions to trust Christ as Lord and Savior before they died.   Before these men chose to invite Christ into their lives, a younger Christian asked Mr. Muller why he continued to pray for them.   In essence, George Muller said that praying for their salvation was the will of God and since God laid them on his heart, he would pray until God answered.

Mrs. Rosie Vaught was a member of Grace Fellowship from its inception.  She died just a few months short of her 100thbirthday.  In an interview with her years ago, she told me she had prayed daily for 50 years for a church like Grace Fellowship to be planted in Wise County.

In other words: pray and don’t give up.  No one – no thing – is beyond the reach of prayer!

There may be someone you love who needs to trust Christ, but you think it can never happen.  PRAY AND DON’T GIVE UP.   As you pray for LIGHT, remember them and pray for their salvation as you pray for the people who attend LIGHT to also trust Christ as Lord and Savior.

 

Christmas Fun, Jokes, Trivia

Who created the first electric light Christmas display?   Answer tomorrow!

 

 

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Dec. 15 – 21 Days of Prayer

So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”  Matthew 9:38 NLT

These were his instructions to them: “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.  Luke 10:2 NLT

Please refer to Dec. 2-7 for an explanation of ACTS in Prayer if you need it and spend a few moments doing each of these as you begin today…

A = Adoration

C = Confession

T = Thanksgiving

S = Supplication

While Jesus was physically on the earth, He couldn’t reach all the people in His own country or lifetime.  He trained His disciples with the insight they needed to understand the gospel which is the good news / the truth about Jesus.  When the Holy Spirit was given to them after Jesus’ resurrection and ascension into heaven, they were empowered to take the truth of the gospel into the world.

It’s interesting that Jesus didn’t just ask His disciples to pray for people who don’t know Him.  Jesus also asked them to pray that God would send more people to work and serve His Kingdom in order to take the gospel to the rest of the world.   In addition to praying for God to send more workers into the world, maybe you should pause for a moment and ask God what part He wants you to play in serving Him and bringing the gospel to people who don’t know Christ.

Current demographic statistics tell us that  within a 30 minute radius of our church there are over 90,000 people who don’t know Christ.  Grace Fellowship is a regional church with many people driving between 15-35 minutes to attend and within that driving radius there are 1000’s upon 1000’s of people who don’t know Christ.  Our mission fields are huge and right in our own backyard; we need more workers who are investing in God’s Kingdom work.

As you pray for LIGHT, ask God to use every invitation we share to draw people to our Christmas services and for them to be open to the gospel of Christ.  Pray and ask God where you can serve during these services on Saturday night or Sunday morning because we always need more “workers”.   Would you also pray about where and how God wants you to serve on a regular basis at Grace?   Jesus asked His disciples to pray that more workers would be sent into the fields to help with the harvest “of souls”.   His prayer still holds true today!   Even though the context of Isaiah 6 is different from Matthew 9 and Luke 10,  maybe we should respond like Isaiah.

When I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!”   Isaiah 6:8 NASB

  

Christmas Fun, Jokes, Trivia

From yesterday: What was the original title for the popular Christmas song Silver Bells, written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans?    Answer: Tinkle Bells.    The name was changed to Silver Bells for obvious reasons; because of what “tinkle” meant to some people.

 

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Dec. 14 – 21 Days of Prayer

15 Ever since I first heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for God’s people everywhere, 16 I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, 17 asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. 18 I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.   Ephesians 1:15-18 NLT

Please refer to Dec. 2-7 for an explanation of ACTS in Prayer if you need it and spend a few moments doing each of these as you begin today…

A = Adoration

C = Confession

T = Thanksgiving

S = Supplication

In Ephesians 1:16, Paul said: “I have not stopped thanking God for you.”  Who are you thankful for?  Paul had an impact in the life of these Christians at Ephesus, but they also had an impact in his.  Who has impacted your life and relationship with Christ?   Why not spend a few moments thanking God for them, and then let them know of your gratitude for their influence in your life.

As we pray for LIGHT, ask God to use you and your influence in the life of someone who is far from God.  Ask Him to use you to love them in such a way that they’re interested and responsive to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  If they live in the area, ask Him to help empower your invitation to them to attend LIGHT.

Hopefully, there will be a day when they let you know of their gratitude for your influence in their life and you can rejoice knowing you had a part in helping them in their relationship with Christ.

 

Christmas Fun, Jokes, Trivia

What was the original title for the popular Christmas song Silver Bells, written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans?    Answer tomorrow!

 

 

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Dec. 13 – 21 Days of Prayer

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Mark 1:35 NIV

After telling everyone good-bye, he went up into the hills by himself to pray.  Mark 6:46 NLT

But Jesus oftenwithdrew to lonely places and prayed.    Luke 5:16 NIV

I’ve used a simple structure for prayer at many times in my life called ACTS in Prayer.  As we pray for LIGHT, our Christmas services on December 22 & 23, we’ll use ACTS in Prayer as a guide.  (Refer to Dec. 2-7 for an explanation of ACTS in Prayer if you need it)  Please spend a few moments doing each of these…

A = Adoration

C = Confession

T = Thanksgiving

S = Supplication

 What’s the common theme you see in the life of Jesus in the verses above?  Not only was prayer a habit of His life, He usually went to solitary places to pray.   Why do you think Jesus chose to do this?   What kind of application could you make personally from His example?

I hope you continue to pray daily after we finish these 21 Days of Prayer. I hope it will be the habit of your life and you’ll find a solitary place where you can get away from all distractions to talk openly and honestly with your Heavenly Father.  As you continue to pray & hope you’ll begin yearning and learning to listen to Him too.  We don’t have time to go into this today, but Chapters 11-15 of Too Busy Not To Pray have some great insights on how to slow down and listen to God.   I’m still learning because it’s difficult for me to slow down, but I’ve learned that extended times of solitude greatly enhance my capacity to listen and hear from God.

As you pray for LIGHT, find a place of solitude and slow down. Spend some time in solitude and listen for God’s Spirit to speak to your heart.   Ask God to help people open their hearts and minds during LIGHT so they can understand the love and light He has for them. 

Christmas Fun, Jokes, Trivia

From Yesterday:  What large former retail outlet commissioned and published Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer?   Montgomery Ward

They ordered a new Christmas book be made so that they could hand them out for free to customers, which would be cheaper than buying and giving away coloring books for Christmas as they had done in the past. They gave the task to Robert L. May who wrote Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in 1939. In a surprisingly generous gesture, Montgomery Ward gave May the copyright for Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

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Dec. 12 – 21 Days of Prayer

“Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector.  The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like other people—cheaters, sinners, adulterers. I’m certainly not like that tax collector!   I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’   “But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’  I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”   Luke 18:10-14 NLT

 I’ve used a simple structure for prayer at many times in my life called ACTS in Prayer.  As we pray for LIGHT, our Christmas services on December 22 & 23, we’ll use ACTS in Prayer as a guide.  (Refer to Dec. 2-7 for an explanation of ACTS in Prayer if you need it)  Please spend a few moments doing each of these…

A = Adoration

C = Confession

T = Thanksgiving

S = Supplication

One of the keys to answered prayer is genuine humility.  As you spend time praying today maybe it would be good to ask God if there’s anything sinful in your attitudes or actions that He needs to reveal to you.  Ask Him to point out a relationship you need to make right or an attitude that’s harmful to you and those you love.   If God brings something or someone to your heart and mind, confess it to Him and determine to do your part to make it right with others.  Ask Him to help you demonstrate an attitude of humility in all your relationships.

As you pray for LIGHT, ask God to help people humble themselves before Him.  Many times it’s pride that keeps people from opening their hearts to Jesus.  Satan will tempt them to think they don’t need to do this or they’ve not really done anything wrong.   Pray for the work of our enemy Satan to be thwarted in the lives of those who attend LIGHT; that their hearts & minds will be humble before God and they’ll respond to Jesus in humility.

Christmas Fun, Jokes, Trivia

What large former retail outlet commissioned and published Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer?   (answer tomorrow)

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