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Perseverance in Prayer - In Touch - August 30/31, 2014

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer (Rom. 12:12). Most individuals are not satisfied with their prayer life.

August 30/31 Perseverance in Prayer Romans 12:11-13 As a pastor, I speak with many people about their spiritual journey. From these interactions, I know that most individuals are not satisfied with their prayer life. They lack anticipation and faith, and time with God feels empty. Most likely, this is why many Christians pray so little and so passionlessly. Yesterday, we began looking at obstacles to a healthy prayer life. Let’s explore one more hindrance that blocks vibrant communication between God and us: impatience. Most of us have at some point brought our supplication to Jesus vigorously but did not see the desired results. Unfortunately, humans are, by nature, fainthearted. We get weary of asking and listening when all we perceive is silence. Remember, though, that God is not some “cosmic bellhop”; He does not act on our cue. In fact, if we could see the big picture as He can, we would gladly wait for His way and time. Actually, I believe that we benefit by not receiving all that we request. Understanding this concept is a sign of spiritual maturity. When we are thoroughly satisfied with the Lord’s presence, our relationship with Him will flourish, even when we don’t get all we ask. When that is the case, we grasp what prayer is—not a long want list, but a relationship. Barriers can develop if we persistently cry out to God but nothing changes. Continue to pray. Beyond this “wall,” you’ll sense God’s presence, where you will find peace, joy, ... read more

The Prayer of Agreement - Answers for Each Day - Aug. 27

I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven (Matt. 18:19). But, what does it mean to agree?

The Prayer of Agreement In the last two devotionals, we have learned about the prayer of dedication and the prayer of faith. Today I want to help you understand the prayer of agreement. This prayer is found in Matthew 18:19, where Jesus says, "Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven." When I pray with other people, nine times out of ten this is the prayer that I pray with them. And most of the time I will quote this verse to them. I remember working for a ministry years ago and praying with the folks who called on the phone.  When I prayed with someone, I would walk them through this verse before we prayed. The steps I pointed out were simple: There needs to be at least two of us praying. We need to agree. We need to be on earth (I usually got a laugh out of this one). What we are asking God for needs to come under the category of "anything" (which their request always did). God will do it. The only part people ever got hung up on was the agreement.  "What does it mean to agree?" they would ask.  I would say, "Simple, to agree means to agree."  Don't over-spiritualize it.  If we decide to get lunch together at a certain time at a certain place, and you say, "Ok, see you there," ... read more

Activate - August 26, 2014

A SECOND TIME Read: Jonah 3 Key Verse: “Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time.” - Jonah 3:1 God’s plan remained the same, but Jonah’s heart was now ready to receive the vision. Jonah had an initial opportunity but his heart was set on rebellion, bitterness, and self-centeredness. What is blocking you from answering God’s call on your life? Have you heard from God but are procrastinating? What are the excuses you are giving to avoid faithfulness in your response to Jesus? You can trust His direction and provision! God gives a second chance to become who He has made you to be. A second chance to help you receive His grace and wisdom. A second chance to open your eyes to impact people’s lives and make an eternal difference. A second chance so that you will serve and use your gifts and resources in an unselfish way. Praise God for second opportunities, repeating His call, and another round of mercy that covers your failures. Say yes to everything God has for you today and in your long-term plans too! For more from Pastor Jesse Bradley and Activate Media Ministries, visit www.activatelife.org read more