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You Are How You Pray

Due to several consecutive weeks of mandatory overtime, my spiritual routine has fallen off the tracks. In the past few weeks, whenever I have skipped my personal prayer and Bible Study for the day, something bad has happened to me or members of my family. While some of you may say you’re reading too much into these unfortunate situations, I want to remind me of the book “You Are What You Eat.” Using the content of this material, I believe you are how you pray.

Be happy [in your faith] and rejoice and be glad-hearted continually (always); 17 Be unceasing in prayer [praying perseveringly]; 18 Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will], 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.

When you attend a Bible Study or Prayer Group, it’s easy to recognize an individual with an active prayer life. My first experience praying out loud was a men’s prayer group in college. I initially went just to listen, learning how other people prayed. After I realized prayer is merely pouring your heart out to God, I started to join in. Like eating right and exercising daily, praying has always been a struggle for me. While studying the Bible comes natural for me, incorporating the Bible into prayer is a work in progress.

Never lag in zeal and in earnest endeavor; be aglow and burning with the Spirit, serving the Lord. 12 Rejoice and exult in hope; be steadfast and patient in suffering and tribulation; be constant in prayer, Romans 12:11-12.

The apostle Paul blames a lack of spiritual zeal for a drop-off in a Christian’s prayer life. You’re tired so you make a conscience decision to skip your time with God. You miss one day, then another. Before you know it, a whole week has passed before the last time you prayed. Living on a Prayer may have worked for Bon Jovi, but not in this age of spiritual darkness. While God doesn’t promise to answer your prayers, keep on knocking, Matthew 7:7-12, like the persistent widow in Luke 18.

by Jay Mankus

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Wanted: Dead or Alive

In 1987 Bon Jovi released the song Wanted: Dead or Alive as their third single from the Slippery When Wet album.  The title of this song pays homage to Jon’s admiration of Old West heroes.  Whether this was a poster or a sheriff seeking to purge his town of criminals, this phrase became synonymous with a quest for justice.

When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers, Proverbs 21:15.

While classic movies pay tribute to the age of Cowboys and Indians, one aspect of life has not changed.  Evil continues to exist today in various shapes and forms.  Demons masquerade as angels of light using the gullible, weak and unknowing as accomplices of the Devil.  Jesus even had to rebuke one of his own disciples, Peter, proclaiming, “get behind me Satan.”

But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream, Amos 5:24.

If you want to follow in the footsteps of western sheriffs, Jesus offers some interesting advice.  According to the Gospel of Matthew in chapter 16, if you want to find life you must be willing to lose it.  Meanwhile, if you attempt to save your life, you will lose it.  Today, God is searching for new deputies.  However, before you enlist you must consider the cost: do you want death or hope to come alive?

by Jay Mankus

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