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Tag Archives: prayer life

Getting Your Emotions Under Control

One of Israel’s former kings describes time in the context of seasons. Just as Christmas is associated with winter in the northern hemisphere, every month brings with it a series of emotions. In Ecclesiastes 3:4, King Solomon follows sorrow with laughter. Since nobody knows what tomorrow will bring, James 4:13-14, you have to be ready to keep your emotions under control at all times.

Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition ([b]definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God, Philippians 4:6.

In a letter to the Church at Philippi, the apostle Paul touches on mental health. Apparently, members of this church with dealing with a growing amount of anxiety. Rather than try to handle this on your own, Paul encourages Christians to actively pray for the circumstances that are bringing you stress. Instead of becoming overwhelmed by emotions, be thankful for any little victory that you experience daily.

And God’s peace [shall be yours, that [c]tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall [d]garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, Philippians 4:7.

When you create a list of things that challenge your mental health, include these petitions as a daily part of your prayer life. Building on the words of Luke 1:37, the apostle Paul suggests that God has the ability to give you the strength to endure any situation that you face, Philippians 4:13. If you search for the peace of Christ, this tranquil state will enable any believer to get and keep your emotions under control.

by Jay Mankus

The Prayer of Faith

Do you have an active prayer life? Are you seeing answers to prayers that you lifted up to the Lord? Or does God seem distant and unresponsive to your requests? Perhaps the one element that is missing is a belief that God can do the impossible? Matthew 19:26 and Luke 1:37 serve as reminders that the prayer of faith must be void of doubt. Whenever doubt creeps in, prayer becomes nothing more than wishful thinking.

Is anyone among you sick? He should call in the church elders (the spiritual guides). And they should pray over him, anointing him with oil in the Lord’s name. 15 And the prayer [that is] of faith will save him who is sick, and the Lord will restore him; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven, James 5:14-15.

From my own personal experiences, the mindset I bring to prayer will influence whether or not my requests will be answered. Sometimes I will write down a prayer, but I question if this is realistic enough. Instead of boldly entering God’s presence in prayer with confidence, I tend to exhibit a lame and timid prayer life. When belief and faith are compromised, you won’t be able to move mountains like Jesus in the passage below.

And as He saw [k]one single leafy fig tree [l]above the roadside, He went to it but He found nothing but leaves on it [[m]seeing that in the fig tree the fruit appears at the same time as the leaves]. And He said to it, Never again shall fruit grow on you! And the fig tree withered up at once. 20 When the disciples saw it, they marveled greatly and asked, How is it that the fig tree has withered away all at once? 21 And Jesus answered them, Truly I say to you, if you have faith (a [n]firm relying trust) and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, Be taken up and cast into the sea, it will be done, Matthew 21:19-21.

Perhaps part of the problem of an average prayer life is that Christians haven’t experienced or seen the power of God personally. As the disciples witnessed this fig tree wither, a light likely went on in their minds. As if to say, “this is what a prayer of faith looks like.” If you’re tired of going through the motions of prayer, it’s time to spice things up with a firm reliance on the power of the Holy Spirit to transform your prayer life in 2022.

by Jay Mankus

The Role of Resolve in Prayer

According to Luke, one of the sons of Zebedee becomes the first of Jesus’ disciples to die a martyr’s death.  Apparently, the spread of Christianity threatened Agrippa I, the new king of the Jews.  It’s unclear why James was targeted, but he was executed in public to send a message.  When this act received praise from Jewish leaders, Agrippa I made plans to do the same thing with Peter.  As news of Peter’s arrest and rumors of another execution reached the church, fear drew believers to fall to their knees to pray.

Now at that time Herod [Agrippa I] the king [of the Jews] arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to harm them. And he had James the brother of John put to death with a sword; Acts 12:1-2.

Based upon the passage below, the prayers lifted up to God were fervent and persistent.  Following the Passover, Peter was scheduled to be executed in a similar manner as James.  As this day drew near, prayers of the saints intensified.  Individuals were begging and pleading with God to deal with, fix and resolve this emergency immediately.  Based upon Acts 12:8-10, the Lord sent an angel to save Peter’s life, answering their prayers instantaneously.

When he had seized Peter, he put him in prison, turning him over to four squads of soldiers of four each to guard him [in rotation throughout the night], planning after the Passover to bring him out before the people [for execution]. So Peter was kept in prison, but fervent and persistent prayer for him was being made to God by the church, Acts 12:4-5.

During Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, the role of resolve in prayer is mentioned, Matthew 7:7-12.  Step one is obvious, ask God for any requests on your heart or that come to mind.  Step two begins when prayers aren’t answered, seek God to find out why.  Finally, be fervent and persistent by keep knocking on God’s door.  Don’t give up on prayer; resolved to keep praying until the Lord opens a door to reveal answers for your prayers.  This is the role of resolve in prayer.  May your prayer life begin to resemble first century Christians.

by Jay Mankus

A Sign of Goodness

Hindsight can change your perspective on the past, giving you a thorough understanding of the events in your life.  On the other hand, obstacles, setbacks and unforeseen trials can blur your vision for the future, resulting in bleak expectations.  When optimism is replaced by a spirit of doubt, its time to seek divine intervention.

Known for many things, King David had become empowered by his own prayer life.  This man of God was not afraid to express his concerns to the Living God.  Fed up by the prosperity of the wicked, David turned his attention to God’s miracles of the past.  Thus, within Psalm 86:17, he pleads with God to receive a sign of goodness.

The better you know someone, the more risks you begin to take, asking deeper and more personal questions.  Whether it was his years in the wilderness as a shepherd or a close relationship with a spiritual mentor not mentioned in the Bible, David knew the true nature of God.  His prayers within the book of Psalms are powerful outlines, a wealth of knowledge for anyone looking to find answers in life.

Therefore, don’t accept mediocrity in your spiritual life.  Though you won’t be able to fully discern the mind of God as Job tried to do, signs of goodness are awaiting.  The apostle Paul speaks of these things in a passage to the church in Ephesus, Ephesians 2:10.  Instead of turning into Oscar the Grouch, release your burdens upward, pouring your heart and soul in prayer to the giver of life, James 1:17.

by Jay Mankus

Unleashing the Power of Prayer

During a 3 year stretch, Jesus performed miracles every day, with his 12 disciples likely eyewitnesses of these amazing feats, John 21:25.  Jesus calmed storms, walked on water, restored sight to the blind, gave voices to the mute and enabled the crippled or paralyzed to walk.  However, there are 4 passages in the gospel which reveal why modern Christians aren’t successful in their prayer life.  Mark 11:20-25 holds a powerful truth that needs to be unlocked.

In Mark 11:22, Jesus is disappointed by Peter’s reaction a verse earlier.  Jesus appears to have expected a greater faith by now, one that demonstrates unquestioning power.  However, a spirit of doubt is limiting the disciples ability to receive instantaneous answers to prayer, Mark 11:23.  Back in Mark 5:36-41, Jesus takes drastic measures, removing everyone out of a house except Peter, James, John and a dead girl.  Once doubt is eliminated from their presence, the little girl is risen from the dead.  After the road block of doubt has been bypassed, another element also stifles prayer.

According to Jesus, unconfessed sin or any grudge that is held, prevents a prayer from being carried out, Mark 11:25.  On several occasions, Jesus told the person who approached him, your sins are forgiven prior to the actually healing, Mark 2:5.  In the case of the adulterous woman, Jesus commands her to leave her life of sin, John 8:11.  The conclusion of the Lord’s Prayer contains a similar conditional clause.  Unless you forgive others of their sins first, God will not forgive you of your own sins, Matthew 6:14-15.  Therefore, if your prayer life is unproductive, 3 things must be addressed before the power of prayer can be unleashed.

1. Remove any presence of doubt from your heart, soul and mind.

2. Publicly confess any issue, mistake or sin you are currently struggling with.

3. Ask God to reveal any grudges you are holding on to as well as anyone you have not fully forgiven.

When you add faith to this simple equation, Matthew 21:21-22, God will unlock the power of prayer in your life.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

 

 

 

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