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Tag Archives: war

A Prayer to End Violence

Whether you’re talking about ISIS, Ferguson or the latest act of terror, people are searching for some type of protection against violence.  While reading a chapter in the Bible last night I stumbled upon an outline for a prayer to end violence.  If you read Psalm 140 one verse at a time, you can claim each promise as you pray.

Rescue me, LORD, from evildoers; protect me from the violent, Psalm 140:1.

Rescue and protect me O Lord.

Who devise evil plans in their hearts and stir up war every day, Psalm 140:2.

Deliver me from evil, temptations and war.

They make their tongues as sharp as a serpent’s; the poison of vipers is on their lips, Psalm 140:3.

Save my family from gossip, rumors and words that can damage their souls.

Keep me safe, LORD, from the hands of the wicked; protect me from the violent, who devise ways to trip my feet, Psalm 140:4,

Shelter me from wicked attempts to do harm; provide a hedge of protection against violent threats.

The arrogant have hidden a snare for me; they have spread out the cords of their net and have set traps for me along my path, Psalm 140:5.

Guide my path in life, exposing any traps that arise along the way.

I say to the LORD, “You are my God.” Hear, LORD, my cry for mercy, Psalm 140:6.

Answer my plea for mercy.

Sovereign LORD, my strong deliverer, you shield my head in the day of battle, Psalm 140:7.

Shield me from the obstacles that stand in your way.

Do not grant the wicked their desires, LORD; do not let their plans succeed, Psalm 140:8.

Let the efforts of the wicked fail.

Those who surround me proudly rear their heads; may the mischief of their lips engulf them, Psalm 140:9.

Foil mischievous plans to do harm against the innocent.

May burning coals fall on them; may they be thrown into the fire, into miry pits, never to rise, Psalm 140:10.

May the accusers be burned by the words that they spew.

May slanderers not be established in the land; may disaster hunt down the violent, Psalm 140:11.

Cut down those who seek to emulate terrorist acts.

I know that the LORD secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy, Psalm 140:12.

Secure justice for those who are unable to help themselves.

Surely the righteous will praise your name, and the upright will live in your presence, Psalm 140:13.

Expect the righteous to prosper; praise the Lord for what God has done and will continue to do!

When the timing is right, may the words of this Psalm inspire a prayer to end violence.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

 

 

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A Prayer for the Verbally Assaulted

Canadian born Rock Star Bryan Adams was right when he sang “love cuts like a knife.”  Lesser known contemporary singer Wes King added to this concept, focusing on Sticks and Stones which wound human souls.  Whether you hear it through the grapevine, feel it through dirty looks or experience harsh words first hand, no one likes to be verbally assaulted.

Save me, LORD, from lying lips and from deceitful tongues, Psalm 120:2.

When gossip spreads, innuendos fly and rumors begin to sway people against you, helplessness can consume your heart.  Thus, if no one has your back to set the record straight, a supernaturally intervention is often necessary.  Although the context may be different, desperate individuals cry out to the heavens asking for a shell of protection against the flaming arrows of evil spewed from the mouths of bitter people.

Too long have I lived among those who hate peace.  I am for peace; but when I speak, they are for war. – Psalm 120:6-7

Although verbal attacks will continue throughout your lifetime, make sure you don’t lower yourself to others’ standards or begin to stoop to a level of pettiness.  Rather, as the curses come forth, place your trust in God above, leaning on the Lord in times of distress, Psalm 120:1.  The moment you sense an urge to retaliate, make sure you choose your words wisely.  As difficult as it may be, follow the Golden Rule, doing unto others as you want others to do unto you.  If successful, your act of kindness will fulfill the words of Proverbs 25:22, heaping coals on the heads of those you verbally assault you.

by Jay Mankus

When Silence Kills

As human beings enter life on earth, God places certain instincts within babies, crying to get their mother’s attention.  Once talking commences, whining is replaced by mine, ooh and wanna.  Born inside of every child since Adam and Eve, the sinful nature is at war with silence.  If gratifications aren’t instantly met, silence can kill inclinations to be self-absorbed, training infants in the way they should go. Proverbs 22:6.

On the other hand, silence also separates individuals from God, Romans 3:23, as sin establishes a barrier deeper than the grand canyon, Romans 6:23.  Created to be in communion with the Lord and mankind, silence often steal, kills and destroys faith.  If this wall isn’t broken or lifted, souls will die void of any hope, joy or love.  Perhaps, someone or something is blocking this line, muffling God’s still small voice, 1 Kings 19:12-13.

No one is immune to silence, especially when prayers lifted up to heaven go unanswered.  Waiting is one thing I detest, rather pointless to a person in desperate need of answers.  Yet, despite my feelings, there are clues left behind by in the Bible which shouldn’t surprise me.  According to a servant of God who was sawed in two for his faith, silence is a way of life, Isaiah 40:27-31.  As Israel complained to this prophet, God reveals a message of hope to those still waiting in the dark for a response.    Therefore, if you are like me, scratching your head, trying to make sense life’s trials, may silence kill any hint of impatience within you, replaced by spiritual strength from the only One who can breathe life into a tired and weary soul.

by Jay Mankus

 

Silencing Liars

In this age of Blogs, Facebook and Twitter, sooner or later someone will post something untrue about you.  When I taught junior high, a student snuck into my room and used my school computer to open up a My Space account in my own name without permission or support.  Meanwhile, a few years later an educational blog claimed I was a faith healer, charging $25 per healing.  Although the second site was a practical joke to illustrate how gossip spreads, the first was intended to harm my reputation as a teacher.  When facts don’t add up with the truth, its time to silence liars

David was a war hero, skilled musician and chosen by God to become Israel’s second king.  Despite having great intentions, 1 Samuel 16:7, David was young, curious and easy prey for temptation.  Thus, when he decided not to report to work for several months, not going off to war in 2 Samuel 11:1, David committed adultery, tried to cover up his own child and had Bathsheba’s husband murdered.  Unfortunately, David’s reputation is often tied to this rebellious streak, opening the door for future innuendos and rumors.  Psalm 63:11 addresses David’s prayer to cease the mouths of his critics.

When you do fall, especially in public, its hard to repair the trust of others that you have broken.  There will always be those who will point out your blemishes.  However, as you walk in the steps of Jesus, 1 John 2:6, the amount of your enemies will decline as long as your talk matches your walk.  If you’re struggling to silence false statements made against you, claim the words of David in Psalm 63:11 to silence the liars in your life.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Spirit Led; Not Technology Driven

If any of you are a parent or grand parent, perhaps you shake your head as I do watching teens stare at their game systems and cell phones instead of engage in an actual conversation.  Beside sending your kids outside to play, I’m afraid this generation is being led by the spirit of technology.  Sure, the technology misfits like me need their oldest to get most gadgets around the house to work, but isn’t there something parents can do to develop healthy communication skills?

Before ascending to heaven, Acts 1:9-11, Jesus promised to send a counselor to guide people through life.  While Pentecostals often make the mistake of limiting the Spirit of God to spiritual gifts mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12 and 14, the apostles provide clues to become driven by the Holy Spirit.  Philip kept his head up after hearing the Holy Spirit’s still small voice in Acts 8:29, eventually leading an Egyptian to faith in Christ.  Meanwhile, Paul sensed in his heart to avoid visiting Asia on a missionary journey as God’s Spirit kept him from entering their cities, Acts 16:7.

One of the greatest clues left behind is found in Galatians 5.  Inside each human being, there is a war between good and evil as the acts of the sinful nature, Galatians 5:19-21 battle fruits of the Holy Spirit, Galatians 5:22-23.  As modern technology drives souls to feed their fleshly desires, an invisible forces seeks to intervene, urging individuals to stay on the course of faith.  The key to overcoming today’s technology driven culture is found in Galatians 5:25.  By tuning into God, with eyes and ears alert and open, the apostle Paul suggests you can keep in step with the Holy Spirit.  Therefore, if you emulate this spiritual practice, you will provide a blue print for loved ones to become Spirit led, not technology driven.

by Jay Mankus

The Sound of Defeat

Silence, groans and hushed voices are just a few signs of losing.  Meanwhile, body language slumps, slows down and expresses defeat without a word.  On Sunday evening, around 9:45 pm Eastern Standard Time, the sound of defeat will visit one sideline after the final seconds tick off the clock in Super Bowl XLVIII.  As confetti falls, cameras flash and reporters get their microphones ready to interview the champions, the loser will slip away in obscurity, pondering what might have been.

In the arena of life, the sound of defeat is less subtle.  Sure, there will always be Debbie downers and depressed Davids, yet most will hide their emotions until no one is around or only their family is in view.  However, in sports, the agony of defeat occurs under a microscope, often with life shattering results.  Skip Dillard went to prison because he missed 1 free throw in an NCAA Basketball Tournament Game as a star for the Depaul Blue Demons.  Tonya Harding turned to thuggery in an attempt to win an Olympic Gold medal in figure skating.  Finally, Donavon McNabb, upchucked as the closing moments of the Super Bowl got too big for him, beyond what he could handle.

In biblical times, there was a different sound heard by Joshua and Moses as each had their own suspicion.  From afar, Joshua heard what sounded like the sound of war in Exodus 32:17.  Stepping in like a Jedi Knight, playing a similar role to Yoda, Moses corrects this young rising star, “It’s not the sound of victory, it’s the sound of defeat;” Exodus 32:18.”  Perhaps Moses understood the concept of 1 Corinthians 9:24-25, with 1 winner and multiple losers.  Therefore, instead of resting in a pit of despair, pick your head up out of the gutter and focus on a crown that will last forever so that the sound of defeat doesn’t cripple your soul for a lifetime.

by Jay Mankus

State of Hysteria

For the drama kings and queens, worry warts and pessimists, hysteria is a relatively normal state.  This condition of emotional distress often leads to melt downs or what I call tizzy’s, an adult version of a tantrum.  Blowing things out of proportion makes for great reality television, at least from a ratings perspective.  However, have you ever thought about what force or inspiration is ultimately behind hysteria?

According to Exodus 23:27-28, the God of Israel sends a spirit of hysteria into the land of Canaan.  The purpose of this terror is to drive out the Hivites, Canaanites and Hittites out of their land.  Like a stirred up hornet’s nest, God uses supernatural powers to accomplish His will.  Without the numbers, strength or weapons, Jehovah Jireh delivers a promised land an ordinary group of people, unable to take the credit for this miraculous event.

If this happened in the Old Testament, I wonder if God has the desire to allow a similar state in the world today.  Although, modern outbreaks of hysteria are likely from another force, demons using angelic powers.   Some nations experience countless years of civil unrest.  Meanwhile, others countries promote a generation of starving children.  Somewhere in the middle, hysteria roams from city to city, resulting in hate crimes, violence and suicide.

God provides weapons against such spirits in Ephesians 6:10-20.  With all but one defensive, the Word of God is double edged, able to go from defense to offense in one motion.  May these tools help you build an invisible force field of faith around you, saving yourself from caving into the hysteria in this world.  Keep the helmet of salvation tightly secured to guard your mind from suffering from spiritual amnesia, 1 Thessalonians 5:8.  Finally, apply 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 daily as you take each thought captive, making each obedient to Christ.

by Jay Mankus

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