It's not too late to participate in a 21-Day Fasting and praying emphasis to start the new year. At our church we have traditionally challenged our congregation to set aside 21 days in the month of January to focus on God as we participate in a fast for the purpose of hearing His voice regarding His plans for our lives as we set our intentions, goals and strategies for our year.
Here is a link to an article that explains what fasting is and why we participate in it:
And here is the 21 Day prayer guide we are using this year:
This year we will focus our prayers on these things (rotating every 7 days to correspond to the days of the week):
Sundays: Marriages and other relationships
Mondays: Finances and other overwhelming needs
Tuesdays: Prodigals and other spiritual breakthroughs
Wednesdays: Health and losses
Thursdays: Salvation for the lost
Fridays: Direction and discernment
Saturdays: Encouragement to overcome: Fear,...
We made it! It's Christmas, and I know that your day is filled with gift-giving and family and food and fun. Let's make a little room for Him, perhaps at the beginning of the day as we remember and celebrate the true meaning of Christmas. Light your advent candles, ALL of them and do this devotion.
Read Luke 2:1-20.
Do you remember the song, the Little Drummer Boy?
This song is about a little shepherd boy who doesn't want to go see baby Jesus without a gift. Finally he decides he can give the baby Jesus a song, and he plays his little drum.
Come, they told me, pa rum pa pum pum.
A newborn King to see, pa rum pa pum pum.
Our finest gifts we bring, pa rum pa pum pum.
To lay before the King, pa rum pa pum pum, rum pa pum pum, rum pum pum pum,
So to honor Him, pa rum pum pum pum. When we come.
Little baby, pa rum pa pum pum
I am a poor boy too pa rum pa pum pum
I have no gift to bring, pa rum pa pum pum
That's fit to give the King, pa rum pa pum pum rum pa pum pum rum...
I hope that you will finish out your advent season by lighting these final 2 candles; one on Christmas Eve and the other on Christmas Day. We will light our Love candle after 4 Christmas Eve services at church on Christmas Eve. It's going to be good to all sit around the table together, enjoy our meal and spend a few minutes talking about LOVE.
Ask: How do you define love? Share a time when you especially felt loved.
How does the world define love? Do you think people feel loved?
Invite everyone to quote John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."
How did God express His love? (by sending Jesus)
What did Jesus do to demonstrate the love of God?
Did He come to judge the world?
Invite someone to read the verses that follow John 3:16, John 3:17-18
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 ...
This week we light our 3rd candle in the advent wreath. We've lit two purple candles, and this week we get to light the pink one representing joy. Here's a devotion to help guide your conversation centered on the joy we have when we remember what God did for us at Christmas time.
Invite everyone to share the difference between joy and happiness.
You might wrap us the conversation by saying something like this:
One of the very obvious differences between happiness and joy is that happiness tends to be achieved externally, while joy is something achieved internally. For example, we can feel happy when we receive something like a gift or achieve something like awards or honors. These things are external or belong to the surface of our lives. It is not something deeper but, rather, superficial.
Joy, on the other hand, is something deeper. It is something we feel internally in our lives as human beings. For example, when we feel great...
There was a gospel tract that was (and is) very popular, it was printed and distributed by the Billy Graham Association. In fact, that little gospel tract has turned into a website, it's titled
This is the 2nd week of advent and we are going to spend a bit of time meditating on this beautiful word. Consider using this devotion with your family or group of friends as you celebrate the season of advent this year.
Invite family members to define peace.
After everyone has had an opportunity share what peace means to them, share this definition--
Invite someone to read Isaiah 9:6,
"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
Share this: When Jesus came to...
Hope is traditionally the first word we reflect on during advent. If you use colored candles for your advent celebration, hope is represented by one of 3 purple candles.
Here is a devotion you can do with your family to celebrate HOPE this advent season.
Ask: What does hope mean to you? Use hope in a sentence. (let everyone share) Share a time when something you hoped for happened, or didn't happen.
Read Scripture: Ask 2 people to read these verses:
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Teach: When the Bible speaks of hope, it's not the same as our kind of hope. We say, "I hope it doesn't rain!" And we know it might, and it might not. Our kind of hope is sort of a "wish." When the Bible speaks of hope, it is talking about being certain...
I rarely ever, in fact, have never done this before but I'm doing it this week because this message is so important for us to embrace. In preparing for my podcast this week I came across a powerful message from Tony Evans titled, The Authority of Binding and Loosing. I encourage you to take a few minutes to go and listen to it.
What follows is the manuscript to my podcast. Feel free to go listen to me share it, and then enjoy having the notes for yourself. TEACH THIS!! It's important! And if you haven't already started a Prayer Clinic ministry at your church consider doing so. And let me help you succeed. It's what I'm here to do. :)
In Matthew 16:19 Jesus said, “ I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
Many times we hear this verse and take it terribly out of context. We go about binding in Jesus’...
In all my years as a Christian, I've never thought about it before Sunday when Sam mentioned it in his sermon. His 3rd point in a message based on the passage of Scripture in Numbers 14:5-10 was this:
"I forgot the promise in the Promised Land."
The Israelites sinned against God by forgetting that He always...always...always keeps His promises!
They followed a God who proved Himself faithful over and over again as they wandered in the desert and yet, when it came time to actually get. to where they were going, they forgot.
Aren't we like that too?
Don't we sing those great songs in our services on Sunday mornings, then crawl out of bed on Tuesday and face our struggles as if He's determined to let us down?
I think the problem is that we expected the "Promised Land" to be handed to us without a fight. We feel the spit of the giants we face and back down. We draw up in little balls and cry about being abandoned by the very God who brought us to this...
We are a prayer-powered church and we have a prayer team of 40+ people who are faithful to the task of praying for the needs of the people. We are most encouraged by answered prayer! But when those answers seem to take a long time to come; here are some facts that we embrace in order to keep our faith strong.
Share these with you praying team and be encouraged. You might text them a quote a day, a quote a week, or a quote and a song! Whatever you do, sit with, and soak in, the truth of these statements.
"To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing."
"We pray when there's nothing else we can do, but God wants us to pray before we do anything at all." —Oswald Chambers
"We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties." —Oswald Chambers
"Pray the largest prayers. You cannot think a prayer so large that God, in answering it, will not wish you had made it larger. Pray not for crutches but...
I love to collect seashells. I don't know why. We bring them home and pile them in old styrofoam coolers where they serve as nesting spaces for spiders. Nonetheless, I go to the beach, walk a bit, and before I know it, I'm gathering shells that simply seem to cry out for me to have them.
This afternoon I decided to collect some articles online that talk about prayer. I hope you enjoy reading them. Just click on the titles to go straight to the articles.
Here are some of his quotable bits:
Often a person will complain, “I’ve prayed and prayed and didn’t get what I wanted.” Well who said you are supposed to get what you want? Prayer isn’t a device to get what you want.
Prayer is a means of bringing you to the point where you will accept what God wants. If you’re using prayer just for getting what you want, your engaging in an improper use of prayer.
To live a full and happy life is to learn...