This is a personal testimony of how I discovered my own heart before and after conversion. Being raised in the church and attending a church school twelve years from elementary through high school, I believed in God. I also believed I was a good girl, spoke with self righteousness, not understanding how some students fell into sinful lifestyles. Following my senior year, I left home to attend a secular school. Gradually I strayed from the straight and narrow path of my upbringing. Making some bad choices, I couldn’t understand how such a good little girl became bad. I did not understand my heart until I cried out to God. He revealed Jeremiah 17:9 NASB, “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it? That’s when reality set in that I was a sinner in need of a Savior.
Years after I came to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, I shared the heart from Jeremiah. One woman said, “God has given you a new heart now!” We looked at Ezekiel 36:26 NASB Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. God set me free to understand the new heart He gave me and new spirit within.
Do you understand your own heart?
Search me, O God, and know my heart;……………and lead me in the everlasting way, Ps.139:23-24.
by Judy Hitson
Luke 18:1 NLT One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up.
I love this verse. It gives hope that the Lord hears our prayers. It is a reminder to persevere in prayer and it is important for us to remember the Lord is present. He is here.
Coming to mind is a verse dear to my heart, Ps. 46:1 NASB God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. There were times in my life I did give up. Doubts, fears and anxieties mounted in my mind over troubling situations that I caved in to defeat rather than persist in prayer.
Are you in the midst of crisis?
Is there a problem you need to solve?
Are you burdened for someone?
We need not cave in under pressure but rather pray and never give up. Consider this acrostic of PRAY:
Praise the Lord who hears and answers our prayers, I John 5: 14-15. Praise Him for all He has done.
Repent of sin and turn to God through the Lord Jesus Christ who forgives us and cleanses us. (IJohn1:9)
Adore Him who is God. There is no other. (Isaiah 45:22)
Yield to the Lord who will reveal His way for you, Psalm 32:8
Prayer: Thank You Lord Jesus for the story of the persistent widow who received justice from an unjust judge, Luke 18:1-8. Help us now to be persistent in prayer by Your Spirit. Amen.
Prayer, Supplication and Thanksgiving
by Judy Hitson
Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Prayer, see it as a two-way conversation with God. Share with Him your concern and listen to hear what He has to say. As we come to the Lord in prayer, remember as our Good Shepherd, He says His sheep hear His voice, John 10:27.
Making supplication, we voice our request to the Lord and wait for His answer. For example God’s word tells us He heals all our diseases, Ps. 103:3b. On earth doctors diagnose and recommend treatment from medical examinations, tests and procedures but as we focus on the Lord as great Physician, Healer and Provider we see in His word His perspective for healing.
With thanksgiving be reminded of the slogan, “have an attitude of gratitude.” In the midst of crisis or celebration, let us learn to thank Him regardless of the outcome. He is God.
Warren W. Wiersbe writes in his Bible Exposition Commentary that “Paul uses three different words to describe “right praying”: prayer, supplication and thanksgiving,” Phil.4: 6-7. I was interested in learning the difference between prayer and supplication but realize my need to be thankful.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I refuse anxiety and through prayer and supplication with thanksgiving appreciate Your promise of peace. Amen.
Prayer of Agreement
by Judy Hitson
Matthew 18:19 CEV I promise that when any two of you on earth agree about something you are praying for, my Father in heaven will do it for you.
Standing on the promises of God is a hymn we sing in our Christian churches. Let us take this to heart in our daily lives and act on it as God calls us to do. Note the promise of our verse today. When two of us on earth agree in prayer, our heavenly Father will do it.
How remarkable it is to believe this promise when we pray with others. This brings to mind a time many prayed in agreement with me for my husband to be healed of cancer and God healed him.
Think of something you’ve been praying for and hope God will answer. Do you have a prayer partner? If so, are you praying in agreement believing God will do what you ask Him?
Let us refuse doubts or unbelief that attempt to discourage us in Jesus name and agree in prayer believing our Father in heaven will do it. That is His promise. He is God who means what He says and He says what He means. Believe His word, stand on His promises and be blessed with the reality of answered prayer.
Prayer: Father in heaven, we believe, help our unbelief. Teach us to pray in agreement for that which concerns us, knowing that You will do it. In Jesus name and by Your Spirit. Amen.
Mark 11:24 NLT I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.
Imagine receiving anything you pray for and it is yours. What would you ask God? Are you thinking of yourself or others? No need to feel guilty if you pray for yourself. Jesus did in His high priestly prayer. In John 17, we read that He first prayed to Father for himself and than others. Yet when we consider the acrostic of JOY, we learn Jesus first, then Others, and then Yourself. It seems to reason, first we need to be in right relationship with God before we can pray for others. We learn from Jesus’ example to be in intimate relationship with our Father in heaven and pray.
When we think of praying for anything and receiving it, that doesn’t mean to pray for selfish desires. Some people do and we may find ourselves doing so. The reality of believing prayer is a profound privilege from God to man. Let’s learn from Jesus example in His word. Look at His prayers in the Bible. The Lord’s Prayer we looked at the previous five days to find instructions to pray as Jesus outlined. Today we come to believe we receive what we pray. Let’s honor our Father in heaven to pray Christ-centered prayers. Ask, Jesus is this prayer selfish or selfless?
Prayer: Father in heaven help me to pray believing in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
1 John 4:14 NASB We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.
Christmas day was formerly a busy time in our home to celebrate the most important day of the year to us with our children and grandchildren, Jesus’ birthday. Now we gather on Christmas Eve which gives my husband and me a quiet holiday for reflection on our Savior’s birth. No rushing around but opportunity to savor life in Christ. Drawing close to Him in intimate, love relationship blesses me to love Him because He first loved me.
Time in the presence of the Lord equips us to impart life by the Spirit to all who believe and are hungry for Him.
Little children think most about presents under the tree. As an older woman, I think about the presence of the living God through the incarnation of Jesus Christ. This changes everything. Because of the birth of Christ, we have Emmanuel, which is God with us. Christians, let’s keep Christ in Christmas, not only in our homes but to share with others wherever we go in our circles of life.
Prayer: Thank You God that You sent Your only begotten Son so that we might live through Him, to be the propitiation for our sins and to be the Savior of the world. (1John4:9-14). Most of all, I thank You Father in heaven for giving us His Spirit that we may see and testify this truth. Amen.
by Judy Hitson
Matthew 6:13b [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’]*
This *clause may not be found in early manuscripts but it is a profound doxology to the Lord’s Prayer. More so, when we consider the instructions Jesus teaches His disciples to pray as the Disciple’s Prayer. May the five days I’ve written on this pattern of prayer from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ be a personal treasure to practice in true worship and dependency upon Him for daily life.
A parallel verse to consider with this clause is found in 1Chronicles 29:11 World English Bible (WEB) Yours, YAWEH, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty! For all that is in the heavens and in the earth are yours. Yours is the kingdom, Yahweh, and You are exalted as head above all! (For the full prayer of David see I Chronicles 29:10-20.)
Thinking about God’s Kingdom, 1 Cor. 4:20 New Living Translation caught my attention for us to ponder, “For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power. Let us mature in Christ to pray and live in the Spirit.
Prayer: Father in heaven teach us to pray by Your Spirit as Jesus taught the disciples on earth. Help us walk in intimate relationship with You and be about the work of Your Kingdom ordained for us to do. In Jesus name. Amen.