GH15


29
Dec 2019

A Call to a National Day of Repentance on Monday, December 30th

“After reading Dave Kubal’s article, There was a Spiritual Quid Pro Quo, my heart was grieved over the abuse of America’s power, prominence, and position that we have received from the Lord.

“Ongoing investigations reveal that American officials have been withholding financial aid to other countries for years, unless they agreed to promote abortion and the LGBTQ+ agenda to their citizens. It was OUR country that was blackmailing and bullying to spread immorality.

“While we have no idea how far-reaching these seeds were sown or grown, as a nation we are responsible for the wicked harvest that is the result.

“Now that this evil has been exposed, we are responsible to act.

“We also need to repent for the unjust impeachment of President Trump. This action was not because of his actions (despite the claims of the Democrats), but to cover up crimes and immoral actions of our government leaders. They have used their positions to force the above immorality and corruption upon our nation and other nations.

“Before we enter 2020, we need to repent and cleanse our land.

“We invite you to join us for a National Day of Repentance for our nation over what has transpired to uproot those seeds and call on the Lord to forgive us.

“Will you join us on Monday, December 30th, for a day of fasting and repentance of the evil that has been committed as we forced other countries to embrace and spread immorality and evil in exchange for financial assistance?

“We also need to repent for the spirit of pride and rebellion that has been allowed to rule our nation and shake its fist in defiance as our president was impeached by a completely partisan vote. In the end, it isn’t just President Trump they wish to remove. It is God.” (Karen Hardin)

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9; ESV)

“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14; ESV)

Give Him 15 minutes in prayer (by Karen Hardin):

  • We need to first humble ourselves and repent.
  • We need to ask forgiveness for those we led astray as abortion and the LGBTQ+ agenda were forced into other nations.
  • We need to repent and be cleansed of the blood on our hands from the abortions traded for aid.
  • We need to pray that the seeds of immorality and corruption that were spread would wither and die.
  • We need to pray that those who perpetuated this evil will be revealed, removed from their positions, and prosecuted.
  • We need to cancel any partnership or alliance with the demonic realm, whether that is through an organization, a country, or an individual, and that all such partnerships will be brought to light and cancelled.
  • Most importantly, we need to pray for revival in our land.

A prayer you can pray (by Karen Hardin):

Father God, we humble ourselves before You and repent as a nation. Lord God, we have sinned. We have used the prominent position and blessings you have given us as a weapon to force immorality and murder upon other countries. Lord, we repent. We ask for your forgiveness.

 We ask that those seeds be uprooted from other countries and our own. We speak to them now and say, “Wither and die along with any ongoing harvest.” In their place, we speak revival. We ask that you would cleanse our land and the blight we have put on other nations in which this evil was perpetuated.

 Lord, we ask that those who have been involved in these heinous crimes be revealed, removed from their positions, and prosecuted. Lord, stop them from continuing any ongoing actions. We also ask that they will have a Damascus Road encounter with you and that the hardness of their hearts will be turned to hearts of flesh, tender to your Word.

Lord, we ask you to save us. We ask for your help. We repent that we have been asleep and allowed such corruption, because we were not praying for our leaders as You commanded. Lord, we thank you for our president and His stand for you. We ask that you would deliver him and deliver us from those who are intent on removing You from our nation. In Jesus’ righteous Name, amen.

Today’s decree:

We humble ourselves and ask You, Lord, to please heal and cleanse our land.

Learn more about Karen Hardin here.


28
Dec 2019

Where Are We Now?

As Chuck Pierce and I got ready to do the Plow Tours across America, which many of you participated in, Chuck said he heard three things:

  • Go and prepare the land for awakening.
  • Release the hovering of His Spirit.
  • Release the anointing to give birth.

God has been preparing this land for awakening through increasing intercession for many years, so it’s not like there was no preparation for this. God had been telling Abraham that there was a promised son coming, but then He came and said, “Next year at this time, you will have a son.” Finally, the Lord was saying, “It is time.” That is how I believe the Holy Spirit had me interpret that first statement from Chuck. So, we did that this last year and called it “The Plow Tour”.

“Hovering” is a reproductive term. In Genesis 1, the Holy Spirit hovered over the deep, then creation was born. He hovered over Mary and Christ was formed in her womb. If the Holy Spirit is hovering over America, then He is about to birth something. You know that scripture in the book of Acts where it talks about Peter’s shadow healing the sick? Well, the term there actually means “when they came into the overshadowing (or hovering) Presence, they were healed.” That is the season we have come to in America. God is going to overshadow the nation.

He is going to be released out through your words. Your faith is going to release His hovering. Others are going to step into that and be healed. The release of the hovering of the Holy Spirit is going to find fulfillment in the birthing of the purposes of God that we have interceded for and contended for together for the last decade. It’s birthing time.

“So that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them.” (Acts 5:15; WBT)

Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:

  • Say with the Lord, “It is time! It is time for new birth in America!”
  • Consider that many men and women of God have been sent across this nation in the last year or two to proclaim a hovering season has come to America. Thank the Lord for the season of hovering over your cities, states, and this nation.
  • Decree that the nation has come to a point of spiritual rebirth.
  • Boldly prime the pump! Pray for miracles. Believe God to save the lost, heal the sick, cast out demons, and supernaturally meet the needs of the poor.

A prayer you can pray:

Lord, overshadow America with Your Holy Presence! Overshadow our cities and our states. Let this be the time that Your overshadowing begins to birth Your purposes. Let it not be that season of longing and believing, but that season of believing and seeing. Save the lost, heal the sick, raise the dead, and cast out demons. Let the oppressed go free. Let the needs of the poor be met and let the prosperity of the Lord sweep across the land. We praise You for the sending of so many prophetic voices across America in the last year, preparing the way for awakening. The Holy Spirit has been sent to hover over areas, and the hovering will now produce eternal fruit and eternal life. You have brought America to a season of rebirth. You are remaking culture and restoring foundations. You are bringing righteousness and justice to our land. We believe this! We receive this! We are watching, praying, decreeing and acting! It is birthing time in America in Jesus’ Name. Amen!

Today’s decree:

It’s time for the birthing of the purposes of God for this nation!


27
Dec 2019

Mitch McConnell on Religious Freedom in America

“The liberty of conscience and the freedom to live out our faiths has been a foundational principle from the Republic’s earliest days. Many of the first Europeans who arrived in the New World came here fleeing religious persecution.

“James Madison wrote that religion ‘must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man, and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate.’

“Samuel Adams said in the summer of 1776 that America would be ‘the last asylum’ for ‘freedom of thought and the right of private judgment.’

“Religious freedom in America has never meant, and will never mean, solely the freedom to worship privately. It has never meant, and will never mean, the ability to practice only a subset of faiths acceptable to some subset of politicians.

“It means the right to live your life according to the dictates of your faith and conscience – free from government coercion.” (Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell) 

“And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15; ESV)

Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:

  • Intercede today for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. As the leader of the Senate, he will be the one coordinating the impeachment trial in the Senate once Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi sends the Articles of Impeachment over to the Senate. The Congress is back in session on January 6, 2020.
  • Thank the Lord for congressional leadership, like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who believe they are there to uphold our constitutional rights. 
  • Intercede for the security of those rights, and the support of them by many Senators and Congressmen and women.
  • Declare, “Our freedom to worship the Lord, any way we desire, anywhere we desire, is a constitutional right. We will fight in prayer for it. We will write our leaders and tell them how important we feel the fullness of freedom of religion is to our culture. Inside our churches or in the public square, we have a right to worship Jesus! We will not let that change!”

A prayer you can pray:

God, thank You for giving us leaders that are not afraid to say they serve You. Thank You for those that feel protecting our constitutionally-guaranteed freedoms, including religious freedom, is important. Thank You that there are Senators and Congressmen and women who understand that freedom of religion is not limited to a type, a form, a place, or a time. Our freedom to worship You, Lord, any way we desire, anywhere we desire, is a constitutional right. We will fight in prayer for it. We will write our leaders and tell them how important we feel the fullness of freedom of religion is to our culture. Inside our churches or in the public square, we have a right to worship Jesus! We will not let that change! We will take full advantage of our ability to freely worship by getting out there in our communities and spreading the Gospel message without fear for as long as we can. Bless each of our congressional leaders that support our constitutional right of freedom of religion. Bless Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Thank You, Jesus, that Sen. McConnell is also the one You have positioned for such a time as this. It appears that our president is being impeached, but You have placed this one  in the Senate that is able to navigate demands and pressure. He will make sure and get the process completed fairly, decently, and in order. President Trump will not be removed from office. We bless Senator McConnell today. We worship You, Jesus. Keep us free. Amen.

Today’s decree:

America is great because we have the freedom to choose. We must extend that right if we are to maintain that right.


Learn more about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell here.


26
Dec 2019

God in Government

“Our Lord’s gracious love for us is expressed in many ways. During the Christmas season we are reminded that the birth of our Redeemer, Jesus, offers the potential for redemption and the release of bondage for all.

“This message of hope and its supernatural effect have the potential to transform the three institutions created by God to care for us. God has created three institutions to provide for our personal needs, our need to be in community, and our need to function in society. God, in his gracious love, supernaturally created the family, the Church, and government as divine entities to meet our needs, but all must be redeemed.

“The last of the three divine institutions created by God to care for us is government. Attaching the word “divine” to government is difficult for people to accept these days. However, Romans 13:1 clearly states that there is ‘no authority except that which God established.’ And yet, most people, even Christian people, consider government only a secular institution created by power-hungry politicians. Our Founding Fathers did not believe this. They used the wisdom of God, expressed through the Scriptures, to build the foundation of our nation through the Constitution.

“Throughout 2019, I have seen the wisdom of God brought to bear in the lives of our elected officials and in the work that they are doing. I have listened to lawmakers and candidates telling me about the challenge of balancing family life with the demands of public service. I have been asked to pray in confidence about God’s call to run for office or to take action in Congress or in the highest levels of the Executive branch. I have been asked to pray about behind-the-scenes events on Capitol Hill that you will never see on the news. And every time I tell them that I am praying, and that you… are praying, every time the response has been how very much it means, personally and professionally.

“Praying for our government leaders is crucial, and letting them know they are being prayed for is almost as important. It only makes sense that a godly institution can only truly thrive with the infusion of God-fearing people, following God-outlined principles, upheld in prayer by God-directed intercessors. Since God is the author of this institution, we cannot remove Him from the institution and expect it to function well—or at all.

“We must hold on to our hope and take a ‘stand’ upon our knees as we battle for God’s best in our nation.” (Dave Kubal)

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6; KJV)

Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:

  • Thank the Lord that He established government to care for our needs as a society. Acknowledge that government cannot function properly without His guidance and intervention. Beseech His involvement.
  • Pray for your city. Ask the Lord to bless your city’s leadership and give them wisdom. Pray for decisions that will benefit the local population, versus advance a political agenda.
  • Pray for your state government, likewise.
  • Find your member of the House of Representatives here. Find your two state Senators here. Look at their congressional webpages and find out the committees they are on and what issues they support. Intercede for them with knowledge and understanding. Consider writing them through their contact pages to let them know you are praying for them.
  • Go to whitehouse.gov and look for information on what is happening in the Executive branch. There are pages for President Trump, Vice President Pence, and the Cabinet members. You can also encourage them by dropping them a quick email of support and encouragement. Most of our Executive branch leadership appreciates, even covets, the prayers of the saints.
  • You can find more prayer points for government and government officials at IFAPray.org.

A prayer you can pray:


Father, we dedicate this nation to You yet again today. We acknowledge You as the One who established it. We acknowledge You as the creator of government. You are the One that led our founder to establish our nation on Your principles. We ask You to align our governing leaders with Your principles as they lead us. Let us not forget to intercede for them often, if not daily. They are more in need of prayer than they may realize. Some do know it and humbly request it. May we not hold back our intercession on their behalf, even if we fundamentally disagree with their political positions. They need our prayers. We pray for the God-fearing, that they will know that You are with them, leading and guiding and directing them, as they lean on and trust in and rely on You. We pray for those who see no need to seek You. Lord, turn their hearts to make decisions that benefit the people they serve, and not their own interests or pet projects. Don’t let them be tempted by bribes or political advancement. May they find themselves leaning toward the things that please You – righteousness, justice, and moral purity. Remove corruption from our land. [Intercede now for your specific local, state and national government representatives.]

We pray also for President Trump. Lord, may he continue to seek godly counsel from Your people that You have placed around him. Thank You for his humility. Bless him for it. Guard him in all of His ways, and may His decisions please You. Give him witty ideas and strategies to proper the nation and the people. Let Him learn to seek You directly and rely on Your guidance more and more. We pray for Vice President Pence, likewise. We know he is a Christian man. He loves You, Jesus, and it shows. He is a good leader and a faithful supporter of our President. Grant him continued grace and favor as he continues to help lead our nation. Thank You that You are preserving and protecting the United States of America! Because Your watchful eye is on us and You lead and guide us, we are a blessed nation! Amen.

Today’s decree:


God-established government, led and prayed for by God-fearing men and women, leads to a God-honoring country.


Learn more about Dave Kubal and Intercessors for America here.


25
Dec 2019

Christmas Day 2019

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” (John 1:1-5; NASB)

Jesus is incomprehensible Light. It was the very first thing God created. “Let there be light!” I don’t think that was a coincidence. He revealed Himself first as Creator of all things. Then, He commanded Light to shine in the darkness. Darkness has never been able to hold back the Light. Darkness cannot overcome light. It cannot defeat light. The tiniest spark of light, like a lit match, and darkness is undone. 

Consider spiritual Light and spiritual darkness. The enemy continues to try to shut Light out. It is not possible! Jesus is the source of all Light. He is the revelation of God. He is the illumination of the mysteries of His Word. He is hope to a dark and dying world. He is Light and He now dwells among us. No darkness can comprehend Him and His ways. The ways of darkness will always collide with His ways. This is recorded well in the Word. He opens blind eyes, both naturally and spiritually. And, those who choose to remain in spiritual blindness will never understand Him. We see this today throughout our culture. Light encountering darkness will always be dramatic. It can be chaotic. It is unsettling. However, Light will always overcome the darkness. 

On this wonderful Christmas day, we celebrate You, Lord Jesus, Light of the world. Shine in the darkness! Light, be!

Today’s decree:

Jesus is the Light of men! His light will penetrate the darkness and set the captives free!


24
Dec 2019

Joy to the World, the Lord is Come!

I have a friend who was diagnosed with cancer a few days before Christmas last year. Not yet 60 years old, she heard the doctor say, “You have stage 4 lung cancer.” As you can imagine, she and her husband had their world turned upside down that day. 

The thing that has been striking about their journey is the way this couple has found the true meaning of joy in their challenging, emotionally up-and-down journey this last year. She recently wrote, “Now, we are in a place where, our faith having been tested, we have a better understanding of joy. Joy, that is lasting joy, must begin with an intimate relationship with Jesus. Joy is nourished with gratitude and thankfulness. We are experiencing joy in this difficult time because we trust Jesus. We know that He is who He says He is. We are full of gratitude for His great love and thankful for His creative and limitless power.”

Ceci and I join her in her closing statement, “It is our heartfelt desire that each of you experience the great joy of Christmas!” 

Here are the words to one of our very favorite Christmas Carols. Let joy and gratitude rise in your hearts as you worship Him:

“Joy to the world, the Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King!
Let every heart prepare him room
And heaven and nature sing! And heaven and nature sing!
And heaven . . . and heaven . . . and nature sing.

“Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ,
While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains,
Repeat the sounding joy! Repeat the sounding joy!
Repeat . . . repeat . . . the sounding joy!

“No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make his blessings flow
Far as the curse is found! Far as the curse is found!
Far as . . . far as . . . the curse is found!

“He rules the world with truth and grace
And makes the nations prove
The glories of his righteousness
And wonders of his love! And wonders of his love!
And wonders . . . wonders . . . of his love!”
(Isaac Watts, 1719)


“And the angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news od great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.’” (Luke 2: 10-11; ESV)

Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:

  • Worship Him as you sing the Christmas carol above. 
  • Sing other favorites.
  • Thank the Lord for everything you are thankful for, even if life is challenging to you right now.
  • Thank Him for more opportunities in the new year to make His joy known to others.
  • If you are going to church services this evening, invite someone to come with you who may be having a hard time and could use the joy of this season. True joy comes from knowing Him.

A prayer you can pray:

Lord, my heart is overwhelmed with love and joy for You. You are the magnificent One. You are faithful and good and kind. You are giving and forgiving. There is nothing You won’t do for those who love You. There is nothing You would withhold from me. You want to be known by me, so I can make You known to others. Thank You for authoring joy in my life, even when the circumstances are confusing, painful, or emotionally hard. Your joy can rise above these things, because it is dependent on the intimacy of my relationship with You and not on my life’s circumstances. How thankful I am! How grateful! Where would I be without You? You are “God With Me”. You are the One of whom the angels sang that holy Christmas night. You are love and hope and joy, Jesus! I praise Your holy, incomparable Name! Amen.

Today’s decree:

Joy to the world! Jesus our Savior is come!


23
Dec 2019

Remembering the Widows

“Why not extend some joy into the life of a widow at Christmastime? What a great season to share Christ’s love in tangible ways. Perhaps your family would like to adopt one widow to bless. Why a widow? Because they are among the most neglected segment in the Body of Christ! Christmas can be especially sad for those who still long for the companionship of their husband.

“Many widows are plagued by loneliness, fear, financial woes, health issues, or transportation needs. Some are so emotionally drained they have lost hope. Poverty among widows is three to four times higher than among elderly married women.

“The Holy Spirit can give us creative ways to let one know she is loved and not forgotten. A trip with our family to a Christmas concert?  A ride at night to view the town’s decorations? An invitation to a home-cooked meal? A gift basket of food? A movie night, even at our home? Write her a note of appreciation? Volunteer to pray for her each week on the phone? Please don’t forget her after Christmas when she needs a ride to the doctor, her lawn mowed, or a high ceiling light changed.

“That widow could be your mother or aunt or sister. Men, someday she could be your wife.  (Let’s don’t forget the widowers either, for they need a touch of Christian love and kindness too).” (Quin Sherrer)  

“ …Plead for the widow.” (Isaiah 1:17b; NASB)

Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:

  • Intercede for the widows you know. 
  • Do you know what their needs are?
  • Do you know who their family members are or how often they receive visitors? This could be important, if there is ever a medical emergency.
  • Pray, but also plan some practical activities to let at least one widow know she is loved and cared about, and not forgotten this Christmas.

A prayer you can pray:

Lord, help me be Your hands extended to one or more widows. Some have given me great footprints of faith to follow and I desire to bless them. Your Word tells us to watch over the widows and I want to do my part, especially this season. Give me and my family creative and practical ways to show them how much I care. Things that I think are simple to do, may be very challenging for an older woman. She shouldn’t risk falling off a high ladder while trying to change light bulbs or the batteries in her smoke detectors. I can help with those things. Help me to make my church aware of the needs of those who are widowed in our congregation. Help us to do a good job caring for them, Lord. Someday the one in need may be me. Thank you for the reminder in Your Word to care for the widows, Jesus. Amen.

Today’s decree:

I will be an encourager in practical ways for a widow or widower.

Quin Sherrer,  a widow, is the author of Hope For A Widow’s Heart: Encouraging Reflection For Your Journey, and 30 other books she has written or co-authored. All available on Amazon.


22
Dec 2019

Remembering Our Military

Those who serve our nation in the armed services should be among those we keep consistently in our prayers. Most of us who have never served in the military, have never been deployed to battle, and have no idea the stress and cost to these men and women and their families. You may have grown up in one place. You may have moved often, but were still close to other family. Likely, you chose where you moved to and why. None of that is the case for our service men and women.

Christmas can be a hard time of year emotionally for these families. Mom or dad may be far away. They may be in a dangerous situation, helping secure freedom for us or a nation we are in relationship with. The family may be together, but too far from extended family to go home for the holidays. Often, military families’ finances are snug. A single service member can be very lonely; far from home and all alone.

Let’s make a special effort to watch out for those in our churches and neighborhoods who might be associated with the military. Think of ways to help them or include them in addition to praying for them. If your community does not have this circumstance, at a minimum, pray for soldiers who are deployed. Pray for their families, as well as spouses, children, parents, siblings, and others they care deeply about.

“As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people both now and forevermore.” (Psalm 125:2; NIV)

Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:

  • Pray for every member of the military you know that is currently actively deployed overseas, especially to a battle zone. Pray for their safety and security. Pray that they are able to accomplish the task they were sent to perform. Pray they will not feel abandoned or alone. Ask the Lord to help the Christians to gather together for prayer and Bible study.
  • Ask the Lord to make His Presence obvious to the deployed. Let them feel Him surrounding them. Let them see miracles.
  • Pray for their families at home, their parents, spouses and children, who are missing them at Christmas time. Ask the Lord to comfort them and help them connect with their deployed loved one in some way over Christmas. 
  • Can you help in practical ways? Maybe you can help decorate their home, put up lights, or invite them to Christmas dinner. 
  • Intercede for those you know who otherwise serve in the armed forces. Thank the Lord for the service they provide so that you and your family remain safe and free. 
  • Many are far from home, even if their spouse and children are accompanying them on their current assignment. An “adopted family” right in their neighborhood might be very welcome through the holidays. 

A prayer you can pray:

“Almighty God, Lord of Hosts, we call out to you as the One who is sovereign over all. Watch over and protect our nation’s military members and their families. Sustain them with your everlasting arms.

“Take into your most gracious protection our service members currently deployed. May you be their comfort and their guide as they live and walk in a foreign land. Give them reassurance that you are a shield around them, an ever-present help in time of need. Grant our service members courage so that in all things they may serve without reproach. Encourage them while they also encourage one another.

“As they serve around the world, we ask that you guard their families and loved ones back home. Provide them with peace and surround them with love as they mourn the absence of their loved one and long for their return. May they find hope and strength in you for the trials of each new day. Be with military children who endure the difficult burden of knowing their father or mother is in harm’s way for months on end. Guard these children’s hearts and minds despite the loneliness and uncertainty of having a parent deployed.

“Lord God, be with marriages in the military. Preserve the bonds of husband and wife despite the stress that military life brings, stress only compounded by the decade of war our nation is in. Help military chaplains in their efforts to equip military marriages with ways to stay connected and communicate effectively despite the challenge of frequent deployments. Give husbands and wives strength and resilience to endure separations, frequent moves, and all the uncertainty military life brings.

“Father God, we long for the day when swords will be beaten into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks. We long for your peace, for your shalom. In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.” (Prayer by Kristi Hofman, Operation We Are Here)

Today’s decree:

We bless those in the military, who serve to protect our freedom!

Prayer used with permission. Click here to learn more about Operation We Are Here.


21
Dec 2019

Remembering the Poor

Christmas is a time where money flows like water through the economy of America. Beginning in early November, every merchant out there is trying to get you to buy things to give as gifts for Christmas. I’m not here to judge anyone on that. Ceci and I do our part every year to keep America’s retailers in the black. We love to give gifts to our family, our friends, our staff, and ministry partners. Besides, the Bible does talk about gifts being given by the Magi to the Christ child. That set the precedent. 

Well, maybe our culture does go a little overboard with this, but it has become traditionally a time to give gifts of some kind to those we love, and to those we appreciate. It is also a time many think to give to those who are struggling. Let’s talk about that for a minute. We often set aside funds throughout the year to give gifts to our family and friends. What would happen if we planned set aside something to give to the poor? What if we set aside a portion throughout the year to give more significantly to those that have a need in some area? Many like to give toys to children, or items to make holiday meals. Maybe we could give new coats to a family. Maybe we could set aside money to give as a scholarship to a good student who can’t afford college. How about sending a youth to a sports camp next summer? Someone may feel led to help raise funds to help an elderly person on a fixed income with utility or medical bills. There are lots of ideas and these are just a few of them. If we are blessed by God, let us consider giving in a meaningful way to the poor among us this Christmas and every Christmas from here on out. I can feel the Lord smile on that.

“But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” (1 John 3:17-18; ESV)

Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:

  • Are you aware of those who are struggling with poverty in your community? Intercede for them.
  • Do you know of any services that reach out to meet the needs of the impoverished or financially struggling in your city or area? They may include food banks, soup kitchens, and homeless shelters. Look and see if there are job training and/or placement services, school meal supplement programs, such as Kids Eat Free, among others. Intercede for those groups. 
  • Pray for your local utility companies’ supplemental programs that help low-income and fixed-income customers keep their heat and lights on.
  • Does your church have a good benevolence program. If not, consider asking your pastor if you can start one. (Our church once had a $1 fund. Everyone planned to bring $1 a week for the poor. We had a separate offering box for it. It can add up to quite a good sum of money, if all of your regular congregants are participating.)
  • Consider making a donation to one of the organizations you just prayed for.
  • Begin now to make your plan to be ready to do more next year to touch those in need.

A prayer you can pray:

Lord, You are a loving God and You truly care about those who are poor. Many times, just because life is hard, people find themselves temporarily or permanently impoverished. I know of the struggles of life and I don’t ever want to get to a place where my heart is hardened against the needs of others. Keep my heart as soft as Yours, Jesus. Help me see as You see the needs. I want to be wise, but generous, and without judgement. Open my eyes to see the need nearby me. Help me know what organizations and programs exist to meet the needs in my community. Hear my prayers and intercession to bring them together. Give me favor with my church leadership or congregants to form programs to help our church better reach the poor in our vicinity. Jesus, You are the Provider. You are the Giver. You grant Life and that abundantly, and I want to be Your hands extended wherever possible. Amen.

Today’s decree:

We will be those who purposefully plan to care for the poor among us. 


20
Dec 2019

Emmanuel—God With Us

In that wonderful worship service, God is with us. In that Christmas children’s play at your local church, God is with us. In that powerful Tuesday morning men’s prayer meeting, God is with us.

To the couple discovering they will soon be parents, God is with us. To the newly engaged to be married, God is with us. To the one receiving long-awaited breakthroughs, God is with us.

In that college student’s long trip home for the holidays, God is with us. In that soldier’s deployment far from home, God is with us. In that single person’s lonely evening, God is with us. 

In that hospital room where a child is ill, God is with us. In that hospice situation where a loved one lays dying, God is with us. In that surprise job layoff, God is with us. 

To the addicted, God is with us. To the depressed, God is with us. To the most hardened hearted, God is with us.

To the mother on her knees praying for her prodigal, God is with us. To the father trying to figure out how to meet his family’s needs, God is with us. To the pastor feeling like he doesn’t have enough to give, God is with us. 

Whatever your circumstances are this Christmas season, know this: Jesus is God with us. He is our hope of Glory. He is our Savior, Redeemer, Comforter, and Friend. He cares about You. No matter who you are or what your circumstances are, He is with you and will not ever leave you or abandon you. You can call on Him. You can cry out to Him. You can rest in Him. He has answers, when you have none. He is a friend to the lonely and a comfort to the one far from home. He is God and He is with you! If you do not know Him as your Savior yet, then this is your perfect opportunity. Just acknowledge Jesus as God, accept Him as your Savior, and make Him the Lord of your life today. He is right there. Waiting. You just haven’t known it, yet.

“Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, ‘God with us.’” (Matthew 1:23; WBT)

Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:

  • Can you see Jesus with you in your circumstances? Thank Him for being with you through the good times and the challenging times. Know He is close to you today.
  • Intercede for as many people as you can think of today. Consider their unique situation and pray that they will know Jesus is right there with them. 
  • Send someone you have prayed for a text or give them a quick call. Go and visit them, if you have the time. Let them see Jesus through you.

A prayer you can pray:

NOTE: It is rare for me to do this, but I do choose to on occasion, and this is one of those times. In order to really get the most out of the prayer time today, you really need to go through the prayer points above. They are very personal to you and those you are familiar with. There is no way I can word what you will want to say to the Lord about your own life or about those He lays on your heart. I can’t write a prayer that tells you what to say in a text or a phone call. So today, I am asking you to go hang out with Jesus. Then, the two of you talk together about those who need to know He is with them. Go be Jesus with skin on to someone else today. Make their Christmas a little brighter. Help them to see the One the season is about. God bless you.

Today’s decree:

Jesus is Emmanuel, God with us. May the world recognize Jesus this Christmas.


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