Archive | January 2016

Bible Helps on Who/What/How to Pray

Last November, after asking God to show me how to pray more wisely and fervently, and for the people that HE desired, I looked to His Word for guidance. To the back of His Word to be exact. I looked up PRAY in my Bible’s concordance and started studying the verses listed. They really opened my eyes and I began to pray for the people who came to mind with each of those passages.

I spent several days – maybe even a week – on each one, praying for those whom God revealed from each set of verses. And I would often go back and review the whole list up to that day.

Soon after that, I wrote the post, “Using My Bible’s Concordance to Pray” (, hoping that it might inspire YOU to try it.

Bible study     I found about 16 verses in the Old Testament and 24 in the New Testament of my concordance (yours may be different, depending on the version you use). Some verses were very similar and I grouped these together.

Here are a few more that I found in the Old Testament:

6. pray for the “wicked” that God would repay injustice on them, or…. if they repent, that He would show them mercy. (You’ll find lots of these in today’s news, and they are hard to pray for.)

7. pray for myself by confessing my sin and my need to depend on God.

8. pray for those who are burdened, depressed, and despondent because of the battles going on in their lives. (emotional, marital, physical, spiritual)

9. pray for peace in Jerusalem (that the Gospel would be proclaimed, heard, and believed; so that the perfect peace of God would reign in hearts)

10. pray for those who worship idols (literally, in 3rd world countries, and here in the US, where we make money, fame, possessions – anything that we desire more than knowledge and fellowship with God – into an idol)

11. pray for “kings and governments.” I included law makers, legislators, the military, financial, economic & health leaders, police, courts, judges etc., so that we can live peaceable lives and have freedom to share the Gospel. (specific names, if you can – remember this is an election year!)

12. AND THEN CAME A FEW SCARY PASSAGES!  We are NOT to pray for, intercede for, or cry out to God for – people who willfully refuse to hear His Word, obey His commandments, or repent. We are to only warn them. (especially hard if these are loved ones, but trust God)

A week before Christmas, I began on the New Testament references for PRAY.

13. (this one out of order, but I was studying in there) pray for the children of the faithful – that they will “walk in the truth.”

14. pray for those who persecute you for righteousness’ sake

Bible study.prayer15. (A how-to passage) pray with the heart attitudes that Jesus taught his disciples, avoiding those that “puff up” your ego (those won’t be heard anyway).

16. (Another how to passage) pray the “attitudes and aspects” of the “Lord’s Prayer.”

And that’s where I am today.  I will spend more time on #15 and #16 before going on. There is so much to learn about the way of praying that God hears, loves and answers.

STAYED TUNED, I know there is so much more I (we) can learn in the New Testament about WHO to pray for, WHY they need prayer, and HOW to pray for them as God desires.  Be sure to let God bring specific people to mind as you study, and pray for them that day, week, or however often you recall them. Otherwise this study is only “head knowledge.”

Thank, You Father for showing me this way to pray for others. Help me to fellowship and commune with You in prayer and Bible study every day.

How Do You Answer Such questions?

What day is this?

“Why, it’s Tuesday.” (There’s only one answer to this one, although you might add the month and date, depending.)

What am I supposed to be doing? I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing!

“The laundry, washing the dishes, taking out the trash, writing thank-you notes, feeding the dog….”  (lots of answers to this question, depending on the time and situation and person).

Question marks1But, what if these questions are asked repeatedly, over and over, in an unceasing, annoying, frustrating, pull-your-hair-out-by-the-roots-and-scream way, many, many times a day?

What if they are asked by someone you love, someone who is struggling mentally to understand?

The easiest (but perhaps not the best) way to reply is to answer their question directly.

Then answer the question a second time.

old man2Then, answer it again. And again. Try not to let your voice get sharper and your blood pressure higher. Try not to say, “You just ASKED that question, aren’t you LISTENING?” or “Why do you want to KNOW?” or “It’s TUESDAY, TUESDAY, TUESDAY!!!” (By that time, it may be Wednesday. You might have to check your calendar.)

But that’s just it. YOU can check your calendar with understanding. YOU can see what you need to do, where you need to go, who you need to call, what event is coming up that you need to prepare for.

They probably can’t.

How about that second question? It’s maybe a bit easier to keep your cool because you can answer it – at first – in a variety of ways. “Oh, honey, all you have to do is just sit there and look at your magazine.”  “Oh, nothing. Just enjoy the sunshine.”  “Right now, just finish your sandwich.” “Nothing! You aren’t supposed to be doing ANYTHING….Sweetheart.”

old lady3For a loved one who has worked hard all their life, been on a busy schedule with lots of responsibilities, to not have anything to do is frightening and worrisome.

What if they are forgetting something important? What if they are supposed to be some where and will get into trouble if they don’t show up? What if…?


I’ve had only a little experience with questions like this.  And I admit, I am not a good care giver. I’m not patient and kind, as the scripture says. Not long-suffering and slow to anger, as God is. Not loving and gentle, as Jesus was with the little children, which is what so many of our elderly are becoming like.

It’s so frustrating. It’s so heart-breaking.

While I was praying this morning and reading the Bible, God gave me some wonderful ANSWERS to those questions.

What day is this?

old man.woman“This is the day that the LORD has made! Let us rejoice and be glad in it!!” (Perhaps sing a song or two that they have known, or a simple chorus. Encourage them to sing along. If they are able, encourage them to get up and dance a few steps.)

This is the day of salvation! Let’s not harden our hearts against God, but say aloud all the wondrous things  He has done for us, especially for saving us from our sin, by sending Jesus to die in our place!

(Say honestly and with sincerity, “Thank you, LORD!” Encourage them to think about what they are thankful for. This may be hard, but keep at it, give them hints.)

What am I supposed to be doing? I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing!
old lady woman4Here are some wonderful things from God’s Word that you can tell them they are “supposed to be doing” (as are all believers):

–Rejoice in the Lord. (Show them how!)

–Sing songs, hymns, choruses (aloud and to themselves).

–Pray for a friend (or an enemy or a missionary). You begin and let them pray too.

–Confess your sins to God. (Remind them He forgives.)

–Share (preach) the Gospel. (Have them tell their testimony – how they were saved – if only to YOU, it will be priceless, I promise, and they are sure to remember long ago events.)

–Praise (magnify) God for some of his attributes. (Loving, slow to anger, compassionate, powerful, kind, forgiving, healing, protecting.)

–Read the Bible. (If they can, or talk about familiar passages they might know or have memorized.)


I’m encouraged by this.  Maybe it won’t satisfy them in the long run, but I can turn some of these frustrating times (and annoying repetitive questions) into precious moments spent with a loved one,  together with the LORD.



Forgetting and Pressing On


“But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” ~~~ Philippians 3:13-14

Sometime in the future I want to write a post on Forgetting and Remembering – the things that God forgets and the things we are to forget, and the things that God remembers and those we are to remember – but for now, on this first day of January in 2016, I want to write about FORGETTING and PRESSING ONWARD.

Happy New Year 6

Yes, December 31st is always a good time to review the previous year, remembering what happened in those 365 days; how God used them to teach you, discipline you, encourage you, and grow you. A good way is to peruse your journals (if you keep them) or your prayer lists, or even your appointment calendar.

You will find that GOD has been faithful beyond any expectations, and that YOU have failed Him in many ways and at many times.  But you will also find, if you have truly sought Him in prayer and Bible reading, that you are – with His omnipotent help – becoming more like Jesus.

In the opening scripture, that is just what the upward call of God IS – to be transformed more and more into the image of His Son.

Happy New Year 7


So, today, on January 1st, resolve (if you make no other resolutions) to press on toward that “upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”



PRAY and ask God to give you a heart for Him; a humble, repentant, teachable heart. Ask Him to show you your sins and give you the strength by His Spirit to forsake them and not yield an inch to them…ever.  Tell Him of your desire to love and know Him more. Ask Him to guide you every day, and then follow that guidance.  IN everything and FOR everything, give thanks to Him (it’s a sacrifice of sorts, I know) for, if you truly want to follow Him, all those things are in His will for you, and will work for your good and for His glory.

READ the Bible a lot! Daily, several times a day. Listen to it being read and explained. Study it. Memorize it as God leads you. Ask Him to open the eyes and ears of your understanding so your knowledge of HIM will increase; not just intellectual knowledge (which brings pride), but heart knowledge (which will humble you). Long to truly know Him, as an intimate friend who will never leave you, as a dear Father who loves you unconditionally, as a constant companion to comfort and guide you, and as the savior of your eternal soul. Soak in the Words of His book. Sing them. Pray them back to God. Rejoice in them.


Happy New Year 5