Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, June 24, 2012

What is Prayer?





Why do you pray? Is it because your parents taught you to do so? Is it because praying is one of the disciplines of religion? What is the real intention behind your prayers? Do you pray to get something from God or do you pray to know and glorify the God of heaven? 
What is prayer all about? Before we discuss prayer, meditate on God the Supreme Being to whom we direct our prayers. Who is He? He is the Creator of all life, the Savior of the world, and the Sustainer of our lives. He is the Potter who molds us, the Shepherd who watches over us, the Bridegroom who redeems us, the Architect who rebuilds us, the Victor who delivers us, and the Physician who heals us. He revealed Himself through Jesus Christ, saving us from our sins. After Jesus’ death and resurrection, He sent the Holy Spirit to strengthen us for daily living. He is the Great I AM, the personal God that knows our every need. He is faithful and true. So if God embodies all the above characteristics, if those attributes describe Him, why do we continually ask Him in prayer to give us things He’s already given? He won the victory over all things, so why don’t we ask Him in prayer how we can better serve Him and bring Him glory?  
Elijah prayed a prayer that promoted worship and honor to God. He desired to be a conduit through which the powers of God would be seen and His glory displayed. Read about the experience in 1 Kings 18 and focus on verses 36-37. They read:
At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, O Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.”  (NIV)
In his flesh, Elijah probably wanted people to know that he was right about the God of all creation; he might have yearned for vindication. In his spirit, he desired to bring glory to God; he wanted God to validate His worth and cause people to praise Him. He sought after the revelation of the glory of God.
I know as MPs we long for the deliverance of our children, possibly even ourselves, and our prayers reflect that desire. Our prayers aren’t wrong, but they may be a bit off-balance.. We need to take our eyes off our own circumstances and the solutions, and focus on God the Deliverer and His glory. God has already won the victory over Satan at the cross. All we need to do is pray believing that our Victor has given us victory in Christ. We need to pray that what we know about God will be known in all the earth, and we need to ask how we can be a part of bringing glory to His Name in our homes, churches, schools, communities, and cities. 
So what is prayer? It is lifting up our praises to the God of glory and asking that His victorious will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Ask God to fill your heart with a longing to see Him glorified in your situation. You might even ask, “How can I help?” Pray the prayer of Elijah, crave God’s glory, and believe He is who He says He is! Your prayer of worship will be answered because you will have touched the heart of God, and His glory will fill your surroundings.
Answer us, O Lord, so the people around us will know that you are God. Turn their hearts back to You, and to You we give all honor and praise. We pray believing in the mighty name of Jesus Christ. AMEN.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Daddy God


My earthly daddy was a preacher. My Heavenly Father is the Maker and Redeemer of the world. What did my daddy here on earth teach me in life that will help me to understand my Daddy God?
It is Father’s Day and we give thanks for fathers. Many fathers are great examples of the Heavenly Father’s love while some are not. My daddy relayed and displayed glimpses of God’s love and for that I give thanks. Some people haven’t had an earthly example of God’s love, but we all have been given a Savior who is Christ the Lord and His revelation can be found in the Word of God. Praise to our Heavenly Father!
It’s Sunday morning and if I close my eyes and go back in time, I can hear Dad rehearsing his sermon in the dining room. That recurrent Sunday morning sound reverberated through the kitchen door of my childhood home while we ate breakfast. After everyone was dressed and ready, we headed out the door and walked to church (it was right next door; I grew up playing on the church grounds and the parking lot).
We first attended Sunday School. Afterwards we put on our robes and joined the choir as the church service began. My three sisters and I were always warned by Daddy not to talk during the service or the sermon; the promise of him stepping out of the pulpit and taking us outside laid before us. Once we were home and enjoying Sunday dinner, Daddy raised questions concerning the sermon. Ah - those were the days - Sunday inquisitions! Sometimes I passed and sometimes I didn’t (probably because I was daydreaming - sorry Dad). My dad might not have always been happy with the results of his quizzes, but he pursued in his example of being committed to the Word of God. 
Dad opened the Word of God to us, not only on Sundays, but nearly every morning of the week. As we finished breakfast, Daddy read daily devotions and prayed. The school bus usually tooted its horn as we tried to rush Daddy to say “Amen.” It might have seemed as if we weren’t paying attention or even interested in morning devotions, but an example of allegiance to our Lord was being established in our hearts. 
Loving discipline was regularly enforced in our home. Loyal devotion as husband and father was consistently displayed in our home. My dad, together with my mom, exhibited and expressed love that exemplified our Heavenly Father’s love. We didn’t grow up in perfection, but we were taught love and faithfulness. Thank you, Dad and Mom!
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.  Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (NIV)
I know my daddy loved the Lord and I believe his desire was to obey that Scripture from Deuteronomy. It’s been seven years since he left this earth to live with His Heavenly Father, but his legacy lives on in our family. If he were here today, he would be so proud to hear his great-granddaughter singing songs about Jesus! Thank you, Daddy, for teaching us about our Heavenly Father’s love! To God be the glory!
Happy Father’s Day to all!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Bookends of God's Grace



For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one can boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10 (NASB)
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed. 2 Corinthians 9:8 (NASB)

The Alliteration of God's Grace
Throw down the thorns of trials before the trusted throne of Christ,
Take all temptations and turmoil to the One True God.
With thanksgiving, repent and return to your Savior
As you dwell in sanctuary with Jesus, our Great High Priest.
Sacrifice the strain and the stress of sin and slavery,
Surrender all sorrows to the Servant who saves.
Sing songs of praise and worship, satisfying your soul
As you dwell in sanctuary with Jesus, our Great High Priest.
In the midst of mayhem, move toward the Merciful God,
He will minister His grace while meeting all your needs. 
The manifested mercy of the Maker brightly shines
As you dwell in sanctuary with Jesus, the Great High Priest.
Forgiveness is found in the arms of the faithful Father,
Generous grace is given through Jesus Christ, His Son.     
Power is promised in the presence of the Holy Spirit
As you dwell in sanctuary with Jesus, our Great High Priest.
Communion with the Father creates an overflow of compassion,
Carrying the cross of Christ demonstrates the gift of grace.
With confidence, approach the Triune God—Three in One
As you dwell in sanctuary with Jesus, our Great High Priest.
Grow in the grace of God as He sufficiently supplies all needs,
Giving to others His gift of grace with a grateful heart.
Glorify His name with honor and gratitude 
As you dwell in sanctuary with Jesus, our Great High Priest.
Receive the generous gift of God’s grace and marvelous mercy,
Believe with undivided heart that all your needs are met.
Overflow with generosity and give glory to our God
As you dwell in victory with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Debbie Crawford - 2012
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.  Ephesians 3:20-21 (NKJV)
Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.  Hebrews 4:16 (NIV)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

AMEN


It occurred to me this morning, as I quietly sat before God, that He wants what we want. His desires become our desires when we are truly walking in the Spirit with Him. And what is it that we MPs want? We yearn for our children and families to know the fullness of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. AMEN!
A prodigal does not yet know the fullness of God. He/she is seeking something; that’s why they wander. We all are creatures made by God, made in the image of God. Within us is a yearning for Him, to know Him. Prodigals get confused by externals, so they go after the visuals. But faith does not work like that!
It’s the same for those of us who are praying for prodigals. We sometimes focus on the circumstances instead of believing that God loves our children more than we can even imagine. And if He loves them more that we do, isn’t it His desire that they return to their God-given senses as well?
God’s promises are given through His Word and He is faithful to see them fulfilled. Do you accept His Word or are you still pleading with Him? True faith is totally confident that the invisible God has a visible answer for each of us. AMEN!
Our MP prayer group is studying God the Shepherd. We began our study in John 10. There are 42 verses in that chapter, but verses 27-29 spoke powerfully to us. Hear and believe these words:

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.  (NASB)   AMEN!
Do you believe those words spoken by Jesus? He said them and He meant them; He was a Man and is a God of honor. It’s as if He said AMEN when He finished speaking. Don’t we say AMEN after we pray? Do you know what that powerful four-letter word means? It means “Let it be so” and expresses the faith we should have in our faithful God. Hear what Paul says about the word “Amen.” He says in 2 Corinthians 1:20 (NASB): For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us. YES and AMEN! I can’t say anymore to those statements. God said it, He meant it, and He will do it! 
Do you yearn for answered prayer? Dwell on God and who He is in Jesus! Believe in your heart that He is faithful to His Word! Trust Him to reveal His promises in our lives in His time! Read His Word (below) and rest in His promises! AMEN!
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.  John 3:16-17 (NASB)
“Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth;
For I am God, and there is no other.  Isaiah 45:22 (NASB)
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.  Hebrews 11:1 (NASB)
Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it.  Psalm 37:4-5 (NASB)
If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.  Matthew 21:22 (NIV)
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.  Mark 11:24 (NIV)
But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.  James 1:6 (NIV)
For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.  Philippians 1:6 (NASB)
For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ. And so through him the ‘Amen’ is spoken by us to the glory of God.  2 Corinthians 1:20 (NIV)
The end of a matter is better than its beginning...  Ecclesiastes 7:8a (NIV)    AMEN!!!