We are given power…

“… we are given power to meet the demands and the needs that are waiting for us in the ministry yet to come.

From my morning readings in “The Power of His Presence” by Ray C. Stedman.

 Moon Rise behind the San Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm by “Caveman Chuck” Coker

Moon Rise behind the San Gorgonio Pass Wind Farm, a photo by “Caveman Chuck” Coker on Flickr.

I always think the power must come from me.  I’m doing this, aren’t I?  But no.  Things go much better if I look to Him for the wisdom and the power.

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By his words and his example…

“By His words and His example, Jesus taught us to reach out to people in need. If we preach only the spiritual side of the gospel and fail to live out the compassionate side of the gospel, then we become like the Levite and the Pharisee in the parable of the Good Samaritan (see Luke 10:33), passing by human suffering with a shrug of indifference.”

from “Friend of God, the Legacy of Abraham, Man of Faith” by Ray C. Stedman

Contemplari by Lawrence OP
Contemplari, a photo by Lawrence OP on Flickr.

We are called upon not just to think on God, but to act in His kingdom, for His children.  I thought for a long time that my chronic illness made this impossible for me.  Those of you who have been sharing my journey know that I found that that is not true.

I invite you to think about how you can act for God, and to put those ideas into place!

 

Just as a magnifying glass focuses…

“Just as a magnifying glass focuses the light of the sun, turning solar rays into intense heat and power, so prayer serves as a lens to focus the power of God on a single place or person.”

from “Friend of God, the Legacy of Abraham, Man of Faith” by Ray C. Stedman

power of the sun by spacepleb

power of the sun, a photo by spacepleb on Flickr.

Father, I want You to be magnified in my life…

Let my heart be broken…

“I once heard of a man pray, “Lord, let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God.” That is a hunger for partnership with God. That is the heart’s cry of a believer who truly wants to be used by God to further His work in the world.”

from “Friend of God, the Legacy of Abraham, Man of Faith” by Ray C. Stedman

Waiting for Rain in Burkina Faso by United Nations Photo
Waiting for Rain in Burkina Faso, a photo by United Nations Photo on Flickr.

But once my heart is broken, I want to be able to help.  Just feeling bad about a situation isn’t enough.  So I pay attention to the things around me, that are heartbreaking, that I can help with, if only a little.

Christian love is not just a sentimental emotion, it is the springboard for service.

Our circumstances may not change…

“Our circumstances may not change as a result of our time in prayer, but we will be changed. The problem or crisis we’ve prayed about – the chronic illness, the shattered relationship, the financial struggle – may still be there. But something will be changed within us: the inexplicable peace of God will displace our anxious thoughts.”

from “Friend of God, the Legacy of Abraham, Man of Faith” by Ray C. Stedman

Bible Study by .:[ Melissa ]:.
Bible Study, a photo by .:[ Melissa ]:. on Flickr.

Our tendency is always to ask God to change the world in answer to our prayers.  But sometimes it is much more fruitful to ask Him to change us, to change our hearts, to change our expectations.  I often find that, when I am feeling lost, alone, overwhelmed by things in my life, prayer helps me remember that God is always beside me.  If I feel alone, it’s because I am facing the wrong direction.  I need to remember to turn around, and see the loving Father who is always there.

 

God gave us his Word to show us how to live…

“God gave us His Word to show us how to live. He intended that we should live for Him and live for others, not just for ourselves. True, circumcised, godly joy comes from serving God and serving others. The fruit of the Spirit and a life devoted to servanthood – these are the true marks of God’s ownership.”

from “Friend of God, the Legacy of Abraham, Man of Faith” by Ray C. Stedman

IMG_2206 by USDAgov
IMG_2206, a photo by USDAgov on Flickr.

God did not do this to make us miserable.  He did it so that we could be fulfilled, and live meaningful lives.  Helping others can bring us much more joy and contentment than we would have if we only considered ourselves.

What is the function of the fruit of the Spirit?

“What is the function of the fruit of the Spirit? Why does God enable these qualities of love, joy, peace, gentleness, goodness, patience, meekness, and self-control shine forth from our lives? Is it for our private enjoyment? No, God produces the fruit of the Spirit in our lives so that we can share this fruit with others.”

from “Friend of God, the Legacy of Abraham, Man of Faith” by Ray C. StedmanGuatemala: compartiendo manzanas by xeni

Guatemala: compartiendo manzanas, a photo by xeni on Flickr.

Sharing.  That is what NeedlePrayer is about for me.  It’s sharing my joy, my sadness, my longing, my faith. It’s about reaching out to others, offering them the road to the blessings God has given me.