The Christian Prayer Center wishes everyone out there a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, 2013. 2012 was a tough year for many, capped off by the terrible incident at Sandy Hook Elementary School. As that event was unfolding, all of us were praying deeply for the families and for the entire town that will be grieving for many, many years to come. We praise that strong town for coming together, from various faiths, to support eachother in their unthinkable suffering.
For the coming year, we ask that everyone try to be a better neighbor, friend, uncle, father, sister, etc. There are lots of guesses why people are shooting themselves randomly all too often now, but if this world could use one more thing from all of us – it’s love. Show extra care and love, especially to those who you know aren’t receiving it. As Jesus would have done, return hatred with kindness, greed with generosity. Show the lonely some company, be generous with the selfish. Remember to read your bible, say grace with at dinner time, and pray day and night.
Amen, and God Bless. Have a wonderful Christmas Day and remember that our Lord and Savior, was born on this day.
Do you need a prayer for healing? When all is lost, it is often prayer that can be most effective. God can provide healing of many forms – financial, physical, emotional, and relationship healing. Prayer can mend the tears that come with time and circumstance, and bring us closer to the Lord. When we believe with all our hearts in the power of worship and the words of the Bible, the Lord blesses us.
“My children, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh.” Proverbs 4:20-22
Kneeling before God shows the ultimate trust in his abilities, and pleads for His mercy. If you suffer in silence or let your neighbor suffer in silence, God will not know if you need help. When He is summoned, he is there to help and to heal your wounds. Emotional scarring, financial indebtedness, relationships that seem beyond repair. This is God’s arena! No challenge is too large for Him.
In the story of Job in the bible, the Lord shows us the ultimate suffering in man. He shows us that the world can bring terrible atrocities to one’s life. He also shows us that with faith and prayers for healing, we can get better. We can form new lives, we can recover from our injuries, we can cast off bad relationships and replace them with good ones. Ask for the strength to believe and rely on worship. Give it a try, you’ll be pleased at how well it works.
One of the most glorious aspects of Christianity is that we are all part of one whole. We all worship the same God, we try to live our lives by the same principles and levels of integrity, and when we are in need, we are taught to help each other. As a Christian, you should never struggle in solitude, loneliness, or frustration that there is no one there to help or listen to you.
“Let us consider how to stimulate one another and to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24-25
As a result of these great Biblical decrees, Christians can find themselves in the company of those who are willing and able to comfort, educate, and assist them in various ways.
Even as a pastor of a church, one who is in charge of leading his congregation, there are services that can help him. One such service that many churches are in current need of is that of web development. If you are a minister of a church, or you are in touch with a leader of your congregation, you can suggest Sharefaith, which is an excellent resource for church website development.
If you are a member of a congregation, or you are not currently attending church services, there are many resources for you to continue your Christian education and understanding of Christ. If you have some extra time, I also suggest you peruse the praise and worship website, which you should find helpful and comforting.
In your days as a Christian follower, remember that you are part of a community of millions. These are people who are your brothers and your sisters, and those who are here to aide and guide you, just as they expect the same. God Bless.
One of the most difficult issues for the Church today is how to meet needs of the poor. However, Scripture makes it clear that an important exercise of our faith is to care for those less fortunate than we are. We find references to caring for the poor in James 1:27; 2:14- 16, Matthew 6:4 and many other places.
One of the more interesting passages is Mark 10, where we find the story of a man known as the “rich, young ruler” who inquires about the way to eternal life. Christ immediately places a daunting hurdle in front of him: “go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” (Mark 10:21) If we keep reading, we find that the rich, young ruler was so saddened by that news that he chose not to follow Christ. It is clear that the riches that this man possessed were more important to him than eternal life!
Scripture mentions the poor and the subject of money all through its pages. Here are five principles that the Church needs to understand if it is to carry out this aspect of missions:
1. The Rich Are to Have Open Wallets
As it says in Matthew 6:24, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”
What better way to demonstrate the One you serve than to give away your money and earthly possessions? If you have more than you need, why do you hold back from helping those who are less fortunate than you?
This passage in 1 Timothy 6:17-19 is even more clear: “Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches…instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future…”
Those whom God has blessed with monetary blessings in this life have been entrusted with a responsibility to use those resources on behalf of others.
2. The Poor Outside the Church Are a Lower Priority
While the believer is called to be a good citizen and help neighbors in need, the goal of the Church is not to eradicate poverty at large. Poverty is a societal ill that we will always have with us as Jesus said in Matthew 26:11. Instead, the command is to be obedient to meet the needs of brothers and sisters in Christ. In James 2, the person who needs clothing is a “brother or sister” and in Galatians 6:10, we read that we are to “do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.”
The Church is not to see itself as the solution to world poverty and the Church is not to use the issue of poverty as a marketing ploy in order to increase its political status. Rather, the Church is tasked with the responsibility to help poor believers within the Church.
3. There Are People Who Should Not Be Helped
There are three types of poor individuals who should not be helped by the Church. The first is a lazy person, “if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either.” (2 Thess. 3:10)
The second person is a young widow – a widow who still has the ability to work or to marry. When the Church gives aid to such a widow, it may encourage her to fall into sin. (1 Timothy 5:9-16)
The third type of person who should not be helped financially by the Church is a man who allows his family to suffer neglect because of his laziness. In fact, this type of man is considered to be a pagan! 1 Timothy 5:8 says, “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
4. The Poor Who Are in the Church Are Rich
When the rich are generous to the household of faith or the Church, they make it possible for both themselves to be rich in eternal life and for the poor to be rich in this life. In Mark 10:29-30 we read: “There is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.” When the poor in the Church are working hard and the rich are being generous, the entire body of believers is blessed.
5. The Redemption of the Soul Is the Goal
Meeting the physical needs of others is one of the best ways to live out one’s faith, but it is important to emphasize that eternal life must be kept as the most important object. When helping another person with clothes or food or money, do not neglect the Gospel and that person’s soul.
God has promised that if we submit and obey Him in this life – and that includes our finances – He will amply meet our needs (Philippians 4:19). Yet, if we worry over our wealth and seek to hang on to it at the expense of others, we run the risk of losing our souls. Mark 8:36-37: “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? For what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”
The issue of money and meeting the needs of the poor in the Church is treated extensively in the Bible and we have not even scratched the surface of what could be said about this topic. The most important thing for you to examine is whether or not your church is meeting the needs of those within the membership? Furthermore, are you personally doing all you can in order to carry out God’s command to care for the needy?
Without one very important book, it is unlikely that Christianity would have survived in its current form for so many years. Its blessed teachings would have been lost or misconstrued, and the gospel of our Lord never would have been as far reaching. Clearly, I am speaking of the Bible. Over the centuries, the Bible has been translated into many different languages, and updated for modern understanding.
We give credit to writers of past and present for their contribution to the understanding of Christ, and in their service of transferring these teachings to us. I have been lucky enough to come across one such Christian community that rewards the advancement of literacy, and Christian writing. If you get a chance, and you are inclined to publish your writings, I encourage you all to check out the Faith Writers website. Please join their community and hone your literary talents. God Bless.
The wonderful thing about the Bible is that it is appropriate for all ages. Lessons can be learned, and wisdom extracted for children, adults, and seniors alike. From stories of Job, to the trials of Moses and Jesus Christ himself, we can all study human stories of faith and triumph from our Holy Book.
If you are looking for a place to find resources for teaching your kid about the Bible and its teachings, I recommend you check out a great place for finding bible lessons for children.
Read about the lessons from the books of Peter, Paul, Job and more.
One of the best things about being a Christian is the strong sense of community that we all have. We have been taught to love and cherish one another, and help out when we have the chance. I stumbled upon a great resource for learning about money, and also a place where you can tell that the author truly cares about helping Christians. If you get a chance, take some time to do some reading about money management and growing your nest egg. The site is titled Christian Money Growth, and it appears to be a great resource. The same nice woman who runs this site also has an online resource for bible studies, which I would definitely recommend to anyone hoping to improve their knowledge of the new and old testaments. It is through our knowledge and understanding of the scriptures that we can begin to be better in the eyes of God.
“One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.” Proverbs 11:24-25
There is another great reason why God blesses those who give freely versus those that withhold what they should give. Generosity does not just take the form of giving to God’s work, but it also includes the giving we do to our friends, family, and neighbors. God wants us to be benevolent in all aspects of our life. When he sees that we help other people freely, he can comfortably give us blessings of finances in our lives, since He knows that we will be fair stewards to distribute what we have been granted. If God were to give financial blessings to people who never gave freely, God would not be serving all His children. Stinginess in God’s eyes is a terrible trait, and one that He never rewards with financial miracles. This is strategic, though. If He were to give to those who never gave, His work would not be fulfilled.
Giving needs to be done on a regular basis, and seeds planted in all manner of places. Just like a real garden, crops cannot grow unless you plant seeds in the soil. If you plant a single small seed, it will take time to grow, and its fruit will not be bountiful. If you plant an acre of seeds in rich soil, your harvest will be enough to feed many families. You will have so much leftover that you can preserve your crop, store it, and share it. This is God’s will, and one of the ways He gives us to differentiate our faith from the faith of others. Goodness of heart, and selflessness are qualities that allow God to create a blessed society as a whole, instead of several individuals who seem to have everything.
“The Lord detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but the prayer of the upright pleases him. “
We have talked a lot about the types of things we often request in prayer. Following the essential principles of prayer, these gifts will come to you easily. In addition to these more fundamental concepts, I am often asked about how to confront evil. Evil is something that exists throughout the world in many forms. Understanding these forms and where it comes from can help us use prayer to fight evil. Many people wonder why evil exists. Quite simply, evil exists because we allow it to. Without the cooperation of mankind, the devil would be completely powerless.
Shutting down the devil’s power is easy to do as long as we understand how he operates. One of the devil’s favorite tools is temptation. He will try to lead us astray by offering us short cuts that require only small compromises up front. Later on, once he knows we are vulnerable to making small compromises, he will work his way up to larger ones. The best defense against this type of attack is to resist all forms of temptation, no matter how large or how small. How can we identify when the devil tempts us? It is usually quite easy. If we are ever unsure, a strong relationship with Jesus will help strengthen your resolve. You can think of Jesus like a friend who walks by your side. If you treat this friend with respect and honor what he has to say, your friend will help keep you out of trouble.
“For, dear brothers, you have been given freedom: not freedom to do wrong, but freedom to love and serve each other. For the whole Law can be summed up in this one command: “Love others as you love yourself.” But if instead of showing love among yourselves you are always critical and catty, watch out! Beware of ruining each other.”
God placed us on Earth with many freedoms and opportunities. In his many natural processes that he has laid down, he has given us hints and commandments about how to best live. In exchange for our obedience, He blesses us richly with his miracles. One of the most important freedoms that he has given us, is the freedom to love others as we love ourselves. He has given us the option to forgive our enemies instead of gaining revenge. God has lead us to be cooperative and not competitive, to be nice to others, instead of being mean to them. When we are good to others, God sees this, and wants to bless us for our efforts.