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November 30, 2011

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

I Timothy 2.8

“I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing!”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

When the Pharisees, teachers of the Law and the Elders brought the woman caught in adultery to Jesus it was with uplifted hands and voices filled with anger and dispute. As Jesus cleared the temple, hands of the moneychangers and onlookers were raised in anger and dispute. When Jesus was brought before the Sanhedrin to stand trial for blasphemy, hands were raised in anger and dispute showing their unity against Him. We watch protests on television as hands are raised in anger and dispute. How wonderful it is that God is honored when the mighty men of God raise their hands in prayer seeking His blessing to rain down like manna from heaven to meet the daily need for God. It stands in similarity in an outward expression but is unique according to the spirit which is holy. It bears witness in testimony to the goodness of God who is willing to forgive and restore. It bears witness to wrongdoing by volunteering to be one of that number who does not condemn but builds up. It bears witness to the simple truth that Jesus is the Son of God, Lord of Lords and King of Kings. Who is with me? (Praying that I see raised hands.)

PRAYER CONCERNS (share your needs and others in the comment section so that God’s Mighty Men can join prayer forces as intercessors of faith, hope and love)

* For the protection of children from predators
* For Israel to have wisdom in deciding to follow God’s leading before military intervention
against Iran amid the news of new sanctions against Iran
* For protection on Christians around the world and the celebration that all life lived in Christ
will be blessed with life in the Kingdom
* For the cessation of violence in Mexico: as long we allow drugs to make cost anything it will
cost us everything!
* For the mission teams sent out by the Church into all the world that they remain safe as they
intercede and plant the seed of faith, hope and love
* For all our military personnel of the past and present for the service they render and the
sacrifices they have made and are making for the sake of our country and for the benefit of
others around the world
* For Mission Waco and the people of China/Hong Kong

PRAYER CELEBRATIONS (where we see Him at work in the world):

* For the breakthrough of a person hiding behind the stronghold of food addiction
* For His Word on what and where our ministry is to be: a given word at worship was “restore”

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, when You could have raised Your holy hand against us because we have sinned and fallen short of Your intention for our lives, You raised Your hand to bless and encourage us and to call us to You. We are so glad to see You say to us “Here I am” and wave for our recognition to know we belong to You. AMEN.

November 29, 2011

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Jeremiah 4.18

“Your own actions and conduct have brought this upon you. This is your punishment. How bitter it is! How it pierces to the heart!”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

Every action has a reaction. The mind of the world tends to complete that statement with an “equal but opposite” reaction. This may be confusing when it comes to acts of charity and works of the Lord because while the world may interpret the opposite of a good action to be a negative one, it is not true in the Kingdom. The opposite of charity to others is a blessing to one’s self. What happens when you only do good for yourself? Well, serving self is not a good nor a positive when you are only serving yourself because that would mean you are not serving God.
Not humbling one’s self and needs to prioritizing service toward others does not attract others to you but repels them from you. So, when someone is wanting to promote themselves by talking about their gifts, talents and abilities it begins to close the ears of others because it sounds like braggadocio. But, when we put those same gifts, talents and abilities to work for others, then God glorifies them so they cannot be ignored. It isn’t that God wants all eyes on you but He does not want any of us to fall off into anonymity and be lost from sight. He put us in the world for a purpose. It is first to honor Him by taking care of the earth. It is second to love one another as He Himself loves us. It is lastly to serve Him by word and deed at all times.

But, as in the days of Jeremiah, when we see struggle and conflict in our lives we must first address our own motives and actions to see what consequences they are having in our life and in the world around us. It is too easy to blame others, including God, for our troubling situation. We must review and renew our lives. What a good thing to know that in times like those, when we seem to be pushing God out and away, just the opposite is happening. In times like those, God is drawing us closer to Him so that we will have His near presence at all times. He is ready to answer and heal.

PRAYER CONCERNS (share your needs and others in the comment section so that God’s Mighty Men can join prayer forces as intercessors of faith, hope and love)

* For the protection of children from predators
* For Israel to have wisdom in deciding to follow God’s leading before military intervention
against Iran amid the news of new sanctions against Iran
* For protection on Christians around the world and the celebration that all life lived in Christ
will be blessed with life in the Kingdom
* For the cessation of violence in Mexico: as long we allow drugs to make cost anything it will
cost us everything!
* For the mission teams sent out by the Church into all the world that they remain safe as they
intercede and plant the seed of faith, hope and love
* For all our military personnel of the past and present for the service they render and the
sacrifices they have made and are making for the sake of our country and for the benefit of
others around the world
* For Mission Waco and the people of Chile

PRAYER CELEBRATIONS (where we see Him at work in the world):

* For the breakthrough of a person hiding behind the stronghold of food addiction
* For His Word on what and where our ministry is to be: a given word at worship was “restore”

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, reveal Your “near” presence to these mighty men of Yours and support them with Your divine encouragement so that their words and deeds may truly honor and glorify You. AMEN.

November 28, 2011

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Genesis 22.8

“And Abraham answered, ‘God Himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.’ And the two of them went on together.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

Why is Abraham called “the Father of Faith”? Imagine what it was like to remain obedient to God as your very own son looked you in the eyes with his soft wondering eyes and asked about the provision of sacrifice when you know God has required him to be the sacrifice. He trusted God even when he did not understand the logic of the request. He knew his life was better when he was obedient to God and followed his commands. He knew his life had been blessed many times over when he walked with God instead of around Him. Abraham knew both sides of the road and the resulting consequences. Yet, at this moment while his insides were churning and his eyes were ready to release rivers, Abraham remained steadfast. Faith was not born into the world by Abraham, God is the author of Faith. But, Abraham was a Father of faith and faithfulness. On the one hand he had the promise of abundant generations which God had given to him. He held that one hand in his own and they journeyed up the mountain where sacrifices were offered. On the other hand he held the means by which God would see the demonstration of his faith as he grasped the reins of the donkey carrying the wood more tightly. He adjusted the knife placed carefully in his belt with uneasy hands. But, still he persisted in trusting God. And then the moment of recognition flooded through his mind when his own son asked, “Where is the lamb to be sacrificed?” How Abraham must have wanted to tell his son and knew that he couldn’t unless fear would be struck in his son’s heart. Abraham was a Father of faith because his son trusted his Father’s answer just as Abraham was trusting his heavenly Father’s answer.

As God’s mighty men, we cannot allow our children to be sacrificed. They must be offered to God alone and not to the sins and vices of this world and their associated task masters. We must keep our children in our hands and give them only to the hands of God who desires our faith and faithfulness. Will we be fathers of faith?

PRAYER CONCERNS (share your needs and others in the comment section so that God’s Mighty Men can join prayer forces as intercessors of faith, hope and love)

* For the protection of children from predators
* For Israel to have wisdom in deciding to follow God’s leading before military intervention
against Iran amid the news of new sanctions against Iran
* For protection on Christians around the world and the celebration that all life lived in Christ
will be blessed with life in the Kingdom
* For the cessation of violence in Mexico: as long we allow drugs to make cost anything it will
cost us everything!
* For the mission teams sent out by the Church into all the world that they remain safe as they
intercede and plant the seed of faith, hope and love
* For all our military personnel of the past and present for the service they render and the
sacrifices they have made and are making for the sake of our country and for the benefit of
others around the world
* For Mission Waco and the people of Chad

PRAYER CELEBRATIONS (where we see Him at work in the world):

* For the breakthrough of a person hiding behind the stronghold of food addiction
* For His Word on what and where our ministry is to be: a given word at worship was “restore”

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, just as You love us as Your children, so we will love those who are given to us as our children. AMEN.

November 27, 2011

First Sunday of Advent, 2011

HIS WORD FOR TODAY: HOPE

Isaiah 9.6

“For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

What a way to celebrate Thanksgiving: Black Friday. It certainly was a black Friday, a day of doom and gloom indicative of the hopeless spirit of the people and the economic nature which holidays reflect. We think this is something new? Imagine how Herod gave thanks for the coming of the Christ who would bring peace, compassion and prosperity to his world. You would think that any government leader would rejoice at having the greatest solution to tough economic and political times. Instead, he initiated his own “Black Friday” by having a Hebrew baby boys under the age of two executed. It was indeed a dark day when infanticide is not only allowed but encouraged. Yet, does it bother us enough to stop its continued practice around the world? The sacrifice of children does not appease the enemy nor the god of the enemy nor the Lord our God. He believed in only one sacrifice of a child and left it to the child to become a man and make His own decision. He sacrificed Himself on our behalf to restore hope into our lives and into the world. What hope is there that we can turn around this desperate situation that grows more desperate each day?

As God’s mighty men, we have been given the perfect means to celebrate Thanksgiving. It is called Advent, preparing for the celebrating of the birth of the Savior of the world. Hope is our first gift of God. Before Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead He asked Mary and Martha if their hope was secure. It was shaky because they had placed their hope in Him to keep Lazarus from dying. Jesus had already declared that Lazarus would die so that God would be glorified. How was God glorified? Because Jesus demonstrated that death was not the threat the enemy had made it out to be. Death was supposed to be the epitome of hopelessness. Where there is death there is no hope. But, Jesus proved otherwise. Where there is death, there is life! Lazarus lived and his sisters and the community rejoiced. Shortly thereafter Jesus would be laid in a tomb as well. His hope was in the Lord, His God. He was not disappointed. Where He lives we shall live as well in a kingdom of peace, compassion and prosperity. There is still hope for this world as long as our hope is in the Lord, Our God. We shall not be disappointed. But, hope is more than a word. It is an action. It is putting our lives on the line for the sake of others. Instead of stealing bargains for ourselves as if bargains will end, we should be offering hope to others about the greatest bargain that will never end- eternal life for free. Yes, someone had to die for it but only one, the Only One. His hope was that we would keep our hope, our faith and our lives. I hope He is not disappointed.

PRAYER CONCERNS (share your needs and others in the comment section so that God’s Mighty Men can join prayer forces as intercessors of faith, hope and love)

* For those who will be leading God’s people in worship, praise and service as we begin this
Advent season with hope
* For an abundantly blessed Thanksgiving season; safe travels, full tables and peace
* For the cessation of shopping violence growing stronger as the economy continues to
challenge many
* For Israel to have wisdom in deciding to follow God’s leading before military intervention
against Iran amid the news of new sanctions against Iran
* For protection on Christians around the world and the celebration that all life lived in Christ
will be blessed with life in the Kingdom
* For the cessation of violence in Mexico: as long we allow drugs to make cost anything it will
cost us everything!
* For the mission teams sent out by the Church into all the world that they remain safe as they
intercede and plant the seed of faith, hope and love
* For all our military personnel of the past and present for the service they render and the
sacrifices they have made and are making for the sake of our country and for the benefit of
others around the world
* For Mission Waco and the people of the Central African Republic

PRAYER CELEBRATIONS (where we see Him at work in the world):

* For the breakthrough of a person hiding behind the stronghold of food addiction
* For His Word on what and where our ministry is to be: a given word at worship was “restore”

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, we put our hope again in Your hands and trust in Your heart. We are not disappointed because You have loved us in a mighty way. Rejoice with Your mighty men today as they proclaim the presence of hope by sharing the joy that Jesus Christ lives! AMEN.

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November 26, 2011

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

2 Kings 4.43

“But Elisha answered, ‘Give it to the people to eat. For this is what the Lord says: They will eat and have some left over.’”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

The story may have a familiar ring from its New Testament counterpart of the feeding of the five thousand. In that story, Jesus took five loaves of bread and two fish and with a blessing fed in abundance and there were twelve baskets of leftovers beside. Elisha had been provided twenty loaves of bread for a smaller gathering of people (one hundred men could have translated to several hundred if they were leaders of clans but still not five thousand.) This story is not about Jesus’ superiority to Elisha nor Elisha’s inferiority to Jesus. Too many churches, denominations and religions love to place value on faith practices by how much was done with how many. The bigger the story the more valid the practice, miracle or gift. I am concerned more for the willingness to invalidate someone’s faith act because of its singularity. How can we say that even one life is insignificant. Jesus taught His disciples about the wrong thinking that goes into even one of God’s little children being lost.

Instead, God’s mighty men need to focus on three important aspects of these stories. They should allow these aspects to guide them in their opportunities to serve. They are as follow:

1) The abundance was provided by someone else. Neither Elisha nor Jesus had the physical provision of bread to offer the people and meet their hunger. God has provisioned us all to offer aid to others. When someone is in need and calls out, God desires first to hear our voice respond in kind, “I have something to give.”
2) God uses whatever we offer to do great things. His desire is to meet the needs of His people and to improve our individual faith identity at the same time. It isn’t about offering what we have if it isn’t also about offering who we are. The blessing of God is as much inward as it is outward. We must have faith, act on our belief and rejoice in the receiving.
3) God’s promise is without fail. God isn’t just about meeting our needs, our daily bread. God is about providing for a day of praise and worship. When the manna came from Heaven there was a double portion on the day preceding the Sabbath so that they people did not have to worry about tomorrow when they were supposed to work, even to cook. God would not ask His people to compromise His law nor their beliefs. He provided leftovers for Elisha and the hundred men just as He did for the disciples after feeding over five thousand people. We cannot believe that God is about just enough. He is about more than enough and we ought to rejoice in the leftovers which gives us time to reflect for more than a day on the blessings we have received.

PRAYER CONCERNS (share your needs and others in the comment section so that God’s Mighty Men can join prayer forces as intercessors of faith, hope and love)

* For an abundantly blessed Thanksgiving season; safe travels, full tables and peace
* For the cessation of hazing practices in all arenas of college life
* For Israel to have wisdom in deciding to follow God’s leading before military intervention
against Iran amid the news of new sanctions against Iran
* For protection on Christians around the world and the celebration that all life lived in Christ
will be blessed with life in the Kingdom
* For the cessation of violence in Mexico: as long we allow drugs to make cost anything it will
cost us everything!
* For the mission teams sent out by the Church into all the world that they remain safe as they
intercede and plant the seed of faith, hope and love
* For all our military personnel of the past and present for the service they render and the
sacrifices they have made and are making for the sake of our country and for the benefit of
others around the world
* For Mission Waco and the people of the Cayman Islands

PRAYER CELEBRATIONS (where we see Him at work in the world):

* For the breakthrough of a person hiding behind the stronghold of food addiction
* For His Word on what and where our ministry is to be: a given word at worship was “restore”

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, we are grateful for the provision and the abundance You have given us. May we use these blessings to be increased inwardly and outwardly so that Your joy may be complete and Your people have peace. AMEN.

November 25, 2011

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Luke 5:37

“And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled out, and the skins will be ruined..”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

With each Thanksgiving season, the traditions of old and new collide. Blended families and cultures challenge the past with a present that impacts the outlook of the future for a continuously changing community. How do we hold to the fullness of time and preserve what is best for all concerned? Even Jesus was confronted with this question and His response was transformational. In many ways, a time of fasting was a declaration of a season of thanksgiving. Those who fasted proclaimed their dependence upon God for provision during a time of purification of the old and preparation for the new. When Jesus was confronted by the disciples of John the Baptizer as to why His disciples did not fast like John’s or the Pharisees, He compared the question to that of the appropriate use of old wine skins. What use is there for old wineskins? If we put new wine into them they will burst with the fermenting new wine and spill what is new and coming onto the ground never to be experienced. Can the old wineskin be refurbished and renewed? It can but it is an arduous process of soaking, anointing and curing. Once done it cannot be done again and in its reuse less of the new wine is prepared. Would we truly settle for less when more is promised? So, what is the purpose of the old wineskin? Perhaps it is a sign of what was and its limits to continue to serve a living and future purpose.

As mighty men of God, we cannot be bearers of old traditions and keep them all to ourselves. Each time we try to renew the old we use more of the taste of new wine until it is gone. We clamour to regain what is used by recreating the old but it cannot be done. One alternative is to keep it all inside and never sharing. But, traditions have a purpose. They are a historical roadmap of transformation from the past to the future. So, each time we are creating a new tradition we are actually putting new fruit into new wineskins. We are renewed- baptized, anointed and mentoring in Jesus Christ who makes all things new. It is so that we can carry on the transformation of what has become old, the ways of the world, into a nearness with what is pure and lovely, the ways of the kingdom. Each occasion is a taste of new wine and ushers in a new generation who bring with them their own experience of the Lord. It is made from the fruit of the vine, the true vine, nurtured and cultivated by the Master vinedresser. When Christ is the Lord of the harvest, the best is not saved for last but brought out as a great gift of faith, hope and love. It resembles a bit of the past and a part of the present but what it shall become only God knows for sure. But, if we try to hold on to the past then what is old shall become non-existant and what is new will have no connection with the past and our glorious future. We cannot throw the baby out with the old wine nor the old wineskin. We must cultivate it with the baptism of faith, the anointing of love and the nurturing of hope. What is old is good. What is new is better. What is yet to come is best.

PRAYER CONCERNS (share your needs and others in the comment section so that God’s Mighty Men can join prayer forces as intercessors of faith, hope and love)

* For an abundantly blessed Thanksgiving season; safe travels, full tables and peace
* For healing of families in turmoil between parents and children
* For Israel to have wisdom in deciding to follow God’s leading before military intervention
against Iran amid the news of new sanctions against Iran
* For protection on Christians around the world and the celebration that all life lived in Christ
will be blessed with life in the Kingdom
* For the cessation of violence in Mexico: as long we allow drugs to make cost anything it will
cost us everything!
* For the mission teams sent out by the Church into all the world that they remain safe as they
intercede and plant the seed of faith, hope and love
* For all our military personnel of the past and present for the service they render and the
sacrifices they have made and are making for the sake of our country and for the benefit of
others around the world
* For Mission Waco and the people of the Cape Verde Islands

PRAYER CELEBRATIONS (where we see Him at work in the world):

* For a wonderful visit with family on Thanksgiving
* For the breakthrough of a person hiding behind the stronghold of food addiction
* For His Word on what and where our ministry is to be: a given word at worship was “restore”

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, as these three times comingle; past, present and future, be the Lord of all Time and bless us with wisdom to know what is to be kept, understanding of what needs to be left behind and the knowledge of what is yet to come so that Your Will shall be done on earth as it is in Heaven. AMEN.

November 24, 2011

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Psalm 30.1

“I will exalt you, O Lord, for You lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

God is not a sidewalk supervisor. He is a hands-on God. He sees us in our distress and need. He knows we have put ourselves into many of those troubling situations and that we are experiencing the natural consequences of our decisions and actions. But, He loves us and will not leave us in the quagmire of our sin so that our “I told you so” friends and enemies do not have the last word. Trust in the Lord, mighty men of God, follow Him all the days of your lives. Give thanks to Him who is your salvation, your rock and your provision. Reach up to God because He is reaching down for you. His Hand is wide open and His reach is long. His presence will silence the enemy and bring consolation to your heart, mind and soul. Give thanks to Him for He is gracious and good. His steadfast love endures for ever. Rejoice and be glad in this day for He has made it for you that you can refresh and reflect in the knowledge of His mercy and grace.

PRAYER CONCERNS (share your needs and others in the comment section so that God’s Mighty Men can join prayer forces as intercessors of faith, hope and love)

* For an abundantly blessed Thanksgiving season; safe travels, full tables and peace
* For healing of families in turmoil between parents and children
* For Israel to have wisdom in deciding to follow God’s leading before military intervention
against Iran amid the news of new sanctions against Iran
* For protection on Christians around the world and the celebration that all life lived in Christ
will be blessed with life in the Kingdom
* For the cessation of violence in Mexico: as long we allow drugs to make cost anything it will
cost us everything!
* For the mission teams sent out by the Church into all the world that they remain safe as they
intercede and plant the seed of faith, hope and love
* For all our military personnel of the past and present for the service they render and the
sacrifices they have made and are making for the sake of our country and for the benefit of
others around the world
* For Mission Waco and the people of Canada

PRAYER CELEBRATIONS (where we see Him at work in the world):

* For the breakthrough of a person hiding behind the stronghold of food addiction
* For His Word on what and where our ministry is to be: a given word at worship was “restore”

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, receive our thanksgiving because You deserve it. We love you. Thank You for loving us as You do Your own Son. AMEN.

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November 23, 2011

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Zephaniah 3.2

“She (Jerusalem) obeys no one, she accepts no correction. She does not trust in the Lord, she does not draw near to her God.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

As Thanksgiving approaches and preparations for meals and celebrations are already underway, it would be interesting to poll and see how many are including a time for God in their midst. Will there be more than a prayerful mention of God’s part in the feast amidst famine, showers of blessings amidst drought and peace amidst chaos? How will we reveal our obedience to God and a willingness to be corrected with a penitent heart and a contrite spirit? How will we express trust in God as we gorge on meat and treats while others must depend upon the kindness of strangers? How will we draw closer to God by taking in instead of giving out? Oh, I stand convicted myself which is why I am writing this reflection which the Spirit has led me to. I stand in front of the sacred mirror which bears the image in which I was created and avert my own eyes wondering how I can now make a difference in what I see and know. As Zephaniah spoke to Judah concerning the impending judgment over Jerusalem and thus all Judea it was with an end in mind. His end was a changed heart and a renewed spirit. His end was a hope fulfilled instead of cast off. His end was the realization of the fullest blessing which God could bestow on a people He loved and loves still. As mighty men of God can we dare say “Better luck next year!” What if this was our “next year”? What if the Day of the Lord is tomorrow or today? Did our preparations for self include our service to others? How can this be a happier Thanksgiving and one that reflects the image of God who is the author not only of our salvation but of our thanksgiving?

PRAYER CONCERNS (share your needs and others in the comment section so that God’s Mighty Men can join prayer forces as intercessors of faith, hope and love)

* For the community of Groesbeck that has only a two week supply of water available; may the
abundance of rain provide the opportunity to refresh and made sufficient plans- God is their
supply
* For an abundantly blessed Thanksgiving season; safe travels, full tables and peace
* For healing of families in turmoil between parents and children
* For Israel to have wisdom in deciding to follow God’s leading before military intervention
against Iran amid the news of new sanctions against Iran
* For protection on Christians around the world and the celebration that all life lived in Christ
will be blessed with life in the Kingdom
* For the cessation of violence in Mexico: as long we allow drugs to make cost anything it will
cost us everything!
* For the mission teams sent out by the Church into all the world that they remain safe as they
intercede and plant the seed of faith, hope and love
* For all our military personnel of the past and present for the service they render and the
sacrifices they have made and are making for the sake of our country and for the benefit of
others around the world
* For Mission Waco and the people of Cameroon

PRAYER CELEBRATIONS (where we see Him at work in the world):

* For the reduction of prison term for the Afghan woman sentenced to not reporting a rape in
time and that a presidential pardon is extended to her and her child born out of wedlock
* For the breakthrough of a person hiding behind the stronghold of food addiction
* For His Word on what and where our ministry is to be: a given word at worship was “restore”

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, show us how we can include others in our thanksgiving so that it is not thanks-receiving. AMEN.

November 22, 2011

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Colossians 4.2

“Devote yourselves to prayer: be watchful and thankful.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

It is so important that when you pray it is with the sense of anticipation, expectation and confidence. As Paul writes to the faith community of Colossae, he urges them to be watchful. Watchful means “be on guard and ever mindful.” Too often we cast our prayers like leaves before the wind. They cannot be a whimsical hope or an aside of legalism. They must be words defined by our desire for God to act and for us to receive. I am reminded of the story of the prodigal son whose father maintained a vigilant watch for the return of his son. We do not know much time the son spent away from his family until his money had run out. It could have been a short time of carelessness and mindlessness. It could have taken longer until his poverty of body, mind, spirit and pocketbook was fully known. Regardless, the father demonstrated his devotion to the son with the position of watchfulness. He asked for God to bring his son safely home and then waited for it to happen. He was not surprised. He was mindful of God’s promise to provide. This mindfulness is a key indicator of the position of thankfulness. The father was already committed to God with thanksgiving. He knew it would happen and he gave thanks to God in advance. He did not sit on the veranda wringing his hands with worry beads. He did not rock in manic concern. He had other business to attend to as well and did so confident from the position of watchfulness. He was aware of his surrounding and knew that God was always with him.

As we come into this season of Thanksgiving, God’s mighty men ought to be committing themselves to devout prayer for the blessings which have already been received and for those which are about to be revealed. Ask for the fullness of blessing to be poured out and watch with a thankful and confident heart for your prayer to be answered. Guard your heart, mind and soul with thanksgiving for a willing God whose desire is to keep watch over you and provide you with exactly what you need for each day given to him. There is no need to worry because worrying is not watchfulness but wariness; it is not thankfulness but conditional expectation.

PRAYER CONCERNS (share your needs and others in the comment section so that God’s Mighty Men can join prayer forces as intercessors of faith, hope and love)

* For the community of Groesbeck that has only a two week supply of water available; may the
abundance of rain provide the opportunity to refresh and made sufficient plans- God is their
supply
* For an abundantly blessed Thanksgiving season; safe travels, full tables and peace
* For healing of families in turmoil between parents and children
* For Israel to have wisdom in deciding to follow God’s leading before military intervention
against Iran amid the news of new sanctions against Iran
* For protection on Christians around the world and the celebration that all life lived in Christ
will be blessed with life in the Kingdom
* For the cessation of violence in Mexico: as long we allow drugs to make cost anything it will
cost us everything!
* For the mission teams sent out by the Church into all the world that they remain safe as they
intercede and plant the seed of faith, hope and love
* For all our military personnel of the past and present for the service they render and the
sacrifices they have made and are making for the sake of our country and for the benefit of
others around the world
* For Mission Waco and the people of Cambodia

PRAYER CELEBRATIONS (where we see Him at work in the world):

* For wonderful rain and cool refreshing air
* For the breakthrough of a person hiding behind the stronghold of food addiction
* For His Word on what and where our ministry is to be: a given word at worship was “restore”

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, we are glad that You are on the other end of our prayers. Hear the prayers of these Your mighty men who are not watching with thankfulness for the blessing You will reveal to them today. Celebrate with them the joy of their fulfillment and the completion of the work that is to be done on their watch. AMEN.

November 21, 2011

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Mark 4.26-27

“This is what the Kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps of gets up, the seed sprouts and grows though he does not know how.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

We enter this season of Thanksgiving whether we want to or not. It is a not a choice as to when Thanksgiving appears on the calendar. It comes as a remembrance of when the Pilgrims escaped to America in order to worship God without reservation. It was not an easy journey nor was it without severe challenges. But, they were not alone. Blessed by God and befriended by Native Americans, the pilgrim community survived. It is a lesson to all mighty men of God as to how we are to remember our own reason to give thanks. We do not survive on our own: we are blessed by God and befriended by a nearby community. We may not see it at first, just like a seed that is planted in the ground. But, as the natural process created by God nurtures the seed so that it sprouts, grows and bears fruit, the seed of God’s Holy Spirit will bear fruit in us. We do not need to understand it as much as we need to affirm it and give thanks. How many times have we said “I have no idea how that happened.” Some may call it coincidence. I choose to call it a Christ-incidence. It was no accident. It was the product of God’s love for us and His love working in us that brings the abundant blessing into our lives. We may hinder the fruitfulness of that blessing because we are still imperfect, but the seed will grow as it was created so to do. If the ground of its being is good then the harvest is plentiful. The same can be said for our own lives. Tend the to the ground of your being, mighty men of God, and watch what God can do in you for the good of others.

PRAYER CONCERNS (share your needs and others in the comment section so that God’s Mighty Men can join prayer forces as intercessors of faith, hope and love)

* For an abundantly blessed Thanksgiving season; safe travels, full tables and peace
* For healing of families in turmoil between parents and children
* For Israel to have wisdom in deciding to follow God’s leading before military intervention
against Iran amid the news of new sanctions against Iran
* For protection on Christians around the world and the celebration that all life lived in Christ
will be blessed with life in the Kingdom
* For the cessation of violence in Mexico: as long we allow drugs to make cost anything it will
cost us everything!
* For the mission teams sent out by the Church into all the world that they remain safe as they
intercede and plant the seed of faith, hope and love
* For all our military personnel of the past and present for the service they render and the
sacrifices they have made and are making for the sake of our country and for the benefit of
others around the world
* For Mission Waco and the people of the Burundi

PRAYER CELEBRATIONS (where we see Him at work in the world):

* For the breakthrough of a person hiding behind the stronghold of food addiction
* For His Word on what and where our ministry is to be: a given word at worship was “restore”

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, cultivate the ground of our being Lord so that we can produce a mighty harvest of faith, hope and love to feed a world that is hungering and thirsting for righteousness. AMEN.

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