TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 7

PRAYING THE SCRIPTURES

I don’t know about you, but when I pray I sometimes wonder if what I’m praying for or about is in alignment with God’s will. One way to have more confidence that my prayer is in agreement with God’s will is to pray scripture over the situation. I learned a long time ago that there is always perfect alignment among God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. God the Son (Jesus) is referred to as “logos” the Word (John 1:1-5). The Word of God and the Holy Spirit will never contradict each other. That is one way to test something that you feel you are being told by the Holy Spirit. If it contradicts scripture, it is likely not being understood by you or it is not from the Holy Spirit.

This capital campaign we are about to embark upon, is not about paying off a debt or a building, but is about being better able to minister to the needs of our community. It would be very difficult to do Feed the Need or Room in the Inn if we did not have the space to provide these ministries. We could not all sit down together for a meal without the space needed. At any rate, when we pray the Scriptures, we can be assured that we are praying according to God’s will. There are hundreds of promises to be found in the Scriptures, but you may not know where they are. If you have a concordance you can look up a word or phrase and see the scriptures that contain that word. Many Bibles have a concordance in the back of the book. If you use an online Bible, there is usually a “search” function that works much the same way as a concordance. There are also dozens of “Bible Promises” booklets, brochures and even bookmarks.

Here are some scripture promises regarding charity, hospitality and money. I got these from a little book called “New International Version: The Bible Promise Book” published by Barbour Books of Westwood, New Jersey.

CHARITY

Psalm 41:1,2 “Blessed is he who has regard for the weak, the Lord delivers him in times of trouble. The Lord will protect him and preserve his life, he will bless him in the land and not surrender him to the desire of his foes.”

Proverbs 19:17 “He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward him for what he had done.”

2 Corinthians 9:7Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

Notice it doesn’t say what he has decided in his head, but in his heart.

Proverbs 11:24,25 “One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withhold unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.”

A prayer using these scriptures could go like this: “God, you are the Father of charity, when I was yet a sinner, you sent your Son to pay the price for my sins. I pray Father that you will prompt me to give freely and generously so that I might refresh others. I pray that you would open my eyes to the weak and poor in the world and in my community, maybe even in my church or family. I ask you to watch over me and my family and continue to bless us. In the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, Amen.”

HOSPITALITY

Acts 20:35 “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

1 John 3:17 “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the lover of God be in him?”

Romans 12:13 “Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”

A prayer using these scriptures could go like this: “Father God, I cannot help but think of the welcoming attitude our Lord Jesus had with people. He did not hang out with the ‘religious’ people, but with the sinners, the sick, the children and those who were often rejected by their communities. Help me to look out for the weak and to take pity on those in need. Help me to put that pity into action and to share what I have, the gifts and graces I’ve received from you. Help me to share your love with those who stand in need. In the name of our Savior, Jesus, Amen.”

MONEY

1 Timothy 6:17-19 “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way, they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”

Deuteronomy 8:18 “But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.”

Proverbs 22:2 “Rich and poor have this in common: The Lord is the Maker of them all.”

A prayer using these scriptures could go like this: “Oh, Father, you know how consumed I can be with gaining wealth and success in this world, but your word reminds me that my hope is truly in You, that you will provide for my needs and my comfort. Thank you for your loving kindness to me. Help me to share that loving kindness with others. It is by your gifts and graces that I can do all that I do and I am forever grateful to you for your generosity. Help me to remember that you are the creator and Father of all, rich and poor and that you love us all the same. Help me to love others the way you love. In the precious name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.”