Should Christians Celebrate Valentine’s Day?

“Does St. Valentine’s Day Have Pagan Origins?”

Excerpts from various studies on the history of Valentine’s Day:

Christian Valentine?

From: biblestudy.org

Did you know that centuries before Christ, the pagan Romans celebrated February 15 and the evening of February 14 as an idolatrous and sensuous festival in honor of Lupercus, the “hunter of wolves”?    But how did this pagan festival acquire the name of St. Valentine’s Day? And why is the little naked Cupid of pagan Rome so often associated today with February 14? And why do little children and young people still cut out hearts and send them on a day in honor of Lupercus, the hunter of wolves? Why have we supposed these pagan customs in honor of a false god are Christian? (Read more here.)

From: thercg.org

As innocent and harmless as St. Valentine’s Day may appear, its traditions and customs originate from two of the most sexually perverted pagan festivals of ancient history: Lupercalia and the feast day of Juno Februata.

Celebrated on February 15, Lupercalia (known as the “festival of sexual license”) was held by the ancient Romans in honor of Lupercus, god of fertility and husbandry, protector of herds and crops, and a mighty hunter—especially of wolves. The Romans believed that Lupercus would protect Rome from roving bands of wolves, which devoured livestock and people.

St. Valentine’s Day originates from the ancient paganism of this Satan-influenced world. It is designed to deceive mankind by appealing to fleshly, carnal desires—or, as the Bible calls them, the works of the flesh. “Now the works of the flesh are manifest [made obvious], which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry…drunkenness, revellings, and such like” (Gal. 5:19-21). Do any of these sound like Lupercalia to you?

Read what God commands His people concerning pagan customs and traditions: “Learn not the way of the heathen…For the customs of the people are vain” (Jer. 10:2-3). Also notice Christ’s words in Matthew 15:9: “…in vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”Throughout the Bible, God describes “heathens” as those who worship things that He had created (animals, the sun, the moon, stars, trees, etc.), or man-made idols, or anything but the one true God. He calls such people and their practices pagan. True Christians understand that God hates any customs, practices and traditions that are rooted in paganism. (Read the rest of the article by clicking here.)

From: lasttrumpetministries.org

The sad fact is that most people never question the origin of the customs that they involve themselves with. Most people do not ask questions but do what everybody else does, never stopping to consider how the Almighty God of Heaven feels about their activities.  When we consider that Valentine’s Day is a day  of preoccupation with the heart, it is essential that we listen to the following words spoken by the Almighty, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his wages, and according to the fruit of his doings.” Jeremiah 17:9-10

It should be without saying that the Christians should avoid Valentine’s Day like a plague.  In God’s eyes, it is still “Lupercalia”, the “Day Of The Wolf.” Men become wolves, as they carry on the Satanic rituals of fornication, which means sexual intercourse without marriage. We have heard of the “wolf whistle”, and we all know that wolves do not whistle. It is lustful men and women, who carry on Satan’s blasphemy  to this very day.

In conclusion, we must ask ourselves, “Should a true Christian be associated in any way with this celebration of evil roots? Should we be doing what the heathen have done for so many years  and try to justify it as love?” Romans 12:2 answers this very well, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed  by the renewing of your mind…”   (Read the rest of the article by clicking here.)

From: “Valentine’s Day as a Pagan Holiday”:

(even the atheist believe it has pagan origins)
Isn’t Valentine’s Day a Christian day, named after a Christian saint? When we consider the matter more closely, we don’t find a strong relationship between Christian saints and romance. There is a lot of debate and disagreement among scholars about the origins of Valentine’s Day. We’ll never be able to disentangle all of the cultural and religious threads in order to reconstruct a complete and coherent story, but the pagan connections to the date are much stronger than the Christian ones. (Read the rest of the article by clicking here.)

From: GotQuestions.org “What is the origin of Valentine’s Day and should Christians celebrate it?”

This is an excerpt from one writer at GotQuestions.org

There is no biblical reason why Christians should not celebrate Valentine’s Day by giving their loved ones flowers, candy and/or cards. As with celebrating any holiday, the decision should be between the individual and God. Some people feel very strongly that observing any secular holiday is wrong, while others see it as harmless. The important thing to remember is that celebrating or not celebrating holidays should not be a cause for pride or division among Christians.

Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/Valentines-Day.html#ixzz2zuhaKjt9

You decide – in everything give God the glory! ###

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The Seven Realities of Experiencing God

1.4.1   God Works Through His Servants

O – Observation:

Blackaby created the foundation of the Experiencing God teaching on what he called the “Seven Realities of Experiencing God,” they are:

  1. God is always at work around you.
  2. God pursues a continuing love relationship with you that is real and personal.
  3. God invites you to become involved with Him in His work.
  4. God speaks by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, prayer, circumstances, and the church.
  5. God’s invitation for you to work with Him always leads you to a crisis of belief that requires faith and action.
  6. You must make major adjustments in your life to join God in what He is doing.
  7. You come to know God by experience as you obey Him and He accomplishes His work through you.

 

Throughout the Experiencing God teaching – the author reveals each part of the Seven Realities to help us understand how to truly “experience” our relationship with Christ. Blackaby refers often to the Seven Realities, so it’s important to know them and understand the meaning. When I studied this I was especially moved by number 4 – God speaks by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, prayer, circumstances, and the church. Because of Reality #4, I was able to know when and how God was speaking to me. Especially as I journal and read the bible, journaling helps me to look back at what I learn and in the present, journaling helps me to take a piece of a larger part of the scripture reading and apply it to my life.

 

It’s important to see that S.O.A.P. works well with the Seven Realities – because we can read and have “head knowledge”; however nothing the dictionary definitions of the bible mean nothing unless we apply biblical teachings to our lives.  In Reality #6 – you may find the most challenging – because this is where we apply, “make major adjustments” in our lives and “join God in what He is doing,” not just what we want to be doing.

 

Read from: Experiencing God – Unit 1 – Day 4: God Works Through His Servants Part 1

S – Scripture:

“Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.” Amos 3:7

 

A – Application:

I can apply this reading and scripture to my life by remembering the Seven Realities of God – mainly by knowing when and how the Lord is speaking to me and making both major and minor adjustments in my life to join God in His work; by doing these things, I am pleasing to the Lord. My desire is work towards the goal, of the Lord saying, “well done, my good and faithful servant.”

 

P – Prayer:

Father, I thank you for your love and grace. I ask that you forgive me for my sins, my actions and words that were not uplifting to others and did not bring you glory. I ask that you help me to remove the pride and ‘chip off my shoulder’, to know and do your will with a grateful heart. In Jesus name, amen.

Date: 23 March 2010

©   @mLehua – 2010 – All Rights Reserved

Reading My Devos on My Blackberry Storm

There’s a great application for your phone – I use it on my blackberry Storm – it’s called YouVersion.   Just go to: http://www.youversion.com/

download the application for whichever phone you have.  Click on the “Reading Plan”

Click on the “View Reading Plans”

Scroll down to the second to the last ‘reading plan’ and you’ll see “Life Journal Reading Plan”

Poof !

There you have the Reading Plan that I wrote about when I first began my journal blog.

Enjoy! Now we don’t have any excuse if we can’t find our reading plan or our bibles! 🙂

Why Did Jesus Speak in Parables?

Today’s Date: Feb 19, 2010

Why Did Jesus Speak in Parables?

Reading: Leviticus 7:28-9:6 ~ Mark 3:31-4:25 ~ Psalm 37:12-29 ~ Proverbs 10:5

S – Scripture:

Mark 4:33-34 “Jesus used many similar stores and illustrations to teach the people as much as they could understand. In fact, in his public ministry he never taught without using parables; but afterward, when he was alone with his disciples, he explained everything to them.

O – Observation:

Today’s scriptures goes well with Jan 19, 2010 journal entry entitled, “Storytelling Secrets.”  That was from the book of Matthew. Now Mark is confirming that Jesus taught in parables, yet with his disciples he went into detail of exactly what he was telling them. It’s always great to hear a great speaker, but if you’re one of the “inner circle” or being “mentored” by that leader – you will have the inside “scope” so to speak – of what they are really saying. In today’s world we are always trying to figure out what the successful business person’s secrets are, or what the athlete does to be ahead of everyone else in their field, or how a one person can share their vast amount of knowledge to the masses.

In the times of Jesus, he had 12 disciples that he taught personally. Yes he would go out and teach large crowds of people, but it was his disciples who had his ear, they were able to ask questions and clarify what his teachings were. In today’s world we do similar things. One person can teach millions of people, however they have a small group of people they mentor, because they know they cannot do all the work and when they are no longer able to get their message out, someone else can carry on their work.

GotQuestions.org has a explanation:  http://www.gotquestions.org/Jesus-parables.html

Here’s an excerpt: Matt 13:10 Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, And seeing you will see and not perceive; For the hearts of this people have grown dull.

From this point on in Jesus’ ministry, when He spoke in parables, He explained them only to His disciples. But those who had continually rejected His message were left in their spiritual blindness to wonder as to His meaning. He made a clear distinction between those who had been given “ears to hear” and those who persisted in unbelief—ever hearing, but never actually perceiving and “always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7).

A – Application:

In today’s verses I am reminded that Jesus left us the Holy Spirit to disciple us – along with his people who are gifted as teachers and pastors to teach us what is written in the Word of God. I was not there during the time that Jesus walked the earth, however he said that he would leave us the Holy Spirit and God’s Word (the Bible) to help us, to mentor us, to explain the details of our past, future, God’s will and how we should live our lives and purpose.

P – Prayer:

Father I thank you for your Word. Without the Word of God – our lives are null and void. Give us the wisdom, knowledge, and understanding to do your will, understand your Word, and serve with a grateful heart. In Jesus name, amen.

© elehua808 – 2010- All Rights Reserved

God Hears Your Cry

Today’s Date: February 15, 2010

God Hears Your Cry

Reading: Exodus 37:1-38:31 ~ Matthew 28:1-20 ~ Psalm 34:11-22 ~ Proverbs 9:9-10 (www.OneYearBibleBlog.com from Feb 14, 2010)

S – Scripture:

Psalm 34:17-18 “The LORD hears his people when they call to him for help.  He rescues them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those who are crushed in spirit.”

O – Observation:

Here’s an excerpt from the “God and Man in Proverbs” via OYBB:

~I am sure all of us have moments of needing help.  Moments of trouble.  Moments of being brokenhearted.  Moments of being crushed in spirit.  The big question is what do we do in those moments?  Or, who do we turn to?  Do you call to God in those moments?  Do you know that he will help you?  Do you know that he will rescue you?  Do you know that he is close to you?  Do you know that He is near? ~

It’s interesting to read in Psalm 34 that this is the Psalm of David, when he pretended to be insane in front of Abimelech in order to be sent away. Then David wrote this passage – to fear the Lord, to receive comfort and eternal happiness. I know that the Lord hears me as the scriptures say to ask and ye shall receive, based on God’s will. David knew that God would take care of him and rescue him, yet he still pretended to be “insane” in order for Abimelech to let him go. It worked. I’m not sure what this has to do with what David wrote in chapter 34, but maybe it’s something to do with the lesson that David had to go through in order for him to learn that God would take care of him and so that we (the generations after) would be able to learn from David’s ways.

A – Application:

I can apply these verses to my life by trusting in the Lord to take care of me even when I am in the scariest of situations. I am reassured that the Lord hears me when I cry out to him, he is close to me when my heart is broken; which is defined as, “having your spirit depressed or crushed by grief or despair.”

P – Prayer:

Father I thank you for your love. Thank you for hearing our cry for help and rescuing us when we are in trouble. You are our Savior, our Lord, and our redeemer. Thank you for forgiving us for our sins, even when we lack faith and trust – allowing us to learn through our experiences so that we can serve you and others better. In Jesus name, amen.

OYBB = OneYearBibleBlog.com

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© elehua808 – 2010- All Rights Reserved

Fear of God

Today’s Date: Feb 12, 2010

Fear God

 

Reading: Exodus 34-35:9, Matt 27:15-31, Psalm 33:12-22, Proverbs 9:1-6

S – Scripture:

Psalm 33:18 “But the Lord watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love.”

O – Observation:

What does it mean to “fear” the Lord, if God is love, why would we fear him? We should look at the phrase, “fear of the Lord,” or “God fearing”.  We’ve often heard these terms but do we really know and understand why?  I believe this is a good definition of the word fear, as used in the bible:

*Fear:  Although there are occasions in the Bible when the word fear represents the human emotion of terror (Exod. 23: 27), there is also a fear which means awe in the presence of the holy (Eccles. 12: 13). This fear induces a hatred of evil (Prov. 8: 13).

There is also awesome fear in the NT, as when the women were told about the Resurrection (Mark 16: 8). ‘Those who fear God’ or ‘God-fearers’ is a technical term applied to pagans who attended a synagogue but shrank from circumcision (Acts 10: 2).

We should note that in Psalm 33:18 it’s the “awe” of the Lord that induces a hatred of evil. God wants us to reverence him.  Like most of us, whomever raised us as our parents / caregivers, we loved them, and yet we feared them in a way that sometimes was because of the consequences of our misbehavior and even when we didn’t know if they would approve or not, it was a fear of reverence – wanting to please our parents. 

A – Application:

I fear God the same way, yet more intensely because no one is above God. He is our Lord, he gave us his son Jesus for our sins and he is our Savior. Our parents gave us physical life and we were entrusted to them on this earth, yet the Lord has given us eternal life. Thus, above my parents, my spouse, and all others, I fear God above all things, in turn he promises to ‘watch over us’.

P – Prayer:

Father I thank you for your patience, love, and understanding. Lord, I thank you for opportunities – to share your Word and your grace. I ask that you show me your will and allow me to know and do your will with a grateful heart. In Jesus name, amen.

*definition of fear found here – encyclopedia.com.

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© elehua808 – 2010- All Rights Reserved

Gods Promises

Today’s Date: February 10, 2010

 God’s Promises

 

Reading: Exodus 30:11-31:18 ~ Matthew 26:47-68 ~ Psalm 32:1-11 ~ Proverbs 8:27-32;  Blackaby’s Devotional: 2 Corin 1:20

S – Scripture:

“For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.”  ~2 Corin 1:20

O – Observation:

It’s interesting to note that Blackaby makes mention of John 16:23b “If you ask for something in His will He will give you what you ask.” – I’ve heard people take that same verse and say, “ask for whatever they want and they should get it because they prayed in Jesus name.” However so many forget that if it’s not God’s will, then the answer is no or not yet. This is Gods promises – God didn’t promise us everything we want. He said he would provide food and shelter – like the birds of the air. He promised us a mansion in heaven, John 14:2 – nowhere did he say he’d give us a Mercedes and a mansion on the beach of Hawai’i.

Here’s an excerpt from GotQuestions.org:

Question: “How do I know which of God’s promises are for me?”There are literally hundreds of promises in the Bible. How can we know which promises apply to us, which promises we can claim? To frame this question another way, how can one tell the difference between general promises and specific promises? A general promise is one that is given by the Holy Spirit to every believer in every age. When the author penned the promise, he set no limitations on time period or recipient.

Answer:

An example of a general promise is 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” This promise is based on the forgiving nature of God and is available to all believers everywhere. Another example of a general promise is Philippians 4:7, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” This promise is made to all believers who, refusing to worry, bring their requests to God (v. 8). Other examples of general promises include Psalm 1:3; 27:10; 31:24; John 4:13-14 (note the word “whoever”); and Revelation 3:20.

1) Promises are often conditional. Look for the word “if” in the context.
2) God gives us promises to help us better submit to His will and trust Him. A promise does not make God bend to our will.
3) Do not assume to know precisely when, where, or how the promise will be fulfilled in your life.

A – Application:

I will look up at least one promise a day for the next seven days, pray and praise God for it. I will share God’s promises with others. I will remember that whatever I pray for in the name of Jesus Christ will be answered if it is in accord with God’s will and timing. I will have peace and comfort knowing that all things work together for his good.

P – Prayer:

Father I ask for peace in all areas of my life: marriage, family/friends, pets health, work, ministry, finances, accountability, fellowship, righteousness, comfort, knowledge, guidance – in no particular order, I ask for the Holy Spirit to guide me, protect me, and show me your will. So that I may do your will with a joyful heart. I ask for forgiveness of my sins. In Jesus name, amen. ###

© elehua808 – 2010- All Rights Reserved

Gods Will – Not Our Own

Date: February 09, 2010

God’s Will – Not Our Own


Scripture Readings: Exodus 29:1-30:10 ~ Matthew 26:14-46 ~ Psalm 31:19-24 ~ Proverbs 8:14-26  : OYBB

S – Scripture:

Matt 26:39 “Jesus went on a little farther and fell face down on the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will, not mine.”

O – Observation:

Today’s scripture reading in Matthew talks about Jesus’ talking to the disciples about one of them betraying him, communion, and his death.

The scripture that stand out for me is where Jesus knew why his Father sent him on this earth, to die for the sins of the world; and that he would take on God’s wrath for everyone’s sins – Jesus knew that he would receive pain and suffering; as his son, Jesus “fell face down on the ground” and asked his Father in prayer, “If it is possible” don’t let this happen to me, yet humbly and out of obedience Jesus also said, “Yet I want your will, not mine.”

How much of a sacrifice Jesus made for all of us. That is why he is the Savior of this world. He is the mediator between God the Father and us. The Word of God says that God, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are one, yet all fulfilled a different purpose at a different time – the Trinity – yet all represent the same consistent message – God is love. He came and spoke to his people that he created. People sinned, so God said he would send His son as Savior among the people. When Jesus was to leave this earth, he told the people that he would leave the Holy Spirit, which would live within you as a counselor, guidance, and the Word of God which is living. All these things worked hand in hand so that we would understand who God is and know that he wants his will to be done and we may not know all the “why” questions, but if we are obedient and wish to be followers – we pray, Let your will be done, not my own. Jesus is our greatest example of doing God’s will.

A – Application:

It’s easy to pray this prayer, yet as many things in live and in learning God’s word, how to be obedient. Wanting to please the Lord, placing Christ first in all things (Mt 6:33). Like Simon Peter who told Jesus, we would never betray you – if our lives were on the line could we still declare Jesus as our God? We won’t know until we are put in that situation. This scripture goes along with the threads in my mind that say, “What is my purpose on earth?”  Is the answer as simple as to love God and his people? There’s all this “other stuff” that God commands us to do – basically it’s about our relationship with God and our relationship with those around us.  We then get bogged down with the day to day living, working, temptations, conflicts, actions and reactions – why would God allow such complexity?  I ask myself this as I’m busy doing one thing after another, stressed by finances, relationships, commitments, etc  – and I have to stop and pray, like yesterday’s devo – God doesn’t want us to be anxious for anything – the resolution is prayer – and he promises us peace.

P – Prayer:

Lord Jesus, we thank you for your word. I’m thinking your word is simply put in the bible, with our Father’s history, guidance, instructions, resolutions, and predictions – yet we make our lives complicated and because we have choices – we sometimes tend to go in a different direction then where we should be going. Lord I ask for your forgiveness. Correct me and show me my wrong doings – help me to be less oppositional when it’s not your way and I’m trying to do my own way – help me to know your will and do it with a joyful heart. Help me to love others as you have called me to, even when others don’t know you and/or don’t want to follow your ways – help me to love them they way you need me to and your will be done. In Jesus name, amen.

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The End of the World

Today’s Date: February 06, 2010

The End of the World

Reading: Exodus 23:14-25:40 ~ Matthew 24:29-51 ~ Psalm 30:1-12 ~ Proverbs 7:24-27

S – Scripture:

Matt 24:36  “However, no one knows the day or the hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows.”

O – Observation:

Matt 24:29-51 these scripture verses describe the “signs” of Jesus returning, and Matt 24:35 “Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will remain forever.” It’s an interesting time that many people have tried to predict, movies and books were written about it; yet the bible says, “NO ONE knows” when the time will come “ONLY the Father knows” – we aren’t God so why do people predict. Worse yet, why do people believe those who say they know?  I don’t really know, except that maybe we always want to prepare.  So why not do what the bible says? In Mt 24:42 “So you, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know what day your Lord is coming.”

I would assume people would be concerned that if they sin or fall out of God’s grace that they would not go to heaven so they want to know when he’s coming back, so they could be ready. I know it’s a difficult thing to do, that’s why we are told to “keep watch”; share the Good News of Jesus, and always be prepared, asking the Father for forgiveness for any sin, keep in prayer and devotion to Him.

A – Application:

I believe that we all, at some time or another have wondered, “how much longer” will I be on this earth. For some it’s a thought when they are given the news of a deadly, sometimes incurable disease. For others the thought comes when they hit a certain age in life, or when a close family or friend dies, in which they want to die themselves due to the loss. I don’t really hear people talk about the actual time of when the earth would come to a complete END.  It’s a scary thought, so we live our lives day by day and more people probably ask the question, “what happens to me after I die, than what happens when the world ends.”

I’m sure every every professing Christian, who has a personal relationship with Christ knows the answer of where they are going. However most people believe that if they life a “good life”, be nice to others and don’t commit some heinous crime, they will go to heaven or they don’t believe in a heaven or hell; and that’s the extent to their thoughts on the end times, more so, what happens when they die.  However if you have a personal relationship with Christ, you know that if you just live a “good life” you will not go to heaven. Now I won’t get into any debate on the issue. I’ll just show you what the Word of God says, here’s a great reply by the folks at GotQuestions.org:

Question: “How can I know for sure that I will go to Heaven when I die?”


Answer: Do you know for certain that you have eternal life and that you will go to Heaven when you die? God wants you to be sure! The Bible says: “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13). Suppose you were standing before God right now and He asked you, “Why should I let you into Heaven?” What would you say? You may not know what to reply. What you need to know is that God loves us and has provided a way that we can know for sure where we will spend eternity. The Bible states it this way: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

We have to first understand the problem that is keeping us from Heaven. The problem is this – our sinful nature keeps us from having a relationship with God. We are sinners by nature and by choice. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). We cannot save ourselves. “For by grace are you saved, through faith, and this not of yourselves – it is the gift of God. Not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). We deserve death and hell. “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).

God is holy and just and must punish sin, yet He loves us and has provided forgiveness for our sin. Jesus said: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Jesus died for us on the cross: “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous to bring you to God” (1 Peter 3:18). Jesus was resurrected from the dead: “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification” (Romans 4:25).

So, back to the original question – “How can I know for sure that I will go to Heaven when I die?” The answer is this – believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved (Acts 16:31). “To all who received Him, to those who believed in His Name, He gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12). You can receive eternal life as a FREE gift. “The gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). You can live a full and meaningful life right now. Jesus said: “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). You can spend eternity with Jesus in Heaven, for He promised: “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you may also be where I am” (John 14:3).

Prayer of Salvation:

-If you want to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and receive forgiveness from God, here is a prayer you can pray. Saying this prayer or any other prayer will not save you. It is only trusting in Jesus Christ that can provide forgiveness of sins. This prayer is simply a way to express to God your faith in Him and thank Him for providing for your forgiveness. “God, I know that I have sinned against You and am deserving of punishment. But Jesus Christ took the punishment that I deserve so that through faith in Him I could be forgiven. I place my trust in You for salvation. Thank You for Your wonderful grace and forgiveness! Amen!” –

P – Prayer:

Father I thank you for your love and mercy. You gave us your Word and the Holy Spirit that dwells in us, as a living guide, a book of direction, a spirit for discernment – so that we can do your will and serve you as well as those you have entrusted to us. Father forgive me for my sins. Reveal to me any actions or words that come from me, if they need to be changed or corrected to reflect you. We know not the time of your return, only that we need to be prepared. I pray that my friends and family will come to know you in a personal way. I ask that anyone is reading this and has not given their life to you, to have a personal relationship with you that they will ask that you become real to them and be your child, forgive them for their sins, cleanse them and make them whole. In Jesus name, amen.

If you’d like more information on “How to Know God,” please look on the right column under “Blogroll” – click on the link that says, “01 How to Know God.”  May God bless you!

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© elehua808 – 2010- All Rights Reserved

Why Pray?

The Prayer

Steps to Knowing God: Pray

Here’s a re-post of – “How to Know God: Pray” by Harvest.org click here to read more about them.

Prayer is as essential to knowing God and growing spiritually as breathing is to living and staying healthy. Just as you need to communicate effectively to be a good employee or spouse, our walk with God is only as strong as the communication between you and Him.

You might ask, “If God already knows what we need before we ask, why even bother praying?” Scripture makes a very strong case for prayer in the life of the believer.

  • Jesus told us to pray. Luke 18:1 says, “Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart.” We should pray simply because Jesus told us to and emphasized it in His life and teaching. There really is no better reason to pray than this.
  • Prayer is God’s appointed way of obtaining things. James 4:2 says, “You do not have because you do not ask.” Do you ever wonder why you never seem to know the will of God for your life, why you never have any opportunities to lead others to the Lord, or why you always seem to be scraping by? Maybe you haven’t seen answers because you haven’t asked God. He wants us to experience the blessings of seeing our prayers answered, such as the salvation of a loved one, a divine healing, or a wonderful provision. But we first have to ask.
  • Prayer is the way by which God helps us to overcome our anxiety and worry. Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”When you come to God and present your fears and anxieties to Him, He will give you His peace and comfort. That doesn’t necessarily mean He will take away whatever it is that is causing your worry. But you can know that He is with you, helping you persevere.

  • Prayer is one of the ways we make ourselves ready for the return of Jesus Christ. Luke 21:34–36 says, “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will be as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” As believers living in the last days, our lives should be characterized by watchfulness and prayer (see also Mark 13:32-33).

Whatever concerns you may have at this moment, it is always time to pray! Remember, Scripture tells you to “[cast] all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).

The Bible identifies several different types of prayers we can pray. One model for how we should pray is captured in the acrostic A.C.T.S. Each letter stands for a specific aspect of prayer, arranged in a very natural order.

A: Adoration (Worship)
C: Confession (Of Specific Sins)
T: Thanksgiving (Gratitude)
S: Supplication (Specific Requests)

  • Adoration: Jesus essentially taught us the same thing in the Lord’s Prayer, which begins, “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name” (Matthew 6:9). This puts things in perspective for us. A good example of this type of adoration is found in Psalm 95:1-7. When we take time to praise and worship God in our prayers, we are placing God where He rightfully belongs. As a result, our problems and needs come into their proper perspective.
  • Confession: The closer we draw to God, the more we sense our own sinfulness. When Isaiah came into God’s presence, he said, “Woe is me, for I am undone!” (Isaiah 6:5). The confession of our sin removes any barriers and clears the air of anything that would cause God not to hear our prayers. As 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us . . . ” This is, once again, modeled in the Lord’s Prayer. After “Our Father who art in heaven,” we find, “Forgive us our sins” (Matthew 6:12).
  • Thanksgiving: Our immediate response after confession is thanksgiving. We should be thankful that God would indeed cleanse and forgive us. Should we give thanks because everything is going perfectly in our lives or because we are in a good mood? No, we should give thanks because God deserves our praise. Psalm 118:1 says, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For his mercy endures forever.” As another translation puts it, “His love endures forever.” By giving thanks, or simply expressing gratitude for what we have, we prevent our focus from shifting to what we do not have.
  • Supplication: If we are faithful in the first three steps, the last step will not degenerate into some spiritual shopping list. Too often in prayer, we cut to the chase instead of spending time in adoration, confession, and thanksgiving first. Yet, God does want to hear our needs and requests. Scripture tells us, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6-7). We are also promised, “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:l9).

Do not neglect this vital part of your Christian walk. As someone has said, “Prayer is the breath of the newborn soul, and there can be no Christian life without it.”

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