Blog.

Prayer & Scriptural Devotional

This is a great prayer outline mixed with Scripture readings.  Simply walk through the outline while you look up the passage of Scripture.

  • THANKSGIVING AND PRAISE PRESENT YOURSELF TO GOD (MARK 12:30)

Think of a fresh reason to thank Him (Psalm 100:4, 118:24)

Present your body in worship (Romans 12:1; Psalm 63:3,4) by:

  1. Kneeling before Him as your Lord
  2. Lifting you hands to Him as your Source
  3. Standing in praise before Him as your King
  4. Clapping your hands with rejoicing
  5. Dancing with joy as a child
  6. Bowing your head in humility

Sing a new song to Him (Psalm 96:1,2; Colossians 3:16)

Invite Holy Spirit assisted praise (Jude 20; 1 Corinthians 14:15)

  • CONFESSION AND CLEANSING PRESENT YOUR HEART TO GOD (PROVERBS 4:23)

Ask God to search your heart (Psalm 139:23,24) for:

  1. Sin - receive cleansing and righteousness
  2. Selfishness - receive holiness and sanctification
  3. Stress - receive life and power
  4. Sickness - receive healing and strength

Remember the danger of self-deception (Jeremiah 17:9; 1 John 1:6-10)

Set a monitor on your mouth and heart (Psalm 19:14, 49:3)

Ask God to help you keep His purposes and goals in view (Psalm 90:12; Philippians 3:13-14)

  • ORDER AND OBEDIENCE PRESENT YOUR DAY TO GOD (PSALM 37:5)

Present the day's details (Psalm 37:4-5; 31:14-15; Deuteronomy 33:25)

  1. Choose the fear of the Lord
  2. Commit your works to God

Indicate your dependence upon God (Proverbs 3:5-7; Psalm 131:1-3)

Request specific direction for actions and decisions (Psalm 25:4-5; Isaiah 30:21)

Choose to obey God's explicit instructions (Matthew 6:11; 7:7-8)

  1. In the Word of God
  2. By choosing to do His will

 

Arrow
The Lord’s Prayer

"Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, 'Lord, teach us to pray...'" (Luke 11:1 ESV)

 

"Pray then like this:  'Our Father in heaven, hallowed by your name.  Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil."  (Matthew 6:9-13 ESV)

"Our Father in heaven..."

  • CONNECT WITH GOD FIRST 

"You have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves.  Instead, you received God's Spirit when he adopted you has his won children.  Now we call him, 'Abba Father'" (Romans 8:15 NLT)

God loves for us to call Him our Father.  Establish your intimate relationship with Him and thank Him for the relationship you have with Him.

 

"...Hallowed be Your Name..."

  • WORSHIP HIS NAME

"God's name is a place of protection, the righteous can run there and be safe."  (Proverbs 18:10 MSG)

What are His Names?

Righteousness - He makes me clean

Sanctifier - He has called me and set me apart

Healer - He heals all my diseases

Banner of Victory - He has defeated my enemy

Shepherd - He speaks to me and leads me

Peace - He is my peace in every storm

Provider - He supplies all of my needs

 

"...Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven..."

  • PRAY HIS AGENDA

"He will always give you all you need from day to day if you will make the Kingdom of God your primary concern."  (Luke 12:31 TLB)

God's Priorities:

Saving the Lost

Guiding those in authority - parental, spiritual, governmental, workplace

His will in us

 

"...Give us this day our daily bread..."

  • DEPEND ON HIM FOR EVERYTHING

"I look up to the mountains - does my help come from there?  My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth!"  (Psalm 12:1-2 NLT)

Ask God for what you want and need and then trust Him for the answer.

 

"...Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors..."

  • GET YOUR HEART RIGHT WITH GOD AND PEOPLE

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify  us from all unrighteousness."  (1 John 1:9)

Ask God to check your heart and motives.  Receive His forgiveness for any area that He brings to mind.  Forgive anyone who has offended you in any way.  You can even forgive people in advance.

 

"... And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil."

  • ENGAGE IN SPIRITUAL WARFARE

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." (Ephesians 6:12)

Take your stand against the enemy and fight the good fight of faith.  Every lie that the enemy has told you should be replaced with the truth of God's Word.

 

Some versions end with:

"...For yours is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory forever, Amen."

  • EXPRESS FAITH IN GOD'S ABILITY

"Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm.  Nothing is too hard for you."  (Jeremiah 32:17)

End your prayer by reminding yourself of God's ability.  Return to praise and make your faith declarations.

"Yours is the Kingdom" - all rule belongs to you

"Yours is the power" - all might flows from you

"Yours is the Glory" - Your victory shall be complete

Arrow
Lifestyle Prayer

How do we make prayer a part of our everyday life?
We can learn from a few things that Jesus did...

"Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, whee he prayed." (Mark 1:35)

  • A CERTAIN TIME
    Jesus got up very early in the morning to spend time with His Heavenly Father.  In order for prayer to work, we should do the same.  Make a daily priority with God and keep it.
  • A CERTAIN PLACE
    Jesus had a place of prayer.  Your place of prayer needs to be an undistracted environment where you can pray, you can pray out loud, you can walk and pray, perhaps have some worship music playing in the background.
  • A CERTAIN PLAN
    Go into your prayer time with a plan.  If it changes that's fine.  When Jesus taught His disciples how to pray, He gave His disciples a prayer outline.  We call it the Lord's Prayer.
Arrow
YOUTH CULTURE: READY OR NOT

If you have an upperclassman—or especially a recent high school graduate—not much time is left before he or she embarks on a new journey. Whether young adults are moving on to college, work, military service, or a backpacking trip through Europe to discover themselves, they need some life skills to survive on their own. So if you can’t find YouTube tutorials on these topics, consider teaching them before your kids leave home:

Balance the checkbook. If kids don’t learn this, you’ll constantly be refilling that account.

Write a check. Though most bills are paid online or automatically these days, on the occasion a landlord doesn’t do digital, kids must know how to pay for something the old- fashioned way.

Do laundry. No guy wants pink underwear, and no girl wants an expensive sweater to shrink to Barbie size.

Cook one no-fail meal. Hunger isn’t sustainable. Macaroni and cheese can be a great alternative.

Change a tire and check the oil. Finals are stressful enough. Kids don’t need to be stranded along the side of the road, too.

Keep a calendar. No one will be reminding kids to do their homework or get to work on time…probably.

Answer calls or texts. You’re probably paying the cell bill, so getting a reply is a fair expectation.

Talk to grown-ups. Regardless of who’s paying the bill, once your child turns 18, many entities (colleges, doctors, etc.) won’t converse with you on their behalf.

Listen to grown-ups. Kids need to be able to grasp and relay clear, concise information from conversations in which you aren’t included.

Arrow
IN THEIR WORLD: WHEN KIDS CONJURE FEAR

From Ouija boards to dark-of-night rounds of Bloody Mary, for years teens have been trying to scare themselves with the paranormal. Hollywood realized this and rose to the occasion, producing frightening thrillers such as Amityville Horror, Poltergeist, The Exorcist, and more. 

Recently, the second installment of The Conjuring hit the silver screen. Maybe your student has already piled into a car with friends to catch this flick. Sometimes kids think if they’re with other people, a movie will be less threatening, less scary, or less real…only to discover otherwise in the middle of the night. 

Use these talking points to start a conversation about the spiritual realm around us:

What makes scary movies so appealing? 

Do you think anything these films depict about demons or ghosts is real?

If it’s not real, what’s the reason for the “fear factor”?

If it is real, why is that even more scary?

What are some things the Bible says about spiritual warfare?

Do movies that depict spiritual warfare seem less menacing when you’re with friends? Why or why not?

Can real spiritual warfare also be affected by the presence of friends? If so, how?

Most times, teenagers dismiss the spirit realm as fictional Hollywood fairy tales. It’s important to convey the reality of the spirit world and the war Satan wages against us. While guiding your kids in their faith journey, it’s vital to keep talking—and to familiarize yourself with the Bible’s truths about spiritual warfare, evil, and sin.

Arrow
A WORD FROM THE WORD

BIBLE TRUTHS ABOUT SPIRITUAL WORLD

“For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go.” Psalm 91:11

“Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.  For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:11-12

“This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.” 2 Chronicles 20:15

“I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11

“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil.  He bowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it (Proverbs 22:6, NLT).

Arrow
THEY AREN’T MARRIED

Some teenagers enjoy dating. Others prefer not dating at all. Unfortunately, when kids get too serious too fast, deep hurt can often result.

Often teenagers embark on a journey of early or false intimacy—emotional if not necessarily physical—simply because no one reminds them to use caution. If long-term romance becomes part of your son or daughter’s dating routine, help them set boundaries. Consider these parenting parameters:

  • Don’t treat the significant other as a complete member of your family. That sounds counterintuitive and maybe even mean. But your family needs to be your family, and their family needs to be their family—until a wedding happens. Avoid joint holidays and vacations!
  • Don’t allow your child to parent the significant other. In other words, kids shouldn’t be giving each other wake-up reminders, doing one another’s laundry, being a taxi service, and so on.
  • Hold some emotions as sacred. The intimate (non-physical) sharing of deep, inmost thoughts almost always leads to a deeper sense of familiarity than high schoolers are prepared for.
  • Help your teenager set physical boundaries. God designed physical affection to draw us closer together. And the closer we get, the closer we want to be. Set firm, defined physical limits. 
  • Encourage your kids to keep their other friends and to spend plenty of time with them. Friends can keep one another accountable and on track. Plus, it helps to have friends if/when a dating relationship ends.

Remember, you’re the most important influence your teenager will ever have. And how they conduct themselves in significant relationships is one of the most important decisions they’ll make. So help them navigate well!

Arrow