Matthew 8:1-4

Thy Word:

Jesus Heals a Man with Leprosy

Large crowds followed Jesus as he came down the mountainside. Suddenly, a man with leprosy approached him and knelt before him. “Lord,” the man said, “if you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean.” Jesus reached out and touched him. 

“I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” And instantly the leprosy disappeared. Then Jesus said to him, “Don’t tell anyone about this. Instead, go to the priest and let him examine you. Take along the offering required in the law of Moses for those who have been healed of leprosy. This will be a public testimony that you have been cleansed.” Matthew 8:1-4 NLT


man old depressed headache

Photo by Gerd Altmann on

My Thoughts: Leprosy was a terrifying disease in Jesus’ day because there was no known cure. Once a person contracted it, they were banished by the High Priest to colonies outside of their home and city. By law they had to stay there until they got better or they died. 

Let’s take a look at several important things about this unnamed man as he approaches Jesus.

  1. He boldly goes against the High Priest and the laws that prohibited him to leave the colony or go around other people. We read “large crowds followed Jesus” so not only did he leave the colony he put himself amid the people.
  2. Next he kneels before Jesus (an acknowledgment Jesus was a man of royalty, or a King). 
  3. He knew Jesus could heal him but he humbly asks if he would. 
  4. Jesus recognizes his heartfelt faith and heals him instantly. 
  5. Jesus then tells the man to present himself to the priest as clean, and bring the offering required by law (usually doves). That offering was taken to the high priest who would confirm he was healed and then make the blood sacrifice at the altar (Leviticus 14:2-32).

Let’s take a deeper look at item #3 and what this man says to Jesus. I almost missed it until I felt a little nudge from the Lord in my soul! 

“Lord,” the man said, “if you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean.”

We can see the leper knew that Jesus could heal him but what if he didn’t believe he was worthy of being healed? 

Leprosy is a disease that is typically found in the poorest of the poor. Maybe this man lived a lifestyle of such hopelessness that he commonly practiced immoral, illegal, and/or unjust habits, that eventually led to leprosy? In other words, he believed Jesus might not be willing to heal him because of his past. 

Here is the real question: How many of us are so sick with sin that we also believe we are unworthy of healing? Maybe we believe we’ve crossed a line in our sinful behavior where there is no longer hope for us? 

If you believe that, let me just tell you that is a lie from the pit of hell!! It is NEVER too late to turn from our sins and be ‘healed’ by the grace of God! 

God is very clear about this in the Bible:

“Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else. But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)” Ephesians 2:1-5 NLT

Just as these verses say, although we are sinners and we may have lived under the rule of Satan, now because of Jesus we can be healed from our sins! All of them no matter what they are! When we kneel before Jesus and humbly ask for His healing, He is gracious to heal. 

Therefore, our verses for today in Matthew 8 represent a perfect picture of salvation and everlasting life. 

In contrast, if you think “hey, I’m not sick, so this doesn’t apply to me,” you are wrong. We are all sick from sin and it is absolutely incurable and will bring everlasting death without Jesus. 

“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” Romans 3:23 NLT

We must surrender our hearts to Jesus to receive everlasting life. “If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NLT

 The day will come when every knee will bow before Jesus; willingly or unwillingly:

“It is written: “ ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’ ” Romans 14:11 NIV

“that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,” Philippians 2:10 NIV

The bottom line is, we have complete freedom to make one of two choices: 

  1. We bow before Jesus and from our heart, we ask for forgiveness (healing) of our sins. We declare that we believe Jesus died for our sins and rose from the grave after three days, and now sits at the right hand of God. If we declare this truth from our heart, we will receive everlasting life. 
  2. Or, we can choose to deny this truth or refuse to ask for His healing. At the day of judgment, when Jesus returns we WILL bow before Him, where He will declare us guilty and our judgment will be everlasting death. 

Lastly and thankfully,  because Jesus is the last and perfect sacrifice we no longer have to present ourselves before a high priest or go through sacrificial rituals to be healed. We are healed by the grace of God when we surrender our hearts to Jesus.

“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.” Ephesians 2:8-9 NLT

It’s never too late nor can things ever be so bad that God won’t save us. All that is required is we humbly ask from our heart. 

(Aside Information: I was curious to learn if leprosy still exists and whether it is still incurable, so I did a bit of research. Leprosy is now called Hansen’s disease, named after the man who discovered the cure in 1873. Cases are still reported around the world, however, once the malady has been detected early enough, it can be cured.)


Closing Prayer: Father God, thank you for nudging my soul to remind all of us it’s never too late to surrender our hearts to You. We thank you that You are so gracious to heal based purely on Your love and grace for all of us, no matter what we have done. As a horrible sinner I am so humbled and thankful for this truth. Father I pray today that those of us who are saved by grace live lives that mirror Your grace. For those who need to receive Your grace, I pray there are no more delays; I pray a full surrender to Jesus right now (Romans 10:9-10). In the precious name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Matthew 7:24-29

Thy Word:

Building On a Solid Foundation

“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”

When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, for he taught with real authority—quite unlike their teachers of religious law.

Matthew 7:24-29 NLT


My Thoughts: Have you ever watched a toddler suddenly decide to ignore a parents request to ‘hold my hand?’ They will walk fast and shake their entire arm by their side in an attempt to stop Mom or Dad from holding their hand. It’s one of the silliest images demonstrating that child’s effort to become independent. In many ways our verses for today remind me of that independent toddler and our relationship of growth with God.

photo of family on seashore

As babies grow, the level of assistance they receive changes to encourage growth and development. God does a similar thing with us, so we can develop and mature spiritually. When we are newly born again (saved) and filled with His Spirit, for a season He manifests Himself at our every cry. But then after a while He allows us to go through times in which He does not respond instantly to our every call.

I remember when I suddenly realized that God wasn’t responding to my prayers as quickly as He did after I was saved. I began to research and look for answers in the word of God (the Bible) and I prayed frequently as I sought guidance. I was already attending church and studies so I listened closely to the messages as I earnestly sought answers. It was a great time of learning to apply what God had been teaching me. In other word, I was still clinging tightly to His hand even as I grew in my faith and walk with Jesus.

hands people friends communication

But over time I began to develop a sense of self-confidence and self-reliance (sand), rather than clinging to God as my foundation. Things were going well in my life, and as I became more confident in my faith, like that toddler, I began to intentionally let go of the hand of God. I began to believe that I didn’t need to bother Jesus with my simple problems; I only needed to be in touch, or hold His hand, when I had big problems.

It didn’t take long for me to realize that by relying on myself I had no strong foundation and I was in sinking sand…, drowning in confusion.

green and brown tree on body of water

You see, Jesus wants us to listen to Him, learn about Him, while we hold onto Him tightly all the time! He wants us to share all of our problems with Him, big or small, so we build and develop a strong foundation. When we hold firmly onto Him, as difficulties arise, and they will, we are prepared and can stand strong in the storm.

Remember, Jesus warned us hard things will happen:

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NLT

Our spiritual maturity guides us to cling tightly to Jesus who is our strong foundation. When we rely on anything but Jesus, we are in sinking sand and we will crash because we have nothing to keep us standing during any storm.

mountains with crepuscular ray

Is your faith built on solid bedrock?

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes…” Romans 1:16 NIV


Closing Prayer: Father God, thank you for giving me this visual of growth in my relationship with You! I have learned that when I stay close to You I have the strength to withstand any storm in my life. Father, I know the strength of my relationship also includes never being ashamed to admit I need You for everything in my life whether it’s in a time of blessing or hardship. Thank you for all of these reminders. Father I pray we all hold tightly to You as we walk with You and grow in our faith. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

“Come Let Us Adore Him,” Advent

Please allow me to share day 25 of an Advent I started on December 1st. Admittedly, I was hesitant because I was so busy, but a whisper in my soul encouraged me to get started. What a blessing! Please add this to your reading list and don’t wait until next Christmas to get started. You will be blessed!

Day 25: “The Christmas story is a wisdom story, the best wisdom story ever told. No one was more aware that sin reduces all of us to fools than our Creator.” 

Wait…, so is this a day we are to consider the wisdom of God to send Jesus to rescue us or the foolishness of man who would dare to deny Him? “Psalm 14 alerts us to the fact that at the epicenter of our foolishness is a denial of God.” In the book of Revelation we get a different picture of Jesus; one of majesty and power, certainly not a picture of a helpless baby born in a manger:

“[Jesus Christ] is the faithful witness to these things, the first to rise from the dead, and the ruler of all the kings of the world. All glory to him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by shedding his blood for us. He has made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.”

“I am the Alpha and the Omega—the beginning and the end,” says the Lord God. “I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come—the Almighty One.” Revelation 1:5-6, 8 NLT

This Jesus, a mighty King, the Great I AM, came to our world not in a beautiful mansion but in a smelly manger born into a family of poor peasants. From this humble beginning He gave us everything. His birth started an intentional plan to give His life for ours, yet He still left us with free will to choose Him as our King. If we choose to receive Him, we wisely choose everlasting life. If we choose to deny Him we stay forever condemned in our foolishness. On this Holy day, have you made your choice? 

“So as you celebrate this year, remember that Wisdom is a person, and his name is Jesus. He was born to rescue fools like you and me. That’s something worth celebrating!” 

Merry Christmas! #ComeLetUsAdoreHim #Advent 


Luke 2:7-14

Thy Word:

”And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

“Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭2:7-14‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


My Thoughts: Celebrate the joyous arrival of Jesus Christ our precious Savior who gave His all for us to have the greatest gift of all; salvation!

Merry CHRISTmas!

jesus christ figurine

Photo by Jeswin Thomas on

Matthew 7:15-23

Thy Word:

The Tree And It’s Fruit

“Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.” Matthew 7:15-20 NLT

True Disciples

“Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’” Matthew 7:21-23 NLT


brown wolf

My Thoughts: Jesus opens this section by warning us to beware of false prophets and He specifically says they will be well disguised. I certainly don’t want to get into scary details but we’ve seen some terrifying news stories about false prophets that were disguised like sheep. As the lives of their followers were lost or seriously maimed it supports what Jesus warns; these false prophets were vicious wolves!

So how do we recognize a wolf that is disguised like a sheep? We must know and understand the word of God, which is the Bible.

photo of child reading holy bible

When I committed to learn the Bible, I purchased a “Life Application Study Bible.” I love LA Study Bibles because they have comments at the bottom of each page to help us learn what many scholars believe the verses are saying. It’s a fabulous tool to aid in understanding the Bible.

There are also multiple Bible translations to help us better understand what Gods is saying to us. When I purchased my first LA Study Bible I chose the same version my church used which was the New International Version (NIV). I now use the English Standard Version (ESV) for church, and for my blog I primarily use the New Living Translation (NLT) or a combination of multiple translations.

The more I read the Bible the more I like to compare what each version says. Although I do own multiple translations of Bibles, I frequently use an online Bible application called YouVersion so I can easily move between different translations. It’s a free app that can be downloaded to your smartphone or tablet.

alphabet blur books close up

Other ways to learn more about the Bible are through studies provided at your local church. If your church doesn’t have the resources to provide studies, a fabulous group to get real biblical teaching is called Bible Study Fellowship International (BSF). These groups are hosted by local churches all over the world and they provide day and night classes. It is a very comprehensive way to learn more about the Bible. You can do further research about them on their website at

I cannot stress how critical it is to know and understand the Bible. It truly will help us to know and understand if what is being said or taught is coming from a false prophet, which means we will know they are a ‘wolf’ fairly quickly and therefore must remove ourselves from their presence.

red roses and grapes

Jesus tells us that another way to detect a false prophet is by the “fruit” they are producing. As we encounter or consider leaders, friends, teachers, and even someone we might want to date, we must look at what fruit they are producing in their own lives. Is their fruit encouraging, does it teach us to become a better person, or look more like Jesus? Then they are modeling and producing good fruit. If it feels uncomfortable or consistently embarrasses, it’s probably bad fruit. If it’s illegal, immoral, or unjust, it absolutely IS bad fruit! Run from these people!

In the final section Jesus tells us that not everyone who calls on the name of Jesus will be saved. How do we know whether they will or they won’t? Well, you might not ever know because it’s a decision we all make in our heart.

closeup photography of book page folding forming heart

Do you remember what Jesus said about that?

“If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9 NLT (emphasis mine.)

Jesus is the only one who can truly know what we believe in our hearts. There will come a day when we will all stand before the Lord and what we believe not what we do is what will determine if Jesus knows us by name. Faith in Christ is the only thing that “counts” on the Day of Judgment.

grayscale photo of woman

It’s time for us to take inventory of our lives again. What is the status of our heart? What type of fruit are we producing? What type of fruit are our leaders, teachers, and friends we associate ourselves with producing? Is it time for a change in our lives? Is it time for us to truly surrender our hearts to Jesus? What better time than Christmas when Jesus came to save us all from our sins!


Closing Prayer: Father God we thank You for this warning that in our lives we may encounter false prophets and we must know You to recognize these wolves. Now that we know how to detect them, Father I pray that if we have aligned ourselves with these wolves you give us the strength and courage to leave immediately and bring new people in our lives that produce good fruit. Father I also pray that if anyone is reading this and they need to surrender their hearts to You, I pray that they have a supernatural courage to get themselves to a church that follows Jesus and Your Word so they can surrender their hearts to You. I pray this in the powerful name of Jesus. Amen.

Matthew 7:12-14

Thy Word:

Golden Rule

Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.

The Narrow Gate

You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.

Matthew 7:12-14 NLT


My Thoughts: Has any child ever escaped hearing about the Golden Rule from their parents? If so, I’m so sad!!! It truly is one of the most powerful and loving verses for which we can model our lives!

sunset hands love woman

The Golden Rule was not just spoken by my Mother it was expected behavior for her children, and with five kids, it was necessary! Before one of us would start to toss an ugly word or throw a punch, my Mother would say, “I want you to stop right now and think about what you are about to say or do…, is that how YOU would want to be treated? Remember what the Golden Rule says!” I can’t say it kept us from misbehaving 100% of the time, but it sure did make us think!

people girl design happy

We were introduced to the Golden Rule in a new way one morning when my Mother was walking her three oldest children to school while pulling the younger two behind in a wagon. I remember seeing a child with a cast on her arm trying to maneuver herself out of the car with her mother’s help.

tilt shift lens photography of woman wearing red sweater and white skirt while holding a boy wearing white and black crew neck shirt and blue denim short

My sister and I were very curious and we wondered aloud what happened to her. Squatting down to our level, Mother softly said, “Girls, I better not find out either of you asked that child what happened to her, do you hear me? The only thing you are allowed to do is ask her what you can do to help her. What happened to her is none of your business, but it is always your business to help. That’s the Golden Rule.”

Suddenly the Golden Rule had a whole new meaning for me and my sister; it wasn’t just about behaving, it included kindness, respect, and compassion. I loved it then and still love it today.

alphabets cubes letters love

When I look at the conflict in our world I can’t help but wonder how many have never heard the Golden Rule? What if everyone who is reading this blog committed to not only make this Rule a priority in their life, but also agreed to tell someone about it and encourage them to take the same challenge? I truly believe over time it would change our world from being inwardly focused to a world where we are more outwardly focused! Let’s do it!

As popular as the Golden Rule is our next set of verses is very unpopular, even with many believers, but the message is quite clear. Let’s look at these words again:

photo of woman walk through pathway

“You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.” Matthew 7:13-14 NLT

I’m going to get right to the point and tell you that Jesus Christ is the narrow gate. The Bible specifically tells us that there is no other way to salvation or to enter into God’s Kingdom than through Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself says:

“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 NLT

lion painting

When people are presented with this truth, usually disbelief, anger, or indignation will follow. It is not popular to believe that Jesus is our only hope, and our only way into heaven. Because this is an unpopular truth, the road to that gate will be difficult, but always remember, The Lord is with you every step of the way!

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV

I once saw an interesting video from a pastor who randomly questioned a large number of people “how do you get to heaven?” While there were many responses, the primary answer we heard was you had to be a good person. I found that interesting because who gets to determine what defines a ‘good person?’

ask blackboard chalk board chalkboard

The Bible says:

“As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”

“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”

Romans 3:10-12, 23 NIV

So if none of us are good and we are all sinners, how in the world do we get into heaven?

We have the answer in our verse: through the narrow gate which is Jesus Christ! The following verses give more specific instructions for how we are to do that:

green wooden board with heart hole

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”” Romans 10:9-13 NIV

The best and most important decision we will ever make in our life is to accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, then we can enter through the narrow gate. If you need help making this decision, please bless me by asking and I will be delighted to pray with you about giving your heart to Jesus!

On the flip side, we read some harsh words in our verses today that tell us the “The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way.”

ash background beautiful blaze

I can’t think of a better visual description of this verse than the entrance to some of the rides or shows in Disney’s theme park. There may be anywhere from five to ten gates to enter into each event. However, people will run and pour into those first two to three gates and end up standing in a long line to get in. But if they go into one of the last gate openings they will most likely be first in line and get very good seating when the gate opens! Yet people will practically run each other down to get into one of those first gates. It’s one of the oddest things I have ever seen.

herd of sheep

That’s what I think of when I read this verse, people mindlessly following other people in large numbers like clueless sheep:

“All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own.” Isaiah 53:6a NLT

When we follow our own way or the ways of most people just because it’s what “everyone else is doing” we may be following the highway to hell.

adult biology chemical chemist

Let’s take a good hard look at who we are following today. Is the way we are going leading to the highway of hell, or are we following the path that leads to Jesus Christ and everlasting life?


Closing Prayer: Father God, let our hope be in Jesus Christ, who made His identity and mission clear as the narrow gate; He is the only Way, the only Truth, and the only Life. He offers us what we have no power to provide for ourselves: a restored relationship with you Lord. We also gain knowledge of what is true, and a life that will never end. We praise you Lord, for this miraculous truth! We also ask that our hearts be softened to use the Golden Rule as a way of life and change the direction of conflict in our world back to a foundation of love for each other. We ask this in the powerful name of Jesus. Amen.





Matthew 7:7-11

Thy Word:

Effective Prayer

Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.

Matthew 7:7-11 NLT


My Thoughts: Today we have some of my favorite verses so let’s dig right in!

man planting plant

Effective Prayer

Jesus starts by telling us He wants to hear from us through prayer, and not just any prayer, but effective prayer. Let’s look at the definition of the word effective:

“Effective-producing a decided, decisive, or desired effect”

Jesus is encouraging us to not only ask for a specific outcome, but to do so with confidence, expecting a desired effect.

“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8 NLT

silhouette image of person praying

These are action words (asking, seeking, and knocking) therefore we must actively pursue God through our prayers. However, is that what we do, or do we give up after a few half-hearted attempts? Do we assume God isn’t listening or doesn’t care when we don’t get an answer immediately, or worse, if we don’t get the exact answer we want? Hmmmm…

It’s not surprising that we want instantaneous answers when our world is built around attempting to gain instant results. However, Jesus wants us to take our time and get to know Him as we pray. If we don’t get an answer right away, He wants us to seek what He says about our issue in the Bible and through what we learn in church or by discussing it with a trusted friend. As we learn more about Jesus through our reading and studies we develop knowledge, patience, wisdom, love, and understanding. These characteristics definitely help us pray and ask for the things that are in line with what God wants for us.

To clarify how and why we pray for what is in line with what God says, He adds some unusual verses:

“You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.” Matthew 7:9-11 NLT

These verses might sound confusing because there might be a misunderstanding that God will give us what we ask for, but notice what it says is our heavenly Father gives good gifts. The children ARE asking for good things (bread and fish) and no loving parent would ever give a child something harmful instead of something they need. It is the same with God. Although we may be praying for something with heartfelt consistency, God may tell us ‘no’ or give us a different answer if what we are asking for will harm us. That is why it’s critical for us to get to know Him so we pray for what we need and not necessarily for what we want. God is a loving God and he wants to give us good gifts.

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This is why it is so important for us to be in a Bible believing church and to have trusting and supportive friends to pray with us. I recently read some verses in the book of Esther (Old Testament) that opened my eyes to the importance of prayer support in times of critical needs.

accessories beautiful beautiful girl fashion

Esther was a queen, but she and her people (the Jewish nation) were facing certain death because of one evil man’s treacherous plan to kill all the Jews. Many people quote a verse a cousin said to her about using her position as queen for “such a time as this (Esther 4:14).”

But it was Esther’s response to her cousin that spoke deeply to me:

“Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.” Esther 4:16 NIV

A call to fast in the Old Testament included a call to pray. There are two things I want us to note about Esther’s request to fast. First, Esther was not alone in her pledge to fast; she had a nation of Jews and her servants fasting with her as she prepared to ask for her husband’s intervention. Second, Esther did not sit and wait for God to miraculously save her and the Jewish nation, but rather she sought God’s direction through prayer and ultimately followed that with her actions.

When we face challenges in life we are to seek what God wants us to do, and then do it, with confidence that God will do his part. However, sometimes the best way to do that is with a ‘nation;’ meaning we ask other believers to pray with and for us. God does not expect us to walk through difficulties in life alone. That is why it is so important for us to be attending a Bible believing church and attend classes to not only learn more, but also develop those critical personal relationships with other believers.

black and white photo of clocks

Finally, you may have been praying for a long time about something but haven’t received the answer you seek. Don’t give up. I have been praying for almost 19 years for one thing and I still do not have an answer. There are days I cry to God and ask why…, He comforts me. There are days I ask when, Lord, when? However, I know it will be in His perfect timing, and not a minute sooner. I’ve asked the same thing in a lot of creative ways, but that’s just for me to keep praying and not for God, because I know He hears me. That gives me peace, comfort, and strength and I am not discouraged. Why? Because when I studied God’s word He revealed to me that He would answer my prayer. However, he didn’t say when or how, so my faith trusts He will do what He says He will do. Therefore, I keep praying, and I will do so until it is answered, because God’s will and God’s timing are always perfect.

Praying consistently and with the hope of God does not scare or upset me. Why? I’ve seen the work of God in my life and it’s far better than any plan I have ever had! So I praise Him and I thank Him in advance of the answer!


Closing Prayer: Father God, I love these verses and the promises You have wrapped around them about effective prayer. I pray that every person who reads this spends time alone with You each day so they can learn more about You and grow in their knowledge and relationship with You. Father, guide us as we pray so as we seek, ask, and knock, we understand more about what we need. We pray this in Your name, Jesus. Amen.