COVID-19 Prayer Guide (Day 3)

Day 3: Those who may be carrying the virus (maybe without knowing)
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Dear Lord,
Thank you for the victory we have in You. Thank you for overcoming sin, death, & the world on our behalf. Thank you for all the health You’ve given us so far & we confess that we often take this blessing for granted. Forgive us for the entitlement we may feel toward gifts (such as health) that You don’t owe us but give out of your grace.
For anyone carrying the virus (or who may potentially carry the virus) that may not know it yet, please strengthen their bodies to fight off the virus before it causes symptoms. Please grant them peace, good sleep, & all the necessary components of a healthy immune system. Please give them the wisdom to physically distance themselves. Protect those around them who may become infected.
Once again, thank you that…

COVID-19 Prayer Guide (Day Two)

Day 2: Those who have lost loved ones
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. (2 Corinthians 1:3)

Dear Lord, thank you for giving us comfort over and over again, countless times. We live each day protected “under the shadow of the Almighty” (Ps. 91:1). Thank you. Hard times will still come, but they have a purpose. We serve a God who “has overcome the world” (Jn. 16:33) and we have a peace & hope that transcends what we see around us on this temporary earth. While we’re still here, may we live every day you’ve given us to the fullest, as good stewards of our time, spreading the comfort, joy, love, and welcoming presence that You’ve extended to us through Jesus Christ.

We humbly ask you to heal every broken heart, including [name anyone you know who may be going through grief or sadness of…

COVID-19 Prayer Guide (Day One)

Notes: 1) Although the official "Day One" was yesterday, feel free to do both Days One & Two or jump straight into Day Two.

Day 1 - The sick & their loved ones
“…if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” 1 John 5:14-15 Heavenly Father, Thank you for the confidence we have in approaching You (1 Jn. 5:14). Help us to love others in the same way that you love us. Forgive us for all apathy & lack of compassion that we may have had toward the sick. You are a compassionate God, and we confess any time that we haven’t represented Your Heart well. If it’s Your will, heal every person who is sick around the world, including [name any specific people you know], that all glory may go to You. Please ease any discomfort, physical or emotional, that he/she may be going through. Show Your power, love & glory through this situation. Please settle the …

A Prayer Guide for During COVID-19 (Intro & Overview for Days 1-3)

Note: I've posted this announcement on MTCK's Facebook page and on my personal page.

During this time, I am making a day-by-day prayer guide concerning COVID-19, with each day corresponding to a specific topic (e.g., the sick & their loved ones, people facing financial struggles, etc.)

I've committed to praying for each of these specific populations of people each day. I would love if others would participate in one (or both) of the following ways:

1) simply pray on your own for each of these topics, or
2) follow along with the corresponding written prayers that I plan to write & post daily.
Another possibility is to do a FaceTime, Facebook live, Skype, Zoom session, or phone call to pray for each of these topics weekly or daily.
Here are the topics for days 1-3:

Technically, Day One "officially" started yesterday, but feel free to either do both Day One & Two today or to just start at Day Two. 
Thank you for joining me! "Be joyful in hope, patient in aff…

Your Success Depends on God

The idea of independence permeates today's culture. “Do what you want,” experts say, “You’re the only person that matters!” They may also say, “Only you determine your destiny – the power is all in your hands!”

The message may sound and feel inspirational - especially if it comes from someone we respect. However, these sayings stand in direct contrast to Scripture. Compare these messages with Colossians 1:16 (ESV): “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.”
In other words, God is the “why” of life, as well as the “how” of how we get there. God’s glory is the goal of all Creation. Stars, oceans, music, work, Monday morning meetings – they’re all for God’s purposes. In the words of RC Sproul, “If God is the Creator of the entire universe, then it must follow that He is the Lord of the whole universe. No part of the world is outside of His lor…

5 Reasons for Hard Times (part 3)

In my last two posts, I've covered four out of five reasons for difficult times in our lives. Since I've had so much to say about each reason, what was meant to be one article turned into a three-part series. Well, I hope you haven't become annoyed with my wordiness. The last reason for adversity is...

5. Suffering Gives Us a Story to Tell

Now, when I say, “suffering gives us a story to tell,” I don't mean the kind of story where the victim of life's circumstances complains to drum up sympathy from others. What I mean is that our story may someday help others. 

The difference is in our motives: when we complain, chances are, we're doing it for ourselves. We may want to look like the victim, point fingers, and drum up sympathy from others. On the other hand, when we share our story in a beneficial way, we do so for the good of others, not out of selfish ambition. It helps us to empathize with them so they can feel understood and validated.

"I stopped venting and…

5 Reasons for Hard Times (part 2)

In my last post, I began a list of five reasons for hardships. I mentioned the wrong ideology that our relationship with God is a way to take the easy route in life. Some televangelists and other pastors promise that faith is a definite ticket toward financial success, physical blessings, and illness-free living.

This growing belief, most commonly known as the "prosperity gospel," is sweeping the nation.

This doesn't make it right.

In fact, being perfectly honest: the prosperity gospel is dead wrong.

If we view God as only the means to an end, that says something about how much we value Him compared to how much we value the world. This attitude reveals that God isn't our God; earthly prosperity is. The prosperity gospel is idolatry with the word "Jesus" sprinkled in a few times. It is not the Gospel.

Anyway, since this topic could (and possibly will) turn into a whole blog post, I suppose I'll get back to the point.

We aren't promised a shower of physical…