Praying For Leaders


As of today, I have lived under 8 presidents of the United States. Some of them I have liked, some I have agreed with, some I’ve disliked, and some I’ve disagreed with. It’s been my experience that one person cannot destroy or rebuild this country. It takes Congress, the Senate, and the Supreme Court working together with the executive branch to accomplish either. God gave our founding fathers the wisdom to install checks and balances to protect this country.

As surely as He gave them wisdom, He can give it to any president. God is the one who raises up leaders and takes them down. Whether I’ve agreed with who He put in place or took out, I have a responsibility to pray for them. So do you. Proverbs 21:1 says, “The king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the LORD; he guides it wherever he pleases” (NLT). Whatever you believe about the new president, we can all pray that God will guide and direct his heart for the good of this nation.

Here on some verses on how to pray for our leaders. 

1. Pray that they will surround themselves with wise people.

A nation will fall if it has no guidance. Many advisers mean security.
Proverbs 11:14 GNT

2. Pray that God would help them keep the peace.

I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.
1 Timothy 2:1-2 NLT

3. Pray that they will restore the moral foundation of this country. 

Good leaders abhor wrongdoing of all kinds; sound leadership has a moral foundation.
Proverbs 16:12 MSG

4. Pray that they will be concerned for the poor and treat them fairly. 

Leadership gains authority and respect when the voiceless poor are treated fairly.
Proverbs 29:14 MSG

5. Pray that they will lead well.

A good leader motivates, doesn’t mislead, doesn’t exploit.
Proverbs 16:10 MSG

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Shortcuts To God


I was in junior high when we got the classic Nintendo. My brothers and I would spend hours playing “Super Mario Bros.” To win, you had to conquer eights worlds with four levels each. I remember when my dad would play, he would try to go through all four levels of each eight worlds. We would get so upset at him for taking the long way. We’d say, “But, Dad! If you go down that tunnel, you can skip to the fourth world.” He refused to do it, and thought any other way was an illegitimate way to beat the game.

We couldn’t understand why he did it the hard way when clearly there were shortcuts to win. The problem became that I, like many others, took that same philosophy in my approach to God. Why do it the hard way if there were shortcuts? Why not find the easiest path to walk as a Christian? I can attest that taking shortcuts to God only pushes you further away and back to the beginning. There is no shortcut to Him or to living the life He’s called us to live.

In Matthew 7:13-14, Jesus said, “Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires total attention” (MSG). He was warning us to stay away from those shortcuts like the tunnels that skipped levels in the game. Just because they’re there, and other people are taking them, it doesn’t mean we should take them.

A life of faith, and trusting God, is not an easy path. We walk by faith and not sight, remember? There’s no shortcut through a life like that. God’s desire for each of us is to mature in our faith through the process of walking it out daily. It is often vigorous and difficult at times. It can be hard to trust His path when we can only see what’s right in front of us. However, if we remain faithful, take each step as He gives it, and trust Him, we will have a faith that is strong and unshakable. We will find true life. 

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How To Pray Eloquently 


I was in need of prayer recently, and a friend came to visit me. We talked about everything going on and caught up on a few things. Before he left, he asked, “Do you mind if I pray for you before I leave?” I nodded. He then said, “My prayers aren’t that eloquent though.” I replied, “God listens more to our heart than our words.” After we prayed and he left, I began to think about that. How many of us hold back on prayers because we think it’s the eloquence of our prayers that cause God to reply?

God is not like us. He is not impressed by our mastery of language. He isn’t moved by flowery speech. He looks into our heart and sees our intent. We’ve grown so accustomed to having please and impress others that we think we have to do it with God. Religiosity is the art of impressing others while making a show of our faith. God doesn’t respond to that because He doesn’t like it.

In Matthew 6:7-8, Jesus said, “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!” (NLT) God knew I was in need of prayer. He didn’t need an eloquent prayer that explained what was going on and what I needed. What He needed was our faith to trust Him with the problem.

Prayer is not about saying the right words the right way. It’s about trusting God with the things we can’t handle. My son often wants things and hints at it, but I always say, “Use your words.” I think our Father in Heaven does the same. He knows we need it, but He’s teaching us to communicate with Him through prayer. Your communication skills don’t have to be excellent either. Your heart is what matters. Initiate the conversation with Him and open up your heart. Those are the most eloquent prayers He ever heard.

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The Light


I remember when my son started saying he was afraid of the dark. As an adult, I tried to explain to him that there is no need to be afraid of it, but I got no where with him. To help him out, we installed a night light and a lamp with a timer on it. Some nights he wanted the bathroom lights on too. Having more light made him feel more secure and allowed him to relax and to rest. As he matures, he will see there’s no reason to be afraid of the dark. It reminds me of the darkness that this world has and the light that you and I are called to be.

This world has been a dark place for a very long time. In fact, John wrote about it in the first chapter of his Gospel. He wrote, “The Word (Jesus) gave life to everything that was created, and His life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness can never extinguish it.” The darkness of this world cannot extinguish the light of Jesus. It has tried for two thousand years to put it out. It can’t because Jesus didn’t take the light with Him to Heaven. Instead, He gave it to us.

In Matthew 5:14, Jesus said, “You are the light of the world.” He put His light in us so that we could spread His light everywhere we go. Why then would we be afraid of the darkness of this world? Why wouldn’t we go to those who are in darkness and bring light into their world? Jesus said in the next verse, “No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket.” It wouldn’t make sense for me to put a cover on the night light in my son’s room and it doesn’t make sense for us to hide our light either.

Jesus said in Matthew 5:16, “Let your good deeds shine for all to see, so that everyone will praise your Heavenly Father.” Just as He came into the world and brought the light of Heaven down, He is asking us to share our light with others. He wants us to do good to those we meet. We don’t have to know what darkness they’re living in because the light we have inside can chase it away and ignite the light in them. Each of us just has to decide if we are going to hide our light under a basket or to allow God to place us on a lamp stand for all to see.

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Our Guide


If you’ve ever been hiking or mountain climbing, there’s a couple of ways to do it. You can do it on your own or you can have a guide. I’ve tried it both ways, and having a guide is far more enjoyable. When I’ve done it on my own, I didn’t really know the right path, how long it would take, where the best photo ops were, or where good places to take a break were. Having a guide took a lot of stress out of the journey.

Each of us are on a path in life. The truth is, we are all trying to make our own way, but we don’t know if we are on the right path, where to rest, how long it will take, or where the most scenic places are. We make mistakes, go the wrong way, and are often the blind leading the blind through life. We know there has to be a better way, and there is. We can have the Lord as our guide if we’re willing to follow.

Psalm 1:6 says, “The righteous are guided and protected by the Lord” (GNT). With God as our guide, we can trust He knows the right path to take us down, when to have us rest, and where we are going. When I trust my guide, I don’t have to know where exactly I’m going and can enjoy the journey more. I simply follow where the guide leads because He knows the best way. It’s really about trusting the guide to get me where I’m going.

Whatever path you’re on today, stop and ask God to be your guide. Commit to following where He leads. It may not be down the paths you expect, but He knows the best way to get you where He wants to lead you. Trust the guidance you find in Him and in His Word. He’s the one who leads us beside still water and restores our soul. He knows the way we should go. It’s time we walked by faith, trusting in Him and His path to where we’re going.

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Rest Up


If you’re like me, you probably lead a busy life. You wake up running behind it seems. There’s so much to do, but so little time to get it all done. Weekends are no better. They seem to be just as busy. Life gets pretty hectic so I want you to take a cue from God. He gave us a day of rest and told us to honor it. He Himself rested on the Sabbath, which means to stop. God not only told us it was ok to stop, He commanded it. 

God doesn’t want you to go 24/7/365. He wants you to stop, breathe, relax, and rest once a week. If you do, you’ll find that you will actually accomplish more in six days than you could have in seven. It’s important to know that you have permission to rest. Schedule it. Make it happen. God did it, you can too. Find a day a week to stop, block out the noise, and honor what God said. You have permission from God, now make it happen.

Here are some Bible verses on rest.

1. On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation.
Genesis 2:2-3 NLT

2. He offered rest and comfort to all of you, but you refused to listen to him.
Isaiah 28:12 GNT

3. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace and remain at rest.
Exodus 14:14 AMPC

4. What I’m trying to do here is get you to relax, not be so preoccupied with getting so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep yourself in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Don’t be afraid of missing out. You’re my dearest friends! The Father wants to give you the very kingdom itself.
Luke 12:29-32 MSG

5. Let my soul be at rest again, for the LORD has been good to me.
Psalms 116:7 NLT

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Greater Than Worry


Worry. It’s something that everyone deals with. Whether it’s about paying the bills this month, will we find true love, the end result of an illness, or any number of things, we all worry. I love that dictionary.com defines worry as, “To torment oneself with or suffer from disturbing thoughts.” Worry is nothing more than self-torture. It’s allowing our mind to put us into a debilitating prison where our mind thinks of every negative thing that may happen in a situation. Worry only looks at the negative outcomes.

If you’re a worrier, take heart. God wants to free you from that torment. I John 3:20 says, “God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves” (MSG). Not only does He know you better than you know yourself, He knows your future. There is nothing that is going to happen to you that He doesn’t already know about. I learned several years ago to trust that worrying didn’t solve the problem or change the future, so I began to hand my worry to Him. 

I Peter 5:7 says, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you” (NLT). I admit it was difficult to learn to hand them off to Him because I didn’t know what to think about or do since all I knew was worry. But that’s where Philippians 4:6 came into play. It says, “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life” (MSG).

Worry never changed the outcome of anything, but prayer has! Quit tormenting yourself and start praying to God about it. Release it to Him because He is greater than your worry and your problems. He wants to trade peace for your suffering. He wants to give you a lighter burden, but you have to be willing to exchange worry for it and leave it with Him. God cares deeply about you and the things you’re going through. Trust Him to do what’s best and give Him your worry. Give no place in your mind to anxiety and debilitating worry. Be free.

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