Archive | December 2014

What is Important – Prayer XIII

Luke 16:14-31New International Version (NIV)

14 The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. 15 He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.

Additional Teachings

16 “The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone is forcing their way into it. 17 It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law.

18 “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

The Rich Man and Lazarus

19 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.

22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’

25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’

27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’

29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’

30 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’

31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”

Father, Your word says that there is more to life than obtaining riches and enjoying its power; that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in Your sight. In Your economy, only one thing is important and that is our faith in You through Jesus Christ. Lord, let me not be distracted by the bathos and pathos of life but help me invest my time and effort on those that really matter and have eternal value. As I go through life on earth, may I use each day in service to You and in expressing my love and gratitude through obeying Your word. At the end of my life, may I take my last breath with no regrets, ready to face You and eager to spend eternity in Your presence.


Storms of Life – Prayer XII

Luke 8:22-25 (NIV)

Jesus Calms the Storm

22 One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out. 23 As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger.

24 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”

He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. 25 “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples.

In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”

Father, when I am caught in the storms of life, it is easy to think that You have lost control and that I am at the mercy of the winds of fate. But in reality, You are sovereign. You control the history of the world as well as my personal destiny. Just as Jesus calmed the waves for His terrified disciples, I know that You can also calm whatever storms I may face. Just help me Lord to keep trusting You and keeping my eyes on You, Amen.

Being Recognized – Prayer XI

Luke 14:7-14New International Version (NIV)

When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. 10 But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. 11 For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

12 Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

Lord Jesus, You advised people not to rush for the best places at a feast. People today are just as eager to raise their social status whether by being with the right people, dressing for success or driving the right car. But in Your kingdom, sincere is more important than status. The question is whom we are trying to impress?

Lord, empty my mind and heart of any desire to be recognized or honored for selfish reasons. Let any desire for honor be directed towards who You are and the wonders You do. Because I am naturally prideful as all men are, the struggle for humility is real; but by Your grace I know I can exercise true humility by realizing my sinfulness and understanding my limitations in the light of Your holiness and greatness, Amen.


In God’s Kingdom – Prayer X

Luke 13:18-35New International Version (NIV)

The Parables of the Mustard Seed and the Yeast

18 Then Jesus asked, “What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? 19 It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds perched in its branches.”

20 Again he asked, “What shall I compare the kingdom of God to? 21 It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds[a] of flour until it worked all through the dough.”

The Narrow Door

22 Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. 23 Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?”

He said to them, 24 “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25 Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’

“But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’

26 “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’

27 “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’

28 “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out. 29 People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. 30 Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.”

Jesus’ Sorrow for Jerusalem

31 At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you.”

32 He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’ 33 In any case, I must press on today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!

34 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. 35 Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord

Father, Your kingdom is indeed both inclusive and exclusive; it includes all who put their faith in You and excludes those who reject in You. In Your Kingdom, a great feast awaits the believers while outside, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. How horrible it will be for those who find substitute obedience vs sacrifice intimacy with service. Let me learn a lessons from some wayward Israel that I may not have to go through the judgment that Micah prophesied to them during their time of rebellion and willful disobedience. Hoping that many will make it to Your Kingdom even at the point before taking their last breath, with this I remember in prayer all my loved ones who need to be reconciled with You, have mercy on them, Amen.

Value of Human Life Prayer VIX

Luke 13:10-17 NIV

Jesus Heals a Crippled Woman on the Sabbath

10 On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, 11 and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” 13 Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.

14 Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue leader said to the people, “There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.”

15 The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie your ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? 16 Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?”

17 When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing.

Lord Jesus, You put inestimable value on human life. You saw the woman who was bent double for many years because of a sickness caused by a spirit and You initiated interaction with her and healed her.  To You, her life was so important that even if You had to break protocol or be criticized, it didn’t matter. Lord, enable me to follow Your example of courage and compassion. Open my eyes to the value of each person, remembering that each one is never beyond help in Your encompassing love. And then stir me up to action that will give honor to Your name, Amen.


Do Not Worry – Prayer VIII

22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.

Luke 12:22-23 (NIV)

Father, there are times when I worry about a lot of things, forgetting the promise that You will always provide for Your children and take care of us. Lord, if You feed every sparrow and clothe the lilies beautifully, how much more will You care for us, the very people whom You sacrificed for so that we may have life?

Help me to keep this truth in my heart and call it to mind whenever the temptation to worry comes. For You are a big God against whom all my problems become small.


The Parable of the Rich Fool – Prayer VII

13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”

14 Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” 15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”

16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’

18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’

20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’

21 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

Luke 12:13-21 (NIV)

Father, Jesus said that the good life has nothing to do with being wealthy so we need to be on guard against any kind of greed.  Planning for retirement and saving for is wise but neglecting preparation for life after death is disastrous.

Lord, help me have a godly perspective on wealth, protect me from materialism and make me focus on what really matters and have eternal impact – my relationship with You. Life is short and I am not getting any younger. At the end of my life, I pray that I can look back without regrets because I have lived a full life enjoying intimacy with You and serving You.