Pioneer 10 phoned home on a Saturday in April, 2001!It was the first time the spacecraft had been heard from in seven and one-half months.
On March 2, 1972 it rocketed toward the constellation Taurus, and took close-up shots of Jupiter in 1983.For NASA to talk to it by radio today, the signals take 21 hours and 45 minutes to make the roundtrip between the Earth and the ship.Listen to this!The spacecraft travels at a speed over 27,000 miles per hour, is currently 7.29 billion miles from Earth, and to reach one of the stars of its destination will take another 2 million years.Just in case it is retrieved by the likes of "E. T." it carries a gold plaque with an engraved message of good will and a map showing the Earth's location.
If you want to communicate with an "out-of-this-world" being, I have a suggestion which is a lot less expensive, doesn't take three hours to be heard, and is guaranteed to be received.It is called PRAYER... and the Person on the other end is the Lord.
GospeLines Prayer:Father, I rejoice that you are not somewhere out there, making it difficult for me to talk to you.Thanks for listening to me even when I may feel a little less important than science and spaceships and gold plaques hurled toward the unknown.Amen and amen.
"And so faith, hope, love abide [faith - conviction and belief respecting man's relation to God and divine things; hope - joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation; love - true affection for God and man, growing out of God's love for and in us], these three; but the greatest of these is love."
1st Corinthians 13:13 (Amplified Bible)
Do you know how hard it is to love someone 24/7, 365?How many of us will honestly admit that there are days we don’t like our spouses very much?If you are or have been married, you probably can relate.
As a prayer warrior, I have the privilege to pray for and with my brothers and sisters in Christ.It is an awesome responsibility and one that I take seriously.
A number of the prayer requests that I’m led to respond to concern marital woes - those challenge areas where we have done and said things that brought pain to our spouse and, maybe without realizing it, to ourselves.
When we don’t accept personal responsibility for our actions, it’s hard for someone else to have faith in us.It’s even more difficult when the same self-destructive behavior patterns keep repeating themselves.
Some of us would rather spend more time on our hobbies than on nurturing the most important relationship we have in our lives - the marital commitment we made before God.It can be a crushing blow to our spirits for a time, but is not insurmountable.When we see that things are on a downhill spiral and we feel it’s beyond repair, we need to remember that God is still there with us.
Loving another person requires us to love and respect ourselves.It requires us to have faith that God can and will handle it and it requires us to have hope.
I am not going to suggest that one doesn’t struggle with the concept, because I do.I’m not going to say there aren’t days when one sinks in despair and has serious doubts.I do that too.But doubt and faith are diametrically opposed.
GospeLines Prayer:Father, there are days you’ve heard me wince in pain and I’ve also heard the cry of others.You have been faithful to us, even when we’ve been less than deserving.
It’s difficult to love and be loved according to your commandments, but I have hope that You will continue to show me the way.I choose to have faith in Your almighty power and I choose to love even during those difficult times.
May I put into action the words of Martin Luther King, Jr.:“Take the first step in faith.You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
Babies are born into the world expressing their discontent... bright lights, new surroundings, loud noises and cold hands.The first few weeks they make their needs known at all hours of the day and night with loud crying.This behavior is expected of a child, but for an adult to behave that way, we would call them selfish and uncaring.
We must often seem to our heavenly Father to behave much like a child when we go to Him with nothing but OUR wants and desires.Prayer needs to be more than that.Try this simple acrostic as a pattern for prayer:
A-dorationFather, I adore you.
C-onfessionForgive me for I have sinned.
T-hanksgivingThank you for your blessings.
S-upplicationGim-me, or Give me, if you have
forgotten your childhood lingo.
Often we get our praying bottom-side up, always sticking out our hands for a need and rarely taking time to praise our Lord for who He is.
GospeLines Prayer:Father, teach me to pray!Amen and amen.
Yes, I would agree that he was bold… He was probably pretty hungry too.
Bold has been defined as fearless, daring or courageous - Unduly forward or brazen; almost impudent.What makes people bold?What knowledge or conviction wells up inside people at some of the most unexpected times to make them bold?
The Bible records that when the Israelites left Egypt, "They marched out boldly in full view of all the Egyptians." (Numbers 33:3 - NIV)Have you ever wondered how a people who had been enslaved and downtrodden for over 400 years could suddenly do anything boldly?
Paul said "I am in chains now, still preaching this message as God’s ambassador. So pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should." (Ephesians 6:20 - NLT)How could a man in chains in a Roman prison pray to speak boldly?Wouldn't you pray for freedom, or for humane treatment?Boldness might get you killed.
The Israelites and Paul had something in common with us - God told them and He has told us, "I will never fail you.I will never abandon you."So we can boldly say “The Lord is my helper.I will have no fear.What can mere people do to me?If God is for me, who can be against me?" (Hebrews 13:5-6 and Romans 8:31)
The Holy Spirit testifies that because we belong to Christ we are God's children. If we are His children, then we are heirs - heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ (Galatians 3:6 and Romans 8:16-18).
Therefore, we can come boldly before the throne of our Father because we are His sons and daughters.God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts and it is the Spirit, His Spirit, who enables us to call out, "Abba, Father"(Galatians 4:6-8).
Jesus asked, "Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?"Jesus wanted us to see that if we who are sinners give good gifts to our children, how much more will our Heavenly Father give good gifts to His children (Matthew 7:9-11).We can ask boldly because we are His children.
Our High Priest (Jesus) understands our weaknesses, for He faced all of the same testings we do, yet He did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God.There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most (Hebrews 4:15-16 - NLT)
GospeLines Prayer:Abba, Father, let people see You through me.Let them see You when they hear me pray - not in fear as a slave to a harsh task master - but as a loving son speaking to his adoring Father.Let me be the kind of son You want me to be.Let me focus on things important to You and help me fulfill everything You planned for me to do.Help me; forgive me; keep me righteous; live in me - in Jesus name I boldly ask, knowing that my Father hears and will reply.Amen!
“…we can face Him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.”
When you are growing up in a small Gulf Coast town in Texas, there’s not a lot for a kid to do if he doesn’t go to church.I was one who went every time the doors were open and sometimes when they weren’t.
Just for fun I would sometimes sneak in, stand behind the pulpit and make believe that I was preaching to a full house, take the offering, and sing choruses (loudly!)I would even pretend to play the piano, and practice baptizing the converts at the end.“How long should I hold them under?” I wondered.“Would it be ok if I baptized them with my left hand?”These deep theological questions concerned me for a few years until I realized that some things don’t matter as much as others.
Playing church kept my vivid imagination in check most of the time.People around my little town thought I was a pretty good boy, and I guess I was, all things considered.Funny thing, in all that time, I never played around with prayer.Maybe I thought it was just too personal or too serious.Or, maybe I just didn’t know how to pray back then.I still don’t know as much about it as I should.
As a teenager, the other kids sort of looked to me for leadership at church.We had an awesome youth group which had the usual activities, fellowships, church camp, youth choir, Vacation Bible School and Training Union on Sunday nights.I was lucky enough to sing in the adult choir on Sunday morning, which meant rehearsal on Wednesday night.That’s where I learned about the seriousness of prayer.
Brother Lloyd led the singing and directed the choirs.He was a fulltime high school coach and helped out as our Minister of Music.But it wasn’t his singing I remember as much as it was his heart for prayer.He asked me one day, “Tommy, will you pray for me?I need the prayer support from you.”I said I would and really meant it, but I guess it wasn’t very high on my list of church things to do.In fact, I forgot all about that commitment I made to him until a few weeks later.
After church one Sunday morning, Brother Lloyd called me over and asked me, “Tommy, have you been praying for me?”My heart fell to the floor.Here I was in the church building and the next thing I heard these lying lips say was, “YESSIR, I sure have!”I thought he would just pat me on the back and thank me.It would at least give me a chance to make good on a promise I forgot about.Instead, he put both hands on my shoulders, looked me square in the eyes and said, “I just don’t feel your prayers, Tommy.”Busted!
I wanted to run away and get lost in the crowd but he had me nailed to the corner with those powerful hands and piercing eyes.I didn’t know what to say.Thankfully, he let me off the hook and said, “Just keep on praying, Tommy.Just keep on praying.”
When you know someone has a need that only God can handle, what do you say to them?“Let’s just pray about it,” or “We need to give that to God,” or the one I hear the most, “I’ll be prayin’ for ya!”Beloved, don’t say it unless you mean it.Praying for someone else is serious business.In fact, it’s the highest type of prayers you can take to God’s throne.When you pray for someone else, unselfishly, God’s ears perk up and you’ve got His undivided attention.
GospeLines Prayer:Father, in times like these we need people who will pray up or shut up!Boldly I come to you to ask that you separate the prayer warriors from the prayer pretenders.Replace our haphazard, halfway, henpecked praying with energized, sanctified, 24/7 petitions which will storm the gates of heaven. When I am timid, make me like Stephen; if I lose my way, give me the spirit of Joshua; if my heart grows cold, remind me of David. And when I do get around to praying, give me the heart of a champion so that I will never give in, never give in, never, never, never!Amen and amen!