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Janet Thompson

Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer

1. Take Your Worries to the Lord

Lord, I know that Satan created the spirit of fear, anxiety, doubt, and worries to torture and entrap my mind and rob me of my joy, peace, and sleep. When what-ifs wake me in the dark of night, please help me to denounce Satan and remember 1 Peter 5:7 where you say internal peace is as simple as casting all my anxiety on you because you care for me.

I am comforted that you see into the depths of my heart and the intricacies of my mind where unhealthy fears dwell. You already know what’s troubling me, but you want to hear me share my concerns with you to release the stronghold grip they have on my thoughts and emotions.

Father, I trust that you don’t want me to waste a moment of my life fretting. Please calm my racing heart and fill my troubled mind with hope and my spirit with peace. Assure me that no weapon formed against me will prosper and you have a plan and a purpose for me in this time of turmoil.

Show me your ways Lord and grant me the courage to follow where you lead. Amen.

For more prayers…

Peter was in prison, and Herod had probably ordered his execution for the next day.

Sounds like an impossible situation, doesn’t it? Imagine being a brand-new, multiplying church with the entire Roman army against you, and 16 soldiers surrounding your leader-who happens also to be in chains.

How did this church in Acts 12 respond? They didn’t have any armies or weapons. They said, “We have an impossible situation. Our beloved leader, mightily used by God, is in prison. We will pray earnestly unto God specifically for His deliverance.”

There are several principles of prayer in this passage. First and foremost, the church prayed “to God.” They knew the One to whom they were praying-His power, His authority, His great compassion and love. But there’s also another principle they practiced that we can learn from: They prayed “earnestly” (Acts 12:5).

The word “earnestly” here is a compound word in Greek. It has two parts, the first part meaning “out” and the second part meaning “stretched.” It’s the idea behind our English word for tension. It’s translated in 1 Peter 1:22 as deeply or fervently, and it’s used in Luke 22:44 where Jesus prays “in anguish” and “more earnestly” in the Garden of Gethsemane.

The image given is of focused and passionate prayer-coming to God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind, and saying, “God, I mean business! I want what I’m asking of You; I’m not just going through the motions.”

Those of us who have children may remember a time when a little one’s temperature rose to 102, then to 103, and then to 104. You may remember how our prayers changed as the temperature went up. Have you ever sat there with a little baby who’s burning up? We don’t pray, “O Lord, we would really like, if it’s in Your will, according to Your sovereign plan, to bless this child according to Your purposes,” do we? We pray, “O God, save my child!”

That’s what this word “earnestly” is saying: We need to come to God like we mean it. We need to know Who we’re really talking to, and then earnestly-with our soul stretched out before God-to say, “God, hear our cry.”

Earnest Together

A crucial aspect of the church’s earnest prayer was its corporate nature. They were united in their earnestness. The early church believed that it was the most powerful force on this earth, so when the body of Christ gathered and approached Jesus and the Father in the power of the Holy Spirit, they asked in unity.

For the rest of the post…

Paul Tautges

Paul Tautges

Lord of the Church,

As we anticipate gathering together as Your people for the purpose of worship, tomorrow morning, we pray Your name will be glorified and Your will accomplished in our hearts and the hearts of all those who worship You through Jesus Christ.

  • Lead us to the Rock, Redeemer, and Refuge. Lift our thoughts to the Rock so that we may trust in Your strength (Psalm 19:14). Touch the affections of our hearts so that we, the household of God, will grow in our love for our Redeemer, Jesus Christ, who is the Chief Cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20). Hide us in the shelter of Your wings as we listen to Your promises (Psalm 61:1-4).
  • Make us responsive to the Holy Spirit as You seek worshipers to draw near in spirit and truth. May the Holy Spirit who indwells us stir us up in our inner person to praise You with every part of our being (Psalm 138:1). Lord, reveal our hidden sins or hypocrisy so that we may repent and worship in truth, purity, and faith (Psalm 24:3-6).
  • Fill the pastor-preacher with the Holy Spirit’s power. Lord, it is You who enables a mere man to preach with clarity, conviction, and boldness as the forces of Hell wage war against him (Ephesians 6:10-20). Fill his heart with love and compassion for those to whom he preaches so that his preaching will edify and equip believers with grace and truth, and plead with unbelievers to embrace Christ (Ephesians 4:12; 2 Corinthians 5:20).

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A Saturday Night Prayer

Paul Tautges
Paul Tautges

Paul Tautges serves as senior pastor at Cornerstone Community Church in suburban Cleveland, Ohio, having previously pastMore

Lord of the Church,

As we anticipate gathering together as Your people for the purpose of worship, tomorrow morning, we pray Your name will be glorified and Your will accomplished in our hearts and the hearts of all those who worship You through Jesus Christ.

  • Lead us to the Rock, Redeemer, and Refuge. Lift our thoughts to the Rock so that we may trust in Your strength (Psalm 19:14). Touch the affections of our hearts so that we, the household of God, will grow in our love for our Redeemer, Jesus Christ, who is the Chief Cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20). Hide us in the shelter of Your wings as we listen to Your promises (Psalm 61:1-4).
  • Make us responsive to the Holy Spirit as You seek worshipers to draw near in spirit and truth. May the Holy Spirit who indwells us stir us up in our inner person to praise You with every part of our being (Psalm 138:1). Lord, reveal our hidden sins or hypocrisy so that we may repent and worship in truth, purity, and faith (Psalm 24:3-6).
  • Fill the pastor-preacher with the Holy Spirit’s power. Lord, it is You who enables a mere man to preach with clarity, conviction, and boldness as the forces of Hell wage war against him (Ephesians 6:10-20). Fill his heart with love and compassion for those to whom he preaches so that his preaching will edify and equip believers with grace and truth, and plead with unbelievers to embrace Christ (Ephesians 4:12; 2 Corinthians 5:20).

For the rest of the post…

by Stacie Marshall

9 Aretha Franklin Gospel Hymns to Remember Her Life

The world mourns the loss of legendary Gospel singer Aretha Franklin who passed away on August 16, 2018. We’ve compiled 9 Aretha Franklin Gospel hymns to remember the life of this remarkable woman.

Aretha, who was 76-years-old was in hospice care, and her family hopeful that she would pull through. NME reports that the official cause of death was advanced pancreatic cancer, which Aretha has been battling since 2011.

The powerful soul singer will undoubtedly go down in music history. Influenced and inspired by gospel music, Aretha grew up in church.

Aretha spent a lot of time in church when she was younger since she was a ‘preacher’s kid’. Her dad was the minister at New Bethel Baptist Church, and that was where Aretha discovered her God-given gift for singing. Her faith was very important to Aretha so even as she began to gain fame as a singer, she maintained her gospel roots and never lost her faith.

Franklin released her first album, “Songs of Faith,” in 1956. In her 62-year career, Aretha earned an incredible 10 top-10 singles, including “I Say a Little Prayer” and “Respect.”

According to Business Insiders Aretha was one of the best-selling female artists in history with 75 million records sold worldwide. Our prayers go out to her family for their loss!

Below, please find nine of our favorite Aretha Franklin gospel songs. These hymns are so good!

For the rest of the post… 

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