Black History Commemorative Prayer

black-history-commemorative-prayer

God, our Father in heaven,

Hallowed is your name! Thank you for the privilege and access to come in confidence to your throne of grace, where we can obtain mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.  We come in the name of Jesus today. We rejoice in saying, you are our God; we worship you and you alone! Thank you! Thank you for daily provision, naturally and spiritually. Thank you for the plan of salvation through faith in your Son, Jesus the Christ, in whom through His blood is the remission of sin.  Thank you for forgiving us and for your enabling power that’s available so that we can forgive others. Father, thank you for the trials and triumph; for bringing us through the dark and evil days of yesteryear.  Thank you for those who bore the burden and paid the price for freedom as a people.  Let us not forget their sacrifice of life. And we pray for this generation to be willing to stand as they did; to stand for righteousness, justice, and equality.  Lord, open the eyes of our heart so that we understand as they did, the fight is not just for the present, but for generations to come.  Help us to not be so focused and selfish concerning our rights now, but to pray for your kingdom to come and your will be done in future generations.  Help us to realize that just as we stand on the shoulders of those who fought for us today, so must future generations stand on our shoulders. Therefore, we must be vigilant and alert, knowing that our adversaries are many, but you, O Lord is with us when we stand for righteousness and justice. Let us be the light that shines in this dark world! May we have the fortitude, boldness, and tenacity to stand fearlessly in the face of opposition and fight for what is right, speak out against what is wrong; that we will speak the truth in love, being confident that there is an invisible host much greater than those opposing us. We praise you, our just God, who sees all and knows everything; nothing is hidden from you; and in perfect timing, you will expose lies and reveal hidden truths that will set many people free! Father, as we commemorate Black History, we pray, let the good that we do today be a legacy we leave for tomorrow. May the truth that we stand on and declare today be words that will empower and transform lives tomorrow.

Thank you, Father, for empowering our ancestors, and our elders, to endure persecutions, to stand in faith and survive great adversity so that this generation could have a great cloud of witnesses cheering us on saying,

“Fight the good fight of faith! Sound the alarm and declare, ‘Let justice roll down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.’” (Amos 5:24). 

We pray, let us not grow weary in doing what is good and pleasing to You.  In the name of Jesus, we pray with thanksgiving. Amen.

Help the Others

When they heard Paul speak about the resurrection of the dead, some laughed in contempt, but others said, “We want to hear more about this later.” That ended Paul’s discussion with them, but some joined him and became believers. Among them were Dionysius, a member of the council, a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

—Acts 17:32-34

 

The above Scripture passage really caught my attention and inspired this short word of encouragement and insight.

Everyone may not take what you have to say seriously, and receive it in faith.  You shouldn’t take it personal. You are the messenger carrying the Light of hope to help others. You are the bearer of “good news.” So what if they laugh in contempt at the good news of the Kingdom? Don’t be offended.  There are others who want to hear more about it, and will receive it in faith. Tell them. They will believe. Praise God for the ones who are drawn to the Light the world—Jesus Christ.

Unfortunately, you don’t know who will laugh and who will listen; therefore, you should keep telling the story of hope and redemption. Don’t lose heart and stop being a witness because you fear of rejection. When people don’t receive the message of hope, they are not rejecting you. They are rejecting the Christ—the One able to rescue them from eternal torment.  

Focus on the ones who will join forces to advance the Kingdom of God. They are the others; help the others that want to hear what you have to say about Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead, and His unconditional love that will transform their life.

Pray for them. Encourage them. Help them. Also, pray for those who will respond negatively and in contempt and laughter. Pray for their souls; they are also the others…help them by interceding on their behalf. Why? Because all things are possible with God.

 

Keep running!

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnare us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.                         —Hebrews 12:1-2

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I’m certain several of you watched the 2012 Olympics and enjoyed seeing the athletes compete. Consider, in particularly, track and field.

Did you see any of the athletes stop running prior to the end of the race? Although they knew the possibility of coming in last, no one gave up. They kept running to the finish.  At least I didn’t see anyone give up. Did you?

 In order to make it to the Olympics they had to have a “made-up” mind…an absolute resolve that said I’m in the race to run, and I want to win. It’s a chance of a lifetime to win the gold! Therefore, they trained and exercised to be physically fit. They worked hard to achieve their goal. They believed in themselves; others believed in them and cheered them on.  They remained focused and motivated. They didn’t allow negative thoughts, doubt and unbelief to keep them from running. The spirit of defeat and hopelessness didn’t overwhelm them to the point of giving up. Of course, they knew from the start that everyone couldn’t win the gold, but they didn’t lose hope.

The above is an analogy with spiritual significance and truth. However,  I’m convinced that as Christians, we have an advantage in running our race. In the above passage, Apostle Paul encourages us not to give up by reminding us of all those before us who are now in the Faith Hall of Fame (chapter eleven). Their faith should motivate and inspire us. They are our invisible witnesses cheering us on. However, they did not have the advantage we have today—the Cross.  You probably never thought about Jesus’ death on the cross as being an advantage for us.   Relating to Jesus’ earthly race of endurance that ended in death on the cross, but resulted in victory for us through His resurrection is our greatest motivation to keep running in life’s Christian race. He is the Source of our faith, and the only One who completes it. He empowers us to stay in the race! Once we make up our minds to stay focused on Him, not get distracted by the naysayers and spectators on the sidelines, but instead stay in spiritual shape, we can keep running to the finish line. Still, it is our personal responsibility to do whatever it takes to stay in life’s marathon of faith—such as rid ourselves of everything that weighs us down, and the sin that trips us up and causes us to fall. If we fall, get back up and keep running! We must believe in Jesus Christ and remember all those in the Hall of Faith are cheering us on.

Best of all, in this race, we are all winners if we keep running. Stay spiritually fit through much prayer, praise, worship and the study of God’s Word.  Jesus is our role model. Keep your eyes on Jesus. Study Him. He stayed focus on His goal—He endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now He is seated in the place of honor beside the Father’s throne.

Keep running! The Holy Spirit will remind you of the glorious future that awaits you when you finish the race, and receive your reward…a gold medal? No! better than that…eternal life!

 Here’s the truth: You are in a win-win race! Keep running!

The Path of Peace

My faith says if I pray hard enough and believe long enough things will change.

Is it too much to hope for? Am I considered naïve to even think things could possibly be different from what they are now? Is it not my privilege to think…to believe…to pray…to hope…to expect?

Here’s what I think; here is what I believe, and pray and hope and even imagine…

Through the heartfelt mercies of our God, God’s Sunrise will break in upon us, shining on those in the darkness, those sitting in the shadow of death, then showing us the way, one foot at a time, down the path of peace…

 

That’s it! The path of peace!

 

The path of peace will lead us to that blissful place of eternal rest. There’ll be no more sorrow, tears, heartache and pain.

 The path of peace will lead us to that majestic ambiance of glory unimaginable.  No natural eye can behold its brilliance and exquisite décor.

 No finite mind can comprehend its power.  No frail body made of dust can stand under its weight of glory.

 Oh! The Path of Peace.

It is a path that anyone can take to find their way to the Father.  He has been waiting since before the foundation of the world to welcome you into the family.

 

Do you want to know how to get on this path of peace?  Because I sense, you’re tired and weary from the burdens you bear. Your life is spinning out of control. Your mind is tormented by nightmares. The daily challenges you face are daunting; they leave you drained of strength to survive.  You’re restless although you take sleeping pills. Your system has become immune to Prozac. You feel hopeless; you’re exhausted because your days are spent worrying about anything…everything. You don’t have the power to sustain yourself.  You are tired of suffering from sickness and diseases. The substance abuse and sexual promiscuity are no longer gratifying.  You feel used and cheap. Your “pint-sized” self-esteem has evaporated into thin air. There is no satisfaction in anything you do. You are emotionally and mentally stressed by the pressures and cares of a life you’ve concluded is unfair and hopeless.  

 

The voice in your head is screaming louder and louder, “Kill yourself! It’s your only way out!”

 

NO! WAIT! Do not listen! It’s lie!  Suicide is NOT the way out! STOP!  Your solution is here!

 

TODAY, RIGHT NOW You CAN start the journey on the path of peace by accepting Jesus Christ into your heart as Savior and Lord.

 

Jesus was punished for our sins so that we may have peace (Isaiah 53:5).

Christ gives peace and rest to all who come to him in faith (Matthew 11:28-30).

Peace comes through justification by faith in Jesus (Romans 5:1).

Jesus gives peace (John 14:27).

 

I’m praying for you….Now

 Heavenly Father,

 Thank You for sending this word for that special individual who has no hope. It is because of Your unfailing love that You’re reaching out to them now. I pray that Your calming Presence embrace them now. Let Your peace overshadow and Your love uphold them.  Open their eyes to see beyond present chaos and calamities of life, and let them envision the beauty and tranquil place of glorious hope.  Father, it’s Your desire that we all have peace that exceeds our understanding.  And thank You, that You made provision by sending Your Son Jesus Christ as the Light to breakthrough like the majestic sunrise. Let the warmth of the Light shine and dispel the darkness that lurks in the soul of that beloved whose weary, battered and bruised. Mend their broken heart. Restore. Renew their mind. Change their life and make them new in Christ.

To start your journey on the path of peace, pray this prayer:

Heavenly Father,

 I believe in my heart that Jesus Christ is Your Son; that He died on the cross and You raised Him from the dead. I confess that I am a sinner in need of salvation. Lord Jesus, come into my heart. I repent; I turn away from a life of sin and turn to You. Forgive me of my sins and make me whole. I receive You as my Savior and Lord.  Thank You, Father, for rescuing me from a destructive lifestyle and eternal damnation. Thank you for eternal life. I receive Your peace with thanksgiving. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

If you prayed this prayer in sincerity, you are saved! You are now on the path of peace. Make sure you pray daily, and read the Bible. Get connected with a local church where the Bible is taught, and you can fellowship with other believers. This practice will help you grow and become knowledgeable about the teachings of Christ, and the Word of God.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13).

 

Visit Prayer Principles & Podcasts for more teaching resources, prayer coaching tips and sample prayers. 

 

 

 

 

A Powerful Testimony!

“One of the most wonderful things about being a Christian is that I don’t ever get up in the morning and wonder if what I do matters. I live every day to the fullest because I can live it through Christ and I know no matter what I do today, I’m going to do something to advance the Kingdom of God.”  —Chuck Colson

Wow! What a powerful statement! Shouldn’t this be the declaration of all Christians? Reading this quote enlightened me, and inspired me to share my perspective.

Being a Christian presents us with some amazing opportunities to end our search for significance— because I was recreated in Christ to do good works (Ephesians 2:10). I can be confident that what I do matters. I am making a difference in my sphere of influence. Getting up morning after morning wondering if what I’m doing matters can cause discouragement, especially when I don’t see the desired outcomes immediately.

Moreover, since my search for significance has ended and I live my life through Christ, my daily reality is filled with potential and purpose.  Therefore, I am intentional about the decisions I make every day. Thirdly, I’m certain about my call—be a witness of Christ in whatever I do. I resolve that I am going to do something to bring others into this magnificent Kingdom that I am a part of.  I want someone else to experience relationship with the King.

Mr. Colson’s life is a testimony to God’s power to forgive, redeem, and transform lives.

His transformation reminds us that we should never give up on people, the fulfillment of God’s plan and purpose for their life. God’s desire is to see lives changed…souls converted and reconciled to Himself through faith in Jesus Christ.  Mr. Colson’s life was also a perfect example of Romans 8:28 being manifested in the life of born-again believer of Jesus Christ.  God will take the unpleasantness and even use the bad decisions that we often make, and cause them to work together, and bring about the good that He’s invested in all of His creation.

It is my sincere prayer that the legacy and work Mr. Chuck Colson started will continue.  As a volunteer with Prison Fellowship, I know the impact this ministry has made in my personal life and that of inmates I’ve had the opportunity to minister to.

Portion of contents taken from The Colson Center website: www.chuckcolson.org

To read tributes visit www.chuckcolson.org/tributes/