Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Chilean Miners Give Praise to God

Each of the miners emergeed from the capsule named "Fenix" wearing a shirt that says, "Thank you Lord." On the back are the words, "To Him be the glory and honor," taken from Psalm 95:4. "Because in his hands are the depths of the earth, and the heights of the mountains are His."

The shirts were donated by the brother of miner Jose Henriquez, who is an evangelical Christian and has been a spiritual guide for the group. The idea for the shirts came to Henriquez's brother, also a Christian, after hearing a sermon from his pastor on Psalm 95.

Mario SepĂșlveda, the second worker to be rescued and the one who gained the admiration of the world for his good attitude when he came out of the mine, was the first to speak to the press.

"God and the devil were fighting over me and God won", he said. " I always knew they would get me out. I always had faith in the professionals here in Chile and in the Great Creator."

The fourth miner to surface was the Bolivian Carlos Mamani. He knelt down, as soon as he came out of the capsule and pointed to heaven, giving thanks to God.

Omar Reygadas, a 56-year-old electrician did the same. He came out of the capsule with a Bible in his hands and knelt down to give thanks to God. Written on his helmet was, "God lives."

Terrific Stuff -- Thank the Lord for His protection and provision.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Just Pray -- Change Me

When you pray -- make your prayers focus on a changed life.

People who are learning to pray often get frustrated with prayer because it seems nothing ever changes. Maybe that’s because we aren’t praying for the right change. I’ve noticed that the vast majority of our prayers are for God to change our circumstances. Maybe God doesn’t want to change our circumstances. Maybe he wants to change us.

That doesn’t mean he won’t ever change our circumstances. I’ve seen God supply needs, open opportunities, and heal people in incredible ways. But I’ve also spent years praying for something that never changes. That should be my first clue that I may not be praying for the right thing.

It is important not to make prayer into a complaint session, when in reality it’s an incredible opportunity to gain the wisdom, direction, and power of the King of kings who rules all time and places.

Lord change me!

Just Pray -- with Praise

Make Your Prayers Praise-Filled.
Paul started his prayer in Ephesians 1:16 by saying, “I have not stopped giving thanks . . .”

He’d learned that the key to praying is not to focus on a list of troubles, but to praise God for what he has done. How can we do that—how can we give thanks in everything, as Paul later admonished us to do in his letter to the Thessalonians?

We have to trust that God knows what he’s doing. In time we learn to see the hand of God working in our lives even when they are difficult. We praise God -- not because we like the challenges He brings us -- but because we know He is worthy.

Make sure your prayers are filled with praise.

Balancing Prayers

Here are a few thoughts on how to pray in a healthy way.

Make Your Prayers God-Centered: When you pray, remember who you are talking to. You’ve been given the privilege of coming before the creator of the universe. This is the God who made everything that lives, and he has given you the honor of bringing requests before him. That’s why so many teachers tell us to start our prayers with adoration. When we tell God how great, powerful, and magnificent he is, it reminds us that he truly is those things. It gives us a sense of awe and expectancy that something great could come out of this conversation we’re having with the One who can do anything.

Paul spent more than half of his prayer in Ephesians 1 extolling God’s virtues. When Paul wrote this book, he was in prison. He could have listed a litany of prayer requests that would have made ours pale in comparison, but instead he focused on who God is. Surely the power of that prayer carried him further than any listing of complaints. It also showed the Ephesians how to pray victoriously in the midst of whatever they were facing.

Be sure to keep your prayers centered on God.