I Am Praying for Them

John 17:6-9 – “I (Jesus) have manifested in Your name to the people whom You gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and You gave them to me, and they have kept Your word. Now they know that everything that You have given Me is from You. For I have given them the words that You gave Me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from You; and they have believed that You sent Me. I am praying for them. … … …

How often do you feel alone? Unseen? Misunderstood? Do you ever feel like you’re potentially on the edge of defeat? Has there ever been a time you’ve falsely convinced yourself that you didn’t have what it takes to win a battle you had to fight?

I am praying for them.

I’m sure each and every one of us have dealt with each of the above scenarios more than once in our lives. But, do you think those moments would end much more quickly if we could get ourselves to remember that Jesus Christ is praying for us?

I am praying for them.

He prays for all believers to be unified, in one accord, etc. as He and the Father are. John 17:11- … “I am no longer in the world, but they are… Holy Father, keep them in Your name… that they may be one, even as We are one.”    

I am praying for them.

Too often we Christians allow sorrow and depression to linger too long in our lives. Several scriptures make it clear that Christ longs for us to have joy and peace overshadow us along our journey. But, He prays that for us, too! John 17:13- “… now I am coming to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves.” The Creator and Savior of this world prays for us to have His joy satisfied and achieved in our lives! So, when sorrow tries to unpack its bags and depression attempts to pick out its new room, just remind them Who is praying for you to have joy and send them on their way!

I am praying for them.

Maybe you’re feeling weak and unequipped to face temptation everyday. You’re discouraged and maybe even angry at yourself for “failing” at the same things on multiple occasions. You can overcome that! You are more than a conqueror through Him. (Romans 8:37) Why? Because of these words spoken to the Father by the Son, “I do not ask that You take them out of the world, but that You keep them from the evil one.” John 17:15  Remind yourself every morning when you wake up that your Redeemer is calling out for you to be protected from the enemy’s tactics… to be kept from his lies… to avoid each thing he attempts to throw at you! With your determination, His strength, your faith, and His prayers… You can and will be victorious in all that you are faced with!

I am praying for them.

Are you struggling with direction? Unanswered questions? Unfamiliar territories? Determining God’s plan for your life? He also prays that you will find yourself consecrated, approved, supported, authorized, and endorsed through the Word of God. John 17:17- Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. When you dedicate yourself to the Word of God; when you read your bible to glean knowledge and instruction; and when you pray that God opens your eyes to an even deeper wisdom so that you can live life to its fullest potential, you will see all those things take place. You will find your way. The majority of your questions will be given answers. Confidence, courage, and contentment will be yours to wear. You just have to commit yourself to the faithful reading of His Word. You can do that…

I am praying for them.

He wants you to dwell in His presence and be filled with a deep, unconditional, gracious, and Godly love, too! John 17:24, 26- “Father, I desire that they also… may be with Me where I am, to see My glory that You have given Me… I made known to them Your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which You have loved Me may be in them…”

What a beautiful and blessed life you’ve been given to live! All these prayers… they’re powerful and they will come to pass! James 5:16- … “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much!” He IS righteousness, so His prayers will not go unheard or unanswered… and He prays for you!! Remind yourself of His words today and everyday…

I am praying for them.

Prayer: Lord, thank You for praying for me. Thank You for wanting such great and mighty things for my life. May I never forget Your words nor cease to praise You for Your excellent kindness to me. Thank You for the promise of victory. I love You. In Your name I boldly declare this, amen.

“Withholding Nothing”

(2 Corinthians 9: 11-14)11 Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God. 12 So two good things will result from this ministry of giving—the needs of the believers in Jerusalem will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanks to God.  13 As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ. 14 And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the overflowing grace God has given to you.

Finances are a touchy subject for so many of us.  Some of us have been through some really hard times, and had nothing but our own hard work to pull us out of the ditch.  Some of us have had some help from loved ones along the way.  Some of us are still in the struggle, just trying to get through to the next pay period.  For so many of us, it’s been a fight.  I’ve felt that way a lot in my own life…like it’s just always a climb, and never that exhilarating coast downhill.  In fact, my husband and I were just recently talking about how even though we are making more money these days, we still seem to have those really hard weeks when things are just super tight.  The truth is, we aren’t always the best stewards that we can be with our money.  We are faithful with our tithe and offering, and we often go the extra mile in situations where we see need, but we just aren’t always very mindful, I guess you could say.  We can, and should, do better.  Why??  Because when we are good stewards with every penny, we are showing God that we can be trusted with more.  I have always said that I would like to be wealthy enough to be able to give to my heart’s content.  That truly is my desire, but how can I ever expect God to entrust me with abundance if I am too frivolous with what little I have now? 

When God blesses you financially, don’t raise your standard of living. Raise your standard of giving.

-Dr. Mark Batterson

Instead of going out and making unnecessary upgrades to our lives — just because — we must make it a habit to first pause and ask God what He would have us do with our increase.  Sometimes, it is that upgrade you’ve been longing for…just because.  But other times?  Other times — often much of the time — there is someone out there who needs it more than we need something shiny and fun.  We have to be sensitive to what God is doing around us, and let Him do some of it through us as well.  When you see a need, respond.  When you feel that internal push to give, don’t hesitate…just respond.  Folks, it’s just money.  It’s a tool — an avenue — that can change someone else’s life more than you would imagine. 

When we are able to let go of our finances, to release that control and allow God’s perfect will for our earnings to take place, that is when blessings will flow and create a ripple effect.  When we give, it doesn’t just allow God to bless our own lives with more, it allows someone else to experience the peace of provision.  What’s even more though, the love of God becomes evident in the lives of all who are blessed by this intricate, endless domino effect that you have begun.  It’s a beautiful thing. 

So let me encourage you today, to prayerfully consider what kind of steward you truly are with your money.  Look for opportunities to do whatever you can to make someone else’s life just a little bit easier. 

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, you know my heart so well.  You see my inner desires, and you know that part of who I am and what makes me tick is my desire to be a blessing…to be helpful to others.  So I ask that would help me use wisdom to be a better steward of my finances, so that I can give as much money, love, and provision as I can, to people who need it more than I do.  As always, all of the glory goes to You, Lord.  Amen. 

I Just Had to Tell Ya!

Psalm 66- “Shout for joy to God, all the earth; sing the glory of His name; give to him glorious praise! Say to God, ‘How awesome are Your deeds! So great is Your power… all the earth worships You’… Come and see what God has done: He is awesome in His deeds toward… man… Who rules by His might forever, Whose eyes keep watch on the nations… Bless our God, … let the sounds of His praise be heard… We went through fire and through water; yet You have brought us out to a place of abundance… Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell you what He has done for my soul. I cried to Him with my mouth, and high praise was on my tongue… Truly God has listened; He has attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, because He has not rejected my prayer or removed His steadfast love from me!”


“What He has done for my soul…”

Those words penetrated my heart when I read them aloud this morning. Immediately the intense and unconditional love with which He pursued me relentlessly became vivid once again in every corner of my mind. Too often I let the concerns and obligations of this life drown out the most incredible truth I know. But, oh, how refreshing to be reminded of it!

No doubt, the greatest gift He gave my soul was salvation. To offer me something I in no way could ever earn or deserve… simply because He loved me and wanted to have a relationship with me… absolutely amazing! To pay off the incredible debt that I owed, to justify me without cause, and forgive every selfish trait in me… marvelous beyond words!

Still, He didn’t stop there! He is awesome in His deeds toward us! He daily loads us down with benefits and adds no sorrow, no guilt, no baggage to it! Favor, promotion, friends, family, laughter, hugs, blessing upon blessing, simply because He loves us!

Throughout this life we face many obstacles; fear, betrayal, loss, grief, frustration, loneliness… but the moment we cast it all on Him, He takes it away and replaces it with His peace and joy! And still the gifts keep coming! He instills within us this deep, pulsating expectancy that we can’t even fully comprehend, let alone explain. Still, it puts an extra skip in our step and allows us the ability to walk through even the most troubling of times with an assurance that we’ll be more than okay! We went through fire and through water; yet You have brought us OUT to a place of abundance!

And it keeps getting better! He LISTENS to me!! Every cry I’ve muttered and every praise I’ve exclaimed; He’s heard every word. He even listens to the worries and wishes only my heart can make. Can you soak that in for just a second? As much as I loathe having to admit this, I’ll say it. I’ve had to really work on paying attention to people when they speak to me. If the conversation interests me or captures my sympathy, I’m all in. But, if the former isn’t quite happening, my brain will dart off onto some other forlorn path way off in neverland, and I’m left trying to figure out if I should laugh or nod, say “Oh no!,” or respond in some other way. I get so ashamed because I really DO care about people and how they’re feeling, and I can’t understand how I so quickly misplace my attention. I’ve tried to justify it by reminding myself of all that I have going on, but that doesn’t make it acceptable. And when I think of all God is involved in- it humbles me and thrills my heart to know He never loses interest in what I say to Him. (Even the whiny, nothingness that sometimes -oftentimes- escapes my lips!) He offers my soul a 24/7 place of rest and security!

How could I think on all of this (and it’s still such a small fraction of what He has done for me!) and not exalt His name? He has not rejected me or removed His steadfast love from me! God is so good to me! He’s good to you! He loves us! And He is constantly looking for opportunities to exhibit that love. May I never overlook one of them! He puts so much thought into me…

My soul is forever grateful.

And I just had to tell ya!

Prayer: Dear Lord, I just want to thank You for the love You have for me. I want to praise You for all the good things You have done. It’s unfathomable how deep and sincere Your love is for Your children. You love us all like we’re the only one! May I never fail to bless Your name for this wonderful, peaceful life You’ve given to me. Thank You for being a constant source of strength and contentment. You are a good God! Worthy of all our praise! May we never lose our wonder! In Your precious and holy name I pray. Amen.

Every Spiritual Blessing!

(Ephesians 1:3-4 ESV) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.

Like many Americans, I don’t have the resources to possess EVERYTHING I want. Have you ever daydreamed about what it would be like to have unlimited resources? To have enough money to buy anything you want, whenever you want it? Have you ever thought about what it would be like to own properties, and have bank accounts like so many of the rich people of the world? I’d say most of us have…

My mind was captivated by the words of Ephesians 1:3-4. I literally had to stop reading and  try to take in all that was being said in this short statement. The writer starts by establishing the source of our blessings. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!” The word “blessed” suggests that God is “endowed” with everything necessary to meet the needs of His people. There is, literally, no lack in his holdings! If we take it a step further, we realize that His “endowment” was not an inheritance, but came from His own creative process. God literally makes everything He distributes!

I remember a song made popular several years ago by The Imperials entitled No Shortage. Some of the lyrics are…

There’s a shortage on corn
And there’s a shortage on wheat
There’s a shortage on beans
And there’s a shortage on meat
Things that we’re needing we just can’t hardly buy
Soon we’ll be asking if we’re all gonna die
But I know a great thing that there’s no shortage of
There’s no shortage on God’s mercy
There’s no shortage on God’s love

There’s a shortage on friendship
There’s a shortage on smiles
There’s a shortage on neighbors
Though there’s millions for miles
Thank Heaven for one thing that there’s no shortage of
There’s no shortage on God’s mercy
There’s no shortage on God’s love

Think about that! We all run short occasionally, but our Heavenly Father never runs out of ANYTHING, and He share generously!

The writer continues by saying, “who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.” Every spiritual blessing? Yep. That’s what it says. Notice, it does not say, “every natural blessing.” There are many things we desire that would not benefit us spiritually.

In my “middle-aged” years, I have become keenly aware of the importance of having an eternal perspective. We can’t even imagine all that God has reserved for us “when we all get to Heaven.”  But, that’s not really what Paul is saying here. Actually, he is saying that God has made available EVERY spiritual blessing through Jesus Christ in the HERE AND NOW. Yes, there are treasures “laid up” for us… but, until the day God calls us home, we will be well supplied with EVERY spiritual blessing through Jesus. And, that’s just AMAZING!

PRAYER: Father, I’m so grateful that You do not withhold any good thing from Your people. Every good and pleasant gift comes from You–the Father of Lights! I’m amazed, excited, and thankful for that reality. Amen.

They Ate And Were Satisfied!

(Mark 8:1-8 ESV) 1 In those days, when again a great crowd had gathered, and they had nothing to eat, he called his disciples to him and said to them, 2 “I have compassion on the crowd, because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat. 3 And if I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way. And some of them have come from far away.” 4 And his disciples answered him, “How can one feed these people with bread here in this desolate place?” 5 And he asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” They said, “Seven.” 6 And he directed the crowd to sit down on the ground. And he took the seven loaves, and having given thanks, he broke them and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; and they set them before the crowd. 7 And they had a few small fish. And having blessed them, he said that these also should be set before them. 8 And they ate and were satisfied. And they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full.

August 7, 2016 was a banner day at the SpiritLife Church! From the very first song of worship, the preached word, the response at the altar as individuals moved by faith into a new season of victory, and the back-to-school anointing service on behalf of the children of the congregation. It was a very satisfying day!

The older I get and the more comfortable I am in my relationship with the Lord, the more satisfied I am with Him! Waking everyday to the realization that I am His child is one of the best blessings of life.

As I read this very familiar passage of Scripture, I was reminded of how compassionate Jesus was. A large crowd of people had followed him for three days. They were so excited to hear the powerful words he spoke that they didn’t even make provision for eating. Before sending them away, Jesus decided to feed them. You know the story… He took 7 loaves of bread and a few small fish, blessed them and distributed them to those who were hungry.

The next words excited my soul! “They ate and were satisfied!” The word satisfied means, “contented; pleased–meet the expectations, needs, or desires of someone.” At a time when these people could have been tired, exhausted, and dreading their return trip home–they were completely satisfied with the time spent in the presence of Jesus.

Today, regardless of the things that could sap your energy; regardless of the schedule looming before you… enjoy your relationship with Jesus! Celebrate who He is! Think about His goodness. And as you focus your thoughts on Him, you will discover a deep and abiding sense of satisfaction!

PRAYER: Jesus, I’m completely and totally satisfied with you. You have blessed me so abundantly and I’m forever grateful for Your great love! Amen.

Look To The Book!

(Joshua 1:6-9 ESV) 6 Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.

From the very outset of the leadership transition from Moses to Joshua, God established His promises to Joshua, and the requirement to obey the Book of the Law that had been passed down by Moses. Notice the commandments of the Lord to Joshua…

  • Be careful to do according to all the law.
  • Do not turn from it.
  • Don’t let it depart from your mouth.
  • Meditate on it day and night.

Every promise was contingent upon Joshua’s willingness to prioritize the Word of the Lord as it was given by Moses. Twice, God instructs Joshua to “be careful to do according to all…” Not some. Not a modified, or personalized version. But, the exact interpretation of the law as it was passed down.

As a pastor, I can relate to the responsibility that was placed upon Joshua. God told him, “YOU shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them.”  The level of Israel’s inheritance would be directly proportional to Joshua’s ability to effectively lead the people. He would have to find ways to clearly communicate all the Book of the Law.

Let’s be clear, Joshua could only teach and declare the content of the Book of the Law–he had no power to make them do it. Even when warned, Achan still disobeyed and brought judgment upon his family and the nation of Israel.

One of my great frustrations in ministry is when people live in open rebellion to Scripture. Or, they make up their own version of what they think Scripture means. By doing this, they forfeit divine blessings and open themselves to judgment.

While it is true that we are no longer obligated to keep the law, we are obligated to know and do the things that are required in Scripture. Here’s the kicker… When we realize that being obedient is beneficial, we will feel honored to obey rather than forced to obey.

PRAYER: I feel honored and blessed to be Your obedient servant. Help me to know and do what Your word commands so others may be blessed through my obedience and leadership. amen.

It’s An Honor!

(Psalm 65:4 ESV) Blessed is the one you choose and bring near, to dwell in your courts!


Not long ago, I was invited to be one of the speakers at the induction ceremony of one of my mentors into the Hall of Prophets at the Pentecostal Theological Seminary in Cleveland, Tennessee. Carl E. Allen has been one of the most positive influencers I have ever been associated with and was certainly worthy of the honor bestowed upon him.

After considering how proud I was of Carl, it dawned on me that a great honor had been bestowed upon me as well. Someone thought highly enough of me to extend the invitation and expressed confidence in my ability to speak appropriately at the induction ceremony. The invitation came written on official gold-laid letterhead from the desk of Dr. R. Lamar Vest, President of the Seminary.

On the day of the ceremony, I did my best to dress well and carry myself in such a way that I would not embarrass myself, Donna, or the Allen family. I did not anticipate the nervousness I felt when escorted into the President’s office. Once there, I discovered I was sharing the program with great men of the faith that I had respected for so many years. I remember thinking, “Rob, you are clearly out of your league!” I still remember the many emotions I felt on that day.

As I read Psalm 65:4 today, I realized there is a greater honor offered to all who have experienced a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Jesus said, Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matthew 11:28-29 NLT)

One of the greatest descriptions of divine fellowship is pictured through the words of the Psalmist when he writes, You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.(Psalm 23:5-6 ESV)

We often speak of God’s blessings. Many times, those blessings take the form of material provision, or physical strength. But, sometimes we are most satisfied when we simply rest in God’s presence, and realize that we are there because of His personal invitation.

PRAYER: Thank You Father for inviting me to dwell in Your presence. It is one of the greatest blessings in my life. You have honored me greatly and I am forever thankful! Amen.

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