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Prayer Blog

May 7 Prayer Blog

Posted by Carol Gilbert on

Genesis 15:7-21
The Promised Land Promised
God reminds Abram that He brought him out from Ur, just as He would later remind the Israelites that He brought them out of the land of Egypt, out of the land of slavery (Exodus 20:2). In both cases, God brought His people out of a place that wasn’t good for them. What has He brought you out of? Even if your past is clean and upstanding in the eyes of the world, He brought you out of something that wasn’t good for you – pride or self-reliance, for example. Think of what He saved you from and thank Him.
God could have answered Abram’s “How am I to know?” question by saying, “Shut up. I’m God.” Instead, He graciously goes through a covenant ceremony for Abram’s benefit. Pastor Shannon shared a personal story of a time God used a 747 coming in for a landing to encourage him when he was struggling – a token of God’s gracious care for him that might sound silly to others but that was deeply meaningful to him. Praise God that He knows we’re frail, that we’re dust. Thank Him for the gracious tokens of loving care He drops into your life just when you need it.
God’s promise of a land for Abram and his descendants would not be fulfilled immediately or without difficulty. In fact, it would take more than 600 years, with 400 of those years spent in slavery. Ask the Lord to protect you (and all of us) from the false teaching of the “prosperity gospel.” This appealing, but false, doctrine claims that becoming a Christian exempts you from all trouble and guarantees an easy life. Pray for people around the world (in China, for example) who are falling prey to this teaching.
God’s covenant with Abram was one-sided. It depended on God alone, not on Abram’s performance. The new covenant in Christ’s blood is similarly one-sided. It depends solely on what Jesus did, not what we do. What a comfort that is when we fail to live the life of obedient devotion He desires of us! Lord, remind us that this truth also holds when we feel like we’re succeeding, serving and obeying You (pretty well, we think). Stop us in our tracks when we slip into thinking, “God owes me because I’m so good.”
Calvary Family
Carol and Bill Thomas request prayer for their great-grandson born prematurely two weeks ago, weighing less than two pounds. Please pray for protection and recovery for him. They also ask for prayer for their extended family in dealing with a niece who is causing much grief for her family.
Pray for anyone at Calvary who is a believer but thinks baptism is optional. Baptism is symbolic of the new birth that has occurred in a believer’s life and also has symbolic value as the first act of obedience in a new life submitted to Christ. Pray that unbaptized believers in our midst will sign up for the baptism class on May 20 and consider the issue seriously.
Lift up the men of our TLC house, Calvary’s residential program for men overcoming addictions. I don’t know what struggles, problems, or temptations these individuals face at the moment or what successes and joys they may be celebrating.  But ask the Lord to encourage them, strengthen them, and guide them.
Do you know a young person who is living in Babylonian captivity? He or she was raised in a Christian home and in the church, professed faith at some point, but is now questioning or doubting or denying. Of course, pray for him or her to return to the Promised Land. But pray also for those who love them and grieve over their wandering. Ask the Lord to comfort them, to remind them that He knows His own and can work in ways we can’t even imagine. Ask the Lord to protect them from the burden of thinking, “If only I had the right words to say …” Ask Him to fill them with peace and trust in Him.

In Christ,
Carol Gilbert
Calvary Community Church of Brea