Encouragement and Prayer: Sacrificial Friendships (02/26/21)

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This is the audio from the February 26, 2021 live social media broadcast of encouragement and prayer by Impact Prayer Ministry’s director, Tom Lemler.

You can find the live video feeds of these encouragement and prayer times on Impact Prayer Ministry’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.

In prayer,
Tom

Serving God: Sacrificial Friendships

Serving God: Sacrificial Friendships

It is my prayer that every Christian recognizes the importance of serving God through the way we serve others.  There are few things, if any, that are as emotionally exhilarating, and draining, as the task of serving others.  Having worked in a variety of ministry settings, including various roles within Christian camp ministry, I understand the excitement that often comes with the beginning of a new ministry or ministry season.  I also understand the weariness than can develop when our focus begins to drift away from the ministry of serving and onto ourselves.

This is day six in the seventh week of devotions from the book, “Serving God: Devotions for Active Worship”.  This devotional book is laid out in thirteen weeks of daily devotions with each week wrapped around an aspect of how we can serve others.  Each of these devotions are designed to help a person spend time with God to see how serving others is an act of worship.

Serving God:
Sacrificial Friendships

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.  Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.  You are my friends if you do what I command.
John 15:12-14 (NIV)

What would you give to help a friend?  What wouldn’t you be willing to give?  Are you sure?  What do you see as the purpose of your friendships?  Do you live as if your friendships are primarily for your benefit or theirs?  What would they say?  How willingly do you give of yourself to those you serve?  What things do you feel you are sacrificing to serve in the way that you do?  Are you happy about doing so?

While most of us can probably quote the scripture, “It is more blessed to give than receive”, we tend to have a difficult time putting it into practice on a regular basis.  We may give, but we often miss the “blessed” part because we aren’t really giving anything that costs us in a sacrificial way.  Serving well requires that we give of ourselves in so many sacrificial ways.  We must give of our time, our resources, our strength, our comfort, our emotions, our “whatever it takes”.  Serving through friendship will require that we lay down our self to help another.

As you pray, ask God to help you see an accurate view of your current friendships.  Pray that you would grow in being a friend that lives sacrificially.  Pray that your serving others would reflect a Christ-like attitude of sacrificial friendship.

In prayer,

Tom

Encouragement and Prayer: Pleasant Friendships (02/25/21)

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This is the audio from the February 25, 2021 live social media broadcast of encouragement and prayer by Impact Prayer Ministry’s director, Tom Lemler.

You can find the live video feeds of these encouragement and prayer times on Impact Prayer Ministry’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.

In prayer,
Tom

Serving God: Pleasant Friendships

Serving God: Pleasant Friendships

It is my prayer that every Christian recognizes the importance of serving God through the way we serve others.  There are few things, if any, that are as emotionally exhilarating, and draining, as the task of serving others.  Having worked in a variety of ministry settings, including various roles within Christian camp ministry, I understand the excitement that often comes with the beginning of a new ministry or ministry season.  I also understand the weariness than can develop when our focus begins to drift away from the ministry of serving and onto ourselves.

This is day five in the seventh week of devotions from the book, “Serving God: Devotions for Active Worship”.  This devotional book is laid out in thirteen weeks of daily devotions with each week wrapped around an aspect of how we can serve others.  Each of these devotions are designed to help a person spend time with God to see how serving others is an act of worship.

Serving God:
Pleasant Friendships

“Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of one’s friend springs from his earnest counsel.
Proverbs 27:9 (NIV)

If you had an entire day free, who would you spend it with?  Why?  Do you have friends who you trust to give you good advice whether you seek it or not?  Which is easier, to give advice when it is wanted or unwanted?  What does that say about friends who give godly advice even when you don’t want to hear it?  Are you more likely to give counsel that is needed and helpful or simply what the other person wants to hear?  Why? 

I don’t know anyone who enjoys being deceived.  Or do I?  Sometimes we don’t want to hear the truth so we surround ourselves with people who will tell us what we want to hear instead of what we need to hear — in other words, people who will deceive us.  This creates a huge issue in a friendship because we really know they’re not honest about the issue at hand and we begin to wonder what else they’re not honest about.  As we serve, it is important that we maintain pleasant friendships by having the courage to give earnest counsel.

As you pray, ask God to help you examine the counsel you usually give others.  Pray that the counsel and advice you share with your friends would be both truthful and loving.

In prayer,

Tom

Encouragement and Prayer: Careful Friendships (02/24/21)

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This is the audio from the February 24, 2021 live social media broadcast of encouragement and prayer by Impact Prayer Ministry’s director, Tom Lemler.

You can find the live video feeds of these encouragement and prayer times on Impact Prayer Ministry’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.

In prayer,
Tom

Serving God: Careful Friendships

Serving God: Careful Friendships

It is my prayer that every Christian recognizes the importance of serving God through the way we serve others.  There are few things, if any, that are as emotionally exhilarating, and draining, as the task of serving others.  Having worked in a variety of ministry settings, including various roles within Christian camp ministry, I understand the excitement that often comes with the beginning of a new ministry or ministry season.  I also understand the weariness than can develop when our focus begins to drift away from the ministry of serving and onto ourselves.

This is day four in the seventh week of devotions from the book, “Serving God: Devotions for Active Worship”.  This devotional book is laid out in thirteen weeks of daily devotions with each week wrapped around an aspect of how we can serve others.  Each of these devotions are designed to help a person spend time with God to see how serving others is an act of worship.

Serving God:
Careful Friendships

A righteous man is cautious in friendship, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.
Proverbs 12:26 (NIV)

How much influence do your friends have on you?  How much do you influence them?  Have you ever been hurt by someone claiming to be your friend?  Have you ever hurt someone who claimed you as a friend?  Do you consider friendship to be something that is given or earned?  Why?  What are some dangers of not being careful in friendships as you serve?  Is it possible to be too careful?  Why?  How will careful friendships improve your serving today?

The people we associate with most closely often have the ability to influence us for good or bad, depending on their character and ours.  We also are able to influence others for good or bad through our friendships with them.  As we serve, it is important that we develop careful friendships where we build one another up for God’s glory.  Some of those we serve need a friend that will listen to them, some need a friend that will tell them God’s truth, most need both.

As you pray, ask God to guard your friendships.  Pray that you would be careful with the direction your friendships lead you and your friends.  Pray that you would be careful in the way you use the influence of your friendships with those you serve.

In prayer,

Tom

Encouragement and Prayer: Intercessory Friendships (02/23/21)

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This is the audio from the February 23, 2021 live social media broadcast of encouragement and prayer by Impact Prayer Ministry’s director, Tom Lemler.

You can find the live video feeds of these encouragement and prayer times on Impact Prayer Ministry’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.

In prayer,
Tom

Serving God: Intercessory Friendships

Serving God: Intercessory Friendships

It is my prayer that every Christian recognizes the importance of serving God through the way we serve others.  There are few things, if any, that are as emotionally exhilarating, and draining, as the task of serving others.  Having worked in a variety of ministry settings, including various roles within Christian camp ministry, I understand the excitement that often comes with the beginning of a new ministry or ministry season.  I also understand the weariness than can develop when our focus begins to drift away from the ministry of serving and onto ourselves.

This is day three in the seventh week of devotions from the book, “Serving God: Devotions for Active Worship”.  This devotional book is laid out in thirteen weeks of daily devotions with each week wrapped around an aspect of how we can serve others.  Each of these devotions are designed to help a person spend time with God to see how serving others is an act of worship.

Serving God:
Intercessory Friendships

My intercessor is my friend as my eyes pour out tears to God; on behalf of a man he pleads with God as a man pleads for his friend.
Job 16:20-21 (NIV)

Have you ever needed someone to speak on your behalf?  If you needed someone, who would you ask?  Who would volunteer?  Are there people you pray for on a regular basis?  Do they know?  Are there people praying for you?  How do you know?  How likely are you to stand up for those you work with if they are accused of doing something wrong?  Would they stand up for you?  How would thinking of yourself as an advocate for those you serve change the way you serve?

Satan seems to have two primary weapons through which a lot of bad things happen — deceit and accusation.  Often times he uses them together in ways that become fatal to our friendships and to our spiritual walk with God.  The Bible teaches that both the Holy Spirit and Jesus currently intercede before the Father on our behalf.  It also makes it clear that we are called to intercede through prayer for the people who are in our life.  As we serve through friendships, one of the greatest things we can do is to pray for, and with, those we serve.

As you pray, ask God to show you how to pray for the needs of your friends.  Pray regularly for those you serve with.

In prayer,

Tom