Encouragement and Prayer (11/23/20)

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This is the audio from the November 23, 2020 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

A Heart of Thanksgiving:  Thankful For Growth

A Heart of Thanksgiving: Thankful For Growth

Thanksgiving.  What is the first thing that comes to mind when you read or hear that word?  Is it a day, a family meal, or perhaps a specific menu of foods?  Is it an attitude that comes and goes based on how you feel?  Or is it a way of life which flows from you regardless of your circumstances?  These devotions I will be sharing this month were originally written throughout November 2019 and then edited/updated during the summer of 2020 for a 31 day devotional journal, “The Heart of Thanksgiving:  Living a Life of Thankfulness”.  I will be re-sharing them here this month to encourage each of us to pursue a greater spirit of thankfulness in all we do.

Here is day twenty-three with an important reminder that living with a heart of thanksgiving should cause us to be thankful for the growth God brings into our life.

Day Twenty-Three:
Thankful For Growth

“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.  Instead of the thorn bush will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.  This will be for the LORD‘s renown, for an everlasting sign, which will not be destroyed.” 
Isaiah 55:12-13 (NIV)

Today I am thankful for a God who causes good things to grow.  In the verse just prior to the ones posted above, God says that His words will go out and not return to Him void.  I am thankful that when God’s Word is shared into the lives of people it has the power to grow good things that bring honor to God.  I am thankful for God’s promise that creation itself will rejoice when I return to God.  I am thankful that the wastelands of life we create for ourselves can be redeemed and restored by the power of God in us and through us.

I am thankful that in all of the areas of life where thorn bushes and briers tend to grow naturally, God can bring about the growth of things which are good and beneficial.  Without intervention, weeds and unproductive plants have a tendency to multiply quickly and choke out that which is good.  In fact, Jesus tells a parable where the cares of this world are the weeds of life that choke out growth after the seed of God’s Word had been planted.  I am thankful that when they are entrusted to God, the cares of this world are not big enough to overcome His power.

As you pray, consider the growth that God has already brought forth in your life.  Pray that you would be careful about the things that you allow to grow in your life.  Pray for the wisdom to notice the things which are keeping the good growth from taking place.  Pray for a faithfulness in feeding your soul and spirit with the good things found in the Word of God.  Pray that your spiritual growth and well-being would be of even greater importance to you than your physical development.  Pray that God would help you to be involved in the planting and watering of the seeds of faith so that God can bring a great harvest of righteousness in your life and the lives of those around you.  Pray that you would always give God the credit for the growth He accomplishes in you.  Pray that you would never stop growing in your relationship with Jesus.

I pray that you and I would eagerly accept God’s Word into our life and allow it to grow good things.  I pray that we would join with the mountains, the hills, and the trees of the field in praising God.  I pray that we would involved in making known the name of the Lord as He produces good fruit in our life.  I pray that we would live as those who overcome through the power of Christ in us so that the cares of this world would not stand a chance in their quest to take over our life.

In prayer,

Tom

Encouragement and Prayer (11/22/20)

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This is the audio from the November 22, 2020 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

A Heart of Thanksgiving:  Thankful For Music

A Heart of Thanksgiving: Thankful For Music

Thanksgiving.  What is the first thing that comes to mind when you read or hear that word?  Is it a day, a family meal, or perhaps a specific menu of foods?  Is it an attitude that comes and goes based on how you feel?  Or is it a way of life which flows from you regardless of your circumstances?  These devotions I will be sharing this month were originally written throughout November 2019 and then edited/updated during the summer of 2020 for a 31 day devotional journal, “The Heart of Thanksgiving:  Living a Life of Thankfulness”.  I will be re-sharing them here this month to encourage each of us to pursue a greater spirit of thankfulness in all we do.

Here is day twenty-two with an important reminder that living with a heart of thanksgiving should cause us to be thankful for music, and with music.

Day Twenty-Two:
Thankful For Music

“Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Ephesians 5:19-20 (NIV)

Today I am thankful for music — not just for the existence of music, but for all those throughout time who have written “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs” that continue to speak praise and truth even today.  I am thankful that most days I start work in an empty building where I can “sing and make music in [my] heart to the Lord” and not worry about frightening people if some of that music leaks out.  I am thankful to be part of a church congregation that seeks to embrace variety in the musical generations and styles that we worship God with.

Because I enjoy music from such a variety of styles and ages, it is difficult for me to come up with what I would call a favorite song.  I suppose I could consider as favorites the ones I find myself singing most often during my early morning work, but I’m not sure if they are really favorites or simply the ones that have been most deeply ingrained in my mind.  When I sing, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus.  Look full in His wonderful face.  And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”, it is a wonderful reminder of how walking in the presence of Jesus each day ought to change how I see things.  It is also the hymn that was being sung when I first walked down the aisle of a church, way back in fourth grade, to tell God I wanted Jesus to be who my life was about.  And then there are the songs, “Amazing Grace” and “How Great Thou Art”.  These two hymns brought me great peace as an early teenager doing farm chores in the early morning darkness before school.  I would sing them at the top of my lungs as I entered the dark barn to feed livestock, confident that my form of singing would frighten anything that could have possible harmed me.  And then there is my constant go-to — “It Is Well With My Soul”.  Whether having “peace like a river attending my way” or “sorrow like sea billows roll”, it has always been a great comfort to know it can be well with my soul.  But more importantly, it is such a joy to be able to sing the last verse of that hymn and be reminded within my spirit that when “the Lord shall descend, even so, it is well with my soul!”

As you pray, ask God to fill  your heart and mind with a song that will honor Him and encourage you.

I pray that you and I would learn to “sing and make music in our hearts to the Lord.”  I pray that as we do that, it would spill out of our hearts and into the way we speak with one another.  I pray that the music you allow to settle into your spirit would be of a nature that encourages and uplifts you.  I pray that each of us can be thankful for all who worship God in spirit and in truth.

In prayer,

Tom

Encouragement and Prayer (11/21/20)

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This is the audio from the November 21, 2020 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

A Heart of Thanksgiving:  Thankful For Value

A Heart of Thanksgiving: Thankful For Value

Thanksgiving.  What is the first thing that comes to mind when you read or hear that word?  Is it a day, a family meal, or perhaps a specific menu of foods?  Is it an attitude that comes and goes based on how you feel?  Or is it a way of life which flows from you regardless of your circumstances?  These devotions I will be sharing this month were originally written throughout November 2019 and then edited/updated during the summer of 2020 for a 31 day devotional journal, “The Heart of Thanksgiving:  Living a Life of Thankfulness”.  I will be re-sharing them here this month to encourage each of us to pursue a greater spirit of thankfulness in all we do.

Here is day twenty-one with an important reminder that living with a heart of thanksgiving should cause us to be thankful that God created us with great value.

Day Twenty-One:
Thankful For Value

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.  Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”
Matthew 6:25-27 (NIV)

As I continue a series of posts on giving thanks, today I am thankful for a God who sees value in me — enough value that in Jesus He has provided what I truly need.  Life on this earth is temporary, so the needs that we have while we live this life will never be as vital to our well-being as our need for Jesus.  I am thankful that God can see me at my worst and still considers me more valuable than the birds of the air.  I am thankful that God reminds me that there are things that should be more important to me than food and clothing.

I am also thankful for God’s provision.  I have not always had what I wanted, and have not even always had what I thought I needed, but God has always provided Himself whether I was in a time of plenty or a time of want.  I am thankful that He provides reminders in the midst of creation, and often right outside my office window, of His presence and great love.  I am thankful that I can see so much variety in the way God has clothed creation and given each part of the wildlife kingdom unique and fitting ways to gather food needed to survive.  I am thankful that God has provided me with gifts and abilities that when used allows Him to provide for me, my family, and others; and He also provides for me through His gifting in others when I can’t go it alone.

As you pray, ask God to fill you with a knowledge of the great value you have to Him.  Pray that you would live as one who has great value.  Pray that an awareness of your value would help you to see each person around you as having the same great value as one who has been created in God’s image.  Pray that you would trust God more fully as you consider all He has given and done because of His great love.  Pray that God’s love expressed toward you would change the way you value and love others.  Pray that you would learn the secret of contentment as you find God, and the value He places on you, to be enough.

I pray that you and I would continually learn a greater trust in God as we grow in our understanding of just how valuable we are to Him.  I pray that we would see how He has provided for us in ways that are beyond what we can fully comprehend.  I pray that we would know the fullness of His provision even when we lack things we think we need.  I pray that we would not only experience the provision of God, but would be involved as His instruments in sharing His provisions with others.

In prayer,

Tom  

Encouragement and Prayer (11/20/20)

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This is the audio from the November 20, 2020 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

A Heart of Thanksgiving:  Thankful For a Refuge

A Heart of Thanksgiving: Thankful For a Refuge

Thanksgiving.  What is the first thing that comes to mind when you read or hear that word?  Is it a day, a family meal, or perhaps a specific menu of foods?  Is it an attitude that comes and goes based on how you feel?  Or is it a way of life which flows from you regardless of your circumstances?  These devotions I will be sharing this month were originally written throughout November 2019 and then edited/updated during the summer of 2020 for a 31 day devotional journal, “The Heart of Thanksgiving:  Living a Life of Thankfulness”.  I will be re-sharing them here this month to encourage each of us to pursue a greater spirit of thankfulness in all we do.

Here is day twenty with an important reminder that living with a heart of thanksgiving should cause us to be thankful that God is our refuge and ever-present help in time of need.

Day Twenty:
Thankful For a Refuge

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”
Psalm 46:1-3 (NIV)

Today I am thankful for a God who is my refuge and strength.  When I read from the book of James, “Is any one of you in trouble?  He should pray.”, the above passage from Psalms always comes to my mind.  I’m pretty good at finding myself in trouble, often of my own doing, and I would guess I’m not alone in that.  Prayer is an incredible privilege of joining in conversation with God in such a way that fear begins to melt away.  When it feels like my feet have been knocked out from under me and it is impossible to stand, God is still there as a foundation to stand upon.  When everything familiar has disappeared and the landmarks of life have vanished, God is still standing strong in His love as He beckons me to come home.  When the waters of life are tossing me to and fro, God lifts my head above the waters and holds me to Himself.  And when the things I thought were solid begin to shake and crumble, God stands firm as the rock of my salvation.

As I reflect back on so many conversations from the missions conference, nearly all of the stories shared with me of God working through the prayers offered in faith began the same way.  They began with both a need and a series of attempts by people to resolve that need in their own strength.  While it would be great if we would learn to go to God first in our time of need, as the stories unfolded it appeared that we often need to reach a point of desperation before we turn to God.  I am thankful that God waits patiently, even as He longs for us to turn to Him much earlier in the process.  Even when prayer is used as our last resort after trying everything else, God is still faithful in hearing us and being the ever-present help in our time of need.  I am thankful that God’s faithfulness leads me to growth as I continually learn to trust Him earlier in the process and admit much more readily that I can’t do it and I need Him.

As you pray, thank God for being your refuge in times of trouble.  Pray that you would grow in your practice of turning to Him in all circumstances.  Pray that you would help others know God as their refuge.

I pray that you and I would know God as our refuge and strength in times of trouble . . . and in times that we’re unaware of trouble.  I pray that we would allow God to use our repeated attempts to do life on our own to teach us just how much we need Him in everything.  I pray that we would continually learn to call out to God as our first course of action rather than waiting until we’ve exhausted ourselves in trying to do life on our own.

In prayer,

Tom