Encouragement and Prayer (11/29/20)

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This is the audio from the November 29, 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 God’s Family

A Heart of Thanksgiving: Thankful For God’s Family

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-nine with an important reminder that living with a heart of thanksgiving should cause us to be thankful for the family of God.

Day Twenty-Nine:
Thankful For God’s Family

“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.  I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge — that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” 
Ephesians 3:14-19 (NIV)

Today I am thankful for a family which derives its name and purpose from our heavenly Father.  I am thankful for the family of God that I have been adopted into, but am especially thankful for the godly immediate family that I am part of.  I am thankful that we continue to learn how to work together so that each part of the family benefits.  I am thankful for shared interests that give each of us joy as we search out the beauty of creation to photograph.  I am thankful for the power of God to help us endure the times of difficult health with the knowledge that God is with us in the midst of it.

I am thankful that I grew up in a family that did life together as it taught me much that I use even today.  Yes, we worked hard growing up on a farm but we worked hard together.  I also have very fond memories of the times we played together both on the farm and on family trips and vacations.  No, we didn’t always get along or even recognize what we had, but we were given no option but to endure and overcome whatever difficulties we faced — and especially the ones we created.

I am thankful that I carry these lessons forward and have slowly learned over the years just how much my parents patiently endured as we did life together.  I am thankful that God gives us families where we can work on learning to value each part of His family.  I am thankful that my family is a reminder that we are never alone and that God will never leave or forsake us.

As you pray, ask God to help you live as a member of His family.  Pray that you would find both comfort and joy in living as a member of God’s family.  Pray for a greater understanding of how God would have His family to act in the way they treat one another.  Pray that God would open your eyes to see, and care for, those family members who tend to be overlooked or neglected.  Pray that you would learn patient endurance while you grow in God’s family, even as you recognize God’s ongoing patience with you.

I pray that you and I would continue to become the family member God created us to be — both within our physical family and within the family of God.  I pray that we would know and experience the power of God as He fills us with the full measure of His Spirit.

In prayer,

Tom

Encouragement and Prayer (11/28/20)

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This is the audio from the November 28, 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 God’s Abundance

A Heart of Thanksgiving: Thankful For God’s Abundance

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-eight with an important reminder that living with a heart of thanksgiving should cause us to be thankful for a God who gives in abundance.

Day Twenty-Eight:
Thankful For God’s Abundance

“How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings.  They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights.  For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.” 
Psalm 36:7-9 (NIV)

Today I am thankful for a God who provides abundantly more than I can think or ask.  Do I always have what I want?  No.  Do I always have what I think I need?  No.  Sometimes I simply don’t ask.  Sometimes I ask and the answer requires some effort on my part that I’m not willing to give.  Sometimes I ask selfishly and my request would not be a true benefit to myself or anyone else if granted.  Sometimes I’m impatient and assume the good that I’m asking for isn’t coming when it just isn’t time yet.  When I think of God providing abundantly, I think of the promised land that was “flowing with milk and honey”.  When confirmed by Joshua and Caleb that this was in fact true, the people resisted and rebelled because of the other reports that detailed how much work and difficulty appeared to be involved in claiming God’s promise.  God’s promise of abundance doesn’t always look like we expect it to and the promise is really about God providing Himself so that the abundant life He gives is an eternal life.

Spending a month writing a post each day about giving thanks is a helpful exercise in seeing the abundance given by God.  When doing that, I realize my abundance isn’t accurately measured by my bank account or my house or my truck or by any other possession I have but rather my abundance is measured by the goodness of God He has placed in my life.  I am thankful for the things God has given me.  Even as I have a turkey on the smoker this morning, I am thankful for the feast God provides daily through His Word.  With coffee cup in hand, I am thankful for the living water that God provides as I surrender my life to Jesus.  After a day of brutal winds, I am thankful for the gentle breeze of the Holy Spirit providing comfort and direction to my soul.

I am thankful that God is accessible to me, and to you, no matter how the world sees us.  I am thankful that God is a refuge to all who would come to Him.  I am thankful that God’s love never fails.  I am thankful for the people God uses to comfort and encourage me.  I am even thankful for the people God uses to challenge and convict me when I allow my life to drift off track.

I pray that you and I would know an abundance that isn’t measured by material possessions.  I pray that we would count our blessings each day as a reminder of what God is doing in and through us.  I pray that we would see even our material abundance as a gift from God and use it to bring glory to His name.

In prayer,

Tom

Encouragement and Prayer (11/27/20)

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This is the audio from the November 27, 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 God’s Spirit

A Heart of Thanksgiving: Thankful For God’s Spirit

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-seven with an important reminder that living with a heart of thanksgiving should cause us to be thankful for the presence of God’s Spirit.

Day Twenty-Seven:
Thankful For God’s Spirit

“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” 
John 14:26-27 (NIV)

Today I am thankful for the availability of peace that surpasses all understanding.  I must admit that even while I am thankful for it, I don’t always grasp hold of it in the way that I should.  I am thankful that God understands my times of high anxiety and chooses to draw me to Himself to find peace.  I am thankful that the peace God promises, and gives, is not based on everything going my way.  I am thankful that whether the trouble I face is caused by the world or by myself, God’s peaceful presence is always available for me to claim.  I am thankful for the promise, and presence, of God’s Spirit who reminds me of God’s faithfulness.

Life in this world has a way of stacking one anxious moment on top of another — at least that seems to be my experience.  Unfortunately, my history has been to often allow those moments to go unchecked until my very spirit is crushed under the weight of them.  I suspect some of you have been there also.  The thing that is stealing your peace doesn’t seem that big and so you don’t look to others to help carry your burden, and you definitely don’t turn it over to God — the old, “it’s not that bad, I should be able to handle this” routine.  I am thankfully learning that anything of any size should be turned over to God, especially when it keeps me from the peace God desires for me to experience.  I am thankful for a God that doesn’t say, “Oh, it’s you again.” but draws me close and says, “Come and rest while you tell me about your day.”

I am thankful for a peace that comes as God’s “perfect love casts out all fear.”  I am thankful that a peaceful spirit can exist even in the midst of conflict.  I am thankful that the peace of God has the power to dispel internal conflict and make the external happenings less powerful in their influence.  I am thankful that God’s Word carries the message of the good news of Jesus that is more powerful than the things I am tempted to fear.  I am thankful that I have peace with God through Jesus Christ, His Son.

I pray that you and I would continually grow in our experience of peace regardless of the circumstances we are in.  I pray that we would walk each day in step with God’s Spirit as we experience a peace only He can bring.  I pray that we would live as peacemakers because of the peace we have found in Christ.  I pray that we would daily acknowledge that the troubles of this world are no match for the peace of God in the midst of those troubles.

In prayer,

Tom

Encouragement and Prayer (11/26/20)

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This is the audio from the November 26, 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 God’s Goodness

A Heart of Thanksgiving: Thankful For God’s Goodness

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-six with an important reminder that living with a heart of thanksgiving should cause us to be thankful for the goodness of God.

Day Twenty-Six:
Thankful For God’s Goodness

“How great is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you, which you bestow in the sight of men on those who take refuge in you.  In the shelter of your presence you hide them from the intrigues of men; in your dwelling you keep them safe from accusing tongues.” 
Psalm 31:19-20 (NIV)

Today I am thankful for the storehouses of God from which He lavishes good gifts upon His children.  I grew up on a farm where not only did the livestock live through the winter by eating what we had stored up for them during harvest, we lived through the winter by eating the things which were stored up for us during harvest.  I am thankful for a God who has not only stored up His goodness for those who fear Him, He is generous in giving from what has been stored.  God teaches us that there are times when we ought to store up for future use, but most importantly we should be focused on storing up treasures in heaven.

I am thankful that God not only gives us instruction, but He sets the example for how to live according to those instructions.  I am thankful that God teaches me to store up and to share, just as He has stored up and shares.  When Jesus told the story of the rich farmer tearing down his barns to build bigger ones, it does not appear that the condemnation of this man was about the storing of the harvest as much as it was about the man’s attitude of selfishness.  I know when I go to God, I don’t want to survive on what I deserve or have earned — in fact, I have no hope of surviving in God’s presence without a generous sharing of His goodness.

I am thankful that in Jesus, God has given an example of great generosity even when possessions are few by the world’s standard.  I am thankful for many people who have been generous to me in their goodness and love.  They represent Jesus well when they give of themselves.  I am thankful that God’s goodness and love reside within me so that I can be generous with others.  I am thankful that the One who supplies the seed for every good thing within me is able to increase that seed for a bountiful harvest.

As you pray, ask God to fill you with an awareness of how His goodness has been poured into your life.  Pray that  your thankfulness for God’s goodness would lead you to share with others as freely as He shares with you.  Pray that your goodness would always be seen by others as a reflection of God’s goodness.

I pray that you and I would recognize the goodness of God as He showers it upon us.  I pray that we would learn to store up treasure in heaven as we share God’s goodness with others.  I pray that we would grow in our generosity as we consider the true source of every good and perfect gift that we have ever received.

In prayer,

Tom