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by Janis Cox
This week has been a time when all Christians need to be praying for peace between Ukraine and Russia. News reports make things seem terrifying. But we know that our God is in control.
Since I am a short term missionary with International Messengers I received urgent messages that our friends, who work in the Ukraine, would appreciate our prayers. And I know that all of my readers are interested in praying for others.
When you read news items, hear of conflicts, know of someone who is sick – these are calls to prayer. If you don’t think you will remember, write them down. But do make sure you pray.
But you, God, shield me on all sides;
You ground my feet, you lift my head high;
With all my might I shout up to God,
His answers thunder from the holy mountain (Psalm 3:3-4, The Message).
We can call to our God, who hears our prayers. Let’s lift our voices together so a peaceful resolution to this problem can be found. Protect all those in both countries, Russia and the Ukraine.
Lord, please give a calmness of spirit to our brothers and sisters in the Ukraine and Russia. Speak into the hearts of leaders so they know that a peaceful resolution works best for all concerned. Bring wisdom to all those involved. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.
Be watchful – God will show you when and how to pray. (click to tweet)
Calls to prayer: news items, conflicts, someone who is sick. #UTCOP (click to tweet)
Janis, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. A writer since 2003, Janis co-ordinates a group blog called Under the Cover of Prayer. She is also a contributor to a group blog called Family and Faith Matters.
Janis is the author of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. She is the author and watercolour illustrator. For more information visit Janis on her website He Cares for You. She is a member of The Word Guild andInscribe Writers Fellowship.
by Susan Harris
A clip from the Science Journal on December 20, 2002 read:
A molecule called RNA has long been regarded as a big player in the drama of the cell, acting only as a helper for the more dominant DNA. But new studies show RNA actually controls key actions by turning genes on and off, directing embryo development and, perhaps, playing a role in cancer. This new understanding has been named the No. 1 breakthrough of the year by the Science Journal.
A breakthrough in technology in 2002 was the cyber knife. The caption was, “Georgetown University unveiled the Cyberknife this week at Georgetown University Hospital. The latest breakthrough in cancer treatment is surgery with no scalpel, no blood, and little or no post-operative pain…”
A headline in sports read “Latest breakthrough in Olympic Sports Pioneering Spirit. Arab women make breakthrough at Games: — After Fatima Gerashi, their very presence represented a huge breakthrough for Arab women, whose freedoms have traditionally been severely curtailed…”
Mark chapter 5 highlights a breakthrough for a woman who had a bleeding condition. She had been to many doctors, had exhausted her options, and was desperate for a cure. The Scripture tells that while Jesus was on His way to heal Jairus’ daughter, the woman saw Him and resolved to get healed.
Jesus always drew crowds, and on this day, the crowds were thick. It was a negative strike against the weak, sick woman, because it made it near impossible to get Jesus’ attention face to face. Made even worse because she had probably heard that He was on other business, going to heal a little girl. But she was a trooper, and activated Plan B.
“All I need to do is touch his clothes…” Stretching out her skinny arms, and still being pushed, she managed to touch Jesus’ robe. At the same time, Jesus felt some power go out from Him, and in that moment, the woman was healed. Never to hemorrhage again. That’s a breakthrough…
Friends, you must not give up on your situation. Set Plan B in motion, get passionate about the victory and go after the breakthrough you desire. No cause is too lost to pursue a breakthrough. Moses went before Pharaoh seven times before the breakthrough came for Israel’s freedom. Elijah would tell you that he prayed seven times before it rained. Don’t give up after a few times, Friend, press in for the gain.
Remember too that Lazarus was dead for three days; he stank according to his sister’s description, yet he was raised back to life. No situation is too dead for Jesus because He Himself came back to life after being buried for three days. And He wants to break through for you. Will you let Him?
(An excerpt from Golden Apples in Silver Settings, Ch 3, Breakthrough, by Susan Harris)
It’s never too late for a breakthrough. (click to tweet)
Susan is a speaker, wife, mother, and former teacher. Prayer is her passion, and except for salvation, it is the subject on which she has spoken most frequently over 20 years of Christian ministry. She is also the author of three books – Little Copper Pennies for Kids, Little Copper Pennies: Celebrating the Life of the Canadian one cent piece (for adults) and Golden Apples in Silver Settings. She loves kittens, pennies, and making new friends. Find her at www.susanharris.ca, on Facebook at SusanHarrisCanadianAuthor, and on Twitter @SusanHarris20.
by T. L. Wiens
It’s strange. After all this time of waiting for that one phone call that I didn’t want to receive, today I don’t wait. It’s not because my brother has passed but been healed.
My brother was diagnosed with a heart condition for which there was no treatment. His diabetes made it impossible. He was weak. His wife would sit on the edge of her seat every time he went to the bathroom fearing he would collapse from the effort the most basic of bodily functions took out of him. My brother has always been a musician and to see him too weak to play and sing was hard.
That was last year.
Today, my brother stands on a stage with a guitar in his hands, his voice strong and clear. It doesn’t even hit me at first—something has changed since the last time I saw him. Then I read his response to his Facebook birthday wishes—“Looks like I might get to enjoy more of these than I thought.”
I know people doubt the power of prayer. It’s funny that even with the claim of healing, they mock. My brother had a genetic condition. It showed on his tests. It’s gone. This is not something a doctor could do. Nature didn’t just right something. My brother was healed!
The Bible warns about seeking signs and wonders. (Matthew 16:4) However, when God chooses to intervene in our lives beyond that which is natural, we need to praise Him. My brother spent the last year preparing to die. Now, he has the chance to use all that he learned, the relationship he developed with Jesus Chris to live.
Tammy lives in Saskatchewan with her husband. They have four children. She enjoys gardening, walks along the beach and being on the farm. She has a passion for her faith, studying the Bible and prayer.
She has published two books; Where a Little Rain Comes Down and Making the Bitter Sweet. A short story, “May’s First Christmas” appeared in Christmas Chaos, a collection of stories about Christmas experiences that don’t make the fronts of Christmas cards. “Careful What You Whisper” is another short story about Tammy’s experiences after breaking her back. It can be found in A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider. Visit T. L. Wiens for more information about Tammy’s books and workshops.
by Ron Hughes
For those of us who resolutely subscribe to the “we pray to align ourselves with God’s agenda, not to get Him to do our will” philosophy, answered prayer can come as a bit of a shock. There we are, earnestly seeking the Lord and trying our best not to tell Him what to do when, all of a sudden, the outcome we were inwardly hoping for becomes reality.
I have come to understand these situations as evidence of the Lord drawing close to us as we seek Him.
As we know Him better, our will is more perfectly lined up with His so that the outcome He ordains is the very one we have come to desire.
Example: A man whose son was not walking with the Lord prayed frequently and longed for an opportunity to talk to him. Entirely unexpectedly, the Lord arranged for them to be alone together for 2 hours and got things started by prompting the son to raise the very spiritual issues the father wanted to address with him.
But there’s more.
I suspect that sometimes we think God has not answered our prayer because He gives us something so far beyond what we expected that we fail to make the connection.
Example: a friend went to emergency over the Christmas break with a severe lung infection. The attending physician ordered tests and x-rays which revealed a chronic condition with which the woman had been living as a symptom of advancing age. The doctor was able to treat both the acute and the chronic problems and now my friend is rejoicing in the goodness of God experienced in a way she hadn’t even considered.
Sometimes God wants to use our circumstances to shape us into the very image of Jesus — something that most of us can’t see very well in ourselves at all.
Example: An elderly widower who has lost much of his vision, hearing, mobility, and independence, had a health crisis. When he was discharged from the hospital and well enough to get back to his beloved church family, he was overwhelmed as one after another confided in him how much they had benefited from his spiritual interest and care for them over the years.
The examples mentioned here all took place in the lives of believers I know personally in the last six weeks. God’s promise to respond to us when we delight ourselves in him and leave the outcomes Him is still good.
Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4 NKJV).
Ron is president of FBH International , a multi-language media ministry and maintains an active itinerant speaking ministry in churches and conferences. Ron is a professional member of The Word Guild and has one published book, “Refresh: 19 ways to boost your spiritual life”, and is working on several other writing projects. Much of his writing is published on the ministry website and has been used in radio broadcasts.
Ron has been married to Debbie since 1976. They have four children, one of whom is married. They live on a 100 acre farm in the Niagara region which they share with a few horses, chickens, cats and a dog.
We welcome a new contributor today – Sandi Somers. Please give her a warm #UTCOP welcome.
by Sandi Somers
I drove along Sarcee Trail in Calgary that winter morning, feeling the ice beneath my car. Knowing I had to merge into another busy street, I asked God to make my merge safe. And God did. Red traffic lights further back meant that I entered onto an almost empty street. I breathed thanks, knowing that once more God had provided for me.
The cold, unpredictable winter this year has created hazardous driving conditions. Highways and roads are icy. Blowing snow from sudden storms obscures vision. Rush hour traffic becomes snarled. Accidents are frequent, sometimes with tragic results. The implications for safety are immense.
At times like these I’m so aware that God knows my needs and orchestrates the traffic for my safety—and the safety of others along my route.
God cares about the merges in traffic, the merges in our lives. God cares for every detail of our lives.
Nothing is too small to ask God to care for us. Therefore we can tell him every detail of our needs.
The apostle Paul said it well:
“Don’t worry over anything whatever; tell God every detail of your needs… and the peace of God, which transcends human understanding, will keep constant guard over your hearts and minds as they rest in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7, Phillips).
God cares for every detail of our lives. (tweet this)
Nothing is too small to ask God to care for us. (tweet this)
Sandi is a former teacher and Instructor of English as a Second Language. She has lived in Colombia, South America, and has travelled widely. She now lives in Calgary, Alberta.
Her current passion is writing about faith, prayer and the writing life. Sandi also enjoys reading, quilting, gardening, walking and connecting with friends and her extended family. She belongs to the InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship and The Word Guild.