A man driving his pickup truck on a country road saw a woman carrying a heavy load, so he stopped and offered her a lift. The woman expressed her gratitude and climbed into the back of the truck.
A moment later, the man noticed a strange thing. The woman was still holding onto her heavy load despite sitting in the vehicle! Astonished, he pleaded, “Please, Madam, put down your load and take your rest. My truck can carry you and your stuff. Just relax.”
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matt. 11:28.
What do we do with the load of fear, worry, and anxiety we often carry as we go through life’s many challenges? Instead of relaxing in the Lord, I sometimes behave like that woman. Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28), yet I catch myself carrying burdens I should offload onto Jesus.
We put down our burdens when we bring them to the Lord in prayer. The apostle Peter says, “Cast all your anxiety on Jesus because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7. Because He cares for us, we can rest and relax as we learn to trust Him. Instead of carrying the burdens that weigh us down and weary us, we can give them to the Lord and let Him carry them. – Lawrence Darmani. Daily Bread.
Prayer: I am tired, Lord. I bring You my burdens today. Please keep them and carry them for me.
Prayer is the time and place where burdens change shoulders.
Explanation: A yoke pairs two animals together to pull a load. Often an older, stronger, well-trained animal is paired with a younger animal so that the younger can learn the proper method of pulling. It is the older, stronger animal that does the majority of the pulling while the younger follows along and mimics the actions of the older. As we set aside our burdens and take on Christ’s, we are not simply swapping one burden for another. It is His yoke. We set aside our lone burdens to pull with Jesus, who is the one responsible for the direction and primary force of moving the burden. Then each of us, as the younger, weaker, less-experienced partner learns from Jesus how to pull the burden, following His actions and mimicking His footsteps. – Daily Bread.
Footprints in the Sand
One night I dreamed a dream.
As I was walking along the beach with my Lord.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand,
One belonging to me and one to my Lord.
After the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that at many times along the path of my life,
especially at the very lowest and saddest times,
there was only one set of footprints.
This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it.
“Lord, you said once I decided to follow you,
You’d walk with me all the way.
But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me.”
He whispered, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you
Never, ever, during your trials and testings.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you.”
Three Days of Prayer
Every congregation, member and pastor is being invited to set aside some time each day of January 3, 4 and 5, 2017 for prayer.
Prayer is a gift that God has given to us as a means to approach the throne of grace with confidence, like that of a child coming to her parents sharing concerns, victories, defeats and every part of life. It is an opportunity to express the deepest heartache and the greatest joy. Prayer is a conversation between the Creator and the created … and the conversation began with God, for us, in Christ Jesus. – Rev. Mark Vander Tuig, LCMC Service Coordinator.
Day 1. January 3rd 2017.
Confession. This is a day focused on confession. We have made our lives, our relationships, and even the church, in our own image. We confess that the church belongs to Jesus and not to us. We gather to lay down our pride, our sin and our agenda and ask the Lord of the church for forgiveness, which He gives freely and with mercy.
Day 2. January 4th 2017.
Petition. This is a day of petition. Pray for your congregation, for the pastor, for the leaders, for those who carry out ministries, for the Sunday School teachers, for the Confirmation leaders, for those leading adult Bible studies and for those leading small groups. Pray for those in hospital and nursing home ministries. Pray for all those connected to your church that they might know God’s redeeming love for all in Christ.
Day 3. January 5th 2017.
Vision. This is a day for vision. Pray that the Holy Spirit will again move through the hearts and minds of leaders and pastors that God’s vision for His church might be revealed and fulfilled. This is a time of prayer for renewal, revival and encouragement. Pray for God’s vision.
Believer’s Spiritual Warfare Prayer
Pray this when you feel Satan near. Call upon God’s superior power to lend strength to your character, righteousness and cast Satan out of your way. Feel the strength that only the Lord can give you.
Heavenly Father, I bow in worship and praise before You. I cover myself with the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ as my protection. I surrender myself completely and unreservedly in every area of my life to You. I take a stand against all the workings of Satan that would hinder me in my prayer life. I address myself only to the True and Living God and refuse any involvement of Satan in my prayer.
I command Satan, in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, to leave my presence with all of his demons. I bring the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ between Satan and myself.
Heavenly Father, I worship You and give You praise. I recognize that You are worthy to receive all glory and honor and praise. I renew my allegiance to You and pray that the Blessed Holy Spirit would enable me in this time of prayer. I am thankful, Heavenly Father, that You have loved me from past eternity and that You sent the Lord Jesus Christ into the world to die as my substitute. I am thankful that the Lord Jesus Christ came as my representative and that through Him You have completely forgiven me. You have adopted me into Your family; You have assumed all responsibility for me; You have given me eternal life; You have given me the perfect righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ so I am now justified. I am thankful that in Him You have made me complete, and that You have offered Yourself to me to be my daily help and strength.
Heavenly Father, open my eyes that I might see how great You are and how complete Your provision is for this day. I am thankful that the victory the Lord Jesus Christ won for me on the Cross and in His Resurrection has been given to me and that I am seated with the Lord Jesus Christ in the heavenlies. I take my place with Him in the heavenlies and recognize by faith that all wicked spirits and Satan himself are under my feet. I declare, therefore, that Satan and his wicked spirits are subject to me in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I am thankful for the Armor You have provided. I put on the Girdle of Truth, the Breastplate of Righteousness, the Sandals of Peace, and the Helmet of Salvation. I lift up the Shield of Faith against all the fiery darts of the enemy; and take in my hand the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. I choose to use Your Word against all the forces of evil in my life. I put on this Armor and live and pray in complete dependence upon You, Blessed Holy Spirit.
I am grateful, Heavenly Father, that the Lord Jesus Christ spoiled all principalities and powers and made a show of them openly and triumphed over them in Himself. I claim all that victory for my life today. I reject all the insinuations, and accusations, and the temptations of Satan. I affirm that the Word of God is true and I choose to live today in the light of God’s Word. I choose, Heavenly Father, to live in obedience to You and in fellowship with Yourself. Open my eyes and show me the areas of my life that do not please You. Work in me to cleanse me from all ground that would give Satan a foothold against me. I do in every way stand into all that it means to be Your adopted child and I welcome all the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
By faith and in dependence upon You I put off the old man and stand into all the victory of the Crucifixion where the Lord Jesus Christ provided cleansing from the old nature. I put on the new man and stand into all the victory of the Resurrection and the provision He has made for me to live above sin.
Therefore, today I put off the old nature with its selfishness and I put on the new nature with its love. I put off the old nature with its fear and I put on the new nature with its courage. I put off the old nature with its weakness and I put on the new nature with its strength. I put off the old nature with all its deceitful lusts and I put on the new nature with its righteousness, purity, and honesty.
In every way I stand into the victory of the ascension and glorification of the Lord Jesus Christ, whereby all the principalities and powers were made subject to Him. I claim my place in Christ as victorious with Him over all the enemies of my soul. Blessed Holy Spirit, I pray that You would fill me. Come into my life, break down every idol and cast out every foe.
I am thankful, Heavenly Father, for the expression of Your will for my daily life as You have shown me in Your Word. I therefore, claim all the will of God for today. I am thankful that You have blessed me with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. I am thankful that You have begotten me unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. I am thankful that You have made a provision so that today I can live filled with the Spirit of God with love and joy and peace, with longsuffering, gentleness and goodness, with meekness, faithfulness, and self-control in my life. I recognize that this is Your will for me and I therefore reject and resist all the endeavors of Satan and his wicked spirits to rob me of the will of God. I refuse in this day to believe my feelings and I hold up the shield of faith against all the accusations and distortion and insinuations that Satan would put into my mind. I claim the fullness of the will of God for my life today.
In the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ I completely surrender myself to You, Heavenly Father, as a living sacrifice. I choose not to be conformed to this world. I choose to be transformed by the renewing of my mind, and I pray that You would show me Your will and enable me to walk in all the fullness of Your will today.
I am thankful, Heavenly Father, that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, to the casting down of imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and to bring every thought into obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, in my own life today I tear down the strongholds of Satan and smash the plans of Satan that have been formed against me. I tear down the strongholds of Satan against my mind, and I surrender my mind to You, Blessed Holy Spirit. I affirm, Heavenly Father, that You have not given me the spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind. I break and smash the strongholds of Satan formed against my emotions today and I give my emotions to You. I smash the strongholds of Satan formed against my will today, I give my will to You, and choose to make the right decisions of faith. I smash the strongholds of Satan formed against my body today, I give my body to You recognizing that I am Your temple. I rejoice in Your mercy and goodness.
Heavenly Father, I pray that now and through this day You would strengthen and enlighten me, show me the way Satan is hindering and tempting and lying and distorting the truth in my life. Enable me to be the kind of person that would please You. Enable me to be aggressive in prayer and faith. Enable me to be aggressive mentally, to think about and practice Your Word, and to give You Your rightful place in my life.
Again, I cover myself with the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ and pray that You, Blessed Holy Spirit, would bring all the work of the Crucifixion, all the work of the Resurrection, all the work of the Glorification, and all the work of Pentecost into my life today. I surrender myself to You. I refuse to be discouraged. You are the God of all hope. You have proven Your power by resurrecting Jesus Christ from the dead, and I claim in every way this victory over all Satanic forces in my life. I pray in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ with thanksgiving. Amen.
Community Thanksgiving Church Service
Come Join the Community and local congregations’ pastors in Gathering for a Christian church service 4:00 pm Sunday November 20 Celebrating Thankfulness to God for Our Blessings at the following location: St Marks Lutheran Church, 115 West Meigs St Valley, NE.
All are Welcome!
You may expect hymns consistent with the Thanksgiving Christian liturgical season, the Community Choir, Holy Motion Liturgical Dancers, 100 Voices, a Brass Band, Pastor Cathy Hanus bringing us a relevant Children’s Sermon on demonstrating thankfulness consistent with Scripture and Pastor Michael Hanus delivering a timely relevant Family Homily on Paul’s Letter to the Philippians.
All are Welcome to visit pastors in Fellowship after the church service.
This promises to be an excellent opportunity for Family Celebration!
Peace and Joy! Pastors Michael and Cathy Hanus. Spirit of Peace.
WE CRY OUT
A generation seeking Him!
Power in Prayer!
Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. He will receive blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation. Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah. Psalm 24:3–6.
In the U.S., school-sponsored prayers in public schools have been found unconstitutional, but prayers organized by students themselves are allowed and protected by the right to free speech.
No matter where the athletes of the 2016 Olympics go in the city of Rio de Janeiro, they can see Jesus. Standing high above this Brazilian city and anchored to a 2,310-foot-high mountain called Corcovado is a 100-foot-tall sculpture called Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer). With arms spread wide, this massive figure is visible day and night from almost anywhere in the sprawling city.
As comforting as this iconic concrete and soapstone sculpture may be to all who can look up and see it, there is much greater comfort from this reality: the real Jesus sees us. In Psalm 34, David explained it like this: “The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry.” Ps. 34:15. He noted that when the righteous call out for His help, The Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Ps. 34:17–18.
God oversees our lives, and He hears the cries of those who trust Him.
Just who are the righteous? Those of us who place our trust in Jesus Christ, who Himself is our righteousness. 1 Cor. 1:30. Our God oversees our lives, and He hears the cries of those who trust Him. He is near to help in our greatest times of need.
Jesus has His eyes on you. – Dave Brannon. Daily Bread.
Sometimes, Lord, life seems out of control and I don’t know exactly which direction to take. Thank You for overseeing my life and prompting me in the right way through Your Word and Your Spirit.
The Lord never lets us out of His sight.
As a lone fugitive running from the jealous king Saul (1 Sam. 19:1–12), David took refuge in the Philistine territory of Gath. Not only was it a foolish thing to do, it was also very dangerous. Gath was the hometown of Goliath. 1 Sam. 17:4, 23. When the Philistines discovered he was the same David who had slain their champion Goliath (1 Sam. 18:6–7), they captured him. 1 Sam. 21:11–15. Aware that his life was in danger, David feigned insanity, foaming at the mouth as a sign of derangement. 1 Sam. 21:13. The ploy succeeded. David was released, and he made his escape. In response to God’s deliverance, David wrote Psalm 34 celebrating the God who answers prayers. I sought the Lord, and he answered me. Ps. 34:4.
Driving through town, just my boy and me
With a Happy Meal in his booster seat
Knowing that he couldn’t have the toy ’til his nuggets were gone.
A green traffic light turned straight to red
I hit my brakes and mumbled under my breath
His fries went a-flying and his orange drink covered his lap.
Well, then my four-year-old said a four letter word
That started with “s” and I was concerned
So I said, “Son, now where’d you learn to talk like that?”
Pursue Your Treasure Celebration
for the Community.
Modern Song Focus on Contemporary Church Artists
performing hymns of traditional foundation.
Everyone is Welcome!
In Genesis the covenant that God makes with Abram is a divine promise. God keeps His promises.
Our Psalm allows us to wander in the perception that waiting is tiring. This sounds rational if you are Abram and told you must wait 400 years for a promise fulfilled. Why would we count while waiting? There is much to do in helping ourselves. In pursuing this we may perceive the time passes much more quickly. Be sure to pursue the right path and the Lord’s desire to help us achieve will be there for us.
Hebrews teaches us about the unerring nature of faith. Where do you place your faith? It should follow that placing your faith in the Lord will bring the best results.
As in Luke, wouldn’t it be great if our hearts longed for the treasures that are on the most righteous paths for each of us? Pursuing that which brings the most peace and justice will keep us on the most right path.
John Newton (1779).
Amazing grace (how sweet the sound)
that saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
was blind, but now I see.
I am your shield; your reward shall be very great. Gen. 15:1.
Truly the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him. Ps. 33:18.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for. Heb. 11:1.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Luke 12:34.
O beautiful for spacious skies,
Katherine Bates (1893).
O beautiful for spacious skies,
for amber waves of grain;
for purple mountain majesties
above the fruited plain!
America! America! God shed his grace on thee,
and crown thy good with brotherhood
from sea to shining sea.
Prayer: Lord God of judgment and grace,
you ask not for sacrifices but lives of trusting faith
that acknowledge your power and mercy.
Give us faith as deep and strong as Abraham’s and Sarah’s,
that we may follow you through all our days
as did Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.
Faith of our fathers! living still
Frederick Faber (1849).
Faith of our fathers! living still
in spite of dungeon, fire, and sword;
oh, how our hearts beat high with joy
whene’er we hear that glorious word!
Faith of our fathers, holy faith!
We will be true to thee till death!
We praise your abiding guidance, O God,
for you sent us Jesus, our Teacher and Messiah,
to model for us the way of love for the whole universe.
We offer these prayers of love
on behalf of ourselves and our neighbors,
on behalf of your creation and our fellow creatures.
open our ears to hear your word and draw us closer to you,
that the whole world may be one with you
as you are one with us in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
In this time of desperation
When all we know is doubt and fear
There is only One Foundation
We believe, We believe
In this broken generation
When all is dark, You help us see
There is only One Salvation
We believe, We believe.
Prayer: Lord God of Abraham and Jesus,
you invite your people to contemplate heavenly things
and urge us toward faith in you.
May your coming among us find our doors open,
our tables set, and all your people ready to greet you. Amen.
We are all stewards spreading the Word of Jesus’ blessings for His people.
Picnic Fellowship Activities for the Entire Family!
Of course lively discussion and activities will be available!
Perhaps you may prefer to sit and visit!
Please Contact Us with Special Requests!
Teacher, this holiday we see so many travelers present at all places of public and private mass transportation. World News brings us so much press coverage of risk in travel to or through places that we may have felt safe on past journeys. How do we pray for people traveling this holiday?
Prayer before Travel. Martin Luther.
Lord God our Father, you kept Abraham and Sarah in safety throughout the days of their pilgrimage, you led the children of Israel through the midst of the sea, and by a star you led the Wise Men to the infant Jesus. Protect and guide us now in this time as we set out to travel, make our ways safe and our homecomings joyful, and bring us at last to our heavenly home, where you dwell in glory with your Son and the Holy Spirit, Lord God forever. Amen
Prayer as We Travel
Lord, thank you for your hand over this trip and allowing me to get away. I do not need to tell you that things may not be as safe as I, my parents, or loved ones would like, this you know, so I ask that you lay your protection over me and those I travel with on this trip. I ask that your will be done as we head out on our travels, away from home.
Please, Lord, direct my steps and provide me peace throughout this trip. Let those I encounter on my trip be blessed by my words that come from the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Let my hands be filled with your work, and my thoughts be filled with your grace and kind words for others. May I be a light unto those around me as I am away from home.
Thank you, Lord, for your blessings over these travels. In your Holy Name I Trust. Amen.
The Journey is the Reward! Tao Chinese Proverb.
Be Safe! Peace and Joy! Pastor Michael.
LCMC Three Days of Prayer
Prayer is a gift that God has given to us as a means to approach the throne of grace with confidence, like that of a child coming to her parents sharing concerns. It is an opportunity to express the deepest heartache and the greatest joy. Prayer is a conversation between the Creator and the created (us). The conversation began with God, for us, in Christ Jesus.
You are free to organize these three days of prayer to appeal to the worshipper that you are. We suggest first organizing these three days in the following manner: Confession, Petition, and Vision.
Day One – Confession: Tuesday January 5
This is a day focused on confession. We have made our lives, our relationships, and even the church, in our own image. We confess that the church belongs to Jesus and not to us. We gather to lay down our pride, our sin and our agenda and ask the Lord of the church for forgiveness, which He gives freely and with mercy.
Day Two – Petition: Wednesday January 6
This is a day focused on petition. We pray for our congregation, for the pastor, for the leaders, for those who carry out ministries, for the Sunday School teachers, for the Confirmation leaders, for those leading adult Bible studies and for those leading small groups. Pray for those in all ministries. Pray for all those connected to your church so they might know God’s redeeming love for all in Christ.
Day Three – Vision: Thursday January 7
This is a day focused on vision. We pray that the Holy Spirit will again move through the hearts and minds of leaders and pastors that God’s vision for His church might be revealed and fulfilled. This is a time of prayer for renewal, revival and encouragement. Pray for God’s vision.
No matter how you structure this time of prayer, let us come together as an association of congregations across the globe to pray! I believe that the church will never rise up until we first get down on our knees!
If you believe that The Lord has more in store for your life, Twenty One Days of Prayer is a great opportunity offering prayer to, and conversation with, The Lord. At the prayer services, you will put seeking The Lord first into practice. When you do this, you may perceive The Lord working on your behalf in ways you have not felt before. You may see a difference in your relationships, your work, your family and every aspect of your life. It is then that you will best be able to spread His love to others.
We invite you to join us in January, all throughout the week, at 6:00 am Matins and – or 6:00 pm Vespers for twenty one days, as we collectively gather to pray for the needs of our community, nation, families, and loved ones. You may also join us right from your home by participating in the prayer service online here on the Spirit blog: http://blog.peacelcmc.org
performed by Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli
Please contact Pastors Michael or Cathy Hanus at the following email: Spirit.Peace@outlook.com
Enjoy the Blessed Day!