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Joy of the Lord

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Memory Verse

“And do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10b

 Why were the people grieving? And why were they told that the antidote to their grieving was to receive the joy of the Lord as their strength? The people were grieved because the Word of God was made prominent by Ezra’s reading. The people were deeply moved as they were confronted with their sin through the Word of God. They grasped how far they drifted away from God through the famine of Scripture. They were grieved over their sin. Then joy came to them as they realized that God was their deliverer and their strength. Joy becomes our strength when we reorient our hearts and minds to the victory we have in Christ Jesus even in the midst of the most hopeless situations.

 Prayer points:

  • Lord, help me to stop and recall the joy that is mine through the finished work of Jesus Christ on the Cross. Let Your wisdom, power, and love be my joy no matter what I face.

The Importance of Contentment

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“Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.” Philippians 4:11

 I recently saw a video of two men walking up to a house and knocking on the front door. One of the men was holding several helium filled balloons and the other was holding a “life-sized” check in the amount of $10,000,000. The home owner answered the door and was informed that he had won the sweepstakes. The homeowner’s eyes got big, his jaw dropped, and he raised his arms in victory as he shouted. Then, his friends, laughing hysterically, came out from hiding to reveal that it was all a big joke. What about you? Is money the answer to your problems? Money may, actually, be the cause of your problems. The Scripture teaches us to be content, or put another way, to be satisfied with the provisions God has given. He gives the exact amount of provision to keep us dependent on Him. Learn, through trusting in Christ, to be content in whatever situation you find yourself.

 Prayer point:

  • Lord, help me to be content in the life you have chosen for me. Let me avoid being robbed of joy by coveting what someone else has. You do not withhold any good thing from your children.

Prayer Statistics

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Tega Cay Family and Friends

“And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.” Mark 1:35

 

What was the prayer life like for the Son of God? The Gospels tells us in several places that He would go off by Himself and pray, for long periods of time. What does your prayer life say about you? Does it say that you know that God is there but you see no need to call out to Him unless there is some emergency? Does your prayer life communicate that you are so close in your walk with God that only a minute or two will be enough? Perhaps your prayer life reflects your utter dependence on God. U.S. News, Newsweek, Beliefnet, and Pastor’s Weekly Briefing cite these statistics about Christians prayer lives in America. Remember, these are only statistics.

 

64% say they pray more than once a day

56% say they most often pray for family members

3.3% saying that they pray for strangers

 

49% of teens say they would be likely to attend prayer meetings before or after school.

82% said they ask for health or success for a child or family member

75% asked for strength to overcome personal weakness

51% agreed that God doesn’t answer prayers to win sporting events


38% say that the most important purpose of prayer is intimacy with God.


41% say that their prayers are answered often
1.5% say that their prayers are never answered
73% say when their prayers are not answered, the most important reason is because they did not fit God’s plan


5% say that they pray most often in a house of worship
79% say that they pray most often at home
67% say that in the past six months, their prayers have related to continually giving thanks to God

  

What do these numbers tell us and what is missing in these numbers? What is missing is prayer health and depth. Most of those who fall within these statistics could still have very shallow and short prayer lives, not to mention the mostly self-centered nature of the prayers. Let Jesus lead the way to greater prayer health.

 

 

Brad Ferguson

Senior Pastor

Tega Cay Baptist Church

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