Getting Acquainted

1st Quarter

St. John 1:21-51

In this passage we read of John the Baptist meeting Jesus. As we carefully read the passage, we hear John saying, “I did not know him”. He only knew that Jesus would be revealed to Israel. Toward the end of the passage we see Jesus talking to Nathaniel.  Nathaniel asked Jesus, “How did you know me?”  Jesus replied, “I saw you sitting beneath the fig tree.” Jesus saw him before Nathaniel saw him.

John did not know how it would happen that he would meet Messiah. He only knew that he was to preach repentance to prepare the way of the Lord and that baptism was a part of his calling.  In the process of obedience to his calling, he met Jesus.

Often, we only have an inkling about our calling, but if we follow it, doing what we know God wants us to do, like John, we will meet Jesus.

We know we should pray more consistently in this new year. We also know that we are called to prayer.  May we obey and follow on to know the Lord.

Let this be the year we meet Jesus in prayer. Follow the call of God on your life to pray. We may ask as Nathaniel did, “How did you know me?”  Jesus’ reply will be, “When you were busy with life, I saw you and called you to know me and see greater things than you ever have before.”

Let this be the year that we answer the call to prayer and see Jesus working daily in our lives as we seek him.

Get acquainted with Jesus this year, and this year will be the best you’ve ever had.

Cheryl Craft

Book  Suggestion:  The Book on Prayer by Ken Gurley   (available at Amazon)

The Summer of Our Discontent

3rd Quarter 2020

This is the summer of our discontent. We face Covid19 virus, riots and insurrection, rumors of war in the Middle East, and the ever-present specter of murders.  How much more should we be in prayer as we see these events all around us.

The following are reminders of needs to bring before the Lord:

  • Pray for wisdom and guidance for our national, State and Local leaders in these challenging times.
  • Pray for our church Pastors and leaders that they have courage to speak in boldness guiding us in the ways of God in these times.
  • Pray for our church family and our children that angels of protection surround them and keep them safe.

In all these things we are more than conquerors through Christ.  Because He is our Shepherd, we shall not lack in any area. He gives strength, hope, and salvation in times of need. Our faith in Christ overcomes fear and anxiety. (Even when you are afraid, He is still with you.) We endure when we remember that goodness and mercy follow us all the days of our lives. God will keep us in this hour for we are anointed and favored of God. No matter what is going on in the world, the presence of God brings peace and comfort. If He is with us, we can face whatever may come our way.

God has given us a hope that extends beyond this natural life. Therefore, we rejoice in the hope that He has laid up for us.  We look beyond the shaking of the world and its kingdoms to our hope in the heavens. This hope holds us fast as we make our way through this summer of discontent. Christ has promised a better life for us in the heavens and in this promise we hope.

I close with this song:

            My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.

            I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus name.

            On Christ the solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand,

            All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness seems to hide His face, I rest on His unchanging grace,

In every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand,

All other ground is sinking sand.

Cheryl Craft

Book:  Read and meditate on Psalm 23.  Abundant strength awaits you.

Praying Scripture

1st Quarter 2020

No matter how great a prayer warrior we think we are, there are times when we find it difficult to enter into the spirit of prayer. Cares of life, health issues, fears, doubts, and busy minds all intrude into our time of seeking God. When you daily come to your place of prayer and find no burden, nor impression from God who to pray for or what to pray about, turn to the Scriptures for the source of your inspiration.  I would suggest opening the Bible to the book of Psalms and begin your search for God there. Pray the words of David as he writes to God and prays from the depths of his soul.  As you pray you will find that your heart and mind open as you enter into the spirit of prayer that permeated David’s life.

David was a man whose heart sought the Lord and from the depths of human experience of fear, depression, and anxiety, and hunger for God he cried for help. When you begin to pray his words and thoughts you feel his faith and his desire to find God. Let the words of David as he prays to God become a doorway into the realm of God and the spirit of prayer. It is said that the darkest hour of the night is before the dawn of a new day.  It is also true that the darkest hour of prayer is just before you begin to pray. When you don’t know how to begin to pray, pray the Psalms of David. His anointed words will help you enter into spirit of seeking God in prayer. Pray until you can pray.

Let us look at Psalm 42:1 (MEV)
This is a guide only, let your own desires and word flow out to God.
“As the deer pants after the water brooks, so my soul pants after you, O God.”

Jesus, awaken in my heart a great longing for you.
I feel weighed down 
With cares and fears. (Name them)
Help me to seek you and find you.
Let the spirit of longing for you grip my heart.
Help me to seek you and find you.

Follow this thought where it takes you. Psalm 42:2

“My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When will I come and appear before God?”

Lord, I long to come into your presence. 
More and more I want to seek you and Find you.
Remove what hinders me from
Finding you and loving you with all my heart. 
If my lifestyle keeps me from your presence,
Help me to change and live my life pleasing To you. 
(Name what keeps you from serving God with a whole heart)
Psalm 42:3
“My tears have been my food day and night while they always say to me “Where is your God?”

Oh Lord, people of the world ask this question. 
They ask because they doubt your presence in the world.
But I know your presence because you abide in me.
I know you are ever present and you
See me right now and hear my prayer.
When I am 
Tempted to doubt you because I cannot see your
Working or your power, let me see with eyes of 
Faith knowing that you are my Lord and you
Love me. You are my Lord and my God.

Finish praying this psalm for this is just an example of how to pray the Word. Feel free to speak from your heart what you feel or the questions you want to ask of God. There is great reward in praying the Scriptures for you are praying the words of God back to Him. The Word is already blessed and you will find great blessingin your soul as you pray and let the Word soak into your being. Let us make this new year of 2020 a year of prayer and seeking God.

Cheryl Craft
Book Suggestion: Meditating on the Word by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Prayer for Children

4th Quarter 2019

Note: I read the following in a Prayer Guide:When we were going through the fiery trials of pastoring, a minister told me, “The prayers of your grandparents are sustaining you right now.” My godly grandparents had been deceased for many years, but I believe that their prayers live on and are now living on in my children.

My daughter recently attended a conference and told me that someone there had prophesied over her. “They said that the prayers of my mother would come to pass. I couldn’t wait to call you to find out what you have been praying for me.” I am not sure what she was expecting but my prayers for my children are not for belongings, positions, or honors. My consistent requests come from a combination of eighteen scriptures that contain the basic core values instilled in me from my parents and grandparents and that I hope to pass on to the next generation. ( Author Unknown)

My prayers for my children that I hope will be passed onto theirs, usually go something like this:

Our Father which art in heaven, we love Your name!

Let Your kingdom be evident in my children and let Your will be done in their lives.

Help them to be genuine, to know the truth, love the truth, and let it set them free.

Jesus, supply their needs.

Forgive them as they forgive others.

Help them to love and respect others even when it isn’t deserved. Don’t let the sun go down on their wrath. Help them to place their enemies in your hands, letting go of grudges or hurts.

Keep them from temptation and deliver them from evil.

Anoint my children. Help them to avoid evil by having mental clarity and integrity, and by making good choices.

  • Love
    Surround my children, infuse them, saturate them, and consume them with Your love.
  • Emotional Maturity
    Help them to mature in You and have a sure footing. Help them to be examples and not to faint in the day of adversity. Give them joy! Help them to be peaceable and slow to anger. Help them to use kind words and to be easily entreated.
  • Fearlessness
    I pray that my children will walk in Your power, boldness, confidence, and authority. Help them to fear no evil.
  • Self-Discipline
    Teach my children to pray and to study Your Word. Guard their hearts. Set a watch over the things that come in their minds but especially those that come out of our mouth, for those are what defiles. Keep them from the influences of the world as they grow up in a fun, healthy, and godly environment.
  • Faith
    May my children have great faith so that nothing will be impossible for them.
  • Humility
    I pray that my children will do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly before God.
  • Gratefulness
    Help my children to always be thankful for their salvation, their spiritual legacy and inheritance, their past traditions and future promises.

Yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever!

As for our house, we will serve the Lord!

~Cheryl Craft

Book: Delighting in God by A. W. Tozer (Sold on Amazon)
A sequel to The Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer

The Influence of Prayer

2nd Quarter 2019

Prayer can influence God’s divine purpose and plan. Abraham pleaded with God to spare the city of Sodom if fifty righteous persons could be found. God graciously assented. But we know that Abraham could only save his family for the planned destruction. Fifty righteous could not be found.

At another time Moses bargained with God. “Why should the Egyptians say that it was with evil intent that you brought us out of Egypt to kill us in the wilderness. Turn from your wrath and change your mind and do not bring disaster on your people.” The Lord changed his mind.

Hannah changed the course of history by venturing to influence the divine plan. She prayed, ”God give me a son and I will give him back to you. (Samuel 1:11) Her prayer resulted in the birth of Samuel, the reform of the priesthood, and the birth of the Israelite monarchy.

Your prayers can influence the course of events in your life, family, church and the nation.
I call today for prayer for our country. We have elements in government and in our nation who would tear down the foundations on which our country is built. They have succeeded in removing God and faith from our educational system. They have replaced God with humanism in our schools and colleges. They are rewriting our history and tearing down statutes of those who were seen as heroes in our nation’s past. This is what happens when the Godless philosophies of communism/socialism take over.

We are in a spiritual war. Satan is working overtime corrupting a generation of youth. Right now we see a struggle going on to take over a conservative government. These godless elements are people who are fighting on all fronts to remove and replace faith and God. The goal is to have a complete humanist state. Our nation was built on foundations of faith. Let us pray that our country returns to the righteous principles upon which we were founded. God has a plan for nations who forget God. Punishment awaits. But those who pray can prevail with God and bring God’s forgiveness and mercy to bear.

It is time for those who know how to pray to address this situation. Fight for our country in prayer. Let God arise and His enemies be scattered. Let us influence the divine plan through prayer. If our nation survives, it will be because someone prayed and prevailed with God.

NOTE: This article was written with the USA in mind; however, these marauding spirits are the same the world over. Fight in prayer for your country where you live as missionaries. Pray for your city and the leaders of your country so you may live in peace

BOOK SUGGESTION: Mighty Prevailing Prayer by Wesley Duewel (Available on Amazon)

~Cheryl Craft

Developing a Prayer Life

3rd Quarter 2018

Let developing a life of prayer become a passion with you.

Plan your day with prayer included. If you have a busy day planned, get up an hour or two earlier or stay up an hour or two later. Never let a day go by without spending time with God. Guard your prayer time carefully and jealously. These are your special times with God. Let nothing and no one steal your time that you have set aside to be with God. Do this and you will grow very quickly in prayer.

Read all the books you can on prayer and seeking God. Some will be excellent and some will be mediocre but you can always glean something from them if you are hungry enough. Of course, you will want to read your Bible daily. He will speak to you through His Word and you will see the many rewards of prayer and be inspired to seek God and His glory.

God to send you a mentor when you are ready. I prayed, studied, and sought God for eight years without someone to teach me. When the time was right, He sent a man of God to teach me what I could not learn on my own. I entered a whole new level of prayer. Don’t worry about where you will find him or her, God will bring him or her to you when you are ready. Somewhere there is someone who is sensitive to God and will teach you.

BOOK SUGGESTION: God’s Power Is for You by Wesley Duewel (Available on Amazon)

~Cheryl Craft