Thankful To God

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Come to God with your heart full of thanks (Psm 75:1). #ThankfulHearts #GiveThanksToGod

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Lift your heart in thanks to God. An unthankful heart breeds darkness; an unthankful heart leads men to foolish thoughts about their own aggrandizement and confusion (Rom 1:21). If men are not thankful to God, then to and for whom are they thankful but to themselves. This leads to arrogance and foolish self-confidence.

Such arrogant confidence in “self“ leads men to defiance of the sovereign God, the one who will judge all the thoughts and intents of the human heart (note vv 2-8). Lord, may thanks to you grow more deeply in the heart of the prayer sentry each day.

Majestic Might

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May my beloved nation see, acknowledge and know the manifest power and glory of Jehovah God (Psm 68:28-35). #God’sMajestyAndPower #ShowUsGod’sGlory

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Oh, you holy ones of God, summon the might and power of God to our world. Pray for God’s majesty to be revealed to the nations. Pray for those enemies of God and his holy ones to be brought low and bow in recognition of the magnificent one who rides (dwells) in the most high and honored heavens; whose voice thunders (resonates) from above.

Sing To He Who Rides The Highest Heavens

This is the God (Jehovah) whose light and glory shines down on his holy ones. He strengthens those who call upon him in the day of trouble. Lord, as the Psalmist so prays for his countrymen, so this sentry prays for his beloved nation and countrymen.

Lord Revive Our Nation

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May there be a Psm 68:9-11 revival in our nation, communities and families: #Revival #Awakening

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Lord, send an abundance of heavenly showers to refresh the souls of men;

May the people of our nation know God’s peace in their midst;

May there be a bountiful harvest of souls awakened to God’s saving power;

May the needs of your holy ones be met in every possible way;

Lord, raise up a mighty army to spread the Good News of the Gospel.

Standing With Floridians In Prayer

May civic and spiritual leaders in Florida be given the understanding of human need in this crisis.

Lord, may resources be mobilized and delivered to Floridians in a timely way.

Energize the people of Florida for the tasks of clean up, comfort in loss of life and property and rebuilding infrastructure.

May these precious Floridians place their faith in the God they trust.

Surround the people of Florida with ministers of encouragement, mercy, helps and prayer.

Celebrate Jehovah God

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Give all praise to the living and victorious God (Psm 68:19–27). #AllPraiseToGod #CelebrateOurSovereignGod

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Let the praises begin. Celebrate our victorious God. The smallest to the largest among us, the entire nation – top to bottom, will join the celebration (v27).

The enemies of God will be vanquished. God‘s holy ones will be victorious. Sin and the SIN MASTER will be crushed. Praise God all you holy ones. Praise the Lord, the source of our life, our faith-life. Lord, may there be continuous praise in the heart of this old sentry towards you.

Wings Of Praise

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Come to your day carried on the wings of praise to our sovereign victorious God (Psm 68:7–20). #WingsOfPraise #ExaltOurSoverignGod

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The Psalmist symbolically recounts the journey of God’s people from Mount Sinai, the place where God gave his law and promises, to Mount Zion, the place of his sanctuary. This is a Psalm of great victory for God and his people. It is a Psalm of praise.

I am reminded in this Psalm of the importance of God, his word, his promises and his victory for the people of God. It drives me to his word, to my Morning Watch (my personal cathedral praise) every day. It renews my strength and my vision for who God is to his people. Praise be to God, the Sovereign One who carries me and revives me every day.

Who God Is

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Give us hearts to serve the destitute, discouraged and disenfranchised (Psm 68:5,6). #GodIsFatherToTheFatherless #GodIsDefenderOfTheDestitute #GodIsComfortToTheLonely #GodIsJoyToThePrisoner

This Is Who God Is

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Reading Psalm 68:5-6, I think of the ministry God has called me to (spanning some 53 years). I have served in the church as well as Christian and civic organizations. Many of those years (some 36 years; about 70%), were spent serving the last, the least, the lost and the lonely – especially jail/prison inmates, their wives and children.

Serving alongside many dear Christian friends, I have seen firsthand God’s fatherly touch in the lives of the fatherless, the lonely, the widowed, abandoned wives and mothers, the prisoner. This is who God is (v5). Lord, thank you for the joy I have observed on so many faces as I have been witness to your multiplied deliverance in so many lives.

Holy Thunder

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Put your faith, trust and future in God, he who rides the clouds (Psm 68:1-4). #God’sMajesticPresence #HolyThunder

Holy Thunder

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Those who are scornful of God, antagonistic towards God, shall all one day be running for their lives. They shall be scattered like smoke in the wind, melted like wax in a fire. God’s very presence will bring an end to the wicked. Fear not the culture wars of the 21st century.

But his godly ones will sing and rejoice in his presence. He who rides the clouds is majestic and comforting to those who love him. Who is he? His name is the Lord. Rejoice and be glad you godly ones in the presence of him who is victorious over all. Lord, I hear your holy thunder. I put my whole faith, trust and future in your hands.

“Selah!” I Heard Dat

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Just be grateful for Warrior friends (Psm 68:19).#ListenToThis #GiveThsnksForFriends

SELAH!

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

If you’re ever wondering how the Lord carries us, stop and count the number of warrior friends you have.

If you’re ever wondering how the Lord meets our need, stop and count the number of warrior friends you have.

This morning I give praise to God for how he never fails to carry this ol’ sentry. I see God’s face and feel his arms around me in the faces and comforting touches of my warrior friends.

Can I get a “Selah”* here?

* Selah (or interlude in NLT) in Scripture means stop, reflect, take note; it is a musical term and could also mean a cymbal crash. That’s what I’m feeling this morning.

Better Days Ahead

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Stand by faith in the tradition of a Christ honoring Israel (Jer 12:14–17). #BelieveInJesus #TrystJesusNow

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

God’s compassionate forecast: those pagan nations who have uprooted and overrun the nation of Israel, God’s chosen people, will themselves be uprooted. But in the end God will uproot scattered Israel from those nations and return her to her land, He will also return and restore pagan nations. There is hope (Jer 29:11).

Any nation who learns from God, who will respect and swear by his name will be blessed. They will be given a place among his chosen people. This is a forecast of the gentiles coming to Christ and being grafted into the body of Christ…the church (Rom 11: 11–24). Lord, may I stand by faith in the tradition of a Christ honoring people.

An Emerging Wasteland

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May America have shepherd leaders who honor God (Jer 2:10–13). #TurnBackToGod #GodOurOnlyHope

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Leaders in Judah had been as heedless in guiding the people of God as careless indifferent shepherds who send their sheep to graze on the young vines of a vineyard. The consequence is that the sheep unwittingly make the beautiful vines a wasteland.

So God’s people had laid waste to all of the blessings of God on them. They did not see the signs of the gathering armies on the hilltops, ready to wield God’s sword of judgment upon them. They have done “religious” works, done the work of planting, but they will harvest a crop of shame and devastation. Lord, give us shepherd leaders today who will honor God and pay heed to his word.

________

America today is squandering her blessings from God. We are becoming a vast wasteland. Illegal immigrants are overrunning us and depleting our resources. Inflation is devouring financial resources. Immorality and homosexuality is laying waste to our moral resources. Our children are being sacrificed on altars of humanistic/socialistic ideologies and compromising this, our most precious resource. Lord, may our leaders show signs of humble repentance and point America back towards you.

Dead Bird

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May spiritual and national leaders in America lead a hasty return back to God (Jer 12:7-13). #ReturnToGod #Repent

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Having been instructed by God regarding the purpose of adversity (vv5,6), Jeremiah moves on with his final comments to Israel (Judah) regarding her violation of her Covenant with God. God is reluctantly abandoning his “dearest people” to her enemies. Why? Because she has “roared“ against him, treated him with contempt. She shakes her fist in God’s face and ignores every commitment made to him.

Judah, metaphorically, struts around like a strange colored bird of prey. She foolishly claims her dominion over her prey, while powerful other birds of prey and wild animals swoop in and violently thrash her. Then they consume Judah’s corpse. Oh Lord, how far Judah (and America today) has fallen from her love for you. Judah did not turn to God and she suffered. Pray America makes a hasty return to God.

_________________

America is not a people of Covenant with God, like Israel. But she is a people with deep roots in God’s Covenant people. She is a nation upon whom God‘s blessing has rested from her inception.

Will America be like a prideful “different colored bird” who struts over her dominion over her prey; who is completely unaware of the great and powerful other beasts and birds of prey who will pick her apart and consume her carcass?

Lord, open the eyes of America today. May she humble herself in repentance toward God. Forgive us Lord, for our self indulgence, our complacency and selfishness disdain for the things that honor God.

Take The Fight To God

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

View any adversity as a teacher and an open door to share the truth of the Gospel (Jer 12:5,6). #BreakAllBarriers #NoFear

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

“Why are the wicked prosperous and happy? (v1,2)? How long must we suffer (v4)?” One might initially think that God is sidestepping Jeremiah’s honest questions. But no, God makes a critical point. Jeremiah hasn’t seen the worst that is yet to come.

God says, “Are you tired racing with men? What will you do racing horses?”

“Are you stumbling in open ground (trusting only in times of peace)? How will you handle the really tough terrain (times of terrible hardship)? Even your own family Jeremiah, plot against you.“

Light adversity trains and hardens us for greater adversity to come. I’ll take my fight to you, God. Lord, may I view any adversity, large or small, as a trainer and an open door to share the truth of the Gospel (Rev 3:8-10).

We face adverse times in America. It may get worse before it gets better…if it gets better. No guaranties. These “last days” will be trying. Believers must see these days as open doors to share the truth of the gospel. Stand fast. Trust God.

“Practice The Presence Of God”

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Learn to “practice the presence of God“ (Jer 12:1,3) #PracticeThePresenceOfGod #PrayerAtItsBest

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

One of the things that sets Jeremiah apart is his ongoing relationship with God. From the beginning of his call (1: 4-14ff) and probably way before that, Jeremiah was on regular speaking terms with God. So these two verses represent his daily open and continuing conversation with God.

This is prayer at its best. This is what Brother Lawrence* called, “practicing the presence of God.“ Brother Lawrence and Jeremiah challenge the intercessor, the prayer sentry, to retreat into that place in his/her heart where the love of God makes even the most menial task of your day a worship experience. Lord, may I daily, moment by moment, stay in constant touch with you no matter what I am doing.

* Brother Lawerence was a 17th Century French Carmelite monk who wrote in his memoirs what became the Christian classic read on prayer: The Practice Of The Presence Of God (a “must read” for every intercessor)

Got Questions?

Don’t hesitate to sincerely inquire of God (Jer 12: 1–4). #GotQuestions-AskGod #SeekTruth

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Although Jeremiah brings his complaint to God, he never doubts the veracity of God‘s ability or intent to bring men to justice. This is not the first time Jeremiah has brought his case to God (v1). He is a man who comes faithfully and boldly before God in prayer.

Jeremiah, like we, is trying to square God’s slow rolling justice with the ongoing freedom and prosperity of evil men. If God would just take out the worst offenders (and he could do that) then maybe things would get better. Maybe. I have had thoughts like that. Yet, my ways are not God‘s ways. I may sincerely question God. But I never doubt him. Lord, you welcome the sincerely inquiring sentry.

How long?

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Do not grow weary in the fight against evil (Jer 12:1–4). #StandFast #DoNotGrowWeary

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

“How long Lord?“ Having survived a plot to kill him by evil men unhappy with his message, Jeremiah inquires of the Lord. He asks, “Why do the wicked prosper? Why are they happy? How long will we mourn for our destruction?“ It’s an age old question (Job 21:7-21; Hab 1:2–4).

Faithful prayer sentries may come to their posts weary, even, at times, discouraged by unrestrained evil. The question often haunts their watch. “How long, O Lord, will evil prevail? When will you end the destruction?“ Father God, do not let my finite thoughts wander into places beyond my knowledge and comprehension, lest I be consumed by defeat.

“Vincere Diem!”

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Be aware of those who reject the word of the Lord, who secretly work to silence God’s message/messenger; fear not. (Jer 11:18-23). #GodWinsTheDay

“Vincere Diem!”

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Jeremiah‘s pleadings with the people of Judah to repent and follow the Lord were met with anger, hostility and skepticism…even in his own hometown of Anathoth. Centuries later Jesus had the same problem (Mrk 6:4; Luk 4:24; Jhn 4:44). God revealed the plot to kill Jeremiah by the men of his hometown. They didn’t want to hear what Jeremiah had to say.

Note the language. “I was like a pet lamb being led to the slaughter.” Jeremiah had no idea this plot was happening, but God was standing in his corner to fight for him and Win the Day. “VINCERE DIEM!” Lord I am alert to those who reject and/or deflect God’s word; who might secretly work against your message. They are in your hands, Lord.

Reckless Conspiracy

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Humbly surrender your heart to God’s lordship (Jer 11:9–17). #GodlySorrow #Repentance #TurnToGod

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The reforms of king Josiah (2Ch 34) were short-lived. The people secretly conspired to rid themselves of God’s oversight. They soon returned to their idolatries and immoral lives. Now the pagan idols and altars thought to save them would become their very downfall (v12).

Do not pray for them Jeremiah” (also 7:16; 11:14). Judgment is on the way. The beautiful olive tree of God’s planting (Israel) will suddenly be destroyed for its rejection of God’s leadership. The nation that rejects God will suffer the consequences. Lord, may we in America, as a people, have humble hearts willing to repent and return to you.

Consider: America is not Judah. She is not a theocracy. Judah’s judgment is not America’s judgment. But America was founded upon Judeo Christian principles (biblical principles) of freedom and liberty. America has been blessed by God because of this. For her to conspire against and turn her back on God will bear no less consequences in judgment. Of this she may be certain. I pray God send revival in the church and awakening in the land.

I do not pray for nor wish for any ill will toward any one person or group of people invested in the political system of America. In fact I pray for their redemption who do not know nor honor God. But I do pray for the absolute destruction of any ideology that conspires against God. I pray that lies and deceit would be exposed and that truth, honor, and respect for God be elevated.

Total Transformation

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Genuinely pursue complete transformation of the heart (Jer 11:1–8). #AuthenticTransformation #Revival #SpiritualAwakening

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Under king Josiah there was a time of reformation. At the repairing of the Temple the Book Of The Law (The Covenant) was found (2Ch 34:14–19). Jeremiah was a part of that time of reform. He traveled from town to town confronting the people with the words, the blessings and curses, of The Covenant. God fulfilled his part, but the people did not fulfill theirs.

God’s people were disobedient. Because of their stubborn attitudes, God began to implement the curses described in The Covenant. Josiah‘s reforms were external and did not change the people’s hearts toward God. Reform was insincere and short-lived. Lord, may this sentry (the church in America) forever understand that external formalities will never renew our hearts. Only a genuine commitment to you will bring renewal and awakening in the land.

A Sentry Prayer

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Seek God’s merciful correction for our wayward hearts (Jer 10:23–25). #JusticeAndMercy #Repentance

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Having condemned the idolatry of Judah (7:1–10:22), Jeremiah takes on the persona of his countrymen. He prays as one of them. His prayer is an example for all who pray for the demise of any people, family or individuals who face certain judgment for flagrant sin before God.

As a sentry on the wall of prayer I do not stand in isolation from my countrymen. I may call out and warn, but if the people I serve do not heed the call, then I will suffer the same consequences along with them.

Jeremiah’s prayer 1) acknowledges the limits of our understanding in choosing our course in life. 2) He humbly asks for God‘s merciful, gentle, not angry course corrections. Finally, 3) he asks God to save his wrath for those enemies of God who do not acknowledge him and devour God’s people. This is how the prayer sentry can pray for his people.

Reversing Failure & Privation

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May our eyes be opened to sin’s devastation; reverse direction (Jer 10:19–22). #Repentance #GodlySorrow #Awakening

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The judgment that is about to fall on Judah is inevitable. It will be severe, the grief will be great. The security of one’s home will be destroyed beyond repair. Children will be lost – a generation will be left adrift and unredeemed.

Shepherds (leaders) had lost all sense of direction and no longer sought after God‘s wisdom. Their failures were devastating and all influence with the people was lost. The people will be divided, scattered, left to wander defenseless. The enemy from without will roll down and destroy the nation.

This is what happens to a nation who no longer seeks after God. The privations of my beloved country paint a bleak picture for her future. Lord, may the people of America be awakened to her demise and return to the God of her heritage. May the church be renewed, filled with the Spirit and pointing the way to a loving God.

If We Repent

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION.

Lord, may we express a spirit of humility and repentance in America (Jer 10:16–18). #Repentance #HumbleYourselves #LordSendRevival

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Through the prophet Jeremiah God says, “I Am and I am the Lord of Heavens Armies.” He claims Israel as his special possession. It is he that is speaking. For Israel’s idolatry and prideful arrogance, God, the eternal “I Am,“ says he is coming in judgment.

The siege against Jerusalem is about to begin. The people of Judah are about to be suddenly homeless. God is about to pour out great troubles on his people. They who thought themselves untouchable are about to feel gods anger. Lord, how shall my beloved nation, America, escape so great a judgment? If she does not repent she will be herself suddenly homeless in this world.

“History is littered with the remains of once great empires, each one having had their turn at the very helm of the world. They rose to high prominence, yet today they are only a memory. Will this be true of America? The commonalities and diagnosis is alarming.” So says this article in Herald of His Coming: Revival Can Save A Nation.

See also in this blog, Is America Undergoing Judgment, Is The Church Complicit?

The Road Ahead

A dear friend txted me this message after he read my blog yesterday, “Burden Uploaded.” He said, “[Your post yesterday was a good read]. I’m so sorry you are walking this road my friend.


I thought about what he wrote. These were my thoughts shared with him:

“I’ve got plenty of Jesus men & women in my circle. I get to see Jesus acts on a regular basis.

I’m thankful. I could have lost my girl to cancer in 2003, again in 2017. Instead God gave us 20 more years together…and counting.

My post describes what happens when I get overly focused on the “road” before me. Best thing is, God knows that. He was already waiting for me in that tight spot in the road. Jesus people were in line to minister to my need.

I’m a Jesus guy and now I know how to minister to others out of my difficulties. I’m refreshed and ready for the road ahead.”

Burden Uploaded

Yesterday I posted this verse: “Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭68:19‬ ‭‬‬

I ask the question, “How exactly does God bear our burdens?“ That is, where is the way-station where one can “cast upon him all of one’s cares” (1Pe 5:7; Psm 55:22)?

This blog was never intended to be, as such, a place for me to share with the world my personal journey. But it seemed right that the prayer sentry not ignore the sometimes difficult personal struggles that he/she faces. It affects the way the sentry comes to his/her post in the watch tower of prayer.

In this case yesterday, I came to my duty post with a troubled heart. Anxious, distracted heart might be a better description (Phi 4:6,7). Why? Because, among other things, I was overwhelmed with the daily life of a caregiver. I care for my beautiful sweet wife of 50+ years, who is battling a couple of debilitating health issues. The most challenging of these is dementia in the Alzheimer’s family. She was diagnosed in 2011.

Dementia is a painfully slow and progressive disease. It is a maniacal thief who steals one’s life, one memory at a time. Memories of family life, memories of friends, memories of certain motor skills, memories of learned skills, memories of daily routines. The list goes on. It is impossible to describe or explain the challenges without many examples and stories of disheartening and discouraging narratives. I’ll spare you this. Suffice it to say, I hit an emotional wall, as caregivers often do.

What is that emotional wall? It is that place one comes to when the breath seems to have been knocked out of you. Tumultuous emotions bubble to the surface. There is pain, sorrow, empathy, tears, anger all rolled up into one moment of anxious despair. You cannot think past the next dish in the sink you might be washing or that load of clothes you are stuffing in the washer. You hold back sobs of grief, try to cover them up. Sometimes you can. Other times, not so much. Maybe you walk to another room in the house (I’ve done all these things and more). All the while, that cognitively impaired loved one looks on in a strange and quiet curiosity; perhaps tries to console. But they are unable to express their thoughts very well or speak deeply into the need. You wonder how you can go on. But go on you must.

That is where I was yesterday and the night before. HOW DO I DO THIS LORD? HOW, WHEN, WILL THE BURDEN I FEEL BE LIFTED?

THEN..,

…our daughter, with her own family to care for, txtd me, “Dad, I’m coming over. Be there in a minute.” She proceeded to do some caregiving of her own.

The next day a dear friend and brother in Christ called me. He himself is wrestling with some very challenging circumstances. He called to share an encouraging word with me from Scripture.

Our son txtd me. He wanted to meet me for coffee. He lives about 40 minutes away. But he was off and wanted to spend some time with me. He let me know he is standing with me.

Finally, a neighbor txtd me and said, “I’m bringing you dinner tonight.” She was removing from my shoulders the burden of dinner prep.

I asked the question at the begining, “How exactly does God bear our burdens?“ That is, where is the way-station where one can “cast upon him all of one’s cares”

God wasted no time to answer. He said to me, “Your burden is lifted when brothers and sisters in Christ decide to make the call, make the visit, share a word of encouragement, make that special meal.” That’s exactly what happened

The answer was there all along:

“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal 6:2)

encourage the fainthearted, help the weak,” (1Th 5:14).

Today, I picked up the phone and called a dear sister in Christ who is providing care for her husband. I made arrangements to pick him up and take him out for coffee in the next couple weeks. Maybe she will have a chance to sit down and rest for a couple hours. Maybe she too will feel a burden lifted.