“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.

Do The Unexpected

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Treat those antagonistic towards the faith with Mercy and Prayer (Jud 1:22,23). #Mercy #TheUnexpected

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

How do I treat and pray for those who malign faith in Christ and the biblical values I hold dear? Do the unexpected thing. Be merciful towards others whose faith is faltering; rescue those who have gone to the dark side. But do so cautiously, hating the sin and not getting caught up in their departure from faith. Galatians 6:1 comes to mind.

Certainly praying for those who malign the faith is implied here and made clear in Luke 6:28. As hard as it may be, pray for those who live and think contrary to you. Do the unexpected thing. Pray for them. Over time your attitude towards them will change. Mercy will kick in. Lord, create in me a desire to act mercifully towards those who have faltered or left the faith and to pray for them.

A Gibraltar Faith

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Stand fast in your faith; encourage the faithful (Jud 1:17–21). #StandFastInFaith #EncourageTheFaithful

“The Rock”

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

So, what are the sentry’s standing orders in these “last days,“ in the face of those who make a mockery of biblical values and live a hedonistic lifestyle, who create division and who do not live by the Spirit of God? Jude answers: Be strengthened in the faith (have a “Gibraltar“ sized faith).

Build one another up who do follow God faithfully. Be prayerful for each other (and those who deny the faith). Look forward to the merciful coming of Christ and eternal life. Thus you will stay safe in the saving, keeping grip of God‘s love. Lord, make of this old sentry a Gibraltar of faith to my friends and family. May I work tirelessly to encourage the faithful in my orbit of influence.

PRAYING FOR YOU WHO ARE

READING THIS BLOG TODAY

One Immutable Truth

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Hold fast to the truth, that one “faith” entrusted to you (Jude 1:3). #OneFaith #DefendTheFaith

Truth; Chiseled In Stone

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Jude further explains “the faith“ I am to defend. It is that faith “entrusted once for all time to God’s people.“ This “faith“ is the one eternal truth given in the gospel – that Christ lived a sinless life and became the sinless sacrifice for all men. In his death he satisfied God’s righteous anger against sin. Christ died that our sin be forgiven. He was buried and raised from the dead to secure men’s eternal life (1Co 15:1-4).

There may be different denominations, but there is only one “faith.” That is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, given “once for all time“ [its chiseled in stone]. Those who claim some “new truth” are false teachers (liars) and lead men away from the truth. Lord, my confidence rests in the sole immutable truth of the Gospel.

Forever Assured

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Be assured of God’s complete work of grace in your life (Jude 1:1,2). #Grace #Mercy #Peace #Love #GospelAssurance

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Jude writes to Christians across the centuries. He writes to me. Jude, the brother of Jesus, writes to all who have believed the Gospel. His opening prayer for us (me) is that we stand firm in the Gospel call of God, our father, who secures us by his Son, by the Shepherd’s care of Jesus.

Jude prays that we would receive more mercy, peace and love. That is, the supply of mercy for our sin, peace for our anxieties and love for our conditional acceptance of others is full, abundant and never ending. Whatever our need for mercy, peace and love, it is in eternal supply. Lord, I have no fear of slipping from your grasp or falling short of the Gospel attributes of faith and action.

Worthless Silver

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May we respond in repentance to the refining fires of God’s judgment (Jer 6:27–30i). #RefinersFire #ProvingSpiritualWorth

Discarded Worthless Silver

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Like an assayer judges the value of precious metal, so Jeremiah makes an assessment of the spiritual worth of God’s people. The determination is that the refiner’s fire has proved God’s people are unrepentant and of the worst value.

God’s people are hard like iron. Unusable. The fires of previous judgments have not brought about any purification. Therefore, they are “rejected silver“ and cast aside by the God. Oh, that America, me or my family might not become “rejected silver.“ Lord thank you for the fires of refining in my life (Pro 25:4,5). May those fires prove the value of this old sentry’s walk with you.

The Path To Peace

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Walk in the way of the godly who have gone before you (Jer 6:16). #TheAncientPath #WalkInTheGodlyWay

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

God is not a capricious God. He is not a god who plays guessing games – you guess wrong, you lose. God is a good and understanding God. He makes clear what he expects. He is clear about what path to take.

There are two paths in life. Look carefully at both. One is the path of the ancients, the godly and righteous path. Choose this path, no matter what the other path offers. The well worn path of the godly will always take your soul to a place of rest and peace. This is the path about which Jesus spoke in Matthew 7:13,14. Lord, lead me always in the way everlasting.

(Also note Isaiah 30:20,21)

Never Too Young

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Lord, give us children sensitive to the call of God on their lives (Jer 1:4,5; Psm 139:13-17). #NeverTooYoung #GodSpeaksToChildren

“I’m Listening Lord” (1Sa 3:10)

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Jeremiah was young (13–16 years of age). He grew up in the home of a priest; likely was enrolled in a school for scribes. Jeremiah certainly knew the history of God‘s call on young men in Israel (Samuel, David, Sampson). Jeremiah begins here in his journal by acknowledging the “Sovereign” voice of God (v6). One has to appreciate this young man’s foresight to journal.

Jeremiah writes, “I [God] knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb [Psm 139:13-17]. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you my prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah knew God’s voice and he knew his call at a very early age. Lord, may our children and their children recognize your call on their lives. Keep this sentry’s heart sensitive to children called to ministry.

Reluctant Prophet

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Have courage to follow God’s directions (Jer 1:4-10). #CourageToFollowGod #ListenToGod

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

I enter into my daily readings looking at the prophet Jeremiah. I am as reluctant to this reading as Jeremiah was to God‘s call on his life (v6). Jeremiah may have been in his early to mid teens when God called him. Jeremiah Chapter 1 would have been a lot for this teenager to absorb.

Perhaps Jeremiah’s response is similar to young Mary when an Angel of the Lord informed her that she would give birth to the Son of God (Luk 1:29-38). And, like Mary, Jeremiah was also told not to fear, that God would be with him. And, like Mary, he moves ahead in his special call from God. Lord, may this sentry always have the courage to listen to you and follow without hesitation.

Personal Choices

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Follow godly examples; do what is right (2Ch 33:24,2534:1,2). #RoleModelsMatter #PersonalChoicesDetermineYourOutcomes

Josiah, Child King Of Judah

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Following the death and two year reign of king Amon, the people of Judah rose up and slew his assassins. Then they installed his son Josiah as king. Josiah was eight years old when he became king and he reigned for 31 years. Scripture would come to regard Josiah as one of Judah‘s best kings.

Josiah didn’t follow his evil father, Amon. He didn’t follow his wicked but repentant grandfather, Manasseh. He became his own man and followed the example of his ancestor king David – the greatest king of all Israel. Lord, the sentry is reminded that every man makes his own choice to follow God. The key to spiritual leadership is following godly examples and striving to do what is right.

Example Matters

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May you model true faith in your life (2Ch 33:21-23). #Parent’sExampleMatters #WalkWithGodAllYourDays

“Moms” and “Dads” Matter: Political Correctness Not Withstanding

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Following the prophecies of Nahom and Isaiah, Judah’s king, Manasseh, died. His son, Amon, became king (2Ch 33:20,21). Amon’s reign was short-lived, only two years. His father, one of Judah‘s most wicked kings, had repented toward God and brought some reform to Judah. But the damage to his son was already done.

Amon followed in his father‘s “evil“ ways and abandon the Lord, refusing to follow God (2Ki 21:19–21). Further, he did even more evil than his father. The lives and example of parents matter. Lord, May I live out all my days as a worthy example to my children and grandchildren.

Words Of life

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May you know Lord‘s presence and grace all your days (2Ti 4:22). #GraceBeWithYouAll #Paul’sLastWrittenWords #WordsOfLife

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

“May the Lord be with your spirit. May his grace be with you all.“ Those are the last known written words of the Apostle Paul.

Having prayed through Paul’s two letters to Timothy, I find myself leaning into these final words. I feel them in my soul. Because of Paul and Timothy generations of believers have followed Christ. Paul speaks words of life directly to me…”The Lord be with you, may his grace be with you.“

Closing The Book on those words this morning, other of Paul’s words come to mind. Ephesians 6:13, “be dressed and ready. Then having done all stand.“ I can do no less. Lord, what a debt of gratitude this aged sentry owes for the written record of the great Apostle Paul and his encouraging words to me; to future generations of believers.

Where my journey in Paul’s letters to Timothy began; see https://theprayersentry.com/2022/02/08/famous-last-words/

Deliverance

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Lean forever on God’s delivering hand (2Ti 4:17,18). #GodDelivers #God’sDeliverance

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

I have pondered the litany of names mentioned here by the apostle Paul (vv9–14;19-21). What we know is that the time of Paul’s execution is near. He pauses to recall those who have impacted his life – positively and, oh so negatively.

But only one changed the trajectory of his life and work. The Lord Jesus stood with him, gave him hope, strength. It is the Lord Jesus to whom he turns under every evil attack. Jesus has and will deliver him and bring him safely into the harbor of God’s heavenly kingdom. Lord there is no deliverance like your deliverance.

Boots On The Ground

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Put faithful boots on the ground for the cause of Christ (2Ti 4:6,7i). #BootsOnTheGround #FightTheGoodFightRunTheRace

Service For Christ: Boots On The Ground

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Paul writes, “The time of my death is near.” Paul is not just closing his letter to Timothy. He is closing in on the end of his life. These words are literally some of the final written words of the great Apostle. Paul reflects on his life as a leader in the early church movement.

Paul sees his life as having been poured out as an offering for the cause of Christ and the gospel. Romans 12:1 comes to my mind. Paul has fought a good fight, and he has run the good race (boots on the ground), and he has remained faithful. This was his reasonable service of worship.

Lord, at the end of my duty watch, may I say with Paul, “I gave it all, put faithful boots on the ground for Christ and didn’t flinch.”

Clear-eyed Intentions

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Remain clear-eyed in your intentions for speaking truth and doing ministry (2Ti 4:3-5) #CleareyedIntentions #SpeakTruth #DoWhatGodCalledYouToDo

What Do You See?

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The Apostle Paul continues with the idea of standing “ready“ with good teaching from God’s Word and telling others the “Good News“ of the Gospel. Times will deteriorate and people will no longer want to listen to good teaching. They will simply want to satisfy their own pleasures and seek out teachers who will tell them what they want to hear.

Further, people will reject the truth in favor of myths (fables and superstitions) that excite them. So Paul says to the Christian, stay clear-eyed about the Gospel of Jesus and do not fear even suffering for the cause of the Gospel. Just keep doing the ministry to which God called you.

Lord, the eyes of this aging sentry grow dimmer with every passing year. But my focus on what you have called me to do has never been more clear.

Not Just Any Word

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Be ready and faithful to share God’s word (2Ti 4: 1,2). #NotJustAnyWord #AnyTimeAGoodTimeForGodsWord #InSeasonAndOutOfSeason

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Faithfulness to the holy Scriptures is a recurring theme in Paul’s letters to Timothy. God‘s Word is to be preached in any and all situations and ages. It is useful to correct what is wrong, drive back with his dissident and encourage the people of God. I must use every opportunity to share God’s Word.

Jesus will one day return and set up his eternal kingdom and judge the world. Preaching God‘s word faithfully will help to prepare people for this event on the world stage. Lord, give me the love, the boldness and the holy want to, to share God’s word.

WORD!

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Put your full trust in the reliability of God’s Word (2Ti 3:15-17). #WORD #TrustGodsWord #GodsWordEqualsGodsVoice

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The Bible is an amazing book. It was written by 66 authors over hundreds of years. It’s reliability has been proven over and over again. It is the written record of God’s whole plan of redemption.

God speaks to us through his word. It is good for teaching and understanding truth. It shows us how to live right and do right. It shows us where we are wrong, corrects us. If you want to hear God speak audibly, read God’s word out loud. Reading God‘s word is an encounter with the living God. Lord, thank you for the reliability of your to man.

Persist Again

Persist in faithfulness, even in the presence of godlessness (2Ti 3:10–14). #AlwaysFaithful #PersistAgainAndAgain

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Godlessness shall continue “in the last days“ (3:1–9)…and so it does. But you, who have known by example men and women of faith like Paul, you have seen how the people of God endure all manner of ungodly mess and persecution. Anyone who knows, loves and follows God will themselves be persecuted. But The Lord will stand with you…rescue you.

Godlessness will exist until the Day of Christ. Jesus himself explained this phenomenon (note Mat 13:36-43). But you may trust those godly examples in your life who, like Paul, have been persistently faithful to live out God‘s word and have taught it to you. Lord, may I persist to be faithful even in the presence of godlessness.

God will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in him (Isa26:3)

Clear To Land

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May you see clearly God‘s pathway to purity and walk in it (2Ti 2:21,22). #GodsWordIsALight

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Like a lit up runway, this passage explains how one may remain pure and ready for the Master’s use? (Psm 119:9 asks the same question)

Ans: Run (don’t walk) away from anything that smacks of youthful lusts (that goes for those older as well).

Pursue life, faithfulness, love and peace with a heart set on just doing the right thing (note Pro 21:8).

In addition, hang out with companions who have the same goal of righteousness and purity (note Pro 27:17).

Lord, got my landing gear down; ready to faithfully pursue a path of pure thoughts and actions.

Vessel Of Honor

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May you remain always pure and ready for God’s use (2Tim 2:2–22). #VesselOfHonor

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

In light of several men mentioned* by Paul as those who deserted him or left the truth of God‘s word, Timothy is exhorted to remain true to the gospel and be pure of heart. In this way he will always be a ready vessel of honor for any special use God might have for him.

Of course, God may redeem and use any person for his glory. But the goal of every Christian should be to stay pure and ready for the Master’s use, as did Onesiphorus in 2Ti 1:16-18. Lord, may it be this sentry’s goal and experience to remain pure and ready for your use.

* 1:15; 2:17 (1Ti 1:20); 4:10a

Plumb & Square

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Look to the Word of God as the measure of all truth (2Ti 2:19). #Truth #PlumbAndSquare

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

In 1&2 Timothy Paul repeatedly returns to the theme of being faithful to the true teachings of Scripture (eg: 1 Tim 1:3; 2:7; 4:1,6,7,11,16; 6:2–4,20; 2 Tim 1:13; 2:2,15,19,25; 3:10,14–17; 4:2). It cannot be said enough, how important it is that ministers and God’s people stay faithful to the truth of God‘s word.

We may not know every argument against God‘s Word, but we may know what God’s Word teaches. Then we can be found faithful and not sidetracked by foolish arguments. God‘s Word is set like the cornerstone of a building. It keeps the whole building plum and square. Lord, may I always be found faithful to the truth of your Word.

Truth Speak

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Interpret and apply God‘s Word by prayer & careful study (2Ti 2:14–18). #RightlyDivideTheWordOfTruth #SeekTheTruthOfScripture

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Pay attention to the truth of Scripture. Interpret and apply it carefully to your own life and the lives of others. Second Peter 1:20 explains, “No teaching from Scripture comes from someone’s own private interpretation or opinion.“ Whatever one gleans from God‘s Word must be square with the whole counsel of Scripture.

So, Paul says, “Study to show yourself approved by God“ (NKJV). Anything less than that will result in foolish talk that leads men into arguments, worthless debates, godless behavior and ultimately off the path of truth. He provides an example of this as well. Lord, enable me to always carefully interpret and apply your Word in my life.

Perseverance Will Triumph

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Persevere in sharing the good news of eternal life in Christ (2Ti 2:3–10). #EndureToTheEnd #StayTheCourse #Persevere https://bible.com/bible/116/2ti.2.4-6.NLT

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

We are instructed here to endure like soldiers, athletes and farmers. What do they have in common? Discipline…Stamina. They are able to stay the course under all conditions; one to the victory, one to the prize, and one to the harvest. They envision the end goal and are not distracted by anything.

So we should set our eyes on the end goal of winning Christ and telling the world about the good news of eternal life. My philosophy for years has been to pray much, plan thoroughly, work hard, stay the course and leave the results to Christ. Lord, may I continue to endure all things for the cause of sharing the good news of Christ.