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.

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.

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.

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.

Timeless Benediction

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND

May you know and rest in the timeless assurance of God (Jud 1:24,25; Heb 4:3). #ToGodAscribeAllPowerAndMajesty

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Here is a benediction that the apostle Paul would be proud of (see Paul’s benediction Rom 16:25). “All glory to God“ who stands watch over the souls of his called out ones. He will deliver them “faultless“ into his very holy presence (Eph 5:27).

“All glory to God“ who alone has rescued us in Christ Jesus our Lord from an eternal hell. “All glory to God“ for his timeless greatness/splendor, his power and authority – that is “before all time, in this present time and beyond times and times to come.“ In these last days, awaiting Christ return, we may rest confidently in our God.

Lord, words fail this aged sentry to express my trust in your absolute power and majesty. But it is where my soul comes down to rest, even “the rest of God (Heb 4:3). What a blessed and timeless benediction!

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.

“This We’ll Defend”

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Defend the principles of the Gospel from all attacks (Jude 1:3). #DefendTheFaith

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

I am called to duty, to “defend the faith.” John MacArthur explains this “faith.“ He says, “It’s not describing a subjective act of faith; it’s referring to the content of Christianity, the Gospel, the whole body of doctrine that makes up Gods revelation.” Believers (I) have a duty to defend this “FAITH“ from any false teaching that would minimize its effect or impact.

The U.S. Army motto is, “This We’ll Defend.” What is that? It’s not subjective acts of freedom; it is the content, the whole doctrine of “LIBERTY” and what that means to America, even to the world. The soldier is called upon to defend that liberty from all aggressors.

In the same way, I am called upon to “defend the faith” and all that it means to those who have believed and will believe the Gospel.

Lord, THIS I WILL DEFEND!

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.

What Will Transform A Nation?

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Seek to experience and live out the transforming power of the Gospel (Jude 1:1). #TransformingPower #TheGospelTruth

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Jude is considered to be, along with James his brother, a half brother to Jesus. This is interesting in that at one point these brothers were both skeptics (Jhn 7:3–5), thought Jesus was mentally off (Mrk 3:21). Yet, we find them in the Upper Room with their mother, Mary (mother of Jesus) at Pentecost after the resurrection (Acts 1:14).

Jude humbly recognizes his true place in the life of Christ – “a servant.” He and his brother James went from skeptics to leaders in the early church. This is nothing short of the transforming power of the Gospel. Lord, my faith to continue to pray and witness rests in the power of the Gospel to transform people and nations.

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)

Doubt Your Doubts

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

When in doubt, trust the truthfulness and character of God (Jer 4:10–12). #TrustingGod #SurrenderDoubtToGod

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

This is Jeremiah‘s response to the judgments God had planned for Judah. The response is strange and difficult to understand. Did God intentionally lie and mislead Judah? This is totally outside the character of God (Num 23:19; Tit 1:2; Heb 6:18). We are left to surmise that Jeremiah was likely complaining to God that he had allowed false prophets to promise peace.

God‘s true prophets have always promised judgment as a consequence of sin. But God is able to withstand the scrutiny and he assures Jeremiah that he has a right (vv11,12). Lord, your word is true, reliable and trustworthy. What I do not understand is always subject to finite reasoning. Lord, may I always trust your truthfulness and not my doubts.

Got Steel?

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Be fortified against the opposition of sin and evil (Jer 1:18-19). #ManOfSteel #GotSteel #FightForTruthAndJustice

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The message Jeremih had for the people – kings, politicians, priests, ministers, the people of God was one of judgment for sin. Jeremiah would be scorned and rejected. But his detractors would fail. God would make of Jeremiah a fortified city, a man of steel, to speak against sin.

Anyone called of God is obligated to teach and explain the whole counsel of God. It is not always a glorious task. Rather it can be and is an inglorious one. Many will not listen. In fact they may fight against you. But God’s promise to the man or woman of God is that he will steel you against the opposition of the world against truth. Lord, this posted sentry is relying upon you to fortify him in the trenches of ministry and prayer.

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.

Never Looked Back

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Come humbly before God, he will not ignore your prayer (Psm 66). #Don’tLookBack #RepentTurnToGod GodCannotIgnoreRepentance

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Psalm 66 is my story. I never get tired of telling it. I can shout joyful praises to God. He has done “awesome miracles” on my behalf (too many to count (vv1–4). He gave me a clear path through troubled waters. I rejoice in him (vv5–7).

My life is in his hands. He has kept my feet from stumbling. He tested me, purified me, captured me, given me a leader worth following – Jesus Christ (vv8–12). I am here paying my vows from times of trouble (13–15).

December 28, 1968, high up in a guard tower in Vietnam, I surrendered to the Lordship of Christ. “I cried out to God for help. I confessed my sin and he listened to me. He did not ignore my prayer [nor any prayer since].“ (16–20). I NEVER LOOKED BACK!

Shield & Defense

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Trust God as the ultimate victor in life‘s battles (Psm 21:8–13). #TheBattleIsTheLords #MyShieldAndDefense

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The plans of the wicked may seem to gain ground temporarily. The wicked may win this battle or that. But the Lord is the ultimate victor in the war. The song says, “Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere? We should never be discouraged. Take it to the Lord in prayer…In his arms he’ll take and shield you. You will find a solace there.“*

The Lord will consume the enemy. The enemy will flee at the mere sight of God’s presence. “We celebrate God‘s mighty victories.“ Lord, you are the sentry’s mighty shield and defense against the wicked forces in this world

* What A Friend We Have In Jesus, Joseph M. Scriven, 1855; the tune was composed by Charles Crozat Converse, 1868

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.

Let God Fight For You

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Stand in awe of God‘s ability to fight your battles (Nah 2:3-10). #LetGodFightYourBattles

NO MATCH FOR GOD

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The scene in Nineveh looks like something out of a movie: the enemy of God puts on a dazzling display of offensive weaponry. Then God strikes confusion within the ranks. One by one the enemy is eliminated by death, fear or surrender. The treasures of the enemy are pillaged, ransacked.

Finally, the heart to go on in the people leave them. The battle is over. God is all powerful over every enemy of the soul of man. He will fight for me. His tactics are sure and effective. This old battle worn sentry is in awe of God’s tactics against every enemy of the soul (Exo 14:14; Deu 3:22; 20:4; Jos 23:3; 2Ch 20:17). Lord, thank you for standing in my defense.

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.