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1 In you, O LORD, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness.
2 Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me.
3 Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me.
4 Free me from the trap that is set for me, for you are my refuge.
5 Into your hands I commit my spirit; redeem me, O LORD, the God of truth.
   Psalms 31:1-5 (NIV)

     Have you ever been wrongfully accused or treated unfairly?  David experienced this over and over in his life beginning with the persecution from King Saul and later by his own son Absalom.  Yet David continually put his trust in the Lord and found him to be his strong fortress and salvation. 

     Notice in verse 3 how David boldly prayed that God would lead and guide him for the sake of God’s name.   If we dare to live faithfully for Christ, we too can pray with this boldness for the sake of His name. 

     This is a great scripture to use as a prayer when you are feeling oppressed or persecuted by others, and know that if God was there to see David through, he will be there for you as well. 

Copyright © 2008 by Janice Green

Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

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     13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”   (Luke 11:13   NIV) 

     This verse follows Jesus teachings on how much God wants to give to us generously what is best for us.  It seems apparent to me that he is telling us that the Holy Spirit is the very best gift of all.  When we are truly led by the Holy Spirit, we are fully within the will of God and fully blessed. 

       1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.   (Acts 2:1-4  NIV) 

      God’s Holy Spirit came down the most dramatically on the day of Pentecost.  This was the day the Disciples were told to wait for when Jesus last spoke to them before descending into heaven.  This was the Spirit of encouragement and empowerment that changed a group of frightened men into men of courage, strength, and power—men who went out to the world and faced their opposition head on. 

       The first gift the Spirit gave to the Disciples was the spirit of tongues.  They were quickly surrounded by people from all walks of life and from all parts of the known world, people who would not have understood the Hebrew language.  God put his Spirit into the Disciples to enable to speak to every person in the crowd that had gathered around them so that they could boldly speak and be understood by all.   

      When we pray we should ask for the best gift God has to offer—his Holy Spirit.  This is the Spirit that will lead us to do the will of our Father in heaven.  This Spirit will give us courage when we are afraid, Boldness when we need to take a stand, and discernment to know when to take action and when to let God take the lead in our behalf. 

Copyright © 2008 by Janice Green

Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

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     5 Then he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, 6 because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.’   

       7 ”Then the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ 8 I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man’s boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs.   (Luke 11:5-8  NIV)

     As I read this passage I think of a co-workers who seem to always get what they wants when they wants it, yet others of us seem to be overlooked.  Perhaps it is because they have learned the art of petitioning with boldness.  This is what Jesus is encouraging us to do when we ask our petitions of him.  Sometimes we have to wait for our answers to come, but God still wants us to continue to ask for what we want.

     James tells us that when we ask, we must believe and not doubt, “because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.  That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord;  he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.”  (James 1:6-8)  If we truly believe God will answer our prayers, we will continue to ask and not give up when God says wait.

     It never hurts to stop and analyze our requests to be sure we are in line with his will, but as long as we believe we are led by his Spirit we should continue to be persistent in prayer.

Copyright © 2008 by Janice Green

Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

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