Daily Archives: July 2, 2021

Fervent Prayer Can Change Things

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Exploding Prayer

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“Wow, I bet the stars are having a heart attack right now!” gasped Johnny, my girlfriend’s five-year-old son. His sparkling brown eyes scanned the night sky.

We marveled at the magnificent fireworks display above the football field where we sat on blankets, staring above us. It was our church’s annual Fourth of July picnic.

Each rocket projected skyward trailing an invisible line and paused before bursting downward like cascading leaves. The colors spiraled into the night or blossomed upward creating a beautiful multi-colored garden that lit the sky. How do they work? I wondered, watching the smoke near the launching pad.

Prayer is described as earthly petitions rising up “as the smoke of incense together with prayers” (see Revelation 8:4). Suddenly, I realized this was a new picture of prayer rising to God.

Again and again, each blast was accompanied by an unearthly silence — our eyes riveted to the small almost indiscernible streak paving its way to the heavens. The hush of anticipation broke into the “oohs and ahs” with each burst of color, sound, and light. Not one pattern was alike: each was varied, beautiful, and powerful.

We pray, shooting earthly petitions up to God. Sometimes it feels seemingly insignificant down here and almost indiscernible … like the faint projectile. But once our prayers break through the Heavens — when God takes hold of them — something wonderful happens. Just like the fireworks, He responds to each prayer He receives producing powerful and varied results for all to see.

Sometimes after the initial blast, a frail wobbly line wiggled its way up to a black sky followed by silence.  “It’s a dud,” the crowd would grumble. Seconds more passed and “kaboom!” Every corner of the darkness filled with light, to our delight and surprise. We had written it off after waiting just a few seconds without seeing results! It’s our human nature. How quickly we give up praying if we feel our prayers are simply disappearing in thin air.

No wonder Jesus told his disciples that they “should always pray and not give up.” Luke 18:1 (NIV)

How does it happen? The power of God, described in Aramaic as dunamos is from the word dynamite. The hidden power of prayer waits with the potential of dynamite. As our hearts link to God, He ignites prayer. We whisper that prayer and it shoots up to heaven. When God receives it, He opens it, adding the power and the glory!

We see the answers come tumbling down from Heavenly places.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights…” James 1:17 (NIV)

This year as you follow those tiny ribbons heavenward, attach a small prayer in your heart to one or two. As the color bursts forth, imagine God at work with your small act of faith. Be ready to wait and trust that it has reached its destination. God has heard your prayers and He is working on an answer.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…” Ephesians 3:20 (NIV)


The dove’s return to the ark

‘But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot.’ Genesis 8:9

Suggested Further Reading: Mark 12:28–34

We must love something, or some one. Man was not made to live alone, and therefore no man lives unto himself. Our heart must flow like a river, or it corrupts like a stagnant pool. Some have great hearts, and they require a great object on which to spend their love. They love fondly and firmly, too fondly and too firmly for earthly love. These are they who suffer from broken hearts. They have so much love that when they set it upon an unworthy object they reap a proportionate degree of misery and disappointment. Now let me say solemnly that no heart of a child of God will ever be satisfied with any object or person short of the Lord Jesus Christ. There is room for wife and children, there is room for friend and acquaintance, and all the more room in one’s heart because Christ is there, but neither wife, nor children, nor friends, nor kinsfolk can ever fill the believers’s heart. He must have Christ Jesus; there is no rest for him elsewhere. Do I address any believer who has been making an idol? Have you set up any god in your heart? Have you loved any creature so as to forget your Saviour? Be it child, or husband, or friend, take heed of the sin of idolatry. You cannot, you shall not find rest for the sole of your foot in the creature, however fair that creature may seem. God will break your idol before your eyes, or if he suffer that idol to stand, it shall remain to plague and curse you, for ‘thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm.’ ‘Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?’ Give your hearts to the Lord Jesus and he will never disappoint you. Lean on him with all your weight of affection, for he will never fail you.

For meditation: The Lord Jesus Christ has told us that we must love both God and man, but he has also specified who should come first (Mark 12:28–30), who should come second (Mark 12:31) and where we should place the emphasis (Matthew 10:37).


For When You Need a Reminder that God Will Provide

By Debbie McDaniel

“The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”  Isaiah 58:11

Where God guides, He promises to provide.

Maybe you’ve been waiting, or have been praying, for help, for a breakthrough. Maybe you feel like it’s been slow in coming, or that you can’t see a way out of your current situation. Maybe the needs seem to far outweigh the reality you’re living in. You’ve lost hope, feel alone in the struggle, and the weight of stress seems too hard to keep shouldering.

Whatever the need – physical, spiritual, financial, emotional, relational – His Truth reminds us…He’s got this thing that concerns you.

He is able.


To provide what you need and to give the strength and endurance you need in hard times.

Looking up to God again and believing His promises are true will allow hope to spring up fresh within us. His Spirit will surround us in peace. But if we’re spending all our time just looking around us, at our current circumstances, or how we’re comparing with the next person over, we’ll only stir up worry and stress.

He promises:

“The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” Isaiah 58:11

He will guide us always.

He will satisfy our needs, even in desert times.

He will strengthen us.

He will allow us to still flourish right in the midst of the needs that surround. For His very Spirit that wells up within us, is the spring that never fails, never dries up, and never stops flowing.

Resting in that truth today. Hope you are too.



A Bridge of Faith – Streams in the Desert – July 2

When thou goest, thy way shall be opened up before thee step by step (Proverbs 4:12, free translation).

The Lord never builds a bridge of faith except under the feet of the faith-filled traveler. If He builds the bridge a rod ahead, it would not be a bridge of faith. That which is of sight is not of faith.

There is a self-opening gate which is sometimes used in country roads. It stands fast and firm across the road as a traveler approaches it. If he stops before he gets to it, it will not open. But if he will drive right at it, his wagon wheels press the springs below the roadway, and the gate swings back to let him through. He must push right on at the closed gate, or it will continue to be closed.

This illustrates the way to pass every barrier on the road of duty. Whether it is a river, a gate, or a mountain, all the child of Jesus has to do is to go for it. If it is a river, it will dry up when you put your feet in its waters. If it is a gate, it will fly open when you are near enough to it, and are still pushing on. If it is a mountain, it will be lifted up and cast into a sea when you come squarely up, without flinching, to where you thought it was.

Is there a great barrier across your path of duty just now? Just go for it, in the name of the Lord, and it won’t be there.
–Henry Clay Trumbull

We sit and weep in vain. The voice of the Almighty said, “Up and onward forevermore.” Let us move on and step out boldly, though it be into the night, and we can scarcely see the way. The path will open, as we progress, like the trail through the forest, or the Alpine pass, which discloses but a few rods of its length from any single point of view.

Press on! If necessary, we will find even the pillar of cloud and fire to mark our journey through the wilderness. There are guides and wayside inns along the road. We will find food, clothes and friends at every stage of the journey, and as Rutherford so quaintly says: “However matters go, the worst will be a tired traveler and a joyful and sweet welcome home.”

I’m going by the upper road, for that
still holds the sun,
I’m climbing through night’s pastures where
the starry rivers run:
If you should think to seek me in my
old dark abode,
You’ll find this writing on the door,
“He’s on the Upper Road.”