We’ve shared about apps before and I just want to remind everyone that this is not a paid sponsorship or anything, but rather every now and then an awesome resource like this comes along and I’d regret not sharing this with you.
The Echo Prayer app is by far the best app I’ve come across so far that really can help you pray, remind you to pray, share your prayers with others, walk you through a prayer time with timers, etc. I know there are some other tools out there, but this is excellent and it’s 100% free, you’ve got to try it out.
These are just a few things you can do with this app:
We start the week wrought with prayer needs.
- Our friends on the Texas gulf coast
- The friend or family member diagnosed with cancer
- The wayward loved one
- You name it
And yet, our nature may want to focus on self.
- Getting through another Monday at work
- Obtaining The new thing or situation we want
- Receiving The attention or recognition we seek
- You name it
A focus on self limits prayer.
It’s the driving force behind our anxiety, our angst and our anger.
It’s a distraction to keep us off balance with God’s purpose, disengaged with God’s people, and out of step with God’s will.
If our attention on self increases while our relating to God decreases, we fall straight into the hole of ineffectiveness for God and what He has for us to do.
This is not to downplay suffering and situations arising in our lives that cause us to pray continually about our circumstances. There is nothing wrong with praying for our own situations.
But do we pray enough for others? We say we will. Social media overflows with promises and declarations of prayer. But does it really happen and if so, what does that look like?
Do we spend 10 minutes? 1 minute? Or do we type it and forget it as the next prayer request comes along? Or does the keyboard playing cat video completely push the promise to pray from memory?
Intentionality is our friend when it comes to praying for others. What can this look like?
Not too long ago I was studying the first chapter out of 1 Thessalonians. If you haven’t read it recently, take the time to read the 10 verses that are there. They are super powerful and have a lot of content built into just those 10 verses. The Gospel is all over the place, the truth is clear, and it’s a great encouragement for the church.
There was a verse out of there that I haven’t been able to get out of my mind and I think it gives much more depth to the typical “Faith, Hope, and Love” we normally think of. Sometimes we see those words written on wood, placed on a wall. Sometimes we see those words in the form of a tattoo. Sometimes we even use those words with others, but do we really know what they mean and why they are so important?
“We recall, in the presence of our God and Father, your work produced by faith, your labor motivated by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” – 1 Thessalonians 1:3 (CSB)
Paul was encouraging the church, thanking God for them, hearing of how they are speaking the Word and not much else to others, and how they have become an example to everyone around them.
As Christians, we are called to live the same way. We are to know the Word of God and speak that and not much else to others. We are called to be an example to everyone around us because people are watching. We are called to do all of this because of what Jesus has done for us (1 John 4:19).
So as you remember who you are in Christ, do you walk in these 3 ways?
I think one of the things that isn’t talked about the most among Christians is spiritual warfare. Sometimes I think it comes across “too spiritual” or maybe we don’t know enough about it, or it’s quite possible…we don’t really believe it’s a big deal at all. While we are all sinners, living in a sinful world, we are going to have many problems due to sin, but at the same time, we are often attacked by the enemy.
The Bible talks about our enemy quite a bit (1 Peter 5:8, 1 John 3:8, 2 Corinthians 11:14, John 8:44, James 4:7, 2 Corinthians 11:3) so if we believe in scripture being the very word of God, we would do well to take all matters seriously, including the evil one.
Have you ever noticed when you go to spend time with The Lord, distractions happen? What about random thoughts that just pop in your head out of nowhere? Have you experienced conflict with others? The examples could go on and on and I can’t tell you 100% they are all from our enemy, but from what scripture says about him, it would seem obvious that we are at war and we are to take it seriously.
The good news is that the Bible is clear on just how much God loves us and just how much God has and will protect us for all eternity from the evil one. Jesus defeated sin and death by dying on the cross and rising again from the grave. Yes, we will have daily battles, but take heart…Jesus has overcome the world and the war is already won.
No matter where you find yourself today or whatever it is you are going through, here is what the Bible has to say with scripture on protection:
I admit I’m a beach snob. I’ll drive thousands of miles to enjoy white sand and turquoise water. That’s why I’m surprised it took the Texas coast to give me the better picture of God’s daily provision.
My family vacationed at a Texas beach this summer. I hadn’t seen the Texas coast in the light of day since childhood. Other than a shorter drive and water more brown than what I’m used to, I didn’t know what to expect. Having access to a private beach afforded us no crowds, well-groomed sand, and plenty of seashells for my five-year-old daughter to find. Breathing the salt air, stepping into the pushing waves, and searching the sandbar for crabs, I had to stop and wonder if we were really still in Texas. Gratitude toward God for this valuable family time came easy.
A raised, wooden boardwalk connected the condo property to the beach over several hundred yards of tangled, green marsh grass. The grass looked like a perfect place for something slithery to hide and I was glad to see the boardwalk ran the full length. The sign adjacent to the fenced off area before the boardwalk read, “Do Not Enter-Rattlesnake Habitat”.
As our footsteps creaked over the boardwalk, I looked below into that expanse of green, expecting to see or hear a rattlesnake, but to no avail. One morning as the wind picked up, I did see a couple of floating tubes caught up in a gust and sent into the marsh. I asked a security guard if anybody ever went in to retrieve lost items. He chuckled and said, “Nobody smart.”