Anything You Ask
"You can get anything - anything you ask for in prayer - if you believe" (Matthew 21:22).
God's Word reminds us that we have not because we ask not (James 4:2). Jesus said, "If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you" (John 15:7, KJV).
A godly widow with six children was facing great stress. The family had eaten their last loaf of bread at the evening meal. The next morning, with no food in the house, the trusting mother set seven plates on the table.
"Now, children," she said, gathering them around her, "we must ask God to supply our need."
Just as she finished her prayer, one of the children shouted, "There's the baker at the door."
"I was stalled in the snow," the baker said, after entering the house," and I just stopped by to get warm. Do you need any bread this morning?"
"Yes," said the mother, "but we have no money."
"Do you mean to say you have no bread for these children?" he asked.
"Not a bit," said the mother.
"Well," said the baker, "you will soon have some." Whereupon he returned to his wagon, picked up seven loaves and brought them into the house. Then he laid one on each plate.
"Mama!" one of the children cried out. "I prayed for bread, and God heard me and sent me bread."
"And me!" chorused each of the children, feeling that God had answered personally.
God does not require us to have great faith. We are simply to have faith in a great God.
Bible Reading: Mark 11:20-26
TODAY'S ACTION POINT: I will continue to abide in Christ and have His Word abide in my heart, so that when needs arise today - whether large or small; physical, material or spiritual - I will choose to place my simple faith in God, knowing that He is willing and able to hear and answer prayer. I will also encourage others to join me in the great adventure of prayer.
AN AMAZING FACT: Hanging from a single electric wire in an old Livermore, California, firehouse, there is a light bulb. Not so amazing, you think? But there’s more. The bulb is supplied by 120 volts and puts out a meager 4 watts of amber light. You’re probably still not very impressed, until you consider this same humble light bulb was already burning when the Wright Brothers made their historic flight in 1903. This light bulb continued to persistently glow through WWI, the crash of the stock market in 1929, and on through WWII. At present this incredible light bulb has been burning for over 112 years!
The enduring bulb was originally made by the Shelby Electric Company in Ohio. The company had a legendary reputation for quality until it was bought by General Electric in 1914. This particular bulb was one of the early hand-blown models with a heavy carbon filament. Over the years there have been brief interruptions as the firehouse has been renovated and even relocated from its First Street location to the present site on 4550 East Avenue. But the same bulb went with them. With these minor exceptions it has been burning continuously as a nightlight over the fire trucks in the Livermore firehouse since 1901! This unique bulb has been declared by Guinness Book of World Records to be the oldest known working light bulb in the world.
The bulb has actually been nicknamed “The Centennial Bulb,” and there is a committee that oversees its protection. When it was last moved in 1976 the bulb’s cord was cut. People were concerned unscrewing the bulb might damage it. In 2001 the community celebrated the bulb’s 100th birthday with barbecue and music.
Did you know the Bible speaks of a sacred light that burned for over 300 years? Moses was given instructions on the wilderness tabernacle and its services. “And the fire on the altar shall be kept burning on it; it shall not be put out. And the priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and lay the burnt offering in order on it; and he shall burn on it the fat
of the peace offerings. A fire shall always be burning on the altar; it shall never go out” (Leviticus 6:12, 13). That fire and its light represent Jesus, a Light that will never burn out.
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. John 8:12
Great and Mighty Things
"Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not" (Jeremiah 33:3, KJV).
How long has it been since you have prayed for great and mighty things - for the glory and praise of God?
I find in God's Word at least six excellent reasons you and I should pray for "great and mighty things": to glorify God; to communicate with God; for fellowship with God; because of Christ's example; to obtain results; and to provide spiritual nurture.
There is a sense in which I pray without ceasing, talking to God hundreds of times in the course of the day about everything. I pray for wisdom about the numerous decisions I must make, for the salvation of friends and strangers, the healing of the sick and the spiritual and material needs of the Campus Crusade for Christ ministry - as well as for the needs of the various members of the staff and leaders of other Christian organizations and the needs of their ministries.
I pray for the leaders of our nation and for those in authority over us at all levels of government. I even pray about the clothes I wear, on the basis of the people I am to meet - that the way I dress, as well as my words and actions, will bring glory to God.
But there is another sense in which there is a set-apart time each day for prayer - I often kneel quietly before the open Bible and talk with God as I read His Word.
Before I begin to read the Bible, I ask the Holy Spirit, who inspired its writing, to make my reading meaningful. Throughout the reading I often pause to thank God for His loving salvation and provision, to confess the lack in my own life revealed by the Scriptures, to ask Him for the boldness and faith His apostles displayed and to thank Him for new insights into His divine strategy for reaching the world with the gospel.
Bible Reading: Jeremiah 33:4-8
TODAY'S ACTION POINT: Today I will call unto God, expecting Him to show me great and mighty things beyond anything I have ever experienced, for His glory and for the blessing of those about me, that they may know that God does supernatural things in response to the faith and obedience of His children.
Out of Power
An Amazing Fact: The Northeast Blackout of 2003 was the second most widespread power outage in history. On the 14th day of a sweltering August, at approximately 4:10 p.m., parts of eight northeast states and Ontario, Canada, lost all electricity. That evening an estimated 55 million people went without power, as more than 508 generating units at 265 power plants shut down. For up to 25 hours, the blackout interrupted our modern way of life.
Thousands of people were stranded by the blackout. Airports canceled flights—traffic control centers were offline, passengers could no longer be screened, and electronic ticket information was unavailable. Amtrak service was stopped, and many gas stations were unable to pump gas. In New York City, traffic lights went out, causing a gridlock nightmare. Many commuters were stranded in the city overnight, and some slept in parks and on the steps of public buildings. Hundreds of people were trapped in elevators, as well as in stopped subway cars.
Cellular circuits were overloaded, and in some cases backup generators at cellular sites ran out of fuel. In New York City, even 9-1-1 was out of service for several 15-minute periods throughout the evening. Water supply was affected when electric pumps failed—residents in Detroit, Lansing, and Cleveland were instructed to boil their water for the next four days. In addition, sewage pumps failed, causing untreated sewage to flow into rivers and waterways near Lansing, Detroit, Cleveland, New York, Newark, and Kingston, Ontario. Unfortunately, the blackout even contributed to as many as eleven deaths. It also caused fear that blackouts might be used during a terrorist attack.
As often happens, a task force was given the job of discovering what went wrong. Eventually, industry experts reported that old and inadequate grid connections were to blame.
Life is all about our connections with family and friends, but the most important connection is with God. Just as our modern way of life grinds to a halt without sufficient electricity, our spiritual life is unsustainable when we’re disconnected—our inner peace, outer witness, and ultimate salvation all depend upon a solid relationship with our Maker. Nothing could be more important than getting connected today!
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. John 15:4