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The Word For Today

A prayer for knowing God's will

'You saw me before I was born.' Psalm 139:16 NLT

The psalmist wrote: 'You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God' (Psalm 139:16-17 NLT).

If you want to know God's will for your life, pray this prayer: 'Lord, you knew me completely before I was born, and you shaped me and destined me for a purpose. Give me a clear vision of all you want to do in and through my life. I desperately need to understand what the "hope of my calling" (Ephesians 4:4 NAS) is, and "the exceeding greatness of his power" (Ephesians 1:19 NKJV) to enable me to fulfil your purpose (see 2 Corinthians 9:14). Show me the gifts you have put in me, and how I can develop and use them for your glory (see Romans 12:6). Help me to think big and pray with boldness (see Ephesians 3:20). I want to be open and available for whatever you have for me, and not miss your blessings by being unprepared to receive them. Help me not to hold on to things or relationships that are not of you. I want to do your will with my whole heart (see Psalm 40:8). Only you know what and who is right for me. Help me to hear your voice, and give me the grace and courage to follow your leading when I am afraid (see John 10:4). May the desires of your heart become the desires of my heart. Enlarge my capacity to believe that you can take what I have and multiply it beyond what I can imagine. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.'

Soulfood: 2 Sam 12:1-14:20 Lk 7:24-35 Ps 118:10-18 Pro 18:7-9,


Your hiding place

'You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.' Psalm 32:7 NIV

Have you ever fantasised about running away from all the stresses of today's high-tech world? Surely there's a place somewhere on the globe where the pace is slower and the living is easy. That dream motivated a family in 1940 to move to an island called Guadalcanal in the Coral Sea. But two years later war broke out in the Pacific, and the couple found themselves witnessing a battle - in their front yard. Obviously, they had chosen the wrong place.

Where can you go to escape the noise and hubbub of city life? How about a small island in the Caribbean called Grand Cayman? Vacationers to this resort say it is the closest thing to paradise on earth. The residents there pay no taxes. The water around them is calm and warm, and there are orchids growing everywhere. Sounds good, doesn't it? But there's a catch. Medical studies revealed that the two major ailments suffered by the citizens of Grand Cayman are hypertension and anxiety neurosis. Life on a tropical beach is not always what it appears to be.

Could it be that the stresses and pressures with which we struggle, actually come from within? Yes. And they will plague us no matter where we live, until we learn to deal with circumstances as they are. Here's how the psalmist did it: 'You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you' (Psalm 32:7-8 NIV).

Soulfood: 2 Sam 7:18-11:27 Lk 7:11-23 Ps 118:1-9 Pro 18:4-6,


Avoiding the doldrums in marriage

'And, behold, Isaac was caressing his wife Rebekah.' Genesis 26:8 NAS

Back in the days when wooden ships depended on the wind to drive them, sailors had much to be concerned about: pirates, storms and diseases. But often their greatest fear was 'the doldrums' - an area near the equator characterised by calm and very light shifting winds. It could mean the death of the entire crew. The ship's food and water supply would be depleted as they drifted for days, or even weeks, waiting for a breeze to put them back on course.

We talk about something 'taking the wind out of our sails', meaning we've lost our momentum and we need something to get us back on course again. Your marriage doesn't lose its momentum overnight, but over months and years of insensitivity and neglect. But it doesn't have to be that way for you. Author Doug Fields, in his book Creative Romance, writes: 'Romancing your spouse can change those patterns, and it can be a lot of fun. There's no quick fix to a stagnant marriage, of course, but you can lay aside the excuses and begin to date your sweetheart again.' God brought this charge against the church at Ephesus: 'You have left your first love' (Revelation 2:4 NKJV). Then he told them how to remedy it: 'Repent and do the first works' (Revelation 2:5 NKJV).

Fearing King Abimelech would kill him and take his wife Rebekah, Isaac lied and said she was his sister. What gave him away? King Abimelech looked out a window, and, 'Behold, Isaac was caressing his wife Rebekah' (Genesis 26:8 NAS). Romance saved his life and his marriage, and it can do the same for yours.

Soulfood: Mt 5:8 Ps 24:3-6 Ps 18:17-26 1 John 3:1-3,

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