Category Archives: Prayer

God Has the Best Answers

God Has the Best Answers                 

“I cannot do it,” Joseph replied to Pharaoh, “but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires” (Genesis 41:16).

Scripture: Genesis 41:14–24
Song: “Jesus Is the Answer” (by Andrae and Sandra Crouch)

Bob wanted everyone to think he was a prophet. He often told people what God was saying about a certain matter. One Sunday, he decided to comment about the minister’s sermon on the benefits of tithing. After waiting for the closing prayer, he stood up and said, “Thus says God . . .” He paused as if the words had just disappeared from his thoughts. So he started again, “Thus says the Lord . . .” Again, he stopped in mid-sentence. After a third attempt with similar results, Bob sat down with this apology: “I really have no idea what God is saying, so please don’t listen to me.”

In today’s passage, Pharaoh needed someone to interpret a troubling dream. His wise men and magicians were, like Bob, clueless. When Pharaoh called upon Joseph, he gave the king the true meaning to his dream, but made it clear that the answer came from God.

Likewise, we should seek the Lord for answers—not make up ones that are self-serving or otherwise politically correct. Such responses are often doomed to failure because they are not based on God’s plan, nor do they rely on faith. Whether it’s a troubling dream, a financial concern, or an unsolvable family problem, we should always ask God for the answer.

Dear Savior, during times of uncertainty, I will wait in prayer until I receive Your reply. Your answer is the only one I truly need. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

“God Has the Best Answers” by Charles Earl Harrel. First published in Devotions® © 2012 Standard Publishing. Reprinted with permission from the publisher.

Purchase printed issue of Devotions or 365 Devotions.

 

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The Correct Interpretation

                          The Correct Interpretation                                 

Now a young Hebrew was there with us, a servant of the captain of the guard. We told him our dreams, and he interpreted them for us, giving each man the interpretation of his dream (Genesis 41:12).

Scripture: Genesis 41:1-13
Song: “The Solid Rock”

I had trouble sleeping that Saturday night. My spirit was troubled—something at the church maybe—I couldn’t put my finger on it. Finally, the tiredness overtook me, and I fell into a deep sleep. I usually don’t remember my dreams, but this night the dream came alive in vivid detail.

Three lions paced back and forth in the backyard of our parsonage. As they drew closer, I could hear them roaring underneath the bedroom windowsill. Then, I saw three sets of paws tearing at the screen. They were forcing their way into our house, intending to harm my family. I could not let that happen. I jarred myself awake and rushed to the window to face them down. When I got there, I saw nothing.

Unnerved, I sat down and prayed for wisdom. In reply, God gave me a sermon about three problems stalking our church. That Sunday morning, three sin issues were uncovered and dealt with. My dream and its warning proved all too real.

Most dreams are triggered by something we’ve read, seen on TV, or eaten the night before. Some dreams, however, are God-sent and inspired. I can personally attest to it.

Lord, when I read my Bible, hear a sermon, or study a daily devotional guide, I hear Your gentle voice talking to me, leading me. Praise to You, through Christ. Amen.

“The Correct Interpretation” by Charles Earl Harrel. First published in Devotions® © 2012 Standard Publishing. Reprinted with permission from the publisher.

Purchase printed issue of Devotions or 365 Devotions.

Sometimes, God uses dreams to speak to His people. But not all dreams are from Him—most are not. If you think you’ve had a spiritual one, you should first pray for discernment and then seek God’s wisdom in the matter.

Understanding Truth

Understanding Truth

Read Matthew 22:23–46

Charles was new to Full Gospel Tabernacle. He often heard people praying in different languages. He was not against it, although it annoyed him at times. Speaking with other tongues didn’t fit his doctrine. Besides, what purpose did it serve? He still prayed, right? Wasn’t that good enough?

Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God” (Matthew 22:29).

Phil, a deacon at church, sensed his frustration. He suggested that Charles take a second look at the Scriptures concerning the Holy Spirit, then pray about it for a while. Phil even gave him a list of verses. A few weeks later, something powerful happened. Charles was baptized in the Holy Spirit and began praying in a language he had never learned. Experiencing the power of God firsthand changed Charles’ perspective on tongues.

It helps to know all the Scriptures concerning an issue, but we also need to know the power of God. The Scriptures and the Spirit of God work in harmony to confirm truth. When we leave one of them out, doctrinal errors can occur.

Prayer Suggestion: Take your Bible to prayer. Let God’s Word enlighten you while His power touches you.

Quicklook: Matthew 22:23–32

—Charles Earl Harrel

God’s Word for Today © 2007 Gospel Publishing House. Used by permission.

Order God’s Word for Today devotional guides.
Visit Gospel Publishing House.

 

Believe It Forward 

believe it forwardWe have all heard the phrase, “Pay It Forward.” Perhaps some of you have done this for someone in a grocery line or at a drive-through. But to “Believe It Forward,” now that’s something we all should do. This blogger’s post is worth reading.

I Will Heal You

dad and childI Will Heal You

Read 2 Kings 18:1 through 20:21; Luke 23:35–56

A father lay exhausted on the floor near the crib. It was past midnight and his 2-year-old had been crying nonstop for hours. When the toddler went to bed, he showed no sign of sickness. Now a fever burned. Charles lifted his son from the crib and placed him on a clean sheet on the floor, thinking it might be cooler. So far, nothing had helped to lower the fever.

Christopher crawled over and nestled his head on his daddy’s shoulder. The sounds of whimpering continued as heat radiated from the child’s body. His temperature was still rising.

A desperate prayer, filled with tears, went out to heaven: “Jesus, please heal my boy.” After praying, Charles reached out to check his son’s forehead. His brow felt sweaty yet cool to the touch. The fever was gone.

“This is what the LORD, the God of your father David says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the LORD” (2 Kings 20:5).

Some think tears are a sign of weakness, but not our God. Combined with prayer, genuine tears get God’s attention and can be the very conduit He uses to release faith in your life.

 Prayer Suggestion: Find a place to pray and let the tears flow. Trust God’s ability to heal.

—Charles Earl Harrel

God’s Word for Today © 2004 Gospel Publishing House. Used by permission.

Order God’s Word for Today devotional guides.
Visit Gospel Publishing House.

dad holding child

Drop Your Stones

Drop Your Stones

Read Exodus 16:1 through 18:27

forlorn pastorChurch attendance had risen. Spirits were high, the mood upbeat, complaints nonexistent. Everything appeared fine until the building fund ran out of money. Then the grumbling started: “Maybe we shouldn’t have started this building project. Where did all the money go? Besides, wasn’t it the pastor’s idea?”

The young pastor felt stunned by all the questions. He adjourned the business meeting for a short recess. Some church members milled around the lobby; a few knelt at their pews. The discouraged pastor entered his office to gather some paperwork, but what he really needed was direction. Closing the door, he dropped to his knees in heartfelt prayer.

Moses faced a similar dilemma when the water supply ran out on the way to the Promised Land. “Then Moses cried out to the LORD, ‘What am I to do with these people? They are almost ready to stone me’” (Exodus 17:4).

kneeling in prayerWhen situations turn dire, we should pause for a moment and seek God. He has the solution for every predicament: Some require wisdom; others need a divine miracle. Either way, the best course of action is prayer, not throwing stones.

Prayer Suggestion: Facing problems? Cry out to the Lord with all your heart. God always has the answer.

Quicklook: Exodus 17:1–7

—Charles Earl Harrel

Pray that God would help you be faithful in sharing His love with others.

God’s Word for Today © 2009 Gospel Publishing House (used by permission).

Order God’s Word for Today devotional guides.
Visit Gospel Publishing House.