Tag Archives: help

The Power of Love-Day 21

Congratulations! You’ve reached the end of 21 Days of Strength. I hope you’ve found a few strategies that will help you strengthen yourself in the Lord. Remember. God is near to the broken hearted.  He loves us when we’re weak.  But He delights in making us strong.

We’ve talked about the importance of abiding in Christ, of spending time alone with God in His Word and prayer. Jesus Himself reminds us to make time to “go to our room and shut the door and pray to our Father in secret.” If we want to remain strong in the fight of faith, it’s important to stick together with our fellow believers, to de-clutter the sin that weighs us down, to obey God’s calling, and to give our lives away to others.

Growing strong in the Lord occurs as we fervently seek Him day in and day out. But even when we grow weary and weak, we know that God is ready and waiting to give us His strength. It’s His character and His very nature to give out of His own storehouse of strength and power to His children. The Apostle Paul puts it this way as he pours out his heart in prayer for all believers, including you and me:

“I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith” (Ephesians 3:14-16).

Did you catch that? Strength comes in the form of power through the Holy Spirit in our inner being. We grow strong so that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith. Amazing. No wonder God wants to make us strong!

The next verses give more reasons to grow strong in the Lord: “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:16-19).

Strength from the Holy Spirit helps to ground us….to root and establish us in love.  Together with other believers, united by love,  we’re enabled to grasp this enormous love of Christ.  A love that’s beyond comprehension.  A love that fills us with the “fullness of God.”  A love that gives strength and power!

Paul attempts to describe this wonderful love-power in his final benediction.  May this promise from the Word of God send us back out into our hurting and broken world, armed with unshakeable strength and wrapped in love:  “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).  -Amen!


Is any one of you in trouble?  He should pray.  (James 5:13)

Trouble? What’s your reaction to times of trouble? James gives a simple prescription. Prayer.  But instead of being our first response, prayer is often a distant afterthought.  We remember to pray only after we’ve exhausted ourselves trying to fix the trouble….if we remember at all.

The word for trouble in the Greek is kakopatheo.  It comes from two words meaning “to suffer,” and “evil.”  James uses a “broad brush” to describe most any kind of hardship we might endure.

Take a minute to read James 5:13-16. You’ll notice several different kinds of prayer in the passage.  Petition, praise, healing-prayer, confession, and the prayer of agreement.  All have their place in the life of a believer.  Let’s look at the first two: petition and praise:

Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. (James 5:13)

When trouble hits, we’re to petition God for help.  The word for prayer used here comes from a word that means “to wish.” It  can be very specific in nature. When you’re in trouble, you need help.  Prayer helps when I’m in trouble because God has the power to change my situation.

But what about those times when you’re happy? Also time to pray.  James reminds us to praise, another kind of prayer. We can sing songs in our heart (or out loud) to God.  Through the prayer of praise, we invite Him into our times of happiness.

Sometimes life is good…sometimes it’s marred by trouble.  In either situation, we can draw comfort, encouragement and joy through prayer, because as James reminds us, prayer works!  The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective (James 5:16).

Lord, remind me to pray. Let’ prayer become my first response. When prayer is foremost in my mind Lord, that’s simply evidence that You are on my mind.  It’s about the relationship with You, Lord.  Prayer does work, and the more I am watchful, the more I notice Your answers.  But prayer is my pipeline to Your heart….and as I am learning, that’s the best reward of all.  –Amen.