Week of April 8, 2019
The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods. After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.
If you feel bound up, locked up, and hit by debts, economic problems, health problems, family problems, unjust issues—do not lose hope. If it is necessary, God will shake the earth to free you from confinement, break the bonds, and open all the doors.
Pray like this: Father God, I ask You to set me free from all evil. May the doors that were closed to me open! In the name of Jesus, amen.
Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.
In times when it seems like working and being diligent aren’t worth it, God says to keep going, because you will be prosperous. Change your attitude in time, so you don’t regret tomorrow.
Your heavenly Father has good plans for you. Apply yourself to those plans, and He will help you.
Pray like this: Father God, only You can help me recover lost time. I renounce all laziness, and I receive new strength and wisdom from You so I can prosper in the midst of present difficulties. In the name of Jesus, amen.
My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding—indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
Many things you can ask of God: how to solve problems, health issues, work issues. But few have the habit of asking for wisdom and crying out for intelligence. Both come from God, and if you seek Him and ask Him, He will give them to you abundantly.
Ask for the wisdom to choose well, the intelligence to solve problems, and the understanding to know the right times to make decisions. If you seek God first, everything else will be added to you and you will enjoy an abundant life.
Pray like this: Father God, according to Your Word, I follow Your advice and on this day I look for You—to ask You to add to my life wisdom, intelligence, and understanding, so I can always do Your will. I know that if I do these things, I will never be put to shame. In the name of Jesus, amen.
And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
God does not promise you a future free of problems, but He assures you of His help to solve them all.
Worrying will not change your present or future. What will cause a change is if you seek the Kingdom of God.
Love your neighbor and seek peace in every situation. Act correctly and with justice.
Pray like this: Father, today I leave all worry in Your hands, knowing that You know my every need. I choose to seek Your presence in my life and to do Your will; I also seek the good of others and to maintain peace. In the name of Jesus, amen.
Jonah 2:4–7, 10
“I said, ‘I have been banished from your sight; yet I will look again toward your holy temple.’ The engulfing waters threatened me, the deep surrounded me; seaweed was wrapped around my head. To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. But you, Lord my God, brought my life up from the pit. When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, Lord, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple.”
And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.
Jonah was going in the opposite direction of where God had sent him, and he ended up trapped in a big fish. On the verge of dying, he repented and God saved his life and returned him to his original purpose.
If you’ve put God aside and now feel “trapped,” suffering in your body, in your affections, in your finances—I want to tell you that God is your Father, and He’s waiting to give you a second chance.
Pray like this: Father God, thank You for giving me this new opportunity. I regret that I took the wrong path. I ask for Your forgiveness and Your help. In the name of Jesus, amen.
On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.
Though this woman had not been born ill, she had been hunched for eighteen years. Today science says that most diseases are psychosomatic, but this passage clarifies that the disease had a spiritual origin.
In the same way that there was no human solution for that woman, you cannot remove with your own strength the bad things that come into your life. To solve your problem, you need a touch from God.
Pray like this: Father God, I recognize that I need Your power in my life so I can “straighten up.” Lord, put Your healing hand on me and deliver me from all evil. I ask You in the name of Jesus, amen.
1 Samuel 14:6
Jonathan said to his young armor-bearer, “Come, let’s go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised men. Perhaps the Lord will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few.”
With only two weapons, Jonathan and his armor bearer faced the Philistines who came with 3,000 war chariots and an army as countless as the sand of the sea—and Jonathan and his armor bearer had an extraordinary victory.
God wants to put two weapons in your hands to overcome every obstacle: faith and hope.
Faith takes you to action: Jonathan said, “Let’s cross.”
Hope is the security that God will work supernaturally: “I hope the Lord helps us. It’s easy for Him!”
Today is also the day for you to declare, “I am going to advance, because I hope that the Lord will help me.”
Pray like this: Father God, I put myself in Your hands and I advance with faith and hope, believing that it is easy for You to give me the solution to my problem. In the name of Jesus, amen.