Praying in the Spirit Using the Word of God for Week #13

Entry 013 Praying for Good Days

In this season of Holy Week celebration, we commemorate the life, sacrifice, death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It was the best of times and the worst all at the same time. Jesus would face unfathomable cruelty and rejection, yet it pleased God to bruise His beloved only begotten Son for us. Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, we gained free justification by grace through faith, but it cost Jesus his life.  It has been said that our good days outweigh our bad days, therefore we should not complain. The reality often is the opposite; when we look back over a life of struggle, hurt, grief, disappointment, and regret, the bad days appear to outnumber the good days. This makes it difficult to not complain. Upon changing perspective, we can investigate what makes a day good.  Everyday is a day the Lord has made, so we should rejoice and be glad in it, because everything God made is good. A good day is not only a day that we were productive, got whatever we wanted, and had pleasant experiences. A day is good when we put God first, didn’t allow the devil to cause us act unseemly, when we helped someone who could not return the favor, when we learned from our mistakes, and when we glorified God in praise, worship and prayer. Though it may not feel like it sometimes, but it is good to be alive. The dead cannot serve God. Being alive another day is another opportunity for God to use us, and for His promises to come to fruition in our lives. What really make a day good are not the tangible things that make us happy; because even the happy things are subject to make us sad. A good day is being intentional about rejoicing in God’s love, mercy, grace and favor, and choosing not to complain, despair, or be defeated. If we look at it from this perspective, all days are good. So praying for good days is asking God to teach us how to delight ourselves in Him as He gives us the desires of our hearts, so that we can become more aware of the new mercies and goodness we see each new day.

Simple Sample Prayer:

Dear Lord, as we commemorate your sacrifice for us, we bring our praises instead of our complaints. We thank you for loving us so much that you gave your life for us, and are risen again within us. We claim by faith this day, and every day thereafter that you allow us to see to be a good day, for everything you made is good. We proclaim that this is the day that you have made, so we will rejoice in spite of what we are going through, and we will command our souls to be glad. We love you, and we thank you for loving us first. Help us to show your love each day. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Praying in the Spirit using the Word of God for Week #12

Entry 012 Praying for Safety

In honor of Women’s History Month, we celebrate all women past, present and future, and we acknowledge all the women who quietly and openly make this world a better place because of their love, integrity, resourcefulness, nurturing, guidance, and protection. God promises to watch over and protect us daily. Goodness and Mercy shall follow us all the days of our lives as we dwell in His house and in His presence. God has provisions made for us everyday, but He wants us to pray for them. He wants us to cover our lives, homes, children, cars, family, jobs, churches, possessions, and our future with the precious blood of Jesus. The Lord has an endless supply of grace, mercy and protection; all we have to do is access it. He wants to hide us under the shadow of His wing because He loves us as the apple of His eye. We are not bothering God nor wasting our prayers by asking for safety in our daily lives. As God’s children, we are entitled to His love and attention. In the news we often hear of tragedy and hardship, and we blame God for it. But good things are happening everyday that we are neither aware of nor thankful for. When we pray for safety, we invite God’s divine protection to the earth realm. For when we trust Him, nothing will happen to us each day that the Lord will not see us through. But we have some responsibility in securing our personal safety. We have to use common sense in public environments. We should exercise caution on technology and electronic devices. We have to abide by basic safety rules for various products, services and locations. We need to protect our eye and ear gate from destructive materials and negative seeds. We have to protect our minds by monitoring our though life, and by keeping our minds on Jesus so that we can remain in peace. And we have to guard our hearts so that they won’t be broken and misused by the world. God’s safety is always around us and available for us when we need it. All we have to do is use our faith to access it in prayer.

Sample Simple Prayer:

Dear Lord, thank you for the safety you provide for us daily. We praise you for protecting us from dangers seen and unseen, and for you angels encamping around us each day.  Please help us to take responsibility for our own personal safety. Teach us how to watch and pray, so that we are aware of Satan’s devices, and we can quench his fiery darts with your word.  Help us to think about what we are thinking about so that we can meditate on what is good. Thank you for being a good, loving, protecting Father. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Praying in the Spirit Using the word of God for Week #11

Entry 011 Praying for Contentment

God wants to give us the desires of our heart, but also wants us to rest and trust in Him to bring it to pass. Contentment is being satisfied with the situation we find ourselves in, knowing that God is ultimately in control, working things out for our good. It does not mean we do not continue to desire things or have expectations, or plan for the future. It just means that we do not get consumed with it, and we learn to enjoy the present. Being content is a conscious decision we all have control over just as being unhappy is. When we pray for contentment we are being intentional about putting all areas of our lives in God’s hands and leaving them there. We are acknowledging our fragility and God’s sovereignty knowing that He will put no more on us that we can bear. While praying for contentment we are anticipating God’s move in our lives, while being grateful for what He is doing, and for what God has already done. Being content is choosing to find joy in everyday life even when things happen that don’t make us happy. True contentment is not based on life experiences, but on the belief that God is still good even on a bad day. And that everyday is a day of thanksgiving because God is good all the time. Contentment is being okay with not knowing everything or having all the answers in detail.  It is choosing to stand the principles of God that we do know. We know that we are deeply loved by God, highly favored, and greatly blessed. We know that God will put no more on us than we can bear, and will always provide a way of escape for us. We know He will never leave nor forsake us, and we know that God will cause all things to work out for our good. Therefore we can pray with contentment, knowing God hears us and will answer our prayers.

Simple Sample Prayer:

Dear God, help us to be content in whatever situation we find ourselves in, knowing that you are in control of all things. Help us to believe that you have our best interest at heart, and that you have a good plan for us. Lord, when we believe that you will cause all things, good and bad, to work out for our good, we can rest in you and be content in our present moment. We know that you desire for us to release the fear and anxiety about our future because you are Alpha and Omega. And when we rest in you, you will complete the good work that you began in us for your glory. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

 

Praying in the Spirit using the Word of God for Week #10

Entry 010 Resting in Prayer

Prayer is a form of spiritual rest. While it can be hard work and sacrificial in the natural, our spirits find sweet relief and tranquility in prayer. When we pray, we are resting in God’s peace, His promises, and His word, while doing battle in the spirit realm. Cessation is not only crucial to our spiritual life, it is also an important part our natural triangle of good health. To be healthy we need good rest, a good diet, and good exercise. This benefits us mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Rest also alludes to the absence of overwhelming stress, worry and anxiety. Jesus said that we can only enter the kingdom of God if we become as little children. This speaks to a child’s blind love and trust in a parent’s ability to take care of them without worry or reservation. It also deals with the issue of humility and frailness of the human condition, trusting God to make up where we lack. God causes us to lie down in green pastures, and leads us besides still waters. Jesus knows life can get hectic, stressful and uncertain. But instead of relying on our own limited strength, knowledge, ability and education, He wants us to rest in Him. God desires that we labor to enter into His rest. He is all knowing and all powerful; all we have to do is connect to His endless source of strength and power.  God rested on the seventh day from all of His work of speaking creation into existence, yet He never gets tired, slumbers or sleeps. He was demonstrating a principle of taking time for reflection, introspection, relaxation, and even celebration. God’s word will never return unto Him void, so all we have to do is trust in what He said regardless of how things appear. When we rest, God works. Rest is not inactivity. It is choosing to focus our energies on being intentional about relying on God. When our bodies are in a state of rest, it releases toxins, heals, and rejuvenates itself. When we rest in prayer, mediation and supplication to God, there is no limit to how God will bring healing, restoration, wholeness and deliverance into our everyday lives.

Simple Sample Prayer:

Dear Father God, you are the Good Shepherd who causes us to rest in the pastures of your peace beside the still waters of your grace. Help us to lay down our stress, cares, hurts, ailments, disappointments, and fears at the foot of the cross. Help us to become as little children so we can enter the kingdom of heaven, and so we can have rest here on earth. Lord, we were not designed by you to carry unnecessary worry, anxiety and pain. Help us to be intentional about bringing you our burdens, knowing that we are deeply loved, highly favored and greatly blessed by you. Please allow us to receive the proper about of natural rest so that we can be healthy mentally, physically, and emotionally. While we are destroying the works of darkness in prayer, Lord, we rest in your promise, plan and will for our lives. We ask these things in Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

When Praises Go Up Praise Verses for the Weeks #9-13

Praise Verse # 009 Ephesians 5:19

Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

 

Praise Verse # 010 Psalms 30:11

Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;

To the end that my glory may sing praises to thee, and be not silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.

 

Praise Verse # 011 Psalms 7:17

I will praise the Lord according to his righteousness; and will sing praise to the name of the most high.

 

Praise Verse # 012 Matthew 2:11

And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

 

Praise Verse #013 James 5:13

Is any among you afflicted? Let him pray. Is any merry? Let him sing psalms.

Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight for Week #13

Entry# 013  The African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas Gospel Choir

The African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas Gospel Choir is a one bodied, one spirit, Christ centered music ministry that consist of about 40 spirit filled ambassadors of song. They represent over 8 different churches in the Philadelphia area and ministers at over 100 services, programs, concerts, and celebrations annually.

 

In 2004 their song “I’ve Got to Praise His Name”, written by Waltier Blocker, was featured in Lee Daniels movie, “The Woodsman”, and they won the “Ask About Iron” gospel music competition for the songs “Wait I Say” and “It’s Not by chance”. They have performed with Peter Nero and the Philly Pops Orchestra for 10 performances of their Holiday Pops concerts since 2006. The Saint Thomas Gospel Choir was featured in the Induction and Seating Services of the Most Rev. Katherine Jefferts Shori, and they were the featured choir at the World Women’s International Summit both held at the Washington National Cathedral. The Gospel Choir continues to minister in song both locally and abroad.

Tri-Stat Local Gospel Artist Spotlight for Week #12

Entry #012  The Yancey Brothers

The Yancey Brother of Newark, DE consists of 3 generations that have a unique, smooth, traditional gospel quartet style. Joe and David Yancey have been with the group over 40 years, and James Yancey for over 38. Second and third generations consist of David Yancey II, Mark Gibson, Dwayne Yancey, Daryl and Dwight Yancey.

 

Their song “I’m a Hard Fighting Soldier “ could be a testimony for the group as members faced illnesses, lost of 2 original members, and various health challenges while still singing God Word with power and strength. Supported by their Pastor and church family, the Yancey Brothers continue to minister throughout the tri-state area and nationwide.

 

Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight for Week #11

Entry # 011  Elder Goldwire Mclendon

One of  The Savettes of Philadelphia went on to advance his musical career by winning 2nd place on Season 3’s BET singing competition, “Sunday Best”, Elder Goldwire Mclendon. His story began in Jacksonville, FL where he was born Sept. 27, 1930. His parents Goldwire Mclendon Sr., a Pullman, and Lovelle Drummond a great gospel singer, left the family when he was a small child. Elder Mclendon’s aunt Anna McLendon took care of him and his brother Enoch. She was also a great church psalmist who got him started singing at age nine. By 16, he organized the Cosmopolitan Gospel singers of Jacksonville.  Mclendon served as Pastor of St. James Holy Church in Tennille, GA in 1978.

Elder Mclendon sang professionally, in 1962 with the Savettes of Philadelphia that recorded for Savoy Records, and today as a local and international Gospel Artist, ministering both locally and abroad.

 

 

Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight for Week #10

Entry #010 Roy Oliver and the Community Singers

Roy Oliver and the Community Singers is a legendary fixture of gospel music in the Philadelphia area. Roy Oliver was born in Halifax, VA and began singing in his high school glee clubs. He sang on many youth groups and choirs before moving to Philadelphia in the late 60s.

His first real professional gospel music affiliation was with the Brockington Ensemble of Philadelphia. Roy Oliver sang with them for many years until God moved upon his heart to start his own gospel singing group. He has been singing God’s praises for over 40 years, keeping the traditional sound alive in the local area.

Roy Oliver admires and respects the musical genius of legendary gospel artists like the late Rev. James Cleveland, the Caravans, Shirley Caesar and the Might Clouds of Joy. Sharing the traditional sound of  the Thompson Community Singers and Dr. Charles Hayes and the Warriors, Oliver strives to keep that kind of gospel legacy alive.

What drives him to do what he does is that Oliver feels the need to reach lost souls for Christ daily. He wants to be a vehicle God uses to save, heal, bless, and deliver His people to the glory of God. He enjoys seeing people rejoicing in the Lord because of the music they sing, and being blessed by the worship experience.

Roy Oliver and the Community Singers did several recordings and make many appearances during the course of the years.  They have ministered in various locations including theaters, department stores, churches, and ground breaking ceremonies. Oliver admonishes young gospel artist to not get into this business for wealth or fame. The only way to remain faithful and consistent he says, is to keep the mission of praising God and winning souls to him at the forefront.

Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight for Week #9

Entry #009 Eric Shipman

Eric Shipman of Norristown, PA recognized his vocal gift at age 5, and sang his first solo in church at age 12. He has been performing live for years and recorded with groups such as Dobbins Mass Choir and Alex Ingram and Friends. Shipman sang with notable gospel artist like Tye Tribbet, Marvin Sapp, Donnie McClurkin and Beverly Crawford. He had the opportunity to minister to a worldwide audience on TBN for a holiday special “Praise the Lord,” which was recorded at Deliverance Evangelistic Church in Philadelphia, where Rev. Glen Spaulding the pastor gave the message.  Shipman appeared in many local and national events throughout his music career.

Eric Shipman is an associate minister and one of the praise and worship leaders at the Baptist Worship Center in Philly where Bishop Millicent Hunter is the Pastor.  His late great-grandmother Lillie B. Shaw helped him to develop his love of gospel, taking him to church and singing hymns with him as a child.