“Anger is always an attack on the brother’s life, for it refuses to let him live and aims at his destruction….Every idle word which we think so little of betrays our lack of respect for our neighbour, and shows that we place ourselves on a pinnacle above him and value our own lives higher than his. The angry word is a blow struck at our brother, a stab at his heart: it seeks to hit, to hurt and to destroy….When a man gets angry with his brother…when he…insults or slanders him, he is guilty of murder…He erects a barrier not only between himself and his brother, but also between himself and God. He no longer has access to him: his sacrifice, worship and prayer are not acceptable in his sight. For the Christian, worship cannot be divorced from the service of the brethren,…God will not be separated from our brother: he wants no honour for himself so long as our brother is dishonoured….There is therefore only one way of following Jesus and of worshipping God, and that is to be reconciled with our brethren” Dietrich Bonhoeffer (ref#10, p127-129).

FATHER, Your love for everyone in Your creation is so great that You refuse to commune with me any further if I am the least bit critical of anyone. I cannot be as sweet water, worshipping You and, at the same time, bitter water and angry at my bother. If I’m not sweet to my brother, You will be bitter toward me. How greatly grieved You are when my words, even in jest, speak negatively of someone.

The Apostle Paul says, “…I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified” (1 Cor 9:27 ESV). Paul knows how easy it is to put himself above others with angry or idle words. He knows he must subdue his corrupt tendencies and thus warns himself (and me). (ref#16, [1 Cor 9:27]).

So, today, FATHER, I ask that You make me aware of how I dishonor people. I surely desire to not lose Your presence because of saying and thinking unkindness toward someone.



[Because we are Christians and live in the world we will always need prayer for our walk and for witnessing to others about CHRIST. Here’s an opportunity to pray for others or even ourselves. Fill their name or your name in the blanks.]


…FATHER, I pray for ____ that (he/she) obey Your calling to be a priestly intercessor. (All Christians are called to be a kingdom of priests [Ex 19:6]). Attune (him/her) to be mindful of ones caught in transgression (Gal 6:1) that (he/she) will seek to restore them “by affectionate admonition, by faithful instruction, and by prayer” Barnes’ Notes (ref#16, [Gal 6:1]).

 Cause ____, FATHER, to live as a priest by fearing You and standing in awe of Your name (Mal 2:5). Keep true instruction in (his/her) mouth and assist (him/her) to walk with You in peace and uprightness. By such a walk (he/she) will turn many from iniquity (Mal 2:6). Impassion ____ to guard knowledge so that people should seek instruction from (him/her) (Mal 2:7).

Cause ____ to desire to labor to fill up that which is lacking in others (ref#67, [Gal 6:1]). Discharge (him/her) to offer up to You “spiritual sacrifices, not only of prayer and praise, but of devout affections and pious resolutions” which is the work of Your own SPIRIT in (him/her) (ref#18, [Ex 19:1-8]). Quicken (him/her) to offer up services acceptable to You through CHRIST (1 Pet 2:5).

“As Christ bears our burdens, so ought we to bear the burdens of our fellow-man. The law of Christ, which is our duty to fulfill, is the bearing of the cross. My brother’s burden which I must bear is not only his outward lot, his natural characteristics and gifts, but quite literally his sin. And the only way to bear that sin is by forgiving it in the power of the cross of Christ in which I now share. Thus the call to follow Christ always means a call to share the work of forgiving men their sins. Forgiveness is the Christlike suffering which it is the Christian duty to bear” Dietrich Bonhoeffer (ref#10, p90).



…FATHER, You have set me on a course of looking for people to minister to—and I HAVE FOUND THEM! My initial reaction is very much like the sluggard in Proverbs. He says, “There is a lion outside! I shall be killed in the streets” (Prov 22:13)! How can I minister successfully to all that clamor for my attention? “There are too many; I will exhaust myself.”

LORD, when You command, I must do it immediately. Questioning is not a prerogative. Oswald Chambers says, “When you know you should do a thing, and do it, immediately you know more” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, June 8th). FATHER, has not Your inspiration come in the past, and has it not come with such miraculous power in such a way that I am able to “arise from the dead and do the impossible thing” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Feb 16th)?

“Jesus is asking us to take one end of the yoke—‘My yoke is easy, get alongside Me and we will pull together’” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, April 14th).

Compel me, FATHER, to not be a sluggard. Continually remind me I am not responsible for Christian service (because You, Yourself do the work), but I am only responsible “to keep in living, constant, touch” with You (ref#7, April 23rd).

CHRIST says, “Follow me, run along behind Me! That is all” Dietrich Bonhoeffer (ref#10, p 58). Advise me to “see only him who goes before and no more the road which is too hard for” me (ref#10, p88).

Remind me that “bewilderment is the true comprehension. Not to know where you are going is the true knowledge” Dietrich Bonhoeffer (ref#10, p93).

Oh soul, do not run ahead or lag behind paralyzed in fear. FATHER, I desire to wait for You then run with You—for Your closeness is the place of rest. Strengthen my trust in You—weaken my trust in myself. Empower me to put all my hope in You for You are all steadfast love (Ps 33:22).



“Not all deeds done for God are His deeds. Doing for Him is not enough; the question is, who is doing the doing? God will not recognize any labor as His if it simply reflects the believer’s activity and is carried out in his strength” Roy and Revel Hession (ref#101, p44).

When the Apostle Paul says I am to work out my own salvation (Phil 2:12-13), he is not saying to me to get busy and convince You, FATHER, that I love You. If I have any thought of impressing You it signals my activities are birthed from ruling myself. Working out my salvation is not choosing Christian activities that I want to do.

FATHER, instead of permitting my perverse nature to work out my salvation, bequeath me that I may, with concentration and care work out the nature You have put in me when You changed my nature (ref#7, June 6th). I want You to dominate more and more of my life (ref#7, June 7th); I want to be more and more acquainted with Your good work, not my own good work—Your rule, not my rule.

“The moment we begin to feel satisfied that we are making some progress along the road of sanctification, it is all the more necessary to repent and confess that all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags….God alone knows our good works, all we know is his good work. We can do no more than…carry on and rely on his grace,…and—sin” Dietrich Bonhoeffer (ref#10, p297).



screen-shot-2017-02-18-at-4-20-18-pm…FATHER, in Your Word You command many things of me. But if I look at Your commands as just something I need to do I am in the wrong frame of mind. I do not say, “I believe in JESUS” and then add hard work to my faith.

“Martin Luther’s old formula still sums things up nicely: ‘We are saved by faith alone [not our works], but not by faith that remains alone.’ Nothing we do can merit God’s grace and favor, we can only believe that he has given it to us in Jesus Christ and receive it by faith. But if we truly believe and trust in the one who sacrificially served us, it changes us into people who sacrificially serve God and our neighbors” Timothy Keller (ref#123, p123-124).

“Desire without knowledge is not good,…” (Prov 19:2 NRSV). “Sincerity and energy by themselves miss the mark (Rom 10:2)” The Reformation Study Bible (ref#56, p903 [Prov 19:2]).

“Religion operates on the principle of ‘I obey therefore I am accepted by God.’ The basic operating principle of the gospel is ‘I am accepted by God through the work of Jesus Christ—therefore I obey’” Timothy Keller (ref#123, p114).

Religion is “the default mode of my heart.” I have to deliberately and repeatedly set my heart to gospel-mode (ref#123, p114-115). I do that not by willfully doing good works but by feeding on the Gospel, digesting it so it becomes my motivating energy.

When the Apostle Paul gives a command, he doesn’t pressure directly on the will or on emotions but draws his listeners back to CHRIST and the work He did. As the hours go by in the day, if I keep thinking about how CHRIST lived out His life, I will soon realize how much His sacrificial love did for me—I will soon want to similarly sacrifice for others—be a comparable “elder brother.” In this mind-set I will complete jobs not to get them “checked off” but to do them because it is a joy to “do” for the One I love.

“Our problems arise largely because we don’t continually return to the gospel to work it in and live it out” (ref#123, p119). Let me repeat that: “Our problems arise largely because we don’t continually return to the gospel to work it in and live it out” Timothy Keller (ref#123, p119).

Looking through the lens of the Gospel my responsibilities named in Scripture become not heavy burdens but privileges to enjoy. There is no higher privilege than to work and suffer for CHRIST (ref#10, p244). It doesn’t get any better than that.




Prayer Facts:

“Intercession means no more than to bring our brother into the presence of God, to see him under the Cross of Jesus as a poor human being and sinner in need of grace” Dietrich Bonhoeffer (ref#28, p86).

Reasons for Waiting for GOD:

Because Your greatness is so vast and deep it is unsearchable (Ps 145:3), I will wait for You.

Because You are mighty in power of understanding and heart (Job 36:5), I will wait for You.

Because honor and majesty are found in Your presence and strength and joy are found in Your sanctuary (1 Chron 16:27), I will wait for You.

Because You are near to all who call upon You in sincerity (Ps 145:18), I will wait for You.

Because You show Yourself strong for those whose hearts are completely Yours (2 Chron 16:9), I will wait for You.

Read Through the Bible in a Year: February 12th – 18th

Feb 12 Lev 18-19; Acts 9

Feb 13 Lev 20-22; Acts 10

Feb 14 Lev 23-24; Acts 11

Feb 15 Lev 25; Ps 25-26

Feb 16 Lev 26-27; Acts 12

Feb 17 Num 1-2; Acts 13

Feb 18 Num 3-4; Acts 14




Prayer Facts:

“No sacrifice which a lover would make for his beloved is too great for us to make for our enemy….if we pray for them, we are taking their distress and poverty, their guilt and perdition upon ourselves, and pleading to God for them. We are doing vicariously for them what they cannot do for themselves” Dietrich Bonhoeffer (ref#10, p148-150).


Reasons for Waiting for GOD:

Because You formed my inward parts and knitted me together in my mother’s womb (Ps 139:13), I will wait for You.

Because You search me thoroughly and know me (Ps 139:1), I will wait for You.

Because You understand my thoughts and are acquainted with all my ways (Ps 139:2-3), I will wait for You.

Because You are upright and make my path level (Isa 26:7), I will wait for You.

Because You draw near on the day I call to You (Lam 3:57), I will wait for You.

Because You hear my voice and take up my cause (Lam 3:56,58), I will wait for You.


Read Through the Bible in a Year: January 29th – February 4th

Jan 29  Ex 23-24; Luke 22

Jan 30  Ex 25-27; Luke 23

Jan 31 Ex 28-29; Luke 24

Feb 1   Ex 30-32; Acts 1

Feb 2   Ex 33-34; Ps 10

Feb 3   Ex 35-36; Acts 2

Feb 4   Ex 37-38; Acts 3



screen-shot-2016-12-15-at-11-40-00-am…FATHER, I thank You that You have caused me to believe so I am united to CHRIST in You, by the SPIRIT. But, my heart is not content to let just our union be the extent of my involvement. My heart longs for fellowship—You and I giving and receiving affections, delight, satisfaction… I don’t want to merely be a recipient of Your gifts, I want to interact with You (ref#35, p21).

And, not only this, LORD, but I want to be personal and emotional with You in every essence of Your Person so that I find obedience to You an honor (ref#35, p22).

“Christian obedience was of utmost importance, but it was always understood to flow out of this union and never seen as the ground for it” John Owen (ref#35, p22).

O LORD, such a desire I have to revel in the work I do because it pleases You. I want to experience Your consenting presence continually. Send Your SPIRIT to me so He might make me sensitive to when I revert back to making decisions on my own. Yes, I want my obedience to flow out of our communion. Never do I want to perform tasks to get me into communion with You. Oh, to understand and walk according to Your unilateral giving so that I am never inclined to impress You.

“We pay no attention to our own lives or the new image which we bear,…it is only to serve as a mirror for the image of Christ on whom our gaze is fixed” Dietrich Bonhoeffer (ref#10, p304).



screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-11-38-02-am“Many failures and much waste and confusion…are due to men’s coming to work, instead of being sent out to work” Watchman Nee (ref#101, p42).

FATHER, I know what my head says is from You because You have a quiet persistence about Your words of guidance. Keep me from considering pros and cons that bring about debating and doubt. This mental activity does not indicate Your presence (ref#7, March 28th).

“Doubt and reflection take the place of spontaneous obedience…Only the devil has an answer for our moral difficulties, and he says, ‘Keep on posing problems, and you will escape the necessity of obedience’” Dietrich Bonhoeffer (ref#10, p73).

FATHER, when You say it is better to obey than sacrifice, You are addressing my human nature in me. This self-serving, self-glorifying part of me wants to sacrifice itself by doing what it considers great and wonderful acts for You. This sacrificing is the “counterfeit of obedience” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, June 8th).

“Obedience is perfected not in doing something you want to do but in doing the last thing in the world you want to do” Michael Card (ref#137, p152).



[We all can think of a Christian sister or brother experiencing so much affliction they may not be able to pray for themselves. Here’s an opportunity to pray for them. Fill their name in the blanks.]



screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-9-33-46-am“But as for me, I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me. Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy; when I fall, I shall rise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD will be a light to me” (Mic 7:7-8 NRSV).

 FATHER, our natural inclination is to be spared from trouble. But, in Your wisdom, You give us troubling situations to deliver us in trouble. No evil can harm us when we’re at one with You no matter what situation You have us in (ref#7, Aug 2nd).

“God does not give us overcoming life: He gives us life as we overcome. The strain is the strength. If there is no strain, there is no strength” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, Aug 2nd).

FATHER, empower ____ to accept the hard situations; compel (him/her), by faith, to defer to Your strength. Even anticipating hard situations wears ____ out physically, but if (he/she) spends (himself/herself) spiritually (he/she) will get more strength. You give strength minute by minute (ref#7, Aug 2nd).

“To deny oneself is to be aware only of Christ and no more of self, to see only him who goes before and no more the road which is too hard…” Dietrich Bonhoeffer (ref#10, p88).

____ will find You, FATHER, when (he/she) overcomes suffering by suffering. JESUS prayed for the cup to pass from Him (Matt 26:39). It did pass—when He drank it. His suffering passed as he accepted it. “The cross is his triumph over suffering” Dietrich Bonhoeffer (ref#10, p92).

FATHER, how vital for ____ to keep communion with You—to draw near You in hard times for if (he/she) removes (his/her) eye from You even for a moment, (he/she) will succumb to “every dark suggestion of the adversary” Octavius Winslow (ref#61, May 30th). Linked with You, (he/she) overcomes—we overcome—You, LORD, overcome for ____.