Here you will find a lot of what goes on in the head and Heart of us here at Hope. 
We hope you take a read and share with a friend.
34 Day Prayer Challenge
Day 34
Day 34

The preacher writes “ 8 The end of a matter is better than its beginning; Patience of spirit is better than haughtiness of spirit. “ (Ecc 7:8 NAU), I hope that your spirit is as transformed as your prayer life.

Today is not the end, however, it is only the beginning. The end of my journey leading and guiding you with these devotionals and thoughts about prayer; the beginning of your own personal journey of prayer and spiritual growth now lies open before you.

I leave you now with two verses to challenge and inspire:

17 pray without ceasing; (1Th 5:17 NAU)

Do not get caught up in the infinitude of this command as impossible. Begin to develop prayer as that power conversation that you have in every one of lifes calamities, and consternations. Use prayer as a constant intercome with your DAD who just loves listening to you and talking with you throughout each and everymoment of every day. Make this the beginning of a relationship that grows and transforms your life with power and miracles and grace.

18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, 19 and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. (Eph 6:18-20 NAU)

Notice what Paul instructs us to pray about and how to pray. Paul uses the word “ALL” to help us understand that we are to pray about anything and everything anytime and ALL the time. Paul then specifically points to one particular request that impacts everyone. Pray for our boldness to speak the Gospel as we ALL ought to speak.

Today is a great day to begin this journey ….

Will you?
Posted By: Pastor Glen Carter12/1/2018 8:37:30 AM

Day 32
Day 32 -

Have you ever stopped to think about the difference between praise and thanksgiving? The scriptures seem to combine them together seamlessly so that there appears to be no difference at all. There is however, a difference. Thanksgiving is a specific form of Praise. Today I want us to think about praising God just because of who HE is.

I will define what I think the difference between praise and thanksgiving is. If you mowed my lawn because I was paying you and you did a great Job because you are a lawn mower, I would say that looks fantastic, good job. However, if you came and mowed my lawn because I could not pay you and I was in desperate need of my lawn being mowed, I would say thank you so much for doing that for me I couldn't have done.

Praise is just acknowledging the incredible majestic character of God and who is; Thanksgiving is recognizing what God has done for you and I because of who he is that we don't deserve.

Prayer journals area great way to keep track of what you are recognizing about God's amazing character as you read and pray. It is also a wondeful way of having a list ready and waiting to thank him for how he has cared for you and your requests throughout the year.

3 Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips will praise You.
4 So I will bless You as long as I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name.
(Psa 63:3-4 NAU)

171 Let my lips utter praise, For You teach me Your statutes. (Psa 119:171 NAU)

O come, let us sing for joy to the LORD, Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation.
2 Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
(Psa 95:1-2 NAU)

Today is a great day to start keeping a record of God's goodness toward you that you will always have praise and thanksgiving ready on your lips.
Posted By: 11/29/2018 9:18:47 AM

Day 29
Day 29 -

51 And answering him, Jesus said, "What do you want Me to do for you?" And the blind man said to Him, "Rabboni, I want to regain my sight!" (Mar 10:51 NAU) You can read the whole story here Mark 10:36-52.

Blind Bartemeaus knew exactly what he wanted when Jesus asked Him what He wanted from him. Do you know what you want from Jesus when you pray?

If you and I are in a room together with say twenty of our closest friends and I am on a ladder changing a light bulb. I yell from the top of the ladder “go get me that bulb quick!” Who am I speaking too? However, if you and I are the only one in that same room and I am on the same ladder changing that same bulb and say, “go get me thaat bulb quick!” We know who I am speaking to.

To often our conversations with God are vague like my bulb story. God I need a blessing, AMEN. What are kind of blessing? Spiritual, do you need wisdom to enlighten you? Physical, do you need healing from a broken arm? Financial, Do you need $5,000.00 dollars to go to China on a short term mission trip and you do not know where it is coming from.

When we pray we must learn to be very specific.

Answer this question, God I really need for you to.....

This is a great way for you to have a wonderfully specific conversation with your Father this morning. Remember be specific.
Posted By: Pastor Glen Carter11/26/2018 9:01:14 AM

Day 28

DAY 28

Prayer is a daily, sometimes minute-by-minute, connection between Jesus and us. Prayer is the way we talk, plead, praise, and give thanks to Jesus.
Like an ongoing conversation between close friends, prayer can be intimate or seemingly superficial — jumping in minutes from a lighthearted account of everyday blessings and frustrations to an in-depth commentary on our deepest fears and needs.
At other times, prayer is silent. When we don’t have the words to explain our emotions, we can trust the Holy Spirit to communicate what words can’t (Romans 8:26). The same way a good friend will hold our hand and embrace the silence, or lend us a shoulder to cry on, we can sit in God’s presence and say all we need to say without speaking a word.
If this kind of prayer feels foreign, you’re not alone. Perhaps the reason prayer seems intimidating or unnatural for so many of us is because we’ve never known anyone who treated prayer like the most natural thing since breathing. Or maybe, we’ve been burned by prayer circles in the past. For as open as the Bible’s instruction is on prayer, it’s clear that misusing prayer has been happening for about as long as prayer has existed.

3 Times Prayer Is Not Pleasing To God

1. Praying to avoid doing
When we pray asking God’s will, He will give us His answer. When we receive it, we are to act on that answer, not try to change His mind with our prayers. To continue praying is not just stalling – it’s disobedience.
Paul asked God to remove what he referred to as a thorn. After praying three times for God to take away what was hurting him, God finally said, “No. My grace is sufficient.” Paul never prayed about his thorn again (2 Corinthians 12:7-9).

2. Praying to make us feel better about gossiping
When we ask God to intervene in someone else’s life, it’s called intercessory prayer. Telling our friends pure gossip while heads are bowed and eyes are closed is “gone-to-meddling,” not prayer.

James 3 says our tongues wagging in gossip are “a world of evil among the parts of the body.” We should pray to intercede with good, not impede with evil. Gossip disguised as prayer is harmful. God knows the names and events; others don’t need to hear them. Simply ask for healing.

3. Praying to show off
The simplest prayers are the most effective and easiest to offer. Fancy words will not impress God; He made us and already knows who we are! And more words won’t make better prayers. God wants to hear our heart not our entire vocabulary (Matthew 6:5-8).

When I hear others pray, I sometimes feel mine might not measure up. Jesus’ followers may have felt that way, too. When the disciples could have asked for anything from Jesus, they recognized the power of maintaining direct connection with God and asked, “Lord, teach us to pray.”
Just like it takes time to develop a rapport in a friendship, it can take time to find that rhythm with God. One way to remember the example Jesus set for the disciples (and for us) is the acronym, ACTS.

Acknowledge God’s sovereignty over us and all our circumstances.
Because our Lord is the Creator of the earth, everything in it and each of us, He has the right to do with His Creation as He pleases (Daniel 4:35)

Confess our sin so we can be healed.
We can’t hide from Jesus. Confession tells Him we are aware of our sin but want to turn from it and repent (James 5:16).

Thank God for what He’s already done.
God knows what we need before we ask (Matthew 6:8). But He likes hearing from us, especially when we praise and thank Him for the blessings He has already given. Thanksgiving draws us closer to Him.

Submit our requests.
There is no prayer request too small or too big for God. We can boldly share the concerns and desires of our heart and ask Him to supply our every need (Philippians 4:6).
Posted By: Pastor Servius Durand11/25/2018 8:23:14 AM

Day 26
DAY 26
Jude 1:20-21
Growing up, a lot of us played with building blocks — pieces of wood in all different shapes that could build all different things. You could stack them one on top of the other to build a tower. Or, you could put them side by side to build a wall. You could use them to build a house, or anything else you could imagine. Each block couldn’t do much on its own, but together they could make something great.

The same is true in our lives as Christians. Living close to God and His people, we can accomplish more together than we could alone. At the end of the book of Jude, Jude encourages us to build our faith through prayer and community (Jude 1:20-21).
Prayer is how we talk to God. As we communicate with God through prayer, we put our hope and trust in Him, and our relationship grows deeper.
Community is the relationships we make with other Christians. Community builds our faith by allowing us to encourage each other. Just rubbing sticks together can start a fire; when people get together in community they fan the fire of each others’ faith.
Following Jesus is a journey. Sometimes, we’re going to want to throw our hands up and quit. At other times, we’re going to be so excited we want to jump up and down and scream. That’s why it’s so important to persevere with the building blocks of prayer and community. Whether life is going great or not going at all, God has given us ways to draw strength from Him and from His people.
So don’t do life alone. Start building your faith today.
Posted By: Pastor Servius Durand11/23/2018 10:20:24 AM

Day 25
DAY 25
Nehemiah 1
We’ve all heard the saying, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” But what about when your lemons are more serious than a busted tire or a promotion that didn’t go your way? Some of life’s lemons require more than pep talk about making lemonade.
In Nehemiah 1, Nehemiah just received heartbreaking news about the condition of Jerusalem.  He learned the city wall had been broken and its gates burned. The Israelites were in a state of panic because their two sources of protection had been destroyed leaving them defenseless against their enemies.
When Nehemiah heard the news, he stopped what he was doing, wept, mourned and poured his heart out to God. Nehemiah didn’t run around sharing the news with others or come up with a plan to fix the problem. He took his thoughts straight to God, the One who understood the situation best and could provide comfort.  
At some point in our lives, we have all received news that seemed impossible to bear. Maybe it was the loss of a loved one, the diagnosis you didn’t see coming, a job loss, or your spouse’s affair.
In times of desperation, we, like Nehemiah, have a Heavenly Father who wants to hear from us and comfort us.  It is OK to cry and not have it all together. God promises to heal the brokenhearted and bind up our wounds (Psalm 147:3).
Posted By: Pastor Servius Durand11/22/2018 12:45:22 PM

Day 24
DAY 24
Matthew 6:5-14
5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9 “This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. 14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
You might not know…
Prayer is how we have a conversation with God. He hears us, and we can hear from Him.
What does it say?
Jesus is explaining how to pray. It can be broken down into three sections: telling God we know who He is, placing our trust in Him, and asking Him to provide for us.
What does it mean?
The most important part of prayer is posture. Prayer isn’t like a Christmas list you hope makes it to Santa Claus. Notice how the Lord’s Prayer doesn’t say, “Hey, dude who might be God, who might be up there in Heaven, give us daily bread, if you can.” The Lord’s Prayer says, “Our Father in Heaven…Give us this daily bread.” There’s a confidence in who God is that makes prayer work.
What does it mean to me?
I don’t need to pray the Lord’s Prayer word for word every time I pray. I don’t even have to pray it once, if I don’t want to. But the Lord’s Prayer is an example of the prayers I should be praying. I should be praying full of expectation and with firm knowledge that Jesus is going to do what He’s promised. If I pray with the right posture, I’m given power, trust, and certainty in who God is. Prayer is comforting and it brings me that much closer to Him.
Posted By: Pastor Servius Durand11/21/2018 10:37:08 AM

Day 23
Day 23
Daniel 10:12-13
We’ve all done it. A call drops, but we keep talking. Sometimes it takes a few seconds and sometimes it takes a few minutes, but eventually, we realize no one is listening. 
Few things can be as frustrating or make us feel as foolish as recognizing we aren’t being heard. It’s the reason we cringe when customer service transfers us for the sixth time, and it’s the reason many of us struggle with prayer. We pour our hearts out to God, but we wonder: 
Is God listening?
How do I know He heard me? 
Daniel can relate to that feeling. When Daniel found himself in a difficult situation, he humbled himself and prayed. When Daniel didn’t get an immediate answer from God, he fasted and prayed some more. It wasn’t easy, but Daniel kept calling out to God the same way we keep calling back when an important call gets dropped. 
The difference between calling God and calling another person is that God never loses touch with us. God’s messenger reassured Daniel that God heard every word and started working in Daniel’s life the moment he cried out (Daniel 10:12-13). 
God always hears our prayer. Fighting through the frustration and persevering in prayer is about our hearts more than it is about getting God’s attention. With each prayer, we remind ourselves where our help comes from and we make space in our day to hear from the Lord. 
God is working and we can trust Him, even when it seems like nothing is happening. Take heart in knowing God hears you and is working all things, even the hard things, together for your good (Romans 8:28).  
Posted By: Pastor Servius Durand11/20/2018 8:04:35 AM

DAy 22
Day 22
2 Chronicles 6
There are universal signs of submission everyone can recognize, such as waving the white flag. When a person or group submits, they are at the very least yielding to a higher power.
In 2 Chronicles 6, we see another sign of submission when Solomon kneels before the nation and prays. What makes this moment so powerful is Solomon’s humility. Solomon is one of most powerful men to walk the planet, yet he kneels before a nation to pray. In terms of earthly possessions, Solomon had it all. But Solomon still needed to connect with God and for all the people to see that God was greater. Submission is the heart of prayer.
Prayer allows us to connect directly with God. Asking for God’s help is only one part of prayer; it can be much more. Prayer can be a time where we can feel God’s presence.
We all know people who encourage us and make us feel better. If a person can do that, imagine the difference God can make when we seek a connection to Him.
Solomon’s attitude was inspirational. He thanked God for past faithfulness, and he asked God to grant the requests of others. He acknowledges there is no one else like our God and that no matter how much we have, what we need is connection with God.
Posted By: Pastor Servius Durand11/19/2018 9:32:31 AM

Day 20
Day 20 -

“Faith is not an abstract belief in the Word of God, nor a mere mental credence, nor a simple assent of the understanding and will; nor is it a passive acceptance of facts, however sacred or thorough. Faith is an operation of God, a Divine illumination, a holy energy implanted by the Word of God and the Spirit in the human soul-a spiritual, Divine principle which takes of the Supernatural and makes it a thing apprehendable by the faculties of time and sense.” ~ E.M.Bounds

What is the basis of your faith that God will actually answer your prayer? Is it because the pastor says God will; is it because you see other people in church saying God did; is it because you read it soemwhere, maybe even in the Bible?

I would challenge you bright and early this morning that the basis of our faith in God to answer our prayer is found no where else but the very character of God. It is who HE is. Its His DNA. God has to answer our prayers because HE cannot act outside His very own character.

David knew this, that is why when he write Psalm 40 he refers to the character of God so often.
8 I want to do what pleases you, my God. Your law dominates my thoughts."
9 I have told the great assembly about your justice. Look! I spare no words! O LORD, you know this is true.
10 I have not failed to tell about your justice; I spoke about your reliability and deliverance; I have not neglected to tell the great assembly about your loyal love and faithfulness.
11 O LORD, you do not withhold your compassion from me. May your loyal love and faithfulness continually protect me! (Psa 40:8-11 NET)
I counted no less than 7 different character qualities of God just in these three verses. David was praying to God to deliver him because David knew who God was. Do you? When we know God intimately we know God's character, when we know God's character we are confident that what we ask of Him HE will do for us. What do you know to be true about God and His character toward you?

Today is a great day to get to know God more intimately. Start with Jesus and how He saves us and see just how much God loves you.

When you know God and His Character, you will see Him answer your prayers with power!

Today is a great day to start!
Posted By: 11/17/2018 8:11:46 AM

Day 19
Day 19 -

“GENUINE, authentic faith must be definite and free of doubt. Not simply general in character; not a mere belief in the being, goodness and power of God, but a faith which believes that the things which “he saith, shall come to pass.” ~ E.M. Bounds

6 But he must ask in faith without doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed around by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord,
8 since he is a double-minded individual, unstable in all his ways. (Jam 1:6-8 NET)

When we pray are we writing on balloons and then releasing them in to the air? Are we writing messages on little pieces of paper with our contact information, sticking them in a bottle, corking the top and then throwing them into the raging sea waiting to see if anything comes of it and where it might end up?

Prayer, is a conversation with the living God of the universe who loves and cares for you and will move heaven and earth and even sacrifice the life of His very own son, to save you from your sin, therefore, it deserves the same level of intense trust and confidence.

I started out my working career by walking into a break room where an odd square grey clock thing hung on a wall. I was handed a long narrow piece of manilla card stock with lots of lines across it. I was told to stick it in the clock a certain way and then I heard a snap. I pulled it out and there was a date time stamp in black ink on my card. Each day I did this when I came to work and when I left. Each time I saw the card fill up with date and time stamps I was growing in excitement and confidence that my first check was going to be coming on my first pay day. Never once did it ever occur to me that I would not have a check and that all of my date and time stamps were for nothing. Guess what My first pay check came just like I confidently expected after all my date and time stamps were submitted.

When you pray have as much faith and confidence in God that He will answer your requests than your fiest boss with your check. That might be the problem with the answers to our prayers we might have more faith in our efforts and money than the God of the universe who created us and loves us.

If you would like to see your prayers answered then confidently trust the only true God powerful enough to answer them with all of your heart and mind.

Today is a great day to start that kind of powerful prayer journey; will you
Posted By: Pastor Glen Carter11/16/2018 8:46:41 AM

Day 18
Day 18

'In principle, obedience to God is the same quality as obedience to earthly parents. It implies, in general effect, the giving up of one’s own way, and following that of another; the surrendering of the will to the will of another; the submission of oneself to the authority and requirements of a parent. Commands, either from our heavenly Father or from our earthly father, are love-directing, and all such commands are in the best interests of those who are commanded. God’s commands are issued neither in severity nor tyranny. They are always issued in love and in our interests, and so it behooves us to heed and obey them. In other words, and appraised at its lowest value-God having issued His commands to us, in order to promote our good, it pays, therefore, to be obedient. Obedience brings its own reward.” ~ E.M. Bounds

How do you view obedience to God, to Jesus, to the Holy Spirit? Do you see the commands of the Bible as chains and shackles to which you are bound?

It is very interesting that many of us are very much abliged to engage in relationships with people who are cheerful, energetic, generous, and warm. We enjoy these types of relationships and even develop emotional attachments to these individuals. But, when their requests begin to become numerous, and their cheer becomes complaint, or their energy turns into drain, or their generosity begins to develop charity and aid, we begin to cool in our desire to spend time with these same people. Why is it that we think it reasonable that our needs be met by others but when they seek to have their needs met by us it becomes unreasonable?

Paul wrote to the believers in Rome concerning this subject as well; “Therefore I exhort you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a sacrifice– alive, holy, and pleasing to God– which is your reasonable service.” (Rom 12:1 NET) Paul considered it very reasonable to expect that God in His amazing blessing of salvation and eternal LIFE would seek obedience as a sacrifice of love to Him. We love God's blessings do we realize that His blessing is actually designed for our best interest because of His great love for us. How reasonable do you think someone is to reject the one who has lovingly saved their life?

Think about this today there can be no blessing without our obedience. If your life is lacking the blessing you see in others lives look no further than the mirror and ask yourself; “Am I obeying God's reasonable requests of me?”

Today is a great day to turn that around, God is just waiting to help. Why not talk with Him right now?

Posted By: Pastor Glen Carter11/15/2018 8:10:21 AM

Day 17
Day 17

2Ch 20:3 Then Jehoshaphat was afraid and set his face to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. 2Ch 20:4 And Judah assembled to seek help from the LORD; from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD. …

2Ch 20:26 On the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Beracah, for there they blessed the LORD. Therefore the name of that place has been called the Valley of Beracah to this day.

Today we come to 2Chronicles 20. You will notice that the verses above give us a very incomplete view of what actually happened in this story. Those who are familiar with a writing and grammar, you may have noticed the three periods in the middle of these verses and say this is the section that I am supposed to read on my own. That's right!

What this little test shows us is the same lesson that the Israelites had to learn. Will I obey?

Those three periods represent a great battle of insurmountable odds, a desperate prayer of FAITH for deliverance, and finally the courage to obey. What would you do? Maybe a better question is what have you done? Did you read the other verses or are you waiting for me to trip up and somehow spill the beans?

Look at the last verse I cut and pasted into this devotional this morning. Did you notice the what King Jehoshaphat and the Israelites named this valley? “Beracah”. This simply means the valley of blessing. You see there is no blessing in our lives if we do not seek the Lord, step out in FAITH and pray, then obey courageously.

Do you want the blessing from God in your life?

Then go and read the other verses in 2Chronicles 20:1-30. You will be blessed.

Then Step out in FAITH and courageously OBEY!

Today is a great day to step out in faith and trust the Lord to transform your life. The question is, will you obey and let HIM? Start talking to Him now, He wants to hear from you.

Posted By: 11/14/2018 10:26:50 AM

Days 15 and 16
Day 15

“Humility is the first and last attribute of Christly religion, and the first and last attribute of Christly praying. There is no Christ without humility. There is no praying without humility. If thou wouldst learn well the art of praying, then learn well the lesson of humility.” ~ E.M. Bounds

12 "Yet even now," declares the LORD, "Return to Me with all your heart, And with fasting, weeping and mourning; 13 And rend your heart and not your garments." Now return to the LORD your God, For He is gracious and compassionate, Slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness And relenting of evil.
(Joe 2:12-13 NAU)

What does rending your heart really look like? Is it just realizing that what you did was wrong or is it seeing how awful the consequences are, how it completely devistated another person, or wounded them severely. What if this was not just anyone? What if this person was the one who created you and knows every quirk of your personality and still loves you? What if what you did was directly in contradiction to how and why you were created? Do you think just saying “Sorry” is enough to repair that relationship?

What if you are incapable of repairing the relationship because you cannot understand the immensity of what you have done? What if the creator loved you so much they had to do all the work to repair the relationship with you?

“ 5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Phi 2:5-8 NAU)

Jesus did this for you and me. Maybe now would be a great time to just talk with your heavenly Father and really be honest with Him, and yourself.

Day 16

Prayer is not just about requests, supplications, and petitions. Prayer is about just sitting like Mary at Jesus feet and adoring Him for who HE is. That He is worthy of all our admiration and awe.

Psalm 138:1 A Psalm of David. I will give You thanks with all my heart; I will sing praises to You before the gods. 2 I will bow down toward Your holy temple And give thanks to Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word according to all Your name. 3 On the day I called, You answered me; You made me bold with strength in my soul. 4 All the kings of the earth will give thanks to You, O LORD, When they have heard the words of Your mouth. 5 And they will sing of the ways of the LORD, For great is the glory of the LORD. 6 For though the LORD is exalted, Yet He regards the lowly, But the haughty He knows from afar. 7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch forth Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, And Your right hand will save me. 8 The LORD will accomplish what concerns me; Your lovingkindness, O LORD, is everlasting; Do not forsake the works of Your hands. (Psa 138:1-8 NAU)

DEVOTION has a religious signification. The root of devotion is to devote to a sacred use. So that devotion in its true sense has to do with religious worship. It stands intimately connected with true prayer. Devotion is the particular frame of mind found in one entirely devoted to God. It is the spirit of reverence, of awe, of godly fear. It is a state of heart which appears before God in prayer and worship. It is foreign to everything like lightness of spirit, and is opposed to levity and noise and bluster. Devotion dwells in the realm of quietness and is still before God. It is serious, thoughtful, meditative.4 ~ E.M. Bounds

Today might be a great day for you just to sit at Jesus feet in joy and awe. What just amazes you about Jesus?
Posted By: Pastor Glen Carter11/13/2018 7:05:22 AM

Day 14
DAY 14

Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you can not tolerate wrongdoing.
Habakkuk 1:13 — 
The prophet Habakkuk wrestled with “the problem of unanswered prayer” (see 1:1-4). But as today’s Bible reading shows, Habakkuk wasn’t always satisfied with God’s answers to prayer either. Sometimes “the problem of answered prayer” can be as hard as “the problem of unanswered prayer.”
God told Habakkuk he would raise up the Babylonians to punish Judah for its injustice and wickedness. But Habakkuk wondered how that could be a solution to the problems he prayed about. The Babylonians were more wicked than the people of Judah! How could God use evil to accomplish something good? Would God just replace one kind of suffering (for the oppressed) with another kind that was worse (for everyone)?
That may be a question we also ask sometimes. We see evidence of sin, and we wish God would take it away. But then the problems seem to go from bad to worse. Is there no end to the suffering in this world?
God does not take pleasure in our pain. But God can use even suffering to reveal his good will in our lives (see Romans 8:28-39). We see the clearest example of this in the cross of Christ, where the greatest evil accomplished the greatest good. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Posted By: Pastor Servius Durand11/11/2018 7:04:18 AM

DAY 13
DAY 13

How long, Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen?
Habakkuk 1:2 — 

In the book of Habakkuk we find two complaints that the prophet directs at God. We might call the first one “the problem of unanswered prayer.” Like Habakkuk, we know this problem all too well.
Why doesn’t God seem to answer some of our prayers? There is no quick or complete answer to this question, but there is one thing that may help us understand this mystery: sometimes God’s refusals may well be the best answers to our deepest yearnings.
Philip Yancey illustrates this point in his book titled Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference? He writes about how Augustine’s mother, Monica, prayed fervently for her son’s conversion. Once, she stayed up all night praying that God would prevent him from going to the wicked city of Rome. He went anyway, and it was on that trip that Augustine became a Christian. Later, Augustine liked to say that God denied his mother’s prayer once so she could be given what she had prayed for always.
On the cross, Jesus also experienced the pain of unanswered prayer (see Matthew 27:46). When he asked his Father why he had forsaken him, no answer was given. That silence is the ultimate answer to all our prayers. God’s refusal of his Son on that day made it possible for us to be saved. Jesus, who took on the punishment for all our sins, is the best answer to all our deepest prayers.
Posted By: Pastor Servius Durand11/10/2018 8:14:10 AM

Day 12
DAY 12
“Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4

This is not a devotional on weight loss! I’m sure some of you are thinking that if you could lose a few pounds while incorporating something spiritual, great! But this mindset could actually detract from spiritual reasons for fasting. The purpose of fasting is to abstain from something physical, usually food, in order to focus more intentionally on God. Even though the Bible doesn’t command us to fast, we see it being practiced often. In Matthew 6:16, Jesus talks about fasting for God and not for the praise of people. He starts off by saying, “When you fast…” not if or maybe. Fasting was a common practice in spiritual development. It was assumed in Jesus’ day that anyone seeking God would practice fasting. Further we see the church fasting corporately in Acts 13:2 as they are seek God in making some important decisions. Fasting and prayer often are associated with each other. Many times in my life when I felt I needed real clarity from God, I fasted and prayed. Before I came to Hope, I sought God’s wisdom through fasting in order to make sure I was supposed to take this step. Before I proposed to Shannon, I fasted. During periods of spiritual oppression at Hope, I fasted and prayed for God’s protection and victory. Each of these fasts looked different. Sometimes I abstained from breakfast, others time from certain foods and yet others were from all food altogether. The length of time also varied from one day to several weeks. The first few times I fasted, the only thing I noticed was that I was hungry! But with time and practice, fasting has become a real way for me to seek God and focus on things of the Spirit. It helps me to hear the voice of God more clearly. But like all spiritual formation practices, we need to make sure we are doing them for the right reasons. John Calvin said that, “God does not greatly esteem fasting of itself, unless an inner emotion of the heart is present and true displeasure at one’s sin, true humility, and true sorrowing arising from the fear of God. Indeed, fasting is not otherwise useful then when it is joined as a lesser help to these.” Part of this devotional experience includes fasting. Use the time you would normally eat to spend some more time in prayer and contemplation. When you hear your stomach grumble, take that moment to praise God for all that he has given you. When you fast, you narrow the focus of your life to the frequency of God. So stay tuned, and listen in.
Posted By: Pastor Servius Durand11/9/2018 7:19:42 AM

Day 11
DAY 11

God invites us to spend time with him in communion and conversation and to make our requests known to Him (Philippians 4:6). Although this is a key component of prayer, communion with God entails so much more than simply offering our personal requests to Him. God is not to be treated like a genie in a bottle or like Santa Claus who receives our wish lists and responds with gifts. In prayer, we are invited to lay our entire lives before God, not just our needs. In prayer, we come before God in adoration, worship and praise. We confess our sins and ask for forgiveness. We thank God for who He is and for how He loves and provides for us. We intercede on behalf of others, asking God to intervene for those in need and to implore Him to execute justice in the world. While we certainly can submit individual requests, we should take the opportunity to truly commune with God, to share all that is on our hearts and to know all that is on His. Perhaps the best way to learn to pray is to attend the “School of Prayer” located in the Bible. The book of Psalms is really a compilation of prayers. Praying the Psalms is one of the best ways to learn to pray. The Psalms have served as a hymnal in synagogues for centuries and were almost certainly prayed by Jesus and the early Christians. For many people, the Psalms have provided language for some of our deepest emotions and have demonstrated how to bare our souls before God. Indeed, the Psalms “become like a mirror to the person singing them” and provide a model for how to approach God even through life’s most difficult moments.

Consider the following words from Dietrich Bonhoefer:
“If we wish to pray with confidence and gladness, then the words of the Holy Scripture will have to be the solid basis of our prayer. For here we know that Jesus Christ, the Word of God, teaches us to pray. The words which come from God become, then, the steps on which we find our way to God.”
Posted By: Pastor Servius Durand11/8/2018 7:09:56 AM

DAY 10
DAY 10

“Pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18

I loved to wrestle when I was growing up. But after a terrible play on my part, my coach would warn me, “Serve, you better make sure you practice and work on your game every day. Don’t play video games all day.” It was clear to both of us that I wasn’t practicing the way that I should have been. I noticed a huge difference in my game when I devoted myself to practice and when I did not. When I practiced daily, I was confident and prepared at game time. As a competitor I didn’t like to lose, but at least I could be satisfied with my effort and preparation. Just as I felt confident when I practiced daily, I get that same assurance from God when I pray continually. Prayer gives us the confidence to come before the Father. It involves giving thanks in all circumstances. Praying enables us to maintain communion with Jesus and deepen our love for him. To love Jesus is to love prayer because prayer keeps us close to him. It sustains us. It keeps us in the will of God. It keeps us in the game, so to speak. Ceasing to pray means ceasing all of the above. We don’t give thanks or maintain our fellowship with God. Without thanksgiving, we become entitled and where there is entitlement, there is no room for prayer. Where there is pride, there is no room for prayer. And where there is no room for prayer there is no room for God. When we reach a point where aren’t in our game in our prayer lives, we may feel like we have failed or we can’t be forgiven. But God doesn’t condemn us. Even when we turn from him, he stands patiently with his arms wide open saying, “Come to me, you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” There is power in your prayers. Even if you feel God hasn’t heard you, he has and he will respond. Continue to pray and you will experience God in a deeper and more profound way.
Posted By: Pastor Servius Durand11/7/2018 6:30:29 AM


“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” 1 John 5:14-15

What an exciting verse! If we ask according to God’s will, he will deliver! Of course the stipulation here is “according to God’s will.” Just because you want something doesn’t mean it’s good for you or that God wants you to have it. But John is letting the church know that we need to ask and then God hears us and moves on our behalf. Jesus says a similar thing in Matthew 7:8: “For everyone who asks receives.” Note that both verses stress one key word: Ask. How do we ask? Trough prayer. It’s through prayer that a Christian experiences the hand of God in his or her life. When I pray, God moves powerfully on my behalf. When I don’t pray or ask, I don’t receive. I often wonder how our lives would be different if we were to cry out to God more often. Imagine if we, corporately or individually, really acted as if we had a direct line to an omnipotent God who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power (Ephesians 3:20). Life would look a lot different. Even as I was writing this, I paused to ask God for his power in my life. I repented for trying to live through my own strength and for my pride in not wanting anyone’s help, including God’s. When I think of the work that God wants to do through us, and yet I see how little he seems to move in our lives, I’m convinced it’s because he is simply waiting for us to ask, to be persistent (Luke 18:1-8), to be bold. If we are not in prayer, then we are spiritually powerless. So may we increase our faith. May we see our prayers as petitions before the king of the universe!
Posted By: Pastor Servius Durand11/5/2018 6:13:25 AM

Day 7
Day 7

“Obedience is love, fulfilling every command, love expressing itself. Obedience, therefore, is not a hard demand made upon us, any more than is the service a husband renders his wife, or a wife renders her husband. Love delights to obey, and please whom it loves. There are no hardships in love. There may be exactions, but no irk. There are no impossible tasks for love.”3~ E.M.Bounds

When you pray are you asking God to do for you what you are supposed to obediently do for Him?

Are we asking Him to send someoine to our family to share the gospel with them when it is us who are the respponsible party to open our mouths obediently to share with them? Are we asking Him to send someone to the widow, the orphan, the hardpressed and in need when it is us who are the answer to the prayer we disobediently pray for God to answer?

18 Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. 19 We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him 20 in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things. 21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; 22 and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight. 23 This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. 24 The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us. (1Jo 3:18-24 NAU)

Dear HOPE Family, is there something that you have been praying for God to do that you realize now that when you obey you will become God's answer to that prayer? May I challenge you to love in DEED today obediently.
Posted By: Pastor Glen Carter11/4/2018 6:46:28 AM

Day 6
Day 6

Many times my family has a hard time figuring out when I am being serious or just trying to tease them or pull their leg. They know I'm being serious when I get a stirn look across my face and there is a particular tone in my voice, and it clinches for them when they see my eyes. I guess I have a very distinct glare, stare or look to my eyes when I am being serious. That is how my family knows I'm being serious.

How does God know you are being serious about what He has asked you to do or what you have asked HIM to do for you?

3 They said to me, "The remnant there in the province who survived the captivity are in great distress and reproach, and the wall of Jerusalem is broken down and its gates are burned with fire." 4 When I heard these words, I sat down and wept and mourned for days; and I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven.
(Neh 1:3-4 NAU)

Nehemiah teaches us a great spiritual principle and discipline. When we are serious about something we believe God is asking or commanding us to do, or something we are praying and asking HIM to do for us we need to fast. Fasting is foregoing food to talk to GOD our Father seriously about our concerns. Fasting tells God that this is serious if we are willing to give up food to talk to Him and spend time with Him seeking His oppinion, will and wisdom concerning our circumstance or concerns.

When was the last time you were serious with God about your relationship with HIM? What burdens are you wrestleing with that you need HIS wisdom and clarity or HIS power to intercede for you concerning? Maybe its time to give up a meal or three and spend time fasting and praying till you get His answers to your questions.
Posted By: Pastor Glen Carter11/3/2018 7:51:24 AM

Day 5
Day 5

21 Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God to seek from Him a safe journey for us, our little ones, and all our possessions. (Ezr 8:21 NAU)

I have always enjoyed playing and watching tennis. There is an amusing simplicity about whacking a ball across a net only to return it as your opponent sends it back at you. The problem with tennis and me is that I am so awkward that when I try to play it with anyone else on my side as a partner or team I get confused and discombobulated tripping over them and causing all kinds of havoc and mayhem.

I think most folks view corporate prayer, the entire church body together in the same room at the same time, much like playing tennis with a partner. It just feels uncomfortable and awkward. Yet, that is exactly what God has asked of us and even encouraged and blessed; that we pray all together about the same things at the same time.

There is something supernatural that takes place as individuals who are filled by the Holy Spirit enter into worship, over the same thing, with the same mind, by the same Spirit, to the same Father, all cry out at the same time. In fact I think it is quite earth shaking and powerful.

23 When they had been released, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 And when they heard this, they lifted their voices to God with one accord and said, "O Lord, it is You who MADE THE HEAVEN AND THE EARTH AND THE SEA, AND ALL THAT IS IN THEM,
27 "For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur. 29 "And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Your bond-servants may speak Your word with all confidence, 30 while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus." 31 And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness. (Act 4:23-31 NAU)

This maybe a great week to join with others to pray about the concerns and issues you are wrestleing with. It might also be a great week to pray at the Thursday night prayer meeting at church. Don't worry the building will still be standing if you show up. Pray with someone else this week about the same thing and see the power of God Move mountains
Posted By: Pastor Glen Carter11/2/2018 7:56:29 AM

Day 4
Day 4

21 Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God to seek from Him a safe journey for us, our little ones, and all our possessions. (Ezr 8:21 NAU)

Fasting isn't just about going without food. Ezra points out for us in this verse that it is about humbling ourselves before God. This just means that by fasting we recognize that God is greater than our problems, that God is the only one who can meet our need, and that we cannot do it ourselves we NEED God. This is indeed incredibly humbling.

When I was first married I broke my right arm. I couldn't use it at all, it was in a cast and sling. Have you ever tried to put pants on with one arm, especially not the one you normally use. I had to have my wife help be put my pants on, pull the zipper up, and button them for me. Praise God my girth then was not what it is now or I would have had to walk around in sweat pants for 3 months.

This might seem amusing to you but for the one who was to provide, protect, and everything else a man is supposed to do for his family, it was totally humbling to me. Thank goodness my wife loved me and was willing to help me.

How much greater is God's love to you and me, how much greater is God's compassion to you and me, how much more patient is God toward you and me that HE will wait for us to try everything else before we call out to HIM in prayer for our need and yet HE still answers without being upset with us for not praying to Him first.

Praise Him today because HE is worthy. Maybe today you would like to go without food at a meal and spend time talking to your Father and telling Him how much you love and appreciate His good will and mercy toward you. Humility is one character quality that looks good on everyone.

Posted By: Pastor Glen Carter11/1/2018 6:34:49 AM

Day 3
Day 3
“Prayer projects faith on God, and God on the world. Only God can move mountains, but faith and prayer move God.” ~ E.M. Bounds

20 And He said to them, "Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you. (Mat 17:20 NAU)

21 And Jesus answered and said to them, "Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' it will happen. 22 "And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive." (Mat 21:21-22 NAU)

What does this quote from E.M. Bounds and these two scripture passages have in common? Faith, Prayer, and God that is what they have in common. To often we approach lifes circumstances from the perspective that all else has failed so I might as well try praying about it. When in reality we should be approaching those same circumstances with the perspective of before all else fails I MUST pray about it.

You see, “Faith is not an aimless act of the soul, but a looking to God and a resting upon His promises. Just as love and hope have always an objective so, also, has faith. Faith is not believing just anything; it is believing God, resting in Him, trusting His Word. Faith gives birth to prayer, and grows stronger, strikes deeper, rises higher, in the struggles and wrestlings of mighty petitioning. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the assurance and realization of the inheritance of the saints.”2

Do you pray because your supposed to but really don't think it will do any good; or do you pray because God is the only one who can change the impossible and you know it with all your heart?

Prayers of great impact and transformation always start with an absolute confidence that God will invade your life and circumstances with His power and Grace.

Maybe you would like to have a conversation with your Father right now, knowing with out a shadow of a doubt He loves you and wants to answer your prayer according to your good and His eternal will.

Posted By: Pastor Glen Carter10/31/2018 6:56:20 AM

Day 2
Day 2

One of the questions I get asked quite often about prayer is; “What do I say, How do I start?”.

This is a great question. Its hard enough to think of prayer simply as a conversation, especially when it is with the God of the universe, never mind thinking about what I would say to someone that important.

The wonderful thing about this is that God knew we would have questions like these so HE didn't leave us alone to make up foolish or embarassing answers on our own. The Bible teaches us what to say.

9 "Pray, then, in this way: 'Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. (Mat 6:9 NAU)

The disciples asked Jesus a question very similar to the one so many of us ask and HE answered it for them. When we pray we are to start be Calling God our Father.

This isn't so much about a name to call God or how we should start a conversation with God, as much as it is about a relationship with God. When we talk to God we need to think of HIM as a loving, caring, parent who meets the needs of HIS young children when they ask. I know this may not be the experience of some with their parents, but Jesus was teaching His disciples and us that God isn't like an earthly parent who struggles with sin and sometimes with love nad care. NO, God is the perfect Father, Loving creator who will hear you when you call and will answer with patience and kindness even if your earthly parents never did.

Praise God that HE is ready to talk anytime you want, and that HE will give us answers to our requests out of love, care, and wisdom, to meet us right where we are to help us not hurt us.

Is there something you want to talk to your Father about right now? Go ahead, start, He is just waiting to listen to you.
Posted By: Pastor Glen Carter10/30/2018 8:47:31 AM

Day 1
Welcome to The 34 Days Prayer Challenge Devotional. Written to Encourage, Empower and Energize your prayer life.
Lets Hit it off with day 1
When is the first time prayer is used in the Bible?
I bet you probably can't answer that. Some of you may even begin to search the concordances in the back of your Bibles or one that you have on a shelf.
I would say the Number one reason most people can't answer that is because they are looking for the first time the actual word “Pray”, “Prayer”, “Prayed”, “Praying”, is used in scripture. The Number two reason most folks are unsure how to answer that question is because they are looking through RELIGIOUS lenses. They are thinking when was the first time someone bowed their head, knelt down and recited a prayer like:
“now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.
If I should live for other days, I pray the Lord to guide my ways.
Father, unto thee I pray, Thou has guarded me all the day,
Safe I am when in Thy sight, Safely let me sleep tonight.
Bless my friends, the whole world bless;
Help me to learn helpfulness;
Keep me ever in thy sight, So to all, I Say, Good Night.
` A Children's Bedtime Prayer~ Henry Johnstone

The first time we are introduced to prayer in scripture it is found in Genesis 3:8-10.
8 They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, "Where are you?" 10 He said, "I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself." (Gen 3:8-10 NAU)
This isn't prayer you may be saying to yourself right now. This doesn't mention someone getting on their knees and reciting any ritualistic words and closing their eyes or anything of that nature. You're right. It doesn't. That is what makes prayer so unique and powerful and amazing. Prayer is simply talking to God like any other conversation you have had with anyone else on Earth. This passage represents the first recorded conversation between Adam and Eve, and God. I am sure there were other conversations they had had, but this is the first one recorded for us to begin to understand how we should communicate to God.
Don't make prayer hard, or scarey. Its simply talking to the loving God who created you, saved you, and empowers you.
Why not start a conversation right now?
Posted By: Pastor Glen Carter10/30/2018 8:44:40 AM

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