The Year of Prayer

“I pray therefore…I bow my knees before the Father…I pray that according to the riches of his glory…”  Ephesians 3:13, 14, 16

          Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians expresses the fact that there is spiritual warfare. Therefore, to be victorious in this fight between “good and evil” we must unite, not divide. Christians—believers—who are the church, must kneel together before their Maker and seek His guidance and wisdom.

          Do you not see it? God is calling us to be united in prayer—pure, heartfelt prayer, calling upon Him to show us the way, to lead us down the path of righteousness. He is about to do a new thing and, I for one, do not want to miss it!

          Everywhere you look, you either see the word prayer or hear it. Every article—O not in the newspapers or on TV—but prayer comes to us in our meditations and the scriptures referenced. God is speaking! Do we hear Him? Can we even take direction? Is it really “Not my will but Thy will” as we pray?

          The busyness of this world, the rushing here and there, all the activities that take up our time crowd out time that should be spent on conversation with God. Our priorities have gotten a little skewed—mine included.

           I have deemed this year—2023—as “The Year of Prayer.” I am asking the Lord to help me fulfill what he is calling me to do. I am asking whoever reads this to join me. This means consult God before every decision and listen to his word, then do what he says. I know it takes practice, just like any new activity does. This doesn’t mean that you have to give up everything else you are doing, just remember to be aware that God is with you. Listen to Paul’s instructions to the Ephesians:–

          “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil…you may be able to stand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.” Ephesians 6:10, 11, 13

          You see, brothers and sisters, our fight is not against one another, but against the evil spirits that we allow to take over our spirit. The question you must ask yourself is, “Whom am I following?”

          This is what Paul wrote in his epistle to the Romans:–

          “…put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” Romans 13:14

This is as relevant today as it was in AD57 when it was written, despite what some are saying, because God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8) God’s word stands and He is true to it!

          So, what do you say? Shall we make this year the “Year of Prayer?” God wants to ease your burden.

          Dear Lord hear our prayers. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:14) In Jesus’ name. AMEN

          Help us, Lord, to discern your will.


Now is the time to come together. The world is trying to separate us in every way. Remember “Divided we fall, united we stand.” It is in unity that we find strength.It isn’t about what church you attend, what kind of car you drive, or how big your house or bank account is. God is the creator of all and loves us all equally and that cannot be separated.

when Nehemiah was led to rebuild the wall around the Holy city of Jerusalem, he couldn’t do it alone. First of all, he knew God was with him, second of all, he was joined by every person in Jerusalem. He prayed for encouragement when he felt discouraged; he prayed when it looked like defeat was eminent; he prayed when it was the blackest and there was no light; he prayed amid he prayed and he prayed. Nehemiah trusted God to provide and to be true to His word. (Nehemiah 1&2)

This is a time such as that, therefore we need to pray to God who promises to never leave us nor forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5-8). We are becoming divided and fearful, which is just the way ole-sloo-foot wants it. He knows he cannot win, that in the end he will face his demise, but he wants to take as many of us with him as he can. Will you be one of them?

Will you pray with me?
Dear Lord, blessed be your name. We praise your name and give you all the honor and glory. Unite us in honoring you no matter on which side we stand. Let us be united in seeking your will. And as we pray in the prayer that you taught us, “Your will be done.” (Matthew 6:10) Unite us in building (or rebuilding) your kingdom. In Jesus’ name we pray.


“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

I’ve read this verse many times, especially when going through a rough patch. Each time I felt a sense of peace because I thought, “However bad it may be, God’s going to work it for “my” good.

However, this morning the truth hit me! God is not only working it for “my” good, but more importantly, to fulfill His plan. The verse says, “…to HIS purpose. It is not about me, (never is) it’s about the plan that God has set up in the beginning when He created the world and everything in it.

We,–you and I–were not put where we find ourselves simply for our own benefit. But, we have been called for a purpose–God’s own purpose. We have a calling–a high calling–and that is, to serve the Lord. I must humble myself in the sight of the Lord and there I will find love, peace, joy. What a blessing!

Lord, I know that You will keep me safe in the palm of Your hand, even in the midst of chaos. Help me to serve you in fulfilling Your purpose. My trust is in You who holds tomorrow. In Jesus’ name. Amen


“… light shines in the darkness, yet the darkness did not overcome it.” John 1:5

Dear Lord, open the eyes of our hearts that we may hear Your still, small voice speaking to us. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen


Every morning my husband and I awaken before the sun is up. While sitting, with our first cup of coffee, we watch with total amazement the darkness give way to the light. This scene is new every morning.

Some mornings the sky looks so black you wonder, “How on earth will the sun get through it!” Sometimes there is a crimson glow as the sun rises in the Eastern sky; and sometimes it encircles the dark clouds seemingly to say, “I will overcome!” Other mornings, there is no doubt that the sun will take its place in the sky and lighten every corner of our existence of this new day. We sit and watch as the sun overcomes the darkness.

The same is true of each of our lives if we believe. The Psalmist wrote: “Even when I go through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff—they comfort Me.” (Psalm 23:4) No matter what your situation or what circumstances surround you, exercising your faith in God, believing and trusting Him, will chase away the darkness just as the “sun” rising in the morning chases away the dark clouds in the sky.

There is a reason that our Creator has chosen to remind us at the beginning of each new day by making His “sun” shine. God wants you and me to remember that His “Son,” Jesus, will have the same affect upon our lives. Whatever dark clouds are threatening to steal away your joy, remember that the light of Jesus Christ has already won the battle. Hear the words spoken by the Old Testament prophet Isaiah: “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of darkness, a light has dawned.” (Isaiah 9:2)

God is calling us out of the darkness of this world, to walk in His great light. Be strong. Be courageous. Do not fear for God is with you.


“… if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another…the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining (I John 2:8/1:7). “…you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of the darkness into his marvelous light.” (I Peter 2:9)


O Lord, hear our prayer and gather Your children under Your wings. Lead us on to Eternity while walking in the light of Your love. In Jesus’ name. AMEN

(C) Rev. Betty Beach-Connell; February 5, 2022


 “…the angel said to them [the shepherds] “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people; today a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord, was born for you in the city of David.” Luke 2:10-11

The third candle is JOY. This joy eradicates any and all fear. As the angels said to the shepherds, “Do not be afraid.” Fear cannot live in the presence of joy. We sing “Joy to the world, the Lord has come…” There will be greater joy when He comes again—for those who believe.

Look into the heart of the manger and you will see joy. May it come to pass in your heart (manger) this Christmas,


Almighty God,

In all history, there has been only one nation like America—founded by pilgrims seeking freedom to worship, established on a vast continent between two oceans, dedicated to the proposition that we are created equal and endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights: One nation under God.

You have delivered us in war, prospered us in peace, and raised up generations willing to offer the last full measure of their devotion for the preservation of liberty at home and abroad. We have been a light for the world. From our shores has gone the greatest missionary force in history.

But now, Lord, America has fallen into darkness, disobedience, and indifference. We have sinned; and we, Your people, Lord, humble ourselves, and pray and seek Your face, and turn from our wicked ways. Please forgive our sin and heal our land.

Give us leaders who understand the times and know what we should do. May the torch of liberty burn brightly, inflamed by the goodness of Your people. God, bless America. In Jesus’ name. AMEN

2 Chronicles 7:14

–Rev. Dr. David Jeremiah


(A teaching from Isaiah 54-55)

O Lord, what is happening in Your world today? There are fires, floods, disease, unrest, drought, and people all over the world are in a state of despair. There are many who are suffering and grieving from these events. Many wonder, “Why? “ What has happened? If there really is a God, why has He allowed this to happen?

It has been a long time since I have heard anyone refer to God without fearing retribution—outside of church, that is. Even many preachers have gone with the flow of the world and succumbed to merely entertaining, instead of preaching the Gospel, which sometimes can be confronting if you have strayed from the path, but be comforted for there is hope. Why do preachers not preach the word? Why put off the inevitable—God is calling His people back—can you hear His call?

Isaiah prophesized this long ago. Since God’s Word is ever-new to every generation, this message lives through the ages into eternity—it is infinite. This is what Isaiah wrote: “You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood. (Isa. 54:4)…The Lord will call you back…I have compassion on you, says the Lord your Redeemer” Isaiah also writes that today is like the days of Noah when he “swore that the waters of Noah would never again cover the earth.”(Isa.54:9) God promises to rebuild the lives of people who believe. Isaiah calls out, “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call him while He is near…Let him turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him.” How can this be? Because God is God, the Creator, and His thoughts and ways are not our thoughts and ways. (Isa. 55:8ff)

What happens when it is finally understood what God has been telling those He created? Once again, Isaiah tells us: “You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.” (Isa. 55:12) Isn’t that a wonderful scene to behold? When you think about it, you can’t but help smile and breathe out all the “stuff” you have packed inside of you. The air becomes clean and fresh filled with the sweet fragrance of Christ.

The truth is some preachers need to take off the restraints that keep them from preaching the complete, loving word of God. It is not the time to tiptoe through the tulips, as Tiny Tim use to sing. And people who are there in person, or online, need to have the eyes of their hearts opened to see what God is trying to tell them and their ears opened to hear it. Without open hearts, the hearing just goes—as they say—in one ear and out the other.

God is yearning for a relationship with you. How do you come into a relationship with God? The answer is prayer, which is holding a conversation with Him as with a friend. It is not just a grocery list of what you think you need or want. It is enjoying sharing your ideas and listening to God’s ideas for the path He has chosen for you. II Chronicles 7:14 gives us the recipe for peace and healing: “Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.”

So, here it is, we need to hear the pure unadulterated word, then do what it says! Ultimately, peace is in the hands, thoughts, words, feet, and hearts of each one of us, because He, the Holy Spirit of God, lives within us.

Yes the world is a mess, but God proclaims to all of us, “I am in control!” He always was, is, and will be. Do you hope for peace? Then, by faith, it shall be. As the writer of Hebrews states: “…faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (11:1). For the unbelievers “seeing is believing.” But, for the believer, “believing is seeing.” Which are you? Are you at peace amid this chaotic world? You can be.

O Lord, help me to understand what You are calling me to do. This is truly the day You have made, help me to rejoice and be glad in it. In Jesus name I pray. Amen

Eyes of My Heart

“…open their eyes that they may turn from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a share among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.”

 Acts 26:18(Holman CSB)

Have you ever thought about your heart having eyes? Your heart does much more than pump blood through-out your system, it houses the Holy Spirit of God. When you open the door of your heart and invite Jesus and the Holy Spirit in, you have then opened the eyes of your heart. A blind heart or a shut up heart cannot see that which the Lord is calling you to do. You cannot see someone in need. And because you cannot see, you also cannot hear the cry of the needy. We cannot find the path that God wants us to take. We stumble as if in darkness. There may be a flash of light from time to time, but when it goes out, we are blinded to the great opportunities God has planned for us. Yes, we have eyes in our heart.

Without the eyes of your heart being open you cannot see God! Let me warn you, when the eyes of your heart are closed it gives your mind a chance to be in control. When there is no communication between your heart and your mind there can be trouble. It is to your mind that Satan speaks, and makes whatever he says sound good, but all he speaks is lies.  Without being grounded in the love of God and believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, we leave our hearts open to temptation. But, Satan cannot control or infiltrate the heart in which the love of Jesus and the guidance of the Holy Spirit indwells.

You cannot buy the protection of the Holy Spirit. No amount of money, gold, or silver will ever be enough. He wants your love, your willingness to serve the Father and the humbleness to give God all glory and honor. As it is written in the Book of Acts when Peter confronted a Sorcerer, “May your silver be destroyed with you, because you thought the gift of God could be obtained with money! You have no part or share in this matter, because your heart is not right before God. “(Acts 8:20, 21; Holman CSB)

There are times when the eyes of our hearts are closed. But, do not be discouraged. God is waiting and will minister to you when you speak to Him sincerely in your prayers. Hear Him now as He speaks to you, “Listen! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and have dinner with him, and he with Me.” (Revelation 3:20, Holman CSB)

Michael W. Smith recorded a song entitled: “Open the Eyes of My Heart.” The words are:

Open the eyes of my heart, Lord/Open the eyes of my heart.

  I want to see You/I want to see You.

To see You high and lifted up/Shinin’ in the light of Your glory

Pour out Your power and love/As we sing holy, holy, holy.

Open the eyes of my heart, Lord/Open the eyes of my heart.

I want to see You/ I want to see You.


Lord, open the eyes of my heart that I may see glimpses of Your truth everywhere. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen

A Prophesy

“When the Lord first spoke to Hosea He said to him: ‘Go and marry a promiscuous wife and have children of promiscuity…’” Hosea 1:2

Many years ago there was a young woman who had been abused and a victim of unfaithfulness. It almost destroyed her. But, she went on to eventually marry a fine upstanding man, but again became a victim of the urging of a little excitement outside of her marriage bed. Fortunately, she became aware of her wrong doing. She sought forgiveness from the Lord, whom she had come to know and love, and from her husband. They both forgave her and she was blessed with many years of serving the Lord.

This young woman had turned her life over to the Lord. And now, she was determined to follow Him. She learned, through many years of not “getting it right,” through trial and error, by trying to live life in her own way; she learned that without God there is no real life—“everything is vanity” as the writer of Ecclesiastes wrote. She also learned as Paul wrote, “…all things work together for good of those who love God; those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

But, I have opened with a scripture from Hosea and you might be wondering, “How does this fit?” For years I have wondered the same thing. What does Hosea (a prophet of God) being told to marry an adulterous woman have to do with who God is?”

Well, you see, this is an allegory which means that it is a story which has a hidden meaning usually pertaining to morality. So while on the surface the story of Hosea and his unfaithful wife, Gomer, and ultimately his forgiveness, is really about God and His chosen people, Israel, their bowing to other gods and finally their humble understanding of who God is which led to God’s forgiveness.

We cannot leave this on the doorstep of Hosea and Gomer. For you see, once again the scriptures speak. “All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man [or woman] of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16) So, this holds true for us today, for as the writer of Hebrews wrote, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8) and promises to “never leave you or forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)

This also speaks loudly to our nation which is in the midst of moral decay. We have turned away from the teachings of God. We have turned to their own ways and do whatever feels right to us. We are all being pulled down into the pit with the idolaters and unbelievers. We cannot let ourselves be fooled by the feel good words of the liars. We must measure everything according to the Holy Scriptures and follow the teachings of Jesus—no matter what—for in the end our reward will be great! Moses told his people to “choose life” so that you and your descendants may live, love the Lord your God, obey Him, and remain faithful to Him. For He is your life…” (Deuteronomy 30:19b, 20a)

There is no much to learn about life from reading God’s Word. Read it with an open heart and mind, not as you would a history book, but allow it to speak to the inner workings of your soul. When you confess your allegiance to God by realizing that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23) which includes you and me, and that, “the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23) and then, remember Jesus’ words from the cross, “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do,” (Luke 23:34) we become renewed. For even when we were dead in Christ, God forgave us all our sins. (Colossians 2:13) There is a way, you see, only one way—Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father except through Him.” (John 14:6)

The young woman I told you about? It is a true story. One which I know personally and can attest to every word as truth. Life is a learning and sometimes it leaves some scars, but God is the Great Physician and covers our wounds. Praise The Lord!!

Dear Lord, thank You for saving me. I am not perfect, but with You beside me, I pray that I might be able to make a difference for Your honor and glory. In Your Precious name I pray. Amen