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Sunday, September 25, 2016

What To Do When You Can't Fall Asleep

Browse through any magazine, newspaper, or the internet and you are bound to come across articles about sleep and/or advertisements for sleep aids. With our busy lifestyle, people are forcing themselves to get by on less and less sleep. Could that be one reason we are so irritable and angry?

Age-related hormonal changes can also contribute to sleep deprivation, and this is why I have found that as I grow older, I have to make a conscious effort to get enough sleep. Since I hate swallowing pills, I searched for and found the perfect solutions.

The first one is PRAYER. Yes, prayer.

When you have difficulty falling asleep and the ticking of the clock seems to reverberate in your ears, PRAY.

When your mind regurgitates all the stressful incidents of the day, PRAY.

Instead of counting sheep, PRAY.

Instead of heading to the refrigerator for a glass of milk - you might end up grabbing a few cookies as well and then wonder why you are putting on weight - PRAY.

Instead of waking up your husband, who is snoring peacefully, so he could share in your misery, PRAY.

I mean seriously, PRAY! Don't lie there and think some prayers in your mind. Get up in the quiet of the night or early morning, kneel, sit up in bed or go into the living-room so as not to wake your husband and PRAY. Talk to God. Ask Him if there's anything He wants you to learn or do. Bring that nagging work, family, health problem or whatever and lay it at His feet. Maybe He needs you to pray for a loved one, or about a situation you never thought about before. Or maybe you need to forgive someone. Maybe there's something taking place in the heavenly realm, and God wants to reveal it to you. Prayer is a two-way street. It's not just you talking to God. You need to be still and have Him talk to you as well.

I have found that when I have trouble falling asleep and I pray out loud, not silently, I go back to sleep almost immediately and wake up in the morning feeling refreshed. Try it!

In my next post I will tell you what the other solution is. If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends and on social media and leave a comment. God bless you.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Pray For Your Enemies

Courtesy Morguefile
Like most churches throughout the US, my church Sierra Norwood Calvary Baptist Church in Miami said special prayers in observance of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center. In calling on the congregation to pray, our pastor said that we should also pray for our enemies that God may turn their hearts to Him. Little did I know that before the week was out, I would have cause to pray for my enemies in a way I never expected.

Like the attack on the WTC, the attack on me was well planned and executed, and I never saw it coming. Most attacks of the enemy are like that - sneaky and underhanded. However, unlike the WTC, I was not completely destroyed. Devastated, yes, but still hopeful, "hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair" (2 Corinthians 4 : 8).  At ground zero, but still functioning and, like Ground Zero, less vulnerable to attack.

Why did Jesus say " love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" (Matthew 5: 44) ? 

It's because 1) when others try to destroy us, they only end up destroying themselves. 

Psalm 9: 6 says, "Endless ruin has overtaken my enemies, you have uprooted their cities; even the memory of them has perished."

2) God rewards you when you bless your enemies. 

"But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked" (Luke 6: 35).

King David was a great king, but he was besieged by enemies. How did he react? He wrote psalms and set them to music to praise his God. 

In Psalm 56 he writes, "In God, whose word I praise, in the LORD, whose word I praise,
in God I trust and am not afraid. What can man do to me" (v 10 - 11)?
Are you under attack? Cry out to God, sing praises to Him, and pray for your enemies. 
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Friday, September 09, 2016

Pray For Teachers

With the school year now underway, you have no doubt established a routine of getting your kids up in the morning, dropping them off to school and picking them up in the afternoon. Some of you may even include a time of prayer, either before or after school, for your children's safety and success in their studies. But have you ever prayed for those men and women who are responsible for your children's welfare during the day?

Children spend more of their waking moments with their teachers than they do with their parents. Teachers can and do exert a considerable amount of influence over your children.  I am sure you can recall some favorite teacher who inspired you and helped to make you the man or woman you are today. For some children, the only guidance or show of love they will ever receive is from a teacher. And this is why we need to pray for them.

As someone whose first career was teaching, I know how challenging this job can be. It's not easy to try to mold the lives of thirty-odd children with varying needs, abilities and backgrounds. Yet, this is what teachers do everyday. In recent times, teaching has become more demanding. Teachers' skills, patience and even their safety are being tested all the time. We need to pray that God will give our teachers the grace, wisdom and strength necessary to keep on giving their best even when things get tough.

Let us pray that teachers will not become "weary in well doing" (Galatians 6: 9) but will work "Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart" (Ephesians 6: 6) and that God will "Make them perfect in every good work to do his will, working in them that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever" (Hebrews 13: 21). 

If you wish to encourage a special teacher in a tangible way, here are some ways you can do it:

a. Write a note to the teacher(s) letting them know you appreciate their hard work and that you are praying for them. 

b. Give a gift - a mug filled with chocolate, a small basket of apples, nicely wrapped, or a daily planner decorated and signed by you and your child. 

For more ideas, see the link below.  

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