Remember Your Rival in Prayer

Me:  How is Alyson?

Prodigal:  She’s thinner than store-bought thread.

Me:  Don’t be jealous of her though.

Prodigal:  I will try not to be.

 

This is from the book  Slaying the Giants in your Life by David Jeremiah

 

The city of London had both F.B. Meyer and Charles Haddon Spurgeon, two living legends.  London was barely big enough for the two of them.  But then in 1904 the great preacher G. Campbell Morgan came to town.  Morgan was a world-class Bible expositor, and all of London was buzzing with his arrival.

“It was easy,” said Meyer, “to pray for the success of G. Campbell Morgan when he was in America.  But when he came back to England and took a church near to mine, it was something different.  The old Adam in me was inclined to jealousy, but I got my heel upon his head, and whether I felt right toward my friend, I determined to act right.”  Meyer began to pray for his pulpit rival, day and night, even as he worried about losing members to the hot new preacher in town.

F.B. Meyer later explained, “My church gave a reception for Morgan, and I acknowledged that if it was not necessary for me to preach Sunday evenings I would dearly love to go and hear him myself.  Well, that made me feel right toward him.  But just see how the dear Lord helped me out of my difficulty.  There was Charles Spurgeon preaching wonderfully on the other side of me.  He and Mr. Morgan were so popular, and drew such crowds, that our church caught the overflow, and we had all we could accommodate.

God not only rewards us when we pray for our enemies and (as Meyer did) act upon the feelings we intend to have, He often brings miracles about in our lives.  The weed of jealousy is deep and firmly entrenched, but if you want to drive it out quickly, simply do this:  Pray for the person you envy.  Pray for him daily.  Pray for him even if your teeth and fists are clenched.  See if God doesn’t honor your faith and change your heart.

 

Proverbs 12:20

Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil: but to the counsellors of peace is joy.

 

Jennifer Van Allen

www.theprodigalpig.com

www.faithincounseling.org

Leave It to God

 

Me:  God created all this.

Prodigal:  Yes, He can do a lot!

 

This is from the book Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

 

I know the words ‘leave it to God’ can be misunderstood, but they must stay for the moment.  The sense in which a Christian leaves it to God is that he puts all his trust in Christ:  trusts that Christ will somehow share with him the perfect human obedience which He carried out from His birth to His crucifixion:  that Christ will make the man more like Himself and, in a sense, make good his deficiencies.

 

Today I need grace and next week I will need it too.  That is why my relationships work because those who love me, will give me that grace.  I am not who I should be today but the Lord continues to work on my heart and spirit and thank you for still being with me.

 

He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet:  and setteth me upon my high places.

2 Samuel 22:34

 

Jennifer Van Allen

www.theprodigalpig.com

www.faithincounseling.org

 

 

A Special Night

 

Me:  What are you building?

Prodigal:  I am helping to build a barn.

Me:  Be careful, while you work.

 

This is from the book  Psalm 91 by Peggy Ruth and Angelia Schum

 

Some of the men were helping Jack to build a coffeehouse for the college students.  It was a special night, because we were hosting a champion power lifter who would give his testimony that night at an outdoor crusade in front of the coffeehouse.  He was known for being able to lift a car, and it was drawing the publicity.  While the men were all working with Jack to finish everything for the event, there was an explosion that sounded like a bomb had detonated.

Fire began flying out the top of the electric power pole, and steam came pouring out of the ground where they had dug a hole to pour cement.

Two of the men were standing in water left from rain the night before and were holding a metal stake in place while another man accidentally drove it into the main electric power line carrying seventy-two hundred volts of electricity.  Can you even imagine how much electrical power that is?  It knocked all the electricity off for blocks around, yet neither man was hurt.  Just that morning, Jack had prayed a Psalm 91 shield of protection over the workers.

 

If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.

2 Timothy 2:13

 

Jennifer Van Allen

 

www.theprodialpig.com

www.faithincounseling.org

Now Look At You

 

Me:  I see you are trying to paint a masterpiece.

Prodigal:  Yes, and I can already see the finished product in my mind.

Me:  I know it will look great!

 

This is from the book The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller

 

Within this Christian vision for marriage, here’s what it means to fall in love.  It is to look at another person and get a glimpse of the person God is creating, and to say, “I see who God is making you, and it excites me!  I want to be part of that.  I want to partner with you and God in the journey you are taking to his throne.  And when we get there, I will look at your magnificence and say, “I always knew you could be like this.  I got glimpses of it on earth, but now look at you!”  Each spouse should see the great thing that Jesus is doing in the life of their mate through the Word, the gospel.  Each spouse then should give him–or herself to be a vehicle for that work and envision the day that you will stand together before God, seeing each other presented in spotless beauty and glory.

 

I see what the Lord is doing in your life and I am so happy!  You are a blessing to me.  I know that the Lord made you for me on this journey and He was not wrong in knowing what would feel my desires and needs.

 

Ephesians 5:31

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.

 

Jennifer Van Allen

www.theprodigalpig.com

www.faitincounseling.org.

Unseen and Eternal

Me:  Are you having a good day?

Prodigal:  Yes, and I have been waiting to hear from you.

Me:  Well, here I am and I will share.

 

This is from the book Rx for Worry A Thankful Heart by James P. Gills, M.D.

There’s not question that our greatest fulfillment and peace is to be found in the unseen and the eternal.  Yet it’s very difficult to sustain deep faith and trust.  So often we sacrifice the unseen and the eternal for the very temporary and relatively worthless activities of the present.  Maintaining deep faith violates our normal, human way of thinking–of wanting to be independent and self-sufficient, desiring to take care of ourselves.  Faith in God is faith in the supernatural—God’s power beyond the natural world.  This is not a mental trick or gimmick.  We may not understand because it’s mystical.  But we know, full of faith, that He helps us because He knows us.  After all, He’s the one who made us.

 

Yes, our focus right now is on the unseen and we are to use our faith and not to fear.  God will not lose and he always keeps His promises.

 

Isaiah 26:3

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.

 

Jennifer Van Allen

www.theprodigalpig.com

www.faithincounseling.org

Fear of Pain

 

Prodigal:  I think I can catch that trolley.

Me:  You’ve got as much chance as a grasshopper in a chicken coop.

Prodigal:  Maybe I should wait for the next one and we can hear a story.

Me:  Sounds like a plan.

 

This is from the book

With Christ in the Garden by Lynn James Radcliffe

 

I remember in my youth that I had this fear of pain.  I did not know whether I could take it, if it ever came to me.  Then at twenty-six of age it came.  I had to undergo an operation to be performed by the great surgeon Dr. Frank Lahey, of Boston.  I had pneumonia at the time, but to save my life they had to operate on my chest.  Because of my condition they could not give me a general anesthetic, and the local anesthetics of those days were far below their present development.  I had to go through this operation completely awake and with the endurance of severe physical pain.  I prayed as I approached it, and, in the place of pain, God was strangely near.  He gave strength sufficient even for this extreme ordeal.  I found myself saying to the surgeon through clenched teeth, “Go on, go on.”  My memory of that hour is not merely of pain, but of the wonderful discovery that when it came, with it came the resources from God to bear it.  “Not that the pain is of its sharpness shorn, but that we find it can be borne.”  There was a lifelong deliverance from the fear of pain, not that I would desire it, but that the fear of it was profoundly altered and conquered.  

 

Do not be afraid.  Even in your pain the Lord will be with you.  That is a blessing because others will not have the Lord.

 

Proverbs 8:6

Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the openings of my lips shall be right things.

 

Jennifer Van Allen

www.theprodigalpig.com

www.faithincounseling.org

 

15 Reasons to Read the Bible Daily

Me:  I see you found the ten commandments.

Prodigal:  Yes, they are found in the bible right?

Me:  Yes, they are and there is a lot more in the bible.

Prodigal:  Probably should read the bible.

Me:  I can give you some reasons to read the bible.

 

This is from the book Finding Peace for Your Heart by Stormie Omartian

 

 

To be rid of anxiety and have peace-Psalm 119:165

To set things right when life feels out of control-Psalm 19:7-8

To have direction and guidance-Psalm 119:105

To experience healing and deliverance-Psalm 107:20

To grow in the Lord-1 Peter 2:2

To have strength, comfort, and hope-Psalm 119:28, 50, 114

To shape yourself and your life correctly-Psalm 119:11

To be able to see clearly-Psalm 119:130

To know what’s really in your heart-Hebrews 4:12

To build faith-Romans 10:17

To have joy-Psalm 19:8

To understand God’s power-John 1:1

To have more life in this life-Psalm 119:50

To distinguish good from evil-Psalm 119:101-102

To understand God’s love for you-John 1:14

 

 

To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Romans 8:6

 

 

Jennifer Van Allen

www.theprodigalpig.com

www.faithincounseling.org

In the Shadow We Must Believe It

 

Prodigal:  Billy Graham was an interesting man.

Me:  Yes, there ain’t no slack in his rope.

Prodigal:  Maybe you can share about others also.

 

This is from the book Reaching for the Invisible God by Philip Yancey

 

For many people, it takes the jolt of tragedy, illness, or death to create an existential crisis of faith.  At such a moment, we want clarity; God wants our trust.  A Scottish preacher in the last century lost his wife suddenly, and after his death he preached an unusually personal sermon.  He admitted in the message that he did not understand this life of ours.  But still less could he understand how people facing loss could abandon faith. “Abandon it for what!” he said.  “You people in the sunshine may believe the faith, but we in the shadow must believe it.  We have nothing else.”

 

Proverbs 11:14

Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.

 

Jennifer Van Allen

www.theprodigalpig.com

www.faithincounseling.org