By Mike Ellis.
Psalm 34:4 goes like this:
I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
My friends, I received an email the other day that I found to be truly thought provoking. On Tuesday the 6th the email I received was a devotional, and it pointed directly to the verse above.
Did you know that the only mark in the Bible of Abraham Lincoln, our 16th President, was a thumbprint by that was by Psalms 34:4? The fact that there is a thumbprint there kind of points out to me that President Lincoln spent much time reflecting on this passage of scripture. So much time, in fact, that his thumbprint was left behind as evidence.
I can only imagine the stresses that President Lincoln was under during his time as president of our country. For President Lincoln, I think if he wasn’t facing his fears, the Civil War may have had different results. Think about it for a moment with me. In many ways, it wouldn’t be a stretch at all in my mind to compare President Lincoln to David, especially when he was on the run from Saul.
Like David, President Lincoln knew who his rock was; he knew who his Redeemer was. He trusted God, and God saw him through the greatest nightmare that our young country had endured to that date.
As you continue on in Psalms 34, you will come to some other absolutely incredible promises of God to let sink in:
Psalms 34:8: “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.”
Psalms 34:17: “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles.”
I guess the point I’m trying to make is that we all must deal with the issues we have facing our fears. However, if we turn to the Lord for help, He will take care of us, and our fears will not control our lives. Do you have any fears that you need to release? If so, please add them to the comments so that we can pray for you also!
- My cousin Cathy put it very succinctly when she posted on Facebook yesterday. She wrote: “Death is only painful for the living…..please keep a dear friend and her extended family in your prayers today.” Cathy, we are praying for your friend and her family, for their Peace, Comfort, and Strength; Peace that they wouldn’t experience the type of grieving that a person experiences when they lose a loved one who isn’t saved; Comfort that they would be able to take comfort in knowing that their loved one is in the loving arms of Jesus right now; and Strength that they would have the strength to continue on, even while knowing that their loved one is gone and won’t be seen again until they are in Heaven too.
- Please pray for my brother in Christ Stuart. He is working through some issues, so please lift him up to The Lord that God would help him deal with whatever is affecting him. I don’t know the details and I don’t need to, God knows all and will take it from there. Thank you everyone!
- Please pray for my friend Jennifer’s little girl Brynn. Here is what she wrote on Facebook: “Hey, Mike. Brynn’s got another 8 hour video EEG and a sedated MRI coming up on the 13th and 16th. I’d love some prayers that she does well during them and that we can pinpoint some of the changes that have been happening with her.” Here is my response prayer if you would like to pray with me: “Lord, please care for your child Brynn as she goes through these procedures. Keep her close; calm her nerves and the nerves of her family please. Give them the Peace that only you can provide, and guide her doctors skillfully so that she may get the healing she needs and deserves. It is in the name of your son Jesus that I pray with thanksgiving. Amen.”
- My friend Karen has two prayer requests that she left me on Facebook. One is for her to get over her head cold, so please pray for her speedy recovery from that summer cold! Also, she has an unspoken prayer request that she would like for us to pray about. We certainly don’t know any details, but if you are a faithful reader of our prayer posts, then you know that God knows all the details. Please pray along with me:“Lord, our Sister-in-Christ Karen needs our prayers for two matters. The first is to help her get over her head cold that she has right now. Lord, please heal her of the head cold quickly, so that she may be at her best to deal with whatever life throws her way. However, Lord, Karen also has an ‘unspoken prayer request’ — one that we certainly don’t know about, but one that You know all the details for. Lord, please help Karen out with her unspoken request if it is your will. Please give her the Peace, Comfort, and Strength to deal with whatever it is that is bothering her, and please remind her in Your Gentle manner that You are there for her, so that she would remember to bring all her troubles to You. While you are at it, Lord, please remind all of US that you are here for us too! Lord, we ask all of these things in the name of Your wonderful Son Jesus, with exceeding Thanksgiving this day and every day! Amen.”Thank you, everyone, for your prayers!
- My cousin Valerie sent an email and needs some prayers for her daughter Lauren. Lauren is 6 years old and has been diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. Here is what Valerie wrote:
Please pray for Lauren’s healing, comfort, strength, and that Jesus would guide her doctors in the treatment and care of her disease. Also please pray for all of the family, that they would have God’s Peace, comfort, and strength to see them through this. Thanks so much, it means a lot to me!
- I’ve also had a prayer request from an unknown person on our prayer request page. Here is what they wrote about their son Nate on Sunday, August 4th, 2013:
My son, Nate leaves for Afghanistan today. He is one of many in service to his country and prayers for their safety and for the emotional needs of their families while they are gone are so needed — and so appreciated. Thank you.
I left a reply, here is what I wrote to them:
We pray for our men and women in service to our country daily, but in addition to that, we will certainly pray for Nate. I’m sorry that I didn’t get a reply to you sooner, but know that our thoughts, and the thoughts of our nation, are with them. Thank you for your sacrifice, may God grant you the Peace to endure while he is in Afghanistan, and may God keep them all safe from harm. Please keep us updated as you can on how things are going. Thank you!
- I also want to lift up my friend Bob. Bob and his family lost their dog Louie today, who was 14 years old. He was a good dog, and he lived for a long time, but he was also part of their family, and it will be hard for them. Please pray for their Peace and Comfort; we already know that Louie is chewing on his bone or chasing a ball in Heaven!
- Lord, lastly I would like to ask for prayers for my Brother-in-Christ Will, who lost his mother last week. She battled illness for a long time, Lord, but we all know that she is with You in Heaven, and that she no longer has any pain and suffering. Lord, please be with Will and his family during their time of grief. They grieve not as those that are lost grieve, but it is still hard on them knowing that their Mom/Wife/Sister/etc. is no longer with them. Please grant them the Peace they so richly deserve and the Strength they need to continue on without her. It’s in the name of Your Son Jesus that we pray with Thanksgiving. Amen!
- In the midst of our prayer requests, it’s easy to forget about all of the wonderful praises we have to give thanks to God for. For starters, this past week my daughter Sophie was at the Music and Arts Camp at Edenton Street UMC in Raleigh. She had such a wonderful time — as did all of the children that week — and we would like to thank all of the staff and volunteers that worked with them. On Friday they had a performance to cap the week, and Sophie had a trumpet solo! Thank you God for the gift of music that You have given to Sophie, and thank You also for all of the wonderful staff and volunteers at Edenton Street for the love and care they give to our children each and every day!
- Lord, I also want to give thanks to Abbie, who wrote a wonderful note to me last week. Here is what she wrote: “Thank you so much for your “dreams of Disney” blog. I also love Disney, and everything about it!
But more than that, I want to thank you for the faith that you share with so many people. It is a blessing to hear, and an honor to share in sending up prayers for those that are in need.
Just wanted to encourage you and thank you for all you do!! It means so much to so many.
God Bless” — Lord, thank You for Abbie, and for all of the other people near and far who have expressed gratitude for me writing this post. The Glory belongs to You entirely, Lord, thank You for planting the seed in my brain to start this series — it has now been 24 weeks since we started this, and I know that it will continue because You want it to be written. Thank you Lord!
- Lord, last Tuesday we had the last session of our summer Bible Study, and with your Guidance, we have all learned and grown in Your Word. Thank you for leading us Men in study, and for bringing us back each week. Lord, especially thank You for my Brothers Jim Briggs and Hardin Sigmon for their tireless work to keep this going on. In addition, I want to give thanks to You Lord for Doug, Jim’s brother, Doug’s family, including his son Michael, and their mission work in China and Tibet. You called them to spread Your Word, and it was an honor to me to be able to meet them, as well as Jim’s father Garrett. Thank you Lord for bringing them to our study, and for their witness to You!
- Lastly, Lord, I have one very special Praise to send up to you. Lord, I want to give Thanks and Praise to You for bringing my soul mate into my life, my wonderful wife Cindy. As you wrote in Genesis 2:22-24:Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman, ‘ for she was taken out of man.” For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.Today is the 13th Anniversary of the day we were married, Lord, and each day I love Cindy more and more. I love her, she is everything in this world that I need, and it is entirely because of You, Lord, that we met, fell in love, got married, and had our beautiful daughter Sophie. Not a day goes by that I don’t thank You for bringing Cindy into my life. Thank You Lord for Cindy!