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Pharaoh’s Dream

22Then God remembered Rachel, and God heeded her and opened her womb. 23She conceived and bore a son, and said, “God has taken away my reproach”; 24and she named him Joseph, saying, “May the Lord add to me another son!” 41After two whole years, Pharaoh dreamed that he was standing by the Nile, 2and there came up out of the Nile seven sleek and fat cows, and they grazed in the reed grass. 3Then seven other cows, ugly and thin, came up out of the Nile after them, and stood by the other cows on the bank of the Nile. 4The ugly and thin cows ate up the seven sleek and fat cows. And Pharaoh awoke. 5Then he fell asleep and dreamed a second time; seven ears of grain, plump and good, were growing on one stalk. 6Then seven ears, thin and blighted by the east wind, sprouted after them. 7The thin ears swallowed up the seven plump and full ears. Pharaoh awoke, and it was a dream. 8In the morning his spirit was troubled; so he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt and all its wise men. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but there was no one who could interpret them to Pharaoh. 9Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, “I remember my faults today.10Once Pharaoh was angry with his servants, and put me and the chief baker in custody in the house of the captain of the guard. 11We dreamed on the same night, he and I, each having a dream with its own meaning.12A young Hebrew was there with us, a servant of the captain of the guard. When we told him, he interpreted our dreams to us, giving an interpretation to each according to his dream. 13As he interpreted to us, so it turned out; I was restored to my office, and the baker was hanged.”14Then Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and he was hurriedly brought out of the dungeon. When he had shaved himself and changed his clothes, he came in before Pharaoh. 15And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have had a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.” 16Joseph answered Pharaoh, “It is not I; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.” (Genesis 30:22-24; 41:1-16, NRSV)

Joseph was an answer to prayer for Rachel, and he was an answer to seeking from Pharaoh.

Pharaoh had a dream no one could understand, fat cow and skinny cows, fat ears of corn and thin ears of corn what does all of this mean?

No one understood, but Joseph was a blessing to Rachel for this very time.

All of us are gifted for something, to play a part in God’s plan.

What is your part?

 

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A Prayer for the Church

15I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason 16I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. 17I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, 18so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, 19and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. 20God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. 22And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. (Ephesians 1:15–23, NRSV)

There are probably not words that are said more often, and not done then I’ll pray for you.

Have you ever said, “I’ll pray for you.” and then never prayed for the person?

The author of Ephesians says that they do not cease giving thanks for the people of the church of Ephesus in prayer. The author prays that God will enliven their spirits and give them wisdom and revelation, that their eyes would be opened. And they would be closer to God and be His agents in the world.

But we tell people, I’ll pray for you, and do we? Do we understand the power of prayer or what it is if we say we will do it but we don’t?

And why do we wait? When someone asks for prayer, just do it with them right there right then. We are so worried about the words and what others will think but think of the witness! And just say, “dear Jesus, you know what ____ needs right now. Be with them in this time and give them peace.” Keep it simple, and just show the world the power of prayer.

 

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Devoted to Prayer

12Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away. 13When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying, Peter, and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. 14All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers. (Acts 1:12-14, NRSV)

After Jesus ascended into heaven the disciples and certain women went back to Jerusalem and went to the room upstairs where they were staying, was this the room where they ate the last supper with Jesus, and they devoted themselves there to prayer.

They had communication with God and each other and devoted their lives to this. Prayer is not an individual conversation but is conversation, it is open and honest about life. I wonder at what the prayer conversation was in this upper room, and how inspiring the spirit was moving in this group of people.

How can we have that fire and spark in our lives?

 

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The Crucifixion

27Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters, and they gathered the whole cohort around him. 28They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on his head. They put a reed in his right hand and knelt before him and mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30They spat on him, and took the reed and struck him on the head. 31After mocking him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him. 32As they went out, they came upon a man from Cyrene named Simon; they compelled this man to carry his cross. 33And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), 34they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall; but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. 35And when they had crucified him, they divided his clothes among themselves by casting lots; 36then they sat down there and kept watch over him. 37Over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.”38Then two bandits were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. 39Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads 40and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” 41In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking him, saying, 42“He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him. 43He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he wants to; for he said, ‘I am God’s Son.’” 44The bandits who were crucified with him also taunted him in the same way. 45From noon on, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 46And about three o’clock Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 47When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, “This man is calling for Elijah.” 48At once one of them ran and got a sponge, filled it with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink. 49But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” 50Then Jesus cried again with a loud voice and breathed his last. 51At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, and the rocks were split. 52The tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised.53After his resurrection they came out of the tombs and entered the holy city and appeared to many. 54Now when the centurion and those with him, who were keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were terrified and said, “Truly this man was God’s Son!”55Many women were also there, looking on from a distance; they had followed Jesus from Galilee and had provided for him. 56Among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee. 57When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus. 58He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. 59So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth 60and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and went away. 61Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb. (Matthew 27:27-61, NRSV)

My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me? Why did Jesus say this if he was God? How can God forsake God? Some say this is the point where God had to leave Jesus in order that he could die, or that Jesus wasn’t actually God all along, or that maybe this wasn’t Jesus on the cross. Besides the fact that it would be physiologically impossible for a man who was on the cross as long as Jesus was here to even mutter a sound, we are hung up on the words Jesus says. But here Jesus says the first line os Psalm 22. And it is my understanding that in Jesus day for a person to pray the entirety of a psalm all they had to do was say the first line. So maybe Jesus was praying Psalm 22, which is a psalm that starts out it seems with God forsaking the person, but in the end, it is that God has never left them at all and has vindicated them. So is Jesus asking why he was left, or saying hold on, I’ll be right back?

 

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Hear O Israel

4Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. 5You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. 6Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. 7Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise.8Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, 9and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:4-9, NRSV)

This is a very important passage of scripture for Jews. This is known as the Shema and is used as the central prayer for morning and evening prayer so this is prayed twice daily. It is also on a scroll that Jews will place in each doorway as to bless their homes. As it says in the passage, “write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates”

This is also a pivotal verse for Christians because it tells us God is one and we are to love God, which Jesus quotes as the greatest commandment.

We should share this faith and keep it close to us.

Here is a link to hear the Shema prayed in it’s original Hebrew.

 

 
 

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The Lord’s Prayer

7“When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words.8Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9“Pray then in this way: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.10Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.11Give us this day our daily bread. 12And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one. 14For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; 15but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. 16“And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 17But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 19“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; 20but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:7-21, NRSV)

Why do we pray these words every week?

Jesus said pray in this way, not pray these words. Jesus was helping understand how we can come to God for everything and in everything we do we should do it for our relationship with God and not so others see us and think we are pious or doing what we should.

We should store our treasures where nothing can take away from it and we will be replenished. We should not worry about how we will be blessed again but live in and through the blessing we have.

 

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Epilogue

And this is the boldness we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have obtained the requests made of him. If you see your brother or sister committing what is not a mortal sin, you will ask, and God will give life to such a one—to those whose sin is not mortal. There is sin that is mortal; I do not say that you should pray about that. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that is not mortal. (1 John 5:14-17, NRSV)

Sin is any wrongdoing that separates us from God. There are sins that lead to death, mortal sins, and sins that do not lead to death. And if a sin is not mortal you can pray to God for help for those you see committing these sins. And that will give life to others.

So request that God give life to those you see that are separated from Him.

By praying for others you are also bringing life to yourself.

 

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