I rise today
with the power of God to pilot me,
God’s strength to sustain me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look ahead for me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to protect me,
God’s way before me,
God’s shield to defend me,
God’s host to deliver me,
from snares of devils,
from evil temptations,
from nature’s failings,
from all who wish to harm me,
far or near,
alone and in a crowd.
—”Saint Patrick’s Breastplate,” Old Irish, eighth-century prayer
Acts 12 recounts one of several instances in which Peter was miraculously delivered from prison. In the middle of the night, an angel appeared to Peter, freed him from his chains, and led him out into the city. Peter thought that it was all a dream, but when the angel left him and he found himself standing alone in the middle of a street, then he knew for sure that God had sent His angel to deliver him. Verse 5 of this chapter says that while Peter was kept in prison, prayer was made without ceasing by other Christian believers unto God for him. One of the places where prayer was being made for him was at the house of Mary, the mother of John Mark. Verse 12 reads:
And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.
To read about another woman who makes an appearance in this Scripture passage, see Rhoda; but first, here’s what we can learn from Mary, mother of John Mark. Continue reading →
When we have a pain or problem in life that won’t go away, no matter how many times we pray about it, we should remember God’s words: “My grace is sufficient for you.” God is enough. His grace will satisfy our needs. He will give us the strength to fulfill the purpose He put us on earth to accomplish.
Story Scripture: For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. – 2 Timothy 1:7
Story Saying: Let us not pray to be sheltered from dangers but to be fearless when facing them. – Rabindranath Tagore
Behind the Story: Oh, how splendid it would be if we did not know how to shudder! The boy in our story is a more than excellent example of what it means to live a life free from the binding grip of fear. He was confronted with a “ghost,” hanging dead men, and numerous evil spirits, but none of it made him afraid.
Besides both having a time in the world, as Ecclesiastes 3:8 notes, war and peace are about as different as hot and cold. In times of peace, people work hard to set aside their differences and no matter what their race, religion, or nationality they choose to love one another. People give up the sins of anger, pride, envy, and bitterness that may have been in their hearts and instead of loving power; they choose the power of love and give of themselves selfishly.
The spoken word is a wonderful and a terrible thing because words have power. Your words have power. Proverbs 18:21 says: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue…” Speech can do extraordinary good and permanent damage. We should all be aware of the power our words hold.
Zipping through the skyscrapers of New York, Spider-man comes to save the city from yet another monster villain; while Batman roars through the streets of Gotham to deliver its citizens from a terrifying fear; and Superman flies faster than a speeding bullet to protect his loved ones in Metropolis. But how did the greatest hero of all come? He came as a humble Baby, not only to deliver us from the darkness of sin, fear, and death, but to bring us afterwards into an eternal place of peace and light.