Plague Upon Plague, Hope Upon Hope

If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV)

Our country and world have been besieged by the Coronavirus and quarantines this spring, disrupting the lives of many and causing grief and depression to those who have lost loved ones and jobs. As I read my Bible, I see how plagues such as COVID-19 are not a new thing.

You are probably tired of hearing about plagues.  You would rather read about summer time and beaches and picnics and healthy children.  Yet here I am writing about plagues again, because God showed me some cool truths in His Word. And because He gives us HOPE.

Do you remember what God used to rescue His people from Egypt? PLAGUES!  Ten Plagues! (Blood, frogs, lice, flies, death of livestock, boils, hail, locusts, darkness, death of firstborn son, Ex. 7-10).  Could God be using plagues to rescue His people again? After they escaped Pharaoh, the Israelites refused to enter the Promised Land because of the giant people, so God sent another plague upon them. During this plague, Moses prayed…

“Pardon the iniquity of this people, I pray, according to the greatness of Your mercy, just as You have forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.” Then the LORD said: “I have pardoned, according to your word; but truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord.” Numbers 14:19-21 (NKJV)

Moses prayed for their forgiveness which ended the plague. We should be praying for forgiveness, too! During another plague when the people were grumbling against the two leaders…


Moses said to Aaron, “Take a censer and put fire in it from the altar, put incense on it, and take it quickly to the congregation and make atonement for them; for wrath has gone out from the LORD. The plague has begun.” Then Aaron took it as Moses commanded, and ran into the midst of the assembly; and already the plague had begun among the people. So he put in the incense and made atonement for the people. And he stood between the dead and the living; so the plague was stopped. Now those who died in the plague were fourteen thousand seven hundred, besides those who died in the Korah incident. So Aaron returned to Moses at the door of the tabernacle of meeting, for the plague had stopped.Numbers 16:46-50 (NKJV)

The incense stopped the plagues. Our prayers are like that INCENSE! In both the Psalms and Revelation, our prayers are described as incense…

Let my prayer be set before You as incense,
The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.Psalm 141:2 (NKJV)

Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. Revelation 5:8 (NKJV)

God sent another plague when David took an unnecessary census of the people…

So the LORD sent a plague upon Israel from the morning till the appointed time. From Dan to Beersheba seventy thousand men of the people died. And when the angel stretched out His hand over Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD relented from the destruction, and said to the angel who was destroying the people, “It is enough; now restrain your hand.” And the angel of the LORD was by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. 2 Samuel 24:15-16 (NKJV)

And do you know what was built at the place where the plague stopped, on that threshing floor? The Temple of the Lord! And when King Solomon dedicated the Temple he prayed,

Whatever prayer, whatever supplication is made by anyone, or by all Your people Israel, when each one knows the plague of his own heart, and spreads out his hands toward this temple: then hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive, and act, and give to everyone according to all his ways, whose heart You know (for You alone know the hearts of all the sons of men).1 Kings 8:38-39 (NKJV)

As King Solomon proclaimed, we all have a plague in our own hearts. We need to turn to the Temple and pray and He will forgive! Where is that Temple? Jesus is the Temple! (Rev. 21:22) Therefore…let us lay aside every weight and sin that so easily ensares us (Heb. 12:1). For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23).

Jesus is the cure, friends!  Jesus is the One to forgive our sins, end the plague, and heal our land.  He is the One who will put our lives back together.  Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). Because of His saving work on the cross, we are washed clean by His blood.  Jesus is our Hope upon Hope! He gives us hope to make it through each day, and hope of eternal life in heaven. Turn to Jesus in prayer today!  

Today’s TEA CUPP: Prayer is the first step in stopping the plague across our land, first confessing our own sins to the Lord, and then confessing the sins of our nation. Our prayers are the incense that will end the plague. To God be the glory and may He heal our land!

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
A broken and a contrite heart—
These, O God, You will not despise. Psalm 51:17 (NKJV)

Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer. Romans 12:12

If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you might also like Tea by the Temple and The Door of Hope. Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers!

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.



Pray Your Neighborhood

And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. Ephesians 5:2 (NKJV)

Dear TEA CUPP Friends, 

Today I have a new task for you!  Instead of sitting with Jesus and your morning mug, this will get you moving! 

Many of you are stuck at home right now during the COVID-19 quarantines and are eagerly awaiting normal life to return.  We were able to visit our daughter and her family before the shut-downs began, so we spent part of the quarantine in Wisconsin. 

One activity we enjoyed each day was a walk around the neighborhood.  Joel rode his bike, our granddaughter Kennedy rode the stroller, and I was the caboose. I also enjoyed an early morning walk before everyone was up.  It was during these times I felt especially called to pray over their neighborhood.

I prayed for the town, for a revival, for people to return to the Lord Jesus. I wondered if the neighbors knew there was a little girl with cancer just down the street.  I wondered what trials they were facing and prayed for Jesus to help them and keep them healthy. 

My feet often took me past the old St. Mary’s Church and School.  The stately bricks told a story of generations coming to worship Jesus.  I laid my hands on the side of the church building and prayed for God to fill this church again with His people and Holy Spirit.  I prayed for God to sweep this land with a revival and healing.  I prayed for God’s people to come. 

Then I walked over to the school buildings and laid my hands on those bricks and prayed for the return of the children, for God’s blessing on the students and teachers and families. I prayed especially for healing for my granddaughter so she can be in the preschool next fall. I walked to the playground and prayed again for the children to return and for their safely there. 

Pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: My friends, where do you live?  Do you live near a church or school or park or courthouse or fire station or hospital or nursing home or business that needs your prayers?  Do you have a neighborhood of people who need your prayers?  Are you in the country where you can pray for people far and wide?  I exhort you today to get outside and go for a walk and pray for your neighborhood like you never have before.  Pray for healing. Pray for a revival across this land.  Pray for the children.  Pray for our leaders. Pray for God’s mercy and miracles.  

The National Day of Prayer is coming up on Thursday, May 7.  Events are planned all over the country, many virtually.  To find an event in your area check the National Day of Prayer listing. Or type in 59011 to find the event in my area.  It’s important that we pray every day. The National Day of Prayer is a day to remind everyone to pray and to shake the gates of heaven with our prayers. The theme this year is To God be the Glory.  May God be glorified in the healing and revival of our nation.

For the earth will be filled
With the knowledge of the glory of the Lord,
As the waters cover the sea. Habakkuk 2:14

Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers. If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you might also like to read The Door of Hope and Stripes Across Our Nation and On Our Knees. God’s blessings, Jennifer Grace

As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.  Colossians 2:6 (NKJV)

My Walking Buddies

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

 

 

Stripes Across Our Nation

In honor of the National Day of Prayer, I share again this post from 2011. May all turn to Jesus in prayer and repentance for our nation.

…Men always ought to pray and not lose heart Luke 18:1 (NKJV)

The sign on our Montana highway warns,
“Road Closed:  Flooding Ahead!”
The internet news reports,
“Tragic tornadoes rip through Missouri and Oklahoma.”
Our email camping network shares sad tidings,
Wildfires sweep across Texas, claiming one Methodist camp.”

How much more disaster news will there be?

With flooding in Montana and the Midwest,
Tornadoes across the central states,
Wildfires in New Mexico and Texas,
Earthquakes on the West coast, and
Hurricanes on the East coast,

It’s like having stripes across our nation,
Not the red and white of our beloved flag,
But the painful stripes of punishment
Undeserved by slaves in times not long past.

Yet these stripes are…
Stripes for us,
Stripes for our nation,
Stripes for our sin.

Who can understand our suffering?
There is One,
The perfect One who bore the sins
Of all the world,
Jesus Christ.

“But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.”
Isaiah 53:5 (NKJV)

Jesus understands our suffering.
He endured stripes He did not deserve for us,
He died on a cross at Calvary for us,
He rose again to eternal life for us.

Jesus is here to comfort and help our nation.

Living in Montana, we have experienced multiple forest fires,
And now we have flooding.
My heart goes out to all who are currently suffering.
He brought us through fire and water,
He will bring you through these trials, too.

Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.
For I am the LORD your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
Isaiah 43:1-3 (NKJV)

What is God calling us to do?
He wants us to…
*Turn to Him (Acts 3:19)
*Help and pray for our neighbors (Matthew 22:39)
*Be prepared for His return (Matthew 24)

And after the wind, water, and fire
We will hear His still small, yet mighty, voice. (1 Kings 19:12)

Jesus is coming.
Are you ready?

May these painful stripes
Be a wake-up call to our nation:
*Turn to Jesus,
*Help your neighbor,
*Prepare your heart for Jesus’ return.

Oh, Jesus,
Help our country,
Forgive our sins,
Help me do my part. Amen.

Scripture taken the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson

Bold Ladies

In whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.  Ephesians 3:12 (NKJV)

They were  bold ladies.  Their names were Achsah and Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tizrah.  In a time where men led and fought and had their names recorded in God’s Word, it is a pleasant surprise for us to see women mentioned and rewarded for their efforts.  In just a few chapters of Joshua (which might lose the reader with the descriptions of property division in the Promised Land), we see ladies being bold and asking for their family property.

Give me a blessing

First, in Joshua 15:16-19, we read about Caleb’s daughter Achsah dismounting her donkey and saying to her father, “Give me a blessing,” asking for springs of water to go with her land.  And Caleb granted her request. This story is told again in Judges 1:15.  Of course, her father had just given her away in marriage as a prize for the soldier who conquered Kirjath Sepher, Caleb’s land.  Seems like his daughter had it in her favor to ask for a blessing!

Give us a possession

Then in Joshua 17:3-6, we read the story already told in Numbers 27 about the daughters of Zelophehad of the tribe of Manasseh.  Zelophehad had no sons, so his daughters felt he was still entitled to land.  The five sisters boldly came forward and asked Moses, Eleazar the Priest, and Joshua for land.  Moses took their request before the Lord, and God said, “You shall surely give them a possession of inheritance among their father’s brothers” (Numbers 27:7). These ladies received their request, all because they came forward boldly.

Why should the name of our father be removed from among his family because he had no son? Give us a possession among our father’s brothers.”  Numbers 27:4 (NKJV)

Today’s TEA CUPP: Is God calling you to be bold in anything?  So often I focus on verses like Philippians 4:6 to be gentle, that I forget there are other virtues to attain.  So, I go boldly to the throne of grace, asking Jesus to help me be gentle, yet bold for Him. Dear TEA CUPP friend, I encourage you to be bold for Jesus, too!

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV)

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

The Day Jesus Came to Big Timber

Big Timber My hometown is celebrating “Miracle on McLeod Street” this evening for their lighted Christmas parade.  Inspired by the theme, I share again the greatest miracle I imagine on McLeod Street (with a few updates).  Merry Christmas, Big Timber, Montana!

‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!’
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”  Luke 19:38(NKJV)

Dear Jesus, I imagine You riding into Big Timber, Montana as You did so long ago in Jerusalem.  You borrow a donkey from the Langhus ranch south of town, riding over the interstate, past the park and swimming pool.  Right down McLeod Street You trot, just as I’m arriving at the library for storytime.

Joel, Kevin, and I see the crowds laying out jackets, so we throw ours down, too.  I even grab the stadium blanket from the back of the car to cushion Your path.  I wish Kent and Jacob were here, and then they pull up in their work truck, having just finished a job nearby.  They lay out their jackets, too.

We see You as our Savior, the One who makes everything right.  We bow, we cheer, we cry, we smile.  We don’t want this moment to end.  We sing, “Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord. Peace in heaven and glory in the highest.”

For the moment we forget our troubles and bask in Your holiness, wishing You would stay with us forever.  Mrs. Jackie, Mr. Goos, James and other library regulars pour out into the street to join us in worship.  Even Mrs. Debbie and the preschool children wave leafy branches.  Others keep arriving, adding to the celebration.

Pastors Bryan, Kyle, Jeremy, Joel, Ron and Justin, along with their wives and families are delighted to see the One Whom they proclaim every week.  The grade school and high school dismiss at midday, sending droves of young people to Jesus’ feet. Yellow buses deliver children from the country schools. I see my Sunday school kids, and shout, “This is Jesus! The One who loves you!”

People pour out of every shop on main street as the healing begins. Jake’s kidney is well forever, Stacy, Jeff and Jan are truly cancer-free, Pat and Lief throw down their crutches, and Greysen’s insides are like new. Gordon brings the kitchen band from the Senior Center, praising Jesus with melodies.  And all who have lost loved ones are suddenly comforted by the One who is acquainted with all our sorrows.

Smart phones are snapping photos. The Pioneer sends Lindsey and Mackenzie to cover the story. Sheriff Dan brings all his deputies. Chief Kris calls out the fire engines to blare their sirens in praise.  It is the grandest parade Big Timber has even seen! The children love it, even though there is no candy, for when Jesus looks into their eyes and says, “Come to Me,” it is sweeter than anything in heaven or earth.

Suddenly Jesus takes me and another hurting mom aside.  He pulls us into the Lutheran Church where the bells have been tolling continuously.  Jesus ushers us right to the confirmation photo board and shows us our children.  He whispers to our hurting our hearts, Fear not, for I have redeemed them; I have called them by name; They are Mine.” And we are comforted, knowing that Jesus holds our children, even when they are far away.

As we return outside to the bright sunshine, I realize I was never without Sonshine with Jesus by my side.  My walking buddy Beth hurries over, pushing her daughter Della in the baby jogger.  I wave and hug her, exclaiming, “Isn’t this the BEST! This is Jesus Who I was telling you about!” Our friends Elsbeth and Ole are there for storytime, too. Jesus gives Els a special wink and promises of good things to come.

I hear someone comment, “I wish Lola could have seen this!” Her friend replies, “Lola invited Him!” Lt. Alan drives up in a patrol car.  The doors pop open with John, Diane and Cindy completely recovered from their Minnesota adventures.  The crowd cheers yet again.

Together the whole town cries, “Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord!” And we are changed forever, trusting in the One who is King of the universe.  We follow Jesus all the way down McLeod Street, over the railroad tracks where the antiquers and apartment folks cheer wildly. Then down to the fairgrounds we follow Jesus.

Jesus dismounts His donkey, looks into all our hearts, speaking words of peace and comfort to our souls.  Then He climbs aboard a fishing boat, taking a beaming Connie and other beloved townspeople with Him. As they sail down the Yellowstone River to the next town, a rainbow appears in the sky above, reminding us that God always remembers His promises.

We make the long journey back to the library and I see families and friends who weren’t talking, hugging again. I wonder if more people will come to church on Sunday?  Will they come to worship Him and learn more about this Jesus who came to town? Do they know He is coming again with the clouds, and every eye will see Him?  O Jesus, I can’t wait!

O Jesus, come to Big Timber, come to my family, come to me.  Wash away our hurts, heal our diseases, make things right.  Send your Holy Spirit to help and comfort us until You come again.  Do your miracles and be glorified, my precious Jesus. 

Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” Luke 21:27-28 (NKJV)

We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 2 Corinthians 4:8-10 (NKJV)

“…lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.  Matthew 28:20 (NKJV)

New King James Version (NKJV)Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

7-7-7 Prayer

hands“But the days will come when the Bridegroom will be taken away from them; then they will fast in those days.” Luke 5:35 (NKJV)

Anna Graham Lotz is sharing God’s call to pray for our nation and world this July. As the Israelites marched around Jericho 7 days, we are to pray the first 7 days of July. Then on July 7th, we are to fast and pray 7 hours, sounding the trumpet for Jesus. If you’d like to read more about it, please click to see Anna’s website. Please join us in praying and fasting for our country this Monday, July 7th.
www.annegrahamlotz.com/events/urgent-call-to-prayer/urgent-call-prayer-day-three”/

“Save us, O God our Savior;
gather us and deliver us from the nations,
that we may give thanks to Your holy Name,
that we may glory in Your praise.”
1 Chronicles 16:35 (NIV) & Psalm 106:47 (NIV)

Give ear, O God, and hear; open Your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears Your Name. We do not make requests of You because we are righteous, but because of Your great mercy. O Lord, listen! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act! For Your sake, O my God, do not delay, because Your city and Your people bear Your Name.” Daniel 9:18-18 (NIV)

New King James Version (NKJV)Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

New International Version (NIV)Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica

National Day of Prayer

http://nationaldayofprayer.org/

Hello friends,

Tomorrow is the National Day of Prayer.  This day is set aside to remind us to pray for our country, our elected leaders, our armed forces,  our schools, our churches and all we hold dear.  Check out the above website for more information or to find an event near you.  This is an opportunity to join with other Christians to petition our Father in heaven.

As you pray for our country, perhaps some of these verses from God’s Word will be helpful…

May the LORD our God be with us as He was with our fathers; may He never leave us nor forsake us. 1 Kings 8:57 (NIV)

“Save us, O God our Savior;
gather us and deliver us from the nations,
that we may give thanks to Your holy Name,
that we may glory in Your praise.”
1 Chronicles 16:35 (NIV) & Psalm 106:47 (NIV)

Give ear, O God, and hear; open Your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears Your Name. We do not make requests of You because we are righteous, but because of Your great mercy. O Lord, listen! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act! For Your sake, O my God, do not delay, because Your city and Your people bear Your Name.” Daniel 9:18-18 (NIV)

O LORD, be gracious to us;
we long for You.
Be our strength every morning,
our salvation in time of distress.
Isaiah 33:2  (NIV)

“The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field.” Matthew 9:37-38 (NIV)

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16 (NIV)

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen. Revelation 22:21 (NIV)

New International Version (NIV)Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica