Prayers to Pray – Bible study – Bible Prayers – Pray These Powerful Decrees Over Your Unsaved Loved Ones

Pray These Powerful Decrees Over Your Unsaved Loved Ones

One of the most profound truths presented in Scripture is that Jesus Christ is a groom. His bride is the church. This is very good news as it suggests that the degree of intimacy, dedication, care and commitment Jesus offers His followers is that of a faithful husband to His beloved wife.

Although some passages display this marital imagery explicitly, like Ephesians 5:31-32 and Revelation 21:2-3, in other verses it often goes unnoticed. Here are six such examples:

  • “[The Magi] saw the young Child with Mary, His mother … they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh” (Matt. 2:11).
  • “I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom” (Matt. 26:29).
  • “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, you may be also” (John 14:3).
  • “Concerning that day and hour no one knows … but My Father only” (Matt. 24:36).
  • “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who is saying to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water” (John 4:10).
  • “Fill the water pots with water … Now draw some out, and take it to the master of the feast” (John 2:7-8).

Betrothal During Biblical Times

To see how these verses might relate to marriage, we have to understand how couples got betrothed during biblical times.

As I outline in my book In Love: The Larger Story of Sex and Marriage, a young Jewish man would propose betrothal by offering a young woman a cup of wine. He would say, “This cup represents a covenant in blood,” and she would accept the offer by taking a sip. They would not drink from that same cup again until their wedding night. At this point, the groom would typically give the bride a betrothal gift, perhaps in the form of a ring.

The two would then depart and not see each other for up to a year. He would return to his father’s homestead and build a room, or huppah, that would become the residence for the new couple. The father had to approve the completion of the huppah before the wedding took place. Thus, during this time, whenever he was asked about his exact wedding day, the young man would respond, “Only my father knows.”

When the room was ready, the groom and his family and friends would travel to the young woman’s house to claim her as his bride. The groom typically would dress in the same manner as a priest, wearing a seamless tunic that was sprinkled with frankincense and myrrh and, if he could afford it, a gold crown upon his head.

Once back at the groom’s father’s house, the couple would once again sip from that same cup of wine, and they would consummate the marriage. Wedding guests, if dressed appropriately, were invited to take part in a seven-day celebration, culminating in a grand feast. The groom was responsible for providing his guests with food and wine during this time.

Several New Testament passages refer explicitly to this betrothal tradition. For example, the parable of the 10 virgins describes the bridesmaids who watch for the arrival of the groom as he comes to claim his bride (Matt. 25:1-13) and Matthew 22:11-12 mentions the necessity of wedding guests to wear the appropriate clothes.

Reading in a New Light

With this Jewish betrothal tradition in mind, we can perhaps also read the six verses mentioned above in a new light.

  • Upon Jesus’ birth, wise men bring Him gold, frankincense and myrrh, which are items that would have been worn by a Jewish groom on his wedding day.
  • During the Last Supper, Jesus offers his disciples a cup of wine, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood” (1 Cor. 11:25b). He tells them He will not drink again from that same cup until He does so with them in His Father’s kingdom (Matt. 26:29).
  • Jesus then declares that He is about to depart from them; He is returning to His Father’s house, which has “many dwelling places,” where He will “prepare a place for you” (John 14:2-3).
  • When His disciples ask Jesus when his second coming will take place, he responds, “No one knows … but my Father only” (Matt. 24:36b). This is the response a groom would give when asked about the timing of his wedding day.
  • Also like a new groom, Jesus gives His bride a betrothal gift, although His gift comes in the form of living water. He approaches a woman at Jacob’s well—which, in ancient Israel, was a common setting for finding a bride as Jacob himself did with Rachel—and talks to her about husbands. He then offers this Samaritan woman “living water” as “the gift of God,” indicating that God wants to betroth not only Jews but also Gentiles (John 4:6-26).
  • At the wedding in Cana, when Jesus tells a servant to take water He’d turned into wine to the master of the feast, He exercises the role of a groom, who was responsible for providing the guests wine (John 2:1-11).

Each of these verses can bear multiple layers of meaning. Noting their connection with the Jewish betrothal tradition helps illumine the intimate, covenantal relationship Jesus has formed with His people. By understanding this ancient process of entering marriage, we can see with fresh eyes the kind of commitment and care that Christ offers to us. In short, the larger story of Scripture can be read as a love story with marital form.

“Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb” (Rev 19:9b).

Share
 

Christian Breakin News Jerusalem Leader: “Why Jews Everywhere Should be Helping Egypt’s Christians”

Leader: "Why Jews Everywhere Should be Helping Egypt's Christians"

“I implore you to join us in this effort. Do something—anything—to raise awareness about and to alleviate the suffering of Coptic Christians, and Christians across the Middle East. As Jews, it is our sacred duty. As human beings, it is our natural obligation. As past victims of such hatred, it is our people’s commitment. As current beneficiaries of Christian support, it is an act of humble gratitude. It is time for Jewish communities around the world to give back to the Christian community, which has given us so much.” – Yael Eckstein

 During Israel’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza in 2014, I had dinner with a Christian pastor and his family in North Carolina. I was stunned and impressed that each time a rocket was launched from Gaza into Israel, the family’s “Code Red” app blared on their cellphones and they stopped whatever they were doing to pray for Israelis in danger. (Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

And they didn’t just pray. Their sincere concern for the wellbeing of Israel manifested itself in action. They donated tens of thousands of dollars to build bomb shelters all across Israel to help protect us. “It is our honor to use our money to provide protection to Israelis from terrorist rocket fire. Buying a new car, renovating my kitchen or doing anything else for myself wouldn’t give me nearly as much joy and fulfillment,” the pastor told me. 

I left his house feeling awed and inspired. “I hope that my people would help Christians in their time of need, as they have done for us,” I thought.

Truth be told, on the whole, we as a people have done an excellent job in raising awareness among our children and our communities about the importance of tikkun olam (repairing the world), of reaching out and supporting worthy causes beyond those that directly affect Jews. At almost every rally and peaceful protest, you can see an Israeli flag, the Star of David or another identifier of Jewish presence. We are helping Syrian refugees, standing up for women’s rights and volunteering in the world’s poorest countries, just to name a few causes we champion. Helping others who suffer from persecution, injustice or discrimination is a hallmark of the Jewish community, and I am proud of that.

But at the same time, there are cries that have gone unheard, such as those of the Christians being systematically persecuted—and slaughtered—across the Middle East. Coptic Christians, an indigenous population of Egypt dating back to the 1st century A.D., hundreds of years before Muslims even came on the scene, have been especially targeted. They represent almost 10 percent of Egypt’s population and are being persecuted by Islamic terrorists. 

At least 28 Coptic Christians, including many children, were ambushed and murdered May 26 as they traveled by bus to a monastery. Two terror attacks hit crowded Coptic churches April 10, killing at least 44 people. Since January 2017, more than 100 Copts have been targeted, murdered and systematically threatened.

In response to this horrific campaign of terror, I am astounded that the Jewish community has remained virtually silent.  

The Jewish community and Israel currently enjoy unprecedented, historic support from the Christian community. Christians are our loudest defenders in the political arena, our most vocal supporters on social media and our greatest contributors when it comes to charitable causes. The annual budget of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship) is $150 million, which is distributed to 1.4 million Jews in need in Israel and around the world. These funds are sacrificially donated by hundreds of thousands of Christian donors in the U.S. and worldwide. Moreover, Christians make up more than half of the tourists who come to Israel annually, significantly bolstering the Jewish state’s economy and morale.

If we can stand up for the sake of other peoples who suffer and for different just causes, how can we not act on behalf of our greatest allies? With all of the issues we are taking on, how is this not at the forefront of our agenda?

For the last few years, Egypt’s Coptic Christians have been the target of a calculated, cruel terror campaign. Men, women and children (and sometimes intentionally women and children) have been murdered in cold blood. Their places of worship and holy books have been blown up and burned. Their homes and shops have been attacked and looted. Sound familiar? We know all too well this pattern in history and we have vowed never to let it happen again. (Photo Credit: Yael Eckstein)

The Fellowship has not stood silent in the face of such horror. We have heard the cries of the Christians in Egypt and we are helping them. The Fellowship is providing assistance such as summer camps for children and financial aid to families who are victims of terror; aid for basic needs, including food as well as medical and psychological care; and security support. (We cannot publicize additional details for security reasons.)

In a time when the Christian community has been Israel’s staunchest supporter for the past half century, it is shocking that we are the only Jewish organization taking tangible steps to give them aid, support and protection.

I implore you to join us in this effort. Do something—anything—to raise awareness about and to alleviate the suffering of Coptic Christians, and Christians across the Middle East. As Jews, it is our sacred duty. As human beings, it is our natural obligation. As past victims of such hatred, it is our people’s commitment. As current beneficiaries of Christian support, it is an act of humble gratitude. It is time for Jewish communities around the world to give back to the Christian community, which has given us so much.  

Share
 

How to Call Upon the Angels for Guidance and Protection

You may call upon as many angels as you feel are needed in different situations, and they will all come. Remember that they can be in more than one place at one time, so you are not taking them away from another who may need them more than you.

The angels are ready to assist you, but they usually like to wait for you to call upon them. All you need to do is say, “Angels, please guide and protect me (or a loved one),” and they will come right away!

In response to your prayers, they may come to you as a thought, a feeling, knowingness, or a vision. Sometimes they may give you signs to let you know they are around. At first you may feel that you are only imagining the messages you are receiving. Therefore, all you need to do is ask God to allow you to know when the angels are truly giving you messages. These prayers will not go unanswered because God wants you to be able to understand when you are truly feeling and hearing His heavenly messengers.

Unfortunately, you may sometimes unknowingly cut off communication with the angels because you may fear what you may see, feel, or hear. Because of this, the angels will not come to you because they want to bring you comfort, not fear, so they will wait until you are ready for them. In this case, you may wish to pray for God to help you release any fears that are preventing you from connecting with the celestial realm.

At other times, you may feel unworthy, and therefore do not call upon the angels for their help. I assure you that we are all worthy of their assistance. It doesn’t matter who we are or what we’ve done; the angels are there for all of us. They are not here to judge you, but simply to guide and protect you at all times.

You may also call upon as many angels as you feel are needed in different situations, and they will all come. Also remember that they can be in more than one place at one time, so you are not taking them away from another who may need them more than you do.

Again, because you have free will, the angels cannot always intervene in your life without your permission. If you want some help with anything, you just need to ask the angels for their assistance, and they will be there for you. It’s really that simple!

Many years ago, when my older son first obtained his driver’s permit, I asked the angels to surround his car and protect him whenever he drove. On the first Christmas after getting his permit, he volunteered to drive my family to my in-laws’ house, which was about forty minutes away. As we were getting ready to climb into my car, I noticed that it had a flat tire. Because of this, we were forced to use his Dad’s car instead, which was bigger and sturdier than mine.

Just a few blocks from our house, as we were stopped at a traffic light on the main road, a drunken driver plunged into us from behind at full force. We were all fine, but as I climbed out of the car to inspect the damage, I was surprised to see the other driver’s car was totaled, and our car had only a very tiny scratch on the bumper! If we had used my smaller car, things certainly could have been much worse. But then again, I know the angels were with us and believe we would have been totally protected anyway!

There are different types of angels, but for simplicity purposes, I will mention the two most common types of angels that you can call upon to help you at any time.

Guardian Angels
Everyone has at least one guardian angel, and some have more than that. Guardian angels guide and protect you throughout various stages of your life. Your guardian angel is here for you and nobody else!

Archangels
The archangels have a more powerful, stronger essence than guardian angels. They oversee and guide the other angels who are here on earth. The exact number of archangels is debatable, but the four that are the most widely known are Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and Uriel.

Michael
Archangel Michael is the patron saint of police officers and soldiers. His main role is to take away negativity in your life. He is able to restore harmony and peace, and will come to help you whenever you call upon him.

Gabriel
Archangel Gabriel is the angel to call upon if you need help writing or speaking because he is the communication angel. All you need to do is ask him to help you to overcome any fears or problems you are experiencing in communication, and he will be there for you.

Raphael
Archangel Raphael is the angel to call upon to heal yourself or others. When you ask for a healing, Raphael may not only show you what you can do to get well, but he often may show you how your thoughts and actions had triggered your health problems in the first place.

You can call upon the angels at any time and they will come. They are very real beings of God’s light who are here to shine for all of us. These celestial beings bring us protection, comfort, relief, and understanding far beyond what mere words can express here. I am so grateful to God for sending us these wonderful heavenly messengers!

 

Share
 

How to Listen, Trust and Follow Your Intuition

You can receive and execute guidance with an open mind and a courageous heart.

Your intuition will tell you intimate and important things nobody else will and it will also tell you things your own mind argues with. It can be either a moment where you instinctively know something is right or isn’t. It’s our inner voice that just knows. Listening to your intuition during troubled times can be difficult. With so much noise, information, and clutter within the world, our thoughts can often be clouded with distractions. As a culture, we have also learned to believe that being rational is what should prevail when making decisions. Our inner voice, our gut feeling – that little something instinctual from within tells us what lies beneath those layers of logic. There are countless ways that you can tap into your inner voice, and help it find its way to you. One of those ways is through a process called Believe, Ask, and Act – three simple and powerful tips to hone your intuition, set change in motion and clear road blocks that stand in the way of your own happiness.

Psychic medium MaryAnn DiMarco has communicated with the Other Side since she was 5 years old. She helps her clients break free from their own spiritual, emotional and real-world obstacles. Her Universal Team of Spirit – including angels, spirit guides, departed loved ones, religious deities, and other evolved souls – revealed the Believe, Ask, and Act approach to her. This technique taught her to connect with her highest angels and spirit guides, call upon them and engage their very best guidance. This process has empowered her in ways she could never imagine. Her teachings for developing intuition have enabled her to control her life using these powerful steps and help others do the same.

Believe is about recognizing and demonstrating belief in a higher power, whether you refer to this powerful energy as God, Divine, Source or another name.

Ask teaches you how to pose the right questions to a personal team of angels, spirit guides, departed loved ones, and evolved souls who help you navigate life’s ups and downs. Their job is to love, lead and protect you as you dream, plan and move along your soul’s best path.

Act is a powerful call to get off the meditation cushion and put one earthly foot in front of the other to create momentum and positive change.

You can use this process to alter the course of your life. Change traditionally comes from simply tweaking your beliefs, methods, and priorities. For example, maybe you have a strong belief system but lean so hard on it that you rely more on prayer than you do prayer plus action. Or maybe you place a request with God in a way that asks for miracles rather than strategic direction you can then enact. Many of us repeat these negative patterns because we over think our next steps and ignore what our gut tells us. While “go with your gut” is one of the most common pieces of advice, it’s a very challenging system to consistently implement because of our own fear. It is important to trust your gut because your gut has been cataloging a whole lot of information as long as you’ve been alive, collecting all of your subconscious experiences. Our gut holds insights that aren’t immediately available to our subconscious minds right now, but they’re all things you’ve learned and felt. In the moment, we may not be readily able to access specific information, but our gut has it ready. You may already be using Believe, Ask, and Act a lot more than you realize, but are allowing negative feelings like doubt and fear to redirect some of your intentions, which can convolute the process.

Another wonderful aspect of the Believe, Ask, and Act process is how its steps can help create balance and control in your life, which is integral to happiness. Balance and control help you feel content, centered and confident in all you do. A well-balanced life is essential for personal effectiveness, peace of mind and living well. Remember, there is always someone, or something, to answer to. There are things we want to do and things we must do. If we are unable to reduce stress and manage a well-balanced life, there can be physical or emotional health consequences.

Our intuition’s most important role is to alert us to the path, people and circumstances that we will uniquely find fulfilling. It gets stronger the more you use it. Too often, we hesitate to follow our intuition out of fear. Usually, we are afraid of the changes in our own life that our actions will bring. Intuitive guidance is all about change. Our revelations through our very own intuition have the power to transform our lives. If you are ready to access your intuition, you have to begin noticing your intuition. You must stop ignoring or dismissing this aspect of yourself. Shut off your inner critic that needs to rationalize everything, and just listen without judgment. You must be willing to listen to the truth.

At its center, Believe, Ask, and Act is about creating your life as your soul intends and learning lessons along the way. When you do this, you will discover how to utilize free will, how to become attuned to divine guidance and how to fulfill your greatest desires. For more ways to listen, trust and follow your intuition, read “Believe, Ask, Act: Divine Steps to Raise Your Intuition, Create Change, and Discover Happiness” by MaryAnn DiMarco.

 

Share
 

Preparing for Trinity Sunday

It is a celebration of Christian doctrine and lasts one day, but we can make time to honor God all year long. Here are ways to prepare the heart, mind and spirit for Trinity Sunday.
Preparing for Trinity Sunday

It is a celebration that looks at the Christian doctrine and lasts one day, but we can make time to honor God all year long. “The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity” is a time to worship God, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Not many are aware that this day is honored the Sunday after Pentecost. The Catholic Church explained that believers are “baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: not in their names.” There is only one God, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Rev. William G. Most wrote in The Basic Catholic Catechism and as shared on Global Catholic Network that the Trinity is a mystery.

Why? We only worship one God, not the three in the trinity. “Even though the Three Persons are One God, yet they are distinct: for the Father has no origin, He came from no one. But the Son is begotten–He comes from the Father alone. The Holy Spirit comes or proceeds from both the Father and the Son. These different relations of origin tell us there are three distinct Persons, who have one and the same divine nature.” Here are ways to prepare for “The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity.”

Family

Share this time with family to worship and study the word of God. Worship God, the Holy Spirit, and the Son of God. In Psalms 73: “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Let this be a time to prepare the heart, and seek forgiveness Him. Find scriptures on the Holy Trinity and share them with each other. Also go to confession and be open to correction. It might sting, but it is worth it.

Food

Bring the family together and use recipes that can lead a discussion about the Trinity. Different recipes or food can be the inspiration for family discussion about the Trinity. There is a great article on Catholic Culture on this by Jennifer Gregory Miller. And it looks like fun! Use Cloverleaf rolls, Neapolitan ice cream, triple chocolate, triple ice cream, and three cheese macaroni and cheese. Yes, it is food, but you can talk with kids about what the symbols of what  the Trinity means.

Community

Make a decision to put relationships first. Invite people over, and serve them with the heart of God. Share the love of Christ today. Get involved in the community, not only for this Sunday, but every day. Make a list of what you can do for others. It can be as simple as taking someone to church. Get going for others and for God. “May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus, (Romans 15:5-7).”

Share