NCFI Cares: W is for Word

W is for Word reminds us to fill our prayers with scripture. Even though the Bible contains many prayers, like “Our Father” in Matthew 6 and the “Lord is my Shepherd” from Psalm 23, there are great prayers in the Epistles. Paul’s prayer to the church is Colossae found in Colossians 1:9-12 is one, as is Ephesians 1:17-20.

We can also use specific verses and teachings to fill our prayers with truth and God’s will.  Many of us are familiar with New Testament passages, so here are a few from the Old Testament. Guidance: Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, “This is the way, walk in it” (Isaiah 30:21). Faithfulness: “So realize that the Lord your God is the true God, the faithful God who keeps covenant faithfully with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations” (Deuteronomy 7:9).

We can also use scripture to praise and worship God! “The Lord is my strength and my song he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him.” (Exodus 15:2). The richness of God’s word fills both our work and our conversations with God.

EM Bound motivates our prayer to take on a new meaning with God’s word with the following bold teaching:

Unless the living forces of prayer are supplied by God’s Word, even earnest prayer, though it may even be strong and noisy in its urgency, is, in reality, flabby, lifeless, and empty. The absence of living force in praying can be traced to the absence of a constant supply of God’s word to repair the waste and renew the life. Those who would learn to pray well must first study God’s Word, and store it in their memory and thoughts. (The Necessity of Prayer, p. 79)cf2e1-ncficares_3bloglogo

 

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NCFI Cares: Sword Training 101

Fencing

There is intrinsic skill and strength required for sword fighting or fencing. Each person must have knowledge on how to use a sword. Learning the technique of sword fighting also takes practice. A participant can’t just read a book. Instead, they spend time in a safe environment practicing their new skills. These same concepts can be applied in using the sword of the Spirit, i.e., word of God to combat the enemy (Ephesians 6:17). Just like the sport or art of swordsmanship, using the word of God as a weapon takes knowledge, skill, and training.

Our sword training begins with an in-depth knowledge of scripture. Our education includes historical context and theological meaning, as well as appropriate application of God’s word to our lives. We also need godly wisdom in how to use scripture with each skirmish we encounter. Like a warrior yielding a sword, we need to discern the consequences of each strike.  For example, at certain times a quiet resolve within our heart is the best way to combat evil. While, at other times the strike of our sword is issued verbally. Like the art of sword fighting, these are carefully planned out strikes to halt or disarm the enemy, with minimal collateral damage.

As with any weapon, it takes knowledge, skill and discernment to appropriately use the sword of Spirit. And neither sword should be yielded inappropriately or used haphazardly.

Blessings, Carrie

Prayer: Our Lord is faithful to strengthen you and protect you from the evil one while directing your hearts toward his love and the endurance of Christ, amen. (1 Thessalonians 3:3-5)

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Our Nursing Uniform–Belt of Truth

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Paul, the writer of Ephesians, was imprisoned in Rome and surrounded by Roman soldiers. He used the constant presence of a soldier’s outfit as a metaphor for a Christian soldier’s battle armor (Ephesians 6:11). Like a soldier our armor contains a belt, breastplate, sandals, shield, helmet, and the sword. As we put on our nursing uniform and ready ourselves for spiritual warfare, we need to understand each article of our armor.

This first piece of our outfit is the belt of truth which holds our armor together and is foundational to our faith (Ephesians 6:14). “Set them apart in truth, for you are truth” (John 17:17). This simple, yet profound statement was included in Jesus’ prayer for the disciples and us. For not only is the bible true, but God and scripture is Truth, meaning without error, accurate facts, and never changing. ‘Truth is what God says, and we have what God says (accurately, but not exhaustively) in the Bible’ (reference: Systematic Theology).

In contrast, Satan would have us believe his lies and the lies of the world (John 8:44; Revelation 12:9). Whether it is incorrect facts about the character of God, the divinity of Christ, or the workings of the Holy Spirit, Satan would have us doubt, be misinformed or worse, uninformed of Truth! Don’t forget, Satan can also twist scripture to deceive and confuse us (2 Thessalonians 2:9). Jesus’ temptation found in Luke 4:1-13 is an excellent example of Satan’s misuse of scripture.

We fasten our belt of truth to our nursing uniform by memorizing scripture and Bible study (Psalm 119:105). Thus we are equipped to discern the storms of mistruths found in the world.