Family Devotions on the Art of Praying, Angels in the Bible and Cross-dressing

Here are 15 minute family devotion topics on the art of praying, angels in the bible and cross-dressing/transvestism for you to ponder upon.

Best 15 Minute Family Devotions on the Art of Praying, Angels in the Bible and Cross-dressing/Transvestism

The Art of Praying
 
For the Christian, praying is supposed to be like breathing, easier to do than to not do. We pray for a variety of reasons. For one thing, prayer is a form of serving God - Luke 2:36-38 and obeying Him. We pray because God commands us to pray - Philippians 4:6-7. Prayer is exemplified for us by Christ and the early church - Mark 1:35; Acts 1:14; 2:42; 3:1; 4:23-31; 6:4; 13:1-3 . If Jesus thought it was worthwhile to pray, we should also. If He needed to pray to remain in the Father's will, how much more do we need to pray?
 
Another reason to pray is that God intends prayer to be the means of obtaining His solutions in a number of situations. We pray in preparation for major decisions - Luke 6:12-13; to overcome demonic barriers - Matthew 17:14-21; to gather workers for the spiritual harvest - Luke 10:2; to gain strength to overcome temptation - Matthew 26:41; and to obtain the means of strengthening others spiritually - Ephesians 6:18-19. Inspiring Quotes about Money, Wealth, Poverty and Happiness
 
We come to God with our specific requests, and we have God's promise that our prayers are not in vain, even if we do not receive specifically what we asked for - Matthew 6:6; Romans 8:26-27. He has promised that when we ask for things that are in accordance with His will, He will give us what we ask for - 1 John 5:14-15. Sometimes He delays His answers according to His wisdom and for our benefit. In these situations, we are to be diligent and persistent in prayer - Matthew 7:7; Luke 18:1-8. Prayer should not be seen as our means of getting God to do our will on earth, but rather as a means of getting God's will done on earth. God's wisdom far exceeds our own.
 
For situations in which we do not know God's will specifically, prayer is a means of discerning His will. If the Syrian woman with the demon-influenced daughter had not prayed to Christ, her daughter would not have been made whole - Mark 7:26-30. If the blind man outside Jericho had not called out to Christ, he would have remained blind - Luke 18:35-43. God has said that we often go without because we do not ask - James 4:2. In one sense, prayer is like sharing the gospel with people. We do not know who will respond to the message of the gospel until we share it. In the same way, we will never see the results of answered prayer unless we pray.
 
A lack of prayer demonstrates a lack of faith and a lack of trust in God's Word. We pray to demonstrate our faith in God, that He will do as He has promised in His Word and bless our lives abundantly more than we could ask or hope for - Ephesians 3:20. Prayer is our primary means of seeing God work in others' lives. Because it is our means of "plugging into" God's power, it is our means of defeating Satan and his army that we are powerless to overcome by ourselves. Therefore, may God find us often before His throne, for we have a high priest in heaven who can identify with all that we go through - Hebrews 4:15-16. We have His promise that the fervent prayer of a righteous man accomplishes much - James 5:16-18. May God glorify His name in our lives as we believe in Him enough to come to Him often in prayer.


Angels in the Bible
 
The Bible describes angels as powerful spiritual beings whom God created to perform specific jobs both in heaven and on earth. And although the Bible often mentions a "host" of angels, it only names a few.
 
Gabriel is the most well-known named angel to appear in Scripture. Each time He is mentioned, we see him act as a messenger to impart wisdom or a special announcement from God. In the book of Daniel, Gabriel appeared to the prophet Daniel in order to explain some visions God gave Daniel about the end times - Daniel 8:15-27; 9:20-27. While Daniel still had trouble wrapping his mind around the visions, Gabriel's explanations, along with other biblical information about the end times, have allowed us to come to some conclusions about how the end times will play out.
 
Gabriel also appears in the New Testament. He appears to Zacharias in the temple to herald the news that Zacharias's wife, Elizabeth, would give birth to John. Gabriel also approaches Mary with the announcement of the birth of Christ. Later, Joseph receives guidance in a couple of visits from Gabriel. Because of the monumental importance of these history-shaping announcements, it seems likely that Gabriel is one of God's chief messengers.
 
The second angel the Bible calls by name is Michael, who functions very differently from the angel Gabriel. Michael is an archangel, which means "chief angel"; this title indicates that Michael holds a high rank in heaven. Although it is not certain that Michael is the only archangel, the possibility exists, according to Jude 9; where Michael is referred to in definite terms as "the archangel Michael." If other archangels exist, it is likely that Michael leads them. Mistakes to Avoid in Life and Inspiring Quotes for a Champion Who Lose a Battle
 
When Michael appears in the Bible, it is usually in a battle of some type. He wars with the fallen angels (those who sinned against God and became demons) and Satan. Michael appears several times in the book of Daniel as a warrior - Daniel 10:21 and 12:1. In one instance, the angel Gabriel describes Michael as fighting against the demonic "prince of the Persian kingdom," enabling Gabriel to reach Daniel and explain the visions to him - Daniel 10:13.
 
Michael is also seen in the Book of Revelation, when he battles the great dragon-Satan-during the end times - Revelation 12:7-9. The fact that Michael is leading an army of angels against Satan himself testifies to Michael's high rank and power.

If fallen angels are included in the list of angels who are named in the Bible, two more names should be mentioned: Lucifer/Satan and Apollyon/Abaddon. Lucifer rebelled against God and was thrown down from heaven along with the angels who followed him. Before his rebellion, Lucifer was a beautiful and powerful being; but he coveted equality with the Most High God and therefore became unholy and cursed  - Isaiah 14:12-18; Luke 10:18. He is now known as Satan and is God's chief enemy who seeks to deceive and destroy all of mankind - John 10:10. Apollyon/Abaddon is another fallen angel, mentioned in Revelation 9:11, who leads an end-times demonic army.


Cross-dressing/Transvestism
 
Deuteronomy 22:5 deals with the issue of men dressing in women's clothing and vice versa. In this passage God commands that a woman is not to wear that which pertains to a man and a man is not to wear that which pertains to a woman, for all that do so are an "abomination."  Therefore, this is not simply God addressing the fact that a woman might put on a man's garment or vice versa. Also, this is not a command that a woman should not wear pants/slacks as some use this passage to teach. The meaning here is that this "cross-dressing" is done in order to deceive, or to present oneself as something that he/she is not. In other words, this speaks to a woman changing her dress and appearance so as to appear to be a man and a man changing his dress and appearance so as to appear to be a woman. This is the definition of a cross-dresser or a transvestite.
 
We can also reason that the dynamic behind this is the leaving of what is natural and taking on that which is in God's Word called unnatural - Romans 1:24-27. Paul tells the Corinthian church that the way a person wears their hair is a demonstration of rebellion against God's order, and therefore a woman who cuts her hair to appear as a man or a man who wears his hair long to appear as a woman brings shame to them  -1 Corinthians 11:3-15.  In this reasoning, we should not forget that some men are born with long hair.  The issue here is the motive and attitude of the heart that is evidenced in the choice to rebel against God's standard for obedience. Working during Pregnancy: Is it Safe to Work When You are Pregnant?
These are principles we can use to reason an application. Whatever the prevailing custom, men and women should wear gender-appropriate clothing, dressing decently and in order - 1 Corinthians 14:40. To apply the principles, the Bible calls cross-dressing or transvestitism a choice that is a demonstration of unbelief and rebellion against God and His order.

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Lovely Messages: Family Devotions on the Art of Praying, Angels in the Bible and Cross-dressing
Family Devotions on the Art of Praying, Angels in the Bible and Cross-dressing
Here are 15 minute family devotion topics on the art of praying, angels in the bible and cross-dressing/transvestism for you to ponder upon.
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