VIDEO A Prayer for Memorial Day: Remembering Those Who Have Fought for Our Freedom

“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”  John 15:13

Freedom is a gift, it’s a treasure.  And though we all may agree on that truth, it’s often easy to take for granted the greatest gifts that God has given us in our lives.

But those most precious gifts are never free. They came with a price. With sacrifice. They were worth fighting for. And are still worth fighting for today. Many brave men and women were willing to face hard battles in order for us to enjoy that gift of freedom today.

For all those who have protected our nation, for the men and women in uniform, together, we say “Thank You.”

We take time to remember today, and say a prayer of gratefulness for the many who have been willing to pay a great price for our freedom.  May God help us to live so courageously, may we follow the brave examples of those who have gone before us…

Thank you for reminding us that there’s incredible love and sacrifice displayed when one is willing to stand strong and fight for freedom.

This service of love and sacrifice on behalf of all people, points us directly to the greatest love of all, the very gift and sacrifice of Christ.

Our Savior was willing to pay the ultimate price, so that we can live free. Forever.

Dear God,

We thank you for the freedom you have given to us, and for the price that was paid by Christ so that we could live free. We remember today. The cost of it all. The great sacrifice for freedom.

We thank you for the brave men and women who have fought, and continue to fight, so courageously for our nation. We ask for your covering and blessing over them and their families. We pray that you would be gracious and encircle them with your peace. We pray for your great favor and goodness to be evident in their lives.

Please be with all those who wear the uniform, who serve our communities and nation every single day. We ask that you provide your protection, that you would be their guiding force who leads the way, and their rear guard who keeps them safe from behind. We ask that you would draw them to yourself amidst the dangers they face in a dark world, for you are the Truth, you are the Way, you are the Light.

Help them to walk wisely. To stay covered in your armor. Give them godly discernment. Make them constantly aware of what lurks close by. Help them to be men and women of prayer, realizing that this is where their greatest help comes from. Help them to stay united and strong, bold and resolute, determined and unwavering.

Bless their families. Bless those they love. Give them your great favor, this day, and every day.

Thank you that in our nation today, we are free to worship. We are free to pray. We are free to read your Word.  We are free to speak.  We are free to share. For this, we are incredibly grateful. Yet, we understand how quickly these freedoms can be taken away. Give us an increased awareness of the spiritual battle we’re in. Help us to stand strong in you and for your purposes.

Thank you that as believers, we can be assured, you will never leave us, and are with us always, in this life, and the next.

Thank you for your truth that says, who the Son sets free is free indeed! We know that in you alone, true freedom is found.

In Jesus’ Name we pray,


May God bless America, and all of those who have sacrificed so greatly for our freedom, and faithfully served our nation!

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May We Never Forget Freedom Isn’t Free — Memorial Day Tribute

Pressing Pause to Pray

[They] did not inquire of the Lord. Joshua 9:14

The fire hydrant gushed into the street, and I saw my opportunity. Several cars had splashed through before me, and I thought, What a great way to get a free wash! My car hadn’t been cleaned for a month and the dust was thick. So I fired it up and headed into the deluge.


It happened so fast. The sun had already beaten down on my black car that morning, heating its glass and interior. But the water from the hydrant was frigid. As soon as the cold gush hit the hot windshield, a crack struck like lightning from top to bottom. My “free” car wash ended up costing me plenty.

If only I had “pressed pause” beforehand to think or even to pray. Ever have a moment like that? The people of Israel did, under far weightier circumstances. God had promised to help them drive out other nations as they entered the land He’d given them (Joshua 3:10) so they wouldn’t be tempted by false gods (Deuteronomy 20:16–18). But one of the nations saw Israel’s victories and used stale bread to trick them into believing they lived far away. “The Israelites sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the Lord. Then Joshua made a treaty of peace” (Joshua 9:14–15, italics added), unknowingly circumventing God’s instructions.

When we make prayer a first resort instead of a last, we invite God’s direction, wisdom, and blessing. May He help us remember to “press pause” today.

Reflect & Pray

What decision have you rushed into instead of talking it over with God? What do you need to discuss with Him today?

Thank You, Father, for giving wisdom “generously” and “without finding fault” (James 1:5) to those who ask. Please help me to pause more to talk to You.

Sunday Reflection: Wonderfully Made

God designed you unlike anyone else, and your role in His kingdom is just as unique.

To get the most out of this devotion, set aside time to read the scriptures referenced throughout.

Have you ever considered that fingerprints are an amazing example of how much God cares for us? Each of us is born with a certain arrangement of arches, loops, and whorls on our hands, and they don’t change as we grow or age. They are also exclusive. Think about that for a moment: Out of roughly eight billion people on earth, no two of us have the same fingerprint.

We’ve each been uniquely created by God. What’s more, He has a singular plan for every life (Jeremiah 1:5; Proverbs 16:3-4; Proverbs 16:9). There is no such thing as a non-valuable person in God’s eyes—He loves every single one of us equally and is personally involved in seeing His plans for our lives come to fulfillment. In fact, it brings Him joy to do so! So instead of comparing yourself to others or feeling inconsequential, look at the intricacy of your fingertips and remember: You are one of a kind and well-loved by the Creator God who brought you into being.

Think about it

• Have you recently spent time considering what God has planned for your life? Sit down with Him in prayer and ask for guidance and clarification to get on the right track.

Hereby Know

“Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.” (1 John 4:13)

It is surprising to note that this phrase “hereby know” occurs eight times in the little epistle of 1 John. Each of these listed below is given as a means of both testing the genuineness of our professed faith in Christ and then of giving assurance and comfort to the true believer.

“And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments” (1 John 2:3).

“But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him” (1 John 2:5).

“Hereby perceive [same Greek word as ‘know’] we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1 John 3:16).

“My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him” (1 John 3:18-19).

“And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us” (1 John 3:24).

“Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God” (1 John 4:2).

“We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error” (1 John 4:6).

The eighth and last such reference is our text for the day. Note that the common thread running through all is the importance of the indwelling Spirit of truth, leading those who know the Lord into lives of doctrinal purity, obedience to God’s Word, and love toward the brethren. HMM

Celebrate Uniqueness!

For as the body is one, and hath many members…so also is Christ….For the body is not one member, but many. —1 Corinthians 12:12, 14

God makes all of us different from one another, but by His Spirit He will bring divine illumination and power to our beings….It is God’s planned variety and not similarity that makes beauty and interest in our world.

We should thank God for giving us our own individual personalities and temperaments and abilities. We should never waste time and energy trying to fashion ourselves after someone else, no matter how much we admire that person. God does not expect us to become identical copies of our spiritual heroes….

In only these respects should we all try to be alike: We should love God more than anything or anyone else, we should hate sin and iniquity even as Jesus hated them, and we should be willing always to obey God through the leading of His Word and His Spirit. Apart from that, it is perfectly natural for us to be ourselves, that is, different from each other. JAF068-069

He gives the Spirit to each of His servants. The differences among Christian workers are not due to favoritism or partiality on the part of God, but to the different way in which each follower of Christ improves His gift. CTBC, Vol. 4/332

Family Within a Family

God in His holy dwelling is a father of the fatherless and a champion of widows.—Psalm 68:5

The second word in our Master’s model of prayer is “Father.” In Christian circles the term “Father” is probably the most common term used when addressing God, and rightly so, for this is the pattern Jesus set when teaching His disciples the art of effective praying.

This raises the much debated question: Is God a Father to all men and women everywhere or only to those who are committed members of the Christian church? For many years now liberally minded theologians have taught that God is everyone’s Father, so we are all His children and thus all brothers and sisters. This teaching, known as the universal brotherhood of man, makes conversion unnecessary and puts to one side the redemptive sufferings of Christ on the cross.

The Bible teaches that God is a Father in two senses. Firstly, He is the Father of the human family by virtue of creation. Malachi 2:10 says: “Don’t all of us have one Father? Didn’t one God create us?” In Acts 17:28 Paul said: “We are…His offspring.” In the sense of creation, yes, God is our Father.

In the sense of a familial relationship, He is not. Jesus said to the Jewish leaders: “You are of your father the Devil” (John 8:44). Quite clearly, the fatherhood of God is seen in the Bible in two senses. He is the Father of all as their Creator, but He has another family—a family within a family—consisting of those who have committed themselves to Jesus Christ, the Son.


O God, I am so grateful that I know You as my Father—not only in the creative sense, but in the familial sense. May the wonder of this closer relationship grow within me hour by hour and day by day. For Jesus’ sake. Amen.

Further Study

Rm 8:1-17; Isa 64:8; Jn 1:12

How have we “received the Spirit of adoption”?

What is our cry?

Every Careless Word

I tell you that on the day of judgment people will have to account for every careless word they speak. Matthew 12:36

Jesus spoke plainly about our idle words, yet His warning often goes unheeded. Jesus said that for every idle word there will be a time of accounting in the day of judgment. We would expect Jesus to condemn profane and vile uses of the tongue, but idle words? Idle words are things we say carelessly, without concern for their impact on others. We too quickly assume that the sins of our tongue are minor sins, sins that God will overlook. Yet Jesus was fully aware of the devastating nature of our words, for the idle words that come from our mouths give a lucid picture of the condition of our heart (Matt. 15:17–20).

The Book of Proverbs encourages us to speak less rather than risk saying something offensive (Prov. 17:28). Often when we have nothing significant to say we are tempted to speak injurious, idle words. The more time we spend in idle chatter, the greater the likelihood that we will say things that are harmful. James cautioned believers to be “swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath” (James 1:19). We are in much less danger of saying something offensive when we are listening than when we are speaking!

Think carefully about the words that come from your mouth. Christians should speak only words that uplift and bring grace to others (Eph. 4:29). Do you need to speak less? Do you need to be more careful about the kind of humor you use? Ask the Holy Spirit to help you evaluate whether your words build up others or whether they destroy and hurt others.