Tag Archive: fear


D.J. Martin  (SingleFocus Ministry®)

I used to attend a church where, when it was time to pray, one particular deacon prayed for an extremely long time. I wouldn’t be surprised if some people fell asleep while he prayed. Seriously, he was long-winded when he prayed. I’ve heard people say, “If we ever needed prayer before, we sure do need it now.” Well, that has never been truer then it is today! Matter of fact, I think we would welcome that praying deacon right about now. Just the other day, I read about a 5-year-old child bowing their head to say ‘Grace’ over their lunch, which was their habit at mealtime, and a teacher told them that they were not allowed to pray. Huh? Like I said; “If we ever needed prayer, we sure do need it now.”

Daniel faced a similar challenge during the reign of King Darius. (Daniel 6) The king set over the regions 120 princes, and over them, he appointed three presidents. Daniel was one of those three presidents. Then, Darius planned to appoint one man over all the regional leaders, including the presidents. Daniel, a man of integrity, was highly favored, by the king, for the job. The jealous leaders didn’t like that. Therefore, they searched for something to discredit Daniel but, could find nothing. So, they decided to use Daniel’s faithfulness to God against him. (Daniel 6:5) Three times a day Daniel opened his window facing toward Jerusalem and prayed to the Lord, God of Israel.

Darius conquered many nations, and though he did not worship the God of Israel, he allowed the people to continue to practice their religions. The jealous princes and presidents went to Darius and persuaded him to sign a decree which would outlaw prayer. For thirty days no one could pray to anyone except to Darius. Violators would be put down into the lion’s den. After Daniel saw that Darius signed the decree, he went to his chambers; opened the window towards Jerusalem (which was his habit), got on his knees and prayed, and gave thanks to the God of Israel three times a day. (Daniel 6:10)

Believing that this would eliminate Daniel from Darius’ favor, the princes hurried to tell the king of Daniel’s violation of the law. Darius, regretting that he had outlawed prayer, tried to think of a way around it but, reluctantly, he had to have Daniel put into the lion’s den. However, after fasting and not sleeping all night, the king hurried to the lion’s den early the next morning and in anguish called, “O Daniel, servant of the living God, is your God, whom you faithfully serve, able to deliver you from the lions?” To the delight of the king, Daniel answered,  “O King… My God sent His angel, and shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me…” (Daniel 6:12-22)

Darius had Daniel pulled up from the den, and there were no scares or injury found upon him. Afterward, the king (angry at their ploy) commanded that those men who had accused Daniel, be cast into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives. Then, King Darius wrote unto all the people, nations, and languages, which he had conquered; “Peace be multiplied unto you. I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men must tremble and fear before the God of Daniel for; He is the living God, and steadfast forever, and His kingdom shall not be destroyed, and His dominion shall be even unto the end. He delivers and rescues, and He works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, Who has also delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.” (Daniel 6:23-27)

Look at this. After Daniel prayed; the king fasted for Daniel’s safety, Daniel escaped harm from the lions, and the king glorified the living God throughout the nations. Wow! Imagine what would have happened had Daniel not been persistently praying when they outlawed prayer. I think that Daniel went to his knees in prayer after Darius signed the decree because, “if they ever needed prayer, they sure did need it” then: when they outlawed prayer.

Think it is bad now? Imagine what it would be like if we had ever stopped praying. Then, imagine what it will be like because we never stopped praying.

“…I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud; and He shall hear my voice.” Psalm 55:16-17

Don’t stop praying.

Pray without ceasing… 1Thessalonians 5:17

That’s Today’s Single Focus

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WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?

by DJ Martin (SingleFocus Ministry®)

Born Again, Holy Ghost filled, God called, purpose driven Christians, with passion and excitement, are encouragers and dispensers of grace and mercy to the body of Christ (believers in Christ).  This causes us to be misunderstood by church folks. You change your co-habitation habits, and your boyfriend thinks you’re cheating.  Give someone a holy embrace, and their spouse thinks that you are flirting.  I took a guest to a Bible Study where my best friend also attended.  After Bible Study, I went home and my best friend later called, accusing my guest of flirting with her boyfriend.  She then proceeded to accuse me of trying to do the same, even though when we talked, we hardly, if ever, talked about him, because she had other drama going on in her life.  This was a Bible Study, so why did her mind go in that direction?  What was she thinking?

Difficult times come in life.  Even true believers have bad days.  Yes, even true believers have times of depression and despondency.  Remember Elijah. He boldly went before the priests of Baal and saw the hand of God do a marvelous and miraculous work (1 Kings 18).  Then he hears that a wicked woman has put a contract out on his life. He runs and hides and remains in a funk for several days. He couldn’t eat, he couldn’t drink. He entertained thoughts of suicide. What was he thinking? Even so, God sent ravens to feed him and spoke to him comforting words telling him that he was not alone. Sometimes we get blindsided and we let emotions and fear get all caught up in our thoughts and mind even though God was in our mind and thoughts just the other day or even a second ago.

Unfortunately, though we have that same powerful God as Elijah on our side, sometimes we experience fear and despondency before we get started on the venture of pursuing the purpose or dream which God has called us to. Sometimes we do things all the wrong way or we do nothing, being paralyzed by our own depressing and fearful thoughts. Sometimes we pursue the purpose, the dream in the ways of the world, even though God told us to do it differently.

I’m not saying that days of discouragement, depression and despondency won’t ever come, but if we would spend some time thinking or focusing on what is “just, pure, lovely, of good report; virtuous and praise worthy (Philippians 4:8),” perhaps drama like this could be avoided.  If we spend time remembering the merciful and miraculous things that God has already done in our lives, we can encourage ourselves. If we think about all the marvelous blessings and all the doors that He has already opened; and if we think about how He has always given success accordingly as we trusted Him, our mind will be strengthened. Reminding ourselves of the powerful force the hand of God can be and has always been in the life of His children can embolden us to go forward and pursue our God-given dream with confidence.

When times get tough and distractions and drama comes, pray and concentrate your thoughts on the powerful, omnipresent, omniscient wise and faithful God. Think on His ability to do the impossible in seemingly impossible times.  Think about all the times He has done great things in your life and how He gives wisdom and understanding in our times of confusion.  Think about how He provided when you were in need. Think about His power, His goodness and His love, and how He has already demonstrated those things in your life. Think on these things!

Thinking on this can transform your mind, which allows the God of peace to be with you, comfort you and encourage you. Think on these things and you will begin to see mountains move and doors open. Think on these things and you will begin to see the drama have a triumphant outcome and His word performed. If God gave you the dream, it will be achieved, despite the drama and despite the distractions.   I am decidedly thinking as the Apostle Paul thought; “in all these things, we are more than conquerors (Romans 8:37).”  What are you thinking?

 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things.”  Philippians 4:8

That’s Todays’ Single Focus…

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