• "Elijah was a man of the same nature as ourselves; he prayed earnestly that he might not please, and there was no rain on earth for three years and six months" (James 5:17).


    This text of the Epistle of James mentions Elijah as an example of a man of prayer. We could have quoted many other men or women of prayer, mentioned in the Bible, such as Abraham, Moses, David, Daniel, Anne etc. But we shall remain on this reminder of the efficacy of Elijah's prayer. Why take this example? Because it is stated that Elijah was a man of the same nature as us. Sometimes we might think that effectiveness in prayer is reserved only for very spiritual men and women, out of the ordinary of believers. But no, it is not so! Elijah was like us. He had his strengths and weaknesses. He was able to challenge the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel and shortly after flee before the threats of Jezebel. We feel close to this man, conscious that we are like him, with impulses of zeal and faith, followed by times of discouragement. We have our ups and downs, like Elie. Then his example of perseverance encourages us. "He prayed earnestly !" As drought ruined the land, he prayed perseveringly for it to rain, and God sent the rain. Sometimes we can experience times of spiritual dryness, the sky is closed, around us we see discouragement and weariness. What is left for us ? It remains for us the resource of prayer. Elijah prayed with perseverance and God intervened. Sometimes it may happen that we give ground, run away, discourage us, even go back, but remember that the path of prayer is one that allows us to raise our heads, Hope, to resume the road. This perseverance we find in a woman mentioned in the Gospels. The urgent prayer of the Greek woman, Syro-Phoenician, was followed by the deliverance of her daughter (Mark 7:24 / 30).

    Advice for this day :

    You are going through difficult times and it has been going on for a long time, so like this woman and Elijah, do not give up, persevere in prayer, believe that God has not said his last word. He loves you.

    Paul Calzada

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  • "You ask, and you do not receive, because you ask badly, in order to satisfy your passions" (James 4: 3).


    I suppose you sometimes said to your young children, who were asking for something : "I do not hear", not because you were deaf but because they were not asking. It missed the magic words : "Please" or "thank you".

    In this verse, James tells us that it may also happen to us to ask badly. Not only because we would not use formulas of politeness, but because we would not ask with good motivations.

    A Christian, desirous of seeing the pagans of distant lands saved, began to pray for their salvation in these words : "Lord, save the Gentiles."

    After a while, he realized that he was asking God to do so, without believers getting involved. Then he changed the content of his request and prayed saying : "Lord send missionaries, that they may evangelize the Gentiles, and that they be converted."

    Thereafter, he continued to pray, but feeling himself responsible. He began to say : "Lord, if you do not have anyone ready to go, then I am available to go."

    In persevering in prayer, he again changed his request, saying : "Lord, you know that I sincerely desire that the Gentiles be saved, if I am not the one you want to evangelize, please, Into another ".

    Finally, he prayed, "Lord, send whom you will send, and if someone is called but does not have the financial resources to leave, I want to take part in his support, without my name being on the list of Donors, the only thing I want is for the pagans to know you."

    We observe how the form and spirit of prayer have evolved in this man. What happened ? He realized that he was asking badly. First he asked God to do, when God told us : "Go." Then he realized he was asking others to do, but not him. When he noticed it, he got involved himself, but with a slight feeling of being the man of the situation. Finally he forgets himself totally, while being involved, and modesty, love, self-giving, are the motivations that underlie his prayer.

    My prayer on this day :

    Teach me Lord to pray according to your will, with feelings and motives that honor you. Amen !

    Paul Calzada

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  • "Pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17).


    Through two parables, Jesus emphasizes the importance of praying without relaxing. We find these two beautiful stories in the gospel of Luke (Luke 11: 5-8 and Luke 18: 1-8). In these two texts, Jesus reminds us that perseverance is essential when we pray.

    In the text seen above, Paul said to the Ephesians : "Do at all times ... all kinds of prayers" (Ephesians 6:18). All these passages of the Bible, and many others, show us how important it is to maintain a constant communion with God through Jesus. To pray without ceasing is not an uninterrupted recitation of petitions and petitions of all kinds. This does not mean and repeat without interruption, all that we think God should do.

    To pray without ceasing is to breathe God. It is like loving a loved one, that we are close to him, or not, we ceaselessly love him. To pray without ceasing is to have a loving relationship with God. Our mind remains in communion with him whatever it is that we do.

    Louis Schweitzer said, "Praying is first giving God time." We have all heard this saying : "Prayer is the breath of the soul." I like this image because it refers us to a reality that escapes our consciousness. We breathe day and night (without ceasing), without our being aware of it. Breathing translates a reality of life. I live because I breathe, and I breathe because I live. We have no effort to breathe. Similarly, when our life is hidden in Christ, we have no effort to pray. Our intimacy with God is already a prayer. It can take various forms such as praise, worship, humiliation, intercession ... but whatever form it may be derived from our communion with God.

    It is evident that to say to a dead man : "Breathe incessantly" will not bring him back to life. In the same way it makes no sense to say to someone who has not received the divine life through Jesus Christ : "Pray without ceasing." First, Christ must live in us, and then prayer becomes the breath of the soul. On two occasions, the prophet David speaks of this constancy in prayer : "I have the LORD constantly before my eyes : when he is on my right hand, I will not be moved" (Psalm 16: 8). And : "I constantly turn my eyes to the Lord ..." (Psalms 25:15). He connects this constancy with the fact of looking at God. Not to speak to God, but to look at him with the eyes of the heart.

    Advice for this day :

    Do not consider prayer as an attitude, but as the expression of the life of God in you. Let God live in you and you will know what it means : "Pray without ceasing".

    Paul Calzada

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  • "When an unfortunate man cries, the Lord hears, and saves him from all his troubles" (Psalm 34: 7).


    Anxiety, depression, discouragement, fear, sadness can melt into our lives in various circumstances. What to do ?

    It is said that one day, the famous composer Haydn was in conversation with two of his friends. They talked about their different ways of responding to sadness and depression.

    One of his friends said : "When I feel bad, discouraged and sad, I take a glass of cognac, and it comforts me !"

    The other said : "What I do is take my violin and play. There's nothing like music to cheer me up and lighten my pain."

    Haydn said to them, "For my part, when I feel sad, I pray to the Lord: no one is like him to comfort and restore my soul."

    Here are three possible steps: to get drunk to forget, to dive into an intense activity, or to pray! An old hymn would say : "Are you tired, filled with sadness ?" Say everything to Jesus, his heart is open to your voice without ceasing. Your eyes red with tears ... He knows your heart, he knows your alarms ... And for tomorrow what you dread: Say everything to Jesus !"

    Hundreds before Haydn, King David, plunged into an abyss of torment, said : "In my distress I have cried unto my God, and have heard my voice ..." (Psalm 18: 7).

    Throughout the centuries, men and women, in the dark hours of their lives, prayed to God, and experienced his help.

    There are various emergency numbers to respond to dramatic situations. Not only the SAMU, the firemen, or the police, but also various numbers for battered women, abused children etc. That is a good thing. But sometimes, for various reasons, the appeal is not heard ; The line is cut off, and there is no interlocutor.

    Know that the line of the sky is never congested.

    Advice for this day :

    At a time when you yourself go through anguish, discouragement, sadness, depression ... speak to God. You will see what an extraordinary blessing this time of communion with your creator.

    Paul Calzada

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  • "Pray and pray at all times by the Spirit, watch over this with all perseverance ..." (Ephesians 6:18)


    What does it mean to pray by the Spirit ?

    In the Epistle to the Corinthians, the apostle speaks of two ways of praying : "I will pray with the spirit, but I will pray with the understanding ..." (1 Corinthians 14:15). He says that praying in the spirit is speaking in tongues: "If I pray in tongue, my spirit is in prayer, but my mind remains barren" (1 Corinthians 14:14). Prayer through the Spirit is therefore a prayer inspired by the Holy Spirit.

    The apostle also says : "So also the Spirit helps us in our weakness, for we do not know what to ask of us in our prayers, but the Spirit himself intercedes with inexpressible sighs, and He who searches the hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because it is according to God that he intercedes in favor of the saints" (Romans 8:26, 27).

    We are certainly more inclined to pray with our understanding, but it has pleased God to assist us in prayer by the Holy Spirit. Let us learn to accept and use this divine assistance. Here are three forms of prayer that the Spirit can inspire us:

    First, prophetic prayers: The Spirit communicates to our mind subjects that are supernaturally revealed to us. Our mind receives this revelation, and we pray with our words for the need that has been revealed to us. This is the case of Ananias going to pray for Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9: 10/19).

    Secondly, prayers in tongues mentioned by the Apostle Paul in the Epistle to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 14: 14-15). Speaking in tongues, though incomprehensible to our intelligence, is one of the means by which we address prayers to God which he understands, but especially who are in his will since inspired by the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 14: 2 and 28).

    Third, the inexpressible sighs of the Holy Spirit, in our soul (Romans 8:26 / 27). Sometimes we miss words, but God understands the sighs of our soul : "My sighs are not hidden from you" (Psalm 38:10).

    To pray by the Spirit is to be sure to express prayers, even if we do not always understand them, that best correspond to the thought of God.

    Advice for this day :

    Do not just repeat prayers learned by heart. Be filled with the Holy Spirit, and learn to let him inspire your prayers.

    Paul Calzada

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  • "Whatever you ask in my name, I will do so, that the Father may be glorified in the Son, and if you ask anything in my name, I will do it" (John 14: 13-14).


    One of Jesus' last recommendations concerning prayer was to remind his disciples that they had an open credit in his name. In this text, on two occasions, he insists on this central truth : "Ask in my name."

    Why this insistence ? Because Jesus wants to remind us that we ourselves have no credit with the Father. The only credit we can avail ourselves of is that of Christ. We can not deserve anything. When we pray, we must trust only in the merits of Christ.

    Praying in the name of Jesus is not a magic formula. We can use the formula as a form of politeness, but deep down within ourselves we may think that our devotion, fervor, consecration, zeal, fasting, and merit are a key to fulfillment. In this case, we can use the formula, but it will be ineffective. It is not the formula that counts, but the reality of the place that Jesus has in our lives.

    If someone gives you a gift of a state-of-the-art car, could not it also offer you full fuel with the car ? God having given us what he had most dear, his own Son, also gives us all things with him. This is what the Apostle Paul says : "If God gave us his Son, how would he not give us all things with him ?" (Romans 8:32).

    When we are fully aware that we deserve nothing, and that we rely solely on the merits of Jesus, then we can use the name of Jesus.

    The expression "in the name of Jesus" is not a sesame operating by itself, apart from what you are. In the book of Acts, we see that some men wanted to use this expression, whereas they were not to Christ, and this turned to their confusion (Acts 19: 13-16). This account invites us to the utmost caution, so as not to use this formula without becoming aware of the place that Jesus has in our life.

    God does not deceive himself, he knows what faith you place in Jesus. He knows if Jesus is truly your Lord and Savior.

    A decision for this day :

    Knowing that in Jesus God opens unlimited credit to me, I decide to entrust my life to the Lord Jesus, and it is in His name that I wish to pray to the Father.

    Paul Calzada

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  • "For unto thee are the kingdom, the power, and the glory in all ages." (Matthew 6:13).


    Jesus finishes, the model of prayer of "our Father", by this magnificent doxology. Prayer, taught by Jesus, begins with God and ends with God.

    The Lord invites us, when we pray, not only to put God first, but also to restore glory to him at the end of every request.

    Prayer is not a litany of requests, but it is surrounded by divine glory. Prayer has no other object than this: To seek the glory of God.

    It is essential not to separate the end of "our Father" from its beginning. Prayer begins with "our Father," that creative being who loves us, who welcomes us, who listens to us, who comes to our aid, who forgives us and delivers us, and ends with the Reminder that this "Father" is also the King of kings, the Lord of glory, to whom we submit.

    To recall his reign, his power and his glory, is thus to accept his sovereignty. We have no other requirement than to say, like Jesus in Gethsemane : "Not what I want but what you want" (Luke 22:42).

    Some may be inclined to see in God only a loving Father, full of tenderness and mercy, ready to accept all the demands of his children, to the point of forgetting that God is also the Master. This is what the Lord had to recall to the apostle Paul who prayed to be delivered from a "thorn in his flesh." In this circumstance, God said to him : "My grace is sufficient for you" (2 Corinthians 12: 8-9).

    Sometimes we hear some guilty speeches like, "Your sickness does not glorify God" ; Or : "A Christian with faith must be healed" ; And add : "God wants you to be prosperous, and if you are in poverty, it is not normal" ... It is important to remember that prayer is not the way to get everything we Prayer is also an act of faith in the sovereignty of God. Let us never forget that what God wants for us is much better than what we would like.

    My prayer on this day :

    Lord, I proclaim with faith that you are the King of my life. I believe in your sovereignty which foresees what is best for me, that you may be glorified in everything. Amen !

    Paul Calzada

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  • "Keep us from yielding to temptation, and above all, deliver us from the devil" (Version of the Sermon Matthew 6:13).


    This prayer expresses our need to depend on the help of God. We need God crucially. We are aware that we can not rely on our own ability to resist temptation, and to stand firm in trials. We rely entirely on the divine help to be preserved, protected, rescued. It is in the full awareness of our weakness that strength is found : "When I am weak, then I am strong" (2 Corinthians 12:10).

    We find this thought of divine assistance in this promise : "No temptation has come to you that has not been human, and God, who is faithful, will not allow you to be tempted beyond your strength, but with Temptation will also prepare the way out of it, that ye may bear it" (1 Corinthians 10:13).

    When we say : "Do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil", we show that we trust him totally, believe in his sovereignty, direct and control all situations, and Subject to its sovereign will. Scripture promises that the best way to triumph over the devil is to submit to God : "Submit yourselves to God, resist the devil, and he will flee from you" (James 4: 7). By submitting ourselves to the sovereignty of God, we are delivered from the evil one.

    The devil is the source of temptation. The expression "deliver us from the evil one" means "deliver us from the devil"! Is not the devil also called the tempter, as we see in the account of the temptation of Jesus : "The tempter having come near, said to him ..." (Matthew 4: 3). Paul uses the same name to designate the devil : "Thus, in my impatience, I sent to inquire into your faith, lest the tempter should tempt you, and we should have labored in vain." Thessalonians 3: 5). The tempter will seek by all means to destroy you, do not hesitate to call God to your help. You will be able to experience what the psalmist says : "It is he who delivers me from the net of the fowler" (Psalm 91: 3).

    Advice for this day :

    Do not try to triumph over temptations by relying solely on your strength, your will, your resources. Become aware of your limits, and, with faith, pray to God : "Deliver me from evil." Consider that God is with you; He fights with you, and for you. Now, as John says : "He that is in us is greater than he that is in the world" (1 John 4: 4).

    Paul Calzada

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  • "Do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one" (Matthew 6:13).


    The last request mentioned in our Father is related to the need that we feel to be delivered from evil. It is important to emphasize that this request for the delivery of evil is not the first thing requested. As we have said, prayer invites us to focus first on God, and then, secondly, Jesus teaches us to present our needs with humility, confidence, a heart attentive to the needs of those around us, And it is only after these priorities that we demand God's help in the face of evil.

    "Evil" is not an abstraction, but it means a person, Satan, the wicked, the devil, the one who wants to thwart God's purpose in our favor. If it is true that prayer brings us to the terrain of confrontation with "evil", Jesus places this notion of confrontation, or spiritual combat, at the end.

    There are some currents today in evangelical circles that make spiritual combat an absolute priority. They have only this notion to present. Without denying the necessity of a prayer that brings us into this reality of spiritual combat, it is necessary to know how to leave priorities where Jesus placed them.

    That we need divine help to triumph over evil, is an obvious fact. Jesus Himself asked God for us : "I pray you not to take them out of the world, but to keep them from evil" (John 17:15).

    What does this request mean : "Do not induce us to tempt" ? Is God the origin of temptation? In the Epistle of James it is said that "God does not tempt anyone" (James 1:13). Is this a contradiction ? We know that the Bible can not contradict itself. In fact, the word, spoken by Jesus in the "Our Father", can perfectly be translated thus : "Do not abandon us in temptation". This translation is consistent with all the teaching of the Bible. Indeed, it is logical to ask God to make sure that we resist temptation, or that we are rescued in the ordeal. For the word temptation is exactly the same word as the word trial.

    The test is part of our journey with God. The test of Job is an example of this, as well as the various trials of Joseph, sold by his brothers, and thrown into prison ... Testing can be a school by which God teaches us to become accomplished disciples. It allows us to grow. It is normal for us to ask for help and help in such circumstances.

    My thanksgiving on this day :

    Thank you Lord because you promised to be with us every day. You are with me to protect me from all evil. You are my shield, my fortress, against the assaults of the enemy.

    Paul Calzada

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  • "Bless those who persecute you, bless and curse not" (Romans 12:14).


    Among the various forms of prayer, let us remember this one : The prayer of blessing. Let us remember that this form of prayer was used by the patriarchs such as Jacob or Moses. We find it, not only in the Old Testament, but also in the New Testament. According to the law, priests were doomed to this task (Numbers 6:23 / 27).

    On many occasions we are exhorted to bless : "But I say to you, Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you" (Matthew 5.44) or (Luke 6:28).

    The apostles, Paul or Peter, remind us of this : "Do not do evil for evil, or insult for evil : bless, on the contrary, for that is what you were called to inherit the blessing." (Peter 3.9).

    These words of Peter remind us that the prayer of blessing is not only a source of blessing for others, but also a source of blessing for those who practice it.

    We sometimes pray to God and ask him to bless this or that person, this or that situation. Through these texts, God invites us to bless these people or situations ourselves. Instead of telling someone, "God bless you," say : "I bless you in the name of the Lord." Certainly, we can only bless with one name : the name of the Lord. In His name, when our lives are His, and we stand on the ground of His grace, we can bless. There is no pretension in this, there is only the implementation of the grace which God grants us in Christ.

    Remember that all of you who are Christ, you serve as priests : "Ye are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, an established people, that you may proclaim the virtues of him who Has called you from darkness to his admirable light" (1 Peter 2: 9) and (Revelation 1: 6).

    In the church of Jesus Christ there are no clergy and laymen, as we sometimes hear; There is only one body, it is that of Christ, composed of all the believers, who are all priests. So every believer is able to do this blessing prayer.

    An encouragement for this day :

    Brothers and sisters, you who are with Christ, exercise your ministry as priests by blessing your families, your children, your neighbors, your brothers and sisters, the various ministries that Christ gives to the church ...

    Paul Calzada

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