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           Prayer of Agreement               Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they     may ask, it shall be done for them           by my Father who is in heaven.                      (Matthew 18:19)                                                                 ________________________________                                                                                                                                A Prayer to Set                                  Proper Priorities                                                                            Father, too often I allow urgency to dictate my schedule, and I am asking You to help me establish priorities in my work. I confess my weakness of procrastination and lack of organization. You have given me a seven-day week…six days to work and the seventh day to rest. I desire to make the most of the time. Help me plan my day and stay focused on my assignments.  I clear my mind of every obstruction and build a life of obedience into maturity. Father, You are in charge of my work and my plans. I plan the way I want to live, but You alone make me able to live it. Help me to organize my efforts, schedule my activities, and budget my time. Jesus, You want me to relax. It pleases You when I am not preoccupied with getting, so I can respond to God’s giving. I know You, Father, and how You work. I steep my life in God-reality, God-initiative, and God-provisions. By the grace given me, I will not worry about missing out, and my everyday human concerns will be met. I purpose in my heart to seek first of all Your Kingdom, Lord, and Your righteousness, and then all these things taken together will be given me besides. Father, Your Word is my compass, and it helps me see my life as complete in Christ. I cast all my cares, anxieties, worries, and concerns over on You, that I might be well-balanced, vigilant, and cautious at all times. I tune my ears to the word of wisdom, and I set my heart on a life of understanding. I make insight my priority. Father, You sent Jesus that I might have life and have it more abundantly. Help me remember that my relationship with You and with others is more important than anything else.   In Jesus’ name, amen.                                       
Question of the Week                                                                               What does it mean to test the spirits?                                                                                 “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). In this verse believers are commanded to “test the spirits to see whether they are from God.” This same command is echoed in other parts of Scripture as well (1 Thess.5:20-21). These two passages are just a few of the many that warn Christians to test the message that people or spirits proclaim. This is true in all situations but most importantly when a person or spirit is claiming to speak for God. Christians are to be discerning hearers and readers of all messages. The reason for the admonition to “test the spirits” or “test all things” is that there are “many false prophets” or “wolves in sheep’s clothing” that try to lead Christians astray. Second Corinthians 11:13-15 warns us that “such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness."  The test is to compare what is being taught with the clear teaching of the Bible. The Bible alone is the Word of God; it alone is inspired and inerrant. Therefore, the way to test the spirits is to see if what is being taught is in line with the clear teaching of Scripture. Testing the spirits means that one must know how to “examine the Scriptures.” Rather than accept every teaching, discerning Christians diligently study the Scriptures. Then they know what the Bible says and therefore can “test all things and hold fast to what is true.” In order to do this, a Christian must “be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). The Word of God is to be “a lamp” and “a light” to our path (Psalm 119:105). We must let its light shine on the teachings and doctrines of the day; the Bible alone is the standard by which all truth must be judged.