Reflections on Prayer - Part 1

FOLLOWING THE MASTER – A Lenten Devotional

6th Day of Lent

February 16, 2016

Reflections on Prayer – Part 1

8 Copyright 2016 Monica Hernandez

APray without ceasing...In everything give thanks@ (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

Our foundation reading for today tells to pray without ceasing and there are many persons who wonder how can that be. Some might ask: “Should I be praying twenty four hours a day?” However, this means we are to always have a conversation with God in our hearts, whether it is of supplication, intercession; or merely giving thanks and praise to God for whom He is, His divine love and protection, even asking for His divine attributes to reflect into our lives.

Many years ago, I discovered that everything I wanted, be it a condition or an object, I had to go to God for it. The change would never come unless I prayed for it. It had seemed to me like a burden that I had to spend so much time in meditation and prayer. And it seemed to me that other people I knew did not have to spend so much time in meditation and prayer.

One day I complained to a seasoned prayer warrior of the elder generation and her words to me were: AMy child, count it all joy that God is causing you to come to Him for all you want in your life...@ Now, I look back and can see the truth of her words.

Thank God, as the years went by, and I pressed deeper into meditation, prayer, and Bible reading, praying became joyful in my heart and sweeter on my lips.

Prayer is communication with God and it oils the wheels of life. Thank God, in His divine providence, He has created within each of us a capacity to seek Him, know Him, love Him and serve Him. And we are to develop a deeper closeness with God the Father and Jesus Christ our Master through communication and fellowship. Also, we are to speak the Scriptures into our lives.

The Bible gives us several instances when Jesus prayed to His Father, and as His followers, we are to do the same.

Some might ask: “Doesn=t God know our needs; why should we have to pray about them?” God knows all our needs, both spiritual and natural, however, Jesus taught that we should ask, seek and knock. And when we pray, God releases His mighty power into our lives which transforms our souls, corrects, and makes straight our crooked paths, even making barren places in our lives fruitful.

Are you weary of praying? Be not weary but count it all joy that God is calling you into communion with Him so that He can straighten out your life. Count it a privilege and blessing that you are created with a capacity to reach out and commune with your heavenly Father.

SUGGESTED READINGS: Matthew 7:7-8; 1 Thess. 5:15-18; James 5:15-16.

PRAYER: AGod is the Giver of all good things. He knows my needs and draws me to their fulfilment in the right manner and at the right time. Thank you, Father. Amen.@


“Ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you.”


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Spiritual Understanding

FOLLOWING THE MASTER – A Lenten Devotional

5th Day of Lent

February 15, 2016

Spiritual Understanding

8 Copyright 2016 Monica Hernandez

AWisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding@ (Proverbs 4:7).

The Bible tells us that wisdom is the principal thing and we are instructed to get it, even so, we are also to get understanding. And like every other attribute of God, wisdom and understanding are infinite. We can never get the entire fullness of them but by God=s grace we can receive enough of these qualities to produce greater depths of peace, harmony and direction in our lives.

God is the Source of wisdom and understanding, for the Scriptures tell us that
Aby wisdom God founded the earth and by understanding He established the heavens.@ also “if any of us lack wisdom, we are to ask it from God.”

The Scriptures tell us, too, that “the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God for they are foolishness to him; neither can he know them because they are spiritually discerned.”

Let us combine wisdom and understanding and give it the term Aspiritual understanding.@ We cannot storm spiritual understanding; we cannot buy, borrow, lease, rent or steal spiritual understanding. It can only come to us by growth in the knowledge of God and the Word, by His Spirit, through Jesus Christ.

Many of us miss the most beautiful part of a meaningful life which is the getting of spiritual understanding, not only concerning the Scriptures but also to understand what is going on in our personal lives and environment, and be able to live in tune with the Spirit of God who will remind us of all things, give us revelation knowledge, and help us to walk in the right places for our benefit.

As we trust in the Lord with all your heart, mind and soul we will learn not to lean on our own understanding but in all our ways to acknowledge God and He will direct our paths. We would then grow into spiritual understanding and will find that it is a very rewarding way of life

Can we build into spiritual understanding? Yes, we can build into spiritual understanding by meditating in the Word, asking God to reveal Himself through His Word to us personally, and praying and watching as God unfolds His truth in us.

Are you seeking guidance and direction in making right choices and decisions? Ask God for His wisdom and understanding and He will direct your paths.

SUGGESTED READINGS: 1 Chronicles 22:11-12; Proverbs 3:19, 1 Cor. 2:14, James 1:5
PRAYER: AI thank God for revealing His wisdom and understanding to me, bringing me to know Him and the fulfillment of His plan for my life. Amen.@

One of the greatest gifts we should seek from God is spiritual understanding

Hearing the Master's Voice

FOLLOWING THE MASTER – A Lenten Devotional

4th Day of Lent
February 13, 2016

Hearing the Master’s Voice

Copyright 2016 Monica Hernandez, Ph.D.

“And the Lord came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant hearth’ (1 Samuel 3:10, KJV).

Samuel heard the Lord’s voice and made himself open and receptive to it. Just the same, when our Lord and Master gives indication to communicate with us, our response should ever be like Samuel's: “Speak Lord, thy servant heareth!” And this response from Samuel has inspired Frances Ridley Havergal to compose the beautiful hymn: “Master speak, thy servant heareth.”

Jesus taught: “My sheep know my voice...” and part of our spiritual growth is hearing that voice. And though many voices try to fill our minds, we can always recognize our Master’s voice for His words are never flattering, vengeful or harsh, but always encouraging and positive. His words are always of warning, counsel, comfort, direction, instruction and confirmation.

And as our Master speaks with us, it is wise for us to be obedient and follow what He says for hearing the Master’s voice and following through His instructions can spare us a lot of hurt and disappointment

The Lord is always willing to speak with us, therefore we should be always listening, not only in our prayer-chamber but all through our waking moments for He speaks to us in many different ways. Sometimes He speaks as the “still, small voice” and at other times by moving us through steps to what He wants to reveal to us.

Often, we do not hear His voice or sense His leading because we are busy doing things in our worldly way, hence it will be a blessing to us to always maintain a watchful and listening attitude.

How can we hear our Master’s voice? We hear our Master’s voice by conversing with Him regularly about matters that seem important to us whether about His Word or about our lives

Also, when we read His Word and meditate in it daily, and maintain an inner quietness, we are most likely to hear our Master’s voice.

Our hearing the Master’s voice does not necessarily mean that we will get answers at the same time that we talk with Him whether in our prayer-chamber or otherwise. It does not always work that way. There are times that we hear the “still, small voice” while yet in our prayer-chamber, but there are times when it comes later. And always it will be a blessing to His followers.

There are times when the Lord’s voice is clear and unmistakable and at other times it might be His leading or directing us on to something He wants us to do or say. Nevertheless, if our inward being is in tune with Him, our discernment will be sure. We will know.

Have you heard the Master’s voice lately? Can you discern where He is leading you?

SUGGESTED READINGS: 1 Samuel 3:10; Acts 9:6; John 10:27.

PRAYER: “Speak Lord, thy servant is listening. And help me, Lord, to be obedient to your commands. Amen.”


Jesus, My Lord and Master, is always willing to communicate with me.















Fulfilling the Royal Law of Love

FOLLOWING THE MASTER – A Lenten Devotional

First Sunday in Lent

February 14, 2016

Fulfilling the Royal Law of Love

8 Copyright 2016 Monica Hernandez, Ph.D.

"If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well" (James 2:8, KJV).

Another St. Valentine=s Day is here and we will be loaded with flowers, chocolates and beautiful cards with wonderful rubrics on love. Our ears will be filled with ideas and sermons on the nature of love, and the need and admonishment to love. However, if we fulfil the royal law of truly loving our neighbours as ourselves, we would do well.

How can we love others as ourselves? Love covers a broad spectrum of kind acts and we can love others as ourselves by doing kindness to them as we would like kindness to be done to us. As well, we cannot love others in the way we ought if we have a poor image of ourselvesCif we are continually putting ourselves down. If we are to love others in a manner that is appropriate, then we would first have to appreciate and love ourselves, not in an arrogant manner, but in a manner that reflects God=s love to us.

We love ourselves in an appropriate manner when we recognize that we are each created in the Aimage and likeness of God,@ and He did not create us with values that are poor and unworthy of His good pleasure. Everything He created was deemed Agood@ by Him and when He created us, His masterpiece, He gave us Adominion over all the earth...@

In learning to love, the understanding must be to love and appreciate ourselves as God loves and appreciates us, then we can extend that God-given love and appreciation to others as God loves and appreciates us all.

Is it a challenge for you to be kind or loving to certain individuals? Think about this: God is kind and merciful to us all regardless of our faults and shortcomings, let us imitate him as best we can by being kind and merciful to others as they cross our paths.

As you and I lift up our hearts to God=s love and receive it, let us share it with others as best we could. And to the extent we are open and receptive to the love of God is the extent we are able to fulfil the royal law of love.

SUGGESTED READINGS: Psalm 133:1, Matthew 22:37-40, James 2:8.

PRAYER: "Help me Lord, to accept your love for me and express love to others in kindly thoughts, words and actions. Thank you Father."


Brotherly love begins with me loving myself as God loves me.

A Lamp To My Feet and a Light to My Path

FOLLOWING THE MASTER – A Lenten Devotional

3rd Day of Lent

February 12, 2016

A Lamp to My Feet and a Light to My Path

8 Copyright 2016 Monica Hernandez, Ph.D.

AThy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path@ (Psalm 119:105).

Our foundation reading is a wonderful, affirmative prayer for every one who follows the Master. It is brief, direct and powerful. Cleverly, the psalmist uses the word-picture of Aa lamp to his feet@ to emphasize the virtue of God=s Word as an element that shines on our way. And even if that “lamp” is one step ahead of us, as we walk in faith, we will have understanding and enlightenment to lead us through our daily affairs.

In our life-journey, without light we would stumble in the dark but we can rejoice that we are not left alone in the spiritual darkness of this worldCwe have the Word, and the Word is light. Though we may encounter many shadows along the way and become fearful and confused, we could trust the light of the Word to change that situation and illuminate our way if we would apply it to our lives.

Jesus taught us that if we follow Him we will not walk in darkness. We are children of light and are meant to walk in light. We do this by delighting ourselves in the Word: reading it, meditating in it and seeking the light of Christ to express itself in greater dimensions in our lives and affairs.

As I pondered our reading for today, I was reminded of other scriptures on the virtue of the Word, for example: the scriptures teach that the Word of God is true from the beginning; it is eternal; it is power unto salvation and it is given for our teaching and correction.

I was reminded too, that Jesus revealed that His words are of Spirit and life. And we can bring life into His words by speaking them into our lives. If we put the Word to work in our lives it will work for us; it quickens, strengthens, heals and directs and will lead us to where we ought to be.

When we are in distress and need for a Word from God to change a situation in our lives, we can become very quiet and ask the Master for a Word that would help us, then we can listen for His counsel and speak that Word into our lives.

Rejoice that, as a follower of the Master, God=s Word goes before you, clearing a pathway for you, blessing you and making you a blessing to others. At this very moment, the Word is leading you to righteousness, peace and abundance.

SUGGESTED READINGS: Psalm 119:105; Psalm 119:130; John 8:12.
PRAYER: AThank you, Father, for your written Word and Jesus Christ, your Living Word. Amen.@


The Word of God sheds light on our way, revealing paths for us to tread.