Happy Birthday! God, What Should I Pray for Now? A Feast of “Not so Much,” a Feast of “Just Right” or “Too Much?”

Happy Birthday to Me! Today, I am Celebrating a Wonder of God!

Birthdays are, or at least they should be, a deeply personal and meaningful “holiday,” so to speak. We feel that it is a special day, and even people who are complete strangers, don’t know you very well will wish you a “Happy Birthday” and sometimes they will even go out of their way to do something nice for you.

Why are birthdays special? As we get older, we can sometimes feel as if our birthdays aren’t as special or as important to celebrate. They just aren’t as exciting as those younger days when we were kids. While the Bible doesn’t command a celebration of birthdays, there are good reasons to go out of our way continue to celebrate the birth of any person—and a birthday is a perfect time to do it.

It is good to affirm the value of a person.

In Genesis 1-3, God goes about creating a beautiful and good creation. His most celebrated creation is man. God forms humanity in a very personal way:

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:26-27)

Man is given a special status as God’s image bearers. What does that mean? God is king over his creation, is holy and good (moral attributes), and a creator.

In a similar way, man was made a steward over creation, was supposed to rule over creation well (Gen. 1:28), be holy and good, follow God’s word (Gen. 2:17).

God has created every single human being with intrinsic value because they are made in his image. Whether someone is an infant, a teenager, young adult or an octogenarian, every human life is absolutely special and precious in God’s sight.

The life of man was so utterly precious that the unjust taking of that life carried a severe punishment (Genesis 9:6). The psalmist, when faced with the marvels of creation, is amazed that God has created man in such a special way, with an elevated status (Psalm 8:4-6). To God, People hold a special place in this world.

Human beings of all ages are wonders of God. Just as we are amazed by and can look upon, recognize the glory and blessing of a stately mountain range or the awesomeness of a crashing ocean, we should join with the psalmist in praising God for human life. Birthdays are great opportunities to remind a person of the blessing he or she is and how absolutely, completely, they are a wonder of God.

Philippians 4:12-20English Standard Version

12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

14 Yet it was kind of you to share[a] my trouble. 15 And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only.  16 Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. 17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit. [b] 18 I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. 19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. 20 To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.

The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.

Birthdays are a time for thankfulness.

Today is my Birthday!

Happy Birthday to you readers too – even if today is not your actual birthday.

Truth be told, everyone who comes to read this has a Birthday to Celebrate!

One day, God loved you so much He chose a special day to give you a life to live!

Wonder of Wonders! Miracles of Miracles! God chose to give you and me life!

Celebrate! Celebrate! Celebrate!

Regardless of your personal circumstance right in this exact moment,

Celebrate God as He is certainly celebrating you EXACTLY RIGHT NOW!

Birthdays are a fantastic time to contemplate more positive things. 

There is so much complaining, strife, and conflict that swirls around us.

It is easy to be pulled down into focusing on troubles and trials and take people and things for granted.

Birthdays provide an opportunity to thank God for the life of a person who is made in the image of the God of the universe and is an amazing creation.

It is 100% important to remember God is the one who should be the focus of a birthday. When we celebrate someone’s birth, any one’s birth, even the one’s now being born somewhere, we can each remember that our Creator’s image is stamped upon this unique person, and we can thank God for his gift of their life.

Consider this Illustration;

 In Tony Campolo’s book, “The Kingdom of God Is a Party,” he tells of an event that took place when he visited Hawaii on a speaking tour.

If you’ve ever flown to the Hawaiian Islands, you know that the first couple of days are tough because you are trying to adjust to the time change. You auto-matically wake up about 1 or 2 a.m. their time because it’s about 6 or 7 a.m. back here. And that’s exactly what happened to him.

He woke up very early his first morning there and ended up going out on the downtown streets of Honolulu, looking for a restaurant that was open where he could get a cup of coffee that early in the morning.

He finally found what he called a “greasy spoon” restaurant, went in and saw that he was the only customer there. As he sat down at the counter, a rather large fellow came out of the kitchen and asked what he wanted.

Tony ordered a cup of coffee and a donut. So, the guy went back into the kitchen and came out with a sad looking donut & a cup of very hot coffee. Tony slowly sipped his coffee & ate his donut.

As he was doing so, in walked 9 prostitutes off the streets of Honolulu. And one of them sat down next to him. As she was sitting there, talking to the girl next to her, she said, “Well, tomorrow is my birthday.”

The other girl said, “So what, Agnes? What do you expect from me, a party or something? What do you think I’m going to do, bake you a cake?”

Agnes said, “I don’t expect anything. No one has ever thrown me a birthday party, and I’ve never ever had a birthday cake. I was just telling you, that’s all. Tomorrow is my birthday.”

The conversation soon ended, and all the girls left. Tony sat there for a moment, and he recalls, “Every once in a while, you get a good idea.”

He turned to the guy behind the counter, whose name was Harry, and asked, “Harry, do those girls come in every night about this time?” “Every night,” Harry answered. “Well, will Agnes be back tomorrow night?” “Yeah, she’ll be back.”

He said, “I’ll tell you what. Why don’t we throw a birthday party for Agnes?” Harry answered, “That’s a great idea. Let’s do it!” Tony said, “I’ll buy the streamers and get a sign that says, ‘Happy Birthday, Agnes,’ and we’ll buy her a cake.”

“No,” Harry said. “I’ll bake the cake.” And they got busy making their plans. Finally, Tony said, “I’ll be back at 2:30 tomorrow morning.”

When 2:30 came, Tony was back with all the streamers, balloons, and the sign. Meanwhile, Harry had baked the cake and spread the word, and there were 30 prostitutes there, ready to have a birthday party for Agnes.

Tony writes, “We were all there in this restaurant, 30 prostitutes, Harry and me.” We had just gotten the streamers up, balloons inflated, and everything ready, when in walked Agnes and her friends. And as she did, the whole group burst into a chorus of “Happy Birthday, Happy birthday to you.”

Agnes was so overwhelmed that she could hardly move. Then here came Harry with the birthday cake with all the candles lit. “Come on, Agnes,” he said, “blow them out before they melt.” But she didn’t do a thing.

Finally, Harry said, “If you don’t blow them out, I’ll do it,” and he did. Then he handed her a knife and said, “Here, for crying out loud, cut it so we can all have a piece of cake.” But Agnes just stood there looking at the cake.

Finally, she said, “Do you suppose it would be all right if we didn’t cut the cake tonight? Do you think I could just take it home and look at it for a while? I promise I’ll bring it back tomorrow night and we can all have a piece then. But tonight, I’d just like to keep it if it’s all right.”

Everyone agreed that it would be okay. So Agnes left, carrying her cake as though it was a priceless treasure.

Tony said that after she left there was total silence in the room. “Here were all these prostitutes, Harry & me,” he said, “and since I had been acting as the M.C. the next move seemed to be mine.”

So, I said, “Let’s pray. Then I prayed for Agnes. I prayed for her salvation. I prayed that her life would get straightened out. I prayed that she would really have a happy birthday.”

“After I finished, Harry grabbed me by the shoulder and said, ‘You didn’t tell me you was a preacher.’ I said, ‘I’m not, Harry. I’m just a Christian and I just go to church.’”

Harry said, “What kind of a church do you go to?” Tony said, “I go to a church that throws birthday parties for prostitutes at 3:00 in the morning.” “No you don’t,” said Harry. “There ain’t no church like that. If there was, I’d go to it, too.”

That’s quite an inspiring story, isn’t it?

But let me ask you, “Is it right for any Christian to throw any party for a prostitute? Is it appropriate to pray for her to have a “happy birthday”?

Some might wonder about that. But it certainly is appropriate to pray for her salvation and for her life to be straightened out. When people are “lost” we must be diligent in praying for them and their relationship with their God.

But when it comes right down to it, we ought to ask this question too:

Is it right for any Christian to throw any party for a complete stranger? Is it appropriate to pray to God for that stranger to have a “happy birthday?”

Is it right for any Christian to throw any party to simply “Celebrate God?

Why do we “celebrate God?”

How do we pray for people we both know and do not know who are going through difficulties in life and who are probably not too inclined to be “celebrating God who is daily celebrating them?”

The natural response when we see someone who is sick, or going through tough times, or family difficulties is to say, “We are praying for you.”

But have you ever found yourself wondering, “What is the best thing to pray for in this situation?” Sometimes it is hard to know just what to pray. And doubts can arise when we pray earnestly, and we don’t get the answers that we want.

Sometimes we pray for people who are sick, and they don’t get better.

Or we pray for a marriage to be healed, and the couple gets a messy divorce.

Or we pray for a couple to have a healthy child, and a handicapped child is born.

Why “celebrate God?”

I cannot sit here and give you any easy answers as to why this ought to happen.

But what I don’t know about prayer doesn’t discourage me.

Because the way I have seen prayers answered, and the way lives have been changed as a result of prayer, gives me so much encouragement that I am so absolutely convinced the most important thing we can do in times of difficulty and ease and abundance is to “absolutely celebrate God” through our prayers.

Prayer puts us in touch with God. And it’s important for us to come to God and express our gratitude for our life, needs and the deepest longings of our hearts.

Psalm 8 Names of God Bible

Psalm 8

For the choir director; on the gittith;[a] a psalm by David.

Yahweh, our Adonay, how majestic is your name throughout the earth!

Your glory is sung above the heavens. [b]
From the mouths of little children and infants,
    you have built a fortress against your opponents
        to silence the enemy and the avenger.

When I look at your heavens,
    the creation of your fingers,
    the moon and the stars that you have set in place—
        what is a mortal that you remember him
            or the Son of Man that you take care of him?
        You have made him a little lower than yourself.
        You have crowned him with glory and honor.
        You have made him rule what your hands created.
        You have put everything under his control:
            all the sheep and cattle, the wild animals,
            the birds, the fish,
            whatever swims in the currents of the seas.

Yahweh, our Adonay, how majestic is your name throughout the earth!

It bears repeating as many times as it can be, ought to be, repeated;

Birthdays are a time for thankfulness.

Birthdays are a fantastic time to contemplate more positive things. 

There is so much complaining, strife, and conflict that swirls around us.

It is easy to be pulled down into focusing on troubles and trials and take people and things for granted.

Birthdays provide an opportunity to thank God for the life of a person who is made in the image of the God of the universe and is an amazing creation.

How important is it for us to “celebrate God celebrating us” to remember God is the one who should be the focus of a birthday?

When we celebrate God celebrating someone else’s life, what are we in actuality doing?

We are remembering that our Creator’s image is permanently stamped upon this singularly unique person, and we can thank God for his gift of their life.

Consider this illustration;

Tony Campolo tells about another time that he drove to Valley Forge, PA, where he was to be the featured speaker at the college there.

A few minutes before he was to speak several men took him into a back room and began to pray for him, that God would bless him and use his speech to accomplish His will.

While they were praying, one man also prayed, “And Lord, about Burt Harris.

Lord, Burt Harris needs you badly. He lives in that trailer down the street & he is considering leaving his wife & family. Lord, if you could just get through to Burt Harris…that would be great. Please, Lord.” And then he went on with his prayer.

Listening as the man prayed, Tony thought, “It’s strange that he should pray that here.” Soon the prayers were finished & Tony went out & made his speech to what proved to be a very appreciative audience.

After finishing, Tony got into his car & started toward home. But just at the edge of town he came upon a hitchhiker. He said that he doesn’t usually pick up hitchhikers, but for some reason he decided to pull over & pick the man up.

The man got into the car, & as they headed toward the highway Tony asked his name. The man said, “Burt Harris”.

Immediately, Tony stopped the car, turned it around & headed the opposite direction. The man stared at him & said, “What are you doing?” Tony said, “I am taking you back to your wife and family whom you are trying to leave.”

The man turned white! He never said another word – just sat speechless as Tony drove him straight back to his trailer. At that, the man asked, “How do you know where I live?” Tony answered, “God told me.” (In a way He really had.)

Tony ended the story, saying, “I took this guy inside his home and God did the rest. The family and the marriage was restored.”

Wow! What a story. And it’s true, absolutely true!

Now let’s go back & review what we have learned today from the apostle Paul.

We have learned we need to be asking for God’s presence and strength in our daily lives, for His Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit to be working deep within us.

We need to be “celebrating God” by praying for God’s will to be done, and not ours. We need to be concerned about more than just our “celebrating” our own lives and needs and trials, but too about “celebrating” those who are around us.

Human beings of all ages are wonders of God. Just as we are amazed by and ought to recognize the glory and blessing of a stately mountain range or the awesomeness of a crashing ocean, we should join with the psalmists in praising God for the absolute sanctity of human life. Birthdays are great opportunities to remind a person of the blessing he or she is and how they are a wonder of God.

In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Let us Pray,

Good morning, Lord!

Thank you for my Birthday, Lord!

Thank you for my life, Lord!

Thank You for a new day. Thank You that Your compassion is renewed every morning. Great is Your faithfulness and Your steadfast love, O Lord!

I do not know what all is going to happen today, and how much celebrating I will get done, but You do. So, I give this entire day as one celebration to You.

Fill me with Your Holy Spirit, Father. Energize me for Your work, because You know how happy I am and how tired these bones are. Awaken me to the wonder of Your salvation and quicken my spirit to the reality of Your work in my life.

Lord, my mind is filled with creative ideas of celebration, but they are also jumbled. Holy Spirit, come and hover over my mind like You hovered over the waters at creation and speak order out of the chaos!

Help me to cease striving and to trust that You will give me all I need today to celebrate what life You have given and to do the work You’ve given me to do.

I deeply believe You will be faithful to complete the good work You’ve started, and as I step out into my day, I declare Your sovereignty over every area of my life. I entrust myself to You and ask that You use me however You see fit.

This day is Yours. My body is Yours. My mind is Yours. Everything I am is Yours.

May You be pleased with my celebration today.

Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen.

https://translate.google.com/

Author: Thomas E Meyer Jr

Formerly Homeless Sinner Now, Child of God, Saved by Grace.

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