As we are about to enter into a time period where we “re-live” the death, burial and Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ…I want to move away from “religious” traditions. Even without a name, the 47 days before Easter Sunday are a time for self reflection, prayer, repentance, fasting, reliving the final days of Jesus and moving closer to God.
So, my plan is to clean myself up, to let God peel away all of my coverings so that He can get to the fruit; which is going to be the “me” at my best with my renewed mind.
I love the Book of Joshua…most especially Chapter One where God seems to be encouraging Joshua. He seems to be saying: “Don’t sweat it! I will back you. I will establish you.” And then guess what? He does just that! (Read Joshua Chapters 1-6)
God’s Commission to Joshua
1 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, it came to pass that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying: 2 “Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel. 3 Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses. 4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your territory. 5 No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. 6 Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
So is this my hope? Well, yes…but that’s not all. I’m here for a purpose…and I want to be the best fruit that I can be because there is work to be done, assignments to be completed, souls to be won, prayers to be prayed…and lots that I don’t know.
So…I am about to embark on a journey and it starts on Ash Wednesday…I’m not Catholic and I do not have any plans to be…we celebrated Lent in the Lutheran church…but I’m not there anymore…and have no plans for that…but my plans are to take a “non-religious” journey with Jesus and to come out unpeeled.
A man once talked his neighbors into going to church. He was believing that God would save them once they got there. He had even prayed about it. The family came: the husband, his wife, the children. The minister was Kenneth Hagin and he had agreed with the neighbor the night before. As the service winded down…it looked like the man would not go forward to receive salvation. As time ran out, the youngest child went forward. She was soon followed by her sister. Next, the mother came and she was followed by her husband.
God wants to save our households. This is a very tender subject matter. In some cases historically men have not attended church in a majority of families. It has always been acceptable. However, it’s a prayer matter. God wants to save entire households. Once we have prayed, we must continue to Thank God for answering our prayers. Here are some scriptural points:
1. Please Ask God to Soften Their Hearts Ezekiel 11:19 – “And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them. And I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh…”
Ask God to speak to their hearts. Pray for the condition of their hearts to change. You may recall a person or subject that they are tender hearted towards…ask God to make their hearts as tender towards Him as it is for whatever the other person or thing is. You will know and if you do not…ask God to show you!
2. Being Desperate! I admire the African people because they are so focused when it comes to God. They are not ashamed to say that they need help. They are not ashamed to believe God for the impossible! They have no problem in saying that they need help. You see the average Christian in America is scared of a crowd. If the pasror asks people to come forward for a matter, many concern themselves about what others might think. This reluctance is unbelief whether it’s doubt or what it is an inability to hear God and respond immediately. For our families…we have to be desperate for their salvation and close walk…with God. We cannot settle for our families to have a lukewarm life with God.
3. Ask God to release a spirit of conviction in their hearts: Ask for the release of the spirit of conviction of sin, righteousness, and judgment to come.
John 16:8 – “And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment…”
People know right from wrong, however they sometimes procrastinate more often than they should. Many of us do this in one area or another.
4. Pray for the EYES OF THEIR HEART to be opened and to see…
God works often through :people, dreams, visions and angelic visitations.
Ephesians 1:17-19 – “…that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might…”
5. Ask the Holy Spirit To help them. Perhaps they have memories from their past that will help the situation. Ask the Lord to stir it up in them.
1. John 14:26 – “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.”
2. Isaiah 55:11 – “So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”
6. Forgiveness- Forgiveness is the master key that unlocks the prison door to a stone heart. The model prayer of Jesus is not an individual prayer. It is a corporate prayer.
Matthew 6:9-15 – “Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in Heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. (For Yours is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.)'”
7. Pray that they will understand what eternity is.
Ask the Lord to give them an awareness of the realities of both Heaven and Hell. Ask the Lord to reveal that none are righteous and that we each need to receive the free gift of eternal life through Christ Jesus!
8. Pray for the laborers…I always pray that God will send His brightest and best laborers!
Matthew 9:38 – “Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”
9. Pray for a spirit of boldness: Ephesians 6:19-20 – “…and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the Gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”
10. Get others to join you in prayer: 2 Corinthians 1:11 – “…you also joining in helping us through your prayers, so that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the favor bestowed upon us through the prayers of many.”
11. Ask God to pour out His love onto and into each and every family member of yours! 1. Romans 2:4 – “Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and (forbearance) and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?”
2. Romans 12:14, 19 – “Bless those who persecute you; bless and curse not…Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.”
Finally, stand in unwaivering faith that they will soon walk into God’s loving arms joing the family of faith and please stay out of God’s way instead of egging them on, admonishing, chastising them etc. because of their choices. Let God do His work.
There are people who say this as though they are putting a stamp on a letter. That is sad; it’s so much more than that. That’s religion. There is power in the Name of Jesus! You better know this. If you say it; and start crying, worrying, fretting etc. then you DO NOT BELIEVE IT! You are in unbelief and I love you but I pray that you will get in faith! You have to KNOW that God is enabling you to have your victory! It’s proof that you already have it! When Jesus spoke MIRACLES HAPPENED, people received BREAKTHROUGH, mountains moved, just make a list. There was NEVER a time that NOTHING happened; so why should NOTHING happen for you when he gave you permission to use HIS NAME!!! God has Mighty Power…won’t you grab ahold of it! Take your rightful authority! God gave you Dominion! So why aren’t you taking charge? Get up and get busy folks!
I have seen prayers answered, I am talking about prayer answers from prayers that I have been involved in. I do not keep score. I believe that every prayer of faith in accordance with God’s will…are going to be fully answered! It does not matter what the request is. It does not matter how impossible it might be. It is never myself or any other person doing the work it’s God.
I end all of my prayers with the words: “In Jesus Name.” I do it because Jesus told us to do this.
John 15: 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit–fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.
Philippians 2:10,11“That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is LORD, to the glory of God the Father.”
When you follow this instruction; at that very moment that you say it: the power of God is released right then! But, do not waste His name and say it in vain!
Everyday I hear stories or receive prayers from everyday people like you and I who face unfairness and injustice. Crazy, stupid, way out stuff. Sometimes it happens to me…sometimes it looks impossible. It usually involes some John 10: 10.
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
The thief…Satan…is always behind the dumb stuff. In that case, we do not need a pity party, we need to get before God and pray. Now, I have nothing against asking others to pray for me. I love a Prayer Of Agreement. Yet…there is something immense about getting before God and waiting for the answer to unfold trusting Him. God always has a plan. I heard a minister friend of mine say: “It’s like Chess and God is ALWAYS waiting to put the devil in checkmate.” That’s good. It’s true too.
Let me go get my popcorn because I want to be ready to see the devil get his next whooping!
If you know me…you know I’m not playing!
‘Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly.
Follow justice and justice alone, so that you may live and possess the land the LORD your God is giving you.
“Cursed is the man who withholds justice from the alien, the fatherless or the widow.” Then all the people shall say, “Amen!”
The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love.
Blessed are they who maintain justice, who constantly do what is right.
I know that the LORD secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy.
Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the LORD understand it fully.
The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.
Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.
Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless.
I’ve been assigned to pray for others. But, it is also in my best interest to pray for myself as well. A lot of seasoned Christians (mature) think it is noble to pray for other people exclusively. And it truly is; but some of these same people who may know that it is wise to pray for oneself may find themselves struggling with finding a balance. I am not encouraging people to singularly focus on themselves. However, none of us can be equipped to complete our assignments or to follow the course that God has laid out for ourselves without very specific prayer.
I’d like to mention a very specific prayer focus here that many of us have a tendency to overlook. For some of us it is a little different; but it will be helpful.
* First, let’s pray for consistency, discipline and sincerity…not showmanship.
* On our jobs…let’s ask God to refine our hearts to be compassionate, more caring, full of wisdom and humility
* In our families ask God to allow us to be the shining light that people want to be around. Let’s ask Him to remove all smugness, pride and false humility from us.
* In our neighborhoods, let us pray specifically for our neighbors and that God will do a work in us allowing us to excel in our helpfulness, in our good works, causing us to soar in such a way that is consistent. That our faithfulness is these areas will cause people to want to take a God walk of their own.
* In our everyday lives as we intermingle with merchants, customer service professionals and strangers that our politeness, our words, our actions will be so impactful that people will want to know more about us and what we do.
* In our interactions with other Christians…let us pray to discard legalism and denominationalism am embrace our similarities; the Lord Jesus Christ.
Let our prayers be prayers to strengthen our faith, to trust God, to seek wisdom…to experience and show Hod’s love…to guard our heart and patrol (yes) our words….
IF WE CAN GET OUR FOCUS TOWARDS INTERNAL REFINEMENT; I AM SURE THAT WE CAN IMPROVE.
I have to make a confession. I had to repent recently for falling victim going along with another person’s opinion. It turns out that the opinion was not biblical. I did not know because I wasn’t thinking and I did not check. Perhaps, others have fallen victim to the opinions of others. There is no better reference than the bible.
Finally….remember that Jesus not only prayed for others and for guidance, He also prayed for himself. Have you read the Book Of Psalms? There are tons of references to David searching himself, worshipping God, encouraging himself, praying for himself and giving thanks. But remember, prayer brings us into an intimate place with God and that is the place where we want to be! Hallelujah!
But if I say I’ll never mention the LORD or speak in his name, his word burns in my heart like a fire. It’s like a fire in my bones! I am worn out trying to hold it in! I can’t do it!ut if I say I’ll never mention the LORD or speak in his name, his word burns in my heart like a fire. It’s like a fire in my bones! I am worn out trying to hold it in! I can’t do it! Jeremiah 20: 9
For many years, many of my friends seemed to have a fervor that I lacked! Oh, I loved the Lord and I loved (and still do) church; but I lacked a certain fervor. I knew them well enough to know that they were not faking, it was not for show, it wasn’t any think that they personally orchestrated. They had it; I didn’t.
I wrote for God, I served with a passion, but my fire was seldom seen. It usually was when I faced a challenge that no one knew about except me. And it often came at the back end of a self invoked pity party. I was immature spiritually , I wished at the time that I could do better and other times, I just did not realize it.
One day while in prayer I was inspired to start a Prayer Library. So, I did. At first, it wasn’t that easy. I handled it incorrectly instead of trusting God. Finally, I did and with little out of pocket expenses ( i.e.; gas money) , the books began to pour in. In fact, I got a call today.
More prayer days later and I really got inspired! I was inspired to read some of the books that had been sent. They are too many to name, but I am still amazed at the plethora of faithful servants who write for God and many I had never heardof.
As I began to read the books, I soon realized that their was fire in those books and it began to get in me! I changed.
All of a sudden I was filled with fire, fervor and faith! It is a super sized combo meal and I love it!
Some years ago, I found out that I had cancer. I was devastated. I thank God that my doctor had no bedside manners. I had no problems leaving him behind. Now, I do believe in doctors; however I have no problem getting a third opinion. God has the first as far as I’m concerned. And I “lightly” regard all after that.
Well, I heard this friend on email say that she could send the light to people and they were healed. I should have played twenty questions with her to find out what she meant. I thought it was a life raft and I was up for that. Well, unfortunately, she got busy and never sent it. Based on further inquiries; I am doubtful that it would have helped me. So, I turned to the true source of life…God…Jesus…The Holy Spirit.
After the above mentioned experience; I decided I would pray for myself and move closer to God. In my heart deep down, I knew that I would find the answer there.
You see, the truth about prayer is that it works. As I have told people over the years…God doesn’t come down and say: “See, I did it! I answered your prayers!” And because of that people easily take Him for granted which is a huge mistake. That’s walking on a mountain covered with ice with gym shoes. Think I’ll pass on that approach.
In developing a prayer life, I became excited to talk and listen as God spoke back into my heart.
The truth about prayer is that it is the one way to bring God on the scene, while speaking to Him and listening to what He has to say.
It’s fun, it is easy, it is serious. God is so talkative sometimes…I’m amazed!
It shouldn’t be hard to pray for people other than ourselves and our families (or even helping them); but for most people it is a challenge. When I first became really interested in prayer…I admit that I did it for me and the people that I knew. Well, everyday someone CALLED OR ASKED ME TO ADD A NAME. I finally had to go out and buy a large Prayer Notebook…but soon I found myself writing along the sides of the pages. Then, I needed another and another…
I soon began to write letters to people to encourage them to pray and the list got larger and larger. I joined a prayer team and that is when I truly felt that “we” were not overwhelmed and were truly making a huge impact; but I realized it was only because my understanding and my level of faith changed.
The true Wisdom was that God honors prayer and of course…my personal prayer is that more people will begin to have a prayer life! You see, God doesn’y care if it’s just one person or a room full of people praying…He truly honors prayer!
But, if you really want to get breakthrough….start seeking Him out and ask Him to show you how to pray for others! The discovery is life altering! C’mon and join the ranks! Please note that at this site we pray for every prayer request, every guest, every visitor, every time that you stop by. All of the credit goes to God…it’s His idea…that you be covered!!!
“The following message is from “Daily Devotions for the Christmas Season” By Zondervan Books
“When the angels had left them and gone into Heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the Baby, Who was lying in the manger. When they had seen Him they spread the word concerning what had been told them about the Child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.” (Luke 2:15-16)
PRAYER: We can understand, O Lord, why the shepherds wanted to go to Bethlehem to see the Savior who had been born. We can only pray today the we may be as eager to understand more about our Savior and His ministry in our lives as the shepherds were to see Him. May we cause people to be amazed at what we tell them as to what the Lord means to us. May we impress upon them that what He has done for us He can do for them as well. For Jesus’ sake. Amen
I’m a very positive person. I don’t like to talk about negative stuff. I watch “little” television even less of the news and if something major happens in the world; it isn’t likely that I’ll be the first to hear about it. Celebrity gossip; I could care less. None of that directly impacts my life…however I’m not unwise enough to overlook the things and situations around me. Gossip leaves a door open for satan so I try to avoid it.
It’s important because I have to know who to pray for and how to pray. So while I do not seek out the information…I hold myself responsible to stand in the gap for other people. No, I do not have to know them.
I don’t do it because I have nothing better to do.
You see…we have an adversary…an opponent; a rival; an enemy. I was struck that one of the “web” definitions defined it as the opposite side in a lawsuit. Well, I suppose it’d be strange for two friends to oppose each other. One definition said it’s actually satan. Nice to know that they figured it out!
There was a little church in a small town somewhere in the midwest region of the United States. The people poured in on Sundays always because after many years of spiritual deadness; a few women at the church prayed for spiritual awakening. Slowly it began to happen. After five, years their membership began to greatly increase.
By the five year mark, the church began to multiply to the point where the current building plans would not hold all of the new congregants. Simultaneously, the little quiet pastor had put together quite the Prayer Team. After failing to get volunteers he made a bold move; he offered jobs to those who would be wiling to pray but mostly minister for causes that were important to God. So many people wanted to join forces for this worthy cause; with pay. Most people do not have to be paid to pray…but I will not say it’s bad because I do not know the circumstances. I will say that prayer “stays back” the hand of evil. And there is nothing wrong with rolling out thew troops! I do know that there are ministries who pay people to pray. But they are no t praying for ordinary things that might concern you or I; but for some very specific important things. They do this because they want the job done, no lack of focus, no distractions; like a job. And they have found that it is effective. But, on the other hand…I’m in a network of almost 3 dozen prayer warriors; we pray as volunteers and we’re very effective. God will back either option if it is His will.
In another financial atmosphere…people would poured forth to volunteer. Not everyone but some. This team stood in the gap in prayer and God began to move in their lives so mightily and wonderfully; that many of them began to donate all or part of the paychecks in order to help the ministry.
No, this isn’t a true story. Well, at least not to my knowledge. But, just like we have a very REAL force that comes against us; we have to have a very REAL force that counters that force. Something to think about!
We can all learn many lessons by looking closely at the case of Terry Jones. Terry Jones is the fifty-eight year old pastor who made a public plea for people worldwide to burn the Quaran! W-H-A-T! At first, when we hear that we think it’s crazy which it is…but it shows what can happen when people get frustrated about the world around them and group think takes over! Do I really think Terry Jones really think it’s a good idea. I think he did at first and then he changed his mind.
But, it makes me ask the question about this minister: “What happened?” If you research stories of Terry Jones, you’ll find that published reports indicate that he served as a missionary for over thirty years. You’ll also find a report that indicates that he was ousted as the pastor of another church of eighty odd members within the last couple of years.
However, if you’ll listen to a widely circulated taped plea of his; he sounds like this is a must nothing waivering.
But was this just a burn the Quoran speech or something deeper? Apparently, the group felt that they could stop Muslims from building a mosque into Ground Zero and someone thought they might “blackmail: the Muslim community into going along with it.
Now quite frankly such a threat against Christians would have opposite results…and blackmail would be readily rejected.
Now, if I’m honest I’ll say this: “I do not know all of the facts; but pray for Terry Jones and his congregation.” Not because I personally think they are so horrible, but because God‘s instruction must be primary in our lives if we call ourselves Christians.
Here are some scriptures that might help us understand what must be our course as believers of the bible:
1I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
2For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
3For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
4Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
Ephesians 1:16-23 (King James Version)
16I Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;
17That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
18The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
19And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
20Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
21Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
22And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
23Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
Pastors are held to a higher standard; but surely Pastor Jones is expressing frustration over what he perceives as a spiritual threat.
Ephesians 6:10-19 (King James Version)
10Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
19And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
As for me personally, I think Terry Jones ought to make it his mission to get out into the world to preach the gospel. He’d be a lot more effective that way. Do I believe in spiritual warfare? No doubt…but there is a better way.
THERE’S ANOTHER SIDE TO THIS THAT MAY BE IMPORTANT NOT TO OVERLOOK
You see Pastor Jones is like a lot of Americans who understand their rights to freedom of speech. Here in this country people can say what they think without going to jail or be penalized. That doesn’t happen in most places…people cannot protest and they can’t express such an unpopular opinion. Many groups would not understand this because they believe in the power of controlling the people. So Terry Jones and his church have the right to express their opinions. A lot of people won’t come out and say it but they agree with them in theory but maybe not in execution of it. What does that mean? It means that while no one wants to burn a Quran (what would that accomplish); many people are frustrated and trying to cope with this aggressive Muslim element that has surfaced. People want the influence to stop and they are getting desperate. Unfortunately, the Terry Jones saga may actually be the tip of the iceberg. I hope not.
I urge anyone reading this to pray not only for Terry Jones and his church; but also for the situation.