Saturday, October 22, 2011

Praying: The price


I looked for a man among them who would stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so that I would not have to destroy it, but I found none. (Ezekiel 22.10)

Intercessory prayer can only really flow out of a deep level of personal identification.

Compare the way we pray for a starving child in Africa to the way we would pray if it were our own child. The difference is not so much the scale of emotion as the level of intimacy.
When distant strangers become intimate neighbours our prayers for them find passion.
The Bible is full of such identification. Jeremiah identified so strongly with Israel's pain that he wrote: "Oh my anguish, my anguish! I writhe in pain. Oh, the agony of my heart the whole land lies in ruins." (Jeremiah 419)
Hosea was even called to identify with Israel's unfaithfulness to the extent of marrying an adulterous wife.

When Nehemiah heard about the disgrace of Israel,

"I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. Then I said: O Lord... I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father's house, have committed against you.
Sins of the nation

As we seek God for national revival, we have a priestly duty to confess the sins of our nation.

In scripture this is never a detached theological exercise, but a heart-cry, often accompanied by fasting, mourning and the wearing of sackcloth and ashes. In such prayer, we acknowledge that the filth of society infects and affects us too, and we cry out that in God's perfect anger, he would remember mercy and spare us.
Daniel prayed a remarkable intercessory prayer for Israel, owning its disobedience as his own, although he himself was "highly esteemed" by God (Daniel 1011).

"While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and making my request to the Lord my God for his holy hill Gabriel came to me in swift flight." (Daniel 9.21)

Sins of the church
Sadly, we must also own the sins of the church since no one part of the body can detach itself from the rest and claim purity. The terrible truth is that Christ's body is riddled with sickness. There is institutional inflexibility, disregard for scripture, a quenching of the Spirit, gross materialism, sexual immorality and division. No local expression can ignore the bigger problems, nor can any denomination, network or group achieve theological purity and holiness by separating off. Unity means loving one another enough to appreciate our differences, share our successes and even carry the shame of each other's sin.


Charles Finney said that the two prerequisites for revival are prayer and unity.

Without a commitment to work with other churches and bless other traditions, we cannot expect our prayers for revival to be heard. Unity must be our top priority, therefore, for at least three major reasons: God commands unity.

Remarkably, Jesus only ever commanded us to do two things:

"Preach the Gospel" (Mat.28.20) and "love one another" (John 13.34).

It is the depth of our love for each other, not our doctrinal purity, that marks us out as Christians.
Jesus' final prayer for the church was "that all of them may be one... so that the world may believe that you have sent me." (John 17.20-21).
I suspect he knew that Satan's strategy against us down the years would be to "divide and conquer". He definitely knew that God bestows blessing wherever "brothers live together in unity". (Psalm 133)

Revival requires unity

 Ed Silvoso, for example, lists unity as the primary step in "preparing an atmosphere for effective evangelism".
As we pray for revival, therefore, it is essential that we allow God to convict us of any trace of competitiveness, jealousy or sectarian prejudice against other flavours of faith.
Unity is good for your health!

Unity does not require uniformity and it is actually a good thing that the church is made up of so many different denominations, streams and traditions. How sad it would be if we had to worship like clones, when God has made us all so different! The unity that "commands God's blessing" is relational, it involves loving - and liking - one another. We will never achieve unity around doctrine and I suspect God doesn't want us to all believe exactly the same things about everything anyway!
 Wesley, Whitefield and Edwards are excellent role models for us in this. They worked together wholeheartedly, spoke well of each other unreservedly and agreed to disagree on points of theology and practice. Fellowship with those who think differently is good for us, just as cross pollination is always healthier than inter-breeding.
The  prayer that prepares the way of the Lord goes far deeper than saying "please send revival" in a thousand different ways.

It is moved by passion for the church and compassion for the lost. It identifies with the wounds and the sins of others and it wrestles, like Jacob, with God for the blessing. Jacob identified with Israel so completely that God gave it to him as his name. From that moment onwards his identity was utterly, perhaps terrifyingly, caught up in the promise of God for a nation. We too should embrace the name, the identity and the destiny of our communities. But priestly identification at such a level can cost a very great deal; having wrestled in prayer, Jacob limped for the rest of his life.

Praying the price
Prayer warriors will often carry scars that are righteous trophies of battle, the wounds of the faithful.

I'm not talking about hurts and insecurities, which relate to the selfishness of others and need to be healed. I'm talking about the intercessory pain and anguish often experienced prior to breakthrough. The enemy will often target intercessors as they lead God's people into battle, and although they know the joy of breakthrough, they may also carry the scars of the fight.

Moving house is never easy. Lorraine Fenner, who heads up our church's intercessory team, has successfully prayed a number of people into houses that they had been struggling to buy. It is as though her prayers can cut through interminable legal red tape. But ironically, Lorraine's own family lived in cramped conditions for a number of years, unable to move as potential houses fell through at the last moment with depressing regularity.
The apostle Paul experienced such frustration on an even bigger scale. Having been used to perform remarkable miracles, he lived his life with a 'thorn in the flesh' that God would not remove.

It is no coincidence that many prayer warriors have known a great deal of personal pain and this has somehow refined their faith and focused their eyes on eternity in a way that makes Satan tremble.

Such intercessory warriors should be honoured and protected by the church because their ministry is probably the most sacrificial service Christians can give themselves to. That is why the church thrives in the blood of martyrs: martyrdom is the ultimate sacrifice, unlocking the purest power of the cross.

The price paid by those in revival is little compared to that of those who prayed it in and I suspect that particular honour awaits these faithful forerunners in heaven. "It may be that in the eyes of God it is a greater honour to be chosen prior to the outbreak of revival, to be an emissary and a channel of the living God in the preparation time, in the harder time, than in revival time itself. Masses of people then will benefit from the flooding of the rivers of God, but the honour of the battlefield, I suggest, is given to the pioneers who prepare the way for the later flood tides. It may be that you now live in the hour of greatest opportunity from God's standpoint. What an hour in which to be alive!"
Source: Extract from 'Awakening Cry' Pete Greig

Are you praying for Someone?
He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor." Isaiah 59:16 NKJV

"The Spirit himself makes intercession for us…" Romans 8:26 NKJV

"I will pour out…the Spirit of grace and supplication…" Zechariah 12:10 NKJV

In the early '70s, my family moved to California from Kuala Lumpur. My oldest sister was in her first year of college. I was an idealistic 14-year-old, enamored by the romantic notions of the hippy movement.

One night, I tagged along with my two sisters to what we thought was a concert in the student lounge. Before the music began, we sat on the lawn of the campus, getting high.

Three people walked over to our little huddle and began to talk to us about God. Something strange and unfamiliar stirred in my heart for the first time.

We wandered into the lounge, listened to some rock band play, and heard a testimony followed by a simple gospel message. I alone stood up to pray, heart pounding, so self-conscious among the seated college crowd.

That was the night I gave my life to Christ. Some 40 years later, I'm writing this in gratitude to that someone who prayed.

Someone had a burden for students.
Someone booked the lounge that night.
Someone invited a preacher and musicians to whom I could relate.
Someone put up posters and invited kids like me to come.
Someone cared about four girls sitting on the college lawn getting high.
Someone spoke simply and clearly enough for a 14-year-old to get it!
Someone sat with me after the concert to follow up after I prayed the sinner's prayer.
I was given a small gospel of John that someone else had paid for.

And three days later, someone wrote a letter and made a phone call, inviting me to go to church that week. My life was changed…forever.

Every facet of that evening was an important link in the chain of events that transformed my life and, later on, the lives of my sisters, my brother, and our family.

This is the first time in 40 years that I have wondered, who was it that prayed for me?


Now I feel the Holy Spirit asking me, whom are you praying for? Is it a loved one, a friend, a neighbor?

Just think what God would do if more of us prayed, and invited, and brought someone to hear to gospel.

Source: Kathe Laurie website: 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Learning To Pray

Learning To Pray
The Bible talks about prayer more than it talks about singing, and so it is essential that we teach this new generation how to live life in conversation with the living God. If you think about it that is the most exciting thing you can possibly do. But a circle of plastic chairs in a cold church hall on a Thursday night is not going to get anybody excited. Nor is listening to people screaming in tongues. We need to tell stories of the miracles that happen when we pray that get young people excited. And we need to be honest about the times when prayer doesn't work they can smell a fake at a hundred metres. And we need to be creative about the ways in which we facilitate and lead prayer. 
It's interesting to me that the first person that the Bible describes as being filled with the Holy Spirit is not a prophet, not a priest and not a king. It was Bezalel and his job was to make the place of prayer (the tabernacle) a place in which it was easy to connect with God through the use of the arts.

But what if you don't feel like praying…

Prayer is a discipline.  It's a bit like my relationship with my wife: when we first fell in love it was all just pure chemistry and all we ever wanted to do was spend time together. For a lot of people prayer starts out like that it's just adrenalin. The excitement of knowing that you are talking to the living God! But nowadays in my marriage I have to plan 'date nights' in my diary, and maybe we go out for a meal, light a candle, listen to some smoochy music.  By disciplining myself to spend time like this with my wife, we keep the passion alive.  It's not a sign of an unhealthy relationship it's a sign of a deepening and a maturing relationship. 

It's the same with prayer.  By disciplining ourselves to spend time with God, we can move beyond the stages of infatuation, into a deeper, more mature relationship with him.  Some people make time to pray at the gym. Others find it helpful to listen to loud music, or to be silent and still. Learn to pray the way God made you.

How can we stay in Gods presence, daily?

I love these stories of brother Lawrence who worked in the kitchen of a monastery and learned to 'practise the presence of God' all the time. If you spend ten minutes in prayer each day, that is just so that you can spend the other twenty-three hours and fifty minutes with a greater awareness of the presence of God. 
Prayer is the time that you re-align your thinking to the reality of God's love. It is good and important to have daily disciplines of prayer, but it is also important not to beat yourself up if you sometimes don't manage it. This is a thrilling invitation, not a heavy religious duty. Don't get guilty just get God!

How do you hear Gods voice? How do you know it's God, not your own thinking?

I am terrible at discerning God's voice but I am getting a little bit better and I try to learn all that I can from people who are brilliant at hearing his 'still small voice'. Some people think that God communicates with us like land mail that comes through our door. He sends word occasionally, when we really need it but he's silent the rest of the time. Other people think that God communicates more like a cell phone. He texts or calls several times a week but the rest of the time he's busy doing other stuff.  And then there are others who think that God broadcasts more like a radio station he is continually 'on air' and we just have to learn to tune into what he is saying and listen.

I am trying to get a lot better at listening to God in the normal and ordinary things. The Bible is our guide to understanding God's heart and purposes, but I try to listen to him when I'm watching TV, when I'm talking to my friends, when I'm out running in the countryside.  Keeping a journal is one of the ways I find it helpful to capture and reflect on what God is saying to me.

I sometimes think it's like when you start a relationship with somebody. At first when they phone you they have to say what their name is but after a while you learn to recognise their voice and they can simply say 'Hi it's me'. As we go on in our relationship with God we get much better at recognising God's voice.
Source: An Interview with Pete Greig who is a founding champion of the 24-7 Prayer International Movement

Further Articles related to learning to Pray can be found in Archives:
How to Pray June 2011* Keys to Effective Prayers  May 2009 * Teach Me How to Pray Feb 2006 Archives

Friday, October 14, 2011

How to have Prayer Power!

PRAYER MUST BE A PRIORITY.  "That men ought always to pray" (Luke 18:1).

Prayer was a priority with Jesus. Many people pray when they don't know what else to do. The Son of God prayed before He did anything. (Matthew 6:33, Mark 1:35, Matthew 26:40-41)

Is prayer a daily priority in your life?
How to have Prayer Power!  
Whatever your goals and dreams are, you can do much more with God than without Him.  Jesus said, "with God all things are possible". The power of prayer has improved the lives of millions of people. Prayer works!  Prayer brings blessings and miracles!

By praying, we are relying on God, and not ourselves.  We are telling God that our source is Him.  Prayer seeks help from God. 
Humanism seeks to do things without God. When we are willing to pray for everything, we are telling God that He is our source for everything.

God answers prayer!  When prayers go up, blessings come down.  

Jesus said, "Ask, and it shall be given you."  God will give you your hopes, your dreams, and your needs – if you ask! 
God created us to be able to talk to him. We do not have to be perfect to pray. God accepts us where we are at, and will help us move in His direction – teaching us to pray His word and agree with Him!

THE BIBLE – is the resource on prayer. The Bible reveals God's will and His promises for us!  The Bible has the solution to all problems. 

It is important for us to read the Bible to be sure we are praying God's will, and God's solutions!

JESUS – is the teacher on prayer!  Jesus is our greatest example for having great Prayer habits and enormous Faith.  He reveals to us the secrets on how to tap into God's power and get great results in prayer!  To get Miraculous results we must be connected with the Miraculous God!

The most powerful prayers come when we pray God's word and His will.  God cannot do anything against His word.  Blessings overflow when we get in unity with God.  That is the secret.

 Question: "What is the power of prayer?"

The idea that power is inherent in prayer is a very popular one. According to the Bible, the power of prayer is, quite simply, the power of God, who hears and answers prayer. Consider the following:

1) The Lord God Almighty can do all things; there is nothing impossible for Him (
Luke 1:37).

2) The Lord God Almighty invites His people to pray to Him. Prayer to God should be made persistently (
Luke 18:1), with thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6), in faith (James 1:5), within the will of God (Matthew 6:10), for the glory of God (John 14:13-14), and from a heart right with God (James 5:16).

3) The Lord God Almighty hears the prayers of His children. He commands us to pray, and He promises to listen when we do. "In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears" (
Psalm 18:6).

4) The Lord God Almighty answers prayer. "I call on you, O God, for you will answer me" (
Psalm 17:6). "The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles" (Psalm 34:17).

Another popular idea is that the amount of faith we have determines whether or not God will answer our prayers. 

However, sometimes the Lord answers our prayers in spite of our own lack of faith. In Acts 12, the church prays for Peter's release from prison (v. 5), and God answers their prayer (vv. 7-11). Peter goes to the door of the prayer meeting and knocks, but those who are praying refuse at first to believe that it is really Peter. They prayed he would be released, but they failed to expect an answer to their prayers.

The power of prayer does not flow from us; it is not special words we say or the special way we say them or even how often we say them. The power of prayer is not based on a certain direction we face or a certain position of our bodies. The power of prayer does not come from the use of artifacts or icons or candles or beads. 

The power of prayer comes from the omnipotent One who hears our prayers and answers them.

Prayer places us in contact with Almighty God, and we should expect almighty results, whether or not He chooses to grant our petitions or deny our requests. Whatever the answer to our prayers, the God to whom we pray is the source of the power of prayer, and He can and will answer us, according to His perfect will and timing.

Recommended Resource:
Prayer, The Great Adventure by David Jeremiah.
 Power Of Prayer - How powerful is it?

The power of prayer should not be underestimated. James 5:16-18 declares, "…The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops." God most definitely listens to prayers, answers prayers, and moves in response to prayers.

Jesus taught, "…I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you" (Matthew 17:20).

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 tells us, "The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."

The Bible urges us, "And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints" (Ephesians 6:18).

Power Of Prayer - How do I tap into it?
 1 John 5:14-15 tells us, "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us - whatever we ask - we know that we have what we asked of him."

 No matter the person praying, the passion behind the prayer, or the purpose of the prayer - God answers prayers that are in agreement with His will. His answers are not always yes, but are always in our best interest. When our desires line up with His will, we will come to understand that in time. When we pray passionately and purposefully, according to God's will, God responds powerfully!

We cannot access powerful prayer by using "magic formulas." Our prayers being answered is not based on the eloquence of our prayers. We don't have to use certain words or phrases to get God to answer our prayers. In fact, Jesus rebukes those who pray using repetitions, "And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him" (Matthew 6:7-8).

Prayer is communicating with God. All you have to do is ask God for His help.

Psalm 107:28-30 reminds us, "Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven."

The power of prayer is not the result of the person praying. Rather, the power resides in the God who is being prayed to.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Power In Prayer Continued

There is power in prayer!

Power Of Prayer - For what kind of things should I pray?

God's help through the power of prayer is available for all kinds of requests and issues.

Philippians 4:6-7 tells us, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

If you need an example of a prayer, read Matthew 6:9-13. These verses are known as the Lord's prayer.

The Lord's prayer is not a prayer we are supposed to memorize and simply recite to God. It is only an example of how to pray and the things that should go into a prayer - worship, trust in God, requests, confession, protection, etc. Pray for these kinds of things, but speak to God using your own words.

The Word of God is full of accounts describing the power of prayer in various situations. The power of prayer has overcome enemies (Psalm 6:9-10), conquered death (2 Kings 4:3-36), brought healing (James 5:14-15), and defeated demons (Mark 9:29). God, through prayer, opens eyes, changes hearts, heals wounds, and grants wisdom (James 1:5).

The power of prayer should never be underestimated because it draws on the glory and might of the infinitely powerful God of the universe! Daniel 4:35 proclaims, "All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: 'What have you done?'"

PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING.Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise; be thankful unto Him, and bless His name.” Psalm 100:4. “Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving and make a joyful noise unto Him with psalms. O come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our maker.” Psalm 95:2,6.

It is powerful and a very special experience to begin prayer time with thanksgiving and praise. Also, mingle requests with praise and thanksgiving. The prayers in the Bible by men such as Daniel, Elijah, and others always began with praise, thanksgiving, or confessing who God is. “We do not pray any too much, but we are too sparing of giving thanks. If the loving-kindness of God called forth more thanksgiving and praise, we would have far more power in prayer.

Our Goal is to keep ALL Prayers:

Simple - Talk with God as a friend. Nothing complicated or memorized.

Positive - Positive Prayers are faith-filled and line up with the Bible, Negative Prayers are fear-filled and do not line up with God’s Word.

Powerful - Filled with the anointing of God. Affirm and confess what God says.

Proven - Backed up by God’s word – the most Powerful and Proven force in the Universe. Learn to speak and pray God's Bible Promises for your life! Get Victory in every area of your life!

Spiritual Awareness and Protection

Once you become an effective prayer warrior by praying in God's will you will attract the attention of the spiritual forces of evil in the spiritual realms.

It is written in Ephesians 6:12: "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."

You must, therefore, become spiritually aware so that you may recognize when you are under attack from the evil ones. You must also learn how to defend yourself against any such assaults.

Speak the Word over your circumstances and use it as you pray concerning every aspect of your life.

Source: Got Questions Ministries - Bible Questions Answered
If you found this article helpful and need to know more about Spiritual Awareness please take time to read articles listed below. The Archives are found on left side of this Blogg. Be blessed and Empowered Today!

April 2006 Archive: SPIRITUAL WARFARE - WE WIN THROUGH PRAYER! - Wait On The Lord - Gods Weapons Of Warfare - Fight against the Kingdom of Darkness effectively

Jan 2007 Archive: When overwhelmed in Spiritual Warfare

Feb 2007 Archive: UNLEASHING THE POWER OF GOD - Spiritual Survival! Feb 2007

May 2007 Archive: Affirmations Using God's word

Also you may find helpful "Prayers to pray using Scripture' these can be found in my other Blogg called "Reflection Jewels' 2009 archive the link for this is at top of page on left hand side.
"Pull Out Your Sword"
"...  and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God"  Ephesians 6:17b

My little granddaughter spent the night with me the night before last. When we got up yesterday morning, after we had a quiet moment to wake up and a time of prayer for our families,
I decided to tell her about the armor of God (in three year old terms). 

 So I told her that we are soldiers for Jesus and we needed to put on our armor. 

We physically went through the motions of putting on each piece. Afterwards, I told her that every time the devil tried to "make" her not mind her parents, or get angry, or be unkind for her to "hold" her sword out and tell him, "Devil, I am not going to disobey my mama; I am going to obey her". So all day long, each time I would see her doing any of those things, I told her, "Pull out your sword" and she would. After she did she would do the right thing. 

I was thinking about that this morning, mostly thinking that there's a lot of Christians (and most of them adults) who need to be doing the same thing. 

They need to be pulling out their swords (the sword of the Spirit- the Word of God) and using it against the enemy. There are many of them who fall prey to his temptations.

We have been given spiritual weapons in which to fight against our enemy and not only fight him, but prevail. The Lord has provided the weapons. He even says that He will fight our battles for us. 

Jesus already got victory over him and has made us more than conquerors through His victory. And He left us an example of how to use the weapons that He has provided. 

Therefore, when we are in the time of temptation, we don't have to give in to it. 

And just like my granddaughter, after she pulled out her "sword", she did the right thing. 

So when the temptation to be angry, unkind, bitter, unforgiving, to cheat, to lie or steal, or whatever the temptation is- you need to "pull out your sword" and say... "It is written". 

Have a great day. Don't forget about your weapons and use them. 
Source: From Coffee Break a morning devotional written by Lorraine Ezell About the Master's Business Ministry, Inc.
Affirmations/scriptures to speak out can be found in May Archive 2007 - Also you may find helpful "Prayers to pray using Scripture' these can be found in my other Blogg called "Reflection Jewels' 2009 archive the link for this is at top of page on left hand side.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

God Is With Us In The Storms:

 Many times in the last few years I have posted messages warning us to prepare for storms that may come in life many took heed by maintaining diciplines of spending time with Abba, praying and reading the word.   Many ask why are these things happening to me? Many times there is no answer.
Recently my attention was caught by the next few messages I have posted below by Greg Laurie. These messages are encouragements that no matter what your situation is 'God is with you'. It also shows storms can come to correct, protect or perfect us. As you read may you be blessed, encouraged and able to go on to encourage others. 
My Grace is Sufficient for You

You know the drill. Things are going well, no crisis, no conflicts to speak of, pretty much smooth sailing. Then seemingly out of nowhere, a storm hits. Maybe it's a crisis, or a hardship. Maybe it's a personal tragedy. So what do you do when a hurricane-force storm hits and water is filling your boat?

Answer: You take heart. Because you are not alone.

When Paul was at sea on his way to Rome and the mighty tempest hit him and the others on board, he was able to courageously encourage others.
He told them, "But take courage! None of you will lose your lives, even though the ship will go down. For last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me" (Acts 27:22-23).

God was with him

How was Paul able to be so confident?

He was conscious of the presence of God in the face of danger. He knew that God was there with him.

And God is with us in our storms as well. God will always give us what we need when we need it. You remember that Paul had what he called his "thorn in the flesh," which was presumably some kind of physical disability or illness. He asked the Lord three times to remove it (see 2 Corinthians 12).

God's answer was, "My grace is sufficient for you" (2 Corinthians 12:9), which is another way of saying, "I will be with you, Paul. Instead of a healing, I will personally be there in a special and sufficient way." Now it is the Lord

A. B. Simpson wrote these words:

"Once it was the Blessing, now it is the Lord.

Once it was the Feeling, now it is His Word.

Once His Gifts I wanted, now the Giver alone.

Once I sought Healing, now Himself alone."

God is with you right now, regardless of the storm or even the shipwreck. We may not hear an audible voice, but you may hear that "still small voice" of God's Holy Spirit. Or He will speak to you through His Word.

Then you, like Paul, can reassure others that "the Lord is in control."Time and time again, God reminded Paul of His presence.

1.     He was there when Paul was in jail in Jerusalem, as Jesus told him to "be courageous!" (Acts 23:11)

2.     It happened in 2 Timothy 4:16-17 when Paul said, "All deserted me . . . but the Lord stood by me."
3.     And it happened here in Acts 27, in the midst of the storm.
When the boss calls you in his office . . .

You can take heart in the face of danger or uncertainty because you are aware of God's presence with you.

When your boss says, "I'm really sorry, but I'm going to have to let you go!" Or when the doctor says, "The test results are back and I need you to come in." Or when the telephone rings and someone says, "There's been an accident."

You are not alone. The Lord is standing next to you. He cares. Jesus said, "Lo, I am with you always, to the very end of the age" (Matthew 28:20).

Source: Greg Laurie: Daily Devotion June 5  2010 website:
Storms that Correct

And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said, "My child, don't make light of the Lord's discipline, and don't give up when he corrects you. For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child." — Hebrews 12:5–6

Storms will come in life in the form of a hardship or crisis or even tragedy. There will be times when we can anticipate the storm, when we see the clouds start to darken and hear the thunder in the distance. At other times, a storm will arrive unexpectedly. But there is no getting around the fact that we will go through storms.

We will bring some storms on ourselves as a result of our actions. We will do something wrong, it catches up with us, and we face the consequences. A classic example of this is Jonah. God called him, an Israelite, to go and bring a message of repentance to the great city of Nineveh. But the people of Nineveh were enemies of Israel. So Jonah reasoned that if he preached to the Ninevites, they would probably repent and God would spare them. On the other hand, if he didn't preach to them, they wouldn't repent, and God would destroy them. That would be one less enemy Israel would have to worry about. So Jonah boarded a boat that was traveling in the opposite direction.

A terrible storm arose, which was so severe that even the seasoned sailors began to call upon their various gods, hoping for deliverance. Ultimately it was determined that the storm they were facing was a result of Jonah's disobedience. So Jonah was thrown overboard, and you know the rest of the story.

That is what we would call a correcting storm. Correcting storms are reminders that God loves us. If God didn't love Jonah, He wouldn't have sent a storm. But He wanted to get Jonah's attention and get him back on track. So if you find yourself in the midst of a correcting storm, know that it is because God loves you.
Correcting Storms

As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? If God doesn't discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. — Hebrews 12:7–8

When storms come into our lives, some of them can be considered correcting storms. After Jonah disobeyed God and tried to run the other way, a great storm arose, and God took hold of the reluctant prophet and put him back on course. That storm was the result of Jonah's own disobedience to God and the call on his life.

Many times we bring storms on ourselves when we do the wrong things and then experience the repercussions. And sometimes God will allow us to reap what we have sown so that we ultimately will change our ways.

But when we go astray and then face God's discipline, it is a reminder that we are His children. Hebrews 12:7–8 tells us, "As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? If God doesn't discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all."David wrote, "Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me" (Psalm 23:4). The staff is that long, crooked instrument the shepherd used to pull a wayward sheep back into line. But the rod is a club. And sometimes the shepherd would use the rod to break a sheep's legs, if necessary. That may seem drastic, but it is better to have a broken leg than to become a leg of lamb. If that sheep wandered away from the others, he was easy prey. So the shepherd protected that wayward sheep and the others that may have followed it.

In the same way, when we are going the wrong direction, God will discipline us. This is the purpose of correcting storms in our lives.
Source: Greg Laurie: Daily Devotion December 13 // 2010 website:
Storms that Perfect

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. — James 1:2–4

Some storms in our lives are not the result of our disobedience to God; they are the result of our obedience to Him. A good example of this is Job. What was Job doing wrong when all of those calamities befell him? Nothing. In fact, he was doing so well that God was bragging on him in the presence of the angels and Satan: "Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?" (Job 1:8).

Then the attacks on Job began. These were allowed by God to bring about change in his life. So Job went through a perfecting storm. James writes, "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing" (James 1:2–4).
 The end game of a perfecting storm is to make us more like Christ.
We may think that when a bad thing happens, it will always turn into a good thing, because Romans 8:28 says, "All things work together for good to those who love God. . . . "
While there are some bad things that God turns into good things, there are also some bad things that are always bad things. Let's remember the verse that comes after Romans 8:28: "For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son . . . " (verse 29).

God's end game is not to make us happy, but to make us holy. And I believe that if we are holy, we will be happy, ultimately. It is not all about happiness; it is about becoming more like Jesus.
Perfecting Storms

For our present troubles are small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don't look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. — 2 Corinthians 4:17–18

Probably the most common storms we face in life are perfecting storms. These storms come into our lives as a result of following Jesus. But God has a work He wants to do and a desired result that He wants to produce in these storms. As 2 Corinthians 4:17 reminds us, "For our present troubles are small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!"

Storms will come, and in the midst of them, God is doing a work. Sometimes you can see the work, and sometimes you can't. Sometimes that work is simply to conform us into the image of Jesus Christ.
 Quite honestly, a lot of storms are inexplicable. And when you get to heaven, you will understand why God allowed that storm and why that particular difficulty lasted so long. We can't control our universe. (I have tried, and it doesn't work.) We can't say when a storm will start or when a storm will stop. All we can do is react to that storm.

One of the greatest examples of this is found in the life of Joni Eareckson Tada who, as a young girl, dove into a shallow lake and suffered a spinal cord injury that paralyzed her from the neck down. Despite this severe, lifelong disability, Joni has encouraged millions of people. Now she is battling breast cancer. In an interview she said, "I keep thinking God is up to something big. How can I showcase Him to others?" She knows that her life is on display, and others are watching and learning by her response to these storms.

One day, every storm will have an end. And then, in the big picture, we will see God's ultimate plan and purpose.
Source: Greg Laurie: Daily Devotion December 15 // 2010 website:
Storms that Protect

Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. — Matthew 14:22

Sometimes a storm will come into our lives that is protecting us from something worse. This is hard for us to wrap our minds around. Is it possible that a hardship ever could be better than a success? Sometimes it can, because there are things we learn that we would not have learned otherwise.

That is the type of storm the disciples faced when Jesus made them get into a boat and go to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. Trouble was brewing. Jesus had just fed the multitude, and He "perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king" (John 6:15). Effectively the people said, "You are going to be our king whether you like it or not, because you are the kind of king we want. Raising the dead? That's nice. Restoration of sight to the blind? That's good. Free meal? Now we are talking." They essentially were using Jesus.

So He sent the disciples away, because He knew this would destroy them. On more than one occasion, they had argued about who would be greatest in the kingdom. For their own protection, Jesus had to get them out of there as soon as possible. He was basically saying, "Guys, I am delivering you from major success, which only would destroy you at this time in your lives. So get into the boat."

We need to remember that He who stirred up the storm is also the hiding place in it. God will allow calamity in your life to show you His power. Storms will come. There is no getting around them. Jesus knew a storm was coming when He sent the disciple away—but He was with them in that storm. And He will be with you as well.
Protecting Storms

Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home. . . . Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. — Matthew 14:22, 24

The Gospel of John records the story of the Feeding of the Five Thousand, which was Jesus' most popular miracle. The people loved it so much that afterward, they came by force to make Jesus their king. But Jesus knew their hearts were wrong. He knew they didn't really want Him to be their Lord and Master; they just wanted a free lunch from that point on.

He also knew it would destroy His disciples, who already were having visions of grandeur. On more than one occasion, they argued about who would be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. If the people had taken Jesus and made him king, the disciples suddenly would be elevated to positions of prominence. So Jesus got His boys out of Dodge as quickly as possible. He put them into a boat and sent them to the other side. And as they were crossing, a storm came up.

The disciples were experiencing a protecting storm. And what was it protecting them from? Themselves. Sometimes God will bring difficulty into our lives to keep us from something worse. Be thankful that God doesn't answer all of your prayers in the affirmative: Lord, if You really love me, this person would marry me. . . . Lord, if You really love me, I would have gotten that promotion. . . . Lord, if You really love me, I would win the lottery. God knows what is best. He loves you too much, and therefore is not going to let certain things happen. Maybe God knows that thing you want so bad would actually destroy you if you were to get it.

Are you facing a storm in your life today—a storm that is not of your own making? Just maybe it is a protecting storm.
Source: Greg Laurie: Daily Devotion December 14 // 2010 website:
Through Rough Waters

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you. Isaiah 43:2

When the disciples faced a violent storm on the Sea of Galilee, they cried out to Jesus, and He stopped it. But first He rebuked them. He asked, "Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?" (Matthew 8:26). In other words, "Hey, guys, where is your faith? Haven't you learned anything?"

We find a little detail in Mark 4:35 that we don't have in Matthew's account of the story: "On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, 'Let us cross over to the other side.' " Jesus did not promise the disciples smooth sailing. But He did promise a safe arrival. They needed to know it would be rough. But Jesus did say, "Let us cross over to the other side." And that means they would get to the other side.

Jesus promises to be with us as well. God says, "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you" (Isaiah 43:2). In the storm you are in right now, God is with you. He is walking with you through it.

But if you abandon your faith, if you turn against God, you won't make it. God has given you a free will, and you can choose to walk away from Him. However, if you want to make it, then you will. It won't be through your effort, but because God will give you the strength to make it. And He is looking for your cooperation.

Storms will come into every life. The rain will fall and the wind will blow. You might have a rough voyage, but you will get to the other side.

 Greg Laurie: Daily Devotion December 16 // 2010 website: 

Hope for the Storms

Reflective Thought: When you go through difficulties in life, there are things you will learn and discover that you would not learn anywhere else! Know that you are not alone, and God will get you through whatever you are facing.

Hope for the Storms  (Greg Laurie)

Matthew's Gospel tells us, 'Now when He [Jesus] got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea...' (Matthew 8:23–24 NKJV)
Sometimes when storms come into our lives, when hardships come, we may think it is because we are doing something wrong.
But notice these disciples were in the will of God. The storm came as they were obeying Jesus, not because they had disobeyed Him.
And sometimes calamities will come because of your obedience, not your disobedience.

This reminds us that storms will come into our lives.
The storm the disciples were facing was a serious one—so serious in fact that these seasoned sailors began to fear for their lives. In the original Greek, the word that is used to describe this storm is also used to speak of an earthquake. So it was a mega-storm.
One translation from Mark's Gospel says the boat was filling with water, and they were in great danger. These were guys who knew how to navigate rough seas and knew how to use their equipment. And they were panicking. Meanwhile, Jesus was sound asleep in the lower part of the boat.
Does it ever seem to you as though God is asleep, that He is not paying attention?
It can be rather disheartening when someone falls asleep when we need them. In the technical sense, Jesus, weary from a hard day's work, was asleep.
But in the broader sense, God never sleeps. Psalm 121:4 NKJV says, 'Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.'  

God is always on watch, always on duty, always paying attention. Jesus was asleep because He rested confidently in the will of God the Father.

The disciples cried out to Jesus, 'Lord, save us! We are perishing!' (Matthew 8:25 NKJV) And that is what we need to do when we find ourselves in the midst of a storm.
We are not going to offend or hurt God by crying out to him.
Tell him how you are feeling. Sometimes I think we feel as though we need to sanitise all of our prayers.

God wants to hear you speak from your heart. He wants honest prayer.

Even Jesus, hanging on the cross, cried out, 'My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?'

You can be sure the disciples had tried everything possible to get out of the mess they were in. But after exhausting all their efforts, they knew Jesus was their only hope.
Sometimes in life, God will allow us get to the end of our rope to come to the end of ourselves so that we will cry out to Him. And when we cry out to Him, He is always ready to answer.

God says, 'He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honour him.' (Psalm 91:15 NKJV)

Although the shrieking of the storm did not wake Jesus, the cry of His disciples did. He heard their cries, and He responded by rebuking the storm. Suddenly everything calmed down. Matthew's Gospel tells us that it was 'a great calm' (8:26).
God has His purposes in the storms of life. Maybe you are in a storm right now and have cried out forit to stop, but it hasn't. In fact, maybe it has gotten worse.
You are wondering why God is allowing it. There are no easy answers to that question, but know this:

where there are no trials in life, there will be no triumphs. It has been said the hammer shatters glass, but it forges steel. And often in the hardships of life, great things will come.
Many times when you go through difficulties in life, there are things you will learn and discover that you would not learn anywhere else.

Psalm 23 is a well-loved passage of Scripture that opens with a pleasant scene: 'The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters' (vv1–2).

It was written by a shepherd named David, who knew a little bit about sheep. But David continues, 'Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me' (v4).

'Hold on,' we say. 'I signed up for green pastures and still waters—not for dark valleys. I don't do valleys.'

While there will be those times God will take us to green pastures and still waters, He will lead us into valleys as well. And it is through those valleys we learn important lessons, because fruit does not grow on mountaintops; it grows in valleys.

And here is the secret of making it through the valleys of life, the storms of life: Know that you are not alone, and God will get you through whatever you are facing.
David said, 'I will fear no evil; for You are with me' (Psalm 23:4).

That is the hope and the promise: God is with you. And He is with you in your storms.

Used with Permission: (Part Message) UCB Today June 11


I have placed this link below by Skit Guys (Mini-Movies) As it gives one something to reflect on. May it bless you & inspire you to pray!

Prayer is our way to communicate with God, but as Christians we often treat prayer as something to be checked off a list and we miss the part where we are building our relationship with the Creator of the universe.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

To Walk With God - Daily

To Walk With God - Daily

In the days ahead many will be stirred by proclamations, both true and false, of ominous events set for fulfillment on specific dates. However, we are not being prepared for a "date" but for a marriage.

It is the depth of our day-by-day relationship with Christ that defines walking with God at the end of the age.

The confidence we have as we face tomorrow is rooted in the quality of our walk with God today. Thus, as these days unfold, the way of the Lord will be revealed for what it truly is: a narrow path upon which we walk with God. It is an indisputable truth: the only way to prepare for Jesus' second coming is to faithfully obey what He commanded in His first coming – and His first command was "Follow Me" (John 1:43).

What does it mean to "follow" Jesus but that we walk faithfully with Him throughout our life? The fact is, we anticipate the nearness of the Lord, but we do not know when He might return. While I believe we are very near to the end of the age, still it may be many years before some of the unfulfilled prophecies come to pass. Regardless, our call is to follow the Lamb – to walk with Him every day.

If we study the Scriptures, we will see that, from the beginning, the Lord always provided for those who walked with Him in His presence. No matter what occurred in the world, God's servants were not held hostage to the fears and anxieties of their times. Their walk with God prepared them for all things.

Jesus said the days prior to His return would be as the days of Noah. Let us look again at Noah's life. God did not give Noah a predetermined date specifying when the flood would come. The Lord gave Noah two things: a task, which was to build the ark, and time to get the job done.

The Almighty could have destroyed wickedness in a heartbeat. Yet, the Scriptures tell us that the "patience of God kept waiting...during the construction of the ark" (1 Peter 3:20). The priority of God was focused not on what was to be destroyed but on what was being built.

Too many of us are so focused on what the devil is doing that we fail to see what God is doing. The focus of the Lord is not on how dark evil becomes but how Christlike the Church becomes! There is a grace streaming from God's heart. In the midst of great darkness, the Lord has purposed to bring glory to Himself and protection to His people.

God told Noah to build the ark. When the task was completed, then the flood came. We also have a task, a vision from God: build the house of the Lord and participate in the harvest of the nations. Jesus did not say, "When evil gets worse the harvest begins." He said, "when the crop permits...the harvest has come" (Mark 4:29).

Certainly, God's highest plans will not be diverted by the increase of wickedness. One may say that God's justice demands He destroy the wicked! Yes, but His nature demands His good plans and promises concerning His glory in the Church first be fulfilled!

Look again at Noah. Noah lived at a time when "every intent of the thoughts of his [man's] heart was only evil continually." His world, like ours, "was corrupt in the sight of God, and...filled with violence" (Genesis 6:5, 11).

Yet, during these same days, "Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord" (Genesis 6:8). What was unique about Noah? How did he find the preserving grace of God in his life? The Scriptures tell us, "Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God" (Genesis 6:9).

I love this Scripture: Noah walked with God. What does it mean to walk with God? It means that we stay yielded to His Word and attentive to His presence. Though we do not see Him, we know Him. We have found our place of security in the Almighty. Our peace comes from Him, not people, places, or things.

The name Noah means "rest." As the Lord's servant, Noah not only knew his mission in life, but he found His place of rest in God alone. Step-by-step, day-by-day, Noah lived in the Lord's presence. Noah walked with God and was intimate with Him.

But to know someone deeply does not happen quickly. It takes time to penetrate through the veil of unknowing into the place of enduring friendship and intimacy. This is why walking with God is so pleasing to Him, for it creates a time-tested relationship between God and man. We no longer are controlled by the opinions, criticisms, and approval of the world around us. Only as our walk with God matures does intimacy with the Creator truly begin and peace about the future increase.

Consider Abraham. Abraham was called the friend of God (see Isaiah 41:8). When he was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, "I am God Almighty; walk before Me, and be blameless" (Genesis 17:1). Walking with God leads to purity and intimate friendship with God. It is the source of becoming blameless.

Abraham's descendants, Isaac and Jacob, also walked with God (Genesis 48:15). The lifelong companionship between the Almighty and these patriarchs set the standard for all who followed, from the kings and the prophets of Israel to each Christian who walks with God today.

My Own Experience

We should not be hard on those who have falsely affixed a prophetic event or even the Second Coming to a specific date. It is usually the sincerity of these people that propels their prophecies into regional or national prominence. I, myself, was swept up in a similar experience in the mid-seventies.

Those were days when threats of nuclear war seemed everywhere; many Christians were predicting divine judgment for America. During those days, I came across an article about a huge comet that was due to appear on Christmas Day, 1973. Previously unknown, the comet was named Kohoutek after the Hungarian astronomer who discovered it. The signs of the times confirmed my fears, but when I read in a religious publication that Kohoutek meant "the wolf that devours the lamb," I felt certain that this was a "sign in the heavens" confirming that the end was near.

Compelled by my inner convictions, I began to warn every church in Detroit, all 1,200 of them, that the world would end that Christmas. I even managed to become a guest on the most-watched morning talk show in Detroit, where I warned as many as three million people of God's imminent wrath.

Christmas came and went and nothing happened. The comet was an over-exaggerated astronomical flop. I had been so sure of my insights, so fearfully compelled by the signs of the times, yet so wrongly informed. Then in late January, I happened to meet a woman fluent in Hungarian. I asked her to translate Kohoutek into English. She thought it meant something like "add a tomato to the stew."

God knew my motives were right, even though my knowledge was wrong. Out of that humiliating experience I began to research other "end of the world" movements in Church history. In my study, I discovered two significant items that occurred in Europe. Masses of people were convinced the year 1666 would see the rise of the Antichrist. This thought led to waves of fanaticism and fear which spread from country to country.

I had also been reading a devotional containing a series of letters written by a man named Brother Lawrence, a monk who served Christ as a dishwasher in a monastery. The simple, yet profound, sense of God's presence that accompanied Brother Lawrence made this book, The Practice of the Presence of God, an enduring Christian classic. But what changed my life was that his first letters were written in the year 1666, during the time when Europe was awash with fear of the Antichrist! For all the turmoil in the world around him, at least one soul dwelt in the peace of Jesus Christ.

Brother Lawrence serves as a model for our generation. For when the terrors and confusion of the end of the age increase, it is only in the Lord's presence that we shall find a calm harbor. And to truly know Him then, we must walk with Him now.

Enoch Walked With God

One of my favorite texts is from Genesis 5:22-24. It reads, "Then Enoch walked with God three hundred years...and he was not, for God took him." Hebrews 11:5 tells us that Enoch had "obtained the witness...he was pleasing to God."

Enoch walked with God 300 years. Every day, Enoch arose and sought the Lord, walking faithfully with the Almighty. Eventually, Enoch became so pleasing to God that, without passing through death, He was taken home to be with the Lord.

So also with us, when we faithfully walk with God we bring great pleasure to our Father. The Scripture says that Enoch "obtained the witness" that his life was "pleasing to God." God communicated His pleasure to Enoch. To know the pleasure of God is to taste the nectar of Heaven itself.

Whatever may happen in the future, the God of the future is walking with us today. And while we may not be able to see into tomorrow, our faithfulness to Christ today is our best security for whatever lies ahead.

As the first person raptured by Christ, Enoch sets the standard for all whom Jesus will one day gather to Himself. They simply and passionately walk with God.

Source: The preceding message is adapted from a chapter in Francis' book, The Days of His Presence. Francis Frangipane - Ministries of Francis Frangipane

Thursday, June 02, 2011

How to Pray

Recently many have asked me "How do I pray?" Every one approaches this in a different way so I have posted the message below 'How to Pray" that has some excellent suggestions I use myself.

You can also find in the archive link below the following articles:

"Keys to effective prayers" & more scriptures/Affirmations May 2009
"Teach me how to pray" & "A Model Prayer" 2006
"One Hour prayer Guide" June 2009

For those struggling in trials "Learn to Lament" 2006 Will be of blessing.
How to Pray

In Chapter 5 of the book Private Worship: 'the Key to Joy," Nancy shares some of the insights on prayer she has gained over the past 50 years in her walk with the Lord.

If praying to God is foreign to you or you don't know exactly what to say, these principles may be of help.

Praying the Scriptures

I learned long ago that if I wanted anything at all to be accomplished in my life, it must be brought before the Lord in prayer.

I also learned, however, that there is an appropriate way to pray and an appropriate time to pray laid out for us in Scripture.

When I followed the Lord's prescribed instructions, tremendous results occurred. When I didn't, everything would fall apart! Again, God makes the rules; our duty is simply to follow them.

Someone taught me years ago that when I prayed the Scriptures, God would do powerful things, not only in me, but also in the ones I was praying for.

Bob Sorge, again in his book Secrets of the Secret Place, states that "when we pray with God's Word on our lips, we know we are praying prayers that are living and powerful." Without question, we are specifically praying "according to His will."

Hebrews 4:12 validates this. "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."

And, it's true! "When the language of our prayers is shaped by the Scriptures, we gain confidence in knowing that we are praying according to the will of God."

This way we by-pass our own self-centered, pity-party prayers and step into God's thoughts, His mind and His wisdom. Now, there's no reason to be afraid of repetition. God knows our heart and what is important to us, and by repeating the same prayers we become like that persistent friend in Luke 11 who would not take "no" for an answer. (The ineffectual prayers that we must watch out for are those mechanical prayers that the Pharisees prayed in order to be seen, heard and thought of "as godly." These were not genuine prayers from their heart, nor from the Spirit of God.)

Also, when you go into your prayer closet, always be sure to have your Bible handy. Then, you not only can pray the Scriptures, but the Lord can also speak His will back to you through the Scriptures.

Since it's always been very difficult for me to memorize Scripture, I found writing the Scriptures out and then praying them, to be extremely helpful and beneficial. So, the following Scriptures are simply suggestions for prayer. They are not intended to be an in-depth thesis on prayer and worship. They are simply some personal thoughts and ideas that have helped me in my almost 50-year walk with the Lord. If they minister, wonderful! If not, skip them and continue reading. Just as in worship, it's imperative to allow the Holy Spirit to direct your prayers.

Remember, we are not under the law but under grace. Therefore, I do not mean to imply a "methodology" or a "ritual" here. We certainly don't have to "work our way to heaven." However, I do believe God has given us His Word and He is very pleased when we pray it back to Him.
Personal Prayers

Some personal prayers that have ministered to me over the years are:

• Psalm 139:23-24 - Search me and know my heart and my thoughts. See if there be any wicked way in me and lead me in Your way.

• Job 34:32 - That which I cannot see, please teach me.

• Psalm 45:17 - I desire to make Your Name be remembered in all generations.

• Psalm 17:2 - Let my sentence come forth only from Your presence.

• Ephesians 4:29-31 - Let no corrupt communication proceed out of my mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace to the hearer. Let me not grieve the Holy Spirit, whereby I am sealed. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and evil speaking be put away from me with all malice, etc.

• Ephesians 4:32 - Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as Christ has forgiven me.

• Hebrews 4:16 - Let me come boldly to Your throne in time of need and find mercy.

• Psalm 119:133 - Order my steps in Your Word. Don't let sin or self have dominion over me.

• Romans 4:21 - I choose to be fully persuaded that what You have promised me, You will perform.

• 1 Corinthians 2:2 - I pray that I would know nothing but "Christ crucified."

• Philippians 4:19 - That You would supply all my needs according to Your riches in glory.

• Matthew 22:37 - I desire to love You with all my heart, with all my will and with all my soul, so that I can then love my neighbor as myself.

• Romans 12:1-2 - I offer my body as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable which is my reasonable service, and I choose not to be conformed to this world, but to be transformed into Your Image (and show forth Your Life) by the renewing of my mind, so that I can, then, prove in my actions what is the good, the acceptable and the perfect will of God.

• Psalm 138:3 - Make me bold with Your strength in my soul.

• Galatians 1:16 - May You reveal Yourself in me, so that I might speak as You would have me.

• Joshua 9:25 - I am in Your hands, do what You will with me. Have Your way in me.

• Philemon 14 - Without Your opinion, I will do nothing.

• Acts 2:28 - That You would make me full of joy with Your countenance.

• Colossians 3:4 - Christ, You are my life.

• Philippians 1:21 - For me to live is Christ.

Family Prayers

In addition to your own daily prayers for each member of your family, here are some further Scriptures you might want to pray for them. (Again, let the Holy Spirit pick which ones.)

Ephesians 1:17-19 - I pray for Your Spirit of wisdom and revelation for ________. I pray that the eyes of his understanding would be enlightened, so that he might know the hope of Your calling, the riches of Your inheritance, and the exceeding greatness of Your Power towards them who believe.

• Ephesians 3:16-19 - I pray ________will be strengthened with might by Your Spirit in the inner man; that You might dwell in his heart and that he might be rooted and grounded in Your Love and able to comprehend the breadth, the depth and the height of Your Love, so that he might be filled up with the fullness of You.

• Philippians 3:10 - I pray that________may know You and the power of Your resurrection and the fel low ship of Your sufferings, so that he might be made conformable to Your Image.

• 2 Timothy 2:25 - I pray that You would give_________ repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.

• Think also about praying: Acts 16:31; 1 Kings 8:23-53; Daniel 9:3-19; and, Colossians 1:9.

Other Suggested Prayers for Loved Ones

Someone once gave me this list to pray for others. As I tried it, I was amazed to see so many I prayed for changed.

• Pray that God would "lift the veil" and give them a personal revelation of Jesus.

• Pray that the Holy Spirit would continue to hover over them and give them supernatural protection.

• Pray that God would put godly people in their path.

• Pray that God would expose all pride and rebelliousness.

• Pray that God would expose all their hidden thought patterns–religious prejudices, known strongholds and evil spirits, etc.

• Pray that God would bind Satan from taking them captive.

• Pray that He would place His armor around them, and that He would do all He could to bring them to Himself.

P.S. I might also suggest making a special prayer notebook or prayer journal with all of your own special Scriptures. Then, you can take it into the prayer closet with you.

My prayer diary goes everywhere with me. Those who have seen it laugh, because it is so dog-eared and so beat up. Never mind, I know what it says and it helps me remember the Scriptures.

Lingering in His Presence

David Wilkerson, again one of my favorite pastors, says, "After I end my prayer time, I linger in my secret closet of prayer. I bow before the Lord and say, 'Jesus, I'm here just for You. I don't bring any more requests or petitions. This is Your time and Yours alone. I'm here to listen to Your heart.'"

He goes on to say, "I simply stay in His presence, loving Him and waiting on Him. I know He will come to me and speak His Mind."

When their times of worship and prayer were over, the priests of Solomon's temple went out to minister to the congregation. Just so may we go forth to share the fullness of the Lord received in our worship of Him at the altar of our hearts. And in so doing, and by His continuing presence in us, we will bless all those with whom we come in contact.

Source: Nancy Missler - King's Highway Ministries

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The End of the World!

Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. ~Matthew 24:42

"The end of the world didn't happen [Saturday], but Jesus IS returning. ...

God will bring this present world to a close. Time will come to an end. .... None of us know for certain when we will breathe our last breath, and we are all a heartbeat away from eternity. Whether you stand before God on May 21st, or whether you stand before Him 50 years from now, is irrelevant in the scope of eternity.

The important thing isn't when you stand before God; it's where you stand with God." -

"The truth is, we never know when Christ will return. It could be in the next moment." .........

"Are you ready to stand before God?"

Source: Will Graham (part message) May 24 'A New Day on The Jersey Shore

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Are You Ready

Do you know Jesus? If not please read below. Please know God loves You.