Fervent, Powerful Prayer

The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. — James 5:16b NLT

James 5:13-18 NLT

As small tots and children, we were taught prayers word for word.  There were prayers to say before the meals we ate and prayers to say before we went to bed at night.  These are wonderful experiences and great memories. But just as we moved from the “Dick and Jane” books, there comes a time when our prayers should become more personal.  We are still presenting the same issues to God but now instead of rote memory, they should be from a heart that understands and knows that God not only hears our prayers but He answers them.  Most of us may have had more faith that God would answer our prayers then than we do now.  Those were prayers from innocent hearts and minds.  Now, we have a lifetime of sins and doubts to overcome.  But God is still the same God we prayed to when we were children and we must approach Him with that same childlike faith.  We must become as little children in the Kingdom of God.  Part of that process is to understand that all of our sins have been washed away by the blood of Jesus.  God sees each of us as the righteousness of Christ.  So, when we pray let us believe that we are righteous people, that God hears our prayers and  that our prayers do have great power.  Not because of us, but because of Jesus and His work that He finished at the cross.  We can know that our prayers have great power because Jesus is at the right hand of the Father praying with us and the Holy Spirit is praying through us and for us.

Romans 8:26, 27 NLT

“The closer I get to the end of my life, it seems the only question that matters, Is the life I am living pleasing to God?” – Ken Gire In “Sacred”

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous 

Post 02-22-2019

“God Can and Does Deliver On His Promises”

19 The king’s officer had replied, “That couldn’t happen even if the Lord opened the windows of heaven!” And the man of God had said, “You will see it happen with your own eyes, but you won’t be able to eat any of it!” 20 And so it was, for the people trampled him to death at the gate! –2 Kings 7:19, 20 NLT

 2 Kings 7:1-20 NLT

Everything that Elisha had prophesied about the famine and then the abundance of food came to pass.  Not one thing was left out.  God had defeated an army by confusing them until they fought each other and then the rest ran away leaving all of their supplies which included the abundance of food they had stored for their sustenance during the siege.  Israel did not fight the battle and they did not lose one single soldier in getting the supply that God had promised.  The only person lost was the king’s assistant and he was trampled by his own people before he could get a bite of food. Every detail was fulfilled.  God has made us many amazing promises in His Word. We can believe those promises, access them and enjoy the benefits of living in His presence or we can try to make it on our own and experience defeat and death.  God is not a man that He should lie and He is not slack concerning His promises.  There is no fine print or legalese to interrupt, just promises made in simple langauge that anyone can understand. Don’t be like Pharaoh and choose to live with the frogs one more night.  Just believe God’s Word and start enjoying the benefits of lving in His resurrection power today.

Psalm 103:1-5 NKJV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 01-08-2017

“Keep On Telling the Story”

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71 “Why do we need other witnesses?” they said. “We ourselves heard him say it.” — Luke 22:71 NLT
When I read this verse, I often think, “How could these people be face to face with Jesus and refuse to believe?”.   But, then, I am reminded of how many times I was called by the Holy Spirit and refused to believe.  It is easy for us to assume that we would have acted differently than those people did then.  We let ourselves off easy thinking that we would have surely believed Jesus in this situation.  But, just as Abraham told the rich man who requested that he send Lazarus back to his home town to speak to his brothers, if they won’t believe Moses and the prophets, they won’t believe even if they saw someone return from the dead.  On the day that Jesus was crucified, there were prophets and holy people of old whose bodies were released from the grave and they walked the streets of Jerusalem, but not all of Jerusalem was saved.

The point is this, people that have lived since the Holy Spirit was sent to call us, lead us and comfort us, have more reasons to believe than most of those people back then.  We can look back over history and see more of God’s promises fulfilled than they could and yet, there are many that still refuse to believe. We will hear the story multiple more times than most of them heard it, but not all will believe  Every person will hear the story and have the opportunity to receive Jesus as their Savior, yet not all will do so.   As time goes by, hearts grow harder and harder.  A few years ago, it was reported that we had to hear the story seven times before we accepted Jesus.  Now, that number is reported to have risen to fourteen. Our work is to keep telling the story and we must keep telling it more and more, so those around us will have more opportunities.  But the results of our telling the story are in God’s hands.  Our work is to tell, His work is to confirm it in the hearts of those He has chosen.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 12-22-2018

Write It All Down

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18 “When he sits on the throne as king, he must copy for himself this body of instruction on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests. — Deut. 17:18 NLT

God knew that once the Israelis had settled in the land and become comfortable, that they would look around and desire what the other nations had.  They would grow tired of the judges and desire a king so they could be like the nations around them.  God had given Moses several guidelines for the king once he had been anointed.  Most of those were what not to do and had to do with position and possessions.  But the positive thing he was required to do was to copy the whole body of the instructions on a scroll.  To be sure, he did this himself, he had to do it in the presence of the priests.  Then he must keep it with him and read it every day.  One would think that this would have been sufficient to keep the kings in line with what God expected.  But that was not the case.  The majority of the kings were not godly and worshiped other gods.  The lesson that we can learn from this is that head knowledge is useless unless it affects the heart.  The devil knows the Bible but it doesn’t keep him from being the devil.  Just reading the Bible on a daily basis will not change us.  A heart change only takes place when we fully believe that Jesus, the Son of God, died for our sins.  Just saying the words does not make it happen.  We need confession and we need believing.

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and if you believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, you will be saved. 10 We believe with our hearts, and so we are made right with God. And we declare with our mouths that we believe, and so we are saved   — Romans 9, 10 NCV​
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 11-02-2018

Even John Had Doubts

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Are you the Coming One, or should we wait for someone else? – Luke 7:20b ISV
 
John the Baptist is the one who had announced that Jesus was the Son of God and had baptized Jesus in the Jordan River.  He saw the dove come down and heard the voice from on high saying “this is my Son in whom I am well pleased”.  Yet, sometime later, when John was in prison, he began to wonder about this man, Jesus. “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” When things are out of whack and it seems like God isn’t in control, I read these verses and I am encouraged.  After the questions, Jesus had this to say about John and us:

28 I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” — Luke 7:28 NIV

And there was Thomas who is remembered for doubting.  He was not rebuked by the Lord but was allowed to touch Him and confirm that Jesus was Jesus.  I have never been quite sure why Thomas was pointed out since all of the group had expressed doubt by their actions or lack thereof.  And what did Jesus have to say to Thomas?


29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” — John 20:29 NIV

Those that had been with Jesus had doubts and Jesus reassured them with tenderness and love.  We have Jesus in the form of the Holy Spirit.  He reassures us with that same tenderness and love.  Ask, if you must, but believe that it is true. Jesus quoted the Old Testament which should remove any dobut about its authenticity.  If He accepts it as truth, we can be confident in doing the same thing.


11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. — John 14:11 NIV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 09-03-2018

God Faithfully Answers Our Prayers

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But he must ask in faith, without any doubts, for the one who has doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. – James 1:6 ISV
 
God has promised to provide our every need and He is always faithful to fulfill His promise. He provides for us spiritually, physically, emotionally, and mentally. When we pray as Jesus taught us to pray; “Nevertheless, not my will but Thine be done” and truly believe that He will answer us, He always does. He responds to our faith in Him.  

 
28 When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them,“Do you believe that I am able to do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they replied. 29 Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you”; 30 and their sight was restored. — Matt. 9:28-30
We need to pray for wisdom, especially for wisdom in how to pray and for what things and people we should pray about. Praying is one of the simplest and yet, one of the hardest things, a Christian does.  It can be as simple as Peter’s prayer, “Lord, save me” or it can be as long as is necessary, such as the prayer that Jesus prayed for us in John 17.  Regardless of length or what words are used, the important thing is that we be serious and believe that God will do what we are asking. We cannot waver in our faith that He will do what we ask.

 

13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. — John 13, 14

Prayer requires a lot of patience since we can pray for the right things and we don’t immediately see answers.  God has a plan and a purpose and a time for each phase of His plan to be implemented. We must trust that He knows best and continue to believe. We must be careful to watch for the answer because it may come in a totally different way than we were expecting. Just remember, God is always faithful and He always answers our prayers.  It may take years, just as it did for Abraham and Joseph, but He always does what He said He would do, He is “I AM”, past, present and future.

 
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 07-26-2018

“Fully Human”

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17 For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, – Hebrews 2:17a NIV
Sometimes when I am reading about one of the great miracles that Jesus did when He was here on earth, I forget that He was a man just as we are. I want to attribute those miracles to someone with access to more power than we have access to. If I could truthfully do that then I would be relieved of trying to live up to His example. But, woe is me, because to do that would be to deny His full humanity and therefore, it would be a lie. So, I must agree with Jesus that I have access to the power that enables me to do “greater things than these”.

12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. — John 14:12 NIV

I recognize the sins that I commit and I ask forgiveness for them. But how many times have I sinned by omitting or not doing what the Holy Spirit has asked me to do and used the excuse “I can’t”?  God is not a man that He should lie and He says that we can through His power. To believe anything less is to believe a lie.  

So, today, right now,  Father, I ask your forgiveness for those times when I could’ve and I should’ve but I didn’t.  Make me more aware when those situations arise again and arouse in me the boldness and power to do what you have asked me to do. Thank you for your forgiveness, your mercy and your love. I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen

8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us. — 1 John 1:8-10 NI​V​

 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 05-05-2018